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Archive for October, 2015

Peterborough’s Most Haunted

By Linda Tancs

Britain’s Peterborough Museum is situated on Priestgate in the city centre, a place dating to the 12th century when the city was planned by the monks of Peterborough Abbey. The town’s origins may be divinely inspired, but it’s the city’s dark side that draws visitors. In fact, the museum is reputedly haunted by eight different ghosts. Are you a believer? Head to the museum’s cellar, where you just might catch a glimpse of one on the ghost cam.

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The Most Hawaiian Island

By Linda Tancs

Moloka’i is often referred to as the most Hawaiian island. That’s probably because native cultural practices and traditions remain pretty much intact with but one hotel and few restaurants to distract tourists from its Polynesian splendor. Even the national park, Kalaupapa, is restricted. State law requires all individuals to secure a permit prior to entering. The park is a place of remembrance for a community in isolation. When Hansen’s disease (leprosy) was introduced to the Hawaiian islands, King Kamehameha V banished all afflicted to the isolated Kalaupapa peninsula on the north shore of Moloka’i. Intrepid visitors seek out the three-mile mule trek, descending down a dizzying mountain to the former leper colony.

The Peaceful Parish

By Linda Tancs

Hedonists flock to Ocho Rios, Montego Bay and Negril. Looking for Jamaica’s quieter charm? Then head to Port Antonio, capital of the parish of Portland on the northeastern coast. Once the bustling banana capital of the world, the sleepy harbor town offers some impressive sights in and around its environs. Check out the ruins of Folly Mansion, a once glorious testament to love, wealth and excess. American millionaire Alfred Mitchell built the grand two-story mansion with 60 rooms, Doric columns, inner courtyards and spectacular stairways for his family in the early 1900s but it failed to survive the elements. One palatial residence that has survived is Trident Castle. Just 10 minutes outside town, the Austrian Baroque style palace overlooking the sea is the only castle in the Caribbean. Also overlooking the sea is Port Antonio’s Folly Lighthouse, a candy cane-striped landmark about 40 feet high sitting atop honeycombed limestone. A self-guided walking tour under two miles long starts at Market Square and ends at the lighthouse.

Visit the Stone Age

By Linda Tancs

Goa is a state in western India with coastlines stretching along the Arabian Sea. Needless to say, it’s known for its beaches, but a visit here will take you back a step (or two) in time to the Stone Age. Rock carvings and rock engravings founds at various places in Goa indicate that Stone Age people had settled there around 10000 – 8000 B.C. Usgalimal in South Goa boasts one of the most important prehistoric sites in the region.

Europe’s Destination Station

By Linda Tancs

Tax-free shopping. Chauffeur service. Europe’s longest champagne bar. Musical entertainment. Public art. Is it any wonder that London’s St. Pancras is acclaimed as Europe’s destination rail station? One of the city’s greatest Victorian buildings, its iconic roof was constructed of a series of wrought iron ribs resulting in a space 100 feet high, 240 feet wide and 700 feet long. Its only rival is perhaps the presiding St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel, hailed as London’s most romantic building. Its glorious Gothic Revival metalwork, gold leaf ceilings, hand-stenciled wall designs and jaw-dropping grand staircase are as dazzling as the day Queen Victoria opened the hotel in 1873. Walking tours of the station complex are available for individuals and groups.

35 Centuries of Glass

By Linda Tancs

Founded in 1951 by Corning Glass Works (now Corning Incorporated) as a gift to the nation for the company’s 100th anniversary, the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York, is a key resource on the history of glassmaking. The galleries boast more than 3,500 years of glass history, ranging from the glass portrait of an ancient Egyptian pharaoh to contemporary sculptures. You can even make your own glass at a daily workshop or immerse yourself in the art with a one-day, weekend or multiple-week course. The facility is located in the heart of the Finger Lakes region, halfway between Niagara Falls and New York City.

Seeing Double in Orangeville

By Linda Tancs

Columbia and Montour counties in Pennsylvania have the third largest concentration of covered bridges in the state—25 of them, to be exact. And in the tiny hamlet of Orangeville (Fishing Creek), you can double the pleasure of seeing these storied structures because there you’ll find the rarity of twin covered bridges. Known as East Paden and West Paden, they were constructed in 1884 and named after a local sawmill operator, John Paden. The price of construction was $720. When West Paden washed away in a flood in 2006, its reconstruction cost in 2008 would have been much higher were it not for a federal grant and the generous work of a contractor. A detailed driving map of the area bridges is available from the Columbia-Montour Visitors Bureau.

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