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Archive for international travel

A Shell Cemetery

By Linda Tancs

At first glance it might look like abandoned granite sidewalk slabs on a beach, but Thailand’s Shell Cemetery is actually thousands of shells stuck together to form a solid mass. At least 20 million years old, the cemetery came into being after limestone deposits in the water covered and fossilized gastropods, creating these prehistoric blocks. The site, reportedly one of only a handful in the world, is located just miles east of Ao Nang, a resort town in southern Thailand’s Krabi Province.

The Heart of Skiing in Austria

By Linda Tancs

Some say that Lech is the heart of skiing in Austria. That’s a fair statement, as is the fact that it attracts blue bloods galore. The ritzy resort in the Arlberg region no doubt earns its chops as the cradle of Alpine skiing thanks to 190 miles of ski runs and over 124 miles of high Alpine powder runs, an area teeming with enough snow to guarantee a season from November to April. The free local and ski buses provide convenient transport, along with 88 cable cars and lifts. The most popular ski track is the White Ring (Der Weisse Ring), where the legends have trained, but you’ll find tracks for all ages and performance levels. Off the pistes why not visit Skyspace Lech, a futuristic-looking dome built into the landscape that provides an interesting convergence of light, sky and earth.

World’s Largest Wine Cellar

By Linda Tancs

When you think of wine, what springs to mind? Maybe some montepulciano from Italy—or a little French Beaujolais? How about Cava from Spain? Those are, after all, three of the major wine-producing regions of the world. Yet not one of them boasts the world’s largest wine cellar. For that you’ll need to jet over to Mileștii Mici in Moldova. Boasting over 2 million bottles, Guinness World Records crowned it the largest wine cellar in the world. Literally a city of wine, the underground locale is accessible via car or bike, where street after street is named after a grape. Don’t miss the tasting room.

Parisian Flair in Macao

By Linda Tancs

Dubbed “Las Vegas of Asia,” you’ll find the same international flair in Macao, China, as you would on The Strip. That includes the Parisian Macao, a hotel complex featuring a half-scale replica of the Eiffel Tower. Watch it be illuminated every 15 minutes during the Grand Illumination Show, a blaze of color from base to tip. And you can’t beat the skyline views from the deck on level 37.

Bali’s Lion King

By Linda Tancs

Singaraja is a port town in northern Bali and the former Dutch colonial capital. Its name means “lion king,” an apt description for an area historically comprising the kingdom of Buleleng. One of its prized attractions is Gedong Kirtya, a library founded by the Dutch in 1928. Located just south of the town center, it is reputedly the only library of lontar manuscripts (ancient and sacred texts on palm leaves) in the world. Its treasure trove includes collections and copies of handwritten texts on Balinese literature, myths, medicines, magic and religion.

Georgia’s Leaning Tower

By Linda Tancs

The capital city of Tbilisi in the country of Georgia is where old meets new—cobblestone streets and medieval fortress walls juxtaposed with a vibrant bohemian art scene and hipster hotels. Something that looks old but is actually new is the modern leaning tower attached to the puppet theatre of renowned puppeteer Rezo Gabriadze. A whimsical structure, the clock tower features a performance by mechanized figures on the balcony depicting the stages, or circle, of life.

Capitals of Culture in 2020

By Linda Tancs

Happy New Year! And you know what that means—another set of European Capitals of Culture! This year’s honorees are Rijeka (Croatia) and Galway (Ireland). Croatia’s third-largest city, Rijeka is its principal seaport, with an attractive promenade along the city center (Korzo). Given its seafaring heritage, a visit to the Maritime and History Museum is a must. Housed in the former Governor’s Palace, it includes artifacts like a Titanic life jacket, picked up by a worker on the Carpathia, the ship that saved over 700 passengers. In Galway, the offerings for its celebratory year will be classically Irish yet seen through a European lens. It’s a perfect opportunity for the Galway International Arts Festival team to collaborate on a year of arts programming. Don’t miss the chance to stroll along the city’s canals, following the River Coribb, where the locale is perched.

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