When my daughter, Lia, and her partner, Mike, traipsed into the wilds of North Carolina last August for an unobstructed view of the total eclipse of the sun, they also ventured into the rising realm of Astro Tourism — along with thousands of other Americans who journeyed near and far to find the ideal locales to witness that extraordinary celestial event.
Having just had cataract surgery, I wasn’t among them, alas, and here in Tucson the sky barely darkened during our partial eclipse, which was hundreds of miles south of the band of totality that swept across the U.S.
I was able to view the “super blue blood moon” eclipse on January 31, a lunar event that had not occurred in the United States since 1866. But that was visible right here in my front yard, and all it required was walking a few… Continue reading
Every once in a while some travel information crosses my desk (well, appears in my email) that I feel an immediate need to pass along. Such is the case with the floating Arctic Bath Hotel and Spa, which is due to open in the fall of 2018.
The six-room hotel and spa is said to sit in the ice during winter and float on the river during summer.
The location is in far northern Sweden in the area that’s renowned for having the best Northern Lights viewing in the world. The river is the Lule, which freezes in winter and thaws in summer, allowing for the above-mentioned sitting and floating.
In my last post, Where to Go in 2018 (and Beyond), I presented what I consider to be the essential destinations in the U.S. (primarily cities and national parks), the essential European countries, and the essential counties in the rest of the world.
By essential, I mean those which any dedicated traveler should seek out to establish their “travel literacy,” if you will. They are not necessarily my favorite countries and destinations, but those that offer some unique quality that makes them stand out among all others.
For example, I love both the Mediterranean island countries of Malta and Cyprus — and strongly recommend seeing them — but not (necessarily) before visiting France or Spain.
For the purposes of this post, I’m going to skip over U.S. cities: New York, San Francisco and the rest, on the assumption… Continue reading
Just about every travel publication, digital or print, now seems to start the New Year with a top ten list of “where to go this year,” counting down to the most irresistible spot on the planet.
One year, the hot ticket may be to Croatia, the next year to Colombia, the next year to Canada. (For my own facetious take on where Americans would be going in 2017 — with nearly half the country fleeing to Canada for extended vacations, the other near-half checking out the newly discovered charms of Russia, and the remaining in-betweeners headed to Cuba — check out my post from December 29, 2016. Seems so long ago…)
My own (rather cynical) theory about top ten lists of this nature is that they mostly reflect where editors of said publications want to… Continue reading
The one time I don’t like to travel during the year is between Christmas and New Year’s Day.
Theoretically, it’s the week when I clean up my office, get my affairs in order, and enjoy more time with family and friends. Oh yes, and watch some football, especially my beloved Michigan Wolverines, who often play in a bowl game on the morning of January 1 so I have to be abstemious the night before. Go Blue!
In practice, it doesn’t always work out that way, but I still prefer spending New Year’s Eve at home with my wife, Netflix, and clam dip, unless we’re invited to a small party with nearby friends or family. I lived in New York for 20 years and never made it to Times Square to see the ball drop — not on… Continue reading
I’m happy to say that I’ve just received a new supply of copies of my book 100 Things to Do in Tucson Before You Die from my publisher.
The book has been sold out at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, all the local bookstores and gift shops in Tucson and even amazon.uk for several weeks now, but these new books have arrived just in time for New Year’s — you can start your Tucson bucket list fresh in 2018!
To order directly from me, you can send payment of $19.35 (which includes sales tax and postage) to paypal.me/clarknorton or send a check, if you prefer to:
1026 E. Miles St.
Tucson, AZ 85719
Be sure to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your own name and shipping address.
And thanks to everyone for helping to make… Continue reading
Due to popular demand and a shortage of books, my book 100 Things to Do in Tucson Before You Die has currently sold out at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble Online, and all local Tucson bookstores (you may find a copy or two here and there).
If you choose, you can place an order from Amazon, B&N, or your favorite bookstore. There may be delays.
Or, you can order directly from me at paypal.me/clarknorton; price of $19.35 includes sales tax and shipping. Be sure to send me an email at email@example.com with your name and shipping address. We also accept checks. Thanks!
UPDATE: The reprint is in! Books are now available and I can mail them out as soon as I receive your payment.
Thanks, everyone, for helping to make 100 Things to Do in Tucson Before… Continue reading
If you’ve been following the news out of Zimbabwe of late, you know that the country’s long-time president, Robert Mugabe, may finally be nearing the end of his repressive regime.
Mugabe, now age 93, has been placed under mostly house arrest by the country’s military, who have denied that they are engaged in an actual coup — a good public relations move, but probably not very reflective of reality.
The idea seems to be to head off Mugabe’s much younger wife, Grace, from succeeding her husband as head of state. Mugabe’s own political party, ZANU-PF, has withdrawn its support for him, and he now finds himself without any real authority.
Under Mugabe, who came to power in 1980 after leading the resistance to Ian Smith’s white nationalist regime in what was previously Rhodesia, much of Zimbabwe had… Continue reading
Today’s guest infographic comes from PortableAdvisor.com, a website devoted to RV travel and the “portable lifestyle.” It’s run by an Irish-American named Rick Rose and his wife Sandy, who have lived life on the road for eight months of each year since 2012.
I can vouch for some of these incredibly scenic highways from personal experience; others remain to be explored, but it’s a terrific list to keep in mind for your next European vacation(s).
The infographic is packed with useful info such as mileage, driving difficulty, seasonal closures, sights en route, and various practical tips.
Here’s the intro and infographic courtesy of PortableAdvisor:
With the rise of budget airlines in Europe, the popularity of driving around the continent has waned. As a result, some of the continent’s most breathtaking locations go unseen as visitors simply fly from one capital city to the next without taking in… Continue reading
Sometimes you can only get away for a weekend, and the folks at weekenGO.com (I like the name) commissioned a thorough study to find the best cities around the world in which to spend 48 hours.
They looked at criteria such as walkability, accommodations, dining, bars, cultural events, museums and galleries, green spaces, safety and security, tolerance, and more, surveying 1,000 cities in all.
And along with overall winners, they picked the best cities for three different groups: millennials, families, and yes, I’m glad to say, baby boomers.
The list is heavy on European cities, for good reason — they’re usually easy to get around, have lots of activities going on, are rich in historic and artistic treasures, etc.
Now, most Americans aren’t likely to jet off to London — the overall… Continue reading