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Archive for international travel

Tigers in Karnataka

By Linda Tancs

Established as a tiger reserve in the 1970s, Bandipur National Park in the southern state of Karnataka lies in the shadow of the Western Ghats, a mountain range running along the entire west coast of India. It was once a private hunting ground for the Maharaja of the Kingdom of Mysore. Although perhaps best known for its small tiger population, it’s also a safe haven for elephants, spotted deer, bison, antelopes and numerous other native species as well as for much-desired sandalwood. A number of hotels are within close proximity to the park. Go now before the rainy season.

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Stargazing in New Zealand

By Linda Tancs

Situated in the middle of New Zealand’s South Island, the Mackenzie Region is a photographer’s paradise of turquoise blue lakes, valleys of emerald green and snow-capped mountains. It’s also a heavenly place for stargazing, its clear skies earning it a designation as the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, the only one of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. The reserve is home to Mount John Observatory, the perfect locale for a stargazing tour year round, where powerful telescopes will reveal all that the southern sky has to offer, like the Southern Cross and unparalleled views of the Milky Way.

Vegetable Bowl of the Andamans

By Linda Tancs

India’s Neil Island is known as the “vegetable bowl of the Andamans” because it supplies vegetables to nearby islands in the Andamans. Just a short hop from better-known Havelock, the tiny island’s charm lies in its relaxed vibe and picturesque little villages. Some highlights are the underwater life at Bharatpur beach, snorkeling at isolated Lakshmanpur and the photo-ready natural bridge (Howrah Bridge), an arch of rocks and earth.

 

The Forgotten Pyramids

By Linda Tancs

If you thought that Egypt had a lock on pyramids, then you’ll be surprised to learn that the country with the most pyramids is actually Sudan. Situated in the Nile Valley, the country’s smaller, more navigable pyramid structures outside Khartoum are a relic from a forgotten civilization, memorials to Nubian kings who once ruled the ancient Kingdom of Kush. In the middle of nowhere, this off-the-beaten-track destination affords easy entrance without the queues so common in Egypt. You can even camp there.

Beaches and Cheese

By Linda Tancs

Geographically closer to Africa (Morocco) than mainland Spain, Fuerteventura is the second largest of the Canary Islands. Given its pristine coastline of endless white sand beaches (around 93 miles), you’d expect it to be a sea and sand destination. In fact, its landscape earned the whole isle UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve status in 2009. But that’s not the only reason it’s the big cheese, so to speak. The island also boasts Designation of Origin cheeses—namely, Majorero cheese, made with milk from Majorero goats, which number in the tens of thousands across the terrain.

Reading in Rio

By Linda Tancs

If you were bored with libraries as a kid, then Brazil’s Royal Portuguese Cabinet of Reading will surely reinvigorate your interest. Recognized as one of the most beautiful libraries in the world, its limestone exterior is no match for the ornately decorated interior that boasts the largest collection of Portuguese literature outside Portugal. Although construction didn’t begin until the late 1800s, the library was founded in 1837 by a group of 43 Portuguese immigrants who wanted to promote their culture in Brazil. Hardly a tourist trap, this cultural and architectural gem is conveniently located in Rio de Janeiro’s city center.

The Pied Piper’s Town

By Linda Tancs

Boasting magnificent Renaissance architecture of the Weserberg region, Hameln (Hamelin), Germany, is home to the legendary Pied Piper. As the story goes, in 1284 a man in multicolored (pied) dress promised to lure the rats out of Hameln but instead lured its children away. The folk tale is omnipresent throughout the city, from the open-air play (May through September) retelling the story to the mechanical Pied Piper Theatre in the Hameln Museum and the Pied Piper’s House (Rattenfängerhaus) right in the town center. You can even book the Pied Piper himself at the tourist office for a group welcome greeting or guided city tour.

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