Travelrific® Travel Journal

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Archive for December, 2012

Trip the Light Fantastic

By Linda Tancs

Iceland may seem like a no-brainer as a winter new year’s destination, but not for the reasons you may think.  Did you know that the average temperature in January is actually a bit higher than that of New York?  What makes Iceland appealing to ring in a new year is the fireworks celebration.  Their law places no limits on fireworks, so the lights will be flashing well into the night.  Happy New Year!

Costa Rican Adventure

By Linda Tancs

From the misty coolness of the cloud forest to the eternal spring found in the Central
Valley, there’s something for everyone year round in Costa Rica.  Travelrific Radio®
looks at the following popular stops:  San José, the Central Valley, Guanacaste, Arenal, Monteverde and the Nicoya Peninsula.

Snowshoeing in the Rockies

By Linda Tancs

Banff in Alberta, Canada is the hiking capital of the Canadian Rockies, its winter trails a winter wonderland.  What could be more idyllic than exploring them in a pair of snow shoes?  One of the area’s most traditional experiences, snowshoeing season is in full swing now until late March or so.   Travel safely:  be mindful of the trails marked for cross country skiing, avoid avalanche terrain and fresh animal tracks, and watch for slippery snow.  If you’d rather not navigate on your own, guided snowshoeing (and shoe rentals) is available in Lake Louise and other locations in Banff National Park.

Christmas in Florida

By Linda Tancs

It may seem incongruous to have a town in sunny Florida named Christmas.  Originally named Fort Christmas, the tiny town of less than 2000 inhabitants east of Orlando boasts a full size replica of Fort Christmas, built in 1837 during the Second Seminole Indian War.  In addition to exhibits and a video on the wars, the fort brings pioneering to life, featuring restored historical homes in the age of homesteading, fishing, trapping and hunting.  The fort is closed today.  It is, of course, Christmas in Christmas!

Innocent Fun in Ibi

By Linda Tancs

What’s a little flour, egg and a firecracker or two among friends?  The southeastern Spanish town of Ibi sponsors a food fight each year on 28 December to commemorate the Day of the Innocents.  The 200-year-old Els Enfarinats festival requires participants to dress in mock military uniforms as they take over the city for the day and threaten infidels with flour, eggs and fireworks.  The day is the equivalent of April Fool’s Day in the U.S.

Christmas Capital of the Philippines

By Linda Tancs

The Giant Lantern Festival in San Fernando, Philippines, is an annual event held on the Saturday preceding Christmas Eve. The spectacular lights have earned the city its moniker as “Christmas Capital of the Philippines.” Competition is fierce, and colored plastic lanterns are complemented by paper and fiberglass. This is where imagination really does soar.

Angel of the North

By Linda Tancs

In northeast England’s Gateshead there’s an angel watching over you.  Named The Angel of the North, the nearly 70-foot-high steel structure with outstretched arms sports a wingspan of 177 feet.  That’s the width of a jumbo jet.  Now that’s a bear hug.

The Neverending Drawing

By Linda Tancs

London’s V&A Museum is the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 4 million objects.  It is, one might say, neverending.  Amongst those collections you might miss the Neverending Drawing, a piece of public art beckoning your contribution.  Launched in 2004 at the RIBA architecture gallery, just open the walnut box housing the drawing and add your own interpretation of the theme, The Street.

City of Mosques

By Linda Tancs

Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh, is known as the City of Mosques.  Baitul Mukarram Mosque, the national mosque, is the largest mosque in the city.  The main prayer hall is stunningly large at nearly 27,000 square feet, with a unique architectural style resembling Ka’abah at Mecca.  This large complex includes shopping, offices and libraries.  Another popular attraction is Star Mosque, a five-domed Mughal style mosque distinguished on the outside by twinkling stars and on the inside by mosaic floors.  Other prominent mosques are a seven-domed mosque, Chawkbazar Mosque and Huseni Dalan Mosque.

Hats Off at Peabody

By Linda Tancs

At the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, the hats have it.  Through 3 February 2013, an anthology of hats is on display.  Let’s face it; we fell in love with the fascinator when Kate (that’s the better half of William and Kate) put the glam in that modest little accessory.  At the Peabody, British milliner-to-the-stars Stephen Jones has created an homage to headdress.  You’ll find caps, crowns, bonnets, turbans, fascinators and more than a few head-scratching designs.  It’ sure to be a heady experience.

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