travel Tag

lake trasimeno, isola maggiore, hannibal victory, roman history, umbria (2)
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Where the water turned red from blood

Hannibal's great victory at Lake Trasimeno On the land I'm standing on in rural Italy, tens of thousands of people were once killed. Of such a scale was the slaughter that the waters of the nearby lake were reportedly turned red for days. Even as the blood was still flowing, the battle here at Lake Trasimeno was being declared one of the greatest military victories (or losses, depending on how you look at it) to ever occur.More than two thousand years later, it is still considered to be a defining moment in military history. On the shore of Lake Trasimeno, Hannibal ambushed the Roman army using a technique never seen before. About fifteen thousand Romans were killed while Hannibal’s forces only suffered a loss of about two thousand. It changed the whole direction of the Second Punic War and the recriminations reverberated around ancient Rome.Today a small museum marks the spot...

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04 May
agritourism in italy, agriturismo, umbria, rural accommodation in italy (2)
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The green heart of Italy

Agritourism in Italy For the Italians, it’s no secret. In the past five years they have embraced a new way to see their country. It’s about getting closer to nature, closer to tradition and closer to peace of mind. For foreigners, it’s a mystery. But there’s only one thing stopping them from having the same connection with the country as the Italians – and that’s awareness.I’m talking about a trend called agritourism (or agriturismo, as they call it here). If you think about the name, it kind of speaks for itself. It’s all about staying on a farm, eating the food grown on the farm, and using the location to either relax or to explore the nearby cities during the day.Donatella Cavicchi is the owner of an agritourism hotel called Il Mandoleto near the Umbrian town of Solomeo. She describes it like this:“This is not the house in the country, this...

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01 May
gucci museum, florence, itlaly, luxury luggage (1)
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Excessive Baggage

Gucci Museum Florence If you're anything like me, you've got some pretty tatty luggage. Perhaps a backpack as dirty and bruised as you've at times felt after carrying it? Maybe a roller case with worn-down wheels from all the times the terrain was a little rough but you couldn't be bothered to pick it up? Or possibly a faithful old duffel bag that's had a few minor surgeries over the years after injuries suffered from excess weight?Whether we go only an annual holidays, short business trips, or indefinite world exploration, we've probably chosen our bags based on convenience and other such boring practicalities. But this wasn't always the way. There was a time when travel was more exclusive than today, when the jetsetters of the world were making a statement not just by doing it but how they did it. And for them, their luggage was all about style - it...

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17 April
difunta correa, argentina, travellers saint, vallecito, roadside shrines
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The unofficial saint for travellers

Difunta Correa: The travellers' saint Legend has it that a miracle once occurred out in the Argentinian deserts I’ve been driving through the past couple of days. So amazing and so unbelievable, the story of the miracle was to be shared down through generations. As the years passed and the story recited to fresh ears, a portrait of a saint would emerge – a poor peasant woman who would become a figure of religious devotion.  Now, today, the legend is as strong as ever and it brings more than half a million people a year on a pilgrimage to worship at her grave.In the 1830s or 1840s (no one is quite clear) a young woman set out into the desert with her baby to find her sick husband. He had been forcibly recruited into the Argentinian Civil War but abandoned when he fell ill. She never made it to him, though....

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21 February
travelling paraguay, tourism, paraguay buses, sites, sights, ascuncion, ciudad del este
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Travels through Paraguay

Tips for travel in Paraguay As the bus drives along the bumpy dirt road, I look desperately out the window. Through the haze of the red dust being thrown into the air, I look for a sign. Not a mystical symbol of guidance or anything that ethereal – I’m talking about an actual sign. You see, I’m travelling in the middle of Paraguay and have no idea where I am. I know I’m supposed to be getting off at a small village somewhere but, as far as I know, it could be any of the stops the bus is making.This seems to be a recurring theme of my travels in Paraguay. In some senses one of the hardest countries in South America to get around but, in some other senses, one of the easiest. Let me explain.The reason I was staring out the bus window for any hint of my location...

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10 February
encarnacion, paraguay, yacycreta dam, places to stay, things to do, travelling in paraguay
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The city that disappeared

Encarnacion, Paraguay I’m not normally one to use guidebooks. I’m certainly not normally one to use the maps in guidebooks. In Paraguay, though, the options for planning ahead are limited. So, I had dutifully studied the map in the <insert famous brand here> guidebook for the city I was heading to, Encarnacion.I’d been looking at it on the bus… the bus where the air-conditioning is to open the windows, regardless of the red dirt roads and the so-coloured dust that blows in and blankets everything inside, including me and my bag. And by looking at the map I had planned how I was going to spend the afternoon exploring the city.I had set my expectations by the guidebook. I was expecting a population of about 70,000 people in Encarnacion; I was expecting a cheap hotel near the bus station; and I was expecting there to be roads and buildings where the...

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07 February
Best of Time Travel Turtle 2011
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Best of Time Travel Turtle 2011

As the sun’s rays cross the planet for the last time in 2011, it seems like an opportune time to look back on the year and remember some of the highlights. It’s been six months since I left home and set out into the world to try to learn more about the six billion people I share this planet with, and what makes them who they are – whether it be their culture, their history, their politics or their natural environment.I’m very thankful to the inspirational blog, Family On Bikes, for nominating me for the Best of 2011 project. Essentially it’s a chance for travel bloggers to review their year and share some of the most memorable moments. It’s slightly self-indulgent, true, but what is the festive season if not a time for indulgence!So, without further prelude, here are my choices for the categories that everyone is choosing from. Best International...

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01 January
TJ_Road_US-2011-34_web
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Travel ideas from bloggers for 2012

If you need ideas for your next trip or your next destination, where better to look than into the volumes of the travel bloggers. These are no glossy brochures. They're not staid guidebooks. These are the real stories from people on the ground who have visited as visitors and reported faithfully and without favour.Any decent travel blog will have stories to inspire your next adventure. But I thought I would choose to highlight just a few, to give a taste of the opportunities for adventures. Perhaps your next trip in 2012 could be to one of these amazing destinations. MadagascarNellie Huang from Wild Junket takes us into the natural beauty of this African island nation. In her post, full of beautiful photos, she explores the mountains, the rivers and the jungle. As she discovers, there's enough adventure, stunning scenery and luxury here to suit anyone's tastes.You can follow Nellie on twitter...

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29 December
travel stories with personality in 2011
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Travel stories with personality from 2011

Travel is about more than the places you visit. It's even about more than the people you meet and the things that you do. Travel is about what the experience means to you - how it makes you feel in the moment, what it changes about your attitudes, and how it influences the way you live your life.Personally, I enjoy writing about my travels from a journalistic point-of-view and tend to only insert myself into the story when it's relevant. But I should also confess that my favourite articles by others are usually full of personality and first-person emotions.I wanted to share a few of the memorable stories from 2011 that took us on the journey with the writers. In reading these adventures, we were alongside them and we laughed, we feared, and we even potentially vomited...

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28 December
Inspirational travel stories from 2011
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Inspirational travel stories from 2011

If there's one thing travel blogs should do, it's inspire.Inspire people to make a trip, sure, but there's much more to it than that. The stories we share on our blogs should inspire people to discover more about the world, to get to know themselves better, to help those in need, or to realise a goal that's been held for so long.We write travel stories because we want to show our readers what is possible, not what is impossible. We want to show that there is good in the world, and when there is bad there are good people there to offer kindness. We want to show that if you have a dream then the only thing standing in the way is a decision to try to make it happen.There are hundreds of inspirational travel stories from 2011. I wanted to share just a few of them, hopefully to plant...

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27 December