Month: December 2016

Newseum: must-see D.C. museum for news, politics & history buffs

Whether you are a history enthusiast, news and politics buff, or a student or fan of media and first-amendment rights, the Newseum is a must-go museum in Washington, D.C. Even though the spectacular Newseum is not free, it offers an insider look at all things news, current events, past history and First Amendment. There is something for everyone, not to mention great lessons for students visiting Washington, D.C.

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Cheery red flowers on barren trees in Kirkenes, Norway

On a few hour break from our Hurtigruten ship, the Midnatsol before it would depart the dock to head back south along the Norwegian coast toward Oslo, we took a little walk through Kirkenes. Although mid-day, it felt more like twilight and everything was icy and snow-covered. We ended up along the banks of an inlet with Nordic skiing tracks.

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Discovering San Francisco secret gardens and public rooftop open spaces

POPOS may sound like a funny name for something you’d munch on during happy hour, but that is so wrong. POPOS stands for “Privately Owned Public Open Spaces,” a.k.a. San Francisco secret gardens. Whether you as a traveler call them POPOS, secret gardens, or rooftop parks, they are ideal respites and secluded open spaces when wandering and touring cities for travelers who just need to rest weary feet or simply take in the surroundings or do a little people-watching – for free, often in a really pleasant venue.

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Amazing Costa Rica: Beaches, volcanoes, rain forests, adventure

At only about 20,000 square miles, Costa Rica is a country that is packed with a vast variety of climates and landscapes, and the country remains a big ecotourism destination, as well as a goal for those seeking nothing but resort pampering or those seeking off-the-charts adventure. Beaches? Check. Volcanoes? Check. Biodiversity? Absolutely.

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Lander Cascade Powerbank charger review – Plenty of power on the go

Being mobile as a traveler these days mostly demands you carry a little juice to keep your devices functioning – camera, smartphone, tablet, you name it. The new 2016 Lander Cascade Powerbank charger line is sleek, durable and reliable for a traveler’s needs. I tried the smallest in the three-charger Cascade Powerbank line, the 2600 mAh ($34.99), intended for one-charge use. (The 5200, $49.99, is pegged for two full charges, while the largest 7800, $69.99, is labeled as a three-charge battery.) For less remote travels, I really liked the smallest Lander Cascade charger. I loved the sleek rounded, durable...

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The Schiffshebewerk Niederfinow near Berlin, Germany, is an engineering marvel

The Schiffshebewerk Niederfinow was completed in 1934 and is part of the Haavel-Oder waterway connecting the Elbe and Oder river basins. The waterway begins in Berlin at the Spandau lock and opens into the West Oder at the border area between Poland and Germany. Watching ships being raised and lowered in this ship elevator is amazing. A true engineering marvel.

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Kirkenes, Norway – Arctic light becomes artist’s delight

Kirkenes is located in the farthest (and iciest and darkest) reaches of northeastern Norway, a stone’s throw from the Russian border. It is approximately 250 miles north of the Arctic Circle off the Barents Sea. The small town serves as the northernmost port for the Hurtigruten coastal ferry and the northern terminus of the E6, the main road that runs north-south between Kirkenes and Oslo.

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Rose Hill Cemetery at Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve

The San Francisco Bay Area hills are spotted with numerous parks where one can hike or picnic, often with great views of the rolling countryside or even the ocean. Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve east of San Francisco has another secret worth a traveler’s exploration: the Rose Hill Cemetery dating back to the Gold Rush.

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Q110 Bank of the Future in Berlin by Deutsche Bank gets revamp

Earlier in 2016, HI Travel Tales wrote about a new kind of banking experience by Deutsche Bank called “Q110 Bank” or “Bank of the Future.” We were quite enthralled by the casual and friendly, yet efficient and hard-working experience. The concept we wrote about had been active for several years without much change (the branch itself originally opened in 2005), so Deutsche Bank decided it was time to re-think its original “concept bank” and try out something different. The update was unveiled on Nov. 18, 2016, on a rainy day near the outlet not far from Checkpoint Charlie in central Berlin (Mitte).

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Roros Norway – A charming historic mining town

Roros, Norway offers endless charm and, in the winter, plenty of dark days and snow! Located in central Norway on a high plain Roros is a small village that, as a historic mining town, is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The mid-November snowfall we experienced while visiting made it all the more charming.

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Three Asian Luxury Hotels that Stand Out

When Absolute Travel recommends Asian luxury hotels, it’s not just because the hotel boasts 5-star status and finds its way onto lists of the world’s best hotels each year. The Absolute Travel team prefers to be a bit more selective, sending its luxury travel experts to seek out hidden boutique gems you have perhaps never heard of, but should know about. Here are three Asian luxury hotels that stood above the rest among all the hotels where the Absolute team stayed in 2016…

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