August 05, 2020

Travel

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5 unexpected wine destinations
Travel

While Spain, Italy, and France typically enjoy the limelight when it comes to well-known wine regions—think Rioja, Tuscany, and Bordeaux—travelers have long known that what we drink at home is often dictated by what gets exported and imported. Demand for bottle diversity has expanded what we can find on the shelves (thankfully), so it’s easy to find Saugvignon Blanc from New Zealand, Malbec from Argentina, and Pinotage from South Africa. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to get every vintage out there, especially from lesser-known areas. The only option may be to plan a trip and return with a few bottles in your checked luggage. Although the big name regions are famous because they produce excellent wines, winemakers the world over have adapted to fit the environment where they live. Below are five wine regions that may surprise you!
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Knockagh Monument in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland
Travel

High above the settlement of Greenisland on the eastern coast of County Antrim stands a giant stone obelisk known as the Knockagh Monument, named after the hill that it sits upon. The Knockagh Monument was erected in remembrance of the County Antrim men who fell in battle during the First World War (1914–1918), but was later rededicated to all those who died during the Second World War (1939–1945), as well.The high sheriff of the county, Henry Dupre Malkin Barton, started the building project. The giant stone monument took 14 years to complete between 1922 and 1936 and it stands 110 feet (34 meters) high on top of Knockagh hill, overlooking the town of Carrickfergus. From the monument's grounds you can see unparalleled panoramic views of Carrickfergus, Belfast, and even across Belfast Lough toward Bangor and the Copeland Islands.
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Ki Castle (Kinojo Castle Ruins) in Soja, Japan
Travel

In Japanese archaeology, Kodai-sanjō, or "ancient mountainside castle," denotes a type of hill castle found in the southernmost regions of the mainland of Japan. They generally can be dated to the 7th-8th centuries. Such castles were often left unfinished, however, this was not the case with Ki Castle. Ki Castle, or Ki-no-Jō in Japanese, was constructed by the Yamato dynasty after its defeat against the united forces of Tang China and Silla. It was designed to defend the mainland from possible invaders. The castle's name literally means "Demon Castle," and it has been said for over a millennium that it was once the dwelling of Onra (or Ura), a legendary demon. Historians, however, believe that ki comes from a Baekje word meaning "castle," rather than the modern Japanese for "demon" or "ogre."
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When World War II Started, the U.S. Government Fought Against Victory Gardens
Travel

First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt wanted to plant vegetables on the White House lawn. It was early 1942 and American troops were departing daily for the battlefields of Europe. Her garden would be a small act of patriotism, a symbol of shared commitment and sacrifice recognizable to anyone who had lived through the Great War 25 years earlier—to anyone, that is, except Claude Wickard. President Franklin Roosevelt’s new Secretary of Agriculture believed the war gardens of 1917 and 1918 had been a waste.“I hope there will be no move to plow up the parks and the lawns to grow vegetables as in the First World War,” he told those who gathered for the National Defense Gardening Conference, which was quickly organized in the weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor. “I do not think the Nation will benefit at present from a widespread, all out campaign intended to put a vegetable garden in every city backyard or vacant lot.”
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House Hunting in Iceland: A Lakeside Cabin for Under $800,000
Travel

This four-bedroom summer house is perched on a green hill overlooking Lake Thingvellir, the largest lake in Iceland, in the rural southwest region of Grafningshreppur, about 30 miles east of Reykjavik.The 1.9-acre property sits among a cluster of summer houses along the lake’s rocky western edge, just south of Thingvellir National Park. Homeowners have access to the beaches, while anglers cast their lines for arctic char and brown trout. The park is known as a fisher’s paradise, but it is more famous as the founding location of the world’s oldest parliament, Althing, which began meeting in A.D. 900. In 2004, the area was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.After buying the lot in 2006, Larus Helgason built the 2,271-square-foot wood house in 2009 alongside his college-age son, Bjorn Ragnar Larusson, now a structural engineer, and a few local craftsmen. Once completed, it served on and off as the family’s summer house before becoming lodging for tourists and travelers who wanted to spend a night in the silent countryside. (Summer houses in Iceland are used as vacation properties for locals, who often rent them to tourists. They are not considered legal for permanent residence.)
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Barmaz Ghost Village in Saint-Denis, Italy
Travel

Along the left bank of the River Dora, between the mountains of the Aosta Valley, a few crumbled houses catch the eye. This is the abandoned village of Barmaz, located on a mountainside near the town of Saint-Denis.The area was inhabited for centuries, but the oldest structures still standing in Barmaz date back to the 16th to 17th-century. The villages survived off agriculture, surrounded by rye fields, terraced vineyards, and pastures for grazing cattle. But despite its optimal position for agriculture, the village was never connected to a water system, a sewerage network, or a power supply. The village can still only be reached by walking along a farm road.
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See for Yourself: How Airplanes Are Cleaned Today
Travel

Move over, on-time performance. The new key standard for airlines and passengers is: “How clean is it?”The airlines are busily fine-tuning their cleaning procedures — where they clean, how frequently and with which tools. To get a sense of what’s changed, I recently witnessed the disinfection and cleaning process performed from start to finish onboard a Delta Air Lines jet at Kennedy International Airport in New York.In short, it was meticulous — enough to delight even a hardened germophobe.Here’s what passengers need to know about how an airplane gets disinfected and cleaned between flights.Passengers disembarked from a 76-seat Republic Airways regional jet that had arrived at Kennedy Airport from Boston. Republic operates the plane on behalf of Delta. A crew of nine cleaners made quick and efficient work of the airplane.
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When movies need an alien planet, they shoot here
Travel

(CNN) — Ancient tales of trolls and magic live on in Iceland, an island nation of volcanoes, lava fields, glaciers and ice caves.To fully explore every corner of the dynamic landscape, unravel local folklore and battle the natural elements, one must take to the skies. Enter Jón Kjartan Björnsson, the pilot with a mission to show the real Iceland.Björnsson, a helicopter pilot for 35 years, has taken camera crews, directors and actors to some of the most stunning spots in the country. The thundering waterfalls and deep valley gorges seen in TV's "Game of Thrones" and the movies "Oblivion" and "Flags of Our Fathers" are thanks to Björnsson's expert navigation skills. Björnssons' explains that since you cannot use a zoom on the wide-angle camera, the trick to getting that intimate feel is moving the actual helicopter close to the shot: "If it feels like you're close, you are close," he says.
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The Challenges and Delights of Photographing the Night Sky
Travel

Since ancient times, the night sky has been full of mystery and a source of fascination. Some early civilizations, living under naturally dark skies that are far less familiar to many people today, envisioned the stars as part of a solid dome that touched the Earth at the horizon. It’s easy to see why: True outdoor darkness has a depth you can sink into, with innumerable pinpricks of light embedded in the blackness.Capturing the magic of this darkness and the price of its rapid loss to artificial light are the driving force behind this year’s launch of the International Dark-Sky Association’s “Capture the Dark” photography contest. The winning pictures, selected from nearly 450 submissions across the globe, reveal the marvel of the Milky Way, as well as the relentless, glowing invasion of artificial light.
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Barnburgh Crags in Barnburgh, England
Travel

Between two farmers' fields is a corridor of woodland wilderness filled with the scent of wild garlic in the spring. In it is a path that leads from the road toward Barnburgh, but if you look to your right at the stone crags, every so often, hidden among the foliage is faces peering out, carved into the rock face. There are also symbols that look alien in origin, or resemble insects.Winter is the best time to go, when the nettles and brambles no longer obscure the rocks. Otherwise it is easy to miss the carvings—some whimsical, others more serious.
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Ganatantra Smarak in Kathmandu, Nepal
Travel

Nepal’s civil war, also known as the Maoist Insurgency, lasted for over ten years before the monarchy was abolished, giving rise to the People’s Republic. Today, a four-and-a-half-acre park near the Narayanhiti Palace Museum commemorates those who fought and witnessed the falling of the world’s last Hindu kingdom. The road to democracy began long before the Civil War. In 1951, power was seized from the oligarchical Rana family and the first democratically elected government was established in 1959. When the Nepali Congress allied itself with the United Left Front in 1990 to push for democratic reforms, communist groups coalesced around alternative reform policies and the nation began a slow march toward armed conflict. Ultimately, China supported the Maoist revolutionaries, while the U.S., U.K., and Belgium supported the opposition, an extension of the Great Game that played out across Central and South Asia for centuries.
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The Sacramento Cannon Monument in Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Travel

Where a lone street of the seaside hamlet of Schoenmakerskop terminates on the edge of a bluff, a solitary bronze cannon aims out over the ocean and a small, secluded bay. It marks the site of an extraordinary shipwreck discovered in 1977. The cannon itself was pulled from the site and dubbed the "miracle cannon" because it remained perfectly preserved despite centuries on the sea floor.In 1647, the Sacramento, a large Portuguese galleon, was on her maiden voyage. The ship carried a massive consignment of artillery pieces meant for King João IV from the city of Macao (a Portuguese colony in China, at the time), along with silk, porcelain, and spices. During a storm, the over-laden vessel was smashed on the coast's rocks and sank, an ignominious end for a galleon that might otherwise have been a formidable part of the Portuguese fleet.
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The 18 Best Things to See and Do in Oslo
Travel

Balancing natural beauty, historic architecture, and a modern flair, Oslo, Norway’s beautiful capital, is a city that punches well above its weight. It’s small but bursting with things to do: there are countless museums, spacious parks, and delicious restaurants to keep you busy. It’s close to numerous forests with hiking and biking trails, and there are lots of places to swim in the summer too.However, since it’s expensive, a lot of travelers pass Oslo by.While a visit will certainly eat into your budget, Oslo is definitely worth a couple of days. To show precisely why you should add it to your itinerary, here are my favorite things to see and do there: I always start my trips off with a free walking tour. They’re a budget-friendly way to see the main sights, learn a little history, meet other travelers, and get access to an expert local guide who can answer all my questions.
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Communications Hill Grand Staircase in San Jose, California
Travel

The Grand Staircase offers a steep climb toward a panoramic view and is commonly known as "The Steps" or "The Stairs." The staircase leads to the top of Communications Hill, named for the 114-foot decommissioned microwave tower at its peak. Architect Daniel Solomon designed the stairs utilizing inspiration from the better known Telegraph Hill, which leads visitors up 400 steps to San Francisco's Coit Tower. The Grand Staircase is actually two staircases with a walking trail between them. On any given morning, it's not uncommon to find people exercising along the stairs. After sunset, the area transforms into a popular hangout destination for the younger crowd. At night, the stairs offer unparalleled views of the city lights shining in front of the dark expanse of the Santa Cruz Mountains. 
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Kizukuri Station in Tsugaru, Japan
Travel

The Shakōki-dogū figurines were created during the Jōmon era of prehistoric Japan, noted for their depiction of human eyes, which are often compared to Inuit ski goggles or shakōki in Japanese. Some theorized they may have depicted a fertility goddess, the mysterious deity Arahabaki, or even ancient astronauts.First founded in 1924, Kizukuri Station has served as a station on the Gonō Line. A new building was constructed in 1992, making use of the Hometown Rejuvenation Program. The city of Tsugaru refurbished the station utilizing concrete and adding a giant replica of a Shakōki-dogū to its exterior wall.
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For Sale: Shipwrecked Whisky That Spent Decades Underwater
Travel

In February 1941, a British cargo ship known as SS Politician was grounded and wrecked on a submerged sandbar off the coast of Eriskay, one of the islands in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides. On board were trade goods ranging from cotton to biscuits, en route to would-be customers in Jamaica and New Orleans. If, however, there was a marquee item among the ship’s inventory, it was surely the whisky—264,000 bottles of it.There was so much whisky on board that—following an initial rush among locals to rescue what they could from the foundering ship—freeloaders would still be recovering bottles nearly half a century later, even after the ship's hull was blown up and sunk to discourage more salvage (that is, looting). Some washed up on local beaches, and others were brought up by divers. One of the latter, found by professional diver George Currie in 1987, is now up for sale at Scotland’s Grand Whisky Auction, where bidding will close on August 10, 2020. At press time, the bottle was already going for nearly $8,000. Though the auction house warns unequivocally that the “bottle is not suitable for human consumption,” the winning bidder will also be treated to a diving helmet and bricks from the ship itself.
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My 8 Favorite Hostels in San José, Costa Rica
Travel

Costa Rica was the very first place I ever visited, kick-staring a journey that would eventually take me around the world and launch my career as a travel writer. Since that first trip, I’ve returned a few times, lured in by the friendly people, cloud forests, wildlife, and excellent beaches.San José is the starting point for most visitors in the country, owing to the fact that it’s the nation’s capital and a major international hub. Chances are you’ll be here for a few days as you get situated before heading off to hike, lounge on the beach, and enjoy the lush and scenic landscapes.I’ve been staying in hostels for over a decade during my several return visits to Costa Rica. There are a lot of things to consider when selecting a hostel in San José. The top four are:
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Found: A Mysterious, Recipe-Filled Diary From 1968
Travel

One hot day in May 2019, Georgie Williams went to a South London market to buy antique furniture for her new place. Later, within the vintage cabinet she brought home, she found something intriguing: a brown booklet, with Official Diary 1968: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office inscribed on the cover. Inside, she discovered 150 handwritten recipes, scribbled down by a mysterious cook.Williams was stunned by the hard work the diary owner had dedicated to preserving her beloved recipes. Apart from recipes and tips, the 365-page diary had personal notes, cooking notes, magazine cut-outs, and names with phone numbers that Williams speculates may have belonged to cooking teachers.
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For Sale: Dozens and Dozens of Enormous Animatronic Dinosaurs
Travel

At a time when many people’s workplaces are empty and quiet, Jeremy Dodd’s is suddenly crowded with creatures from the Cretaceous and beyond. Dodd, the owner of the British Columbia-based Able Auctions, is gearing up to sell a gaggle of animatronic dinosaurs on August 6. But before the Mesozoic mechanical menagerie finds a new home, it’s hanging out at the auction house’s warehouse, where it’s causing a prehistoric ruckus.The auction facility can run a maximum of eight or nine of the electronic beasts at a time, and when it does, heads nod, eyelids blink, and mouths open and slam shut. Tails arc across the ground, barrel chests rise and fall as though the animals were breathing, and roars ricochet off the walls. (The Triceratops’ is a little like a tinny cow mooing its head off.) “It sounds like a dinosaur farm in there,” Dodd says.
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Lapidarium in Guča, Serbia
Travel

The Lapidarium is a small outdoor museum of tombstones and roadside stone monuments. In this unusual complex resides 33 tombstones and roadside monuments crafted by sculptor Radosav Čikiriz and other stonemasons from Guča.The open-air exhibit is divided into three vaulted structures (sobrašice), which house some of the tombstones described as the most beautiful examples of "folk blue plastic." Some of these monuments were created around the 1830s.The tombstones (krajputaši) are highlighted by their authentic decorations and epitaphs. They depict warriors, pupils, women, trumpeters, harvesters, and artisans. In 2001, the museum was declared a cultural monument by the Republic of Serbia.
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Ponte di Cecco in Ascoli Piceno, Italy
Travel

Ponte di Cecco is the oldest bridge in the town of Ascoli Piceno in Central Italy. It passes over the Castellano river connecting the Malatesta Fortress to the rest of the city.For centuries thought to be a Medieval structure, the original bridge was actually constructed during the age of the Roman Republic more than 2,000 years ago, forming part of the ancient Via Salaria. The structure is said to have been renovated in 1349 by an architect known as Cecco Aprutino. It's believed where the bridge got its namesake. But there is another theory about the name of this bridge.According to a local legend, the name comes from Cecco d'Ascoli, a medieval poet and astrologer who lived in the town between the late 13th and early 14th centuries. As the story goes, he built the bridge overnight with help from the devil.
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Peanut Butter and Ranch Dressing: What Americans Abroad Miss From Home
Travel

MUNICH — The box was in transit for nearly two months.Every day, from the end of April until mid-June, Tiffany Schureman, 42, would track the package her mother had sent from Dallas to Athens, where Ms. Schureman lives and writes about travel. She has not seen her family in a year, and like many Americans living abroad, she doesn’t expect to for at least several more months because of the pandemic.Ms. Schureman said she cried when she picked up the package, which included a homemade Chex mix that her mother throws together on holidays, a block of Velveeta cheese and a new credit card.“It wasn’t the stuff,” she said. “It was that it was stuff that my mother had touched.”In mid-March, the State Department raised its global health advisory to Level 4, recommending that U.S. citizens return home immediately or prepare to stay where they were indefinitely.
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Mangulica & Pulin Statue in Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia
Travel

The Srem region (also known as Syrmia) in the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, Serbia, is home to a unique breed of pigs and dogs know as the Mangulica and Pulin.The Mangulica (or Mangalica) is a breed of domestic pig that is unique to the region. The breed was created by crossbreeding that took place in Hungary and Croatia that mixed blond mangulitsa and Srem pigs. It's the last remaining long coat pig breed and is known for its curly hair.The Pulin is a Serbian shepherd dog similar to Hungarian (Mudi) and Croatian shepherd dog breeds. It's also known as one of the oldest dog breeds in the world. It's believed the breed's roots date back more than 2,000 years and has called this region home since ancient times. Pulins are famous for their loyalty
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For Sale: A Cold War Bunker and Missile Silo in North Dakota
Travel

Half an hour south of the Canadian border, in Fairdale, North Dakota, a hulking concrete structure rises up from the flat fields that surround it. The beige buildings are so prominent on an otherwise pastoral landscape that they could be mistaken for a 20th-century Stonehenge.It’s a Cold War missile site, and it’s for sale.In the 1970s, relations between the United States and the Soviet Union were about as chilly as you’d expect in the middle of a Cold War. Both nations were still locked in an arms race, expanding their arsenals just in case. In northern states such as Montana and the Dakotas, relics of the conflict are strikingly common. “The idea was that if missiles were coming in from the Soviet Union over the Arctic, these were defensive missiles intended to shoot down anyone coming in,” says Dave Keller, a realtor for Pifer’s Auctions, which is selling the property.
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