Travelrific® Travel Journal

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Archive for October, 2022

House of Frankenstein

By Linda Tancs

In 1816, Mary Shelley wrote the world’s first science fiction novel, Frankenstein, in Bath, England. So the locale is an appropriate spot for an immersive experience known as Mary Shelley’s House of Frankenstein. Set in a Grade II historic property, the Halloween-worthy experience features four floors of frights, including the 8-foot monster that Shelley envisioned and Victor Frankenstein’s Escape Room, a puzzle-based escape game that lasts for one hour. The attraction is just minutes away from the city centre at 37 Gay Street.

Eagle Watch in Minnesota

By Linda Tancs

The Upper Mississippi River Valley is home to hundreds of bald eagles. It’s the perfect place for an interpretive center, which is what you’ll find along the banks in Wabasha, Minnesota. Home to non-releasable bald and golden eagles, the National Eagle Center gives visitors a close-up experience to the nation’s symbol of freedom along with lectures on their care. You can experience their migratory patterns through field trips and habitat tours as well, or check out their high-resolution webcam stream at any time.

Hunchback Bridge

By Linda Tancs

Nestled in Italy’s Trebbia Valley, Bobbio is a medieval village between Milan and Genoa. It’s often referred to as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy; writer Ernest Hemingway even called it the most beautiful village in the world. Framed by the Apennines, one of its most popular attractions is the abbey founded in the 7th century by Saint Colombano, home today to the City Museum and the Abbey Museum. Another focal point is the Ponte del Gobbo (Hunchback Bridge), so named for the 11 unequal arches that give it an irregular shape. First documented in 1196, the 900-foot-long bridge is an entry point to this scenic locale. The best way to arrive is via car; otherwise, the nearest train station is in Piacenza, with regular bus service.

The City That Lit the World

By Linda Tancs

New Bedford, Massachusetts, was the 19th-century capital of the whaling industry. Most of the whale oil used in lamps derived from the locale, earning it the moniker “the city that lit the world.” Home to about 500 whaling ships during its heydey, the city also inspired Herman Melville’s classic, Moby-Dick. Its whaling heritage is preserved as part of New Bedford National Historical Park. One of its most impressive buildings is the U.S. Custom House, the oldest continuously operating custom house in the nation. Historically, whaling masters registered their ships and cargo at the two-storied, Greek Revival building; as the New Bedford office of the U.S. Customs Service, commercial fishing and cargo ships continue to log duties and tariffs there. The visitor center in the heart of the park provides orientation materials as well as information on city attractions.

The Lore of Fire Island

By Linda Tancs

New York’s Fire Island is a 30-mile-long barrier island separated from Long Island by the Great South Bay. Much of it is protected as Fire Island National Seashore, a United States National Seashore. It features a lighthouse, high dunes and ancient maritime forests. The most alluring aspect of the place, though, may be the supposed wreckage of the Bessie A. White, a Canadian schooner that struck a sandbar off the island 100 years ago. After Hurricane Sandy rolled through the area in 1912, a ship’s skeleton believed to be the schooner became visible in an area not far from Watch Hill, a popular visitor site within the National Seashore. As winds and waves shape the beach, the remains appear and disappear, so be patient.

A Birthplace of Industry

By Linda Tancs

Often described as the Birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution, Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park runs from Worcester, Massachusetts, to Providence, Rhode Island. Several textile mills along the river sparked the transition from farm to factory, but it was the success of Samuel Slater’s cotton spinning mill in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, that transformed American industry. Visitors to the park can explore it at their own pace through walking tours of company towns and planned mill villages like Whitinsville and Slatersville. You can also take a ranger-led tour of Old Slater Mill, paddle along the river and bike through the soon-to-be completed Blackstone River Bikeway from Massachusetts to Rhode Island.

Gateway to Burgundy

By Linda Tancs

Dating to pre-Roman times, the French city of Auxerre is officially labeled a Ville d’Art et d’Histoire (city of art and history) for its cultural significance. In the Old Town sector of the city, the 15-century clock tower (part of the original Roman fortress wall) dominates among ancient roads dotted with medieval wooden buildings. Another magnificent building dominating the skyline is Saint Germain Abbey, home of the Bishop of Auxerre from 418 until his death in 448. It houses a Museum of Art and History, which traces the history of the city from prehistory to medieval times. The city is also sometimes referred to as the Gateway to Burgundy, producing all of the usual varietals of the region. Once thriving with wine merchants and vineyards, Le Clos de la Chaînette (one of the oldest vineyards in France, dating to the 7th century) remains today. You can get there in under two hours from Paris.

The Museum of the Future

By Linda Tancs

Dubai’s Museum of the Future is about—you guessed it—the future. That’s probably evident from the design itself. The exterior, covering a total surface area of 17,600 square meters, is made out of stainless steel comprising 1,024 pieces manufactured by a specialized robot-assisted process. The 225-foot, otherworldly-looking structure is embossed with quotes (in Arabic) about the future and is intended to project what the next 50 years might look like. Symbolically, the circular building represents humanity, the green mound it sits atop represents the earth and the void represents the unknown future. Using exhibitions, immersive theatre and themed attractions, the museum experience is an imagining of the future, aided by the visions of innovators, scientists, and prominent figures from leading industries. Dubai Metro (Emirates Towers Station, Red Line) is directly linked to the museum.

Women in the Arts

By Linda Tancs

Championing women through the arts, the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C., promotes collections, exhibitions, programs and advocacy of women artists. It’s the only major museum in the world bringing recognition to the achievements of women artists of all periods and nationalities. The facility is located at 1250 New York Avenue, NW, which is a 78,810-square-foot Washington landmark near the White House constructed in 1908 as a Masonic Temple.

The Slender Bay

By Linda Tancs

Baie Fine (meaning “slender bay” in French) is one of the largest freshwater fjords in the world. Nearly 9 nautical miles long, it’s bounded by high quartz mountains and dotted with anchorages that are ripe for gunkholing, a sailing term related to the practice of seeking out coves and other out-of-the-way places. Some of the more popular coves are Mary Ann Cove, North Shore Cove and The Pool. Located in Ontario, Canada, Bair Fine is entered from Frazer Bay, between McGregor Point and Frazer Point. 

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