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Archive for short reads

Norway’s Taste of the Highlands

By Linda Tancs

The mountains and highlands of Eastern Norway are awash in heather, moss and shrubbery in a variety of colors, a sublime backdrop to a series of peaks exceeding 6,500 feet in height at Rondane National Park. Rondane is Norway’s first national park, an area boasting the oldest wild reindeer herd in the country. Its woodlands, mountains and ample wildlife are best experienced by hiking the several marked trails, off-road biking, horse riding, rafting and river kayaking. The park offers tourist cabins and campsites. You can also enjoy locally sourced fare in the area hotels.

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Wine and the Rhine

By Linda Tancs

Wine and the Rhine. One might say they go together like peanut butter and jelly. It’s a combination that can’t be beat, which is why the annual Rheingau Wine Festival is one of the highlights in Wiesbaden, Germany, part of the Rheingau wine growing area. Taking place between city hall, market church and parliament from August 10 to August 19, the famous festival features tastings of still and sparkling wines at over 100 stands. The event also includes sumptuous catering and a varied musical program, promising a convivial experience for all.

The Latest Dirt on Alberta

By Linda Tancs

If you’re ready to get down and dirty, then Alberta, Canada, is the place for you. On August 11 and 12 Mud Hero makes its return to Canyon Ski Resort in Red Deer. Canada’s largest obstacle event, it features 18 obstacles over hills, mud, water and plenty of challenging terrain. Obstacles are meant to be a mix of fun and challenge, and some also offer difficulty levels so that all participants can have a great run within their ability level. Spectators are welcome at no charge.

Delaware’s Tall Ship

By Linda Tancs

Kalmar Nyckel was one of America’s pioneering colonial ships, a gun-armed merchant vessel leading an expedition that founded the colony of New Sweden in the Delaware Valley. A world power in the 1600s, Sweden established Fort Christina in present-day Delaware, the first permanent European settlement in the valley. Kalmar Nyckel made four roundtrip crossings of the Atlantic between 1637 and 1645, more than any other vessel of its era. Later, it served as a warship for the Swedish navy. The faithful reproduction sailing today is the official tall ship of Delaware. From April to November she sails from her home port in Wilmington and visits ports-of-call along the eastern seaboard from Virginia to New England.

Ancient Lithuania

By Linda Tancs

Trakai is Lithuania’s ancient capital. Officially founded in 1337, the medieval city is encircled by five lakes and is nicknamed “The Lake Town.” The pride of the nation, it’s known for its wooden architecture and an island castle that served as the summer residence of the Grand Dukes. Now home to a history museum, the picturesque, Gothic-style castle is one of the most visited sites in the country, attracting over 300,000 visitors each year.

The Year of the Sea in Wales

By Linda Tancs

Wales is promoting its vast coastline this year, designating 2018 the Year of the Sea. Indeed, you’re never more than an hour or so from the sea wherever you may be. Why not explore the Wales Coast Path, the world’s first footpath dedicated to a country’s entire coastline—in this case, 870 miles. Along the way you’ll pass fens, cliffs, harbors, coves, inlets, islands and beaches. The beaches are great for surfing, a popular sport in the country, which established a Welsh Surfing Federation. Other coastal activities include rafting, kite surfing, surf kayaking, coasteering (that’s jumping off cliffs), paddleboarding, scuba diving and cliff camping.

Thunder in the Valley

By Linda Tancs

Switzerland’s Trümmelbach Falls drain glacier meltwater from the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau mountains. Europe’s largest subterranean waterfalls, they’re located in the Lauterbrunnen Valley, often called “the valley of 72 waterfalls.” Thanks to the glacier ice melt this time of year, over 5,000 gallons of water per second can thunder and roar through the interior of the Jungfrau down into the valley. The entire course of the cascades is accessible underground by lift, galleries, tunnels, paths and platforms. If you’re going to “Trümmelbachfälle” by train, go via Interlaken (SBB/BLS/Zentralbahn) toward Lauterbrunnen (BOB). A bus will take you from there to the “Trümmelbachfälle” bus stop.

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