Travel: Old and new combine in scenic North Germany; Linda Lange; Knoxville News Sentinel

Germany – Town Hall and Roland on the Marketplace of Bremen

The majestic Elbphilharmonie reigns over Hamburg harbor signaling a new chapter in the long history of this seafaring city. The opera house was 10 years in the building and opened in January 2017.

The Elphi, as it is nicknamed by locals, looks like a hoisted sail in the wind that always seems to blow here. The futuristic glass exterior soars to a height of 354 feet.

Though its price tag of more than $900 million has some Germans grumbling, the building has been a crowd magnet since its opening. Visitors ride its escalators for a balcony view of the harbor and city center. The concert hall, which can hold 2,100, has acoustics so perfect it has ticket buyers clamoring for any available seat.

Yet, as new-age hip as the Elphi appears, its base is an old warehouse constructed more than a half-century ago.

And, so it is in North Germany — a country where the old is revered and the new is craved and enjoyed much like the stout beer found at the many corner taverns.

Hamburg

Read more from source: Travel: Old and new combine in scenic North Germany

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Iconic Kerry Star Wars island Skellig Michael to reopen to tourists for summer season; Nick Bramhill; Irish Mirror

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The isolated island, off Co. Kerry, has become a prime tourism destination for Star Wars fans after it featured extensively in galactic blockbusters ‘The Last Jedi’, and previously, ‘The Force Awakens’

Skellig Michael is expected to welcome its first tourists of the year today, following the completion of pre-season maintenance work on the remote UNESCO world heritage site.

The isolated island, off Co. Kerry, has become a prime tourism destination for Star Wars fans after it featured extensively in galactic blockbusters ‘The Last Jedi’, and previously, ‘The Force Awakens’.

Up to recently there had been fears that this year’s already restricted season might have to be cut short, as continued bad weather had made it impossible for OPW-employed workers to land on the Atlantic outpost to carry out necessary safety checks.

However, yesterday a spokesman for the OPW confirmed that the first boats of the season are due to land on the stunning island – unless there is a sudden change in the fine weather.

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Chinese Terracotta Warriors archaeologist dies aged 82; AFP

China – Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor

The Chinese archaeologist credited with discovering the emblematic ancient Terracotta Warriors, Zhao Kangmin, has died aged 82, state media said.

Zhao was the first archaeologist to identify fragments of terracotta found by local farmers digging a well in 1974 as relics dating back to the Qin dynasty and the first to excavate the site.

The 8,000-man clay army, crafted around 250 BC for the tomb of China’s first emperor Qin Shihuang, is a UNESCO world heritage site, a major tourist draw and a symbol of ancient Chinese artistic and military sophistication.

Zhao’s death on May 16 was reported by the state-run People’s Daily late Friday.

When the farmers first stumbled upon the tomb in Xian, capital of the northern province of Shaanxi, they alerted Zhao — then a curator at a local museum — to their discovery.

“I went to the site with another officer… Because we were so excited, we rode on our bicycles so fast it felt as if we were flying,” the archaeologist wrote in an article published in 2014 on the website of the Museum of Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses.

Read more from source: Chinese Terracotta Warriors archaeologist dies aged 82

The Wild, Vibrant History of Mexican Tequila; Mark Seal; National Geographic

Mexico – Agave Landscape and Ancient Industrial Facilities of Tequila

When George Clooney and Rande Gerber’s tequila company, Casamigos, sold for $1 billion last year, it begged the question: How did the once-humble swill become so swank? A trek through Mexico distills all.

“ONCE UPON A TIME in Guadalajara, there lived two competing tequila-making families, Sauza and Cuervo,” read a March 1967 National Geographic story. “They had always quarreled and for a generation they had exchanged both insults and pistol shots. Sauza children never met Cuervo children in Guadalajara. But then young Javier Sauza went to a small university in Chicago…”

There, the third-generation heir to the Sauza tequila dynasty met and secretly married a beautiful, red-haired Cuervo relative.

Read more from source: The Wild, Vibrant History of Mexican Tequila

UNESCO concerned at Tasmanian Government rezoning wilderness areas to allow development; Ellen Coulter; ABC News

Australia – Tasmanian Wilderness

The UNESCO World Heritage Committee has raised concerns about Tasmania’s wilderness areas being rezoned for tourism developments and called on the State Government to speed up a Tourism Master Plan requested in 2015.

Conservationists said a recent UNESCO document highlighted serious risks to Tasmania’s wilderness brand.

The draft decision, published by the World Heritage Committee this week, welcomed the implementation of some recommendations made after a 2015 Reactive Monitoring Mission to Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA).

But the committee has urged the Tasmanian Government to expedite development of a Tourism Master Plan, which was first called for in 2015.

“Limited progress has been achieved to date with the development of a Tourism Master Plan,” the committee said in the recent analysis.

“While the timeline for its finalisation by December 2019 is noted, it is of concern that this key strategic document is still lacking.”

In the document, the committee also raised concerns about the State Government’s rezoning of some wilderness areas to allow for tourism opportunities and wider aircraft access.

The report refers to areas being changed from “wilderness” to “remote recreation”, which the Wilderness Society’s Vica Bayley understands refers to new “self-reliant recreation zones”.

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Poreč Travel Blog: Things To Do In Poreč; SJ Begonja; Chasing The Donkey

Croatia – Episcopal Complex of the Euphrasian Basilica in the Historic Centre of Poreč

If you’re looking for a small and charming coastal town with plenty to see and do, during the day as well as in the evening, Porec is the ideal choice, a picturesque town packed with sightseeing options. What’s particularly great about this town is that it’s small enough to explore in a day, but also makes for a great base to explore the rest of Istria. We recommend spending at least two full days, preferably three, in the area. This blog post contains the best things to do in Porec, as well as recommended beaches, restaurants, bars and accommodations.

Situated on the pretty Istrian coastline, ideally placed to explore further afield too, the picturesqueness and nightlife of Porec may be a strange combination, but it’s one that works fantastically!

It’s virtually impossible to get lost in Porec, which is ideal for those who enjoy wandering around as they please, seeing what they can find along the way. The beaches in and around the town are also typically idyllic. 

Read more from source: Poreč Travel Blog: Things To Do In Poreč

6 terrific reasons to take your time in Quito; Leora Rothschild; A Luxury Travel Blog

Ecuador – City of Quito

Quito has attracted drama, excitement, extraordinary beauty and a tantalising touch of danger since the dawn of human history. The little city, high up on a plateau that stretches along the eastern flanks of the Pichincha volcano, in the valley of Ecuador’s Guayllabamba River, does not lend itself to rushing. The air is thin (it is the world’s highest constitutional capital) and even the Spanish is spoken slowly… and yet, many travelers hurry through Quito, in search of another prize.

When the UNESCO World Heritage Program declared its first two official sites in 1978 the honors went to the Galapagos Islands, and Quito. Most people could tell you why the Galapagos is designated UNESCO 1bis, but do you know why Quito is UNESCO 2?

Here are 6 of my favorite reasons:

It is a geographical bucket list

There are no less than four active stratovolcanoes within 50 km from the city. You can also visit the false equator (originally mapped by French cartographers) at Mitad del Mundo, 25 km north of Quito—or the real equator if you travel another 175 km.

Read more from source: 6 terrific reasons to take your time in Quito

Remains of ancient horse unearthed by archaeologists at Pompeii; Doug Criss & Jeanne Bonner; CNN

Italy – Archaeological Areas of Pompei, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata

First instance of recreating horse remains at site

When Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, showering Pompeii with hot rock, volcanic ash and noxious gas, it buried the residents of the ancient city forever, preserving their remains in the ash.

But they weren’t the only ones preserved. Their animals were, too.

One of those animals was found recently in a remarkable discovery at the UNESCO World Heritage site near Naples, Italy. The remains of an ancient horse was found in a section of a well-preserved villa, on a large, walled tract of land north of Pompeii that was used for farming.

A ‘thrilling’ discovery

Massimo Osanna, director general of the Archaeological Park of Pompeii, described the discovery as one of the most interesting in the history of the park and the first instance of archaeologists being able to reconstruct horse remains there, through a special plaster casting technique used at dig sites. As such, he said, the news was “thrilling” for the archaeologists who work at the ruins.

Read more from source: Remains of ancient horse unearthed by archaeologists at Pompeii

Hội An bicycle project wins global award; VNS

Viet Nam – Hoi An Ancient Town

A project to encourage more people to cycle and help the environment has won an award.

The ‘Establishing Comprehensive Bicycle Plan and Free/low-cost Bicycle Sharing Programme in Hội An city’ project scooped the Global Urban Mobility Challenge Award of the Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative.

Head of the city’s Culture and Information Office, Nguyễn Văn Lanh said the project, which was proposed by HeathBridge Việt Nam and the city with funding from German development agency (GIZ), will pick up the prize at an official ceremony for the 10 winning proposals in Leipzig, Germany on May 22-25th.

Lanh said the scheme aims to build up a master plan of ‘green’ and sustainable traffic development with two focuses on road traffic safety and community heath.

He said the project plans to launch the first free and low-cost bicycle for lease in the Public-Private Partnership co-operation and sharing with current similar services at hotels and resorts in Hội An.

The project also includes the development of a safe infrastructure for bicycle riders, offering opportunities for residents and tourists to cycle easier.

Read more from source: Hội An bicycle project wins global award

See the One-Horned Rhinoceros at Kaziranga National Park; Sharell Cook; Trip Savvy

India – Kaziranga National Park

See the One-Horned Rhinoceros at Assam’s Kaziranga National Park

Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kaziranga National Park is a substantial sized park, covering approximately 430 square kilometers. In particular, it stretches for 40 kilometers (25 miles) in length from east to west, and is 13 kilometers (8 miles) wide.

Much of the park’s terrain consists of swamp and grasslands, making it the perfect habitat for the one-horned rhinoceros. The largest population in the world of these prehistoric looking creatures exists there, along with almost 40 major mammals.

These include wild elephants, tiger, buffaloes, gaur, monkeys, deer, otters, badgers, leopards, and wild boar. The birdlife is also impressive. Thousands of migratory birds arrive at the park every year, from distant lands as far away as Siberia.

This Kaziranga National Park travel guide will help you plan your trip there.

Location

In the state of Assam, in India’s Northeast region, on the banks of the Brahmaputra River. 217 kilometers from Guwahati, 96 kilometers from Jorhat, and 75 kilometers from Furkating. The main entrance to the park is at Kohora on National Highway 37, where there’s a Tourist Complex and booking offices.

Getting There

Read more from source: See the One-Horned Rhinoceros at Kaziranga National Park