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Archive for tourism

Montana’s Birthplace

By Linda Tancs

A quaint river town, Fort Benton is known as the birthplace of Montana. It’s a National Historic Landmark, a monument to western expansion and once the world’s innermost port, a place where steamboats shuffled along the Missouri River for 30 years. It served as the terminus for the 642-mile-long Mullan Wagon Road, the first wagon road to cross the Rockies, binding together the navigable headwaters of the Missouri and Columbia rivers for easy movement of troops and supplies during periods of Indian hostilities. The town’s history is celebrated every year at this time at the weekend Summer Celebration, one of the state’s premier events.

Petrified in Arizona

By Linda Tancs

Arizona’s Petrified Forest National Park is a prime source of—you guessed it—petrified wood. In a process beginning over 200 million years ago, logs washed into an ancient river system and combined with minerals that incorporated themselves into the porous wood, replacing the organic matter. The result is petrified wood found in the park and the surrounding region that is made up of almost solid quartz. The Jasper Forest vista point showcases one of the largest accumulations of petrified wood in the park.

Raising the Flag in Rosario

By Linda Tancs

The National Flag Memorial in Rosario, Argentina, is a monumental complex built near the shore of the Paraná River. The Tower commemorates the May Revolution of 1810, which started Argentina’s War of Independence. An eternal flame burns in honor of the war dead. Unlike other cities, the Argentine port supported the war, and it was there in 1812 that Gen. Manuel Belgrano hoisted the first Argentine flag. The memorial was inaugurated on June 20, 1957, the anniversary of Belgrano’s death.

Legend of the Dragon Princess

By Linda Tancs

According to legend, a beautiful dragon princess was so enchanted by the South China Sea that she abandoned a trip to Singapore to visit her prince and took the form of an island—Tioman, one of the most popular islands on the southeastern side of Peninsular Malaysia. Prized for its diving and snorkeling opportunities, inland it comprises thick jungle and the promise of numerous jungle treks. The duty-free island is also a marine park, requiring an entrance fee payment on arrival. The best time to visit is between mid-March and mid-October to avoid the northeast monsoon. Direct flights are available from Subang Airport; a cheaper alternative is a bus/ferry combination from Kuala Lumpur.

A Legendary Surrender

By Linda Tancs

Native American tribal leader Sitting Bull symbolized the conflict between Indians and western settlers, a dispute that increased markedly after gold was discovered in the Black Hills of South Dakota, a sacred area to Native Americans. Ultimately his battles with authorities led to his surrender at Fort Buford in North Dakota in 1881. Now a state historic site, the fort is probably best remembered for that seminal event. Located near present-day Williston, it was a vital frontier plains military post established to protect overland and river routes used by immigrants settling the West. Original features still existing on the site include a stone powder magazine, the post cemetery site and a large officers’ quarters building which now houses a museum.

An Abbey in the Moors

By Linda Tancs

Nestled in the tranquil valley of the North York Moors are the ruins of Rievaulx Abbey, the first Cistercian abbey founded in the north of England and arguably one of the most beautiful ruins in the country. It was one of England’s most powerful and wealthy religious sites until its dissolution by King Henry VIII in 1538. A new museum displays previously unseen artifacts and explores the lives of the monks who lived there.

Best Ice in Greenland

By Linda Tancs

Greenland’s Ilulissat Icefjord is filled with icebergs that calve from Sermeq Kujalleq, the fastest moving glacier in the world at 131 feet daily. The massive ice field occupies the same area as 66,000 football fields. The best way to take it all in is a flightseeing tour by helicopter or small plane. At ground level, you can walk along the raised pathway to Sermermiut or hike along the marked Blue Route trail. Whichever route you choose, be sure to take a midnight cruise in the icefjord, when the icebergs change from white and blue to shades of orange and red when struck by the midnight sun.

 

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