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Horseback Archery in Tokyo

By Linda Tancs

It’s hard enough to hit a target standing still, which is why Tokyo’s horseback archery festival is a stunning display of athletic prowess and precision. Held on the third Saturday each April, the Asakusa Yabusame festival takes place in the Taito ward, preceded by a parade from Denpo-in Temple to Sumida Park featuring a demonstration of archery practice. Discover how, indeed, practice makes perfect.

A Revolutionary Museum in Philadelphia

By Linda Tancs

The Battles of Lexington and Concord, fought on April 19, 1775, were the first military engagements of the American Revolutionary War. In a fitting tribute to the “shot heard ’round the world,” today marks the opening of the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The day will begin at 8:30 a.m. with a ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the American Revolution in Washington Square, featuring the U.S. Army Old Guard and a blessing from the Oneida Indian Nation. At 10:30 a.m., an official dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony in the museum’s outdoor plaza will open it to the public. Inside you’ll find hundreds of documents, weapons, maps and paintings, a re-created privateer ship and General Washington’s original sleeping and office tent—among other treasures. Entry to the facility is by timed ticket.

Cathedral of Light

By Linda Tancs

Only a short flight from mainland Spain, the Balearic Islands are a Mediterranean treasure brimming with not only great beaches but also enough fine food, wines and cultural attractions to satisfy even the most discriminating traveler. Majorca is the largest of the islands. Its capital, Palma, is a popular cruise port only hours away from Barcelona. Palma’s Gothic cathedral (La Seu), boasting one of the tallest naves in the world, is one of the Balearics’ most recognizable symbols. Its nickname, the Cathedral of Light, owes to the shimmering effects of the sun as it enters the Rose Window at the church’s southeast orientation. Overlooking the harbor, it lies in the oldest part of the city and is dedicated to San Sebastian, Palma’s patron saint.

Strasbourg’s Seat of Power

By Linda Tancs

Strasbourg is a city with its heart in France and its head in the European Union. A cradle of European power, the city is home to the Council of Europe, a meeting site of the European Parliament and the Court of Human Rights, all of which are accessible to visitors in some respect. For a summary of the city’s role in these European institutions, a visit to the Information Centre on European Institutions at the Lieu d’Europe is in order. Its mission is to provide the general public with information on the European Union and all the European institutions present in Strasbourg.

Sun City

By Linda Tancs

Bright—and blue. That’s the way to describe Jodhpur, one of the largest cities in Rajasthan, a northwestern state of India. Bright for the sun-kissed weather year round, earning it the moniker “Sun City.” Blue is the color of choice adorning dozens of buildings in the old part of the city. It’s a sight best viewed from Mehrangarh Fort, the seat of the Rathore rulers from the House of Marwar, located at a height of 400 feet above the city. The fort houses a museum highlighting the golden age of the Rathores and boasting a gallery that houses one of the finest collections of Mughal miniature paintings. The fort is also the venue for the Rajasthan International Folk Festival and World Sufi Spirit Festival.

Off the Tourist Trail in Africa

By Linda Tancs

Equatorial Guinea is a small country on the western coast of central Africa, the only independent nation in Africa where Spanish is an official language owing to its past as a colony. Lacking the glam of safari sites like Tanzania and Kenya, it’s perhaps no wonder that it bears the ignominious distinction of being one of the least visited countries in the world. But its off-the-beaten-path status is exactly why you should go. The country’s national park, Monte Alén, is located near the center and is one of central Africa’s hidden gems. Over 100 mammal species are registered there (more than 16 types of primates alone), as well as 2,300 types of birds and 65 species of reptiles. Moreover, the park’s hotel situated on a jungle ridge is an excellent place to experience the lush rainforest—without the crowds.

Sardine History in Portugal

By Linda Tancs

Sardines are an important part of Portuguese culture. In fact, the nutrient-rich relative of the herring is consumed at a rate of at least 12 pounds per person. The coastal city of Setubal is at the heart of the sardine industry; the first factory was founded there in 1880 to overcome the shortage of fish on the Breton coast. Get ready—sardine season runs from May through October. Be sure to enjoy it with a glass of the region’s globally acclaimed moscatel wine.

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