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TRIPS by Culture Trip Launches New Immersive, Experiential Tours with Special Deals, Discounts

Experience rural life in Vietnam and cycle through rice fields to experience farm life first hand with TRIPS by Culture © Laini Miranda/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

TRIPS by Culture Trip launched in September to offer multi-day small-group adventures with itineraries that combine immersive activities and distinctive places to stay, and experiences for the young at heart, the off-the-beaten path enthusiast, the culturally curious and those with the belief that “travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer”.  Behind TRIPS by Culture Trip is Culture Trip itself – the travel website and app for booking hand-picked places to stay, unique travel experiences and now also small-group adventures.

To kick off the new year, Culture Trip is also offering special deals and discounts now through January 31, 2022 including a $100 Culture Trip voucher when you book with TRIPS by Culture Trip; a $50 Culture Trip voucher when you spend $200 on a hotel; and a $20 Culture Trip voucher when you spend $100 on an experience. T&Cs apply.

TRIPS by Culture Trip offers over 30 itineraries in some of the world’s most captivating and off-the-grid places across the world.  TRIPS range from four to 13 days, welcoming up to 18 travelers aged 25 and over who can join solo or with friends. With a focus beyond mass-market offerings, TRIPS itineraries often avoid areas of over tourism and aim to put local people at the center; the team is dedicated to avoiding unethical activities or wildlife interactions that aren’t in the best interest of the animals.

“With everyone looking for that vacation or escape in 2022, here are some trips that many will never experience in their lifetime because, well, they didn’t know they could.”  Check these out:

●      Stay with a Bedouin Family in Jordan & sleep under the stars in the Valley of the Moon

Wild camping under the stars and staying with a Bedouin family in the breathtaking Wadi Rum — also known as the Valley of the Moon and as filming location for Star Wars: the Rise of Skywalker — is an unforgettable experience. On this trip, travelers also learn how to make Arabic coffee, cook a traditional meal with local Bedouins, milk camels and help shepherds herd their goats in the sunrise. Treks through rust-colored mountains, street food tours in Amman, and visits to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Petra through a back door to avoid the crowds are also part of this itinerary. 9-day trip from $2,599*      per person

●      Explore Casablanca’s design with a local architect & stargaze with an astrologer

Before exploring the tangerine dunes of the Sahara’s Erg Chebbi, bedding down in a desert camp in a Berber-style tent with a canopy of twinkling stars above, and stargazing in the desert with local astrologer Astro Hamid, travelers get to explore Casablanca’s diverse and historically significant architecture together with a local architect. 13-day trip from $2,809*      per person

●  Experience rural life in Vietnam & cook with a gastronomy artisan

A trip to Mai Chau is unforgettable — a lush valley lined with rice paddies between forested mountains, inhabited by several ethnic groups in the Hoa Binh province. Here, the group will cycle through rice fields to a White Thai village to experience farm life first hand — including collecting food for buffalos and feeding them, while learning about the history and culture of the White Thai ethnic group, named after their white clothes. The trip also takes travelers to Hue where they will get to learn about the flavors and techniques behind the local cuisine through a market visit and cooking class with gastronomy artisan Ms. Huy12-day trip from $1,609* per person

●  Immerse yourself into Sri Lankan wildlife and culture & learn the ancient dances

This epic 12-day ‘Treasure Island’ adventure avoids the usual tourist areas for a glimpse of real Sri Lankan culture. Travelers get to visit a quieter, lesser-known side of Yala National Park — reducing the impact on the wildlife and environment. The park has one of the highest densities of leopards in the world with plenty of elephants, monkeys, and crocodiles. Equally memorable will be seeing herds of wild elephants in Minneriya National Park, visiting a rural village school to learn about Sri Lankan education, and attending a dancing school in Lankathilaka, where a generational dancing master will teach the ancient art of dance in his own backyard. 12-day trip from $2,039* per person

● Learn taiko drumming and aikido & witness sumo wrestling training in Japan

As part of the ‘Japan Rising’ 12-day journey through the land of the rising sun, travelers get to learn from a local aikido expert this Japanese martial art that involves breathing, stretching and self-defense techniques. They also can witness sumo wrestling training to learn about the centuries old history of this traditional sport, and test their rhythm over a taiko drum — played in traditional performing arts and festivals in Japan — with a local expert instructor. 12-day trip from $4,239* per person

Naturally, TRIPS by Culture Trip has an extremely flexible and generous cancellation plan in place should Covid restrictions change your plans      , including rebooking for free up to 48 hours before departure and if TRIPS by Culture Trip cannot change your booking dates, they will refund the booking.  

To learn more and book TRIPS by Culture Trip, visit culturetrip.com/trips or call 678-967-4965.  

* Prices include the Local Insider; activities; accommodation based on two people sharing, with single occupancy available with a supplement; transport throughout the trip and a range of meals

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Celebrate ‘National Plan for Vacation Day’ JaNuary 25 with Monifi’s Top Saving Tips

Venice, Italy, is high on the list of travelers. January 25, 2022 is National Plan for Vacation Day © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Whether you’re saving for your next spring break trip, a getaway weekend, family trip, or anything in between, unexpected financial surprises are never an added expense you want during your vacation. Leading banking app, Monifi has put together their list of their top financial tips for saving for your next vacation in celebration of National Plan for Vacation Day on January 25th. 

The goal-based banking app, Monifi, makes it easy to save with features like personalized goals, its spend and save structure, and its trackable transaction tags so users can categorize their spending.

>> Set a Budget and Stick to It.

From the start, it’s important to be transparent with yourself and fellow attendees about what you are willing to save and splurge on. Creating a strict budget allows you to hold yourself accountable.

>> Plan, Plan, Plan.

Setting a firm plan early on for airfare, hotels, rentals, etc. allows you to not be surprised and unprepared for these vacation costs. Create a plan of when you will eat in or go out as well as attractions and experiences you will do each day. This is an easy way to know exactly what you need to save for. 

>> Create a Vacation Savings Fund. 

Using the Monifi app, users can create savings “buckets.” Earn interest on these personalized buckets to help you reach your financial goals faster. Stats show about 86% of people plan to pay for vacations, though 35% don’t save for it. No more dipping into other accounts or racking up credit card charges.

>> Recognize Potential Splurges.

Statistics show that 68% of people overspend when on vacation. Identifying the potential splurges like an expensive dinner, Uber rides, a coveted experience, etc. before your vacation will set you up for success. Having a savings net to lean back on is always beneficial for these costs. 

>> Get a Part Time Job or Side Hustle.

Find a part time job or side hustle to add a few hundred dollars into your bank account each month. Whether that’s nannying a few days a week, selling your unworn clothes online, dog walking, and everything in between. These small side gigs help you to not break the bank while saving.

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VISITED Travel App Helps Travelers Keep Track of Where They’ve Been, Where to Go

Got the travel bug? The travel app VISITED can help you keep track and plan where to go next. Is Venice on the list? © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com.

The mobile app development company, Arriving in High Heels Corporation, based in Toronto, Canada (arrivinginhighheels.com) has launched three new features in its VISITED travel app that are specifically designed to motivate travelers to find new experiences and help the travel industry recover from the stay-at-home coronavirus pandemic.

“People are ready to travel again and VISITED is ready to get them excited about new opportunities and destinations,” Founder and CEO Anna Kayfitz said,  No other travel app has these three features.

The new features are Inspiration, Lists, and City Maps. Together they highlight those places not necessarily popular but worth a trip, as well as well-known tourist attractions. They allow travelers to swipe photos of famous and not so famous places to add to their own picture database of destinations they have experienced or want to visit. VISITED has over 1.2 million users.

For individual travelers, the VISITED Inspiration feature tracks personal travel stats, such as percentage of the world visited, number of countries and cities visited, as well as regions on a personal wish-list. The List feature names capitals of the world, wonders of the world, and art museums. Museums and other attractions are constantly added to provide even greater options to choose from. The City Maps feature is invaluable in planning upcoming itineraries.

The app enables travelers to keep personal stats on the number of countries visited, percentage  of the world or country seen by region, how you rank against other world travelers, number of cities visited, percentage of the world that you WANT to see vs. where you are in your travel journey.

For the travel industry, the VISITED app’s features present a sponsoring opportunity for hospitality related companies, “because we know where the users have been and where they want to go,” Kayfitz said. “This is also an opportunity to showcase travel products and destinations without losing the focus of the user.”

She is looking forward to seeing a resurgence in travel. “In the meantime, users can start planning their trips with VISITED, discovering places to go, things to do, and sites to see domestically and internationally.”

Kayfritz is the founder of Arriving In High Heels, a mobile app company, which she started 2014 and incorporated in 2017 converted it to a corporation. The company, now known as Arriving in High Heels Corporation, and has 3 apps including Visited, to help keep track of your travels;  X-Walk Fitness app, a Nordic walking app that tracks progress and lists the top 25 famous hikes and Pay-off Debt app that helps people get out of debt faster.

All her app ideas came from a personal need for them, Kayfitz said.

The idea for Visited, for example, “started while I was flying back from South Africa with my husband (then boyfriend, Brian). I would use a little notebook and make a list of all the countries I visited and places I still wanted to visit. When I could not remember a few smaller islands such as Curacao, I became frustrated and spent the enter long haul flight trying to remember the islands we had visited. Brian had mentioned there has to be an app for that. When we could not find one, Brian, who is an app developer decided to make one for me for my personal use. We launched it in iOS only. When we started seeing downloads coming in, we knew we had something. So, we slowly began working on it to make it the app it is today. We currently have 1.2 million plus users and are growing.

“My travel industry experience did not really impact the development of the app. I was always into travel. My parents would always visit new places while I was growing up and that started my interest in travel. When I had the chance at 18 to go abroad with a friend, we went on a tour to London, Paris, Rome, and that’s when the travel bug bit me.”

The Visited app, she said, “has opened my eyes to new destinations especially with the inspiration section of the app. Gathering the hundreds of photos that are currently in the app, it made me realize how much more of the world there is to see. It has also motivated me to check off even more countries I want to visit.”

Prior to developing Visited, she said, “I would discover new places by browsing the web, travel brochures, reading magazines and even talking to other travelers while abroad. I kept track of my travels and things I wanted to see in a journal. I hate to write, so it was just a simple continuing list or a drawn map of all the places I have visited. I used to love to check off top destinations, lists found in magazines, blogs to see what percentage I have seen. This is what we hoped to capture in our app. We also added the top 10 countries to visit based on where you live to inspire people to travel to easy to reach/popular destinations.”

The app doesn’t replace guidebooks, she maintained. “It is a complimentary app to these books. Guidebooks offer a way into a destination with detailed explanations, and insightful information while we offer a macro approach to travel to simply tick off places you want   to travel or have already visited.

“As an analyst I always start by asking the questions of why and so what? Since Visited was designed for my personal use at the beginning, I wanted the app to answer the following questions:

  • How many countries have I seen?
  • Many of our copy-cat competitor apps show you what percentage of the world you have seen. However, what use is that? I do not want to visit every country in the world although for some that may be their goal. However, I wanted to know what percentage of the world I WANT to visit and what percentage I have seen. So, we have included the metric that answers those two questions.
  • We also added the top 10 locations for people to visit from their home country. This allows users to discover easily accessible countries. This was done to inspire additional travel. For example, if Canada is their home country, Canadians will find plenty to see in destinations easy to visit in Canada. This answers the question what sites can I visit in my home country?
  • We also have a rank of how you compare to other international travelers.
  • We now allow users to count the UK as 4 countries vs 1, so., we now have the options for you to select it as 4 or 1. This will help answer the question how I count the number of countries I have visited.

“The app is designed to show your progress and to inspire you to complete your journeys.”

As to who the Visited app can benefit, she says, “Anyone that likes to travel regardless of their style of travel. They can be a once-a-year family trip traveler, a backpacker or someone who has rented an RV to visit every state. They will all benefit from using our app to keep track of their trips and get inspired to visit new locations. We find that it is a good reminder of all the places that you have been to, to make yourself feel better especially during the coronavirus pandemic. That is why we added the list feature that lets you check of all the art museums, world wonders, and other lists to help keep up travel moral during the pandemic.”

Users can use the app to share their trips, by clicking an icon that pops up with all the different ways you can share – text, email, print, download as PDF, as well as via social media you have installed such as WhatsApp, Instagram.

Visited now has 1.2 plus million users. XWalk and Pay Off Debt are niche apps that were launched in the past 2 years; the number of users has been growing.

Travel apps have taken off with people getting back to traveling once again. According to Sensor Travel Apps 2021 report, U.S. Travel Apps surpassed 85 million downloads, growing 128%.

How to use Visited:

  • Download the app for free via App Store or Google Play Store
  • Sign up – with email – (email is required because this is a unique identifier to keep track of the data that the user has select that way if they change phones, they will always be able to get back to the selection).
  • Input where you live, countries visited and countries you wish to visit
  • The map will display the selections. You can then click on each country to see additional information such as regions and cities, and input notes for that destination.
  • If you click on cities (Paid Feature) you can select different cities by tapping on the country.
  • You can see on the) dashboard the top countries you visited, how you rank against other international travelers as well as the top 10 countries that are most visited from the country you live in.
  • You can swipe to see photos of places and add them to your wish or been list.
  • You can click on experiences and see the different lists such as capitals of the world, art museums or world wonders, etc. In addition, you can also see the percentage of the world you have visited. You can also tap on experiences (such as hiking, skiing) and can select all the countries you have been to and doing that activity. For example, if you select: Canada, the US, and Switzerland for skiing it will display the 3 countries where you skied. You can also select where you want to ski.

The app can be downloaded for free on iOS from the App Store and on Android from Google (due to copy-cats, the app is called Visited with the blue world icon and a yellow pin).

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Global Scavenger Hunt to Decide World Travel Championship Set for 2022 – Think You’re the World’s Best Traveler?

Team Lazy Monday, Eric & Kathryn Verwillow of California, who would go on to win second place in the 2019 Global Scavenger Hunt, dash out of Petra, Jordan on to their next challenge © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The 2022 edition of The Global Scavenger Hunt™ is the 16th annual “world travel championship”—an around-the-world travel adventure competition that takes Teams of two on A Blind Date with The World™ that eventually crowns The World’s Greatest Travelers™.

Held every spring, with our 2022 event to take place over three-weeks starting on April 22nd through May 14th, 2022. Fifteen international Teams will travel from Vancouver, Canada to New York City—the long way around!

Event participation is open but limited to 15 teams of two from around the world.  Previous events have drawn savvy globe tottering travelers from: USA, Canada, China, Belgium, New Zealand, Australia, England, Poland, Germany, Dubai & Barbados. With travelers having previously applied from over 60 nations.

The World’s Greatest Travelers™ trophy, along with an accompanying free trip around the world to defend their titles in the next event are at stake in this winner-take-all event.

The whole world is our game board. It’s a circumnavigation of the globe touching down in at least 10 countries, that may include in 2022: Peru, Colombia, Indonesia, Laos, Oman, Tanzania, Russia, Morocco and Italy. (Note: These are only potential countries as The Global Scavenger Hunt™ is indeed A Blind Date with The World™ for all its participants—they do not know which country they will be visiting next until they are given a 4-hour notice. So far, the event has visited 85 countries.

For additional information visit GlobalScavengerHunt.com or call GreatEscape Adventures (CST#2071053-40) at +1.310.281.7809.

See Global Scavenger Hunt: In the Scramble to be Crowned ‘World’s Best Travelers’ and more features on the 2019 Global Scavenger Hunt at goingplacesfarandnear.com

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Germany Extends Commemoration of 1,700 Years of Jewish Life Through July 2022

Munich: The new main synagogue in the Jewish center © Getty Images / FooTToo

In December 2021, 1,700 flags were raised to commemorate 1,700 years of Jewish life in Germany. “Auf das Leben!” German for: “To life!” (l’chaim). This Jewish toast can be read on these flags, flying high in state parliaments, synagogues, churches, universities, museums, the Central Council of Jews in Germany, and many more public places.

A series of celebrations, exhibitions, events and commemorations throughout Germany, the festival year #2021JLID is being extended until July 31, 2022.

The campaign is an initiative of the association “321-2021: 1,700 years of Jewish life in Germany,” taking a stance against anti-Semitism in Germany.

The history of Jews in Germany dates back to the year 321 when the Roman Emperor Constantine issued an edict that marked the earliest evidence of Jewish life in Germany. The story of the edict is quite fascinating since it was born out of a profane need: the city council of Cologne had to repair a damaged bridge but lacked the financial means. A Jew named Isaac offered monetary assistance but required a professional position in the city council to do so. Emperor Constantine granted the ensuing request for permission, resulting in the first firmly written evidence of Jewish life in Europe, North of the Alps.

Despite a varied history and the unspeakable crimes against humanity of the Nazi regime during the Shoa, Jews resettled in Germany following World War II. Today, more than 200,000 people have made their home in about 100 Jewish Communities across the country. They contributed greatly to the development of Germany in the arts, philosophy, science, medicine and economic landscape, and became an inseparable part of our society.

Places of Jewish heritage can be found throughout the country: the Rykestrasse Synagogue in Berlin, the Synagogues in CologneErfurtFrankfurt, LeipzigUlmBayreuthAugsburg, the Jewish Cemetery ‘Heiliger Sand’ in Worms, the ShUM Sites on the Rhine, the “document” at the Neupfarrplatz in Regensburg, the timber-framed synagogue in Celle, the New Synagogue in Dresden and the Ohel Jakob Synagogue in Munich are just some examples.

The anniversary year conveys aspects about Jewish culture, traditions and customs and sends a clear message against anti- Semitism. Events are organized nationwide under the name #2021JLID – Jewish Life in Germany, including concerts, virtual exhibitions, music, podcasts, video projects, theater, and films.

The Shared History Project was initiated by the Leo Baeck Institute – New York | Berlin (LBI) and supported by #2021JLID – Jüdisches Leben in Deutschland e.V. with funding from the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community (BMI).

A joint initiative between the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Catholic, Protestant churches and other groups provides cultural and historical exhibitions about Jewish life and faith in the country as well as commemorations, postage stamps, and the production of a Jewish food guide.The wide-ranging activities – almost 1,500 overall – both in analog and digital form, have one goal in common: to strike a balance between past, present, and future.

The events throughout the year 2021 brought a sense of new confidence to light, allowing many Jews to show their culture and customs in the streets of Germany, resulting in an experience of togetherness between Jews and non-Jews.

The federal government has followed requests and decided that the festival year #2021JLID will be extended until July 31, 2022. For the project partners whose events could not take place in the planned form due to the Covid-19 pandemic (e.g. with an audience or with guests from abroad), this provides the opportunity to carry out the events after all. The “Jewish Traveler” e-brochure highlights 65 cities and towns with special travel tips and contact details of Jewish organizations and institutions.

A collection of resources on Jewish Life in Germany today provides current and upcoming radio programs, links to activities of government and public institutions, as well as state, city, and local authorities.

Dresden: synagogue (C) Adobe Stock / tagstiles.com

The following calendar provides insight into a variety of celebrations honoring Jewish culture in Germany.

Augsburg, Bavaria: The Jewish Museum in Augsburg shows two exhibitions reflecting on Jewish life in the city. The exhibition “Jews through the Eyes of Others” (until September 4, 2022) questions clichés, prejudices, exaggerations, generalizations, and categorizations and asks the question: what role do Jewish museums play in perpetuating such projections?

The exhibition “The End of the Testimony” (until June 5, 2022) focuses on memories of contemporary witnesses, and the question of how to maintain statements of oral history for the next generations. It shows written testimonies and video interviews of contemporary witnesses and focuses on the question of how we want to deal with this legacy in the future.

Bayreuth, Bavaria: “Jewish Life in Bayreuth” program includes lectures within the established series “Bayreuth City Talks”, workshops, a weekly series in the local newspaper in cooperation with the Nordbayerischer Kurier, an app, and more.

Bamberg, Bavaria: Exhibition, “Medieval mikvah in Bamberg.” In the area of​​ the new “Quartier an der Stadtmauer” in the middle of Bamberg is a medieval mikvah (mikveh) – a Jewish ritual bath – from the first third of the 15th century as well as a baroque house from the 18th century, for which Jewish residents are proven. In order to convey Jewish life in historical times, a small documentation center was developed at the authentic site of the mikvah. It is the oldest still visible monument of the Jewish community in Bamberg.

Berlin: SHARED HISTORY Conference on 1,700 Years of Jewish Life in German-speaking Lands” (video recordings available). The Leo Baeck Institute – New York | Berlin (LBI) is marking the occasion of 1,700 years of Jewish life in Germany by launching its “Shared History Project.” As the name suggests, the lives of Jews have always been tightly interwoven with the history of the regions and countries where they lived. But to what extent can we truly speak of shared experiences during the past 17 centuries in Central Europe? What forms have the social, economic, and scientific exchange between the Jewish minority and Christian majority taken? These questions will be highlighted from several perspectives.

The New Synagogue which opened in 1866 is today the home of the Centrum Judaicum, which sees itself as a link between the past and the future. It serves as a site of research and documentation and brings Berlin’s vibrant Jewish history to life. The exhibitions “Under the wedding sky – weddings in Jewish Berlin” and “Telling Jewish Berlin. Mine, yours, ours?” (until June 12, 2022) unfold a mosaic of stories, experiences, and emotions, revolving around individual perspectives and personal relationships.

The 28th Jewish Film Festival Berlin | Brandenburg (JFBB), the largest Jewish film festival in Germany, will take place this year from June 14 to June 19, 2022, in numerous venues in Berlin and Potsdam. The JFBB program aims to enliven political and historical debates, counter anti-Semitism, narrate Jewish themes beyond stereotypes, and offer points of contact for the audience. On the program are feature films, documentaries, retrospectives, international films of all genres, high-end TV series, (contemporary witness) talks, and panel discussions.

Büren-Wewelsburg, North Rhine-Westphalia: Guided tour, “An insight into the history of Jewish life in the Paderborn region.” The former Hochstift Paderborn has a fascinating Jewish history. During a tour of the historical museum of the Paderborn monastery as well as the Wewelsburg memorial and memorial site 1933–1945, the varied history can be rediscovered.

Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia: Exhibition, “SHALOM COLOGNE – discover Jewish life in Cologne, participate and set an example.” SHALOM COLOGNE is an innovative educational program that encourages to deal creatively and digitally with Jewish culture. The SHALOM-BOX contains more than 50 suggestions in the form of worksheets, videos, teaching ideas, links and hands-on tools. For the XXL poster, everyone is invited to send in selfies and pictures to create a strong motif for tolerance and respect. The big SHALOM CHALLENGE calls for artistic contributions dealing with Jewish culture.

Project: “Jewish Cologne – on the right bank of the Rhine.” Two centuries of Jewish history are closely connected to the Jewish cemetery in Cologne-Deutz. It forms the bridge between the Middle Ages and the modern age, and is also the link to Cologne on the right bank of the Rhine, the “Schäl Sick”. The project “Jewish Cologne-rechtsrheinisch” uses digital media to make history visible behind weathered inscriptions.

Dresden, Saxony: The exhibit “Rethinking City History: Perspectives on Jewish Stories and Present Lifes” (until March 31, 2022) retraces the complex Jewish life in the capital of Saxony. Until today, objects of the Jewish past can be found in living rooms, basements, or garages, finding a new place within the exhibition. Guided tours, a blog series and a YouTube video provide a deeper insight into the project.

Franconia: The anniversary is especially significant in Franconia since Jewish culture thrived in the region for almost 1,000 years. Jewish scholars, Franconian-Jewish dialects, foundations, synagogues, and more than 100 Jewish cemeteries had a significant impact on all aspects of life. This ended abruptly with the almost complete annihilation of the Jewish population during the Third Reich. Today, there are again Jewish communities in Franconia, as well as important institutions, including the Jewish Museum Franconia in Fürth, the “Museum Shalom Europa” in Würzburg, and the “Fränkische Schweiz Museum” in Tüchersfeld. Guided tours offered in many towns also invite visitors to explore the history and present state of Jewish culture.

Frankfurt, Hesse: The Jewish Museum Frankfurt is showing “Our Courage – Jews in Europe 1945-48” (until January 18, 2022). The exhibition is the first project of its kind to present the diversity of Jewish experience in the early post-war period from a pan-European, transnational perspective. The program is available for download here.

Hamburg: Movie: “Talmud Torah School Hamburg 2005-2015.” A video project with students connects the past and the future in the former Hamburg Talmud Torah school.

Koblenz, Rhineland-Palatinate: Dialogue, City Tour, App: “Digital stumbling block memorial routes.” In the Koblenz app, three commemorative routes can be explored which remind of former Jewish citizens, leading to stumbling blocks laid for them throughout the city.

Munich, Bavaria: Exhibition, “The Joys of Yiddish.” A roof frieze by the conceptual artist Mel Bochner at the Haus der Kunst in Munich reflects the Jewish language and the past. His work is shaped by reflections on the relationship between language and image. Born in Pittsburgh in 1940, Bochner grew up in a traditional Jewish family. The word-chain on the roof frieze of the Haus der Kunst in Munich consists of colloquial terms from Yiddish.

Nuremberg, Bavaria: Concerts, “World music and Klezmer in the Villa Leon.” Villa Leon is known for its world music and klezmer concerts. The series “World Music and Klezmer in the Villa Leon” presents the once only instrumental wedding music for Jews from Eastern Europe. The Villa Leon offers the oldest existing series of klezmer music in Germany. In addition, numerous associations or individuals organize their own concerts in respective areas.

Trier, Rhineland-Palatinate: Publication, Audio: “Jewish life in Trier.” Alongside Cologne and Mainz, the city of Trier was the earliest place on German territory where Jews settled. The long history of the Jewish community in Trier is reflected in the collections of the city. The library, for example, has the largest collection of Hebrew and Aramaic binding fragments in all of Germany. In the festival year # 2021JLID – 1,700 years of Jewish life in Germany, a series of tours, exhibitions, readings and lectures will take place in Trier dedicated to the diversity of Jewish life. Topics include civil courage, and the story of the photographer Hilde Hubbuch. The Scientific Library of the City of Trier is dedicating episodes of the podcast series “Veni, vidi, audivi” to the city’s Jewish history.

More information at German National Tourist Office, New York, NY 10018, 212-661-7175, www.germany.travel.



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Vermont Adaptive Opens Center at Sugarbush; Bern Contributes Helmets

More than 400 volunteers serve Vermont Adaptive clients of all abilities with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities from all over the world in three winter programming locations in Vermont – Pico Mountain at Killington; Sugarbush Resort in Warren; and Bolton Valley Resort in Bolton. Summer programs are provided state-wide.

Vermont Adaptive Sports Center, a nationally recognized nonprofit providing year-round sports and recreational programs for people with disabilities regardless of ability to pay, has just opened a $2.5 million, 4,000-square foot center at Mount Ellen at Sugarbush Resort, in Warren Vermont.

Vermont Adaptive promotes independence and furthers equality through access and instruction to sports and recreational opportunities including alpine skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports; kayaking, canoeing, sailing, cycling, hiking, rock climbing, tennis, horseback riding, and more. More than 400 volunteers serve clients of all abilities with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities from all over the world in three winter programming locations in Vermont – Pico Mountain at Killington; Sugarbush Resort in Warren; and Bolton Valley Resort in Bolton. Summer programs are provided state-wide.

Also, Bern Helmets, respected internationally for its proprietary street-inspired bike, snow, and action sports helmets, has partnered with Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports. Between last year and 2022, Bern will have contributed more than 300 helmets in a variety of sizes and styles for snow and bike activities in Vermont for participants with Vermont Adaptive.

Helmets are divided between the new adaptive sports facility in Sugarbush, opening Dec. 10, Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports’ traveling bike fleet and some were given directly to Vermont Adaptive participants. The traveling mountain bike fleet is used by participants all over Vermont and accesses many of the Vermont Mountain Bike Association Chapters’ trails. The traveling fleet is made up of a variety of different mountain bikes that serve those with diverse abilities. Additional helmets were gifted to participants directly to adhere to safety protocols during Winter Programming in 2021.

“Our relationship with Bern is critical to our programs,” said Jeff Alexander, director of strategic partnerships and business development for Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports. “Their donation of helmets enables athletes to ski, ride and bike in safety and in style. Many participants don’t own their equipment; being able to provide best- in- class equipment breaks down one of many barriers to getting outside and playing.”

“Supporting Vermont Adaptive’s mission is consistent with Bern’s DNA,” said Mickey Russell, social media manager. “We’re proud to support their year-round programming efforts in order to help people of all abilities experience the outdoors. This is just one of many ways we hope to get more people outside.”

In addition to sports, Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports year round programming options integrate environmental, holistic wellness, and competitive training philosophies for people of all ages with cognitive, developmental, physical and emotional behavioral disabilities.

For more information, visit www.vermontadaptive.org.

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Tourissimo Unveils NEW Cycling Tour Exploring Prosecco Wine Region of Italy

Veneto, Italy: the landscape vineyards in “Duca Di Dolle” farmstead. Tourissimo, is introducing a NEW 7-day “Grappa and Prosecco” cycling tour of the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Superiore Prosecco wine making area of Italy.

(Bridgewater, MA) — Tourissimo, a leader in active travel to Italy, is introducing a NEW 7-day “Grappa and Prosecco” cycling tour of the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Superiore Prosecco wine making area of Italy. Guests will learn about the ancient origins of wine making and how the reputation and qualities of the wine have evolved throughout the centuries. The cycling is just as varied and dramatic as the Vento region’s history, ranging from a challenging climb up Mount Grappa to the hilly terrain of Prosecco.

The tour includes multiple wine tastings, dining at a MICHELIN-starred restaurant, exploring UNESCO World Heritage Sites, overnighting at 4 and 5-star hotels, and cycling one of Italy’s most beautiful regions. Prices start at $4,695 per person double. Venice is only one hour away and makes for a great add-on to the tour.

“For the Prosecco wine lover, this is an absolute dream vacation,” said Tourissimo Co-Founder and Managing Director, Beppe Salerno. “The tour is rich in history, and the scenery is nothing short of spectacular with panoramic vistas and patchwork landscape of steep terraced hills, woodlands, and meadows. The cycling is absolutely amazing, and the food, wine, and accommodations are as good as it gets.” 

The Prosecco area is wedged between mountains and the plain before the Adriatic Sea. It is extremely hilly, with grapes growing at 150 to 1,600 ft above sea level. A route between the towns of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene has been named the Strada del Prosecco (“Prosecco Wine Route”), and it’s the perfect riding playground for wine lovers. 

The landscape is characterized by ‘hogback’ hills, ciglioni – small plots of vines on narrow grassy terraces – forests, small villages and farmland. Since the 17th century, the use of ciglioni has created a particular chequerboard landscape consisting of rows of vines parallel and vertical to the slopes. 

“One goal with this tour, in addition to cycling some of the most beautiful terrain in Italy, is to educate guests about why a Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG is a superior product, why it is worth spending more for a quality sparkling wine,” said Salerno. “Because DOCG producers—with the limited growing area, lower yields and extremely high cost of production—can not compete with DOC on price, more and more of them are seeking to explore the particularities of their diverse growing area and long viticultural tradition, and find new ways of expressing them in their wines.”

Tour Highlights:

  • Walking the walls of medieval Cittadella
  • Exploring the hills of Prosecco, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Having coffee in Piazza degli Scacchi in Marostica  
  • Cycling along rolling roads surrounded by vineyards
  • Experiencing a Grappa tasting at a famous grappa produce
  • Soaking up the village of Asolo      
  • Enjoying multiple wine tastings at Prosecco Superiore DOCG producers  
  • Picnicing at mulino della Croda
  • Learning Monte Grappa WWI history and visiting the memorial-museum

What’s Included:

  • Two professional tour guides throughout the program
  • All accommodations in 4-star hotels (one 5-star)
  • All breakfasts, all lunches, and all dinners
  • Wine and beer with meals, coffee, cappuccino, and gelato stops
  • Two wine tastings
  • Logistical support during the tour and luggage transfer
  • Guided tour of Bassano and grappa tasting
  • Shuttle at the beginning and at the end of the tour
  • Bianchi bike rental
  • GPS navigation and maps

For more information, visit https://www.tourissimo.travel/bike-tour-prosecco.

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Austin & Active Adventures Cyber Weekend Sale Saves $500 on Trips

Dan Austin expects Yellowstone National Park itineraries to sell out early. Travelers can take advantage of $500 off trips during the tour company’s Cyber Weekend sale © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

BILLINGS, MT– Recently merged Active Adventures of Queenstown, New Zealand and Austin Adventures of Montana, USA have announced a holiday offer for the travel-starved this Black Friday through Cyber Monday.
 
From Friday, Nov. 26 through Monday, Nov. 29, 2021, this special offer saves travelers $500 (per person) on trips priced over $3,500 that are sold and operated exclusively by either travel brand. This booking offer for departures now through the 2022 season is valid through phone and/or online reservations. (Note: This offer excludes Australia hiking adventures and cannot be combined with other promotions, discounts or offers.)
 
In designing what has turned into Active Adventures and Austin Adventures’ biggest sale ever, Dan Austin, Founder of Austin Adventures, focused on these conditions:

  • Widespread hunger for the spiritual healing an adventure vacation in nature can bring,
  • The release of pent-up desire to travel again in the wake of the worldwide pandemic,
  • The general expectation that 2022 trips will fill quickly now that people are feeling better about travel domestically and abroad.

Due to earlier than usual interest and bookings, Austin expects the following itineraries to be best sellers:

Active Adventures programs anticipated to be highly popular and sell fast include:

Interested travelers can reserve a spot and take advantage of these special savings by calling 800-575-1540.
 
With over 60 years of combined experience, Active Adventures and Austin Adventures set the standard for inspiring, all-inclusive, small-group adventures in the most breath-taking regions of the world. Their teams across New Zealand, North America, Peru, Nepal and the Netherlands ensure every detail is looked after. Hand-picked guides with a wealth of experience and local knowledge lead the way as guests enjoy exclusive accommodations, top-notch dining and unique activities showcasing the best of each region.
 
Each of their 100+ trips are crafted, encouraging guests to not only challenge themselves physically but also to take a deep dive in the local way of life in every destination. For more information, visit activeadventures.com and austinadventures.com

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Tight Window Opens for Booking Grand Canyon Group Rafting Charters

Western River Expeditions opens select booking dates for charter groups anticipating river rafting adventures in 2023 in the Grand Canyon.

SALT LAKE CITY, UT, Nov. 12, 2021 – This month Western River Expeditions opens select booking dates for charter groups anticipating river rafting adventures in 2023 in the Grand Canyon.
 
Groups ranging from extended family to corporate to non-profit can benefit from the advantages of this advance booking window for up to 28 people on prime departure dates.
 
Advance bookings for charter groups are available for select, 3, 4 6, or 7-day Grand Canyon rafting expeditions throughout the 2023 season.
 
“As the popularity of doing an exclusive private trip with just the members of your group has grown over the years, we have found it works best to open up select dates in advance for just these groups. That way they can still find dates with wide-open availability. Doing it this way, we can give our charter guests time to advertise, market, promote and book,” said Brandon Lake, co-owner and CMO. “We still leave several dates wide open for the general public so they have plenty of space to for individual bookings when the season opens for individual bookings on Nov. 30. Once this opens, many departures will sell out online within the first several hours.”
 
Although Mother Nature provides more than enough photo ops on the descent through the Grand Canyon, for these upcoming bookings, Western River Expeditions plans to offer groups the option of custom group t-shirts, adding even more pizzazz to group photos.
 
Group charters are available on all of the rivers where Western River hosts programs: Cataract CanyonDesolation Canyon and Westwater Canyon.  Western River’s experience with charter groups is that people get hooked on river rafting and in the future segue into other river trips. For details please see – https://www.westernriver.com/group-rafting-trips.
 
If an epic river rafting adventure is in your future, Western River Expeditions says don’t delay making reservations for trips down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon and in Utah’s Cataract Canyon and Desolation Canyon.
 
Here are a few good reasons why to act now.
 
Tight controls on inventory through commercial permits make these areas available only to a limited few every year. While Western River Expeditions escorts more people down the Colorado River and Green River on professionally guided rafting trips in Utah and Arizona than any other rafting operator in the country, Western River, as well as other commercial tour operators, has to abide by the limits set by government-issued permits. These coveted seats are being snapped up quicker than ever before by an unprecedented surge of demand following months of COVID lockdown, record-breaking heat waves that beg for water-based recreation, and an exploding demand to visit America’s national parks.
 
As a result, Western River Expeditions filled all Grand Canyon slots for 2021 well in advance. Many departures for 2022 are sold out and others are very close to selling out. 2023 Grand Canyon dates will open for general bookings on Nov. 30 this year. Requests for 2023 group charters are being taken now.
 
For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2022/2023 catalog, questions, availability and reservations call 866-904-1160 (Local: 801-942-6669) or visit the website at: http://www.westernriver.com/.
 
Western River Expeditions is an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City, with operations and offices in Moab, Utah and Fredonia, Arizona. Annually from March through October it escorts more people down rivers on professionally guided rafting trips in Utah, Idaho and Arizona than any other company. It is the largest licensed outfitter in the Grand Canyon and the largest single tour provider in Moab, UT through its division Moab Adventure Center (http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/).
 
Western River Expeditions, providing Grand Canyon rafting, Utah and Idaho rafting, and international multi-sport trips, was founded in 1961 by Colorado River rafting pioneer Jack Currey. It has been named one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” by the editors of National Geographic Adventure magazine. The company is the proud recipient of the “Best of State” award through Utah’s Premier Recognition and Awards Program for the past seventeen consecutive years (2004-2020).

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EF Go Ahead Tours Discounts Bucket List Worthy Trips this Holiday Season

Solo travelers get a holiday discount on EF Go Ahead Tours:  Get 16% off Portugal for Solo Travelers © Eric Leiberman/goingplacesfarandnear.com

EF Go Ahead Tours, a leading provider of immersive, small group travel, is running its Black Friday sale through Nov. 26 offering steep 2021 discounts on 2022 and 2023 “bucket list” itineraries, likely the lowest these future tours will ever be, with prices locked in and flexible payment plans available. Get up to $600 off per person /$1,200 off per couple — with many of the most in-demand itineraries discounted by 20% or more.

From Nov. 12-18: A focus on UK & Ireland:  Highlights of England, Scotland & Ireland 15% off / $500 off, discounted at $2,779; A Week in Ireland: Dublin, Cork & Galway 27% off / $600 off, discounted at $1,599; Highlights of England, Scotland & Ireland 15% off / $500 off, discounted at $2,819.

From Nov. 19-25: Bucket List Worthy to Iceland, Egypt Kenya, Costa Rica, Galapagos such as Egypt & the Nile 20% off / $600 off, discounted at $2,399; A Week in Egypt: Giza, Nile River Cruise & Cairo 19% off / $500 off, discounted at $2,159; Kenya Wildlife Safari 4/8/22 departure. 13% off / $600 off, discounted at $3,919.

Black Friday: Nov. 26: “Special Lightning Deals!” with the best of what’s left! Plus up to $600 off on worldwide tours plus a doorbuster on Black Friday day!

Traveling solo within group travel is discounted too. Get an extra $100 off for private rooms on top of the sales, which could equate to a free single room.  Just one of many examples of a bucket list solo trip: Portugal for Solo Travelers 16% off / $500 off, discounted at $2,539.

Let EF Go Ahead experts navigate travel and health & safety guidelinesand plan with fully refundable trips with no change fees Only $99 down secures a spot when you enroll in AutoPay. Book before November 30th and if you have to change plans, receive a refund of all money paid for that tour, including the deposit, through February 1, 2022. Change tour date or destination without a rebooking fee up until the Final Payment Date. EF offers Covid Care Promise, a comprehensive offering that supports travelers, at no additional expense through unforeseen on-tour quarantines or hospitalizations. 

EF Go Ahead Tours, 800, 590-1161, www.goaheadtours.com

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