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Blog posts tagged with 'A FAVORITE SPOT'

Chimney Rock
chimney3Kindly contributed by historian David Welky, whose new book A Wretched and Precarious Situation we are thrilled to recommend to travelers to the Arctic. Delving into newly discovered letters, diary entries and field notes, Welky uncovers how the Crocker Land Expedition (1913 to 1917) survived shipwreck, disease, low supplies and murder while trying to explore (what they thought was) a new continent. Here he shares how his work as a historian colors his experience of each destination he visits.   As a professional historian, I feel the past wherever I go. Walking into a bungalow home sends me into the Roaring Twenties.
Belize Barrier Reef
Kindly contributed by Longitude Assistant Editor Ben Hankey who recently returned from Belize and Guatemala where he discovered this favorite spot.
coast We were a long way from Minnesota now, in the teal waters off the Belize Barrier Reef. Up at the lake where I spend many summer days, the water is usually forest green or slate blue. This shade of water, a lustrous, Caribbean hue, had to be savored. Under sail from Caye Caulker, we had ridden for over an hour above the sun-filled shallows, a bottom of sugar sand, in which the tails of whale sharks slipped beneath the hull. Now we were within sight of Ambergris Caye and about half a mile from the breaker that surged white over the hidden reef. The foam rushed over the head of the coral wall.
Hopewell Culture National Historical Park
USA591Kindly contributed by award-winning writer Heather Hansen. To celebrate the centennial of the National Park Service, Hansen relates its wonderful 100-year history in her new book Prophets and Moguls, Rangers and Rogues, Bison and Bears: 100 Years of National Park Service. She interviewed dozens of people and traveled to many of the country's great parks, telling how the US bureau has fought to protect the country's most scenic places and defined the American national identity.
  Hopewell Culture National Historical Park (NHP) is a place few people encounter by accident.
Twin Lakes, Alaska
coverKindly contributed by author and photographer Carl Johnson. In his new book Where Water is Gold, Johnson brings to light the struggle between developers and ecologists in southwest Alaska's Bristol Bay. A key habitat for millions of seabirds, salmon, otters, seals, walruses and endangered whale species, Bristol Bay also contains fine particles of precious metals (gold, copper and molybdenum) that industrialists wish to extract.
  When hiking 2,500 feet up the side of a mountain, the view often consists of just the details in the tundra below, from the vibrant pink blooms of moss campion to the bristly, crunchy details of caribou lichen.
Fair Isle
Kindly contributed by writer Malachy Tallack, book coverwhose new travel narrative Sixty Degrees North recounts his journey across the 60th parallel, through Shetland, Canada, Alaska, Greenland, Russia and Scandinavia, as he grapples with his father’s death and the idea of home.
  Sometimes, the way we respond to a particular place can be surprising. Just as new people can make us relaxed or cheerful or uneasy, so too can new locations; and those feelings are not always predictable or explicable. I am still not entirely sure why, on my first visit to Fair Isle, more than ten years ago, I was so utterly bewitched.
Masada
Masada10
Kindly contributed by Longitude Assistant Editor Ashley Bergman Carlin, recently returned from the Middle East. While traveling in Israel, she discovered a favorite historical spot with a great view, and an even better story.
  “Everyone climbs Masada at sunrise at least once,” our Israeli friend exclaimed, urging us to book a 3 am shuttle bus. Who we were to argue with everyone? My friend and I didn’t go to bed that night and after a few too many drinks out in Tel Aviv, we dragged ourselves to the beachside Hilton. Soon we piled on a bus full of obnoxiously perky 20-somethings who chattered with excitement during the entire two-hour drive while we sat sullenly hating life due to poor decisions.
Cuba
CBA261Kindly contributed by award-winning photographer Lorne Resnick, who in his new book Cuba, This Moment, Exactly So  presents passionate and heartwarming moments from the "Pearl of the Antilles." His 250 black-and-white photographs are organized around 30 micro-stories and include a foreword by the great travel writer Pico Iyer.
  I first visited Cuba in the summer of '95. It was, as most summers are when I have been in Cuba, searingly, intensely, wonderfully hot. I planned to stay for two weeks and stayed for two months. I fell in love with the country.
Obock, Djibouti
house3Kindly contributed by travel writer Frank Bures, whose new book The Geography of Madness explores the phenomenon of culture-bound syndromes across the globe, from a community of men in Nigeria to believe their penises have been stolen to China, Singapore, Borneo and beyond. His quest: to understand "how our ideas can kill us, how our beliefs can save us and how these things quietly determine the course of our lives."
 
The Volcanoes of Guatemala
Kindly contributed by Longitude Assistant Editor Ashley Bergman Carlin, who recently traveled to Guatemala, drawn to the volcanoes always looming on the horizon. Here she shares a favorite spot of the best kind -- the kind that inspires the traveler to further explorations.
  While I found Antigua, the historic capital of Guatemala, charming, it wouldn’t be accurate to proclaim the city as a whole my favorite spot. No, only the western direction, where the active Volcan Fuego towers over the town, was my real favorite. The sight of the volcano is uplifting. There’s something about existing in the shadow of a marvel so grand, from manmade edifices like St.
Yaxchilan
Kindly contributed by John Harrison, author of several travel books including his most recent historical travel narrative 1519, A Journey to the End of Time. Harrison spent four months on the trail of destruction left by Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes, walking the Mexican coast, cross-country to Mexico City and to sites in Guatemala. As he explores the worlds of the Spanish and Aztecs, people groups that believed that the world was about to end, Harrison receives a diagnosis of cancer. He must face his own mortality even as he probes the larger questions of human history.