Travelrific® Travel Journal

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Archive for July, 2013

World’s Steepest Street

By Linda Tancs

Dunedin, New Zealand boasts the world’s steepest residential street, with an average slope of 1:5.  Recognized by Guinness World Records, 1150-foot-long Baldwin Street gives any StairMaster a run for its money.  Good thing a water fountain greets you at the summit!  Best of all, though, it runs up Signal Hill, offering great views of Otago Harbor.  Together with the peninsula, Otago Harbor is home to some of the rarest wildlife in the world and New Zealand’s only castle, Larnach Castle.

Arctic Summer Fest

By Linda Tancs

One of the most anticipated international indigenous festivals in Europe, Riddu Riđđu is held during the arctic summer each year in the Sea Sami village of Olmmáivággi in Norway.  Taking place today through 14 July, the festival promotes Sami art and culture through music, film, handiworks, seminars and workshops. 

A Coronation Festival

By Linda Tancs

Last year saw exciting displays of honor and affection between Queen and country as Queen Elizabeth celebrated her Diamond Jubilee.  But the party isn’t over as the Queen’s coronation in 1953 is saluted this month with a unique event in the gardens at Buckingham Palace.  From 11 to 14 July, 60 years of royal service and tradition will be celebrated amidst a company of Royal Warrant holders (purveyors of goods and services to the Queen and other members of the royal family) at the Coronation Festival.  An invitation-only royal preview will kick off the event on 11 July, followed by a public evening gala on both Friday and Saturday night.  The musical entertainment features performances by Katherine Jenkins, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and the English National Ballet.

The Knights of Malta

By Linda Tancs

Over 900 years old, the Order of Malta is an ancient order that traces its origins to a monk’s humanitarian missions directed at pilgrims visiting the Holy Land.  More than just a religious order, its Knights comprise a sovereign entity that prints passports and enjoys diplomatic relations–all without the borders of a country to call its own.  The stateless state is located in Rome’s Via Condotti.  That’s quite unlike its namesake, the island of Malta.

Superstar Beach

By Linda Tancs

Just 20 minutes away from the seaport towns of Newburyport and Portsmouth is one of America’s best beaches.  Named a Superstar Beach by the Natural Resources Defense Council, New Hampshire’s Hampton Beach is one of four beaches deemed the safest thanks to water cleanliness.  But there’s plenty more to keep you coming back, like 80 free evening concerts taking place throughout the summer, fireworks displays every Wednesday (as well as today’s July 4 celebratory shoot), a sand sculpting competition each June and a seafood festival in September.  Sounds beachy keen, doesn’t it?

Roots to Revival

By Linda Tancs

Roughly the size of Indiana, Hungary is a culturally rich country with distinctive traditions in music, dance, costume, crafts and gastronomy.  All of those facets will be on display now through 7 July at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. between the Smithsonian museums.  Don’t miss the opportunity to purchase some prized handiworks at the Marketplace tent.  This year’s festival will also feature endangered languages and cultural heritage as well as African American dress and body art.

Gettysburg Remembered

By Linda Tancs

In July 1863 the residents of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania witnessed a battle that left them with 22,000 dead and wounded soldiers.  To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg (a turning point in the Civil War), the National Civil War Battle Reenactment will take place from 4 to 7 July.  Soldiers and civilians alike will re-enact the battles and encampments, giving visitors a glimpse at the cavalry, artillery and the lives that soldiers led during the war.  The re-enactment will feature 15,000 re-enactors, civilian interpreters, 400 horses and 100 cannons.  And that’s just one of many events marking this distinctive anniversary.  Yesterday the Seminary Ridge Museum opened–150 years to the day that the Battle of Gettysburg began.   The museum building itself became the battle’s largest field hospital.  Hikes, bus tours and other family events will continue until 7 July.

Keep Your Shoes On

By Linda Tancs

With summer travel season entering into high gear, the last thing any air traveler wants is a long security line aggravated by the parsing and stripping of articles of clothing and other objects.  If you qualify for the Transportation Security Administration’s TSA Pre✓™ program, you can keep your shoes on.  TSA Pre✓™ is an initiative focused on pre-screening individuals who volunteer to participate in  expedited security.  TSA is partnering with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) as well as U.S. air carriers as part of this initiative.  Certain frequent travelers from Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, US Airways and certain members of CBP’s Trusted Traveler programs, including U.S. citizens using Global Entry, SENTRI, and NEXUS, are eligible to participate when they are booked on a participating airline at a participating airport.  Eligible participants use dedicated TSA Pre✓™ lanes for screening benefits, which may include no longer removing shoes, 3-1-1 compliant plastic bags, laptops, light outerwear, jackets or belts for independent inspection.   If TSA determines a passenger is eligible for expedited screening, information is embedded in the barcode of the passenger’s boarding pass.

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