Stowaway FALL 2011
EXPLORE. DREAM. DISCOVER.
Deep Water Soloing across the World
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE 8 Fixes for Airport Boredom You Say Goodbye, I Say Hello Experience the Mystery and Wonder of Norway
Use every day for— Abrasions Blisters Bruises Bug bites & stings Burns Chafing Chapped hands Cuticles Cuts Dry lips Dry skin Gashes Irritations Peeling skin Rashes Scrapes Scratches Scuffs Shaving bumps Sore feet Sores Sunburn Windburn And much more
Helps Your Skin Help Itself—Naturally www.miracell.com In the background is the mighty Tungurahua Volcano, which almost obliterated the small town of Baños, Ecuador, several years ago. You can see more of my pictures at www.lightworldphotography.com. —Taylor
I’ve traveled all over the world for the last 6 years.
From Wales to Fiji, from Argentina to Iceland. I’ve climbed on Aconcagua, the highest mountain in South America; biked over 600 miles in Iceland; run 100 miles on foot in 32 hours in Idaho; guided adventure travel trips in over 6 different states; dived with sharks at night; road tripped down the Baja Peninsula and more … I know what it means to be prepared. On all my adventures I always take MiraCell. I use it for myself, my friends, and my clients because it works. You never know what life is going to throw at you, but if you’re prepared, it will work out all right and you’ll have some sweet stories to tell when you get back.
— Taylor Allred
Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
MiraCell uses natural plant extracts that support the miraculous healing power of your skin.
Helps Your Skin Help Itself—Naturally www.miracell.com
Stowaway FALL 2011
Departments Field Notes
7 Letter from the Editor 8 Wacky World Sports
52 Out of the Office 54 Tales from the Trip 56 You Say Goodbye, I Say Hello 57 Get Lost! 58 Photo Contest Winners
Culture 12 The Ace Hotel 14 South Africa at a Glance 16 Visiting the Sacred 17 Chill Out 18 Four Pumpkin Recipes
Insider 62 8 Fixes for Airport Boredom 64 Dare to Be a Traveler 65 Ride the Rails 67 Backpacker’s Guide to Europe 68 Audio Trip
Getaway 22 Kansas City 24 Dominican Republic 26 Cinque Terre
70 Voodoo, Vampires & Zombies 72 Staff Essay: Edge of the World 74 Parting Shot
ON THE COVER Miquel Riera “hangs out” off the coast of Mallorca, Spain. photo by Rasmus Kaessman
30 Top: photo by Sigve Indregard/Flickr; FAcing page Left to right: photos courtesy of the Ace hotel, Renée S./Flickr, Ian Munroe, David spinks/flickr, new orelans history voodoo museum
Land of the Midnight Sun
Know what to look for and where to go to experience the culture, nature, and capture of three Norwegian coastal cities.
Deep Water Soloing Dive into the extreme world of psicobloc. Learn where it came from, how it works, and what you need to know to be a successful climber.
Exchanging Lives Learn the ins and outs of home exchanges—a cost-effective way to become immersed in a country’s culture.
Bon Om Tuk Celebrate Cambodia’s historical Khmer Water Festival and find out why millions consider this festival Southeast Asia’s best.
Stowaway EXPLORE. DREAM. DISCOVER.
MANAGING EDITOR Talyn Camp ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITORS Annie Beer Nick Hoban
For dreamers who do.
SENIOR EDITORS Stephanie Johnson Danielle Kopotic Kimberly Smith ASSOCIATE EDITORS Lynnae Jackson Kaley Shoaf COPYEDITORS Sarah M. McConkie Katherine Smith ART DIRECTOR Chelsea Fitch ASSISTANT ART DIRECTORS Holly Anderson Katie Bryan Allison Frost SENIOR DESIGNERS Holli Hale Neltje Maynez Nathan Parkinson BUSINESS MANAGER Phil Volmar ASSISTANT BUSINESS MANAGER Bridgette Tuckfield ONLINE EDITOR Lindsay Anderson SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER Amy Hoffman ADVISOR Chelsee Ostler EDITOR IN CHIEF Marvin K. Gardner
© 2011 Marvin K. Gardner 4045 JFSB, Brigham Young University Provo, Utah 84602 Printed by MagCloud Stowaway is produced as a group project for English Language 430R, Editing for Publication, the capstone class of the editing minor at Brigham Young University. All staff members contributed to planning, writing, editing, and designing. The views expressed in this publication are solely the views of the authors and do not represent the views or opinions of BYU. Stowaway takes inspiration from the words of Mark Twain: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
staff Photos by Chelsea fitch
Live, learn, and work with a community overseas. Be a Volunteer.
Top to bottom, left to right: Talyn, Annie, Nick, Stephanie, Danielle, Kimberly, Lynnae, Kaley, Sarah, Katherine, Chelsea, Holly, Katie, Allison, Holli, Neltje, Nathan, Phil, Bridgette, Lindsay, Amy, Chelsee, Marv
I am a memoir. W
Enjoy the ride!
hen I was 18, I had my first experience with international public transportation. The Tube (a rather endearing nickname for London’s underground subway system) just about dismembered me when the train doors slammed shut much too close to a few of my extremities. Somewhere in the back of my mind it occurred to me that I was probably going to need that arm later. Probably. The good news is that I wasn’t injured, merely scared out of my wits. I got over the whole ordeal and stepped onto countless Washington, DC, metro trains during the long commute to my internship last summer. I subjected myself to all manner of similar near-death experiences on a daily basis—almost getting bumped onto the tracks, nearly being choked to death by the distinct odor of 12-year-old Boy Scouts, and practically sweating off my body weight when the air conditioning malfunctioned. These experiences occurred regularly, I can assure you. I can also assure you that creating my arsenal of memoirs and retelling them has given me a dependence on laughter that you wouldn’t believe. After all, what’s life without experiencing a couple of tough flight landings, a few crazy double-decker bus drivers, and more than a handful of packed subway cars? Life isn’t meant to be a typical ride on your typical grade-school bus. Just like life is not your typical bus ride, Stowaway is not your typical magazine read. This carefully crafted vehicle of sorts has been built to do exactly what you were meant to do—experience. Experience exotic foods, frustrating language barriers, heartpumping thrills, and exhausting (but entertaining) layovers, with a pinch of common-sense tips on the side. Many of us won’t make it to Cambodia, Norway, and the Dominican Republic, but we can all muster the motivation to do something and to create memories wherever we stand, climb, bike, ride, or fly. It’s not hard to become a memoir—and we’re here to pick you up and take you to the next stop in your story.
Life isn’t meant to be a typical ride on your typical grade-school bus.
Photo by Kiara Farley
www.stowawaymag.com << 7
N Wacky World Written by Allison Frost, Nate Parkinson, and Kimberly Smith
fter you’ve achieved “cultural authenticity” by eating with your hands, experience something your hosts actually care about—their sports. Not your typical breed of athletics, these attractions are often an ancient cultural tradition of their host nation.
TEJO: COLOMBIA Based on a sport played by Colombia’s Chibcha Indians, tejo incorporates multiple elements of a common horseshoe game with the added bonus of explosions. That’s right—locals play the national sport of Colombia by throwing a small disc (the tejo) at an explosive target, called the mecha, which is embedded in a clay box. The boxes contain concentric rings with two mechas in the center, and points are awarded based on proximity to the explosives. Teams vary in size, and virtually all professional tejo teams are sponsored by local breweries, giving each tournament the atmosphere of a fiesta. Colombians are happy to share their national pastime with visitors, and tejo courts can be found scattered throughout every city. Not into drinking? Just be sure your hosts know you’re interested in a virgin game.
OCTOPUSH: UNITED KINGDOM This underwater spin on hockey was invented in 1954 by Alan Blake of Portsmouth, England. In octopush, which takes place in a swimming pool, players wear a diving mask, fins, and a snorkel. The rules are similar to ice hockey, but players use a much shorter stick and a lead puck designed to skim across the bottom of the pool. In recent years, the sport has gained popularity, with the first world championship taking place in Italy in 2007. A world championship is now held every other year.
PATO: ARGENTINA The national sport of Argentina, pato was originally played with a live duck (pato in Spanish). Gripping the duck, competitors on horseback would attempt to wrestle the bird from one another and fly the battered creature through the opposing team’s goal. Don’t call PETA just yet, however. Pato hasn’t used an actual duck for over 200 years, when the sport was outlawed. In 1938, the government lifted the ban and a fowl-less edition of the folk sport became popular, with current teams consisting of four riders to a team. Part polo, part basketball, part playground brawl, pato is worth seeing year-round. 8 >> fall 2011
SCHWINGEN: SWITZERLAND This Swiss national sport dates all the way back to medieval times. Opponents wear loose shorts with a leather belt that each participant grabs and uses to throw his opponent to the ground. The rules are pretty simple: there’s one ten-minute round, and when both of an opponent’s shoulders touch the ground, the other player has won. Schwingen takes place in festivals from early summer through fall, but the biggest event is a tournament that takes place every three years. Keeping with tradition, the winner takes home a live bull.
SEPAK TAKRAW: SOUTHEAST ASIA
Illustrations by Madeleine Fisher
Combine volleyball and some acrobatic hacky sack and you get sepak takraw. Sepak takraw is popular throughout the nations of Southeast Asia. Sometimes referred to as kick volleyball, this sport involves teams of three, a five-foot net, and a fist-sized ball. The players lunge to kick, spike, and block the ball using only their legs, chest, and head. That’s right—the use of arms is not allowed, anywhere from the shoulder down to the fingertips. Many of the international tournaments are held during the fall. Do yourself a favor and head to Southeast Asia for some firsthand experience.
JUKSKEI: SOUTH AFRICA
AUSTRALIAN FOOTBALL: AUSTRALIA
This traditional South African sport was first played by transport riders, who threw the wooden pins of their oxen’s yokes at sticks they had already pushed into the ground. Today, jukskei involves an object called a skei that is thrown at an upright peg. The game is played with two teams of four players, and each player has two skeis. Each team needs to score exactly 23 points to win, and if a team scores more than 23 points they must start back at zero. In 2010, jukskei was selected as a display sport at the World Horseshoe Pitching Championship.
Australian-Rules Football, Aussie Rules, or “footy,” is one of the most popular sports in Australia. It consists of two teams of 22 players, an elliptically shaped field, and an extreme fusion of rugby and basketball. Players run (and occasionally bounce) a ball, similar in shape to a rugby ball, across the field in frantic sprints, kicking the ball through goals to earn points. Unpadded and unprotected, players bash into and on top of each other to gain possession of the ball. It’s a full-contact sport that requires players to use as much of their body (and their opponents’) as possible. www.stowawaymag.com << 9
Travel & Graduate Take the classroom on your trip. Enroll in courses online and study on your own schedule. Get the BYU credits you need to graduate and still have time to explore.
Online courses elearn.byu.edu
Culture Arts >>Learn more about the Ace Hotel, South Africa, and religious sites around the world. pages 12–16
PHoto courtesy of Sifu Renka
Eats >> Transition from summer to fall with international icy treats and savory pumpkin recipes you can make at home. pages 17–19
Dive into a dish of Taiwan’s creamy bao bing and discover how people in this country and others cool down with their unique takes on ice cream. page 17
The Re-Invention of the Creative Escape T
he Ace Hotel is not for your average traveler. You won’t find a lobby with floral décor or a stuffy concierge. You won’t find basic toiletry samples in the bathroom. You won’t find rooms that all look alike or restaurants with basic diner food. The Ace Hotel is “everything you need, and nothing you don’t,” as a hotel guest coined at the opening of the first hotel. Seattle friends and founders Alex Calderwood, Wade Weigel, and Doug Herrick wanted to create a travelers’ paradise “that felt less like a hotel and more like staying at a cool friend’s apartment,” Calderwood says, “—something that felt like home, but sort of elevated and adventurous. I used to promote parties and shows in Seattle in the 90s and wanted to have a cheap, cool place for friends to stay—like some of the inexpensive hotels we’d found in Europe—and it grew from there. We love to travel, and so we see the hotel as a platform to celebrate culture—music, art, literature, design, and everything else we like.” So the Ace Hotel was born in Seattle, Washington, and then later expanded to include hotels in Portland, Oregon, and Palm Springs, California. The first Ace Hotel in the East recently opened in New York. “Mostly we build hotels in places we’d want to live and work because we end up spending a lot of time there,” says Calderwood. “We wanted to create a hotel that was both affordable to our friends—artists or not—and that appealed to them aesthetically. Most of our creative friends are interested in a more authentic, handmade aesthetic, with everything you could need or want but nothing excessive.”
Young creatives have flocked to this hotel chain to be inspired while on their travels and to have a comfortable place to hang out with friends and new acquaintances. But how can a hotel with young travelers constantly coming and going keep a fresh and innovative atmosphere? When you stay at an Ace Hotel, no two rooms and no two hotels are alike. “We wanted each hotel to reflect its place and the people there,” says Calderwood. “We wanted to respect the city’s history while creating something new. There is a sort of Ace DNA that runs through all of our hotels— repurposed materials, local art, and a friendly and low-key vibe—but they all have a very different feel. For instance, the Ace in New York is more urban and studious, while the Palm Springs hotel has more of an earthy, hippie feel.” The unique décor isn’t contained only within the rooms. The basic concept that inspires the style of the Ace Hotel is to take a historic, practically run-down building, keep its charm, and mirror it with clean lines to cultivate the creativity of its customers. This is shown throughout every room, including the lobby, restaurants, and recreational areas, from the minute you walk in the doors. The Ace Hotel sets itself apart beyond just the surface. The service and attention to detail also contribute to the vision of a practical yet pleasing space. As a young traveler, you want to get the most out of your stay and experience new people and places. The Ace Hotel’s service caters
specifically to that type of culture. In Portland and Palm Springs, the hotels offer free bicycles for their guests to discover the cities the same way the locals do. The founders really believe in helping their guests experience life through traveling. Because these hotels cater to young adults, they keep things budget friendly, with rooms ranging between $95 and $250 per night. Ace Hotels offer from 28 to 120 rooms, depending on which hotel you’re visiting. Calderwood leaves one piece of advice for young travelers: “Try to find something unexpected or off-the-map—and if you leave a mark, make sure it’s a good one.” —Chelsea Fitch
“Everything you need, and nothing you don’t.” —Ace Hotel guest 12 >> fall 2011
Photos courtesy of The Ace Hotel, Jeremy Pelley, D. L. Tompson & Jon Johnson, and John Mark Sorum
The Ace Hotel Cross Country The Ace Hotel began as a small dream in Seattle, Washington. The founders then expanded their idea to other locations where they like to travel, creating a bicoastal chain. The different hotels reflect the unique characteristics of each location.
Located in the middle of Belltown, this hotel is within walking distance of Seattle’s major attractions such as the Space Needle and Pike Place Market. The hotel has only 28 rooms, but it offers free wi-fi and is pet friendly.
Nestled near the Pearl District and the famous Powell’s Books, this Ace Hotel has 79 rooms that emphasize the eco-friendly culture of the area. The hotel offers room service, free wi-fi, and free rental bikes so you can travel around the city like a local. Guests can also take advantage of the vintage photo booth located in the lobby.
Photos courtesy of The Ace Hotel, Jeremy Pelley, Douglas Lyle Thompson, and John Mark Sorum
This spa & resort version of the Ace Hotel is in the middle of sunkissed Palm Springs. The hotel has 180 rooms with outdoor spa services and a laidback atmosphere. The communal fireplaces located around the grounds encourage partying and socializing. There is often a live band playing, making this hotel a great DJ scene.
New York Photos on opposite page, from top: Ace Hotel Room Numbers—Metal Signage in Portland, Oregon Hangers found in the New York hotel. Custom exposed closets and cubbies offer plenty of storage for guests at the New York location. Each room is supplied with culture magazines and custom Ace stationery at the
Palm Springs location. Photo booths are located in the lobbies for all guests. Lobby of the hotel in Portland. Photos on this page, clockwise from top left: Unique room in Portland hotel. Room in New York. Band from Portland chills in their room. Free bikes for guests to borrow.
The New York location is in a 12-story building in the heart of Midtown near the Theater District. This location is the biggest with 260 rooms and offers the following luxury amenities: room service, free wi-fi, and a gym. The rooms are also pet friendly.
For more information please visit:
www.stowawaymag.com << 13
The Best Odds South Africa at a Glance
outh Africa is a country that lives, breathes, and exudes uniqueness. In some ways it stands out as an oddity among other countries of the world because some things about it are unique in a way that we never even thought to think about. Since it is impossible to entirely capture the essence of a country in a lifetime, let alone in a few short words, here are some odd numbers that have special significance and that showcase a few of South Africa’s unique features—seven colors, five languages, three capital cities, one nation.
The Union Buildings, seat of government administration, are located in Pretoria
in the national anthem: Xhosa, Zulu, Sotho, Afrikaans, and English. The first stanza starts out in the click-heavy Xhosa and transitions after two lines to Zulu, which sounds almost the same to untrained ears. The second stanza is sung entirely in Sotho, another native African dialect. The third stanza is sung in Afrikaans, a tribute to the power and prestige that Afrikaans speakers once held and, to some degree, still retain. The fourth and final stanza is sung in English. Though the different languages maintain their unique identity, they work together to build a song that sounds whole and movingly beautiful. Such is the way of South Africa. Different languages are spoken, different cultural identities are groomed, and yet the country embraces this diversity and finds unified harmony in accepting its people’s differences.
THREE capital cities:
Pretoria, Cape Town, and Bloemfontein. Under Apartheid, Pretoria was the capital city of South Africa and remains the administrative capital in present-day South Africa. Cape Town, where many of those who resisted the rule of Apartheid took up headquarters, serves as the legislative seat of South Africa and houses the Parliament. And Bloemfontein, which has been the judicial capital of the country since 1910, still serves today as the seat of the Supreme Court of Appeal. The division of the country’s government into these three capital cities reflects the long and complicated political history of South Africa, beginning with the Dutch East India Company and Large crowds gathered for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
14 >> fall 2011
Photo by frames-of-mind/flikr above: photo by Hühnerauge/flikr
in the rainbow from which South Africa derives its nickname, “the rainbow nation.” Though most countries can lay some claim to this title, South Africa boasts a blend of cultures, yet each maintains its own distinct identity—much like the bands of light in a rainbow maintain their separate colors. South Africa is a “biodiversity hotspot,” both because of its broad range of climates—from tropical to mountainous to grassland to desert—and its broad range of sociocultural identities. The United States is a “melting pot” that has, to an extent, homogenized distinct cultures into a harmonious blend, but South African cultural identity comes from each person’s ancestry. South Africans distinguish those of English ancestry from those of Portuguese or Greek heritage, and they differentiate themselves further by which native tribe they belong to and which language they speak.
moving through British occupation and Afrikaner rule to the country’s present-day republic. Each of the capital cities honors events that have contributed to the rich cultural heritage of South Africa.
ONE recognized race:
African. Though South Africa has almost a dozen national languages, a range of skin tones representing every part of the world, and vastly different political and socioeconomic viewpoints in each culture, one thing binds all these different groups together—the race they belong to. Whether native South Africans tell you in Xhosa, Zulu, Sotho, Greek, Hindi, Mandarin, Afrikaans, or English—or in a multitude of other languages and dialects—they will tell you in no uncertain terms that they are African. —Lynnae Jackson South Africans love Freshlyground, the Afro-fusion band that joined Shakira for “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa),” the official 2010 FIFA World Cup Song. Freshlyground’s music, as well as the band’s composition, captures the interracial unity that South Africa is now famous for.
Visiting the Sacred How to Be an Enlightened Guest
avid C. Dollahite, PhD, stood in the back of a mosque looking for the imam, the prayer leader of the mosque. The imam would soon be added to the list of over 250 religious men and women Dollahite has interviewed in their places of worship for his research on how religious practices and beliefs affect people’s lives, marriages, and children. As Dollahite moved through the room, he inadvertently walked in front of a man praying toward Mecca. “As I walked in front of him,” Dollahite says, “he reached out, stopped me, moved me around him (while still looking forward), and continued his prayer.” What Dollahite didn’t realize at the time was that walking in front of a praying Muslim is highly inappropriate; doing so makes it appear that he or
she is praying to that person. Having learned from his faux pas, Dollahite gives five suggestions for the churchgoing traveler.
Dollahite suggests picking up a copy of How to Be a Perfect Stranger: The Essential Religious Etiquette Handbook (edited by Stuart M. Matlins and Arthur J. Magida) because it shares the basic beliefs and practices of most religions. Dollahite also encourages those planning to visit religious pilgrimage sites to be prepared for displays of intense emotion. People have often made great sacrifices to be there, and they’re “expecting a religious experience.”
While what is considered appropriate dress changes from site to site, special care should be taken when visiting Orthodox Jewish or Muslim sites. Women should wear “loose fitting clothing that covers the body down to the wrists, up to the neck, and down to the mid-calf or below.” Women should also wear a scarf covering their hair when visiting a mosque. Men should wear loose clothing covering the body from the neck to the wrists and ankles.
Keep your group small Sites like Notre Dame are historical relics and are considered sacred.
If you are not the outgoing type, visiting a religious site with a couple of friends
can ease your nerves. Dollahite cautions, however, against attending a religious site or service in a large group of 10 or more people because of the tendency to whisper, which creates a potentially disruptive and disrespectful atmosphere.
Bring a couple of dollars
Many religious sites depend on donations and, according to Dollahite, “you’ll feel better if you make a contribution, especially when you attend services of other faiths.” Be prepared for people to decline your donation; often those of other faiths prefer to host their visitors free of charge.
Ask what is appropriate
Visiting a religious site or service, says Dollahite, is “like being in someone’s home. You would sit where you were asked to sit, you would ask to use the bathroom, and you wouldn’t just wander. You would try to be circumspect, reserved, a little cautious, and a little careful.” The same courtesy applies when visiting a religious site. It is always best to ask a member of the congregation or clergy what is appropriate for a visitor to do. If photography is permitted at all, be sure to ask what you can take pictures of and what parts of ceremonies you should participate in, if you feel comfortable doing so. — Danielle Kopotic
While on a trip to Europe that included a five-day getaway to Paris, France, Anondi Sanchez, a college student from San Diego, California, was able to visit many religious sites, including Notre Dame de Paris: “When I was visiting Notre Dame, they were gracious enough to allow us to stay inside while their boys’ choir practiced for a special Sunday service. They closed the doors to the public but allowed those of us who were already inside to remain so long as we were quiet and did not take pictures during the practice. “When the doors closed, a quiet hush swept across the cathedral.
16 >> fall 2011
I was impressed by the trails of black soot that climbed endlessly up the walls from the countless prayer candles that had been lit over the years. I felt I needed to do all I could to maintain that reverence, so I sat down. The voices of the choir were incredible. The acoustics were amazing. As I listened, I was moved to tears. “One thing that was disturbing to me was the guests who disregarded this special invitation and continued to talk, walk around, and take pictures. To be honest, I was surprised that we were able to take pictures in there at all.”
Photo by Chi King
Embarrassed in Church
Ice Cream around the World
High up in the mountains in Merida, Venezuela, sits a little ice cream shop named Heladería Coromoto (Coromoto Ice Cream Shop). Sure, you can order your favorite flavors here— chocolate, strawberry, and piña colada. But why stop there? This world-record-holding heladería boasts over 800 flavors, and with so many options, it’s hard to imagine what flavor hasn’t been made. The more adventurous patrons will try flavors like rice and beans, cold duck, carrot, and spaghetti and cheese. Whatever flavor you choose, just know that it’s bound to be an adventure.
Rice and ice cream—not a likely combination. But in Japan they have taken this idea and perfected it. Mochi (pronounced moh-chee) ice cream combines two delicious foods into one sweet treat. Mochi, pounded sticky rice, is a popular snack in Japan. It forms a gooey outer shell around the ice cream inside. Mochi ice cream can be found in most grocery stores in Japan, and you can even find it in certain stores in the United States, such as Trader Joe’s. Popular flavors include green tea, chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla. Flavors like mango and red bean paste are becoming more popular as well. Which will be your favorite?
It’s late at night at the Shinlin night market in Taipei. As you duck into the door of a hole-in-the-wall restaurant, you prepare yourself for a refreshing treat: shaved ice, or bao bing. This sweet, inexpensive dish is made of shaved milk ice, which gives the bao bing a creamy flavor. There are dozens of topping options that vary from vendor to vendor, ranging from fresh fruit to red beans to chocolate. This popular treat can be found all over the island of Taiwan.
Spaghetti, pizza, and—gelato! Italy is known for its fine foods, and gelato is no exception. This intensely flavored and sinfully smooth dessert has enthralled devoted fans all over the world. Unlike traditional United States ice cream, the flavors in gelato are more powerful and pure. Many native Italians (73%, in fact) tend to choose a cream flavor over a fruity one when they order gelato; chocolate and hazelnut are two favorites. A unique trait of gelato is its shelf life of only a few days. This means that on your next trip to Italy you can count on your gelato being fresh—and, most likely, made nearby.
π www.istitutodelgelato.it —Annie Beer
from top: Photos courtesy of Tan Hsin-Ee/sxc.hu and photos by Steve Ling, Sifu Renka, Shannon Hurst Lane/Flickr
www.stowawaymag.com << 17
The 4 Corners of the Kitchen
Fried Pumpkin Blossoms
Directions 1. Clean one pumpkin and peel it. Cook until soft, then mash it with a mixer. 2. Reheat mashed pumpkin in a large saucepan. 3. Thinly slice the onion and bell pepper. 4. Fry the onion and bell pepper in olive oil until brown. 5. Mix browned onions and bell peppers with pumpkin. 6. Add coarse salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.
1 dozen pumpkin blossoms 3 eggs 1 dozen saltine crackers salt and pepper to taste 1/2 stick margarine
Directions 1. 2. 3. 4.
Crush crackers and place in a shallow bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Scramble eggs in a second bowl. Dredge pumpkin blossoms gently in egg batter, then into the cracker crumbs. Turn over and repeat. (The flowers are tender, so it is better to set the blossom in the cracker bowl and pat on the crumbs.) 5. Place directly into a frying pan with margarine. 6. Cook until slightly brown. 7. Remove from pan and place on a paper towel to drain.
From left: Photos by tim1965, Nick Perla/Flickr
3–4 cups pumpkin, cooked and mashed 1 onion 2 Tbs. olive oil 1 bell pepper salt and pepper to taste
18 >> fall 2011
It’s that time of year—the time when moms everywhere make their famous (or infamous) homemade pumpkin pie. But pumpkin can be used in much more than just pie. Put a twist on this year’s helping of pumpkin by trying these recipes from around the world.
Pumpkin and Chicken Curry
Beef Stew in a Pumpkin Shell
1 small pumpkin or butternut squash (about 1 1/2 lbs.) halved, seeded, peeled, and cut into bite-size cubes 2 shallots, chopped 3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped 1 Tbs. Thai red curry paste 1 can (13 1/2 fl. oz.) unsweetened coconut milk 2 Tbs. Asian fish sauce Juice of 1 lime 2 tsp. firmly packed light brown sugar 3 Tbs. corn or peanut oil 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bitesize cubes 2 Tbs. slivered fresh basil, preferably Thai basil steamed rice for serving
From left: Photo by protogarrett/flickr; Photo courtesy of christmasstockimages.com
Directions 1. Cook the pumpkin by bringing a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the pumpkin and boil until barely tender, about 7 minutes. Drain well and set aside. 2. Next, prepare the curry base. In a blender, combine the shallots, garlic, and curry paste with 2 Tbs. water and process until smooth. In a small bowl, combine the coconut milk, fish sauce, lime juice, and brown sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves. 3. In a wok or large fry pan over medium heat, warm 2 Tbs. of the oil. Add the chicken and sear until light brown on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a bowl. 4. Return the pan to medium heat and add the remaining 1 Tbs. oil. Add the curry base and cook, stirring for about 10 seconds until fragrant. Stir in the coconut milk mixture and bring to a boil. Add the chicken and pumpkin, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the pumpkin is tender when pierced with a fork and the chicken is opaque throughout (about 5 minutes more. Transfer the curry to a serving bowl, garnish with the basil, and serve immediately with steamed rice.
1 1 1 1 2
ten lb. cinderella or cheese pumpkin 3 tsp. olive oil lb. beef chuck or stew beef cut into 1” cubes small yellow onion, peeled and chopped green bell pepper, stemmed, peeled, and chopped plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped 1/4 tsp. oregano 1 bay leaf 1 clove garlic 2 cups beef stock 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed 2 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed 1 cup fresh or frozen corn 2 fresh peaches, peeled, pitted, and cubed, or 4 canned peach halves, drained and cubed salt and pepper to taste
Directions 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 2. Cut open the lid of the pumpkin. Clean out the inside, removing and discarding seeds and strings. 3. Replace lid on the pumpkin and place onto a sturdy cookie sheet. Bake about 45 minutes, until tender when pierced with a knife or fork. 4. While the pumpkin is baking, heat oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Brown the beef then transfer it to a bowl using a slotted spoon so the oil will drain. 5. Reduce heat to medium. Add garlic, onions, and pepper. Cook until soft, about 10–15 minutes, stirring frequently. 6. Add beef, tomatoes, beef stock, and all spices. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 7. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for 40 minutes. 8. Add potatoes and cook for 20 minutes. 9. Add corn and cook another 10 minutes. 10. Spoon soup into the pumpkin and bake for another 30 minutes. 11. Remove from oven. 12. Carefully transfer the pumpkin to a serving platter. 13. 0Serve soup into bowls directly from the pumpkin.
www.stowawaymag.com << 19
June 23 — October 22
A Midsummer Night’s Dream Richard III Romeo and Juliet The Music Man The Glass Menagerie Noises Off! The Winter’s Tale Dial M for Murder
800-PLAYTIX 800-PLAYTIX bard.org bard.org
Getaway for a Weekend >>Head over to Kansas City to experience the tastes and sounds that define this corner of the Midwest. page 22
for a Week >> Experience the thrill of jumping from the Dominican Republic’s 27 cascading waterfalls. page 24
Photo by Blackburn Photo
for a while >> Explore the gorgeous Italian Riviera as you tour Italy’s cities on the cliffs. page 26
As you get caught up in jazz and barbecue, browse Kansas City’s museums of 18th and Vine. page 22
away for a weekend
The Greatest Place You’ve Never Been
’m going to Kansas City; Kansas City, here I come!” These words were made popular by Wilbert Harrison in his 1959 R&B and Billboard Hot 100 Charts version of the rhythm and blues song Kansas City. You can sing those same words this fall when you take a weekend getaway to enjoy barbecue, baseball, and beats in the heart of America—Kansas City.
Lunch at Arthur Bryant’s—a beef brisket sandwich, fries, and a drink.
Kansas City-style barbecue is known for its variety of meats and a sweet, tomatobased sauce. When visiting the area, you can choose from several barbecue restaurants and competitions. These include Arthur Bryant’s Restaurant, Fiorella’s Jack Stack Restaurant, and the American Royal Barbecue Competition. Since 1930, U.S. presidents, celebrities, and everyday men and women have made the trip to Arthur Bryant’s for barbecue that is slowsmoked with a combination of hickory and oak woods, mellowed to the peak of flavor, then splashed with Original or Rich & Spicy sauce. While the restaurant is best known for its slabs of ribs, you might prefer a giant sandwich consisting of a heaping pile of your choice of meat between two slices of Wonder bread. A beef brisket sandwich with fries and a small drink costs $12.10 plus tax.
A view from the upper deck at a night game at Kauffman Stadium.
The Negro League Baseball Museum and the American Jazz Museum are located on the historic corner of 18th and Vine.
22 >> fall 2011
Speaking of World Series . . . the Kansas City Royals may not have won since their 1985 showdown against the St. Louis Cardinals, but their games are still exciting events. The 2011 season will be the Royals’ 39th at Kauffman Stadium—considered one of the crown jewel ballparks of Major League Baseball—and tickets for some games can sell for as little as $4.00. Baseball fans and non-fans alike should take the opportunity to visit America’s National Negro League Baseball Museum (NLBM). Located in
Competition barbecue is serious business around the country. But at the American Royal Barbecue, the competition really heats up. The American Royal is the opening event of the American Royal Rodeo and the season finale for the competitive barbecue circuit. It is the largest barbecue competition in the world, with about 500 teams competing in four culinary contests in Kansas City’s historic Stockyards District. The competition is combined with a barbecue trade expo to create an experience that has been dubbed the World Series of Barbecue. This year, you can treat your taste buds by attending the American Royal Barbecue on October 1–2. For more info visit—
π www.jackstackbbq.com π www.arthurbryantsbbq.com π www.arbbq.com
the 18th and Vine Historic District, the NLBM “recreates the look, sounds and feel of the game’s storied past. Video presentations and memorabilia in the 10,000 square-foot multimedia exhibit chronicle the history and heroes of the leagues from their origin after the Civil War to their demise in the 1960s,” according to their website. Adult admission is only $8.00. For more info visit—
π www.kansascityroyals.com π www.nlbm.com
from top, Photography by Marshall Astor, Ian Munroe, Blackburn Photo.
Stowaway EXPLORE. DREAM. DISCOVER.
It has been said that jazz was born in New Orleans, but it grew up in Kansas City. The golden age of the Kansas City jazz scene took place during the 1920s, 30s, and 40s, and at that time, the historic 18th and Vine Jazz District was the center of culture and commerce. Today you can visit the American Jazz Museum to view displays and listen to live jazz that pays homage to legends
of the era. Adult admission is $8.00, but a ticket to both the American Jazz Museum and America’s National Negro League Baseball Museum can be purchased for just $10.00. For more info visit—
π www.americanjazzmuseum.com —Katie Bryan
Want to read more? Visit our website at stowawaymag.com to read online exclusives and articles from previous issues.
Photo courtesy of flickr creative Commons
Stowaway Photo Contest
For a fresh, new take on the Kansas City music scene, check out Crossroads KC at Grinder’s.
Kansas City has always struck an impressive balance between the past and the present. Consider letting that same blend of old and new rhythms accompany you on your trip through the city by mixing legendary jazz and local indie rock. May we suggest— “My Little Suede Shoes” and “Buzzy,” by Charlie Parker “A World Apart” and “Forgive You,” by Vedera
Don’t know what to do with those amazing photos from your last big adventure? Check our website to see if we have a current photo contest. Submit your photos for the chance to be featured in an upcoming issue!
Staff Essays Only one of our staff essays appears in this issue. Make sure to read “Made in China,” “River of Rain,” “A Traveler’s Morality,” and “From the Eyes of an Expat Veteran” on stowawaymag.com.
away for a week
Three. Two. One.
Twenty-seven Cascadas in the Dominican Republic
ooking at the white, frothy waves. Hearing the trilling of the fastpaced Spanish. Seeing the darkskinned boys and girls running around. Feeling the rough, grainy sand of the beaches. I was in a different world. I was in the Dominican Republic. The DR (as the hip teenagers call it) contains one thing that no other place in the world has: the Damajaqua Cascades, the 27 Waterfalls. As one of the Dominicans told me, “If you don’t go, you are missing out on the best day of your life.” I had been looking forward to this adventure since I had arrived in the Dominican Republic. And seeing how the locals are known for their honesty, I was sure that I was in for an unforgettable experience.
Three! Bumping along on the dirt road, I began to think about what I was doing. Twenty-seven Waterfalls was highly recommended by almost everyone I had talked to, but I was scared. I have always been scared of heights, but where better to test my fear than to scale the side of a mountain and
Taking the plunge and jumping off a cascada.
then jump off 27 Waterfalls to get to the bottom? It sounded crazy, but where else was I going to find something like this? Nowhere. Only in the Dominican Republic. After embarking on a two-hour, hot, cramped bus ride, we discovered that we weren’t there yet. My group and I still had to hike a little over a mile to get to the main check area because the buses couldn’t handle the dirt road. No one had told us that hiking was required! But the hike just added to the anticipation of the adventure. Everyone was giddy with excitement and nervous about what we were going to conquer.
Two! Our group had to get suited up for the adventure. The guides were extremely helpful; most of them had been guides since they were about 14 years old. As we were suiting up—as
a safety measure, we were required to wear helmets and life jackets—one of the guides yelled, “Ay! Mira! Van a llorar.” (Roughly translated: “Oh! Look! All of these Americans—they are going to cry. What weaklings!”) My whole group looked terrified; we didn’t know what to expect, and here the guides were making fun of us! This was definitely going to be an interesting experience. We pleaded with our guides to keep us safe, and then we were on our way. We trudged through rivers and rocky paths. We climbed up shaky ladders and got pulled up by buff river guides who thought we were silly for fearing the waterfalls.
One! At times, the guides let us stop
and admire the beauty that surrounded us. Swimming through the winding
Local Lingo Guaguas—public transportation. Think your mom’s mini-van packed to the brim with as many people as possible—and chickens. Guineo—a banana; a staple snack for most Dominicans
24 >> fall 2011
K lo K—a slang way of saying hello. La Bandera—the traditional Dominican meal consisting of rice and beans and some sort of meat (usually pork or beef) Morro—beans
Mercado—a small market where you can get local meat and treats Papi Shampoo—a womanizer; many of the locals use it as a form of endearment
left photo courtesy of tripadvisor. Opposite page photo by kenya allmond/flickr
If you don’t go, you are missing out on the best day of your life
A glimpse of the beauty of one of the 27 waterfalls.
rivers was truly an experience. The swimming was more like doggypaddling, but it still wore us out. While we rested, we floated on our backs and admired the lush, green vegetation and the contrast of the dark, jagged rocks. Birds sang and insects buzzed a happy tune. The falling of water was a constant background noise. The vines snaked all along the rocks, and we were able to use them as anchors to pull ourselves along. It was a world that was too amazing to be true.
Screams of pure joy echoed throughout the canyons as we neared waterfalls. Excitement coursed through our veins as the guides continued to pull us up different waterfalls. And we could hear other thrill-seekers descending the falls. The shouts sent adrenaline running through our veins, causing us to climb faster to the top. The waterfalls were all differing heights, the tallest being 35 feet, and the smallest being 10 feet.
Jump! As I reached the top, I gazed down at the turquoise, peaceful, sparkling water, and I knew that I would never have this experience again. I took one huge breath and jumped over the rocky ledge toward the water and thought, only 26 to go.
Start planning your trip to the DR:
Classy Car Buyers
Office: (801) 226-8006 Fax: (801) 226-1934
986 N State, Orem Utah 84057
away for a while
Cinque Terre Five Cities on the Cliffs
he unpredictable cliff formations of the Italian Riviera have allowed the villages known collectively as Cinque Terre (the five lands) to be constructed in unique patterns that hug the mountainside. Monterrosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore are meant to be experienced on the hiking trails, carved into the mountainside, that the locals use themselves. While hiking along the terrain, you are able to see the unmistakable beauty of each trail and village. A local train makes frequent stops in each village throughout the day. But taking the train will deprive you of experiencing the areas of the trails that are home to gardens, vineyards, and old bridges. While each trail boasts beauty and intrigue, the individual villages have developed their own unique splendor well worth the hike.
Monterrosso al Mare The city farthest north, Monterrosso al Mare is the only city built on flat land. From its shores you can see glimpses of the other four villages. Because of its long shoreline, Monterrosso has the greatest variety of hotels and beachside restaurants. During the summer, this white sand seashore is filled with tourists and sunbathing Italians in vacanza (on vacation).
Vernazza At the end of the trail from Monterrosso al Mare is a small point that looks down on the entire village of Vernazza. The colors of the buildings are strikingly bright, and the clear, turquoise ocean provides a perfect backdrop for the village. At the top of the cliff closest to the water, there are remains of a watchtower and castello Top: Cinque Terre is a popular tourist destination because of its beauty and historic charm. Above: The beach of Moterrosso al Mare is a beautiful place to take a walk.
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One way to travel to Corniglia, the smallest village, is by train.
La Via dell’Amore is another scenic way to travel from village to village.
(castle). The watchtower was used to monitor the ocean for any signs of pirates. If there was an approaching attack, watchmen would set up a fire signal to warn the other villages and call larger neighboring cities for help.
lot. This is the only place you can access by car. Cars are not permitted in any of the five Cinque Terre villages. You may also choose to start your hike here with La Via dell’Amore or jump onto the train to Monterrossa al Mare and work your way through each village. Before heading from one village to another, be sure to devote a generous amount of time to experience the food. Italians usually take two to three hours out of their afternoon for pausa (a pause) to gather with their loved ones and enjoy a large leisurely lunch. Do as the Italians do and take your time savoring each dish because each is an experience in itself. You won’t want to miss any opportunity to capture a beautiful moment along the trail or throughout your exploration of each village. Each is full of memories waiting to be made.
Corniglia Corniglia is the smallest of the five villages and the most difficult to get to; even if you take the train, you will have to hike down thirty-three flights of stairs called the Lardarina. Corniglia has access to the ocean; however, with the village at 330 feet above sea level, the water is down another steep set of stairs. Trekking all of these steps will be worth the effort if you plan to enjoy a sunset on the shoreline. Looking out on the glistening ocean at dusk is relaxing after a vigorous day of hiking.
Photography courtesy of Lindsay Anderson
Manarola The beginning of La Via dell’Amore (the path of love) starts in Manarola and ends in Riomaggiore. In the 1920s, after some malfunctions with construction of the railroad, a trail connecting Manarola and Riomaggiore was built. This allowed young men and women to venture outside their towns, and soon the trail became a lovers’ meeting place. After World War II, it became known as La Via dell’Amore, not only because it was the meeting place for young lovers but also because the walls along the trail are covered in graffiti with declarations of love. Along with the graffiti, there are padlocks on pillars, bridges, fences, and other structures along the trail. It has become a popular ritual for couples to bring padlocks to this area, install them onto a fence or another structure, and throw away the key—symbolically sealing their relationship. La Via dell’Amore is covered in these symbols of commitment.
Riomaggiore At the end of a stroll through La Via dell’Amore, you will come to the final and southernmost village. Riomaggiore is the second largest village and the only one with a parking
For exclusive information about Cinque Terre, visit us online at stowawaymag.com
Few things are more compelling than Italian music. How, then, could you explore the boot of the Mediterranean without the velvet tones of Italian melodies to set the scene? While you’re experiencing the art and architecture that put Italy on the map, be kind to your soul and take in Italy’s celebrated musicians as well. May we suggest— “Il regalo piu grande,” by Tiziano Ferro “Una peosia anche per te,” by Elisa “Vivo per lei,” by Andrea Bocelli
www.stowawaymag.com << 27
Features Norway >>Know what to look for and where to go to experience the
wonder of three coastal cities in the Land of the Midnight Sun. page 30
Vertical Vacations >>Dive into the extreme world of psicobloc. Learn where it came from, how it works, and what you need to know to be a successful climber. page 35 Exchanging lives >> Learn the ins and outs of home exchanges—a cost effective way to become immersed in a country’s culture. page 42 Bon Om Tuk >> Celebrate Cambodia’s historical tradition of the
Photo by Laura K Gibb/Flickr
Khmer Water Festival and find out why millions consider this festival Southeast Asia’s best. page 46
Take a chance. Experience new cultures. Versailles is one of the many places the Tuckfield family visited while on a home exchange. page 42
Norway The Land of the Midnight Sun
By Stephanie Johnson
ear the word Norway and the first thing you may think of is a long-bearded Viking sporting a horned helmet and rough-hewn sword, lording over a fjord from the top of a cliff with the northern lights dancing behind him. This Scandinavian country, with its deep-slicing coastal canyons and heaven-scraping mountains, certainly evokes an atmosphere of mystery and magic. From its rich cultural heritage to its stunning scenery, Norway invites visitors to experience natural and indigenous wonders. One Norwegian says it best when she observes, “Norway is beautiful because nature is simply living its life. No one is pricking or poking at it to ‘make’ it beautiful.” Adds another native, “Norway’s soil is sweeter under our feet than any other dirt. The world cannot be bad when there is so much beauty and majesty.” When planning your own pilgrimage to the land of the midnight sun, consider visiting the following three cities. As you experience Norway’s culture, partake in its nature, and feel the capture of both its natural and manmade specialties, this spectacular land will leave you with memories that you won’t soon forget.
www.stowawaymag.com << 31
Culture: Bergen is known as one of the most beautiful places in the world. Your first stop in the coastal city should be Bryggen. This medieval wharf is marked by a winding main street flanked by docks and shipping on one side and steep-roofed wooden buildings on the other. The cobblestoned maze of streets winding between the houses offers hours of meandering fun. Make sure your wandering eventually leads you to Bergen’s world-famous fish market located just down the street from Bryggen. Hopefully, seeing your lunch swimming around right before you eat it will tempt your stomach instead of turning it. Outside of the main city area on a miniature cliff sits the Edvard Grieg Museum. Grieg is most famous for his musical score to Henrik Ibsen’s play Peer Gynt. The museum was once Grieg’s home, “Troldhaugen,” meaning “troll hill”—perhaps a self-deprecating reference to Grieg’s small stature. Don’t forget to see the authentic Hall of the Mountain King: a winding wooded path leads from the home down a small incline where Grieg’s tomb is carved into the hillside. Nature: The most popular way to view nature on the west coast of Norway is “Norway in a Nutshell,” a breathtaking trip through some of Norway’s most impressive scenery. You can complete the entire trip in just one day, both starting and ending in Bergen, although longer versions of the tour are available. You’ll take two different train rides as A panoramic view of Trondheim exhibits the city’s charm.
32 >> fall 2011
The impressive façade of Nidarosdomen Cathedral evokes a feeling of reverence and awe.
well as a boat ride through Norway’s famous fjords (the Norwegian word for a coastal canyon) and seacoast. One especially exciting train ride out of Bergen is on the Flåm Railway. The 20-kilometer track careens in and out of mountainsides and has a 5.5 percent gradient for 80 percent of the trip. One of the highlights of the ride is crawling up the side of the Sognefjord, Norway’s largest fjord and the second largest fjord in the world. Capture: Before you leave Bergen, be sure to climb to the top of Fløyen, the mountain overlooking the city. The hike to the top is on well-groomed trails and takes around 45 minutes. Not only do you get an incredible view of the city center, but your perspective reaches out to surrounding communities
and nature areas tucked into different corners of the fjord. Eldrid Antonesen, a native Bergenser, says of Fløyen, “When you stand on the top and look out at Bergen, you feel that now you can die because you have experienced the ultimate.”
Culture: Stop number one in this university town is Nidarosdomen, an enormous gothic cathedral whose construction began in the year 1070. This Lutheran church marks the grave of the city’s founder, Saint Olav. The formidable facade contains statues of 57 saints and other scriptural figures. (Look closely— Adam and Eve are darker than
While Norway has gained notoriety with its slew of black metal bands since the 1990s, it’s the nation’s enduring folk scene that echoes the ambiance of the midnight sun. May we suggest— “Ola Tveiten,” by Lillebjørn Nilsen “Sjøfararsong,” by Odd Nordstoga “Heiemo Og Nykkjen,” by Kirsten Bråten Berg
The midnight sun breaks over the Lofoten Islands.
Previous Page: Photo by Espen FAugstad clockwise from bottom left, Photos courtesy of Markus, Romain Pawelec, Sigve Indregard, Mauro Tosca
all the rest, underscoring Lutheran theology about the Fall.) The inside of the cathedral is equally stunning, with intricately designed stained glass and elaborate altars. From June 20 to August 20, a special evening mass is held for tourists. Nature: If you go up in the hill area that overlooks the city, you’ll find the picturesque Byåsen Lake surrounded by trees and a woodsy hiking and running trail. During the winter, people often use the lake area for cross-country skiing. During the summer, while the water isn’t hot tub temperature, it will definitely cool you off and is perfect for canoeing in the fall. Not far from the lake rests a good old-fashioned golf course.
Norway at its finest. Polaria, the arctic aquarium, features the bearded seal, known for its gentle yet intelligent demeanor. You can also view a panoramic film showcasing the beauties of the surrounding area—although you might consider just getting out of the theater and experiencing it for yourself. You should also stop by the Arctic Cathedral and enjoy one of the midnight sun concerts. The triangular construction of the building mimics the surrounding craggy peaks, while the interior features a unique glass mosaic.
Nature: While visiting Tromsø, you are only a 45-minute plane ride away from what is arguably the most beautiful area in Norway, the Lofoten Islands. “This is where Norwegian culture fully expresses itself,” explains one Norwegian resident. Nearly all of the breathtaking photography of Norway comes from this archipelago. Near the island of Moskenes (which is part of the Lofoten group), you can take a white-water trip of sorts over the infamous Moskstrømmen, a giant whirlpool that flares up twice a day
The northern lights dance above the Norwegian mountains.
Capture: We’ve all heard the old saying about traveling to hell and back. While visiting Trondheim, you can literally experience this journey. Just 20 minutes north of the city rests the small town of Hell, Norway. Only about 500 people can claim that they live in Hell. But if you stop at the train station there, the conductor will gladly stamp your passport, certifying your daring trip to heaven’s antithesis. The town is filled with vintage homes and is right along the fjord’s edge, offering visitors beautiful sunsets and fresh air.
Culture: Tromsø, the largest city north of Trondheim, gives you the opportunity to experience arctic www.stowawaymag.com << 33
with the corresponding tides. This natural wonder is unique in that it occurs in the open ocean rather than in a channel. Other spectacular nature scenes in Lofoten are almost always accompanied by traditional seaside village architecture. And even as you feel your soul connecting with Vikings of the past, you can get ready to rip and curl with some great surfing near the coastal town of Unstad.
The Arctic Cathedral in Tromsø juts into the steel-gray sky.
Edvard Grieg’s home in Bergen is quaint and nostalgic.
Start planning your trip to Norway:
A sunset over the mountains in Tromsø is breathtaking.
34 >> fall 2011
Take a stroll along Bryggen in Bergen.
clockwise from top left, Photos courtesy of: Bobfantastic, dennis wright, bobfantastic, commandzed
Capture: Perhaps Tromsø’s main claims to fame are the midnight sun and the northern lights. From the middle of May to the middle of July, the sun never sets. From the middle of August to the middle of April, the sun never rises. But this darkness is compensated for by the northern lights, the most spectacular natural light show known to humankind. While the lights are active year round, they are best viewed in the winter months when the midnight sun is sleeping. Tromsø offers many creative ways to experience these natural phenomena. Anyone who tees off at midnight on Tromsø’s Golf Course gains instant bragging rights, no matter how far the drive flies. Two other sporting options are the Midnight Sun Marathon in June and the Polar Night Half-Marathon in January. (Both races also sponsor 10Ks and children’s races.) The Midnight Sun Marathon begins at 8:30 p.m., but it’s fairly easy to trick your body into thinking it’s midday with the sun shining in full force. The Polar Night Marathon boasted a temperature of -5 degrees Celsius this year, but a brisk enough pace and the chance of glimpsing the Northern Lights while running should keep anyone warm and distracted enough to finish.
By Nate Parkinson
Keep your arms in and your feet together as we dive into deep water soloing (DWS)—climbing’s most exotic trend. From the sea-sprayed cliffs of Mallorca to the taffy stacks of Thailand, learn how it all began and explore some of the world’s wildest landscapes for deep water soloing. We’ll show you where to go and what to say when you get there to make your next adventure come off smooth and safe.
ust relax,” you mutter breathlessly. “I’m only 10 feet up.” You pucker your lips, forcing air between them in noisy breaths. The sound of your breathing keeps you sane while the oxygen restores your ebbing grip. Focusing on your footwork and shaking out your forearms intermittently, you spider your way up the limestone stack. Looking down at the ocean as it laps expectantly beneath you—beautiful from a more removed vantage point—
you push out another heavy breath and look for the next hold: “Relax, I’m only 30 feet up.” The hold is rotten and, crumbling away from the cliff side, dumps you screaming to the sea below. The water’s fullness presses in around you, and tiny beads of air roll along your legs and back, pushing you to the surface. You emerge euphoric—the thrill of being alive amplifies the fall’s intensity—and start kicking toward the shore.
In Spain they call DWS psicobloc, which translates into “psycho bouldering”—an underhanded tribute to deep water soloing’s first practitioners. In this sport, climbers forgo ropes and harnesses, using the water beneath their seaside routes as protection. Don’t let the Spaniards fool you though: the deep water soloist is as sane as any thrill seeker—and typically just as safe. DWS started in the late 1970s at Mallorca, Spain, where local climbers created a safer incarnation of freesoloing (which adheres to the same principles of DWS minus the water) by taking their passion for stone and sky to the nearby cliffs. The result was a sport that unified the visual splendor of coastal landscapes with the thrill of conquering them. Since its inception at Mallorca, DWS has grown from an elite cadre of “insane” Spanish locals into a host of amateur climbers and debutante thrill seekers. It thrives at the most popular and beautiful coastal destinations—from the UK’s white cliffs to the limestone karsts of Southeast Asia. In spite of its fringe reputation, DWS is found virtually anywhere that water meets stone. Any region suitable for DWS is bound to be exotic, but we’ve selected the spots that best combine the elements that make DWS memorable: unique cultural offerings, an incredible landscape, and the rush of climbing.
Above: Miquel Riera defies gravity. Bottom, from left: No girls allowed? DWS caters to a variety of enthusiasts. Miquel Riera, “the Godfather” of psicobloc, hangs out above the Mediterranean Sea. Previous page: Toni Lamprecht, one of climbing’s best, tackles a route off Mallorca.
Ancient Romans first settled in Mallorca for its mild climate, which suited the olive harvests. Now the island’s balmy temperature and spectacular vistas have made tourism its most profitable industry. Mallorca’s reliance on the seasonal flows of tourism favors the autumn climber. When summer’s over, the weather is still great, the flights are cheap, and the beaches are bare for those seeking a discount on the resort island’s many delights. Though landmarks like Es Pontas attract the world’s best climbers, Mallorca’s greatest lure is its blend of natural beauty and civilization, which enables visitors to live each day in crescendo. Toni Lamprecht, one of the world’s top climbers, summed up days like this in a 2009 interview. When asked why he was considering a permanent move to Mallorca, Toni succinctly replied, “When you sit on a beautiful beach with
36 >> fall 2011
your friends after a psicobloc-climbing day and you look into the sunset you know why.” Start your psicobloc-climbing day by lounging on shimmering sands, followed by a climb on the textured contrast of gleaming white limestone over an azure sea—here the colors make you feel like you’re climbing a piece of jewelry. Then cap your experience with a gourmet meal at one of the small island’s 2,400 restaurants. Since Mallorca is built for tourism, you’ll often have an intrigued audience during your expeditions—each fall will draw gasps and roars of applause from your spectators. The routes here favor more experienced climbers, but first-timers will find more than a day’s worth of doable routes in the region—thanks to 40 years of psicobloc exploration. In Mallorca, the synthesis of adventure and amenity is a memorable combo.
Photography by Rasmus Kaessman, except as noted Bottom row, far Left: Photo By Okiegirl
Nearest towns: Santanyi Local crags: Porto Cristo, Porto Colom, Cala Barques, Cala Ferera, Santanyi Guides or guidebooks: Mallorca Psicobloc—Deep Water Soloing Guidebook (Desnivel) More information: π www.climb-europe.com/spain/mallorca.htm
For an online exclusive about deep water soloing, visit us online at stowawaymag.com
Nearest towns: Krabi, Tonsai Local crags: Poda and Chicken Islands, Kho Phi Phi Don, Phra Nang Guides or guidebooks: www.basecamptownsai.com More information: π www.dwsworld.com/thailand
Clockwise from top: Photos By Darren Donahue, firstname.lastname@example.org, Rolf Seitz, GerHard Knopp Photos on pages 35, 38, 39 by Rasmus Kaessman
Stalactites droop along the undercut cliffs like melted candles, their stony wax stretching to the Andaman Sea.
If we honor Mallorca for its civility, then DWS in Thailand must be recognized for its catered minimalism. Essentially all DWS here starts at Tonsai Bay, where visitors find huts and climbing outfitters dotting the coast, rather than the towering hotels and souvenir shops of less-exotic locales. Tonsai was built around the climbing industry, so vacationing soloists will have their choice of local guiding agencies, rentable climbing gear, and unlimited deep water potential. The beach is accessible only by boat, which is also how you’ll get to and from the DWS crags. The formations around Tonsai are climbable year-round
and utterly unlike any other features in the world. Limestone taffies sag off the island stacks with Dr. Seuss-like geologic flair. Stalactites droop along the undercut cliffs like melted candles, their stony wax stretching to the Andaman Sea. Thailand’s limestone karsts are not just zany and mesmerizing; they offer the broadest range of climbs suited to any visitor’s ability. Beginners can enjoy the juggy routes of “The Playdium,” while more seasoned soloists can pull on the “Tidal Wave Wall.” Climbers fleeing civilization expect to forgo most luxuries, but Tonsai’s climb-centric attitude ensures that DWS pilgrims have more than they need.
A soloist ponders his next move, or perhaps the mysteries of the universe.
Go for a swim or a climb? Thailand’s answer: Why not both?
The boats in Tonsai provide both transportation and an audience.
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For me, climbing is freedom. â€”Toni Lamprecht
Talk Like A Pro Enjoying an experience usually starts with understanding what’s going on. But if you’ve ever listened to a gaggle of climbers talking, it sounds like they’re speaking another language—because they are. Climbing jargon is basically a marriage between surfer slang and a geologist’s master’s thesis—which can be tough to follow. So take a look at the list below. Even though you may not know what you’re doing out there, at least you’ll sound like you do.
So now when you hear beta like this on your upcoming DWS adventure— “The crux by those huecos makes you gripped, but when you stalter through to the manky holds you’ll take a screamer” — you can smugly respond, “Unless you dyno to the juggy rugosity above,” instead of just nodding your head.
Features like this natural bridge are just a few of the geologic wonders that await travelers.
Nearest towns: Kamen Bryag, Tyulenovo Local crags: Yaylata, Kamen Bryag, Tyulenovo Guidebook: π www.climbingguidebg.com (Bulgarian site) More information: π www.virtualtourist.com and search “Kamen Bryag” When they crave simplicity and solitude, climbers search out the towns of Kamen Bryag and Tyulenovo— tranquility’s one-two punch. Kamen Bryag’s biggest “hotel,” a tiny two-floor house, is called World’s End Villa, and Tyulenovo boasts a population of about 60 people. But between these two Bulgarian hamlets is a vast population of DWS routes. Situated on the Black Sea’s Rocky Coast, the region averages a pleasant 82 degrees. Like the climate, the routes here are generally more moderate and cater to a
less-experienced crowd. The landscape is still pristine, but falls are shorter, the holds are juggier, and climbers are less likely to land back first in the water, whale-style. Anywhere along this coast, visitors can camp for free in the numerous caves along the beach. And from atop the sheer-cut terrain, travelers can admire the Rocky Monasteries, an ancient host of Sun cult mausoleums and sacrificial stones. The world has yet to discover these isolated oddities, so pioneer the seaside cliffs and tour the seaside tombs before everyone else does.
From top: Photos By Philip Peynerdjiev, air.azholding.com
Beta: Advice on how to successfully complete a route. Bouldering: The practice of climbing on large boulders. Typically protected by crash pads. Choss: Loose or “rotten” rock. Crimp: A hold that can be grasped only with the tips of the fingers. Crux: The most difficult portion of a climb. Dyno: A dynamic move. Both feet leave the rock face as the climber jumps to the target hold. Gripped: Scared. Or over-gripping the rock. Hueco: A hold consisting of a pocket in the rock. Jug: A large, easily gripped hold. Karst: Landscape shaped by dissolving layers of soluble bedrock, usually limestone. Manky: Precariously placed gear or a fragile hold that can break at any moment. Pumped: A buildup of lactic acid in the forearms that results in a weakened grip. Rugosity: An area of rock with more texture than its surroundings. Screamer: A long, loud fall. Sloper: A sloping hold with little positive surface. Stacks: A column of rock in the sea that is isolated from the coast by erosion. Stalter: Using an intermediate hold to travel between two others with the same hand.
Exchanging Lives One familyâ€™s lifetime of home exchanges By Bridgette Day Tuckfield The Irish Troubles were worse this year than they had been for decades. Even though the Tuckfields lived in a mixed Catholic and Protestant neighborhood, the roads were barred by police barricades. When the roads would open again after a day or so, the family would go to the grocery store to stock up. On the way they might pass protesters, or a tank might weave as delicately as possible around them. 42â€‚ >> fall 2011
photography by David Tuckfield
The Tuckfields are not Irish—they are Texan. They had traded homes and cars and lives with an Irish family for a month. The father, David, has this to say about taking his family into the Irish Troubles for a month: “There is no better education or experience to be had than traveling and getting firsthand knowledge of a place. I’ve always believed that and have always looked for opportunities to travel.” David and Becky Tuckfield—my parents—don’t plunge their children into civil unrest at every opportunity. Their experience with the Troubles was the only time they have ever felt dubious about their safety while on a home exchange. It didn’t trouble them too much either. Their Irish neighbors assured them that while the situation was inconvenient and unusual, there was really nothing to worry about. Since then, all eight of us Tuckfields have done home exchanges about every two years. We have been to Ireland, England, Norway, and France. A home exchange allows two families, usually in two different countries, to exchange homes for a certain amount of time. They trade not only addresses but also cars, neighborhoods, and neighbors. “The whole point of travel is to expand your viewpoint, to see things and people you didn’t even know
about,” David says. “There’s no better way to do it than home exchanges. “You really see what other people and cultures live like,” he adds. “You see what’s in their pantries, fridge, grocery stores—what they do for fun, who they talk to. Instead of tourist experiences that you pay for, you become somebody’s neighbor.” Arranging a home exchange can seem like an intimidating if not impossible process. Here are six steps that have worked for us.
1. Get started Realize that home exchanges are much less expensive than traditional ways of traveling. With a home exchange, two of the greatest expenses—lodging and feeding a family on takeout for every meal—are non-issues. Study the two major home exchange sites: Intervac.com and Homeexchange.com. Both are well established and effective. Intervac.com appeals to more traditional exchangers because it’s been around the longest. Homeexchange.com tends to attract newer exchangers. For best results, sign up on both sites.
2. Choose a destination Be open to new places—everywhere has something amazing to offer. Don’t be afraid to go someplace where you don’t speak
Previous page, left to right: Quaint fishermen’s cabins are commonplace along the coast of Norway. Versailles, located just southwest of Paris, France, was originally used as a hunting lodge. The Tuckfields have just moved into a typical British neighborhood. www.stowawaymag.com << 43
the language. “There’s nothing in life I love more than getting a map and figuring out where we are and how to get places, how to communicate with the locals,” says David. “I love the challenge of new places, the challenge of communication.”
3. Find a family Using information on one of the home exchange sites, research as many families as you can so you have several options to choose from. Consider families with similar numbers and circumstances as your own family. We always exchange homes with other large families that have young children. Using the resources available through your home exchange site, check out the personal references and study the track record of the families you are considering so that you can be assured that they are trustworthy. Build a relationship with the other family throughout the time leading up to the exchange. Be polite, friendly, and communicative. Both families will have to deal with cultural and personal differences, so don’t take anything personally. Make sure a minor misunderstanding doesn’t ruin your chance for an adventure. List as many open dates as you can. It’s common to plan home exchanges years in advance.
4. “Sell” your home and your hometown If you live in New York, southern California, or Florida, you can write your ticket pretty much anywhere. If you don’t, just make your home and hometown the attractive places they are! Treat your listing as if you were selling your house, because that’s really what you’re doing. Post attractive photos of your house. Think dating website—people want to know what they’re getting into. In your listing, give a sense of your area and its amenities. Are there natural springs for the family? Roller coasters? Romantic getaways? Film festivals? Do your research and present a variety of activities. List the personal amenities that your visiting family will have access to, such as your car. List what they’ll be responsible for—such as your cat and your lawn. Be honest. It’s the decent thing to do. And you won’t want disappointed, angry people living in your house.
5. Make clear arrangements with the other family Take time to talk to the family by email or phone. Don’t feel awkward about contacting them about any questions you have. Keep in constant communication with them while you are arranging the details. Top to bottom: Cathedrals are a must-see when visiting Europe. The view from another country is often charming. The official London residence of Sherlock Holmes is now a museum. The Garden of Monet at Giverny is located at Claude Monet’s home in northern France.
Agree on how household bills will be managed. We treat the situation as if the family were house sitting for us. Other people hold the visiting family responsible for utility bills. Exchange information about car insurance and make arrangements with your agent. This will be much more cost effective than renting a car for a month. Prepare a welcome packet for the visiting family, and don’t assume that anything is intuitive. This collection of materials should include working instructions for your house—from house rules about where shoes are not permitted, to how to work the oven, to which neighbors or friends to call in an emergency. This is as much for you as for them. Collect local guidebooks for the family so they know about things to see and do. Include your own notes on what they can’t miss and what they should avoid at all costs. Sign a written agreement—a brief contract usually provided by your home exchange site. This is a firm commitment to go ahead with the exchange. Leave a gift for the family.
6. Plan your trip before you leave As you plan your trip, take advantage of online resources and contacts that are available to you through your home exchange site. They’re there to make sure you’re happy. Before you even pack, use guidebooks and the Internet to schedule the optimal vacation at your destination. Before leaving, make specific arrangements on how your family will get from the airport to the other family’s home.
But how can I let strangers into my house? Won’t they steal or destroy all of my stuff? Before you leave, you’ll want to lock up irreplaceable items. But at the end of the day, a home exchange is an exercise in mutual trust. They’re trusting you not to destroy their stuff, and you’re trusting them not to destroy yours. Do the math. It’s not likely that the other family will fly halfway around the world to pawn your television or your stamp collection. The worst thing that ever happened to us through several years of home exchanges was some peeled tint on a car window. The worst thing we ever did at someone else’s home was to break a doorknob in France and then replace it. Neither one was done maliciously, at least not on our end. I know, because I’m the one who broke the doorknob.
Above all, enjoy the experience. “You really learn to understand people and the way they think when you live like them,” says David. “None of the tourist junk—staying in hotels and eating food catered to Americans, always being a stranger to their culture and their sense of place—their country, their churches, their schools.” “It’s the ultimate leap of faith,” Becky agrees. “Be adventurous, and you will have adventures.”
For an online exclusive about home exchanges, visit us online at stowawaymag.com.
Clockwise from top: Longships were vessels designed for speed and used by vikings to facilitate trade, exploration, and warfare. These vikings turn perpetually starboard. It is a long walk to the Tranøy lighthouse, but the view is worth it.
n many ways, it seems travelers come to Cambodia to see what is dead—the land is literally dotted with temple ruins and landmines. Siem Reap is most famous for its ancient temple ruins from the twelfthcentury Khmer empire, including the iconic Angkor Wat. Thousands of people travel to Cambodia every year to see the intricate carvings of dancing Apsaras (nymphs), Khmer kings, and scenes from the Ramayana on ancient temple walls—scenes of power, wealth, and riches that have mystically disappeared from the land, leaving only ruins as their last testament. Many visitors also take time to visit the historical sites of the infamous Khmer Rouge regime. Killing fields, marked by pillars of human skulls; the Toul Sleng Genocide Museum in Phnom Pehn; and schools for child victims of landmines remind visitors of the destruction and crimes against humanity that once took place here. However, there is more to Cambodia than just its temples and brutal history. Though Cambodia still wears 46 >> fall 2011
its battle scars, both ancient and modern, there are many reasons Cambodia is still thriving today. Its joy and survival as a nation are best demonstrated by its largest celebration every year—the Cambodian Water Festival, where both past and present are celebrated.
Bon Om Tuk
Some call the Khmer Water Festival the greatest celebration in Southeast Asia. In 2010, Bon Om Tuk, as it is called in the Khmer language, attracted over three million people from all over Cambodia and the world to join in the merriment. Even Buddhist monks, gracing the crowds in their saffron-colored robes, come to watch the boat races from a safe distance. Each October or November (depending on the arrival of the full moon) Phnom Penh and Siem Reap both host extraordinary boat races, carnivals, and ceremonies, marking the reversal of the Tonle Sap River from upstream to downstream. This natural phenomenon
Photography by Darren Wilch
takes place as the current shifts at the end of the rainy season, and all the water that once flowed upstream into the swelling Tonle Sap Lake changes direction to flow back into the Mekong River. This annual flooding of the Mekong River provides vast quantities of freshwater fish, fertility to the land, and livelihood for many Cambodians. Thus, the water festival is a celebration of thanksgiving for the life and sustenance that the river provides. On the arrival of the full moon, thousands gather to the banks of the Tonle Sap and Mekong rivers for the annual boat races. Over 400 long, canoe-like boats, representing different Cambodian provinces and peoples, race before the Phnom Penh Royal Palace down a kilometer-long course for sport and prizes. Even government officials sponsor boats in the races in order to create unity with their people. Each boat is maneuvered by a team of skilled oarsmen, usually about 30 to 40 men or women. In the evening, boats brightly decorated with banners and neon lights drift in procession down the river while streams of fireworks light the sky.
The Cambodian Water Festival By Holli Hale
This boating tradition dates back to the ancient Khmer kingdoms. On the walls of the Bayon temple are carvings of ancient Khmer naval forces headed to battle. Because of the importance of water in ancient battle, the water festival is also thought to commemorate the success of King Jayvarman VII and his naval forces in the twelfth century. The racing and procession of the boats thus represents the ancient practice of exercising the military on the water to prepare them for the defense of the country. Water festivities were also held during King Jayvarman VII’s reign to keep the river divinities happy and bring bountiful harvests to the land.
Three other ceremonies are also celebrated along with the boat races: Loy Pratip, Sampreas Preah Khe, and Auk Ambok. The first of these, Loy Pratip, is the lighting of the illuminated boats that brightly decorate the waterways. Various government institutions sponsor each of these colorful boats in the parade. It’s a spectacular sight to see the lighted boats www.stowawaymag.com << 47
Previous page: Hundreds of colorful dragon boats fill the Tonle Sap and Mekong rivers in Phnom Penh. Above: The traditon of boat racing in Cambodia dates back to the twelfth century, when King Jayvarman VII exercised his naval forces on the water. Below: A young man sits among a myriad of colorful boats that will race in the three-day festival. Next page: At night, the celebrations are illuminated by magnificent fireworks and lantern boats.
floating down the river amid fireworks under a full moon. Sampreas Preah Khe is the “salutation of the moon” ceremony. During this event, Cambodians give their thanks to the full moon, which— according to tradition—will bring them great harvest and prosperity. Auk Ambok takes place at midnight, when all gather at temples to eat ambok, a holiday rice dish consisting of rice fried in husks, served with bananas and coconut. Although ambok is the special food for this specific event, it is also sold throughout the entire three-day water festival. A special ceremony held
within the temple is the lighting of 24 candles, representing the 24 provinces of Cambodia. As each of the candles burns, the wax melts and drips onto banana leaves. Some believe that the shapes of the wax on the leaves will forecast the level of rainfall in each province, predicting the success of each city’s harvest.
Planning Your Trip
To experience the real excitement and splendor of the Cambodian Water Festival, Phnom Penh is the place to be. It is in this city that the most spectacular events take place for the water and moon festivals. However, savvy travel-
ers must plan ahead if they want the best view of the races. There are many hotels along the Tonle Sap and Mekong riversides where travelers can watch the races from their own balcony. The Foreign Correspondents Club (FCC) has been praised for having the best view of the races and fireworks. But because it has very few rooms, you must make your reservations early. If you cannot get a hotel with a river view, there are many restaurants with good viewing areas—and there is also a viewing stand for foreigners that Cambodia’s Ministry of Tourism has provided right next to the main grandstand. Even if you can’t
find a good view, the excitement and merriment in the streets of the city will provide vast entertainment. Though Phnom Penh is where most of the excitement lies, for the traveler who is more concerned about safety than spectacle, Siem Reap may be a more favorable choice. Because of the large crowds that Phnom Penh attracts to the festival, the city can become somewhat hazardous. Last year, a great tragedy occurred when many people were killed by a stampede on a narrow bridge during the festival. Many wondered if the 2011’s water festival would be cancelled due to this misfortune; however, not even catastrophe can halt Cambodian tradition. Instead, developers are building more bridges to disperse foot traffic and to prevent future tragedies. Siem Reap has begun to organize its own boat races for the water festival on a smaller scale. It is also the site of the original boat races of King Jayvarman VII, and depictions of these ancient maritime battles and competitions can be found on the temple walls of the Bayon and Banteay Chmar. Besides Siem Reap’s safety and historical advantages, who wouldn’t like to see the boat races with the majestic backdrop of Angkor
Wat? Though the celebrations in Phnom Penh are certainly bigger, Siem Reap still has plenty of boats, fireworks, and celebrations to offer.
Celebrating the Past and Futur
Although Cambodia as a nation is still recuperating from its tough past, it is home to a people who value its grand holidays. The Cambodian Water Festival is a celebration of life, thanksgiving, and victory for the Khmers. This three-day event is a must-see for the world traveler. If you are looking for food, culture, entertainment, and festivities—Bon Om Tuk will not disappoint. Full of color and life, the Cambodian Water Festival is a grand spectacle for even the most adventurous traveler.
π www.suite101.com/content/phnom-penh-water-festival-a113369 π www.tourismcambodia.com/tripplanner/events_in_cambodia/water-festival.htm
www.stowawaymag.com << 49
I biked over 600 miles in Iceland in less than three weeks. I saw the rare grey fox, thousands of waterfalls, blue lagoons, giant fjords, and more. It was epic!
Before I left for Reykjavik, I knew chafing would be a major concern — I made sure MiraCell was the first thing in my first aid kit. I didn’t have to worry about any skin problems. Whenever I have any skin problems, Skin Relief & Support by MiraCell is the first thing that goes on. —Taylor Allred
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You can see more of my pictures at www.lightworldphotography.com ~Taylor
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Field Notes Profile >> Experience the traveling career of the director of public affairs and broadcasting for the Real Salt Lake soccer team. page 52 Tales from the trip >>Touch base with fellow Stowaway readers who have “fallen” on their trips. page 54
Insights >> Survive the language barrier with key phrases in Spanish, French, Arabic, Russian, and Mandarin. page 56
Off the beaten Path >> Wander off-road and into America’s most
memorable corn mazes. page 57
Photo Contest >> Splash into the colors of the world with our photo
Photo by Dani Simmonds
contest winners. page 58
Take a break from convention—and pavement—as you traverse America’s corn mazes. page 57
Trey Fitz-Gerald is
Out of the Office His career is going places
52 >> fall 2011
to try to help expose people to something, to try to educate and inform and hopefully give a positive impression about who we are and what we’re about. “I’ve been involved in this league for 15 years on the PR side.
It’s been a wild ride, but it’s allowed me a lot of unique experiences and given me an opportunity to see and be a part of a lot of things I otherwise probably wouldn’t have.”
So what’s one of the greatest such opportunities you’ve had, thanks to your career? I would say that it was a unique opportunity for us last June when we were in Washington, DC, for three days. We played the same team twice: once Wednesday and once Saturday. And then sandwiched between those two games was an opportunity for our entire team—our players, our coaches, our ownership group, some VIPs and friends of the organization, as well as a few select members of the staff—to get to go to the White House and be honored by President Obama. I think we were only the second MLS team to be honored in that fashion, so that was an exciting,
About Trey Favorite Color: Cobalt Blue Lucky Number: 27 Favorite Band: Linkin Park Pet: Shiba Inu Little Known Fact: I have an extensive old-school hip-hop collection.
Photo by Nick Hoban
hile most people go where their careers take them, some people find careers that take them where they want to go. Trey FitzGerald, director of Public Affairs and Broadcasting for the Real Salt Lake Major League Soccer (MLS) team, spends from one-third to half of every year traveling the country with the team, and that’s just the way he likes it. With a taste for travel that started in his youth, Trey realized in college that sports public relations (PR) could take him where he wanted to go, literally. “I was an English major when I was in college,” Trey recounts. “I was also a sports editor on the newspaper. Getting a job with the Denver Nuggets, my favorite NBA team growing up—that’s when a lightbulb went off and I said, ‘This is fun. This is what I want to do with the rest of my life.’ I like dealing with the media. It’s exciting
intense, stressful, and ultimately very rewarding experience.
Who have you had a chance to meet because of your career? I met David Beckham. He actually helped break ground on Rio Tinto Stadium. I rode a bus with Henry Kissinger when I was at the World Cup in Seoul, Korea. He was very polite. Just last week on my way to the draft, I ended up sitting in a plane next to Dan Marino, the NFL quarterback. Great guy. I tried to leave him alone because everyone on the plane was like, “Oh, that’s Dan Marino!” But he actually wanted to chat about things. Hopefully I didn’t bore him with my love of John Elway and the Denver Broncos.
What’s a typical day like? The PR and communications department is ideally at the hub of everything, so from one minute to the next we’re dealing with a ticket initiative or a marketing promotion or a sponsorship deal
with one of our partners—either trying to make sure the message is being communicated clearly to the consumer or arranging exposure for the local media to come out and cover whatever’s going on.
Do you get to enjoy the places you go? Do you have time? Yeah. It gives me the opportunity to catch up with friends or family that are spread out across the country that you wouldn’t otherwise normally get to see. I have cousins everywhere. I have friends from college or colleagues around the country. So I have the chance to go have lunch or dinner or coffee or whatever with those people.
What’s something that you weren’t expecting about your job—something most people don’t know? I guess I learned when I started with the NBA how hard it is to get people to talk for 15 minutes about
themselves. You’d think when you’re a pro athlete that it would be easier, but it’s not always that easy. Some of the guys are just very private.
What’s something about yourself that most people don’t know? That I have an incredible collection of old-school hip-hop.
What’s your plan for the next 10 years? Professionally, in the next 10 years I’d like to see Real Salt Lake and Major League Soccer continue to grow at the rate that it has the last ten years. And I just got married, so I’d like to start a family as well. We have a puppy, a Shiba Inu, like a miniature Japanese husky, that I just got six weeks ago, so hopefully he continues to do as well as he has been and lives a long and prosperous life. It’s changed our lives and our routine quite a bit to have a young puppy at home. —Nick Hoban
Photo by Marden Blake
Below: Down by 1, Real Salt Lake scored in the 90th minute to tie the game and send themselves to the playoffs.
www.stowawaymag.com << 53
tales from the trip
Stowaway’s readers share their experiences with . . .
Swearing at King Arthur According to the weatherman, I was experiencing gale-force winds and heavy sleet as I struggled to get to the top of Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh, Scotland. The hike might not normally appear that strenuous, but under these conditions, I was resisting the urge to just quit and hightail it back to shelter and hot chocolate. Considering I had already made fun of the four other girls I was with for not being able to handle the hike, I figured I should finish what I started: I persevered and conquered the mountain. At the top of Arthur’s Seat we were literally hanging onto rocks so we wouldn’t be blown off the sides of the mountain. As I was just about to decide that the journey was definitely not worth it, the rain and wind came to a screeching halt. We clambered to our feet and vigorously began taking pictures of the landscape and the beautiful rainbow that framed it. The view was breathtaking and absolutely worth the journey up. But the real question was whether it was worth the journey down. We
were in considerably better moods as we began the descent, but then we realized that the path was now solid mud because of the rain. Thus commenced the falling. One by one my friends fell, painting their clothes in mud as they tumbled down the mountain. I laughed openly at each of them and reveled in the fact that my own clothes were mud-free. As we approached the bottom of the mountain, though, karma caught up with me. I began falling in slow motion toward a pool of mud, without any chance of regaining my balance. I could not be stopped, so I let out a screech and accepted my fate. Mud covered my body from head to toe as I slid to the bottom of the trail, mentally swearing at King Arthur the whole way down. Despite the history and beauty I captured on camera in Scotland, my favorite picture is of my very angry self, covered in mud due to an inglorious fall off Arthur’s Seat. —Sabrina Mitchell Boise, Idaho Muddy clothes from sliding down the hill.
54 >> fall 2011
photography by sabrina mitchell
The trail to Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh, Scotland.
More Tales from the Trip Cliff Rescue
Falling through Time Overlooking the Mediterranean Sea from a dusty red cliff, I felt like I was falling through time. I could be Aegeus, the king of Athens, waiting for my son, Theseus, to return from killing the Minotaur. As I turned to behold the marble temple, I could be the wife of a sailor praying to Poseidon to keep her husband safe. Instead I was a student standing in a place that exemplified pure history. The temple to Poseidon at Cape Sounion in Greece reminded me that I am a mere pinprick on humanity’s timeline. The entire day I spent on the beach was not even a blink of time in the eyes of the fallen temple. Playing “Marco Polo” in the salt water. Reading The Iliad on a towel in the land of Agamemnon. Savoring grilled octopus. Though these moments linger like the garlic on my breath from dinner, they are no longer present. What was a reality only a few hours before had become a memory. As I realized this, it became even more important for me to take a mental snapshot of my surroundings. Below me the teal sea lulled over the jutting earth. In the glow of the falling sun, the water moved like a stop-motion film. I looked again at the pieced-together columns of the temple ruins and took it all in. The aged marble threatened to make me fall through history again. But I felt the warmth of my skin, remembered my own history, and stayed grounded. —Allison Horton Superior, Colorado
On a cool summer day I went with friends on what we knew would be a rigorous mountain hike. But rigorous soon turned to life-threatening. At the first viewpoint, we came upon a group of hikers screaming for help: a member of their party had fallen off the cliff. As I peered over the cliff, I saw that the fallen hiker had landed on a small ledge that overlooked yet another cliff. He was using his own strength to keep himself on the ledge; he had most likely broken his foot in the fall, and the search and rescue team wouldn’t be there for over an hour. So I took action. I rigged a harness and lowered myself down to the injured man. After making sure he was okay, I held him on the ledge for two hours, allowing him to relax until search and rescue arrived. I will always remember what he said as the ambulance doors were shutting: “Thank you for saving my life; I would have died up there without you.” As the ambulance screamed away, I felt lucky to have been the one to help the fallen hiker. —Kristopher R Lange Payson, Utah
Have more interesting tales from your trip? Submit them at stowawaymag.com, and your story could be published in our next issue!
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You Say Goodbye I Say Hello
Au revoir! (Oh re-vwah) !
до свидания! (Duh svi-da-nyeh) 再见! (Tzai-jyen)
Bonjour! (Bohn-jhoor) !
(Mar-ha-ba) Привет! (Pri-vyet) 你好! (Knee how)
Phrases to Know before You Go
oing to Moscow and asking—in English—where to find an authentic local restaurant may just get you directions to the nearest bathroom. What do you say when your foreign travels surround you with equally foreign languages? English may be the international language spoken among airline pilots, but it certainly isn’t going to help you land the respect of the local waiter. According to Ethnologue.org, publisher of the Languages of the World database, approximately 70 percent of the world speaks at least one of the tongues below, which also happen to be the six official languages of the United Nations. Here are essential phrases you don’t want to miss out on—or be misunderstood by—when traveling abroad. Bon voyage!
Kuh-moh tall-ay voo
S-il vous plaît
Where is the bathroom?
¿Dónde está el baño?
How do you get to . . . ?
¿Cómo se llega a ...?
Quel est le chemin de …?
Ko-mo say yay-gah ah
Kell eh luh sh’meh duh
Nice to meet you
Don-day es-tah el bah-nyo
Où est la salle de bains? Ooh-eh lah sahl de beh
你好吗? Knee-how mah
谢谢 Shyeh shyeh
?... Kayf-ah ah-the-hab ill-ah …?
Как добраться до …? Kahg duh-braht-sah doh
洗手间在哪儿 She-show-jyen tzai nar
怎么去 …? Zse-muh chiu
很高兴认识你 Hen gow-shing ren-shur knee
—Philip Volmar 56 >> fall 2011
Flags courtesy of flagpedia.net; silhouettes by michal zacharzewski/sxc.hu
How are you?
To listen to native speakers pronounce these phrases in their own language, visit us online at stowawaymag.com.
off the beaten path
Discover America’s Corn Mazes
Ever since European monarchs began building elegant garden mazes for entertainment centuries ago, people have loved the thought of getting lost in a maze. Corn mazes, the American spin on this European tradition, are located in every U.S. state excluding Alaska. Whether you’re out to enjoy autumn in an unconventional way or simply want to have a blast on a budget, corn mazes are fun for families and thrill seekers alike. Here’s a look at some of the coolest and quirkiest corn mazes out there. Be sure to check what times and dates each maze is open before planning a visit. Cool Patch Pumpkins Dixon, California At 45 acres, this is the world’s largest corn maze. This enormous, complex maze was designed with adventurers in mind. Come equipped with sturdy shoes, a cell phone, a flashlight, and snacks in case you get even more lost than you intended! Be advised that guests under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult if entering the maze after 6:30 pm.
Cornbelly’s Lehi, Utah Cornbelly’s is one of America’s most family-friendly corn mazes, offering three separate corn-maze experiences. The Kiddie Maze takes only five minutes to navigate and can be enjoyed by even the youngest family members. Older kids and adults can opt for the Haunted Maze, which is filled with spooks and surprises. And if everyone wants to wander together, Cornbelly’s 12-Acre Maze is appropriate for all ages. Original Photo by Zeeshan Qureshi
Heartland Country Corn Maze Harrisburg, South Dakota This corn maze offers a fun and challenging educational experience for kids and families. When you begin the maze, you are handed a quiz with 10 questions about the history and geography of South Dakota. Your goal as you wander through
the cornstalks is to find the 10 answer checkpoints that are scattered throughout the maze. As an added bonus, if you find the maze’s secret checkpoint, you get a free treat at the concession barn.
The Corn Maze in the Plains The Plains, Virginia Any corn maze is more environment-friendly than a rollercoaster, but America’s first organically grown corn maze has taken “going green” to a whole new level. Each year’s maze is hand-cut into shapes like vegetables and the planet Earth and celebrates the benefits of buying organic, locally grown products. While you’re there, you may want to buy a piece of their famous pumpkin pie fudge to munch on as you wander.
Haunted Corn at Larson’s Farm New Millford, Connecticut Are you looking for Halloween fun in a creepy corn maze full of ghosts, ghouls, and other spooky surprises? “Corn will never be the same,” promise the self-proclaimed “tormented souls” who run Larson’s Haunted Corn Maze and Zombie Graveyard. They gleefully refer to visitors as “victims” and warn that their no-flashlights-allowed maze isn’t suitable for small children or people with heart conditions.
π www.hauntedcorn.com —Sarah M. McConkie
www.stowawaymag.com << 57
Photo Contest Winners
Colors of the World
58 >> fall 2011
Rachel Rueckert Sandy, Utah
“This image captures all of the feelings I had about blending and confronting different cultures with my own in Hawaii. It represents the diversity and the many different colors of the world, but also together we complement each other.”
nd Painting the Sky Amy Vanden Brink Temecula, California
“I took this photo at the Holi Festival of Colors in Spanish Fork, Utah, right at the moment everyone threw colored chalk into the sky. Though it might not be in some exotic faraway location, it’s a testament to the wonderful cultural experiences people can have in their own land. I also think it is a great visual for colors of the world.”
rd Life on the Go Jessica Trewartha Provo, Utah
“I loved the contrast of this woman’s dress and mode of transportation. Wearing a business skirt on a vespa scooter shows the color of her personality. The bright yellow wall also makes the red scooter stand out.”
To see this contest’s honorable mentions, visit Stowaway’s website. www.stowawaymag.com << 59
Pick Your Continent
International Study Programs at the Kennedy Center serves students, faculty, and departments by facilitating the development and implementation of quality international academic experiences. Use the Program Finder (http://kennedy.byu.edu/isp) to choose the best fit for your academic and professional goals covering four types of programs for any major to department-specific opportunities. Study Abroad
Students attend classes taught by BYU faculty that are enriched by excursions to local sites and immersion in a new culture. Some programs offer general education courses while others offer major-specific courses. These are excellent for students who are traveling overseas for the first time and who want a structured program with plenty of interaction with BYU faculty and students.
Direct Enrollment Students attend classes at an international institution of higher education. Classes are taught by local professors with the credit transferring back to BYU. Direct enrollment is ideal for students who are willing to accept the challenges of facing a new culture on their own or in small groups of other BYU students.
International Stud\ Programs Field Study
A field study is designed to help students prepare for graduate school or a career in cross-cultural/international consulting or research. Small groups of students, or individuals, live within a communityâ€”immersed in the local culture, as they carry out their own research projects. This type of program requires independent, committed, and self-motivated students, who are willing to prepare themselves through a semester-long preparation course, and who are willing to live in local conditions as members of a culture and community. Students are academically guided by one or several faculty mentors, as well as assisted with logistical arrangements by ISP staff throughout their preparations and field experience.
Individual students or small groups work with international companies, government organizations, or development agencies. International internships are intended to provide a practical application of classroom learning. On-the-job experience is enhanced by regular feedback from a BYU faculty mentor. These internships are geared toward students who are independent, self-motivated, and willing to face the challenges of a new culture on their own. 101 HRCB | (801) 422-3686 | firstname.lastname@example.org | kennedy.byu.edu/isp
Insider Tips & tricks >> Beat airport boredom and avoid accidental tourist faux pas with these handy tips. pages 62â€“64
just the ticket >> Tour the mountains of Colorado from the unique perspective of three scenic rail lines. page 65 Gadgets & Gear: >> Discover the essentials of backpacking and
Photo by Yvonne Lashmett
headphones that complement your personality. pages 69â€“68
Ride the rails around Colorado and experience the beautiful colors of the season. page 65
tips & tricks
From Bore to Blast
8 Fabulous Fixes for Airport Boredom
raveling is glamorous; it’s fascinating; it’s life changing. Unfortunately, along with the fabulous food and breathtaking views, there comes an unglamorous side to traveling: the traveling. If you’re traveling on a budget, you don’t have the luxury of first-class nonstop flights to anywhere in the world. This translates into long layovers or worse—unexpected delays. Unfortunately, for most of us, time in the airport is a necessary evil. And with increased security measures and costcutting airlines, time in the airport is becoming longer. But what if layovers were as engaging as the trip itself? Let’s be serious—you can watch a movie on your laptop anywhere. But can you play on moving walkways at home? Of course not. Read on for eight ways to make your layover more interesting, more exciting, and just more fun.
Strike up a conversation. Pick a gate that has an interesting destination and sit next to someone. Instead of being yourself, make up a fascinating identity and conduct the conversation accordingly. This is your chance to be anyone you want to be, going anywhere you want to go. Is the flight going to Brazil? Maybe you’re a biologist traveling to study predatory habits of boa constrictors in the rainforest. As soon as you start to run out of answers, move on to the next person and the next identity.
Have fun on the moving walkways Most airports have them. You can play a statue game: you (and your friends, if you’re traveling with other people) freeze in some sort of strange position (make sure you stay to one side so you don’t block travelers in a hurry) and ride the walkway from end to end. You could also pretend to be on Twilight (think Victoria, James, and Laurent entering the baseball scene). Imagine you’re the most perfect-looking being on earth and you’re out for blood. Stare straight ahead. Put on your sly smirk. Throw your head back a little. Now walk. Just walk.
62 >> fall 2011
Check out what the airport itself has to offer. A lot of airports have artwork or other exhibits you can visit. Miami International Airport, among others, has several art pieces displayed in public places. Before traveling, visit the websites of the airports you’ll be in and find out what they have to offer. If culture’s not your thing, find the gadget store (let’s face it, every airport has one) and try out all the massagers and other fun electronic toys.
Brush up on your data-collecting skills. Think the license-plate game, but with people. Talk to as many people as you can and see if you can find someone from all 50 states or from various countries. If you’re traveling with friends, make it a competition. You can choose the winner one of two ways: whoever finds all 50 states or the most countries first, or whoever finds the most in a given amount of time. You could also twist it to focus on languages instead. See how many different languages you hear spoken. If you’re outgoing, approach someone speaking a different language and see if they’ll teach you a few phrases.
Improve your people-watching. When people walk by, think of names they could have and call them out to see if they turn around. Or choose a couple that’s having a conversation and make up what they could be saying to each other. Both of these activities work better when you’re traveling with a friend, but you can easily amuse yourself if you’re traveling alone.
Make some money. Scour the airport for abandoned baggage carts and return them to earn a quarter for each one. If you’ve got hours, you could end up with your pockets full! Or if you don’t want to pay outrageous airport prices for food (and you’d have good reason not to), see what kind of meal you can come up without paying any money. Get a cup of water from a fast food place. Grab some saltine crackers from a soup stand. Be creative!
K r t 7 8
Awaken your inner child. Find a less-traveled area and play hopscotch or twister on the carpet or tiles. Remember that old elementary school rhyme “step on a crack, break your mother’s back”? Well, here’s the airport version: choose a prominent color in the carpet or tile and avoid stepping on it. This is more fun if you have friends with you, but it can still be entertaining if you’re flying solo. Play! Bring a tennis ball with you, find an empty wall away from other travelers, and have yourself a nice game of handball. Why not get a little exercise while traveling? If you’re traveling with friends, play the secret-agent game. Send one person to casually hide somewhere in the open. Everyone else then has to go find the person and tag him or her without looking suspicious to other airport patrons.
In all situations, use your best judgment and make sure you are being courteous to other travelers and respectful of airport security restrictions and rules. Even though you will surely encounter some difficulties while traveling, those difficulties don’t need to ruin your trip. Make the most of your situation and have fun!
There isn’t an app for this.
Why be evasive with your own feelings? You’re waiting. Stuck. Temporarily immobile. You might as well compile a musical selection that sings to your discontented disposition. May we suggest— “Waiting on the World to Change,” by John Mayer “Killing Time,” by MoZella “Stay (Wasting Time),” by Dave Matthews Band
Live, learn, and work with a community overseas. Be a Volunteer.
Dare to be a traveler
or the locals in hotspot cities like London, Paris, Beijing, and Tokyo, the common tourist sticks out like a sore thumb. Often a local can’t help rolling his eyes or muttering under his breath about “another one of those tourists” who is simply “in the way.” The key to avoiding these labels when you travel is to remember that you are a visitor and should be courteous during your stay. Stowaway offers seven simple suggestions to help you look like less of a foreigner and to avoid the eye-rollings and breathy mutterings of “another one of those locals” who is simply “in too much of a hurry.” If you apply these seven tips, you will be on the road to becoming a traveler—not just a tourist.
Watch your steps and stops
Pausing in the middle of a busy sidewalk to snap a photo or standing on the “walk” side of the escalator isn’t conducive to your safety. And it definitely isn’t conducive to the sanity of those around you. Plan ahead and pay attention so you can walk confidently and avoid missteps and misstops.
Remember: Let off, then get on
Public transportation, particularly underground rail systems, is often a new experience for travelers. Never forget to let the passengers get off the train before you get on. Sure, it may seem like a no-brainer, but in the heat of the moment, when you have to rush through the sliding doors before they literally snatch the clothes right off your back, it’s possible to forget etiquette. Don’t. Resist the urge and wait your turn.
Be your own photographer
Fanny packs and backpacks automatically draw unnecessary attention. Upgrade the fanny pack and add the bonus of carrying your stuff where you can see it— invest in a satchel or another type of shoulder bag.
If someone wants to take the time to stop and help you with your photo shoot, they’ll volunteer. Until then, it’s in your best interest to learn the art of the extended-arm, reverse camera shot. It takes practice, but the time investment is worth it if you want your entire face in any of your pictures.
64 >> fall 2011
Think neutral footwear
Dare to mix and match
Beware of social extremes
Comfortable shoes that match every outfit may be few and far between, but black and brown are the perfect solution to your problem—not white. Leave your white tennis shoes at home where they belong, eagerly awaiting the next time you head to the gym.
Though it may be logical and tempting to some, the concept of dressing your entire group in a matching color or outfit is a mistake of gigantic proportions. Yes, the neon green jumpsuit makes it hard for you to lose Bob in the crowd. But what is most likely to be the focus of your photo—the earthy golden pyramids, or your buddy, Bob, in a neon green jumpsuit?
You may typically chat with strangers, but keep in mind that when you travel internationally, your friendly disposition may be seen as obnoxious. On the other hand, you may have a knee-jerk reaction to glare at anyone who so much as glances in your direction, which isn’t universally recommended either. As you pay attention to the behavior of the locals around you, decide whether the decibel level of your voice should change and whether a smile or a look of complete disinterest would be a better facial accessory. —Talyn Camp
Photo by Leonardo Barbosa
Tips for Avoiding Tourist Slips
just the ticket
Ride the Rails in
rowing up in a family obsessed with trains, I didn’t think it was weird for my dad and his siblings to give each other train magazine subscriptions and calendars for Christmas. I also didn’t think it was odd to ride a train at every family reunion or to have a cast-iron railroad sign outside our front window. I wasn’t even fazed when I stopped by my uncle’s house in December and saw a Christmas tree surrounded by the biggest train set I had ever seen, including a train tunnel actually built into the wall. Though I tend to think trains may be slightly over-appreciated by my own family members, I also tend to think they might be under-appreciated by the general public. In an effort to raise train awareness, I describe here three railways I can say are worth the ride. These aren’t your fake city trains; they are historical monuments to an earlier America. The tracks were laid in the late 1800s in the Rocky Mountains, usually to haul much-wanted ore from mines. Today they no longer provide a massive amount of jobs to workers, but they remain for people around the world to enjoy.
FROM TOP: Photo by Yvonne Lashmett AND Photo courtesy of Rio Grande Scenic Railroad
DURANGO & SILVERTON
Originally, this train hauled ore in southwestern Colorado and was part of the original Rio Grande Railroad. As other lines died out, this one survived because of the magnificent scenery. From Durango to Silverton, the steam locomotive chugs on 45.4 miles of track that runs along and crosses over the Animas River. My family has twice had our reunions nearby, taking a day to hike two hours to the halfway point of the rail line and then jump on the train by the river. If you want to do this, you’ll need to call ahead of time, ask if this plan is all right, and let them know your plans so they will stop to let you hop on. After you’ve been hiking for two hours, the train ride is more than relaxing. Durango & Silverton at Needleton Tank.
RIO GRANDE SCENIC
Called the “Scenic Line of the World,” this railway is something to see. On the ride, passengers view the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and other glorious peaks of the Colorado Rockies. This line includes dome cars for optimal sightseeing, an open-air observation car so you can feel the fresh air as it whizzes by you, and other cars, along with diesel and old-fashioned steam locomotives. While chugging down the rails, be sure to watch for wildlife. Elk, bears, birds, foxes, and other animals are often visible from the train.
π www.riograndescenicrailroad.com Rio Grande Scenic Railroad.
www.stowawaymag.com << 65
CUMBRES & TOLTEC
π www.cumbrestoltec.com Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad.
Photography by Holly Anderson
The genuine steam engine of this railway pulls passenger train cars through a 64-mile route that snakes along the New Mexico and Colorado border. This is America’s highest and longest narrow-gauge scenic railroad—its highest point is over 10 thousand feet! At Osier, you’ll stop for lunch and then continue on your journey. This is a great experience if you’re looking for a unique, calming, and beautiful adventure within the States. And for those Indiana Jones fans (and let’s face it, who isn’t?), this railway was where the train scenes in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade were filmed.
If you decide to try out one of these trains, keep in mind that the passengers and the people who operate the trains are often fun to talk to and very friendly. Who knows? Maybe you’ll make a new friend on the rails. But be careful about becoming a train enthusiast yourself—you may get a train calendar or magazine subscription for Christmas. —Holly Anderson
The Cumbres & Toltec at Cascade Trestle.
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gadgets & gear
Backpacker’s Guide to the Galaxy
ack in the day, the “Grand Tour” was the thing to do for 20-something-year-old rich kids. Young aristocrats would tour Europe searching for cultural enlightenment and a bit of adventure. Today, many of us still turn to Europe for the same reasons, but what do those of us without the financial backing of a duke do to experience Europe? We backpack. Backpacking is widely accepted as one of the cheapest ways for the young and the young at heart to see Europe while being adventurous, getting dirty, and living a little. But let’s face it, backpacking costs can still add up to a dangerous sum. One way to cut down costs is to backpack off-season (fall is a great time), and another is to save on gear and supplies that, when added up, can make a big difference in your trip costs.
A backpack needs only a couple of essential things: • an internal frame • padded straps and back • front panel zippers (these prevent you from having to unload the entire pack to find something at the bottom) You can find these essential features in plenty of moderately priced packs ($100–$200). Just make sure you try them on! If your pack is too big, your back will not be thanking you as you trek across Switzerland in search of a hostel.
“Travel clothes” are specially made to be lightweight, fastdrying, and stain-resistant. But when you’re on a budget, the best thing you can do is use what you already have. Look through your closet for dark or neutral clothes that go with everything and that hide wrinkles and stains. The only thing you’ll really need to buy is a microfiber towel ($15–$25) because mildewy towels in the bottom of your pack are not pleasant.
Be inventive when it comes to those little things every traveler needs. Retractable laundry line? How about a bungee cord. Travel umbrella? A poncho works great and costs about 50 cents. Sleep sheet? Make your own by folding a queen size sheet in half and sewing the bottom and halfway up the side. Other essentials include— • earplugs for the night you bunk with a snoring hostel-mate • a flashlight for late check-ins and late-night reading • a sink stopper and soap so you can do your laundry in the sink • flip-flops for the questionably clean shower
Many backpacking books suggest that you buy packing cubes and envelopes to help you use your space efficiently. A simpler, cheaper, and more wet-weather-friendly solution: the Ziploc bag. Use gallon-size bags for rolled up clothes and quart-size bags for toiletries and other small items.
—Kimberly Smith Kelty Redwing 44
π www.kelty.com $99
Gallon Ziploc bags
π www.target.com $4
π www.eaglecreek.com $5
π www.clifbarstore.com $1
Travelon laundry sheets
π www.amazon.com $4
π www.oldnavy.com $4 Travel towel
π www.eaglecreek.com $20
For more information on packing, planning, and budgeting your trip, check out these websites:
π www.travelindependent.info π www.backpackeurope.com
www.stowawaymag.com << 67
Many music enthusiasts like to look inconspicuous. For those who like the light camouflage-style of minimalist ear buds, here are a few select headsets that take both music and appearance to another level.
the Ripple Headset This particular type of headphone is like a small speaker that clips onto your earlobe rather than nestling inside your ear. By all appearances, it’s like an eclectic pair of earrings. In short, they’re a rather aesthetic accessory.
For those travelers who wish to retain the ambience of their destination, these headphones don’t entirely block out the noises around them. As the name implies, the headphone encircles only part of the ear and provides the subtle soundtrack to complement the noises already around you.
π www.mobilewhack.com 68 >> fall 2011
top photo by David Spinks/flickr
playlist—whatever it may be—can shape a trip in a way nothing else can. Finding the ideal beat or lyric to provide the traveling soundtrack to your vacation boils down to personal preference. However, one bit of universal technology can ensure that you are able to faultlessly enjoy your specially prepared musical selections. We’re talking headphones.
usic manipulates, plain and simple. A beat, a pulse, a warbling voice or ambient tone—every sound has the power to carve out a response from any semi-cognitive organism. Travel, then, becomes a perfect opportunity to use the veritable arsenal of emotional stimulation stored in our iPods, mp3 players, CDs, tapes, or even eight tracks (for the archaically minded). The perfect
The Original Headphone—Remastered While earbuds have been the standard for the past few years, vintage-inspired headphones are returning. Vengefully. Headphones provide select advantages. They cover the entire ear, providing a more encompassing experience, musically speaking. Moreover, these headphones block out more outside noise and let you fully commit to your music. While these advantages generally suffice in swinging popular support back toward the revived headphones of yesteryear, new lines of innovative headphones attract added listeners who look for gadgets with style.
Stowaway EXPLORE. DREAM. DISCOVER.
The Knitted Headphone
One obvious advantage drawing music enthusiasts toward these headphones is the added protection and insulation. Bouncing off an already functional design, coldweather travelers might benefit from the artistic and fully functional knitted headphones now available. This inventive direction allows music gadgets to double as ear warmers, eliminating unnecessary accessories and looking rather snazzy in their own right.
The SolarPowered Headphone Innovation has created a headphone designed especially for energy conservatives and experimental techies. Q-Sound has released a Bluetoothcompatible headphone plated with solar receptors over the crown of the device. As an hour of sunlight powers nearly three hours of maximum-volume enjoyment, this pair is an ecofriendly approach for those with sunny destinations. After all, shouldn’t those rays beating down be put to musical use?
The Wooden Headphone
Artist Parra from the Netherlands is already gathering quite a following with his puristdesigned wooden headphones. Made with Finnish birch, these headphones are a hybrid of both vintage and modern. Many are decorated with catching drawings and infused colors that add to the package. Oh, and the sound is fantastic.
Like what you see? Then show it! Like us on Facebook or Twitter, and you can keep up with us wherever you are. You can also visit our site at stowawaymag.com to explore, dream, and discover even more. And don’t forget to check back for our newest issues on magcloud.com. Follow us on Twitter
Like us on Facebook —Allison Frost
Five Macabre Must-Sees in New Orleans
inister secrets shroud the city of New Orleans, making it the ideal Halloween hideaway. Macabre attractions—perfect for the horror buff and light-hearted traveler alike—lie hidden in its winding streets. Add an element of intrigue to your vacation by experiencing the darker side of New Orleans’ history and culture.
The ghost of Pierre Antoine still haunts Muriel’s Séance Lounge.
For the Ghost Hunter: Muriel’s Muriel’s Jackson Square Restaurant offers one of the best dining experiences in New Orleans, boasting contemporary Creole cuisine made from local ingredients. The rich Old World decor draping the nineteenth-century mansion makes you believe the former inhabitants never left. The establishment offers asylum to amicable phantom wanderers, and paranormal investigators have detected a number of presences. But the Séance Lounge is home to the establishment’s main attraction: a ghost named Pierre Antoine Lepardi Jourdan, who committed suicide in that very room nearly 200 years ago.
Cost $31.95 for a three-course meal Individual items from $6.95
Information & reservations
from left: Photo courtesy of Muriel’s Jackson Square; photo by Infrogmation/wikimedia commons
70 >> fall 2011
For the Vampire Lover: Vampires Ball
New Orleans has a long tradition of vampire lore, but its most famous connection to the vampiric is the home of Anne Rice, creator of Lestat de Lioncourt, the main character of Rice’s series The Vampire Chronicles. The novels, which have sold over 80 million copies worldwide, have developed quite a fan base. The Anne Rice’s Vampire Lestat fan club holds an annual Vampires Ball in honor of the title character. This year’s theme, Theatre of the Vampires Ball, will be held on October 28th at the Republic New Orleans Club. The ball is open to the public, so join with hundreds of costumed fans who enjoy this yearly tradition.
Cost Pricing not available at press time; see website for information
Information & tickets
It’s not Zombieland, but a tour through the Bayou suggests otherwise.
For the Misinformed: Voodoo Museum For the Zombie Enthusiast: Swamp Tour
Amid the natural wonders of the Louisiana Bayou, tour guides lure some of nature’s fiercest predators right up to the boat’s edge. But even alligators pale in comparison to the creatures rumored to live there. Local legends speak of a plantation family turned zombie that hunts wanderers in the Bayou. This location was even featured as the site of a “real life” zombie attack in Max Brooks’ The Zombie Survival Guide. Honey Island Swamp tours begin 30 minutes outside of New Orleans and offer a shuttle service to New Orleans hotels, allowing you to discover the natural, and unnatural, wonders for yourself.
from top: photo by keo 101/flickr; Photo Courtesy of New orleans History Voodoo Museum
$23.00 adult fare $45.00 adult fare with shuttle
This small museum acquaints you with the history, rituals, and myths that make voodoo what administrator Jerry Gandolfo calls “a religion, a superstition, folklore, and fakelore.” The museum also offers an intriguing voodoo and cemetery walking tour featuring the tomb of renowned voodoo queen Marie Laveau, modern and historical ritual sites, and an operational voodoo temple—complete with the opportunity to meet an authentic voodoo priestess.
Cost $5.00 special admission if you mention this article $19.00 with walking tour Regular admission: $7.00; with student ID: $5.50
Information & reservations
π www.voodoomuseum.com —Amy Hoffman
Information & reservations
For the Morbidly Curious: Hermann-Grima House
The Hermann-Grima house is a pre-Civil War mansion nestled in the heart of the French Quarter. It has been restored as a museum, providing visitors a glimpse into the elegant lifestyle of the Creole upper class. At any time of the year it is a historical gem, but from mid-October to early November its tour takes a darker twist. The house dons black drapery to commemorate the death of one of its early inhabitants, giving tourists a chance to experience the mourning customs and funeral rituals of the nineteenth century.
Cost $10.00 adult regular admission $8.00 student admission
Information & reservations
A grinning Ju-Ju skull used in voodoo ceremonies.
www.stowawaymag.com << 71
Edge of the World
A rorbu, also referred to as a fisherman’s cabin, in the Lofoten Islands of Norway.
e were on vacation and had gone away to a cabin by the sea for a weekend. After we had been in Norway for three weeks, the sun had still not set, and I had not slept. I was starting to contemplate my return to my home in the U.S., where, to put it mildly, I had not left my life in good standing and would soon have to fix it. It was late, and my family was asleep in the prim, stark cabin. I went outside to avoid waking them up. Past midnight, the arctic sun gave a cold, almost diffused glow—like it was being lit from the end of a tunnel. Moored on the docks near our cabin were rowboats. I climbed down into one and cast off. I didn’t row too far—just floated. I worried about returning home and picking up a life that seemed farther away than ever. With the white glow and alien landscape, I worried that if I went farther, the light would grow and the land would shrink until there was nothing but merciless white. I worried about life on the brink of the unknown, life at the edge of the world. The sky was cold, bright, and empty; my family was asleep; the salty
72 >> fall 2011
water was motionless. I twirled my fingers in the icy water and stared down into the sea. I noticed the subtle variation in texture and color that marked, I soon discovered, the jellyfish. There were hundreds of them beneath my boat—dark pink, suspended, and motionless.
“Find the edges of your world, and then you can travel past them.” I laughed. I am terrified of jellyfish. And yet, there they were, Norwegian jellyfish, of all things! I admired them, so close to me, but a watery world away—my own fellow beings thriving in this impossible place.
I wasn’t so frightened about returning home to who-knows-what after that. Haruki Murakami says of traveling that “beyond the edge of the world there’s a space where emptiness and substance neatly overlap, where past and future form a continuous, endless loop.”2 I love traveling. It creates thousands of strange moments like this, perfectly vivid and frozen in glass. These moments remind me that not only is it impossible to run away from life, but it is desirable to run to it. Run to moments you never thought you would experience and to people you never thought you would meet, to places where no matter how strange things are, there’s always an element of the familiar, places where you can explore and map yourself and the world you inhabit. So go find the edges of your world, and then you can travel past them. —Bridgette Tuckfield Hall, Stephen. The Raw Shark Texts. US: Canongate, 2008.172 Murakami, Haruki. Kafka on the Shore. US: Random House Digital, Inc. 2006. 416
photo by Lofoten Heifrank
“What we see before us is just one tiny part of the world. We get into a habit of thinking, this is the world, but it’s not true at all. The real world is a much deeper and darker placer than this, and much of it is occupied by jellyfish and things.”—Haruki Murakami1
STUDY ABROAD Choose your adventure.
GLOBAL MARKETING apply
Apply early at gmc.byu.edu/studyabroad
Parting Shot Photo by Philip Volmar
From the perspective atop the Hohensalzburg Castle (literally, “High Salzburg Fortress” in German), twilight appears over the Salzach River on the eve of the Salzburg Festival, a five-week music and drama celebration held each July. Earlier that day, cannons blasted on the banks of the river and musicians’ instruments resonated through the streets. These festivities were homages to the city’s musical history: Salzburg, Austria, is the birthplace of Mozart and the opening setting for The Sound of Music.
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