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Archive for July, 2019

The Jersey Coast Trail

By Linda Tancs

New Jersey’s Coastal Heritage Trail is a vehicular route stretching nearly 300 miles along the state’s shore and bays. It’s divided into five regions: Sandy Hook, Barnegat Bay, Absecon, Cape May and Delsea. Of equal interest to hikers and bicyclists, the trail passes national wildlife refuges, lighthouses, a Civil War fort, migratory bird settlements and several other places including, of course, the Jersey Shore.

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Purple Majesty in Brihuega

By Linda Tancs

Move over, Provence. There’s a majestic cloak of lavender in the unassuming town of Brihuega, Spain. About an hour’s drive from Madrid, the hamlet celebrates its purple prize every July (harvest season) with a two-day event featuring sunset concerts amidst the lavender fields. Festival de la Lavanda takes place this year on the 19th and 20th.

The Fish-Eye View in Dubai

By Linda Tancs

One of the largest suspended aquariums in the world, Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo is for many the centerpiece of the Dubai Mall, the second-largest mall in the world by land area. Home to 140 species of sea life, the tank contains over 2 million gallons of water spread over a tunnel some 157 feet long. Your fish-eye view includes more than 33,000 aquatic animals and the largest collection of sand tiger sharks anywhere. You can also take a glass-bottom boat tour, snorkel in a cage and even don an oxygen tank to go swimming with the sharks.

The Charms of the Gazelle Peninsula

By Linda Tancs

The Gazelle Peninsula extends northeast from the island of New Britain, Papua New Guinea. It’s where you’ll find cultural treats like the fire dancing of the Baining people, who live in the mountain forests of East New Britain Province. That’s nothing compared with the intense volcanic activity of the region, where Tavurvur and Vulcan have continued to erupt. The region is also where the Germans settled when they colonized the country in the 19th century. Along the route from the main towns of Kokopo and Rabaul are war relics from World War II, barge tunnels and caverns. And if that weren’t enough, nearby Duke of York Islands offers up an unspoiled paradise perfect for snorkeling, diving and picnicking.

Italian Island Bans Plastics

By Linda Tancs

Italy is no stranger to banning environmentally bad behavior. Remember the rule in Venice regarding littering? Now comes Capri on a crusade to ban plastics. In May, the island passed a law banning all single-use plastics that are not biodegradable. So, listen up, day trippers: leave your plastic bottles, bags and utensils on the mainland. Scofflaws will pay dearly, up to 500 euros. In the end, however, everyone will benefit from the new rule because the European Parliament approved a law banning a wide range of single-use plastic items by 2021 to curb ocean pollution. Indeed, some reports indicate that plastics make up at least 80% of marine litter.

Africa’s Longest Suspension Bridge

By Linda Tancs

Towering over Maputo Bay in Mozambique is the Maputo-Catembe suspension bridge, Africa’s newest and longest suspension bridge. The nearly two-mile-long span connects Maputo on the northern bank of an inlet of the Indian Ocean to Catembe on the southern bank. It also provides a road link to the South African border, potentially boosting trade and tourism between the two countries.

The Rock of Polynesia

By Linda Tancs

Dubbed “the rock of Polynesia,” Niue is an independent nation in the South Pacific just 1,500 miles from New Zealand. It’s the world’s largest raised coral atoll and the second smallest sovereign nation after Vatican City. Its numerous rainforest trails show off a myriad of caves, beaches, coves and chasms, like the picturesque Matapa Chasm flanked by cliffs. Peak season runs through October, which means increased flight service from Auckland to discover this unspoiled outpost.

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