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Archive for July, 2014

The Tunnel of Shells

By Linda Tancs

Call it Shellhenge, a mysterious shell-lined tunnel network in Margate, England. Discovered in 1835, The Shell Grotto is a pathway and chamber beneath a residential garden, comprising 4.6 million shells forming exquisite mosaics. Its origins are a mystery to this day. Unique work of art, pagan temple or secret meeting house? You decide.

The Big Zipper

By Linda Tancs

What is one mile long, 500 feet high and flies at speeds up to 100 miles per hour?  Answer:  The Big Zipper, Europe’s longest and fastest zipline.  Located at an abandoned quarry in Snowdonia, North Wales, this adrenaline-boosting tourist attraction offers spectacular mountain views–if you keep your eyes open long enough to enjoy it!  Are you ready to fly like an eagle?  If not, no worries.  The Little Zipper might be just the ticket for you.

Summer Proms in Warwick

By Linda Tancs

Warwick Castle is celebrating its 1100th year with a birthday party this weekend to rival any queen’s jubilee.  On 12 July a spectacular Summer Proms concert will feature popular classics and film themes along with an emotional sequence of music and songs commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Normandy landings, marked by an aerial display by an original World War II Spitfire.  A magnificent fireworks display will end this unforgettable evening.  The castle will close to daytime guests at 4:00 p.m.

Tripping the Light Fantastic

By Linda Tancs

Neil Young sang that it’s better to burn out than to fade away.  When iconic neon signs in Las Vegas burn out, they don’t just fade away.  They find a home at the Neon Boneyard.  Home to more than 150 historic signs that once graced the likes of Caesars Palace, Binion’s Horseshoe, the Golden Nugget and the Stardust, each sign is accompanied by a history lesson about its design and development.  The outdoor museum is accessible only through daily one-hour guided tours, weather permitting.  Park for free at McWilliams Avenue.

The Age of Homespun

By Linda Tancs

At Historic Cold Spring Village in Cape May, New Jersey, visitors get a first-hand feel for the age of homespun (1789-1840).  Open seasonally (from June to September), the art of homesteading is on display throughout its 30 acres of lanes, gardens and farms.  In addition to the working, organic farm, exhibits include early print presses and print production, woodworking, pottery, wool-spinning and bookbinding.  The Village is located on Route 9, three miles north of Cape May City.

A Bar for the Madding Crowd

By Linda Tancs

Thanks to the digital era, humans have an attention span of nine seconds–that’s eight seconds more than a squirrel.  Our reliance on technology is not likely to change, so why not embrace it?  That’s what the folks at London’s The Thirsty Bear have done.  The city’s first total self-service pub, each table comes equipped with iPads for food orders and self-pour beer taps.  You can even surf the Net and choose jukebox music.  The lack of queues is bound to make the crowd, well, less madding.

Celebrating Cricket’s Bicentenary

By Linda Tancs

Lord’s, the home of cricket in London, celebrates 200 years of sport, having hosted the first known cricket match in 1814 between MCC and Hertfordshire.  To commemorate the bicentenary of this venerated sporting venue, eager fans are awaiting this Saturday’s star-studded lineup in the MCC versus Rest of the World match.  Luminaries include Sachin Tendulkar, Shane Warne, Brian Lara, Saeed Ajmal and Shahid Afridi.  Can’t make the match?  Visit the historic grounds and museum for a peek at the largest cricket collection in the world.  The site is  just a five minutes’ walk from St. John’s Wood tube station.

Divine Guidance in Siena

By Linda Tancs

The avid horse player is likely to pray at the betting window to break even.  In Siena, Italy, divine guidance is a central part of the race during Il Palio, the signature horse race taking place in the city each year on 2 July and 16 August.  Today’s event honors Madonna of Provenzano; on 16 August the competition honors the ascension of the Virgin Mary into Heaven.

Canada’s Big Day

By Linda Tancs

Today is Canada Day, a statutory holiday commemorating the nation’s creation. Prior to nationhood, a historic meeting took place in 1864 at Charlottetown port in Prince Edward Island that led to the Canadian Confederation. This year marks the 150th anniversary of that event, and PEI is celebrating yearlong with lots of festivals. Today’s free music festival at the Charlottetown Event Grounds features Barenaked Ladies, Tegan and Sara, Classified, David Miles, Roch Voisine, George Canyon and DRUM! Gates open at 12:00 p.m. Performers are on stage from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

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