Travelrific® Travel Journal

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Archive for December, 2013

A Wonder in Asia

By Linda Tancs

Sri Lanka bills itself as a wonder of Asia—and no wonder.  From the tops of the mountains to the depths of the ocean, this tropical island in the Indian
Ocean offers visitors a panoply of exotic charms.  Listen in at Travelrific® Radio for some highlights.

Getting to Know Wallace

By Linda Tancs

If you were asked to name London’s best museums, what would be on your list?  The British Museum?  V&A?  Tate?  National Gallery?  Chances are, you wouldn’t think of The Wallace Collection.  Featuring the collections of the first four Marquesses of Hertford and Sir Richard Wallace, the son of the 4th Marquess, this national museum boasting 25 galleries is a real gem located in Hertford House, a London townhouse.   Its most prominent exhibits include paintings by Titian, Rembrandt, Hals and Velázquez and eighteenth-century French paintings, porcelain, furniture and gold boxes.   But don’t stop there.  Be sure to view the stunning array of Limoges enamels and striking arms and armor.  Beat the crowds and visit on New Year’s Day.

Rest for Oenophiles

By Linda Tancs

Do you hate shuttling between wineries, losing time to drink in (no pun intended) the countryside over a leisurely glass of vino?  In New Zealand, your ship has come in.  Actually, make that a motor home.  Maui, a vehicle rental company, is offering wine havens, a motorhome rental for an overnight stay at select vineyards.  Now relax, and enjoy the view.

A Magic Kingdom Christmas

By Linda Tancs

Ho ho ho!  Merry Christmas, and peace to all.  Enjoy this Disney holiday video.

Here Comes the Sun

By Linda Tancs

Sandwiched between high mountains in Telemark, Norway, the town of Rjukan has been enveloped in darkness during the autumn and winter months.  But thanks to the ingenuity of local industrialists, the town is now bathed in light from new mirrors set up on the hillside to direct the sun’s rays to worshippers below.  Don’t worry, though, the newfound light won’t melt the area’s prized snow and ice.  Rjukan is still one of Europe’s best destinations for ice climbing.

Whiskers in Washington

By Linda Tancs

Washington, D.C.’s Smithsonian is a treasure trove of artifacts and ephemera, often referred to as “the nation’s attic.”  One of the many curiosities housed there is the 18-foot beard of deceased North Dakota farmer Hans Langseth.  Dubbed the “Supreme Whiskerino of the Universe,” Hans (aka King Whiskers) continues to hold the record for the world’s longest beard.  It can be viewed by appointment at the National Museum of Natural History’s Anthropology Department.

The Castle and the Egg

By Linda Tancs

The oldest castle in Naples, Italy is Castel dell’Ovo (Egg Castle).   This fortified site once housed the luxurious villa of a Roman knight before its transformation to a fort, then a prison, and later, a castle.  So what’s an egg got to do with it?  Well, legend has it that the poet Virgil placed a magic egg beneath the castle to protect it and the city from ruin.

Into the Stratosphere

By Linda Tancs

In Las Vegas, the rides at The Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower will make your head spin, as actors Michael Douglas and Mary Steenburgen discovered while shooting the movie Last Vegas.  They rode the X-Scream, which propels you over the edge of the Stratosphere (866 feet above the ground) for that cherished bird’s-eye view.  Stunt double, anyone?

Serengeti of the West

By Linda Tancs

One hundred miles north of Los Angeles, California’s Carrizo Plain is the largest remaining grassland in the state, a terrain aptly nicknamed the “Serengeti of the West.”  Poppies, lupine and monolopia dot the native expanse, as do fauna like the pronghorn, kit fox, antelope squirrel and giant kangaroo rat.  Rimmed by mountains, its centerpiece is Soda Lake, a sheet of white salt guarded by the sacred pictographs of nearby Painted Rock.

Ye Greate Street

By Linda Tancs

Ye Greate Street sounds more like a Shakespearean-inspired thoroughfare in jolly olde England than a main street in The Garden State, yet that’s exactly what you’ll find in Greenwich, New Jersey.  Tucked in Cumberland County, this historic Delaware Bay community is anchored by the colonial and Victorian charms of Ye Greate Street.  Its quiet country roads are perfect for bald eagle and bird watching.  You also won’t want to miss Gibbon House (a mansion modeled after a London townhouse), the Tea Party Monument (marking a protest on British tea taxes in 1774) and the Cumberland County Prehistorical Museum, featuring artifacts of Native American life in the area as well as fossil collections.

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