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Archive for October, 2014

Most Haunted in Wales

By Linda Tancs

A mysterious lady floating in the gallery.  Shadowy figures drifting down corridors.  Spooky sounds.  These are just a few of the unexplained phenomena at Bodelwyddan Castle, one of the most haunted buildings in Wales.  Are you ready to explore what goes bump in the night?  Just in time for Halloween, tomorrow’s events include a public ghost walk ending in an eerie visit to the cellars and an overnight ghost hunt around the halls, rooms and bedrooms where you can try your hand at operating paranormal equipment like dowsing rods, crystal pendulums, and motion sensors.  Happy hunting!

The House on the Rock

By Linda Tancs

Western Serbia enchants travelers with unforgettable experiences.  There’s medieval Mileševa monastery, known for its fresco of the White Angel.  And the stunning vistas from the Šargan Eight, a narrow gauge railway in Mokra Gora.  The horseshoe-shaped entrance to Potpećka Pećina cave is another favorite.  But it’s the little house balanced precariously on a rock in the middle of the Drina River that really has hearts aflutter.  Known as the House on the Rock, the tiny dwelling built by a group of young lads in 1968 near the town of Bajina Basta has withstood decades of floods and bad weather.  It might not be an architectural gem, but it sure is a wonder.


Leaning Tower of Niles

By Linda Tancs

Wondering what to do on a long layover at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport?  The Leaning Tower of Niles is always an option.  Just 15 minutes away from the airport, Pisa’s half-sized replica was built some 600 years after the original by a local businessman.  Unlike the original, it’s anchored in concrete to hold its characteristic tilt.  After your visit, grab a bite to eat at the world’s first franchised McDonald’s about 10 minutes away.  Who says layovers have to be boring?

One Hundred Objects in 100 Days

By Linda Tancs

Maryland’s Baltimore Museum of Art is celebrating its 100th anniversary with 100 objects in 100 days.  That’s an initiative among the curators, conservators, and registrars who will be highlighting various elements of the museum’s collection and sharing insights.  Other events planned for the centennial include a splashy gala, an opening of the time capsule placed in the East Wing in 1982 and a grand re-opening of the American Wing.  The newly renovated wing contains works of such stellar artists as Georgia O’Keeffe, Jackson Pollock and Louis Comfort Tiffany.

Shalom Y’all

By Linda Tancs

This Sunday marks the annual Shalom Y’all Food Festival in Savannah, Georgia, an event of Congregation Mickve Israel (one of the oldest synagogues in the United States).  Held in Forsyth Park from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., Jewish delicacies include homemade blintzes and challah, noodle kugel and potato latkes.  Food tickets can be purchased for a nominal fee, but admission to the festival grounds and entertainment is free.

Many Fountains

By Linda Tancs

Many fountains.  That’s the translation for Switzerland’s valley town, Lauterbrunnen.  Located in the Bernese Oberland (Bernese highlands), there is indeed plenty of H2O in the Lauterbrunnen Valley.  One of its most famous exhibits is the Staubbach Falls at the edge of the village.  The spectacular cliffside plunge, one of the highest free-falling waterfalls in Europe, is the inspiration behind Goethe’s poem, Gesang der Geister über den Wassern (Song of the Spirits Over the Waters).  Just as impressive is Trümmelbach Falls, a series of ten glacier waterfalls thundering through the Jungfrau with a spill rate of 20,000 liters per second, accessible only in summer via tunnel lift (something to look forward to next year).  In all, there are 72 waterfalls in the valley.  May the force be with you.

Bannack’s Glory Days

By Linda Tancs

Did you know that the U.S. Geological Survey ranks Montana as the seventh largest producer of gold in the United States?  The first hint of gold in The Treasure State came in 1852, but the major strike in Grasshopper Creek a decade later spawned the state’s Gold Rush era.  That discovery led to the creation of the mining town, Bannack, where thousands of prospectors with gold dust in their eyes settled for a time.  After the furor died down, this area just 24 miles southwest of Dillon became a ghost town and ultimately a state park.  Named after the Bannock Indians, most of the sixty structures in the area can still be explored.  During the third week of October, the Bannack Ghost Walks feature live re-enactments of significant events throughout the town’s history.

The Most Fun Place on Earth

By Linda Tancs

Wales just might be the most fun place on Earth.  Snowdonia, to be precise, is where Europe’s longest and fastest zipline debuted.  Now, hold on to your hats–or bottoms, as the case may be–the same site has unveiled the world’s largest underground trampoline.  A special train transports adventurous souls into the depths of the former Blaenau Ffestiniog slate mine, where three huge trampoline-like nets are hung at varying levels, linked together by walkways and slides.  Participants in this first-of-its-kind experience are outfitted with cotton overalls and a safety helmet.  Granted, an abandoned mine can be a bit drab, so LED lighting has been added to the walls for a more illuminating experience.  Are you ready to put a little bounce in your step?

The Art Gallery Town

By Linda Tancs

In the restful enclave of Wellfleet, Massachusetts, life is good.  Located on the narrowest part of Cape Cod, it’s surrounded by beautiful beaches bayside and oceanside.  Hikers will find some of the best trails in the Cape Cod National Seashore, not to mention nature walks, workshops and classes available through the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.  These days it’s taken on particular renown as the art gallery town, bursting at the seams with galleries featuring local works.  And let’s not forget the internationally acclaimed Wellfleet oyster.  The annual OysterFest is this weekend.  Free shuttles will run to the town center from Newcomb’s Hollow Beach, White Crest Beach and LeCounts Hollow Beach (Maguire Landing).

Flush with Interest in India

By Linda Tancs

Loos, privies, chamber pots, water closets–call it whatever you like, the toilet is an indispensable element of human hygiene.  Though it might not generate much mention in polite conversation, those flush with interest can indulge their curiosity in its evolution at New Delhi’s Sublabh International Museum of Toilets.  Hailed as the only exhibition of its kind, the museum traces the evolution of the toilet and includes Victorian-era chamber pots and ancient carved and decorated commodes.  A highlight is the replica of King Louis XIV’s throne, allegedly outfitted to allow for potty breaks while conducting official business.  A royal flush, indeed.

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