Travelrific® Travel Journal

Picture postcards in prose.™ Check out the blogroll on the front page for official merchandise and other resources!

Archive for November, 2021

Danish Heritage in California

By Linda Tancs

If a trip to Denmark isn’t in the offing, then you can experience the next-best thing in Solvang, California. The city bills itself as “a little slice of Denmark in Southern California.” And for good reason. You’ll find five windmills as well as replicas of Copenhagen’s Hans Christian Andersen statue, the Little Mermaid and the Rundetårn (round tower). The reason for all this Danish goodness (including traditional treats like aebleskiver) derives from the city’s founding by Danish immigrants in 1911. You can learn more about the town’s heritage at Elverhøj Museum of History & Art, which is built in the style of a large farmhouse of 18th-century Denmark.

*************

To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Argentina’s Dead Rock

By Linda Tancs

The third largest national park in Argentina, Lanín National Park is named for the area’s largest peak, Lanín volcano, a word meaning “dead rock” in the native Mapuche language. It is, indeed, a dead rock—an extinct stratovolcano that can be seen for miles on a clear day. Many visitors come to climb the volcano, but the park is also prized as a conservation area for the monkey-puzzle tree, what naturalists call a  “living fossil” dating back to the Mesozoic Era. The park is located southwest of Neuquén province.

*************

To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

The Weymouth Pines

By Linda Tancs

When Scottish Highlanders settled in the Sandhills region of North Carolina in the 1700s, the vast forest consisted of original growth longleaf pines that reached heights of 100 to 120 feet. It didn’t take long for merchants to extract the trees’ resin for products like tar, pitch, turpentine and rosin for the naval industry. That activity might’ve depleted the longleaf pine were it not for the purchase of a substantial tract of land east of Southern Pines by the grandfather of a well-known local author. He named the tract Weymouth because the pines reminded him of trees in Weymouth, England. That region later established the first natural area in the North Carolina state parks system, Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve. It boasts the oldest known living longleaf pine in the world, dating back to 1548.

*************

To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Spain’s Wild Coast

By Linda Tancs

Spain’s wild side is Costa Brava (wild coast), a coastal region of Catalonia in northeastern Spain that stretches to the French border. It claims surrealist artist Salvador Dalí as a native son, having lived his life in Figueres. One of the most striking buildings there is the Dalí Theatre-Museum, which houses the largest and most diverse single collection of the surrealist’s works. It also houses the master himself; he’s buried in a crypt under the stage.

*************

To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

A Limestone High-Rise in Arizona

By Linda Tancs

When you think of a high-rise apartment, you’d naturally imagine lots of steel and glass. But in ancient times, they would’ve made do with much less. That’s evident at Montezuma Castle in Camp Verde, Arizona. The third national monument dedicated to preserving Native American culture, the so-called castle is a 20-room, high-rise apartment nestled into a towering limestone cliff. The Sinagua people began construction of the structure around 900 years ago and abandoned it about 600 years ago. It isn’t structurally stable enough to accommodate tourists but you can admire the ingenuity nonetheless.

*************

To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

A Feast for the Eyes in Exeter

By Linda Tancs

Situated in the San Joaquin Valley near the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, Exeter is a small city in California with a burgeoning arts community. That’s because the city’s brick buildings downtown serve as outsize murals painted by professional artists from around the country. The art commemorates the history and cultural heritage of the region. You’ll find portraits of cattle ranching down Rocky Hill, the estate of a founder of the city, a scene depicting the agrarian lifestyle of the local Yokuts Indians and so much more. Take a self-guided tour or arrange for a docent-led experience with the chamber of commerce.

*************

To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Gray’s Anatomy

By Linda Tancs

You never know where fossils of the Early Pliocene Epoch will turn up. That’s surely how workers in the eastern Tennessee town of Gray felt when they unearthed fossils in 2000 during a road construction project. The only known fossil site of its age in the Appalachian region, it preserves the remains of an ancient sinkhole pond that existed around 5 million years ago, revealing tapirs, rhinos, alligators, mastodons and more. And the dig is far from over. More than 25,000 fossils have been catalogued from the site, including several extinct species that are new to science. Learn more at Gray Fossil Site & Museum, which is built around this amazing discovery.

*************

To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Jewish Heritage in Britain

By Linda Tancs

Around 150,000 Jewish immigrants settled in Britain from the late 19th century until the early 20th century, and the majority built their homes and lives in London’s East End. Their history there (as well as the overall history from medieval times to the present) is chronicled at the Jewish Museum on Albert Street. The facility houses some 28,000 objects representing  the history of the Jewish community in Britain and includes a Judaica collection and a social history collection covering subjects such as Nazism and the Holocaust.

*************

To limit the spread of COVID-19, attractions may be closed or have partial closures. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

%d bloggers like this: