April 19, 2021

Travel

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Why a Vancouver Cemetery Is Planting Squash, Kale, and Corn
Travel

Trevor Crean considers himself a city slicker, but ever since he cofounded Heritage Gardens, a cemetery in Surrey, British Columbia, he’s learned to embrace the land. That’s because Crean, the director, oversees much more than burials. The family-owned and -operated business also has its own beehives, as well as a lush vegetable garden where resident gardener Stan Turner grows brussels sprouts, corn, and kale, as well as butternut and acorn squash, Stardust runner beans, loads of potatoes, and even broccolini. It’s the kind of place where you can visit your loved ones’ remains, and then go home with a box full of produce and some fresh honey.
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Discovering Croatia aboard brand-new luxury yacht Acapella
Travel

Croatia is a favourite destination for sun lovers and culture seekers to engage with exceptional natural beauty and some of the world’s most outstanding world heritage sites, and it is possible to complete a whirlwind tour of all the greatest attractions in style with brand new luxury motor-sailer yacht ACAPELLA.Preserve your privacy, avoid crowded beaches in summer and travel between the mainland and distant isles stress-free and on your own schedule on a private luxury yacht charter. This allows you to stay longer at your favourite spots and even spend nights at quiet anchorages under starry night skies.The Croatian stretch of coastline has over 700 islands, nearly 400 islets and 78 reefs and is the Mediterranean’s second-largest archipelago after Greece. It’s the perfect destination to take off and find your own remote hideaway to enjoy the sunbathing facilities on board in complete privacy, or play on the water toys for hours on end with family and friends.
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The ultimate eco-friendly places you can visit during the COVID pandemic
Travel

Sustainability and responsible travel have become one of the most important words in the tourism industry as guests are increasingly interested in eco-friendly ways and places to stay, and as a result want to limit their footprint while travelling all across the globe. Offsetting your carbon emissions with an airline has become a norm for so many, yet booking accommodation which is genuinely concerned with their environmental approach is still an area where many of us can learn a thing or two. The below list gives you 5 of the best places which are currently open for tourism and have everything in place to make sure you help the environment while still enjoying a well deserved holiday.Mombo camp, Botswana
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Sukko Cypress Lake in Krai, Russia
Travel

In the middle of this lake grows a group of 32 cypress trees that reach nearly 98 feet (30 meters) in height.The trees in the lake belong to a species of swamp cypress, Taxodium distichum, which naturally grows in North America and around the Gulf of Mexico. These trees were introduced to Russia in the 1930s as an experiment. The grove in the lake was planted between 1934 and 1935. They rooted well in the warm climate and somehow managed to survive. Swampy areas are natural habitats for this species in North America. However, the lake where the trees are located was created years after the trees were planted. In 1983, the trees were declared a natural monument.
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Robber's Cave in Lincoln, Nebraska
Travel

Before being sealed from the public, Robber's Cave had been a notorious hangout for 130 years. Since it was sealed for decades, many had forgotten the 5,600-foot long cave just beneath downtown Lincoln, Nebraska. Yes, people broke in over the years, but recently, the cave reopened for tours and visitors are able to descend several stories to tour its depths. Every inch of the soft Dakota sandstone walls are covered with names, initials, dates, band names, symbols, and Greek letters. The cave has a naturally formed area likely used by Native Americans and pioneers. Brewers from Wisconsin and Minnesota built Lincoln's first brewery into the sandstone bluff. The Lincoln Brewery commissioned Jacob Andra to enlarge the cave to its existing size for the purpose of lagering caverns.
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Podcast: Communist Mummies
Travel

Listen and subscribe on Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and all major podcast apps.In this episode of The Atlas Obscura Podcast, we take you on a tour of our favorite communist mummies.Our podcast is an audio guide to the world’s wondrous, awe-inspiring, strange places. In under 15 minutes, we’ll take you to an incredible site, and along the way you’ll meet some fascinating people and hear their stories. Join us daily, Monday through Thursday, to explore a new wonder with cofounder Dylan Thuras and a neighborhood of Atlas Obscura reporters.
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5 best ways to spend spring in Spain
Travel

With its rugged coastlines, soulful towns, mouthwatering cuisine, and vibrant local culture, Spain is every traveller’s paradise. Take a holiday in spring for almost guaranteed sunshine – and far fewer crowds. From Aitona’s breathtaking peach blossom trees in early March to the week-long Horse Fair in Jerez de la Frontera in May, the vibrant personality of Spain shines through.Follow the scent of Idiazabal cheese through the Basque CountryThe lesser-visited north of Spain boasts a verdant natural beauty that has something for everyone. Nestled next to the Bay of Biscay, San Sebastian is the capital of Basque Country and known as Donostia in the local language. Packed with restaurants selling pintxos (traditional Basque tapas), Michelin-Star dining, and its own distinctive culture, it’s one of the most beautiful cities in all of Spain, with an aristocratic history dating back a thousand years.
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Trying to Understand a Volcano's Jekyll-and-Hyde Eruptions
Travel

La Soufrière, the skyscraping volcano on the northern side of the Caribbean island of St. Vincent, began exploding on April 9, 2021. At press time, no deaths had been recorded, but ash has smothered the entire island, causing power cuts, polluting waterways, and burying crops.The volcano upped the ante that day, but the eruption itself actually began way back in mid-to-late December, when a toothpaste tube–like mass of lava started oozing out of the volcano’s summit. It built up over the next few months, first as a dome, then as an elongated lava coulee, a slug-like mass about 3,000 feet long. At least in terms of the danger it presented, it was a little like the relatively approachable eruption on Iceland’s Reykjanes Peninsula, but something changed on April 9, requiring the northeast and northwest parts of the island to be evacuated.
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Witches Gulch in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
Travel

Nowadays when people think Wisconsin Dells, they probably think water parks. However, this part of southern Wisconsin is home to a number of beautiful sandstone cliffs. One particular slot canyon, known as the Witches Gulch, is almost otherworldly.The sandstone in this area formed millions of years ago, back when this region was the bed of an ancient lake. As the landscape changed over time, the lake bed was exposed to the elements. Wind and water carved out a meandering path through the sandstone that today takes the form of a deep valley. A trail winds through the canyon, packed with beautiful mossy sites and narrow passageways. This is a short little hike that will leave you in awe of nature's beauty. This stop is only accessible via the Upper Dells Boat Tours.
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The Mystery of the Mummified Bishop and the Fetus in His Coffin
Travel

In life, Peder Winstrup was a man of both god and science, and a practical politician who advocated for his city of Lund, in what is now southern Sweden. In death, the 17th-century bishop is still providing assistance—as well as a puzzle, hidden in the folds of his funerary garb, that researchers are only now beginning to solve.“This founding father, in one way, still lives, still contributes to modern society, through his coffin, through his body,” says Per Karsten, director of the Lund University Historical Museum. “It’s a mini-universe of the 17th century. With deepest respect, he is a unique medical archive that we can return to, over and over again, to ask new questions. And he will have the answer.”
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Provence in Bloom
Travel

While lavender blooms all over France’s southern region, two hours north of Bandol are field upon field of the iconic herb. You have until early July to visit the fields in Provence. From mid-July, you can see the harvest in the Valensole plateau. However, if you what to see the most delicate lavender in bloom just before harvest, you will need to travel to Chateau du Bois before the 15th of June (though their products are available online all year round).Just as the world is reopening from its gloom, this healing flower will show its colours. It feels like an open invitation to come to see its beauty and breathe its soothing scent. Now is the time to start planning your trip if you want to enjoy the spectacle.
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How To Clean Your Patio
Travel

The weather is turning the corner, and that means one thing for certain: It’s patio season. Before you resurrect the outdoor space of your dreams, though, give your patio furniture the spring cleaning it deserves. Here’s how to get your furniture ready.Before diving in, give your furniture a visual inspection. For wood furniture, you may find that the wood has bowed, cracked or discolored during the cooler seasons. Look for signs of rust on metal furniture, for any cane unraveling on your wicker, and tears or animal damage on fabrics. A visual inspection, said Josh Bateman, owner of Prince Gardening in Pittsburgh, can help to establish a cleaning “game plan.”In addition to dirt, your furniture may have organic matter in hard-to-reach places. Cobwebs, insects and leaves are likely to accumulate on furniture that has been sitting around unused. Regardless of your furniture’s material, “the first step is to take a soft-bristled brush or cloth and wipe down any dust, dirt, or leaves,” Mr. Bateman said.
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11 Tips for Mastering Life as a Digital Nomad
Travel

I’ve been working online since 2008. Back when I started, “digital nomading” wasn’t even a thing with a name! The whole concept has changed a lot since I started with more options, better Wi-Fi, and accommodation to make it easier to work remote.And from bustling cafés in Paris and laid-back co-working hubs in Medellín to airport lounges and beach joints with dodgy Wi-Fi, I’ve worked pretty much everywhere.Being able to work from anywhere in the world is an amazing gift. It has opened all kinds of doors I never even knew existed before I started traveling.However, it isn’t all fun and games. It’s still work.While I have the flexibility to make my own hours, I still have to put in those hours. Sometimes that can be challenging. Between finding places with fast Wi-Fi, meeting people and networking, balancing work and travel days, being a digital nomad can be tricky if you’re not prepared.
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Idrija Mercury Mine in Idrija, Slovenia
Travel

The mining history in Idrija goes back to 1490. At its peak, it was one of the main sources of mercury, along with Almaden, in Spain. Mercury is a rare metal and its deposits are scarce. Most of it is in the form of ore known as cinnabar (mercury sulfide). Idrija is one of the very few places in the world where mercury occurs in both its elemental liquid state and as cinnabar.Mercury can be used to extract silver and gold, therefore the silver and gold-rush motivated mercury mining. Most of the history and development of Idrija revolves around mercury. The mining industry brought science, technological advancements, and industry to this mountainous region but it also created considerable medical problems and health hazard due to its toxicity. In addition to collapse accidents, there is a local folklore associated with hallucination experiences that miners had when working in the narrow passages inside the mountains.
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Tommy Taylor Grave in Barnsley, England
Travel

Born locally, in Smithies, Thomas (Tommy) Taylor was in the prime of his life and career as a footballer for both Manchester United and England, when he became one of the eight United players killed in the 1958 Munich Air Disaster. By that time at just 26 years old, Taylor had achieved an incredible amount. The son of a miner, who supposedly sat him down at 14 and told him there was no way he was following him down the pit, he signed for his local club Barnsley in 1949. He scored 26 goals in 44 games. That brought the attention of a few of the first division clubs, with Manchester United eventually winning out in a race for his signature in March 1953. Reputedly not wanting him to have the added pressure of being the first £30,000 player, 21-year-old manager Sir Matt Busby took a pound note out of his wallet and paid the tea lady during the negotiations, so the fee was set at £29,999. 
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Skemmtigarðurinn Grafarvogi in Reykjavík, Iceland
Travel

Jon Gnarr, the legendary former mayor of Reykjavík, took the first putt at Skemmtigarðurinn during the opening of this pirate-themed mini golf course in August 2010. The Best Party politician’s name was added to the massive ship that serves as the centerpiece of the Treasure Hunt course and bears resemblance to the vessels Vikings settlers used to reach this island over a thousand years ago. While the pirate theme for mini golf is common across the world, Skemmtigarðurinn Grafarvogi has a naturally weathered seaside town look that is unique and matches up with the surrounding landscapes. Small touches like a whale-shaped hole, a small-town facade, borders made of heavy rope, and boat wreckage combine to tie the overall aesthetic together. A view of the nearby Reykjavík Harbour and distance mountain landscapes are bonus features to this Icelandic-feeling 18-hole course. 
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Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in Berlin, Germany
Travel

The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, or Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächniskirche, was originally constructed in the 1890s as part of the Protestant church-building program started by Kaiser Wilhelm II and his wife Augusta Victoria. They hoped that the program would launch a return to traditional religious values, a move away from the labor and socialist movements that were prevalent at the time.A competition was launched for the design of the church. The Neo-Romanesque design by Franz Schwechten was chosen as the winner. The original church had five spires and held the second biggest church bells in Germany.  These bells were eventually melted down to make munitions during World War I.
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The 8 best beaches of Sicily
Travel

First of all, arm yourself with a hat and sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30! Once protected from the sun, which feels more African than Italian, you will be free to discover fine sand, wild rocks, deserted and hidden coves in the southernmost region of Italy, Sicily, the second-largest island of the country. In this list, you will find beaches where it is possible to experience the most beautiful and pristine seawaters of this wonderful region.Scala dei Turchi, Agrigento areaGoing towards Agrigento, we recommend allowing a visit to the beach known as “Scala dei Turchi”. What makes it so coveted is not the beach itself but the entire surrounding landscape and the unparalleled view “from above”.
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Why a Kenyan safari is the most romantic couple’s getaway
Travel

Expectations are high when choosing a romantic couple’s getaway for you and your loved one. Only an exceptional experience will cut it, and rightly so! Be it a honeymoon, birthday or simply the chance to get away from it all, an escape to the privacy and tranquility of the bush is one of the best ways to connect with each other. The only distractions will be the endlessly beautiful views and breath-taking wildlife encounters, which are just two things on safari you will never tire of.An endless love celebrated in classic styleWhile the idea of the African safari as a hunting expedition has thankfully changed since it began in the 1920s, the authenticity and passion of the original experience is still alive today. And, as the birthplace of the safari, Kenya remains one of the most sought-after destinations on the continent. Home to Africa’s iconic Big 5 animals and part of the route taken annually by over 2.5 million wildebeest, zebras and antelopes, the Maasai Mara is worthy of its status as the Seventh Natural Wonder of the World and as the best romantic couple’s getaway.
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Rozafa Castle in Shkodër, Albania
Travel

The area around the city of Shkodër, in northwestern Albania, has been inhabited since antiquity. The first fortification on the hill overlooking the town was constructed by Illyrian tribes as early as the 9th-century BCE.Since then, the area has been conquered by many different peoples and countries. The fort was taken by the Romans in a battle in 168 BCE and later passed down to the Byzantine Empire. After some centuries of local rule, the Venetians took the area and rebuilt the ruined fortress along with a Catholic church.The castle was sieged twice by the Ottomans, who conquered it in 1479 and the church was turned into a mosque. The castle was again sieged in 1912 by Serbian and Montenegrin troops during the First Balkan War and later in 1939 during the Italian Invasion of Albania. Heavily damaged, the ruined castle was abandoned soon afterward.
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This vacation hotspot is offering vaccinations to visitors
Travel

(CNN) — It was one of the first countries to fully reopen to travelers, and now Maldives is striving to be ahead of the game when it comes to vaccine tourism.Officials for the Indian Ocean destination have announced plans to offer vaccinations to tourists on arrival in a bid to lure more visitors over.Abdulla Mausoom, the country's minister for tourism, has confirmed that the Maldives is developing a "3V tourism" scheme, which would allow tourists to "Visit, Vaccinate and Vacation."According to Mausoom, the country plans to offer two doses of the vaccine to visitors, which means those who sign up for it would need to remain in the Maldives for several weeks.He hopes the program will help boost tourism on the Indian Ocean island archipelago, which had an average of 1.7 million visitors a year before the pandemic.
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On the Water in Alaska, Where Salmon Fishing Dreams Live On
Travel

My camera lens is pressed against the window of the small floatplane as it flies below a thick ceiling of clouds. The mist clings to the hillsides of a temperate rainforest that descend steeply to the rocky coastline of southeast Alaska.The plane banks, and a tiny village comes into view. A scattering of houses are built on stilts on the water’s edge. We circle and I see fishing boats tied up next to a large dock and a floating post office. The pilot throttles down and the pontoons skim across the glassy water inside the bay. We taxi to the public dock and I step out in front of the Point Baker general store.Life along the Alaska coast is economically and culturally dependent on fishing. Each summer, millions of salmon — after maturing in the ocean — begin their journey back to the rivers in which they were spawned. Fishermen, along with whales, eagles and bears, share in the abundance.
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Ancient history: 5 archaeological hot spots to visit around the world
Travel

It is said that ‘the story of our present is told within the treasures of our past’ – and what a tale the following destinations have to tell. Each one is brimming with archaeological wonders that, with the aid of inspiring guides, will allow you to gain insight into lives and cultures as they were centuries and even millennia ago.Explore the Old City of Jerusalem, a centre of religion and culture for thousands of years. Wander along the lamp-lit waterfront of Varanasi, one of the world’s oldest cities. Admire the Bronze-age artefacts of Knossos, the Incan citadel of Machu Picchu and the Buddhist cave art of the Dambulla temple…Old City of Jerusalem, Israel For over 3,000 years, Jerusalem has maintained a significant place in history. The strategic importance of the city, located as it is within the Judean hills, has meant that many great powers and civilisations have ruled it over the centuries, including Israelites, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Christians, Muslims and Turks – all leaving their own mark. The city’s relatively small size of 1 sq km belies the true magnitude of historical sites within its walls. All three of the main Abrahamic religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – hold Jerusalem sacred in some way. The holy sites within include the Western Wall, the remains of the Jewish Temple; the Dome of the Rock, an Islamic shrine where Muhammad is believed to have risen to heaven; and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where Christians believe Jesus was crucified and buried.
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Thailand's 'sea people' adapt to life on land
Travel

Ko Surin, Thailand (CNN) — These days, Salamak Klathalay, like most of us, lives in a house, on land. But this is a relatively new experience for the 78-year-old."As a kid, I lived on a boat part of the year and on land part of the year," Salamak tells me from his home on Ko Surin, an island-bound national park in Thailand's south. "We would go to land during the monsoon season to look for tubers. After that, we would go back to our boats."Salamak is a member of Thailand's Moken ethnic group. Also known as the "sea gypsies" or chao ley -- Thai for "sea people" -- the Moken lay claim to an astounding list of traits. They're one of the only groups of humans who, traditionally, lived predominately at sea, in houseboats called kabang.
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Torre do Pássaro in Campinas, Brazil
Travel

Located at the parking lot of one of the largest shopping centers in Brazil, this huge tower with a metallic bird statue on its top is has become a landmark of Campinas and its surrounding metropolitan region. Built in 2002, alongside Parque Dom Pedro's opening, the monument’s purpose was to draw attention to the newly-established mall and attract customers. Based in a strong mechanical structure, the bronze bird used to spin during its first years. But after engineers found out that the rotation was putting the tower at risk of collapse and that the feature was consuming a tremendous amount of energy. Soon after, the spinning system was turned off.
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