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Archive for short reads

Canada’s Appalachian Trail

By Linda Tancs

The International Appalachian Trail extends across Maine and into Atlantic Canada along the Gaspé Peninsula. Forillon National Park in Québec is the eastern terminus of the trail, and it offers foot and biking paths to soak in the scenery that’s at its peak this time of year. Don’t miss the views from the lookout tower on the Mont-Saint-Alban trail. And just before the entrance to the park is Canada’s tallest lighthouse (112 feet) at Cap-des-Rosiers. Unique to the park is its “Curious by Nature” mobile interpretation kiosk, offering a wealth of information pertaining to the park’s animals, plants and landscapes.

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Exploring the Unexplained

By Linda Tancs

How do you explain the unexplainable, like extraterrestrial life? A panel of leading experts will take a crack at it when AlienCon convenes this weekend in Pasadena, California. Featuring Giorgio Tsoukalos, the panel includes UFO expert Nick Pope, ancient civilizations expert David Childress and investigative mythologist William Henry. You’ll have the opportunity to take part in celebrity autograph and photo sessions with some of the biggest names in alien exploration and pop culture and to buy specialty merchandise at the marketplace. May the force be with you.

Full Circle in Iceland

By Linda Tancs

Looking for a convenient way to conquer Iceland’s 40,000 square miles? Try a bus tour. With Iceland by Bus, you can take a hop-on, hop-off excursion either clockwise or counterclockwise from Reykjavík. That means you get to spend more time at the locales of most interest to you, like long valleys and peninsulas in the north or volcanoes, glaciers and waterfalls along the south coast. Depending on the bus route, the operations period generally runs from June to August.

Steaming the Lake District

By Linda Tancs

Prized as one of the most beautiful of the English lakes, Ullswater boasts stunning mountain scenery to its south and an enviable display of Wordsworth’s daffodils on the west shore in spring. So it’s no wonder that Ullswater Steamers is such a popular attraction for cruising the second largest lake in the Lake District. Their five heritage vessels (one, dating to 1877, believed to be the oldest working passenger vessel in the world) ply eight of the nine miles’ length of the lake, stopping at four piers. Operating year round, cruise times vary from 20 to 120 minutes.

An Etruscan Wonder in Italy

By Linda Tancs

Founded by Etruscans more than 2,500 years ago, the Italian village of Civita di Bagnoregio is one of some 20,000 ghost villages, remnants of a bygone era characterized by isolated living in precariously perched hamlets forged by medieval artisans. Located on a tufa rock hill that can be reached only by crossing a pedestrian bridge, Civita di Bagnoregio’s perch is all the more dramatic considering that large portions of the commune have been reclaimed by the valley due to landslides and other natural disasters. Still, the gorgeous panoramic views make this hilltop enclave a favorite of tourists who gladly pay an entrance fee designed to shore up its crumbling infrastructure. Around 74 miles north of Rome, it’s a popular day trip with tour groups.

Cool Cats in Turkey

By Linda Tancs

Van is a city in eastern Turkey located on the eastern shore of its namesake lake, the largest one in the country. Like other areas of the nation, different civilizations have shaped its history. But Van has something that no other part of the country can claim: one cool cat, as in feline. Indigenous to the lake area, the snow-white, longhaired cat is distinctive for having one blue eye and one amber eye. And they’re pretty good swimmers, too.

The Rewards of Rain in Washington

By Linda Tancs

Some locales, like Seattle, Washington, are known for their rainy disposition. But, oh, the rewards. Consider Washington State’s Hoh Rainforest, the recipient of 14 feet of rain each year. The result is one of the world’s lushest rainforests—a green canopy of coniferous and deciduous species bursting with mosses and ferns. Located on the west side of Olympic National Park, it’s one of the finest remaining examples of temperate rainforest in the United States and is one of the park’s most popular destinations. The visitor center is located at the end of Upper Hoh Road, where you’ll find some easy trails, like Hall of the Mosses and Spruce Nature Trail.

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