Travelrific® Travel Journal

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Archive for December, 2021

Museum of the Moon

By Linda Tancs

Unless you’re an astronaut, you’ll never see the moon up close and personal. But the next best thing is the touring exhibition of the moon by U.K. artist Luke Jerram. Known as Museum of the Moon, it’s a 3D suspended model measuring 23 feet in diameter and featuring detailed NASA imagery of the moon’s surface. Regardless whether it’s presented indoors or outdoors, each exhibition will include mood music and lunar-inspired events. Upcoming tour dates include the U.S., U.K., Canada, Netherlands and Belgium.

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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.

Huguenot History

By Linda Tancs

Huguenots were French Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries who fled religious persecution. Overall, nearly 180,000 found homes elsewhere around the world. Many of them escaped to Britain, contributing crafts, skills and trades that formed the basis of the modern economy. Britain’s only museum of Huguenot history is located in Rochester. Many of the items on display are from the nearby French Hospital, founded in 1718 as a charity for poor Huguenot refugees. The museum also offers an ancestry research service, considering that one in six English people may be of Huguenot descent.

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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.

Crete’s Egyptian Lighthouse

By Linda Tancs

The lighthouse of Chania in Crete is one of Greece’s oldest lighthouses, not to mention one of the oldest in the world. The telltale sign of its 16th-century Venetian origin is the base. Rebuilt in the 1800s in the form of a minaret, it’s often referred to as the “Egyptian lighthouse” because it was refashioned during a time of Egyptian occupation when Crete was rebelling against Ottoman control. An icon of the city, it stands at the entrance of the city’s old harbor.

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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.

Where Language Comes to Life

By Linda Tancs

If you love words, language and reading, then Planet Word is the place for you. Located on K Street in Washington, D.C., it’s touted as a museum where language comes to life. The facility is situated in the Franklin School, a National Historic Landmark named for Benjamin Franklin that had become the flagship school for Washington’s public school system. The museum features a speaking willow tree and a talking wall of words reaching 22 feet in height. The interactive exhibits encourage visitors to explore the origins of English and other languages and to speak, read and sing various texts. The experience is self guided, and admission is free.

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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 Mansion in Miniature

By Linda Tancs

In the 18th century, doll houses were used by aristocratic women in their younger years to practice running a country house and to learn the finer points of life to the manor born. Only a handful of these houses have survived, one of them being the Nostell dolls’ house. Newly restored, it replicates Nostell Priory in West Yorkshire, England, right down to the ionic pilasters and a heraldic ornament on the tympanum. And unlike many doll houses, it’s located in the very house that it mimics. Over 6 feet in height, no detail is spared in its elaborate features, like grand beds with carved headboards, hand-painted wallpaper and hallmarked silverware. You’ll no doubt feel welcome by its tiny occupants, including the footman on the ground floor.

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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 Story of Humans in New Mexico

By Linda Tancs

The first public museum in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Maxwell Museum of Anthropology is dedicated to telling the history of humankind. Although their catalog includes vast anthropological collections and archives from around the world, the majority of their 3 million objects comes from the U.S. Southwest. They even boast a skeletal collection of people who have donated their remains to the museum for study and teaching. The facility is located on the University of New Mexico campus.

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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.

Picturesque in Kent

By Linda Tancs

A picturesque scene may be in the eye of the beholder, but the term itself is an aesthetic category developed in the 18th century and most often associated with fashionable landscape gardening. A celebrated example of the picturesque style is the garden at Scotney Castle in Kent, England. It surrounds the ruins of a 14th-century, moated castle and is particularly noted for the cloud-like plantings of rhododendrons and azaleas. Overall, the estate boasts a Victorian mansion (where former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had an apartment during her time in office) bounded by 780 acres of woodland, including the stream that feeds the moat.

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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 Fairy-Tale Castle

By Linda Tancs

Touted as one of Spain’s greatest castles, Alcázar de Segovia invites imitation. In fact, some say that it inspired two iconic Disney castles. That’s high praise for a structure that grew from a small Moorish fortress. Historically a favored retreat for Spanish kings, it later became a prison, an artillery college and even a filming location for Orson Welles’s Chimes at Midnight and the Arthurian musical Camelot. Now a museum, it serves as the emblem for the Old Town of Segovia, a UNESCO site. You’ll get great views of this ancient Roman city from the castle tower. About an hour north of Madrid, it’s an easy day trip from the capital.

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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.

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