Today, December 1st, is Antarctica Day. According to the British Antarctic Survey, “Antarctica Day was inaugurated in 2010 to celebrate the 1st December 1959 signature of the Antarctic Treaty, which was adopted “with the interests of science and the progress of all mankind.” Antarctica Day was initiated by the Foundation for the Good Governance of International Spaces (www.ourspaces.org.uk) as an annual event to build global awareness of this landmark institution, celebrating this milestone of peace in our civilization with hope and inspiration for future generations.
The Antarctic Treaty has been signed by 48 nations to date and covers the area south of 60 latitude. The Treaty has ensured that Antarctica remains a natural reserve, devoted to peace and science.” . This treaty also governs the ways in which tourism is conducted in Antarctica. For example, only 100 people are to be on shore at any given time during shore excursions. Absolutely nothing can be left behind or taken away. Certain distances to animal species must be respected. Ships must meet certain emission standards. Antarctica is unique in that it is a collective of the whole world- no one nation has ownership or governance there. Treaties like this are the best way for nations to cooperate and ensure the protection of this magnificent part of our world. Photo and caption: @travelingtamara31
It’s almost December, which means that many places around the world are setting up their holiday markets. The markets started in Germany as far back as the 1300s! Today many more places are adopting the practice and incorporating local culture alongside the much loved market stalls and mulled wine traditions. Have you visited one before? Which ones do you love and why? Photo: Frankfurt, @travelingtamara31
Views of Istanbul, Turkey, through an open window of Hagia Sophia. Istanbul is unique in being the only city in the world that spans two continents- Europe and Asia, and is often considered the “bridge” between the two continents.
Hello from Bran Castle, the suggested site of Bram Stoker’s setting for his famous book, Dracula. While this castle doesn’t really have anything to do with the real life Vlad the Impaler (the inspiration for Dracula’s character), Romanian royalty has lived here on and off since it’s completion in 1377 and has recently been turned into a museum. The fortress is gorgeous, able to be toured, and is especially popular around Halloween. Photo: @travelingtamara31
In honor of International Coffee Day, let’s talk about everyone’s favorite morning cup of joe. Many areas around the world claim to have the best coffee. What places have you sampled coffee in, and where around the world can your favorite cup be found?
World Tourism Day, officially recognized by the United Nations World Tourism Organization on September 27th each year, was brought about to raise awareness of the role of tourism within the international community. The day encourages those around the world to examine how tourism can affect cultures, economies, and politics around the world. What changes would you like to see within the tourism industry in the next year? Photo: Bhutan, 2017, @travelingtamara31
Niagara Falls are a popular stop on many tourist bucket lists. Straddled between the US and Canada, the falls gush 6 million cubic feet of water over its edge every minute- the equivalent of a million bathtubs of water every minute! While the natural spectacle seems to be universally loved, overtourism in this area is not. An estimated 30 million people visit each year, crowding the walkways en masse. Industry on both sides of the waterfall has developed casinos and too many tourist attractions to list. Many feel that the spirit of the falls is reduced due to too many other visitors and the abundance of an almost Las Vegas-like atmosphere in the city. The first photo is a more idealized view that many expect before visiting; the second is a more realistic view. Have you visited Niagara Falls? Which side? What were your impressions? Photos: @travelingtamara31, September 2018.
In celebration of World Rhino Day, today I wanted to talk about my 2016 visit to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary in Uganda. I was lucky enough to spend some time with this lovely lady and her three month old baby while learning about their sad situation. Rhinos are critically endangered throughout Africa due to the illegal trade in wildlife parts. Believed to increase virility in some circles in Asia, rhino horn is currently worth around $65k per kilo- and each horn may have up to 8 or 9 kilos when a rhino is fully grown. The horns are simply keratin- the same substance our fingernails are made of- and in reality have no medicinal value whatsoever. Places like the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary aim to protect and increase rhino numbers as well as to educate the general public on the importance of conservation. All 18 rhinos found here are under armed guard 24 hours a day to deter poachers. I feel very fortunate to have experienced such a beautiful creature in her native habitat and to learn more about their plight. Photo and writing: @travelingtamara31
This week marks World Spa Week. Spas are often thought of as modern places to relax and rejuvenate, but the concept has been around for several millennia. The city of Bath, England, for example, is named after the famous Roman baths set up from natural hot springs. The project was started in 60ad and the area is now a World Heritage Site. Turkish baths are also a wonderful example of spas spanning history into today. What sorts of spa traditions are in your own areas? Photo: @travelingtamara31