Travelrific® Travel Journal

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Archive for tourism

Bubbling Over in the Indian Ocean

By Linda Tancs

Réunion is a French department in the Indian Ocean, an island known for its active volcano, Piton de la Fournaise. Currently, it’s one of the most active volcanoes in the world, giving Hawaii’s Kīlauea a run for its money. This shield volcano standing at over 8,600 feet is a hiker’s dream, with challenging routes linking the coast with the summit. You can also reach into the bowels of the earth with a lava tunnel tour lasting over three hours or take in the Mars-like landscape from the Plaine des Sables. Then, again, why not do it all? You can rest up at the Volcano Lodge, less than a mile from the crater.

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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.

Manly Sports in Mongolia

By Linda Tancs

Naadam Festival might be best described as an Olympic-style event in Mongolia. It features three competitions—archery, wrestling and horse racing, referred to as the three manly sports. Far from arbitrary, the three events figure largely in the history and culture of the country, particularly in ancient warfare. One of the best-loved festivals in the nation, its placement in July heralds an official three-day celebration of Mongolia’s quest for independence in 1911. The main celebrations are held between July 11 and July 13 in Ulaanbaatar, the capital, although other locales across the country host their own festivals of varying lengths and in different months. In addition to sports, the event features an opening ceremony, costume festival and traditional dancing.

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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.

Where Old Trains Go to Die

By Linda Tancs

Most tourists visit the region of Uyuni, Bolivia, for its impressive salt flats. But the area has another unusual attraction, a Great Train Graveyard bearing silent testimony to a once burgeoning rail system designed for the transport of the area’s rich mineral resources to Pacific Ocean ports. The salt air has not been kind to these British-built trains of the early 20th century, their skeletal remains lending an eerie feel to the place. An easy cab ride away, it’s better to pay your respects in the early morning or evening to avoid the hordes of tourist buses.

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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.

Rock Solid in Germany

By Linda Tancs

Germany’s Teutoburg Forest is connected to one of the most famous battles in ancient history, that between German tribes (the victors) and three Roman legions in A.D. 9. Nowadays it’s perhaps better known for a rock formation, Externsteine, comprising five enormous sandstone rock pillars near Horn-Bad Meinberg. Entry to the site is free; the closest train station is Paderborn Central Station.

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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.

Heights of the Mother

By Linda Tancs

In the heart of the Derbyshire Peak District National Park is Castleton, a popular English village. It’s legendary as a walking center, thanks to the steep hills surrounding it on three sides. The most famous is Mam Tor (translated Heights of the Mother), standing at over 1,690 feet, site of ruins of a Celtic hill fort. Next to walking, its four underground show caves are a major attraction. Two of them, Blue John and Treak Cliff, are still actively mined for a yellow and blue fluorspar called Blue John. A third cave, Peak Cavern, was home to the last of Britain’s cave hermits. Unlike these three caves, Speedwell Cavern is only accessible via boat. The closest rail station to the village is in nearby Hope.

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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.

Let Freedom Ring

By Linda Tancs

Located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Liberty Bell is an iconic symbol of American independence and freedom. Once housed in the steeple of the State House, it’s now ensconced in a glass chamber at Liberty Bell Center with a view of Independence Hall in the background. The bell rang out from the tower of Independence Hall in 1776, summoning the citizens of Philadelphia to hear the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence by Colonel John Nixon. The center is located at 6th and Market streets in Independence National Historical Park.

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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 Slice of America in Denmark

By Linda Tancs

You might not expect America’s upcoming Independence Day to be especially celebrated vigorously anywhere else in the world unless, of course, you’re up-to-date on your Danish history. Arguably the largest July 4 festivity outside the U.S., the Rebild Celebration takes place in a national park (Rebild Bakker) in the hills of northern Denmark. The reason for this unusual event relates to a mass exodus of Danes to the U.S. driven by economic opportunity that reached an apex in the early 20th century. In gratitude for the good fortune that ensued and seeking a place in the homeland for reunions, a group of Danes purchased a parcel of land in northern Denmark that was ultimately granted to the king, who established the area as a national park. As a symbol of friendship between the nations, the park was used not only as a gathering place for homesick Danes but also as a place of celebration of their adoptive country’s independence. Taking place virtually every year since 1912, the July 4 festival draws thousands of expats and locals as well as dignitaries and celebrities.

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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.

Pure Bliss in the Alps

By Linda Tancs

Some say that Eibsee is the most beautiful lake in Germany. It’s easy to understand why, with its crystal-clear, turquoise waters framed by the Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain. Over 3,000 feet above sea level, the lake (named for the yews that used to grow around it) is dotted with islets around its northern side, creating many a photo stop for walkers or hikers. The cool mountain water is great for swimming in summer, too. The A95 motorway from Munich will get you there in about an hour.

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As coronavirus proceeds, it is likely that the vast majority of us will be limited in our travels. But this, too, shall pass. Our love for travel remains, so Travelrific will continue offering travel inspiration in this medium. 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 Aristocracy in Argentina

By Linda Tancs

In the shadow of the bustle of Buenos Aires is the well-to-do suburb of San Isidro. It’s regarded as the capital of rugby because it houses two of the historical clubs of the sport in Argentina: Club Athletic San Isidro and San Isidro Club. You’ll also find the Hipódromo there, one of the largest horse racing tracks in the Americas, flanked by busy restaurants. Art, class and culture merge at Villa Ocampo, the riverside mansion of the late Victoria Ocampo, a prominent Argentinian writer and intellectual. Her estate is one of many in this wealthy enclave, one of the most aristocratic in the country.

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As coronavirus proceeds, it is likely that the vast majority of us will be limited in our travels. But this, too, shall pass. Our love for travel remains, so Travelrific will continue offering travel inspiration in this medium. 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 Resurrected Ox in Brazil

By Linda Tancs

You might be surprised to learn that one of Brazil’s biggest festivals centers around the story of a resurrected ox. Popularly known as Boi Bumbá, it’s second only to Carnival in Rio in terms of popularity, no small feat considering its locale in the middle of the Amazon. The legend goes that a farmer killed a wealthy landowner’s favorite ox (boi) to satisfy his wife’s craving, creating a feud that resolved only when the local medicine doctor succeeded in bringing the prized animal back to life. The story is told over the last weekend in June by a maze of dancers in a presentation that’s partly theatrical, musical, puppet show, religious procession and tribal ritual. Held in Parintins, it’s an easy flight away from Manaus.

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As coronavirus proceeds, it is likely that the vast majority of us will be limited in our travels. But this, too, shall pass. Our love for travel remains, so Travelrific will continue offering travel inspiration in this medium. 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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