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Archive for June, 2013

Paul Bunyan Days

By Linda Tancs

According to legend, Paul Bunyan was a giant lumberjack with uncommon strength who could clear forests with his bare hands and shake trees with his thunderous voice.  Statues of this mythical hero abound throughout the United States, including Akeley, Minnesota.  The town became a mecca for lumberjacks when a sawmill was built in 1902, so it should come as no surprise that the Bunyan legend looms large there.  For 65 years they’ve been celebrating Paul Bunyan Days at various locations in Akeley.  This year’s celebration takes place from 28 to 30 June.  Among the activities are a fish fry, woodcarving,  lumberjack mall art show, Paul Bunyan look-alike contest, and a grand parade.

Adventure in New Zealand

By Linda Tancs

New Zealand is an island in the southwest Pacific Ocean, populated with an array of natural wonders like glaciers, fiords, mountains, plains, subtropical forest, volcanic plateau, and sandy beaches.  Roughly the size of Britain, Japan or Colorado, nearly a third of the country—divided into a North Island and a South Island—is preserved national park land!  Tune in to Travelrific® Radio and let’s explore its gorgeous landscapes.

Inside Nantucket

By Linda Tancs

Thirty miles south of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Nantucket is a crescent-shaped island chock-full of architectural and natural delights blissfully off the beaten path.   For instance, there’s Sconset Bluff Walk, an unadvertised public way littered with stately homes and ocean views.  And Steps Beach at low tide, when you can walk along a sandbar.  Did you know that you can summon turtles at the dock at North Head Long Pond with raw drumsticks?  Now you can tour like an insider.

The Legend of Drake’s Drum

By Linda Tancs

Buckland Abbey is a centuries-old manor in Devon, England.  Originally occupied by Cistercian monks in the 13th century, the structure became best known perhaps as the dwelling of the Elizabethan-era adventurer Sir Francis Drake.  A highlight of the Tavy Valley estate is Drake’s Drum.  Reputedly Drake took the snare drum on voyages to sound his men to action.   Since that time it has been rumored to beat whenever England is in peril, including during both world wars.

Almost Seventy Degrees North

By Linda Tancs

The city of Tromsø, Norway lies inside the Arctic Circle at nearly 70 degrees north.  Home to the northernmost university, botanical garden and planetarium, its top of the world location gives rise to the phenomenon of the midnight sun in summer.  So what better place to hold a midnight sun marathon!  On 22 June runners from over 50 countries will compete under the evening’s sunny skies.  The marathon is the northernmost AIMS-certified running event in the world.


A Classic Queen

By Linda Tancs

Movie buffs recall the African Queen, a steam-operated boat featured in the 1951 film of the same name starring Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn.  Lest you think the old gal was consigned to a studio storage facility, you’ll be happy to hear that she’s fully operational and touring the canals off Key Largo, Florida.  Built in 1912 in England for service in Africa, the 101-year-old vessel, registered as a National Historic Site, has been restored for cruises and private events.

Starship Enterprise

By Linda Tancs

According to the law of gravity, what comes up must come down.  After the shuttering of the shuttle space program, Enterprise (NASA’s original orbiter) made its way to The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City in a highly publicized series of movements involving a specially outfitted 747 and a barge procession past the Hudson River’s most iconic landmarks.  The shuttle and its pavilion have been temporarily closed following damage from storm Sandy, but don’t miss the opportunity to visit this gem of the space program when it reopens shortly.  Enterprise has been added to the National Register of Historic Places as of March 13, 2013, the first orbiter to receive such recognition.

The Bauhaus in Weimar

By Linda Tancs

The design movement known as Bauhaus was founded by Walter Gropius in Weimar, Germany.  Its mission was to fuse all forms of art, and its philosophy had a profound impact on modern design and architecture.  The Bauhaus Museum in Weimar offers a permanent exhibition that pays homage to the works of the Bauhaus masters and showcases their vast influence.  Even Steve Jobs was greatly swayed by the Bauhaus movement.

For the Love of Blueberries

By Linda Tancs

Burgaw, North Carolina is a small town of 4000 or so inhabitants.  So why does such a tiny hamlet attract nearly eight times its population during the annual North Carolina Blueberry Festival?  Well, it is the state’s official ‘blue’ berry–and blueberry production got its start in this southeastern part of the state.  But Burgaw also brims with historical delights in its downtown location.  The old railroad station, for instance, is on the National Register of Historic Places and the Civil War Trail.  Dating back to 1850, it is believed to be the oldest standing depot in North Carolina.  Just decades older, the courthouse, a focal point for festival goers, is a mix of Georgian and Colonial architecture.  And just west of town is Moore’s Creek Battlefield, an 86-acre site dedicated to the Revolutionary War battle of Moore’s Creek.   So, for the love of blueberries, stop on by this Saturday.

A Cultural Hue

By Linda Tancs

Located in central Vietnam on the banks of the Perfume River, Huế is the country’s cultural heart, its complex of monuments earning recognition from UNESCO.  Once the seat of a feudal dynasty, that status is preserved at the Citadel, a walled forbidden city reserved for emperors, concubines and loyal attendants.  The ancient emperors’ tombs are scattered along the river’s banks.  Nearby is Thien Mu Pagoda, the tallest in Vietnam and a testimonial to the city’s imperial past.

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