Travelrific® Travel Journal

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Archive for June, 2014

Romans in Algeria

By Linda Tancs

Algeria’s numerous invaders contributed to its vast, fascinating culture, providing us with World Heritage sites rife with archeological treasures. For instance, there’s significant evidence of the country’s Roman past in a triumvirate of locales, like the city grid plan evident at Timgad, some of the best preserved Roman ruins in the world. And overlooking the Mediterranean and within easy reach of Algiers, the ruins at Tipaza (known in Roman times as Tipasa) are an extraordinary complex featuring private houses, baths and religious buildings.  Completing the trio is Djemila and its stunning mosaics.

New Brunswick’s Colonial Past

By Linda Tancs

One of Canada’s 50 Places of a Lifetime is the scenic St. John River Valley in New Brunswick.  Eastern Canada’s longest river, it boasts the world’s longest covered bridge.  Chief among the area’s charms, though, is the entertaining outdoor living history museum known as Kings Landing.  Created in the 1960s above the high-water mark arising from the river dam project, the settlement commemorates the colonial life and times of the first settlers in this region, a regiment of loyalists in the American Revolution known as the King’s American Dragoons.  Sure, there’s plenty of the butter making, candle dipping and wool spinning that typifies villages of this sort, but Kings Landing is also a monument to the industrial and agricultural traditions of colonial America’s refugees.  A horse-powered drag saw is just one spectacle greeting you on your visit.  The settlement is also a back-breeding program for livestock, vegetables, fruit and flowers, sporting 19th century varieties less common or almost extinct today.  This year’s season begins on 14 June.

A Tour de Suisse

By Linda Tancs

The scenery from Lucerne to Locarno is just as dramatic as the telling of the legend of Switzerland’s William Tell.  No wonder, then, that a rail journey between these two destinations is named the William Tell Express.  Beginning with a three-hour boat cruise on Lake Lucerne (host to the storybook Chapel Bridge), the panoramic train trip begins at Flüelen, winds its way through the Reuss Valley, traces the Gotthard line and meanders through picturesque villages en route to Locarno.  Forget about the apple shot.  On this journey you’ll find the money shot for sure.

A Victorian Fantasy in New Orleans

By Linda Tancs

Turrets, columns and gingerbread aren’t the usual fare associated with architecture in New Orleans.  But then again, anything goes in the Big Easy.  In the middle of the Garden District you’ll find a turquoise and white Victorian dream known as Commander’s Palace, a restaurant known for its cuisine–and famous guests–since 1880.  Located on Washington Avenue just steps from the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line, this is where Emile Commander entertained folks like Mark Twain and Confederate Jefferson Davis.  Nowadays it’s particularly known for its festive weekend jazz brunch, featuring a special menu and live New Orleans jazz by Joe Simon’s Jazz Trio.

 

Double Trouble in New Jersey

By Linda Tancs

In Ocean County, N.J., you’ll find Double Trouble.  No, not the nefarious kind.  It’s a state park located on the eastern edge of the Pine Barrens –and with a name like that, you’d be correct in assuming that it isn’t exactly teeming with visitors.  All the better for you, though.  Enjoy the peace and serenity of fabulous walking trails dotted with cranberry bogs.  Embracing a historic village that typifies centuries-old company towns reliant on local industry, the woodland is emblematic of cranberry culture.  The Double Trouble Company had one of the largest cranberry operations in the state there (hence, the name).   The Double Trouble Historic District was placed on the State Register of Historic Places in 1977 and on the National Register in 1978.

A Capital Experience in Iceland

By Linda Tancs

Iceland is a little island jewel in the North Atlantic, a geological nexus between America and Europe featuring natural wonders like the midnight sun, aurora borealis, thermal baths, glaciers and endless lava fields.   Hear all about it on Travelrific® Radio.

The World’s Largest Cave

By Linda Tancs

Spelunkers, take note.  Beginning this year, there’s a new cave to explore in Vietnam’s Quang Binh province.  Known as the Son Doong, it was fully explored for the first time in 2009 despite being discovered in 1991.  Over five miles long and nearly 500 feet high at its peak, the passage is the world’s largest known cavern, a title previously held by Deer Cave in the Malaysian section of the island of Borneo.

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