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Archive for tourism

An Odd Name for a Beach

By Linda Tancs

It’s anyone’s guess why one of Ireland’s most spectacular beaches, Boyeeghter Bay, would be christened with the moniker “Murder Hole Beach.” After all, there’s no backstory worthy of a crime novel to report. But there is a bit of mystery about the place, considering the trek it takes to get there. Located on the Rosguill Peninsula in County Donegal, it’s a hidden beach, revealed at low tide. That’s when you’ll find a golden beach with cliffs gnawed at by the roaring Atlantic Ocean, creating caves battered with holes. Maybe those are the “murder holes.” Nearby Downings is a good place to stay.

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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.

Passages in Arizona

By Linda Tancs

The Arizona Trail is an 800-mile scenic trail traversing the entire north-south length of the State of Arizona, connecting deserts, mountains, canyons and wilderness. Whether on foot, mountain bike or horseback, that’s a lot of ground to cover, so it’s a good thing the route is divided into passages to help you conquer it in pieces. There are 43 passages, categorized into southern, central and northern sections. You’ll even find volunteer trail stewards should you need assistance. You might be tempted to go during the summer months, but the desert heat is legendary. Likewise, winter months are fraught with heavy snow. The best times to visit are October/November and March/April. A good walk through the entire route will take six to eight weeks.

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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.

An Unusual Shrine in Hong Kong

By Linda Tancs

Legend has it that the cascade (known as “heung gong”) at Hong Kong’s Waterfall Bay Park on Hong Kong Island gave Hong Kong its name, but the park’s real claim to fame is its one-of-a-kind shrine in the nature of thousands of abandoned religious statues. You’ll find it by descending the stairs by a pathway at the park’s entrance. That leads to an orphanage of sorts for colorful deities adorning a hillside. Many faiths are represented there, the grounds tended to by a faithful local. In many cultures, it’s considered bad luck to throw away a religious figurine, so locals and visitors alike donate them to the site and sometimes pause for prayer. While you’re there, don’t forget to enjoy the scenic waterfall as well as the views from the park’s cliffs.

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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.

Perpetual Stew in Thailand

By Linda Tancs

A Bangkok bistro is giving new meaning to the term “slow cooking.” To wit: a pot of beef stew has been cooking for nearly half a century at Wattana Panich, a local institution in the Bangkok neighborhood of Ekkamai. The secret to its longevity is the retention of some of the broth for the next day’s brew. And on and on it goes, through three familial generations (so far). The secret to its success is the taste—an aromatic mix of a dozen Chinese herbs, plus garlic, cinnamon, black pepper and cilantro root added to beef that’s allowed to simmer for seven hours. This is one dish for the ages.

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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.

Underground Art in Copenhagen

By Linda Tancs

The Cisterns (Cisternerne) is a subterranean art museum in Copenhagen, Denmark. Once the city’s underground water reservoir, it now hosts contemporary art exhibitions that avail themselves of this dimly lit dripstone cave. Case in point: the current exhibition by the Argentinian-born artist Tomás Saraceno, which is experienced by boat and reveals artwork in and out of the environment’s darkness. The venue is located in Søndermarken across from the zoo and Frederiksberg Castle. Glass pyramids mark the entrance to your underground adventure.

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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 Foliage Train

By Linda Tancs

The Vigezzina-Centovalli Railway runs 32 miles between Domodossola, Italy, and Locarno, Switzerland, passing over 83 bridges and viaducts. Just the mention of a route like that evokes scenic wonders, so imagine how colorful it gets during autumn. That’s when “the foliage train” operates, promising enchanting views enhanced by autumn’s foliage. Each train is equipped with full-length windows, too, so it’s doubtful that the journey will disappoint. You can reach the International Rail Station of Domodossola with Eurocity, interregionali and regionali trains operated by Trenitalia. On the Swiss side, Locarno can be reached by using the international railway lines Basel-Milano or Zurich-Milano, and the route is fully covered by the Swiss Travel Pass (Flex) and GA travelcard.

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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.

Green Caviar in Japan

By Linda Tancs

Miyako Island is the largest of the Miyako Islands chain located in Japan’s far southern Okinawa prefecture. It’s a subtropical haven known for its stunning beaches and coral banks, a go-to destination for swimming, snorkeling and diving. Amidst this natural splendor is another gem, a seaweed delicacy farmed on the island known as umi-budō (sea grapes). Because of its shape and color, it’s often referred to as “green caviar.” Why not give it a try, and visit the beaches (some of the best in Japan), which are best enjoyed between April and November.

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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.

Venice of the Cotswolds

By Linda Tancs

Bourton-on-the-Water is a charming village in the heart of England’s Cotswolds. It’s popularly referred to as the “Venice of the Cotswolds” because of the stone bridges crossing the River Windrush that meanders through the center of town. You’ll find lots of yellow limestone buildings characteristic of the region, a perfect complement to the storybook scenery. You might be surprised to learn that there’s also a bird park, with over 130 species of birds on display and home to the only breeding group in the U.K. for king penguins. If you’re short on time, enjoy a whirlwind tour of the heart of town at The Model Village, a one-ninth scale replica.

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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.

Tilting in Canada

By Linda Tancs

They say that there are more varieties of English spoken in Newfoundland and Labrador than anywhere else in the world. One of those varieties is the Irish lilt in Tilting. Newfoundland and Labrador’s first Heritage District, it’s located on Fogo Island, the largest of the offshore islands in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Irish settlers arrived in Tilting in the 1700s to fish its cod-rich waters, and their influence remains to this day despite becoming part of the Town of Fogo Island through an amalgamation of towns in 2011. In fact, the community’s Irish roots greet you from a roadside welcome sign (in English and Irish). For a more personal greeting, you’ll want to head to Foley’s Shed, a gathering spot teeming with Irish accents, where an illuminated shamrock in the window will usher you in.

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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.

Catalonia’s Natural Park

By Linda Tancs

The Ebro Delta is the delta region of the Ebro River, the longest in Spain. It’s Catalonia’s largest wetland, a large part of which is designated a natural park to protect the area’s flora and fauna. Over 300 species of birds live there, making it a hotspot for birdwatchers seeking gulls, terns, reed warblers, flamingos and more. In particular, the park boasts the largest colony of Audouin’s gull. The region is also the rice growing capital of Catalonia, with over 54,000 acres reserved for this crop. Get there by train on the Barcelona-Valencia line.

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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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