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Sunday travel anthology

Calderas, Corfu and … cream cheese?

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Sunrise over the Danube River. bberwyn photo.

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — In between fretting about Colorado River flows and reporting on the travails of endangered lynx and sage-grouse, it’s good to get out and see the world. It helps look at issues in a global context — and so many issues these days are global. Of course, not every story is environmental. Sometimes, travel comes down to the simple task of trying to find a Frisbee in Rome … Travel: Around the world with a Frisbee.

Searching for roots can give travel great meaning, and if it involves a bit of Cold War cloak and dagger and European history, so much the better … Travel: Cold War memories along the Danube.

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Leigh Wadden at the edge of the Wadden Sea, Texel Island, The Netherlands. bberwyn photo.

Or, you can search for the roots of your family name, perhaps linked somehow with one of the world’s great estuarine wetlands, inhabited by talking bumblebees … Travel: Mystery meat and talking bees on Texel.

Travel doesn’t necessarily require a passport. There are plenty of adventures to be had within a few hundred miles of anywhere, especially when you set out for the remote hinterlands north of the Grand Canyon with what you know is sketchy starter in your engine … Travel: Karma and climate change in the Southwest.

Little things can be the most memorable, like buying a big box of blueberries from a roadside vendor at a dusty, nowhere crossroads in Slovenia, then eating on the train while watching a blazing Adriatic sunset … A Balkan sampler: Blueberries and mopeds in Slovenia.

The lure of far-away places can reward with the unexpected. When you miss the ferry in Corfu — twice — you get to know a place a little better … Travel photo essay: World Heritage preserved in Albania.

And there’s probably nothing better than introducing your kids to the wonders of the world with a trip focused around one of the planet’s greatest sporting events … Travel: Father and son with World Cup fever.

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Morning photo: Cityscapes

Euro-mania …

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Centuries-old castle walls serve as a backdrop for river runners in Český Krumlov.

FRISCO — I usually try to keep the intros for the daily photo essays pretty short and let the pictures speak for themselves, and that works pretty well for this short set with some of my favorite European city scenes. Continue reading

Morning photo: Far-flung

Travel dreams …

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The Burren, an extensive karst formation in northwest Ireland.

FRISCO — A quick spin to some far-flung corners of the globe for some armchair travel in today’s photo essay … from Europe to the Caribbean, back to the Balkans and finally Patagonia, which really is as close to the ends of the Earth that you can get. Hey, a vicarious trip is better than no trip at all, right? Check our online gallery at FineArt America for more landscape images. Continue reading

Morning photo: Fountain festival in Munich

Serendipity in the Viktualienmarkt

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Playing with the big boys!

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — Finding a bustling market packed with fresh fruit and veggies is always a treat, and when it’s located in the heart of a major urban area, it’s a real score. Such is the case with the Viktualienmarkt in Munich, Germany, where city residents mingle with tourists for shopping and even sit-down meals amidst the many vendor stalls.

Offerings at the market include mushrooms from near and far, wild forest strawberries from the Balkans, Greek cheeses and locally made sausages. Some locals bring their own white and blue-checked table cloths to decorate the tables under the shade of old chestnut trees. Sausages and pretzels are close at hand and big-handled liter steins of beer are ubiquitous.

Our visit this summer coincided with a festival held to celebrate the heritage of the many fountains in the market, erected to honor some of Munich’s cultural heros — poets, musicians and storytellers. At the peak of the summer harvest season, each fountain is lovingly decorated with bright flowers, and local singers and bands perform traditional songs nearby. It’s not really marketed as s big-time tourist event. We found out about the festival by reading the local newspaper, and for many market visitors, the event simply added a nice backdrop to their daily shopping or lunch routine. Continue reading

Morning photo: Streetscapes

Urban scenes around the world

Shoppers stop to chat in downtown Corfu on a rainy evening in the Ionian Sea.

Shoppers stop to chat in downtown Corfu on a rainy evening in the Ionian Sea.

FRISCO — Being a mountain-dweller, I often “forget” to take pictures when I’m in a city. Sometimes it’s because I’m just too busy gawking at the — for me — unusual sights. That mode changes when I’m traveling for pleasure, however. Instead of thinking about the next interview with a source, or trying to cook up an interesting story leead, I shift gears and look for those moments or street corners that say something about a city. So choosing pics for this week’s popular #FriFotos Twitter chat was a bit more of a challenge than sometimes. When I first saw the theme, I scratched my head for a minute, unsure of exactly where to look in the archives. But since I often think of cities as transit points or portals to other destinations beyond, I was able to retrace my steps and find a few urban shots. Join the fun — grab your urban shots, upload and tag them with #FriFotos to share with the world. Continue reading

Morning photo: Views

From St. Louis to Antarctica …

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View from the top of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.

FRISCO —This week’s edition of the popular Twitter chat #FriFotos is all about views, so I combed the archives for some my favorites, both near and far. As a photographer, I’m always looking for views, or for an opportunity to make a view. Sometimes, all it takes is a few steps in one direction or another; other times, it requires a total reset, unless you don’t mind a bunch of powerlines interfering with the vista. As always, I’m looking forward to seeing views from around the world. Join in the fun by picking your own favorite views, tagging them with the #FriFotos hashtag and uploading to Twitter via your favorite channel.

Grand Mesa Colorado.

A grand view of the Grand Mesa from the Grand Valley, near Grand Junction, Colorado.

Continue reading

Tourism: 1 billion travelers take to the road in 2012

Travel continues to boost economies around the world

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Europe still accounts for more than half of the global tourism market, but Asia is catching up.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — As expected, global tourism hit a significant milestone late this year, with more than 1 billion travelers taking to the skies, seas and highways to visit destinations near and far, according to the World Tourism Organization, which closely monitors world travel statistics.

Tourism growth continued in 2012 despite continued economic challenges. The WTO said the relative strength of sector underscores the economic importance of tourism, accounting for 9 percent of global GDP (direct, indirect and induced impact), one in every 12 jobs and up to 8 percent of the total exports of the world’s least developed countries.

“Today, we welcome the symbolic arrival of the one-billionth tourist” UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai said Dec. 13 at a ceremony in Madrid.

Rifai emphasized travel and tourism as a potentially powerful force for good:

“Your actions count. That is our message to the one billion tourists. Through the right actions and choices, each tourist represents an opportunity for a fairer, more inclusive and more sustainable future,” he said.

As it is impossible to know exactly where the one-billionth tourist arrived, so many countries  celebrated the the occasion by welcoming tourists arriving on 13 December.

To coincide with the milestone, the WTO launched a new One Billion Tourists: One Billion Opportunities campaign, showing tourists that respecting local culture, preserving heritage or buying local goods when travelling can make a big difference. The public was asked to vote for the Travel Tip that would have the greatest benefit for the people and places they visit and to pledge to follow that tip when traveling.

The winning tip, revealed on the arrival date of the one-billionth tourist, was “buy local,” encouraging tourists to buy food and souvenirs locally, or hire local guides, to ensure their spending translates into jobs and income for host communities. A close second, “respect local culture,” calls on tourists to learn more about their destination’s traditions, or some words in the local language, before leaving home.

 

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