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Welcome to the Pacific Sands Beach Resort Blog where we share local stories, happenings and what matters in Tofino BC, our spectacular corner of the world. Flip through the pages of any issue of the National Geographic magazine and you'll find eye-opening and evocative images - among the best published anywhere in the world.
All video, photographic and written content © Copyright 2016 - Duluth-Superior Area Educational Television Corporation. More than 5,000 years of history are revealed through colossal passage tombs, the beehive huts of early monasteries, and more iconic landmarks. For more than a millennium, the Rock of Cashel, a formidable stronghold rising high above the surrounding plain, has stood sentinel over Tipperary. According to ancient legend, the Irish warrior-giant Finn McCool created the Giant’s Causeway so as to avoid getting his feet wet walking between Northern Ireland and the coast of Scotland.
In a valley carved out by glaciers and surrounded by the rugged peaks of the Wicklow Mountains, a nobleman rejected the trappings of his privileged life and retreated into a cave for religious reflection. Religious life in the Northern Ireland town of Downpatrick has long oriented itself around the hill on its southwestern border. Not only did the Neolithic inhabitants of the Boyne River Valley build monumental ceremonial sites, they decorated them with spirals, crescents, and geometric designs.
Built on a steep-sided, double-peaked rock seven miles off the coast of County Kerry, the monastery on Skellig Michael illustrates the extremes of early Christian devotion and discipline.
This remarkable Dublin museum presents Ireland’s ancient treasures and artifacts, and with 9,000 years of human inhabitation, there are rich objects and archaeological discoveries on display. It’s easy to see why Dunluce Castle in Northern Ireland was such an easily defended stronghold—it crowns a high, rocky crag jutting out into the sea reached by a bridge (formerly a drawbridge) over a ravine. This fascinating Dublin prison reveals the heartbreaking courage of the men and women who resisted English rule and helped forge an independent nation. Northern Ireland's Derry (officially Londonderry) is the best-preserved walled town on the island of Ireland and is one of the finest examples of a walled city in Europe. A tagged northern spotted owl swoops toward a researcher’s lure in a young redwood forest. On company land near the Mad River in northern California, Lowell Diller, senior biologist for Green Diamond Resource Company, and his inseparable assistant, Riley, lure a northern spotted owl to an old-growth stump baited with a mouse (not pictured). A ragged blanket of coastal fog in northern California’s Humboldt Redwoods State Park nurtures old giants alongside smaller second-growth trees outside the park.
An old-growth redwood dwarfs younger redwood growth in California’s Bear Creek Watershed on the northwest side of Bear Creek Ridge. Fourteen stories up a 30-story tree, Humboldt State University scientist Steve Sillett (at center) and his team measure a fire cave in a massive redwood in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Mike Fay emerges from a hellish hike down Little Lost Man Creek in Redwood National Park. From the southernmost redwood in Big Sur to the northernmost tree near Oregon’s Chetco River, Mike Fay and Lindsey Holm spent almost a year walking the redwoods, stopping often to record plants, animals, and forest conditions around them.
Fay and Holm also passed through San Francisco, rebuilt with redwood timber after the earthquake and fires of 1906, and across the Golden Gate Bridge.
Hauling laptops, hard drives, and cameras in 60-pound packs, Fay and Holm used the woods as their office and springs and rivers as their faucet and bathtub. Laughter cheers the struggling Humboldt County lumber town of Rio Dell as kids get splashed during the annual Wildwood Days fair. Roosevelt elk cows scatter across a meadow in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park as two bulls vie for dominance of the herd. Decomposer of the redwood forest, the native banana slug (Ariolimax columbianus) is the second largest in the world, growing up to ten inches long. Laying hands on an old friend, activist Amy Arcuri shows her delight in Spooner, a giant she says is nearly 2,000 years old.
Geologist Neal Youngblood holds an aerial photograph encompassing the 48,000 acres acquired by Redwood National Park in 1978, when the area was laced with clear-cuts and 450 miles of logging roads.
Josh Sargent (at left) and Rod Aiton unhook redwood logs from the chokers at a landing on a Green Diamond Resource Company tract near Maple Creek, California. Clear-cuts eat into stands of 55-year-old spruce, fir, and redwood trees on Green Diamond company land in Humboldt County. The Dead Sea, bordered by Jordan, Israel, and the Palestinian territories, is actually a lake, and quite a salty one at that—around 34 percent saline, almost ten times that of seawater. Once the sprawling capital of the Nabataean kingdom, this city built of stone is a UNESCO World Heritage site—and rightly so.
When in the former Roman Empire, do as the Romans did—and appreciate their fine architecture.
Bedouin—whose Arabic name bedu means desert dwellers—are famous for their hardiness and hospitality. One of Jordan's holiest places is Mount Nebo, where the Biblical prophet Moses is said to have seen the Promised Land.
You may not realize it, but you've probably already seen some highlights of Jordan on the big screen.
Scruffy and chaotic or orderly and refined, the world’s street markets offer fresh, local—and often cheap—seasonal produce, alongside a slice of local life. Irish chef and cookbook author Darina Allen shops for eggs from Tello's Green Farm booth at the Union Square Greenmarket in New York.
See the astro photos we can't forget: The sun "smiles," the Mars rover takes a self-portrait, the shuttle bids farewell—and beyond. Free downloads: Get 2012's most viewed screen scenes from National Geographic's Photo of the Day feature.
From surfing monster waves to snowboarding icy spires—defying death never looked so beautiful. Penguins, a masked man, a tornado—see National Geographic's top ten, chosen by Editor Chris Johns. 2012 saw the Internet explode with news of new particles, new species, and even space sugar. From a giant mystery eyeball to a "two faced" cat—see our editor's picks of the oddest National Geographic News finds of 2012.
This gallery is part of a special National Geographic initiative on global freshwater resources.A hippo peers from a plant-covered pool in Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Reserve. A Zambian hippo sends an aggressive message by displaying sharp canine teeth that can reach 20 inches (51 centimeters) in length.
Manatees cruise slowly in shallow, warm coastal waters and rivers—like Florida’s gin-clear Crystal River, pictured here. The muskrat is a common denizen of wetlands, swamps, and ponds, where it dens by tunneling into muddy banks. The charismatic Amazon river dolphin uses echolocation to track down fish and crustaceans in murky river waters.
The world’s biggest rodent, the capybara, grows to more than 4 feet (130 centimeters) long and tips the scales at up to 145 pounds (66 kilograms). The capybara’s eyes, ears, and nostrils are situated high on its head so that it can remain above the surface while the animal swims. Beavers are environmental engineers second only to humans in their ability to dramatically reshape the landscape to their liking. Though they are clumsy on land, beavers glide in the water with finlike webbed feet and rudderlike tails, which help them swim along at some 5 miles (8 kilometers) an hour. The platypus is an improbable mishmash of an animal: It has a furry, otterlike body, a ducklike bill and webbed feet, and a beaverlike paddle tail. Sandra is a leading authority on international freshwater issues and is spearheading our global freshwater efforts. For more than 15 years, Osvel Hinojosa Huerta has been resurrecting Mexico's Colorado River Delta wetlands. The National Geographic Society aims to be an international leader for global conservation and environmental sustainability.
Let’s try: Spring is that knowing feeling of longer days, shifting breezes, and promising blooms that we inhale with eager anticipation. Earning the "yellow border" is one of the most highly-prized accomplishments in photojournalism.
While geologists now insist that the 40,000 or so mostly hexagonal basalt columns were formed by volcanic activity some 60 million years ago—not giants—there’s still something magical about the columns’ rugged symmetry as they descend from the rocky cliffs and disappear into the sea.Visitors to the Giant’s Causeway can stair-step their own route down past unusual rock formations to the wild North Atlantic, or climb the Shepherd’s Steps for a bird’s eye view of the rocky coastline. Several orders of monks worshipped here from the sixth century onward, and a small congregation still gathers at the present-day Down Cathedral—but Cathedral Hill, where Down Cathedral stands, is far better known as the supposed burial ground of St. Knowth, built around 3,200 B.C, is said to contain more prehistoric art than any other site in Ireland—the 200-plus decorated stones found in excavations represent a third of all decorated stones found in Western Europe. Monks occupied the island from possibly the 6th century through the 13th century, building narrow stone terraces some 500 feet above the sea for their beehive huts, oratories, and gardens, with channels and cisterns to capture rainwater.The extensive stonework, including several sets of near-vertical stairs, served penitential and practical purposes.
Most impressive is the prehistoric gold collection, the largest and finest native-origin gold exhibit in any national museum in Europe outside of Athens.
Opened in 1796, Kilmainham Gaol played a part in every act of rebellion over the following 128 years—many of the Irish leaders right up through the Irish War of Independence (1919–1921) were imprisoned here. Completed in 1618, the walls are up to 26 feet high and 35 feet thick in spots with watchtowers and cannons.

They can produce lumber, support jobs, safeguard clear waters, and provide refuge for countless forest species. In the early 1990s Diller was one of the first researchers to discover large populations of the threatened owls living in second-growth forests. Peavine Ridge sits in the distance in Rockefeller Forest, the world’s largest continuous old-growth redwood forest, measuring more than 10,000 acres. In 2008 Fay and hiking partner Lindsey Holm finished the first comprehensive transect of the redwood range, covering 1,800 miles of Pacific coastal forest.
Along the way they passed through the birthplace of redwood logging in the Santa Cruz Mountains (above).
The creation of the park in 1968 and its expansion a decade later have cost the mill town timber jobs that tourism has yet to replace.
Largest of North America’s elk subspecies, their name honors conservationist President Theodore Roosevelt. When more nutritious foods are scarce, bears often strip the bark off young redwoods to get at the sap below, wreaking havoc on regrowth in timberlands. Despite such protections and a logging ban on much of the murrelet habitat in federal and private forests, the population of the fast-flying seabird, which depends on large blocks of old-growth forest for nesting, is still dropping. Once slated to be cut, the tree has been declared off-limits by its new owner, Humboldt Redwood Company. Landslides and erosion in the headwaters of Redwood Creek, which imperiled ancient groves and the salmon and steelhead fisheries, provided the impetus for park expansion. California regulations require companies practicing such even-age management to leave buffer zones between cuts and around streams. The bright-blue waters attract many swimmers who want the odd feeling of floating without any effort at all. The tombs and monuments of the centuries-old metropolis, carved deeply into the reddish cliffs, are like nothing else on Earth. These seminomadic people traditionally live in remote communities, herding camels and goats and making their homes in goat-hair tents. The national dish is called mansaf—lamb or goat cooked in yogurt and seasoned with aromatic herbs and spices, then sprinkled with almonds and pine nuts and served over a mountain of rice.
According to the Bible, he died on Mount Nebo at age 120 and was buried there, although the location of his grave is unknown. Close to Mount Nebo, the town is home to highly detailed stone mosaics, such as the oldest known representation of Palestine, on public display at the town's Greek Orthodox church (a third of Madaba's residents are Christian). In the recent sci-fi movie The Martian, Wadi Rum's dunes stood in for the barren landscape of the red planet.
Lawrence, Toronto, CanadaThis farmers market emporium has operated since 1803, when it cohabited with Toronto’s city hall. These massive mammals keep cool by submerging their massive bodies in African ponds, rivers, and lakes for up to 16 hours a day.
Bulls use this open-mouthed “gaping” display while standing face to face with one another in order to determine which animal is dominant.
The massive mammals (up to 1,300 pounds or 600 kilograms) are born underwater and never leave the water as long as they live—though they surface to breathe every few minutes.
This large rodent has a body a foot (30 centimeters) long and a flat tail that nearly doubles its length.
During annual floods the dolphins actually swim through flooded forests to hunt among the trees.
These water-loving mammals reach such size by grazing on grasses and aquatic plants.Capybaras are physically well adjusted to their watery environs. The social mammals travel and live in groups dominated by an alpha male and defend their feeding and wallowing territories.
Using their powerful jaws and teeth, they fell trees by the dozens to create wood and mud dams, 2 to 10 feet (1 to 3 meters) high and more than 100 feet (30 meters) long.
The mammals also boast a sort of natural wet suit in the form of their oily and water-resistant fur.Beavers eat aquatic plants, roots, leaves, bark, and twigs. These water-loving mammals seem to take pleasure in sliding and diving and can swim gracefully with their webbed feet and paddlelike tails. For every pledge, Change the Course will restore 1,000 gallons back to the Colorado River. When individuals pledge to use less water in their own lives, our partners carry out restoration work in the Colorado River Basin. Yet even among these striking images, there are some that stand out as instant icons for our times and our world.
Patrick and the Rock’s earliest rulers, the kings of Munster, but the ancient fortress wasn’t formally presented to the church until 1101. A visitor’s center opened in 2014 offers a deeper dive into the World Heritage Site with exhibitions, audio guides, trail suggestions and cliff-top walks that explore both the geological causes and the mythical legends of the remarkable basalt columns leading out into the sea.
Kevin, born in 498, later established Glendalough monastery on the site, attracting like-minded disciples who studied and prayed in the monastic city for more than 900 years.The monastery survived scores of Viking attacks over the years (perhaps due to the hundred-foot-tall round tower that provided both lookout and refuge for besieged monks), but it couldn’t withstand the ravages of Henry VIII, who officially dissolved it in 1539. Patrick, patron saint of Ireland.  A well-worn tenth-century cross in the churchyard and a more recently placed granite slab inscribed with the saint’s name mark his final resting place.
The circular base of the Great Mound passage tomb is inset with over 120 massive, decorated stones capped with a grassy mushroom-shaped mound. On the South Peak, a devotional route required monks to rock climb in order to visit a series of prayer stations on ledges before reaching their destination—a tall, cross-inscribed stone on a rock spit about 700 feet above the sea, reached by a death-defying walk for absolution.It’s no wonder that Skellig Michael is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Included are lunula neck ornaments, sheet gold sun disks and collars, twisted arm bands, ear-spools, and clothing fasteners dating from 2200 to 500 B.C.
Walk through the arched gate with defensive tower to the atmospheric inner courtyard, where you can explore the ruins and take in the far-reaching views of the cliff-lined Antrim Coast. La Girona, part of the Spanish Armada, wrecked in 1588 nearby, and some of its recovered canons allegedly were installed at the castle. The firing squad executions of 14 leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising in the prison yard were a turning point, creating an outcry and support for nationalism. A one-mile guided tour atop the walls tells the early history of the city, as well as the later violence during “the Troubles,” which are widely regarded as getting their start in Derry in the late 1960s. With timber demand down, Humboldt Redwood Company will cut just a third of its planned 2009-2010 harvest.
Now estimated at 18,000, murrelet numbers have declined by 34 percent between Monterey Bay and the Canadian border since 2001, and by 75 percent south of Monterey Bay since 2003, in part because their ocean supplies of herring and other fish are diminishing. Since then some 325 miles of roads in the park have been returned to wilderness, like the one behind him in Lost Man Creek, which will prevent some six million cubic yards of sediment from ending up in creeks. The Dead Sea's extreme saltiness means that once you wade in, your body instantly bobs to the surface—leaving you free to lie back, relax, and enjoy a soak at the planet's lowest point.
Most visitors to Petra, though, only see the main attractions—Al Khazneh, or the Treasury, being the most well known—without venturing off the main path.To really lose yourself in Petra's wonders, lace up those hiking shoes and break a sweat.
Fortunately, visitors can get a feel for Bedouin life more comfortably in Wadi Rum, a stunning desert in southern Jordan. Jordanians spend hours making mansaf, which requires many steps, and it's usually enjoyed with a group and eaten with the hands.Another classic Jordanian meal is stuffed lamb, packed with rice, chopped onions, and nuts. For more than 2,000 years, Aqaba has been a crucial port for sea routes from Asia, Africa, and Europe—and still is, as the many big ships in the harbor attest. Since then, many Christians have made a pilgrimage to this hill in western Jordan, not far from Amman. Called the Map of Madaba, the sixth-century artwork was once made of two million pieces of tile that depicted major Biblical sites of the Middle East. Wadi Rum is also known to cinema fans as the stunning backdrop to the 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia.And in the 1989 classic Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Harrison Ford found the Holy Grail inside Al Khazneh, Petra’s most iconic monument. Redeveloped between the 1970s and 1990s after long neglect, the area’s mix of homes and businesses showcases urban regeneration. Though they can hold their breath for perhaps half an hour if necessary, hippos typically leave the tops of their heads above the surface.
Sometimes a show of strength is not enough and the behavior leads to potentially fatal battles. Also known as sea cows, they are insatiable grazers, browsing on a variety of aquatic grasses, weeds, and algae.Several different manatee species live along the Atlantic coast of the Americas, Africa’s west coast, and the Amazon River. Though new generations of Baikal seals are born each year at rookeries like this one, the species does face serious threats. They have webbed toes to help them swim well and can dive underwater for five minutes or more. Humans hunt (and raise) capybaras for their leather and their meat—which is especially popular during Lent because some South American Catholics consider the animal, like fish, an acceptable alternative to beef or pork. Their teeth grow throughout their lives so wood gnawing is actually necessary to keep them from growing too large and curved. Otters have specialized nostrils and ears that close in the water, as well as water-repellent fur. That feeling is building in Tofino, especially with Spring Break, Easter and all the whale festivities in March, but it’s April we’re spotlighting for all its fun, earthy events and activities.Read MoreComments (0)Permalink2nd Annual Bruhwiler Kids Surf Classic – Sept. Officially dissociated from its secular roots, the stronghold proved equally majestic as a center of ecclesiastical power, flourishing as a spiritual high ground until the Cromwellian army laid siege to it in 1647. Many of its buildings still remain, providing a snapshot of monastic life to visitors who often link an official tour of the grounds with several other excellent walks in the Glendalough Valley.

Scores of visitors make the pilgrimage to Down Cathedral each year, many stopping to pay homage to St.
Surrounded by over a dozen smaller, grass-covered mounds, the odd, lumpy landscape seems somehow organic. Deposited in bogs during the Bronze Age, peat-cutters have discovered most of these treasures.
The Earl of Antrim built a lavish residence within its walls, but the kitchens supposedly collapsed into the sea in 1639, taking the staff with it. The colorful guided tour tells the tales of many prisoners, like Joseph Plunkett, who married his sweetheart in the jail chapel just before he faced the firing squad, and James Connolly, who couldn’t stand up due to his wounds so he was tied to a chair for his execution. You can see down into the Bogside, a Catholic neighborhood where a mural proclaims, “You are now entering Free Derry.”For a more in-depth perspective, take a walking tour of the murals along Rossville Street known as the People’s Gallery with the Bogside artists who started painting them as witness to the events that happened here, like the 1969 Battle of the Bogside and 1972’s Bloody Sunday.
After your swim, you can slather yourself in Dead Sea mud, which is said to have restorative properties, and even buy some scrubs, salts, or other products for souvenirs. Climb the 800 steps to the monument known as Ad Deir (the Monastery), where the Nabataeans may have held religious festivities. In the northern town of Umm Qais, wander the rows of an amazingly intact Roman amphitheater, constructed of dark, sturdy, volcanic rock.Also in northern Jordan is Abila, where you can peek inside tomb caves that once held the ancient dead, their ceilings decorated with frescoes. Several tented campsites allow you to spend a few days roaming this protected wilderness, which humans have inhabited since prehistoric times.Marvel at Wadi Rum's towering cliffs and striking ochre dunes from an open 4X4 or, if you're the more adventurous type, from the back of a colorfully decorated camel. If you're after more basic eats, it's hard not to fall for Jordan's falafel—especially if you get the chance to watch it being made right on the street.
You can relax on a private beach, or, as we recommend, book a snorkeling trip and spend a day sailing the Gulf of Aqaba.The clear waters of the Red Sea boast a veritable rainbow of marine life, including more than a thousand species of fish—such as lionfish and clownfish—and 200 species of coral. At the top sits a stone memorial to Moses, as well as a Byzantine church, built by monks in the third or fourth century A.D. Perhaps best known for their communication skills, muskrats exchange information with one another and warn off predators with their distinctive odor, or musk. Illegal hunting is an issue, as is widespread pollution from paper and pulp mills and other industry around the lakeshore. The bright hue and the boto's natural curiosity around boats have made the dolphins easy prey for fishermen who target them (illegally) for use as catfish bait. Capybaras are found in Central and South America, populating lakes, rivers, and wetlands from Panama south to Brazil and northern Argentina.The Nature Conservancy is working with partners to protect habitat for the capybara, including the watery Llanos grasslands. The resulting ponds, which can be enormous, are then graced with a branch-and-mud lodge, which the beavers enter via secure underwater passages. A single beaver gnaws down hundreds of trees each year—typically dropping a 6-inch (15-centimeter) diameter tree in just 15 minutes.
19thAugust 27, 2015Kids rule and ride at the 2nd Annual Bruhwiler Kids Surf Classic – an epic day dedicated to the hearty and hardcore little surfers that live for surfing! With flair, action, and behind-the-scenes footage, Nat Geo's Top 10 Photos counts down the best of the best from the Magazine. Still, the architecture from that period largely survives and continues to hold sway over the tourists who besiege the Rock each year. The roofless 12th-century cathedral is the largest ruin on the site, but several other churches, a high cross devoted to St. Patrick at nearby Saul, where he first landed and began his religious work in 432, and to climb Slieve Patrick, which has a granite figure of the saint at its summit.
Knowth rivals Newgrange, acclaimed for its winter solstice alignment when the rising sun illuminates the inner chamber, but its interior passages aren’t open to the public. To this day it’s not easy to get to Skellig Michael as boats can only land when the seas are calm.
The early Christian relics are of world importance, including the Ardagh Chalice, Cross of Cong, Lismore Crozier, and a bell that reputedly belonged to St.
Impoverished after the 1690 Battle of the Boyne—when he backed the losing side—the Earl abandoned Dunluce and moved to another property. The grim, gray building is one of the largest unoccupied prisons in Europe and presents the rough conditions as they were. Jordanians often call the Dead Sea "the lowest natural spa on Earth," and there are plenty of luxurious resorts along the Dead Sea that offer massages or special mud treatments. Take a day trip north to tour the remains of ancient Roman cities, then start working your way south down the 5,000-year-old route, the Kings Highway, to the Gulf of Aqaba, with stops at Petra, the Dead Sea, and other historic sites such as Jerash.Luckily, Jordan has a dry, agreeable climate that makes traveling easy year-round. Next, tackle the uphill trek to the High Place of Sacrifice, a scenic overlook where the ancient culture ritually sacrificed animals.
At Jerash, in central Jordan, Roman-era cobblestones still bear the marks of ancient chariot wheels, and the impressive Hadrian's Arch, built to honor Roman Emperor Hadrian's visit to the city in A.D. By night, Bedouin hosts take visitors on walks under the brilliant desert stars and tell stories of their culture. From this picture-perfect spot, you can take in the dazzling view the prophet supposedly beheld so long ago: The vast tan- and rust-colored ridges of the Jordan Valley, the Dead Sea, Jerusalem, and Bethlehem. Populations have experienced serious declines in recent years; among traditional Amazonian peoples the boto was long considered a supernatural being that was able to take human form.
The group is working with local landowners to create private reserves in critical habitat areas and helping bring more resources to a 63,000-acre (25,500-hectare) public protected area in the province of Casanare in northeastern Colombia. River otters live in burrows by the edge of rivers or lakes in close proximity to the fish they feed on.
These animals burrow near the water’s edge and feed by digging underwater for worms, shellfish, and insects. The jewel of the stronghold is undeniably Cormac’s Chapel, considered one of the best examples of 12th-century Romanesque architecture in Ireland. Kevin, and a tiny chapel with a steeply pitched stone roof and circular belfry pay homage to centuries of quiet devotion in the picturesque valley.
Start your own pilgrimage at the Saint Patrick Centre, where an Imax theater and a permanent exhibition invite visitors to follow in the footsteps of the patron saint. In recent years it has had roles as a movie backdrop in films such as Michael Collins (1996) and In the Name of the Father (1993). Don’t miss the Museum of Free Derry, which chronicles the civil rights struggles, or the Tower Museum, which presents both sides of the story. Or hire a tour guide to take you on lesser known trails, including one where you can look down on the Treasury—a perspective few people get.
Back at the campsite, they may perform traditional songs and dances—and ask you to join in. More testament to Mount Nebo's importance: In 2000, around 20,000 people gathered here to listen to a sermon by Pope John Paul II. Barry Benepe founded a farmers market in 1976, aiding struggling Hudson Valley farmers and reintroducing New Yorkers to seasonal food in one stroke.
Yet it’s the 90-foot round tower, built in the early 12th century without the use of mortar, that perfectly exemplifies the Rock of Cashel’s dual role as a religious center and medieval fortress. The finds from Dublin’s Wood Quay, the most intact Viking urban center ever excavated in Western Europe, reveal town layout and everyday life from the year 1000 and before, as well as widespread commercial connections. The Tower Museum also features artifacts from a Spanish Armada ship that wrecked in 1588 off the north coast, and excellent city views from the open-air viewing platform. If you're looking for a tasty souvenir, olive oil can be found almost everywhere in Jordan, which is a major producer. As a tourist-friendly town, Madaba has many artisan shops where you can buy your own handmade masterpiece—the Tree of Life mosaics are especially beautiful. LuciaOpened in 1894 and still occupying the original orange-roofed building, this market in St. Which is exactly what we were thinking when we took a second look at how we could turn an old Resort cabin into a Surf Shack.
Alongside the original neo-Gothic market building, imported from England in 1899, a marquee shelters stalls vending dizzying varieties of fruits and hot food. Belem has a riverboat station and international airport but no railroad.Mercado Central, Santiago, ChileUnder a wrought-iron, art nouveau canopy dating from 1872, this animated fish market groans with an extraordinary shoal of sea creatures, from barnacles to giant squid, many unlabeled, untranslatable, or unknown outside Chile. The days are getting longer, the blooms are getting brighter and the whales are doing their thing, right on cue. If the thought of identifying and preparing the fish is too much, onsite restaurants offer local dishes like paila marina (Chilean bouillabaisse). Whether you’re headed to a shindig with streamers or heading to the living room with a bowl of popcorn, New Year’s Eve is a time to reflect on the past year and look forward to the next.
As we look back on another memorable year filled with new and returning friends and guests, we’re especially grateful for this incredible part of the world we get to call home.
It’s an estrogen-fuelled almost primal need for getaway therapy – a soul-cleansing, no-brainer, no-men escape.

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