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Archive for January, 2017

The World in 118 Acres

By Linda Tancs

At Window of the World in Shenzhen, China, some of the most famous tourist attractions in the world share 118 acres. The theme park’s careful reproductions include miniatures of the Eiffel Tower, the Tower of London, the Sphinx and pyramids, Sydney’s Opera House and even Niagara Falls. You’ll need the better part of a day to see it all; slow walkers should take advantage of the free buggies at the entrance. A favorite of locals and tourists alike, it’s a great way to see the world without spending down the frequent flyer miles.

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The Historic Center of Clockmaking

By Linda Tancs

At the German Clock Museum in Furtwangen you’ll journey through time. The Black Forest venue, appropriately located in the center of clockmaking, recounts time measurement tools from all periods leading up to the atomic clock. Its exhibitions (the nation’s largest clock collection) feature foreign clocks, quartz clocks, everyday timekeepers and, of course, the region’s best known export, the cuckoo clock. Ever wonder why the little bird is in a miniature house? All will be revealed.

Morocco’s Green Revolution

By Linda Tancs

Although it might be better known as Morocco’s imperial capital at the crossroads of French and Islamic culture, Rabat is also the beating heart of the country’s green revolution. This cosmopolitan port city along the shores of the Bouregreg River and the Atlantic Ocean is a peaceful yet vibrant tree-lined tourist destination, the first city in the nation to organize and celebrate the 40th Earth Day anniversary. Its greenbelt extends over 2,600 acres and includes Jardin Exotique outside the city proper. Designed by a French horticulturalist in 1951, the maze-like garden captivates visitors with assorted tunnels, hanging bridges and bamboo bridges. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the capital also boasts sites like the Mausoleum of Mohammad V, the Hassan Tower, Kasbah of the Udayahs, ruins of the old Roman city of Sala Colonia and the Chellah Necropolis.

World’s Oldest Living Culture

By Linda Tancs

Over 40,000 years. That’s how long Australia’s indigenous culture has thrived. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures represent the original inhabitants Down Under, and you can learn more about them at Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park. Located in the once sleepy sugar milling town of Cairns, the park is where, as they put it, Australia begins. Indigenous history is explored through interactive cultural demonstrations, performances and a cultural village. Learn how to play a didgeridoo (a wind instrument) and try your hand at throwing both a boomerang and a traditional spear. Tjapukai is only a 15 minute drive from central Cairns or the Northern Beaches and 45 minutes from Port Douglas.

 

A Majestic Assembly

By Linda Tancs

From October to February a remarkable sight is yours to behold at Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve near Haines, Alaska. That’s when you’ll find a majestic assembly of more than 3,000 bald eagles, six or more to a single branch, all gathered to feed on five species of spawning chum salmon. The preserve was created in 1982 when the state reserved 48,000 acres along the Chilkat, Klehini and Tsirku rivers to protect this annual reunion, the largest known gathering of bald eagles in the world. Haines Highway between miles 18 and 24 is the main viewing area for eagle watchers and considered critical habitat in the preserve.

Rail City

By Linda Tancs

Named after St. Albans in Hertfordshire, England, Vermont’s tony city of St. Albans is known for its heritage and interesting past. Once hailed as Rail City, the locale welcomed over 200 trains per day along a profitable route to the Canadian and western markets via the Grand Trunk Railroad. And visitors to Taylor Park, one of the state’s largest downtown greens, might be surprised to learn that the location marks the northernmost skirmish of the Civil War. Local soldiers were known as the Vermont Boys; their sacrifice and that of others throughout the decades are commemorated throughout the greens. The historical museum is devoted to over 200 years of local history and offers research and lecture opportunities.

A Master Builder in Savannah

By Linda Tancs

Isaiah Davenport was a self-made man from New England who settled in Savannah, Georgia. A master builder, he built for himself a stately, Federal-style home (circa 1820) and is credited with the building of other surviving homes in the city. Now the Davenport House Museum, his historic home initiated Savannah’s preservation movement when disrepair threatened its demolition in 1955. That movement is credited with preserving the historical identity of the city that visitors enjoy today. The house is one of the oldest brick structures in the city, with wood being more commonly used during the town’s earliest history. Located on Columbia Square in Savannah’s Historic Landmark District, the home is stop #9 on the Old Town Trolley route.

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