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Archive for April, 2017

Ely’s Eels

By Linda Tancs

Despite being a noted cathedral town (boasting one of the finest examples of Romanesque architecture in the country), Ely is one of the smallest jurisdictions in England. It derives its name from the Isle of Eels, its designation when Ely was an island surrounded by marshland and eels were in great abundance. The importance of the eel to the local economy is celebrated to this day with the annual Eel Festival. Taking place tomorrow through May 1, the event is highlighted by a parade on Saturday beginning at Cross Green adjacent to the cathedral and incorporating a part of the Eel Trail, a circular route that takes you past all the key parts of this historic city. Of course you’ll want an eel-related souvenir, which is available at the Tourist Information Centre located in the former home of Oliver Cromwell.

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A Gathering of Nations

By Linda Tancs

North America’s largest pow wow is the Gathering of Nations event in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The festival kicks off on April 27 with the Miss Indian World talent presentations, followed by two days of colorful Native American pow wow dancing and singing. Over 2,500 indigenous dancers and singers representing more than 500 tribes from Canada and the United States come to the Gathering of Nations annually to participate socially and competitively. The family friendly event also includes an arts and crafts bazaar and musical entertainment across genres. The fun takes place at Tingley Coliseum/Expo.

A Celebration of Culture in Indonesia

By Linda Tancs

Known locally as the elephant building for the large statue gracing its entrance, the National Museum of Indonesia in Jakarta is a celebration of archeological and ethnological treasures. The archeology garden has the largest collection of Hindu and Buddhist artifacts in Indonesia, comprising stone sculptures, relics and scriptures. The nation’s ethnography is represented by masks, weapons, instruments, toys, fabrics, tools and miniature houses from every region of the country. Centrally located, it’s accessible by taxi from Plaza Indonesia or Jalan Jaksa or the nearby Monas bus stop. Free tours in English, French, Japanese and Korean are offered by the Indonesian Heritage Society.

America’s Canal Heritage

By Linda Tancs

The Erie Canal is America’s most famous man-made waterway. Built between 1817 and 1825, the original Erie Canal traversed 363 miles from Albany to Buffalo. It was the longest artificial waterway and the greatest public works project in North America. It transformed not only engineering but also travel: in 1825 the journey from Albany to Buffalo took two weeks by stagecoach; the canal shortened the journey to five days. It carried more westbound immigrants than any other trans-Appalachian canal, infusing the nation with diversity. Due to its significance, Congress established the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor in 2000. The corridor stretches 524 miles across the full expanse of upstate New York, from Buffalo to Albany and north along the Champlain Canal to Whitehall. Along the way you’ll find museums, four national parks, 34 national historic landmarks, historic canal sites and vessels, a 100-mile mural trail and more than 200 canal communities to explore.

Horseback Archery in Tokyo

By Linda Tancs

It’s hard enough to hit a target standing still, which is why Tokyo’s horseback archery festival is a stunning display of athletic prowess and precision. Held on the third Saturday each April, the Asakusa Yabusame festival takes place in the Taito ward, preceded by a parade from Denpo-in Temple to Sumida Park featuring a demonstration of archery practice. Discover how, indeed, practice makes perfect.

A Revolutionary Museum in Philadelphia

By Linda Tancs

The Battles of Lexington and Concord, fought on April 19, 1775, were the first military engagements of the American Revolutionary War. In a fitting tribute to the “shot heard ’round the world,” today marks the opening of the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The day will begin at 8:30 a.m. with a ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the American Revolution in Washington Square, featuring the U.S. Army Old Guard and a blessing from the Oneida Indian Nation. At 10:30 a.m., an official dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony in the museum’s outdoor plaza will open it to the public. Inside you’ll find hundreds of documents, weapons, maps and paintings, a re-created privateer ship and General Washington’s original sleeping and office tent—among other treasures. Entry to the facility is by timed ticket.

Cathedral of Light

By Linda Tancs

Only a short flight from mainland Spain, the Balearic Islands are a Mediterranean treasure brimming with not only great beaches but also enough fine food, wines and cultural attractions to satisfy even the most discriminating traveler. Majorca is the largest of the islands. Its capital, Palma, is a popular cruise port only hours away from Barcelona. Palma’s Gothic cathedral (La Seu), boasting one of the tallest naves in the world, is one of the Balearics’ most recognizable symbols. Its nickname, the Cathedral of Light, owes to the shimmering effects of the sun as it enters the Rose Window at the church’s southeast orientation. Overlooking the harbor, it lies in the oldest part of the city and is dedicated to San Sebastian, Palma’s patron saint.

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