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Archive for travel writing

The Symbol of Modern Baku

By Linda Tancs

In Baku, Azerbaijan’s capital city, the Flame Towers ascend above the skyline like flickering flames. Viewable from most parts of the city, they’re particularly engaging at night thanks to the LED shows. Located on a hill overlooking Baku Bay and the old city center, the three flame-shaped skyscrapers are the tallest in the city, housing apartments, a hotel and office blocks.

A Rise to the Top in Santiago

By Linda Tancs

In Santiago, Chile, you’ll find the highest man-made observation tower in South America and the second tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere (nearly 1,000 feet) at Gran Torre Santiago. The skyscraper’s observation deck, Sky Costanera, opened last summer on the 61st and 62nd floors to amazing views of La Moneda Palace, the National Stadium and the Mapocho River, which divides the capital city in two. The lookouts are open every day from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Over the Welsh Hills

By Linda Tancs

Looking for a pleasant respite from the business of everyday life? You’ll find it at Wirral Peninsula in northwest England. Located between the cities of Chester and Liverpool and bounded by the River Dee on one side and the River Mersey on the other, you’ll enjoy stunning views of the Welsh Hills as well as 22 miles of coastline and 50 miles of walking trails (including the Wirral Way). The area boasts a 19th century model village known as Port Sunlight, created by William Hesketh Lever for his soap factory workers. Another gem is North Wirral Coastal Park on the peninsula’s eastern side, home to Leasowe Lighthouse, Britain’s oldest brick lighthouse. This getaway is just 45 minutes from both Liverpool John Lennon and Manchester airports. A local rail network connects Wirral to the national rail network via Liverpool Lime Street station.

Life Along the Bayou

By Linda Tancs

Ever wonder what life was like along the bayou in colonial days? You’ll find out at the Pitot House, the only Creole colonial country house that is open to the public in New Orleans. Located on historic Bayou St. John (accessible via the Carrollton Spur streetcar), the site is named for James Pitot, the first mayor of New Orleans after the city’s incorporation, who lived at the residence in the early 1800s. Guided tours are available from Wednesday through Saturday.

Putting Rockford on the Map

By Linda Tancs

Company executive Robert Hall Tinker wanted to build a home that would put Rockford, Illinois, on the map. He succeeded in stunning fashion with a Swiss cottage on the limestone bluff overlooking Kent Creek. Inspired by his tour of Europe in 1862, Tinker Swiss Cottage is surrounded by 27 acres of greenery and is one of only a handful of Swiss-style homes remaining in the United States. A time capsule of the Victorian era, the home and its furnishings now comprise a museum operated by the local park district. Today is one of several Donation Days when entry to the museum is free for Illinois residents. Guided tours are required due to the nature of the artifacts.

The Unearthed Charm of Croatia’s Capital

By Linda Tancs

Zagreb, Croatia’s capital and largest city, may have been no more than a layover thought on the way to the country’s seductive sandy shores. Well, no more. Located in the northwest of the country, along the Sava River, its cosmopolitan flair evokes the culture of eastern and western Europe. Zagreb’s most important medieval monument is the fortress of Medvedgrad, erected to protect the city from invasions. Climb Lotrščak Tower, another protective structure, for a sweeping 360-degree view of the city. Near the tower is a funicular railway, which connects the Lower and Upper Towns, where most of the restaurants, bars and tourist sights are located.

A Storied Place

By Linda Tancs

Located between the White House and the U.S. Capitol, the Newseum is—you guessed it—a museum about news and journalism. This interactive facility is loaded with exhibits, videos and archives of front pages. You’ll also find a part of the Berlin wall and a watch tower, a 9/11 area, a Boston marathon area, mini theaters with short shows and a huge FBI area. And don’t miss the sweeping vistas from the top floor. News junkies, rejoice!

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