Travelrific® Travel Journal

Picture postcards in prose.™ Check out the blogroll on the front page for official merchandise and other resources!

Archive for March, 2014

A Land of Urban Culture

By Linda Tancs

Croatia prides itself as a land of urban culture, sporting more cities than any other part of the Mediterranean.  But the Mediterranean is only part of its charm, circled as it is by eastern, western and central Europe.  Learn more about this newest member of the European Union on Travelrific® Travel Show.

An Architectural Trifecta in Belarus

By Linda Tancs

Mir Castle, a red brick fortress in Belarus, is a trifecta of Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance architecture.  Located in the town of Mir in the Grodno region (55 miles southwest of Minsk), the fortification serves as an emblem of the vast Lithuanian empire that ruled the region, the castle grounds having once belonged to the grand dukes.  The castle complex was later built by Prince Yuri Ilyinich in the 16th century and became the family home of the Radziwills for over two centuries, who undertook extensive renovations of the complex to include an artificial lake, an Italian garden and a three story Renaissance palace along the eastern and northern walls of the castle.  Recently renovated and restored, the castle is again open to the public.

The Graves of Arles

By Linda Tancs

Southwest of the center of Arles in southern France is the ancient Roman necropolis, Les Alyscamps.  Later a Christian burial ground, the path lined with numerous sarcophagi was a subject of paintings by Van Gogh and his onetime roommate, Gauguin.  Van Gogh was quite prolific while residing in Arles; the Van Gogh trail is a self-guided walking tour highlighting points of artistic inspiration.

Like No Place Else on Earth

By Linda Tancs

According to the National Park Service, Crater Lake National Park, Oregon’s only national park, is like no place else on Earth.  Maybe it’s the lake at the heart of it all, one of the world’s deepest.  Its majestic blue color can be viewed by driving the 33-mile path around the rim or getting up close and personal on a boat tour.  Along the way, maybe you’ll see the Old Man, a mountain hemlock log that has been floating upright in the lake for more than 100 years!

The Mob Mentality in Las Vegas

By Linda Tancs

In the heart of downtown Las Vegas is a former federal courthouse and U.S. Post Office included on both the Nevada and National Registers of Historic Places.  Hearings on organized crime were conducted in this building at a time when legendary mobsters ruled The Strip.  Nowadays it’s better known as the Mob Museum, where theater presentations, artifacts, and interactive exhibits capture the struggle between organized crime and law enforcement.   Nothing but the truth prevails here, if you can handle it.

Indoors at the Globe

By Linda Tancs

Like in Shakespeare’s time, London’s Globe Theatre is open to the elements–thus sometimes hath the brightest day a cloud, as The Bard wrote in Henry VI.  But even the staunchest theatregoer wouldn’t mind some cover, 17th century protocols notwithstanding.  That’s where the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse comes in.  The newest addition to the Globe is an indoor candlelit theatre, accessible through the main foyer.  The venue offers plays, concerts, opera and comedy.  The Globe is best accessed on foot.  Use a footpath along the Thames from Waterloo or Southwark Bridge.

World War Museum Opens

By Linda Tancs

In Bastogne, Belgium, thousands of soldiers died in WWII during the Battle of the Bulge.  Their valor is commemorated at the Bastogne War Museum.  Opening tomorrow, this new museum will feature interactive exhibits dedicated to the battle and World War II.

Aligning with the Heavens in Ohio

By Linda Tancs

The largest surviving prehistoric effigy mound is Serpent Mound, located in Peebles, Ohio.  The undulating serpent-shaped earthwork stretches for almost 1350 feet, evoking over the years interpretations related to mysticisms and heavenly alignments.  No wonder, then, that the park grounds are open for extended hours today–the spring equinox–marking Earth’s balance between day and night, a time of many rituals and traditions.  Be prepared for an astronomically good time.

Home of the Original Cuban Sandwich

By Linda Tancs

Plenty of American cities and states have staked their gastronomic claim to fame–Philly has its cheesesteak, Maryland boasts crab cakes, lobsters reign in Maine, etc.  So who lays claim to the original Cuban sandwich?  Answer:  Tampa, Florida.  In particular, it’s Ybor City’s signature sandwich that has local hearts all aflutter.  Tampa’s National Historic Landmark District, Ybor City (the Latin Quarter) exudes old world charm with its wrought iron balconies and narrow brick streets.  Founded by Vicente Martinez-Ybor as a cigar manufacturing center, Ybor City welcomed a melting pot of immigrants from Spain, Cuba, Germany and Italy.  Florida’s first industrial town, it is one of only two National Historic Landmark Districts in the state.


An Ostrogothic Wonder in Italy

By Linda Tancs

Kissed by the Adriatic Sea by virtue of the Candiano Canal, the Italian city of Ravenna boasts a unique collection of early Christian mosaics–unless you’re visiting the Mausoleo di Teodorico.  Devoid of consecrated mosaics, the Mausoleum of Theoderic is a tomb commissioned by Theoderic the Great, king of the Ostrogoths from 493 to 526.  The only surviving emperor’s tomb from this period, the structure is a geometric mishmosh comprising a decagon in the lower half and a circular upper half.  Carved of white Istrian stone, it is a stunning example of Ostrogothic artistry.

%d bloggers like this: