Tag: Historical Travel

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Berlin to Honor Fall of Wall with 8,000 Balloons, But is It Appropriate?

Where: Berlin, Germany
July 15, 2014 at 9:15 AM | by | Comments (0)

When it comes to historical travel, Germany attracts people from more nations than perhaps any other in the world. Not only did its actions during World War II affect the lives of those in a variety of countries, but the Holocaust is also arguably the most talked-about, war-related tragedy ever, piquing the curiosity of even those who had no connection to the actual events.

Yet, despite this opportunity to turn this world interest in its past into mass tourism and profits, visitors to Germany will see that it has been very good about not exploiting or glorifying its historical sites. In this travel writer’s opinion, there’s a simplicity to the presentation, a very admirable aspect of respect to the approach of preservation. The last thing the country wants is to appear as if it is proud of what took place in the years leading up to World War II.

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The Vietnam War B-52 Bomber Wreck at the Center of a Small Pond

Where: Hanoi, Vietnam
July 9, 2014 at 11:00 AM | by | Comments (0)

Besides some of the cheapest beer in the world, visitors to Hanoi will find the city to be rich in history, specifically as it relates to America and the Vietnam War. There is much to see and to learn almost forty years since the end of the war, and trips to the National Museum of History and the Military History Museum are a good place to start.

But if you want to get a taste of what day-to-day life was like for locals during the 70s, a trip to Huu Tiep Lake should be on the itinerary. In 1972, as America bombed the city, a B-52 Stratofortress bomber was shot down and crashed into a small lake. It still rests there today, just poking above the surface.

It's more of a pond than a lake, and what surprised us most was its location in a colorful, intimate little neighborhood in west Hanoi. Half of it is sticking out above the water, revealing the top of the tires and a look at some of the damaged undercarriage. It's just been left there, untouched.

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How to Get Tickets to the 2014 Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace

June 30, 2014 at 7:55 PM | by | Comments (0)

A little riddle for you: What costs $35 per person, doesn't allow you to take photographs, and is gold all over? Ding ding ding—the State Rooms at London's Buckingham Palace, which opens very soon for their annual round of public tours. To be specific, the Queen's address will accept visitors from July 26 - September 28, 2014.

As we've experienced in past years, travelers to London will be clamoring to get in, not only to tread on the Queen's lush carpets and gawk at heirlooms, but to view this year's exhibition on "The Royal Childhood" and what it's like to grow up living in a palace.

Tickets for walk-ups will be rare to nonexistent, so going online for guaranteed tix is the best route. Here's how to do it:

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What to Know Before Visiting the Grand Palace in Bangkok

June 27, 2014 at 11:40 AM | by | Comments (0)

First-time visitors to Bangkok will no doubt be pointed in the direction of the Grand Palace as a must-see tourist attraction, and such was the case for us this week. It was a last-minute decision, and when we arrived, the complex was hot, crowded, and there was very limited explanation on site. We quickly realized that a little bit of research would have gone a long way towards a better experience. With that in mind, here's a rundown of what you should know before visiting:

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This Swiss Library Keeps Your Camera Under Lock and Key (But It's Worth It)

May 28, 2014 at 6:20 PM | by | Comment (1)

Tomorrow, we'll start to spill the beans on a few day trip ideas when making your home base in Zurich, one of which being the town of St. Gallen. Everyone knows part of Europe's appeal lies in its long history as compared to that of the U.S., and it is in St. Gallen that you can get a glimpse of a medieval monastery library, one that's in very damn good condition with over 150,000 books (30,000 on display).

The library in the Cathedral Abbey of Saint Gall was built in 710 and now contains about 400 books that are 1,000 years old. Regardless of what's inside of them (none are in English but all are historical texts of different varieties), it's pretty amazing they've survived that many generations. Another ridiculous artifact it houses is the earliest known architectural drawn on parchment, fittingly of the Abbey itself. The Library was remodeled in the 18th century and became a Unesco World Heritage site in 1983.

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Wish You Were Here: Berlin Celebrates 25 Years Since the Fall of the Wall

Where: Berlin, Germany
May 9, 2014 at 9:19 AM | by | Comments (0)

In November of 1989, residents of East and West Germany celebrated as the government announced the "fall" of the Berlin Wall, a breaking of the barrier between the two sides and a signal that the country was ready to reconcile.

A massive celebration ensued, and this year, as the country recognizes the 25 year anniversary of its reunion, we've come to Germany's capital to get a fresh perspective on not only the commemorative events to come, but the state of Berlin as one of Europe's top cities to visit.

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Big Blimpin': We Toured Zeppelin's Germany HQ (And You Can Too)

April 24, 2014 at 7:47 PM | by | Comments (0)

Last week, we shared the story of the time we traveled just to visit Southern Germany's Zeppelin Museum. Today, that tale continues as we switch back to first person and head inside Zeppelin HQ.

Part 1: Checking off the Zeppelin Museum
Part 2: Heading into the Zeppelin HQ and hangar
Part 3: Maybe never leaving?

My great-grandmother was born in 1900. She lived long enough that I actually got to know her well, and her presence in my life made 1900 seem like not so very long ago. Of course it most definitely is, as humanity has managed in the last 114 years to progress from the first flight of a Zeppelin (1900) to that of an airplane (1903), and from the dawn of the jet age (1958) to that of Mars exploration (2004).

What brought me to southern Germany was the temptation to experience a bit of that extremely early aviation magic, thanks to what lives in a massive hangar near Friedrichshafen Airport.

You see, Zeppelins do still exist...and they still fly passengers.

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Big Blimpin': That Time We Flew to Germany Just to Visit the Zeppelin Museum

April 18, 2014 at 2:36 PM | by | Comments (0)

Would you travel half-way around the world to visit a museum? If you've answered "yes" or "maybe," then we like you already, and perhaps you'll enjoy this first-person tale of a trip for exactly that purpose.

Part 1: Checking off the Zeppelin Museum
Part 2: Heading into the Zeppelin HQ and hangar
Part 3: Maybe never leaving?

In April 2011, Retronaut posted a series of vintage color photographs of the infamous Hindenburg airship. In mid 2012, I discovered there was an entire museum dedicated to it. Needing only one good reason to justify any of my travels, it was only a few months later I walked through the doors of the Zeppelin Museum in Friedrichshafen, Germany and climbed into the belly of a 1:1 scale model of the LZ 129 "Hindenburg" Zeppelin.

You may remember the Hindenburg from the tragedy of May 6, 1937, the one which forever impressed the phrase "Oh, the humanity" on, well, humanity. For all intents and purposes, that is the day the Zeppelin died, as flames engulfed the airship while docking at NJ's Lakehurst Naval Air Station and squelched any hope of a future for airships as reliable commercial transportation.

For a time, these hydrogen-filled, diesel-powered balloons were, nonetheless, the wave of the future...above the waves. They had novelty and stability on their side; whereas an ocean crossing could be a prescription for one week of mal de mer, a Zeppelin sailed along smoothly at a few thousand feet up, free from the motion of the ocean.

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AMC's 'Turn' TV Series Motivates Virginia to Debut New Revolutionary War Trail

April 7, 2014 at 3:31 PM | by | Comments (0)

AMC is hoping it will have the same luck with its newest series, Turn, that it's had with the pop culture phenomenons Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead.

Turn is a Revolutionary War period drama based on Alexander Rose’s book Washington's Spies: The Story of America's First Spy Ring.

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Wish You Were Here: A Not-So-Secret Secret Island in Sydney Harbour

March 19, 2014 at 11:37 AM | by | Comments (0)

Ask any Sydney tourist where to go for the best views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House, and they’ll most likely recommend a trip on the Manly Ferry, which departs from Circular Quay near the base of the bridge. It’s a bit like Sydney’s version of the Staten Island Ferry in that it’s packed with both commuters and tourists, and it tirelessly plies the Harbour’s waves day in and day out.

While the Manly Ferry is certainly a great idea, we’ve got a better one: Fort Denison.

You see, Sydney Harbour is the largest natural harbor in the world. As such, it’s going to have a few surprises like islands and forts, or, in this case, a combination of the two.

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Throwback Thursday: Pan Am's Art Deco Airline Terminal is a Sweet Miami Secret

Where: 3500 Pan American Drive [map], Miami, FL, United States
February 20, 2014 at 12:34 PM | by | Comments (0)

Sure, we love all the speed and comfort of modern travel, but it didn't that way overnight. Every Thursday, we're going to take a look back at travel the way it used to be, whether that's decades or centuries ago. This is Throwback Thursday, travel edition.

Some call it the "Gateway to the Americas," but most just know it as Miami City Hall.

This small, art deco building in the south Miami neighborhood of Coconut Grove houses the offices of city officials and one stately meeting room, complete with wood dais and original Pan Am winged clock. Why a Pan Am winged clock? Well, this meeting room was once a departures area for flights, and the building the airline's very first terminal.

Acting mostly on rumor and the results of a few Google searches, we made the 15-minute drive from downtown Miami. Venturing inside, we were thrilled to discover that the general public is welcome to meander around after a brief security screening and during city business hours, but note that the second floor restaurant has closed.

Visitors expecting a full airport will quickly notice the lack of runways; Pan Am placed this terminal here to utilize the neighboring calm waters of Dinner Key Marina on Biscayne Bay for the operation of their flying boat services, with routes stretching as near as Cuba and as far as Buenos Aires, covering most South American and Caribbean capitals in between.

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Help Unearth The Secrets Of The Roman Empire In Northern England This Summer

January 15, 2014 at 3:10 PM | by | Comments (0)

Earthwatch.org is giving would-be anthropologists a chance to unearth the Roman Empire in an unlikely location.

More than 2,000 years ago the Roman Empire stretched to northern England and one of its busiest forts in that area, the Arbeia, still stands today.

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