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Posted by Victor Crew on

New Level of Rome’s Colosseum Open to Public for First Time in History

A never before seen area of Rome’s mighty Colosseum, its subterranean levels, are now open to the public. It has often been described as the heart of the building. This area was called the hypogea and was were gladiators and animals waited to go into combat.

This isn’t just the first time in 2,000 years this area has been open to the public, this is the first time its ever been open to the public.

Now tourists can walk through the passageways on wooden platforms to see the corridors and archways that connected the hypogea between the rooms where gladiators and animals waited before they entered elevators which would bring them into the arena above.

In ancient Rome the hypogea was lighted by candlelight. However now with the arena’s original ground level long gone, you can see the hypogea from the upper levels and the sun shines down into its depths.

The restoration a joint project between the Italy’s Ministry of Culture and Italian fashion brand Tod’s.

Posted by Victor Crew on

Where to Find a Most Impressive Collection of Viking Runestones

If one travels north of Sweden’s capital, just about 30 minutes north, they would reach the lakeside district Vallentuna. Vallentuna is very peaceful community that includes picnic areas, playgrounds and cobblestone churches. While it is a pleasant present-day site it will also allow visitors a journey into Sweden’s Viking history.

Among Vallentuna’s pastoral greenery are many runestones. These magical stones are believed to form a gateway to a one-thousand-year-old Viking civilization. One that is now believe to be one of Scandinavia’s most important historic sites.

Once known as Runriket or the Rune Kingdom, the collection of over 100 Viking age runestones are a light on Sweden’s past. The moss-covered stones, though ancient, still bare Old Norse inscription that tell us truths about Sweden’s ancestors.

While Vikings are often depicted as heartless pagan warriors who spend their idle time feasting and drinking, the runes show evidence of a devote Christian society on the brink of a more typical medieval lifestyle.

 

 

Posted by Victor Crew on

Lesser Known But Beautiful Get Away: Lake Hope State Park Ohio

Lake Hope sits among the rolling hills of Southeast Ohio, which some consider to be the most scenic land in the state. And Hocking Hills, a very popular state park, is only 20 miles away. However, Hocking Hills is known to get quite crowded.

Lake Hope is very much a destination all its own despite its proximity to Hocking Hills. It has a lovely lake, 67 cabins (more than any other Ohio state park). It also has a very well kept, state-owned campground.

Many people find it more peaceful than some of the other state parks which tend to be more crowded. It is also completely surrounded by the massive 28,000-acre Zaleski State Forest which makes it feel even more remote (the closest gas station is about 12 miles away).

There is plenty to do at the park if one wants: mountain biking, fishing, hunting, hiking, swimming, boating and hummingbird feeding (although this service is closed do to the pandemic).

The Zaleski State Forest is also very popular with overnight backpackers. Its 29-mile trail that includes 3 primitive camping areas and smaller loops for day hiking is one of the most popular among backpackers in Ohio.

Hope Lake, however, is also a great place to sit, relax and just take it all in.

Posted by Victor Crew on

Fayoum Oasis: One of Egypt’s Hidden Gems

While it may be difficult to imagine a desert oasis, they do actually exist and believe it or not in Egypt they are often far from the top tourist destinations.

However, just about two hours south west of Cairo lives the Fayoum Oasis which is arguably a hidden gem of the country. It is made up of lakes and canals. The large region is a great weekend or day spot as it is far slower paced than Cairo.

Many can’t imagine green farms, art and poetry, relaxation and meditation when they think of Egypt—but this is what Fayoum Oasis provides.

The area also includes a protected national park, Wadi El Rayan, that encompasses almost 700 square miles of land. It includes an upper and lower man-made lake separated by one Egypt’s largest waterfalls. The park also includes dunes, natural sulfur springs and mountains.

Visitors can also tour the strange and beautiful Wadi Al Hitan open air museum which includes a surreal depiction of the evolution of life. Wadi Al Hitan as been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2005.

For the more adventurous you can visit the Magic Lake which changes color according to the time of day but is only accessible by ATV.

Fayoum Oasis is a must visit for those looking to deepen their Egyptian experience.

Posted by Victor Crew on

Copenhagen’s New Ski Resort is Also a Sustainable Heat and Power Plant?

All the right elements for a classic, European winter vacation—winter sports, sustainable practices, and Danish coziness—came together to create a fascinating new travel destination which opened to the public in early October.

Amager Bakke, or CopenHill, is the name of the new destination. Though you might be surprised to learn it is a heat and waste-to-energy power plant in Copenhagen. But it is also a man-made ski and snowboard slope.

The building itself burns waste instead of fossil fuels and is part of Copenhagen’s initiative to be the first carbon-neutral capital by 2025. The plant works by burning waste and then using the heat for, well, heat–and also uses some of that energy to create electricity. These two resources support tens of thousands of homes in Copenhagen.

As for the ski area, it is 400 meters long and includes four slopes of varied skill level. There is also a freestyle park and slalom course. The slopes do not rely on either natural or man-made snow, thus promoting green tourism all year in Denmark.

The park also includes running trails, climbing walls, and a café.

Denmark winters are cold, but there are no mountains, so this facility adds some diversity to what the country has to offer tourists.