Travelrific® Travel Journal

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Archive for international travel

A Fire-Breathing Bridge

By Linda Tancs

Stretching about 2,000 feet across the Hàn River in central Vietnam, the Dragon Bridge is more than just a speedy thoroughfare from the airport to Da Nang’s city center. In fact, it’s a tourist attraction, embedded with a gold-colored steel dragon above the six-lane roadway that spits smoke and fire. Day or night, it’s quite a sight, illuminated with over 2,000 color-changing LED lights for a spectacular night show.

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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.

Exmoor’s Literary Landscape

By Linda Tancs

Exmoor is an enchanting landscape of moorland, woodland, coast and rivers in southwest England. It’s no wonder that it served as literary inspiration for R.D. Blackmore’s 1869 novel, Lorna Doone. A slice of this literary landscape, Lorna Doone Valley, is now preserved by the National Trust. On a short walk from Lorna Doone Farm you’ll experience the scenic views exactly as Blackmore described it all those years ago. And you’ll find plenty of camera-friendly sites along the way, like the ford at Malmsmead. Other waymarked walks will take you all the way to the coast.

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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 Heart of Scotland

By Linda Tancs

Perth, Stirling, The Trossachs and Highland Perthshire represent the very heart of Scotland. You can experience all of it on the new touring route known as Heart 200. It’s a 200-mile road trip comprising six sections: the Wooded Western Edge, the Highland North, the Riverside East, Perth, the Historic South and Stirling. Gems abound throughout the route, like Loch Tay (the largest loch on the route) and the nation’s oldest tree in the Highland North and Loch Leven (where Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned on Castle Island) in the Historic South. You’ll find a plethora of places to stay, too, from five-star hotels to campsites.

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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.

Cornwall’s Secluded Enclave

By Linda Tancs

Bordered by the Fal estuary to the west and the Atlantic to the east, England’s Roseland Peninsula has been designated part of Cornwall’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty for its mix of enchanting coast and pastoral landscapes. St. Mawes is the Roseland’s only town, a tony retreat popular with summer visitors since Edwardian times. On the western end of town is the iconic St. Mawes Castle. Shaped like a clover leaf, it’s among the best preserved of Henry VIII’s seaside fortresses. In addition to its sweeping views of St. Anthony Head (the tip of the peninsula) and Falmouth, you’ll find intricate historic carvings on the castle walls, lauding King Henry VIII and his son Edward. A ferry runs in season between St. Anthony and St. Mawes.

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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.

Falling in North Africa

By Linda Tancs

The highest natural waterfalls in North Africa, Ouzoud Falls in Morocco is a stunning respite from the summer heat of Marrakech. Emptying into the El-Abid River gorge, the tiered cascades tumble from a height of 360 feet into a natural amphitheater of rugged, red-colored rock cliffs. To get there, you’ll journey high into the Atlas Mountains, passing through Berber villages and beautiful scenery. Even the name of the falls derives from Berber culture, meaning “the act of grinding grain.” You’ll enjoy several view points of the falls, including from restaurants along the falls’ path.

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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 Isle of Women

By Linda Tancs

Helen Reddy sang a song entitled I am Woman, which became an anthem. Arguably, nowhere is that iconic song more applicable than the Estonian island of Kihnu. The whole island is, in fact, run by women, a development that evolved historically because seafaring men of the island simply weren’t around to take care of things. Its unique cultural heritage is inscribed on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List. The summer festival calendar offers a great chance to experience the old seafaring traditions and local dance. While you’re there, take the whirlwind, 15-mile tour of the island’s four villages (Kihnu Reesuratas, or Kihnu Travel Wheel) for an orientation.

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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.

Scaling the Heights in Sydney

By Linda Tancs

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is an Australian heritage-listed steel through arch bridge across Sydney Harbour. An iconic landmark, the span offers magnificent views of the harbor for pedestrians and cyclists. For the more daring among you, though, only a proper climb will do. You can do that with BridgeClimb, an experience offering a trek to the summit of the arch. Wearing a safety harness, you’ll ascend to a height of 440 feet for a bird’s-eye, panoramic view of the city. If that’s not enough, you can opt for an “ultimate” climb, walking the entire length of the arch from south to north and back again. BridgeClimb is located at 3 Cumberland Street, The Rocks, which is easily accessible by car and public transport.

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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.

Mount Scenery

By Linda Tancs

Mount Scenery is the highest point on the Dutch Caribbean island of Saba. Its name may be a bit of a misnomer, though, considering that the view from the top is often obscured by clouds. But don’t let that stop you from hiking to the summit. The newest hiking path, the Elfin Forest Trail, follows historical footpaths that Saban farmers took to their plantations. Just below the summit, the trail connects to the Mount Scenery Trail. Throughout the trek, you’ll experience the diverse flora that inhabits the landscape, like ferns, bromeliads, air plants and orchids growing on tree trunks in the tropical rainforest environment of the Elfin forest. On the lower slopes, you’ll find secondary rainforests, dry evergreen forests and grassy meadows closer to the sea. A popular option is to hike up the Elfin Forest Trail and descend on the Mount Scenery Trail.

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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 Monument to the Mouse

By Linda Tancs

It isn’t easy being a mouse, especially for those giving up their lives for medical research. To honor their sacrifice, a bronze statue in Russia heralds their contribution to science. Monument to the Laboratory Mouse is located in Siberia in the city of Novosibirsk. It depicts a bespectacled, studious mouse knitting a double-strand of DNA. You’ll find it in front of the Institute of Cytology and Genetics at the Russian Academy of Sciences.

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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.

Flower of the Ocean

By Linda Tancs

The Colombian island of Providencia is affectionately known as “the flower of the ocean.” It’s an appropriate nickname, considering that it lies entirely within UNESCO’s Seaflower Biosphere Reserve, an oceanic archipelago with coral banks, small islands and islets forming part of atolls. Those are rare systems in the Caribbean, where this getaway rests between Central and South America. It was once a haven for pirates like Captain Morgan, whose memory is invoked by landmarks like Morgan’s Cave and and Morgan’s Head. The unspoiled island also became one of England’s first colonies, established in the 1600s by English Puritans. Now its Spanish heritage is infused with Creole and a distinct African-Caribbean vibe. You’ll get there via a flight from sister island San Andrés.

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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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