Travelrific® Travel Journal

Picture postcards in prose.™ Check out the blogroll on the front page for official merchandise and other resources!

Batman Mountain

By Linda Tancs

Sometimes called “Batman Mountain,” Vestrahorn is one of Iceland’s most striking mountains. Located on the Stokksnes peninsula in the southeast near Höfn (a go-to destination for Northern Lights viewing), it peaks at 1,450 feet and meets a black sand beach below. It’s a prized locale for landscape photographers. The vistas demand a wide-angle lens; use a tripod to minimize shake from the often windy conditions.

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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.

Wisconsin’s Ice Age

By Linda Tancs

One of only a handful of National Scenic Trails, Wisconsin’s Ice Age Trail is a historical monument to a glacial retreat over 12,000 years ago. Located entirely within the state, the 1,200-mile route traverses private land, city parks, state parks, county forests and national forest. It supports hiking, backpacking, biking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, among other things. You’ll find a variety of accommodation to relax and recharge on or near the trail, like inns, cabins and cottages.

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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.

Australia’s Aurora

By Linda Tancs

So much attention is directed at the Northern Lights (aurora borealis) that it’s easy to forget about the Southern Lights, the Southern Hemisphere’s own light show. Known as aurora australis, this celestial ballet is best viewed from southernmost points like Tasmania. Unlike its northern counterpart, you can see it year round although the longer nights of winter present the best potential. A Tasmanian hotspot is Cape Bruny Lighthouse, the country’s second oldest and longest continually staffed extant lighthouse. Get ready for a colorful show of red, green, yellow, blue and purple.

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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 New Year in Vietnam

By Linda Tancs

The Vietnamese lunar New Year, also known as Tet Festival, is the most important festival of the year in Vietnam. Its name, Tet, is an abbreviation for Tet Nguyen Dan, and it commences tomorrow with the Year of the Cow. Although many tourist spots will be closed for the holiday, it’s still a good time to visit to soak in celebrations with parades, fireworks and dancing. The streets are vibrantly decorated, particularly with striking floral displays. February also offers great weather. You’ll find some of the biggest displays and store openings in cities like Hanoi, Hoi An and Ho Chi Minh City.

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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 Rear View in Samoa

By Linda Tancs

You’ve heard the expression “location, location, location.” Well, imagine a backyard view that includes a spectacular waterfall. That’s the prize for one lucky homeowner in Samoa who gets to boast of stunning views of Sopoaga Falls. As the lookout is on private property, there’s a small admission fee to view one of the island nation’s most prized natural resources. Along the way you’ll be enchanted by a lush garden landscape and a coconut husking demonstration.

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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 City With Four Names

By Linda Tancs

You might think that Sucre, Bolivia, suffers from an identity crisis, considering that it’s known as “The City With Four Names.” But the reason for its name changes is rooted in history. The area was originally named Charcas after the indigenous inhabitants. Later, its Spanish conquerors named it La Plata (silver) in recognition of the rich natural resources there. When the Spanish later took control over Buenos Aires using a similar designation, the name was changed again to Chuquisaca, a version of the original indigenous Charcas settlement of Choquechaca. Unrest over economic conditions imposed by the governing forces resulted in an independence movement famously led by Antonio José de Sucre. The city was renamed in his honor. Casa de la Libertad is where, in 1825, the republic was created with the signing of the Bolivian declaration of independence and is one of the most important museums in the city.

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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.

England’s Greatest Snowdrop Garden

By Linda Tancs

Snowdrops, generally appearing in February and March, are one of the first spring flowers to bloom, often while snow is still on the ground in some regions. In the heart of England’s Cotswolds, Colesbourne Park is heralded as the premier garden to see them. Open on select days each February, the gardens comprise approximately 10 acres of formal snowdrop walks. The trails are situated around an estate originally owned in 1789 by John Elwes, son of the celebrated miser John Elwes, reputedly one of the models for the character of Scrooge in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

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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.

Royalty at Saranac Lake

By Linda Tancs

Some people get treated like royalty at the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival in New York. That’s because every year a town committee chooses a king and queen from among the village’s worthy residents to preside at the Ice Palace. Unlike other royal residences, you don’t need a special invitation to visit. The palace, located on River Street, is open to the public. The carnival, which also features torchlight skiing and fireworks, takes place from February 5-14 this year.

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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.

Winging It on Cres

By Linda Tancs

The Eurasian griffon vulture is one of Europe’s largest birds, sporting a wingspan anywhere from over seven feet to nearly 10 feet. It’s one of the prized features of Cres, a Croatian island in the Adriatic Sea. You’ll find them nesting in the cliffs near the village of Beli, one of the oldest places on the island. The main resort is Cres Town, where the Venetian Tower serves as a reminder of Venetian rule in the 16th century. Ferry service to the island is available via Krk or Istria.

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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.

Art in Zimbabwe

By Linda Tancs

The National Gallery of Zimbabwe is a gallery in Harare (and other locations) dedicated to the presentation and conservation of Zimbabwe’s contemporary art and visual heritage. Part of that heritage is Shona sculpture, an ancient, stone-working tradition that has emerged as a contemporary artistic movement. It takes its name from the Shona tribe, a collective of similar groups of people who are the largest in Zimbabwe. Much of the stone is locally sourced and belongs to the Serpentine family. Among other collections, the gallery boasts a permanent exhibition of exquisite stone carvings.

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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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