Monday, August 12, 2019

ICELAND: A NAME OF DECEPTION


BY JANET STEINBERG

“People are always asking me about Eskimos,
but there are no Eskimos in Iceland.”
Bjork

They shouldn't call Iceland “Iceland”.  The misnomer of this Scandinavian island dates back more than a millennium (874 AD) to Ingolfur Arnarson, a Norwegian Viking frequently credited with discovering the island.  By naming it Iceland, he hoped to discourage future voyagers from settling on this green and appealing island.  Throughout the centuries, unsuccessful attempts have been made to rename the country. 

Once thought to be a cold barren place sans people, this Arctic land that has no snow and ice in the summer has been ranked second on the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) list of the ten hottest destinations for 2019.  Berries, vegetables and flowers grow in many places and from March to September the sun shines on the entire region for at least part of the day.  At the onset of summer, the sun never sets and white nights illuminate the annual Arctic Open Golf Championship that begins at midnight sometime during the month of June.   To quote Jack Nicklaus: “There’s probably more golf played in Iceland than most places in the world. They play 24 hours a day in the summertime and the northern part is warmer than the southern part.” 

Iceland, just 625-miles west of Norway, is a craggy land of fire and ice...where steam and snow are side by side...where erupting volcanoes, boiling geysers and bubbling hot springs lie next to glistening glaciers and ice fields.  This land of pure untamed nature is etched with craters of slumbering volcanoes that pockmark an eerie landscape so lunar-like that America's moon-mission astronauts trained there.     


ASTRONAUTS TRAINED ON ICELAND’S LUNAR-LIKE LANDSCAPE

Monday, July 15, 2019

MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS


BY JANET STEINBERG


“All experience is an arch where through
Gleams that untraveled world.”
Alfred Lord Tennyson
  
You can stroll, sail, or drive, beneath some of the most famous man-made arches in the world.  To name a few… the Arc de Triumph in Paris, France…Gateway to India in Mumbai, India…Brandenberg Gate in Berlin, Germany…Arch of Constantine in Rome, Italy…Arc de Triomf in Barcelona, Spain…Rua Augusta Arch in Lisbon, Portugal…Sydney Harbour Bridge in Sydney, Australia…and the playful yellow arches of McDonald Restaurants around the world.

But try as they may, no other arch does it better than the soaring 630-foot Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri.  Clad in stainless steel, this iconic arch is the tallest man-made monument in the United States, and the world’s tallest arch.  Designed by renowned Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen, the Gateway Arch commemorates the westward expansion of the United States. This internationally recognized symbol of St. Louis, on the west bank of the Mississippi River, was completed on October 28, 1965.

THE GATEWAY ARCH

Monday, June 24, 2019

TEA FOR TWO---AND WHILE YOU ARE THERE

BY JANET STEINBERG

“It’s hot…it’s sweet ...it’s tea for two.” So claimed the classic 1950’s musical “Tea For Two” made famous by Hollywood icon Doris Day who passed away on May 13 at the age of 97.  Whether it’s tea for two, or just tea for you, a mid-day tea break is a most civilized custom wherever in the world you may be.  Although the time-honored ritual of afternoon tea is quintessentially British, it is now being enjoyed around the world.  As would be expected, freshly brewed tea is the headliner at this ancient afternoon ritual.  However, you will also be indulged with an assortment of scones, sandwiches and sweets…and lest we forget the jam and clotted cream.  An afternoon tea break refreshes and revitalizes the weary traveler and gives just the needed energy to carry on the exhausting task of sightseeing.  It can be an expensive white-gloved, stiff-pinkie production at a fancy hotel, or a gaucho-simple maté tea break at a ranch in Argentina.  
When traveling, consider planning your afternoon tea break around seeing a special sight…WHILE YOU ARE THERE.  



SCONES, SANDWICHES AND SWEETS…A TYPICAL TEATIME SPREAD

Monday, June 3, 2019

Normandy Beach.... and Beyond


BY JANET STEINBERG

With summer almost upon us, it’s time to head for the beach...but not just any old beach! The beach of choice for summer 2019 is Normandy Beach on the austere northern coast of France.  June 6, 2019 marks the 75th anniversary of the,World War II D-Day landings at Normandy Beach in 1944.

The five beaches that make up Normandy Beach were each given code names.  Troops from the United States landed on Omaha and Utah, Great Britain’s troops landed on Gold and Sword and Canadian troops landed on Juno Beach. The heavily defended Omaha Beach, surrounded by steep cliffs, was the scene of the bloodiest battle.

Les Braves (The Braves) is French sculptor Anilore Banon's 3-element sculpture that pays tribute to the American soldiers who lost their lives on Omaha Beach. The sculpture, which soars upward in the center of Omaha Beach, consists of The Wings of Hope; Rise, Freedom; and The Wings of Fraternity.


LES BRAVES MEMORIAL OF OMAHA BEACH

Monday, May 13, 2019

MEMORIAL DAY…AND EVERYDAY: LEST WE FORGET!

BY JANET STEINBERG


During Memorial Day month, the 1905 words of George Santayana, a philosopher, essayist, poet and novelist ring truer than ever:  “Those who cannot remember the past, he said, " are condemned to repeat it.”  In a 1948 speech to the House of Commons, Sir Winston Churchill paraphrased Santayana’s quote when he said: “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” 

On Memorial Day, and throughout the year, a variety of memorial tributes across the United States make sure we shall never forget.  Memorials, like people, come in all shapes and sizes. The following trio is a sampling of the diversity of memorials where folks can pay tribute on Memorial Day, or any day of the year. 

MEMORIAL TO TERROR:  9/11…two numbers that will be forever etched in our minds…two numbers that will forever evoke the picture of those moments of tragedy when two planes flew into New York’s Twin Towers. The acts of heroism in the aftermath of the events of that day are now remembered at One World Trade Center (One WTC) and the 9/11 Memorial. 

The super-tall One WTC is the tallest building in the United States, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere,  and the sixth tallest in the world. This main building of the rebuilt World Trade Center has the same name as the North Tower of the original World Trade Center that was destroyed on 9/11.  Including its spire, the building measures in at 1,776-feet tall…not a coincidence that its height in feet is the same as the year when the United States Declaration of Independence was signed.  


ONE WORLD TRADE CENTER