EXPLORE. DREAM. DISCOVER.
Around the World
One Year for $10K, p. 44
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE Chicago Restaurant Week, p. 16 6 Winter Survival Tips, p. 70 Star Wars Film Locations, p. 76
W inter 2 0 1 2
Departments Field Notes
7 Letter from the Editor 8 Winter Olympic Cities
12 14 16 18
Czech Out Prague Architecture Sundance Film Festival Chicago Restaurant Week Four Hot Chocolate Recipes
24 25 26 28 30
Beyond Seattle’s Space Needle St. Louis: Free-for-All Timeless Isles of Greece Discovering Chiapas, Mexico Civil War: Frozen in Time
ON THE COVER On a limited budget, Austin and Sara Walk enjoyed exotic experiences around the globe, such as this cultural event in Indonesia. photo by Sara Walk
4 >> winter 2012
56 58 60 62 64 66
Tales from the Trip Photo Contest Winners Sites on America’s Longest Highway Highway to Headache Profile: Wildlife Painter Okanagan Resort
70 71 72 73 76
Winter Survival Tips Rickety Rickshaws Swiss Army Knives Warm Winter Wear Star Wars Film Locations
78 Staff Essay: To Err Is Human 80 Parting Shot
46 Barnabus, tim Pearce, Starwars.com; above: art by Denise Jones
facing page, left to right: photography by Mike Warot, Denise Jones,
A Walk through Istanbul
Tag along with Austin and Sara as they travel the globe for one year with only $10K per person.
Discover the evolution of this ancient capital by visiting its sites and tasting its tradition.
An American in Florence Follow American painter Denise Jones as she paints her way across Florence, Italy, and throughout Europe.
A Year around the World
Iceland: Land of Fire and Ice Explore the waterfalls, volcanoes, and history of Iceland with insider tips from Grandpa Leifson.
EXPLORE. DREAM. DISCOVER.
See yourself in someone else.
MANAGING EDITOR Stetson Robinson
ASSISTANT ASSISTANT COPYEDITOR MANAGING EDITOR MANAGING EDITOR Caroline Kowallis Lauren S. Pinegar Stephanie Secrist
COPYEDITOR Kelsi Walbeck
SENIOR EDITOR Christopher Fosse
SENIOR EDITOR Alyson Reid
SENIOR EDITOR Whitney Sorensen
ART DIRECTOR Dallin Turner
ASSISTANT ART DIRECTOR Megan Costello
ASSISTANT ART DIRECTOR Jennifer Jones
SENIOR DESIGNER David Rivera
WEB EDITOR Kelsey Gee
ADVISOR Jordan Carroll
EDITOR IN CHIEF Marvin K. Gardner
Live, learn, and work with a community overseas. Be a Volunteer.
Web Team: Kelsey Gee, Ashley Hasna, Kathy Hopkinson, *Sarah Tomoser Business Team: Vanae Nielsen, Stetson Robinson, *Stephanie Smith All staff members contributed to planning, writing, editing, designing, and advertising *team leader
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. 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.” 6 >> winter 2012
staff Photos by Chelsea fitch
© 2012 Marvin K. Gardner 4045 JFSB, Brigham Young University Provo, Utah 84602
R E NT 2 I W 201
Go for It! T
Photo by arantza zabala
he release of this winter issue of Stowaway marks two years since the magazine’s premier issue in January 2010. In the short time Stowaway has been published, it has received two national awards of recognition: a Bronze Award for “Best Editorial/New Publication” and an Award of Excellence for “CustomPublished Magazines and Journals.” The magazine has also skyrocketed beyond the bounds of national readership, attracting readers from more than 70 nations around the globe, such as the United Kingdom, Cambodia, France, Germany, India, Mongolia, Brazil, the Philippines, and more. Perhaps one reason for readers’ interest in Stowaway is its focus on overcoming reservations (pun intended) and pursuing remarkable experiences that we otherwise wouldn’t. Recall the subtle, yet paramount, invitation that each issue carries on its cover: Explore. Dream. Discover. This motto verbalizes one of Stowaway’s purposes—to serve as a springboard for you to find your suitcase and get going. As you read this issue, enjoy the places explored and memories shared. But also try to discover why these places are special to those who have been there; and think about what makes a memory so important to you. For me, what makes traveling unique is the people who share the experience by my side. To me, they are at the forefront of the scene. They are the ones who make the experience have infinite shelf life because they are
Nostalgia preserves our discoveries and experiences better than any photograph.
part of that memory. Every time I see those people and shoot the breeze recounting those good ol’ times, I’m back to where the memories began. Nostalgia preserves our discoveries and experiences better than any photograph. So go for it! Take a tour through the architectural genius of Prague (p. 12), learn how to road-trip with someone you can’t stand (p. 62), go on location with George Lucas and see where the Star Wars movies were filmed (p. 76), or go all out and take a year off to travel the world for less than it would cost you to stay home (p. 44). You and I both know you could use a vacation.
Stetson Robinson Managing Editor
www.stowawaymag.com << 7
Winter Olympic S
ince 1924, the Winter Olympic Games have preserved a timehonored tradition of inviting world-class athletes to come together in friendly competition. As the world prepares for the Winter 2014 Olympics in Russia, check out these Winter Olympic sites from recent years and take note of the activities that you can still enjoy there.
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada February 12–28, 2010
These games were the first Olympics to hold opening ceremonies indoors. Shaun White set a record for being the first ever to land a “Tomahawk,” winning him the snowboarding gold medal for a second time. Venues for these Olympics stretched over 75 miles between Vancouver and Whistler, British Columbia, Canada. Several of these venues are open to the public at Whistler Olympic Park, where you can take classes in winter sports on Olympic terrain. π www.whistlerolympicpark.com
Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Ten new events were featured in the Salt Lake City Olympics. From a sporting, business, and audience outlook, these Olympic Games were considered one of the most successful in Olympic history to that point. Two gold medals (rather than a gold and a silver) were awarded in pairs figure skating. The Utah Olympic Park is near other major Olympic sites, such as the ski jump. You can try out the bobsled, luge, and skeleton track that the Olympians used.
The Winter Games in this Italian city marked the first time that Albania, Madagascar, and Ethiopia were represented. Shaun White received his first gold medal in snowboarding here. The tallest cauldron in the history of Olympic Games was constructed, standing 187 feet. Palavela, home to the skating events, offers fun for the whole family with skating lessons and educational activities. You can even rent the center for a private party.
π www.torinolympicpark.org π www.palavelatorino.it/it/default.html
February 8–24, 2002
8 >> winter 2012
February 10–26, 2006
February 7–23, 2014 This coastal city will be the first in the Russian Federation to host the Winter Games. Although the venues will be split between a coastal cluster and a mountain cluster, they will still be no more than 30 minutes apart. For the first time, all ice venues in the Olympic Park will be within walking distance. π http://sochi2014.com/en
This was the second time the Winter Olympics were held in Norway. The Games took place during the Bosnian War, and the best example of Olympic spirit came from the four-man bobsled team from Bosnia and Herzegovina, which included a Croatian, two Bosnians, and a Serbian. At age 13, Kim Yoon-Mi became the youngest Olympic gold medalist. Stop by the Kanthaugen Freestyle Arena, where you can toboggan down the slippery slopes.
These Winter Olympics included snowboarding and women’s ice hockey for the first time. Bjørn Dæhlie of Norway received three gold medals in cross-country skiing, adding to the five gold medals he won in previous Olympics. Azerbaijan, Kenya, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Uruguay, and Venezuela participated in the Winter Olympics for the first time. At the Nagano Olympic Museum, you can view equipment used by athletes and explore the state-of-the-art 3D Olympic theater.
February 12–27, 1994
February 7–22, 1998
—Kelsey Gee and Caroline Kowallis www.stowawaymag.com << 9
ubberband · A Dickens of a Tale · Mindy Gledhill · The Vibe · The Three Musk from the AND trip DRAMA · Utah Valley Symphony · Wasatch Chorale · Odysse erstales · DINNER ance Theatre: Thriller · Utah Lyric Opera · Chamber Music at the Covey · Da ght Dance · Middle Eastern Dance · THE OAK RIDGE BOYS · The Thrillionair Medea · Blind Date · Joyful Noise · Anne of Green Gables · Crossing Delance ouvenir · Hilary Weeks CD Release Concert · BYU International Folk Dancers OTEWORTHY · BYU Cougarettes in Concert · The Vibe · Kurt Bestor and Dav anz in Concert · Art with Heart · Wayne Kimball · VOCAL POINT · J. Kirk Richar Mark Philbrick · Vivace · Utah Valley Youth Symphony · La Traviata · Carmin urana · Vocal Point · The Nutcracker · Joyful Noise · Ryan Shupe and the Rubbe and · A Dickens of a Tale · ODYSSEY DANCE THEATRE: THRILLER · Mindy Gledh The Vibe · The Three Musketeers · Dinner and Drama · Utah Valley Symphon Wasatch Chorale · Utah Lyric Opera · Chamber Music at the Covey · Date Nig ance · Middle Eastern Dance · BYU COUGARETTES IN CONCERT · The Thrillionair he Oak Ridge Boys · Medea · Blind Date · Joyful Noise · Anne of Green Gable ossing Delancey ·Souvenir · Hilary Weeks CD Release Concert ·Vocal Point · BY ternational Folk Dancers · Noteworthy · The Vibe · Kurt Bestor and David La Concert · ArtThe withbest Heart Wayne Kimball · J. Kirk Richards · Mark Philbrick in· entertainment—all year round! vace · Utah Valley Youth Symphony · La Traviata · Carmina Burana · Vocal Poi he Nutcracker · Joyful Noise · Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband · A Dickens of le · Mindy Gledhill · The Vibe · The Three Musketeers · Dinner and Drama · Uta alley Symphony · Wasatch Chorale · Odyssey Dance Theatre: Thriller · Utah Lyr pera · Chamber Music at the Covey · Date Night Dance · Middle Eastern Dance he Thrillionaires · The Oak Ridge Boys · Medea · Blind Date · Joyful Noise · Ann Green Gables · Crossing Delancey ·Souvenir · Hilary Weeks CD Release Conce ocal Point · BYU International Dancers · Noteworthy 425 WestFolk Center Street, Provo · BYU Cougarettes oncert · The Vibe · Kurt Bestor and David Lanz in Concert · Art with Heart · Wayn 801-852-7007 | www.coveycenter.org mball · J. Kirk Richards · Mark Philbrick · Vivace · Utah Valley Youth Symphon a Traviata · Carmina Burana · Vocal Point · The Nutcracker · Joyful Noise · Rya hupe and the Rubberband · A Dickens of a Tale · MINDY GLEDHILL · The Vib The Three Musketeers · Dinner and Drama · Utah Valley Symphony · Wasat horale · Odyssey Dance Theatre: Thriller · Utah Lyric Opera · Chamber Mus the Covey · Date Night Dance · THE THRILLIONAIRES · Middle Eastern Dance he Oak Ridge Boys · Medea · Blind Date · Joyful Noise · Anne of Green Gable ossing Delancey ·Souvenir · Hilary Weeks CD Release Concert ·Vocal Point · BY ternational Folk Dancers · Noteworthy · BYU Cougarettes in Concert · The Vib KURT BESTOR AND DAVID LANZ IN CONCERT · Art with Heart · Wayne Kimbal Kirk Richards · Mark Philbrick · Vivace · Utah Valley Youth Symphony · La Tr ata · Carmina Burana · Vocal Point · The Nutcracker · Joyful Noise · A Dicke a Tale · RYAN SHUPE AND THE RUBBERBAND · Mindy Gledhill · The Vibe · Th hree Musketeers · Dinner and Drama · Utah Valley Symphony · Wasatch Ch le · Odyssey Dance Theatre: Thriller · Utah Lyric Opera · Chamber Music at th ovey · Date Night Dance · Middle Eastern Dance · The Thrillionaires · The Oa 10 >> winter 2012 dge Boys · Medea · Blind Date · Joyful Noise · Anne of Green Gables · Crossin
COVEY CENTER FOR THE ARTS
Culture Arts >> Explore the architecture of Prague, and take a tour through American filmmaking. pages 12 & 14
Eats >> Experience Chicagoâ€™s dynamite restaurants, and try
some new hot chocolate recipes. pages 16 & 18
photo by Coco Pazzo
Save the pizza pie for later. Try some wild boar soup during Chicagoâ€™s discounted restaurant week. page 16
Czech It Out
The Architectural Inspiration of Prague
nown as the “City of a Thousand Spires,” Prague is one of the hidden gems of Europe. The capital of the Czech Republic is one large outdoor museum of beautiful architecture ranging from the fourteenth century to today. Because Prague was relatively spared during World War I and II, many of the buildings are still in their original condition. “Prague offers so many varying styles of architecture that after a visit you can practically
go home with a PhD,” wrote Joann Plockova for EuropCheapo.com. “Within the city center and its immediate surroundings, you’ll find every architectural style from Gothic to Baroque, Cubism to Functionalism, and Art Noveau to the boxy beasts of Communism.” A journey through the architecture of Prague offers many lessons in history, legend, and pop culture.
Charles Bridge After the castle, the second-most popular attraction in Prague is Charles Bridge (Karlův most). Built in 1357, the bridge has remained in remarkable condition through the ages, which may be attributed to the builders’ innovative decision to use eggs to create a stronger mortar. In the seventeenth century, the bridge was decorated with 30 statues and large gothic towers on either side.
12 >> winter 2012
photography by Stefan Bauer (top); Dallin Turner (bottom)
Commanding the Prague skyline is the Prague Castle (Pražský hrad). Considered one of the largest castles in the world, it contains many cathedrals, palaces, towers, and museums. But all these are dominated by the massive gothic St. Vitus Cathedral (Katédrala svatého Víta), which took more than 600 years to complete.
photography by Norbert PoZár (top left); Dino Quinzani (top right); Krzysiu Szymanski (bottom)
Dancing House A new addition to Prague is the Dancing House (Tančící dům), which was built in 1996. Designed by Czech architect Vlado Milunić and famous American architect Frank Gehry, this twisting and curving building was intended to look like a dancing couple.
The tallest structure in Prague is the Žižkov Television Tower (Žižkovský vysílač). Built in 1992, it is best described as a unique example of high-tech architecture. In 2000, it became even more unique after it was decorated with ten bronze statues of giant babies crawling up and down the tower.
Astronomical Clock Near Charles Bridge is the storied Prague Astronomical Clock (Pražský orloj). According to legend, the architect of the clock was blinded after completing his work to prevent him from making anything so beautiful again. The Prague Astronomical Clock was built in 1410, making it the oldest working astronomical clock in the world. At every hour, a skeleton statue, representing death, rings a bell and statues of the Twelve Apostles “walk” by a window. Prague truly is a beautiful and amazing place. Visitors can explore it for months and still not be able to take it all in. “And remember,” Plockova said, “it doesn’t cost anything to gaze at some of the finest examples of architecture in the world.” —Dallin Turner
www.stowawaymag.com << 13
in·dy \'in-dē\ n, adj :
The Egy City is aptian Theatre in n indy-f ilm hot Park spot.
14 >> winter 2012
in the a
r ski an
Short for independent and used in phrases such as “indy films.” Doesn’t always mean low-budget. As a movement, “indy” connotes trendy-while-pretending-not-to-betrendy. One who is “indy” may sport uniquely shaped hats, retro glasses, and eco-friendly duds.
d stay p
Egyptian theatre photo courtesy of Raffi Asdourian
stories. There are dozens of categories of films and awards: screenwriting, cinematography, short, and more. Many award winners have gone on to win Academy Awards. Sundance is the place where no-names become famous and small ideas become society-rattling statements. A perfect example of Sundance’s influence is last year’s winner of Cinematography and Grand Jury, Hell and Back Again, a film by Danfung Dennis. Flashing from the horrors of war to the horrors of home, this documentary tells the story of an American soldier returning home from battle—an emotional and controversial subject. Because of Sundance Film Festival, this film is now hitting select theaters around the nation and stirring the emotions of audiences worldwide. Sundance Film Festival is just as important to artists finding a stage for their craft as it is to viewers expanding their perception.
undance Film Festival is even more enthralling than its intriguing name sounds. This weeklong independentfilm festival—complete with controversial movie premiers, appearances by the rich and famous, and yuppie followings—is movie history in the making. Essential to the art community, Sundance Film Festival provides a stage for filmmakers to be recognized for their innovative art, uninhibited from mainstream media and popular trends. The tradition started 31 years ago atop Sundance Mountain, Utah, with Robert Redford and a group of film friends who were willing to take filmmaking risks. Now Sundance Film Festival graces four locations in Utah: Salt Lake City, Ogden, Sundance, and Park City. It not only provides a stage for independent films, but also donates funds for the development of unique
PHotography courtesy of Brandon Joseph Baker and Sundance Institute;
The Art of Film
Don’t miss Sundance Film Festival January 19–29, 2012
Navigating Sundance The excitement of the Festival can easily turn into a din of confusion. One must nimbly navigate four cities and innumerable events in order to make the most of the festival. Here are some hints to catching indy fever: ►► Buy tickets online at www.sundance.org/ festival ahead of time, or pay $15 at the door. ►► Even if the show is “sold out,” getting to the theater early may score a seat. ►► Pick up a “Daily Hot Sheet” every morning—found at Info Booths. These sheets will clue visitors in to possible ticket availability and special events for the day. ►► Look for “Festival Insiders,” people sporting “Ask Me” buttons. They answer questions and guide free “How to Fest” tours. ►► Attend free events: parties, live bands, Q&As, people-watching, and award ceremonies. Film history making isn’t only for the rich and famous.
Sundance Film Festival is just as important to artists finding a stage for their craft as it is to viewers expanding their perception. Spot sta
e of Zo
l and h
Chicago Restaurant Week
fter speaking with many top chefs of rave-reviewed restaurants, Davidman reports that chefs hate the question “What’s good here?” If it’s on the menu, it’s good. Otherwise why would they be cooking it? As a self-proclaimed foodie, Davidman has sampled plenty of Chicago’s finest cuisine in the quest for the best. During Chicago Restaurant Week, the flavors on the menu are delicious to both stomach and wallet at more than 200 of the city’s finest restaurants. Organized by the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau, Chicago Restaurant Week is a 10-day event where fine cuisine gets a special price tag. It began in 2008 with just 35 participating restaurants and has grown every year. In 2012, the discounted fine dining will take place from February 17 to 26 at more than 200 restaurants. Some restaurants may possibly extend the deal by popular demand. For any and all wishing to upgrade the sophistication of their palate, 16 >> winter 2012
this event means a discounted ticket to satisfied taste buds. Chefs select the menu—usually a three-course meal—and customers enjoy it for a fraction of the price: $22 for lunch and $33 or $44 for dinner. Since one entrée typically costs $30 at most participating restaurants, Restaurant Week prices are a bargain. For foodies like Davidman, Chicago Restaurant Week is paradise. Last year during Restaurant Week, Davidman dined at Boka Restaurant and Bar, an upscale contemporary restaurant in Lincoln Park. In 2011, the Michelin Guide (restaurant review) awarded Boka a star, the fine food equivalent of the Olympic bronze medal. Only 81 restaurants worldwide have received three stars (the highest possible rating); earning even one is an honor. Boka’s menu met all of Davidman’s expectations: “I am a sucker for foie gras [elegantly prepared goose or duck liver] and scallops, and everything was perfect,” he said. While dining, Davidman even spoke with Executive
Chef Giuseppe Tentori, a jovial Italian whose recipes have earned glowing reviews from Chicago’s most respected food critics. Restaurant Week includes everything from steakhouses to sushi bars. With so many options, what not to sample becomes the real question. Planning ahead can make or break the event since many restaurants fill up. Making online reservations at eatitupchicago.com ensures happy taste buds. Since every item on the menu comes highly recommended, what question do waiters and chefs want to hear? Davidman recommends “What’s most popular?” Asking for facts rather than opinions marks a customer as an experienced eater. Experienced or not, Restaurant Week guests in winter 2012 will experience the best dining Chicago’s chefs have to offer. The only question remaining is where to eat first. —Whitney Sorensen
Photo of panna cotta courtesy of Coco Pazzo, copyright Avery House creative
Windy City resident Matt Davidman never asks the waiter “What’s good here?”
Foodie Lingo Good food knows no geographic borders, and neither does its vocabulary. This list of fancy food terms will help diners brush up on their French, Italian, and even Japanese before enjoying a world-class meal.
crudo: a Latin-based word meaning “raw” in both Italian and Spanish
hamachi: the Japanese name for a yellowtail fish often served raw in sushi or sashimi
photography courtesy of Elate Restaurant (top); Aria (Bottom)
prix fixe: a French term for “fixed price” used to designate when a predetermined meal is served for a set price
sear: a meat-cooking technique (the word comes from Old English) that involves quick exposure to very high heat, sealing in the meat’s flavor
filet: a boneless piece of meat or fish (think of the French filet mignon) created after the act of filleting or removing the bones
panna cotta: a cooked egg custard that is flavored with caramel and served cold, often with chocolate or fruit; means “cooked cream” in Italian
Above: Elate Restaurant makes fish irresistable with hamachi crudo. Below: A succulent beet salad at Aria dazzles both the eyes and the mouth. Opposite page: Fresh fruit and rich chocolate beautify Coco Pazzo’s panna cotta.
ragu: an Italian meat sauce for pasta that often includes vegetables (this word doesn’t refer just to a brand of spaghetti sauce)
www.stowawaymag.com << 17
HOT CHOCOLATE The 4 Corners of the Kitchen R
Mayan Hot Chocolate
This hot chocolate recipe may not be what you’re used to. Italians like their chocolate thick—so thick that this “drink” has to be helped out with a spoon. Of course, if you don’t want it as thick, you can modify it, but be adventurous and explore the risky route.
The Ancient Mayans did not consume chocolate in the form of a candy bar as we do today. Most of the time they consumed it only as a rather healthy drink. Mayans would even include things like ground corn in their warm liquid cocoa. Although this recipe avoids the corn, get a kick from your hot chocolate and try this Mayan recipe.
Ingredients 5 tablespoons cocoa powder 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 6 ounces finely chopped dark chocolate (at least 70% cacao solids) 2 cups milk
Directions 1. Over low heat combine cocoa powder, sugar, and 2 tablespoons of milk into a small saucepan. 2. Heat the mixture until the sugar melts and there are no lumps. Bring to a low boil while stirring constantly. 3. Add the remaining milk. Turn off the heat and add chopped chocolate. Stir until smooth and serve. Yield: 2 servings
18 >> winter 2012
Ingredients 1 cup chocolate milk 1 teaspoon cocoa powder 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1 pinch cayenne
Directions Mix the ingredients together and heat. Yield: 2 servings
photography courtesy of the pink peppercorn (Left); Jennifer Worthen (right)
esearchers at Cambridge University are trying to link the consumption of chocolate with the prevention of heart disease. Although the link isn’t definitive, why risk it? Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, and if something as common (and delicious) as chocolate might help prevent it, you may as well give it a try. Even if it doesn’t actually have the added health benefits, drinking hot chocolate is a great way to warm up after a cold day of exploring exotic places or hiking through icy lands. But don’t stick to that old hot chocolate mix sitting in your cupboard. Treat yourself to one of these recipes from around the world.
Ingredients 2 tablespoons high quality white chocolate chips or grated white chocolate 1 cup milk or soy milk 1 cup water 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom 1 whole clove 1 whole black peppercorn
Chai-Spiced Hot Chocolate With all the spices in the mix, this unique hot chocolate has the taste of India. Rather than traditional brown cocoa, this recipe requires white chocolate—a perfect complement to the rich spices. If you’ve ever wanted to explore Indian cuisine but have never had the chance, this spiced hot chocolate can be your gateway to the delicious flavors of India.
1. Take two mugs and place one tablespoon of white chocolate into each. Set aside. 2. Place milk and water into a small saucepan. Whisk in the spices. Place over medium heat and allow to slowly come to a boil. Whisk occasionally. 3. As soon as the mixture begins to boil, reduce the heat to low and remove the clove and peppercorn. 4. Whisk vigorously to distribute the spices and create foam on top. Remove from heat. 5. Pour half of the milk mixture into each of the mugs. Stir to melt the white chocolate. Spoon some of the foam onto the top of each and serve. Yield: 2 servings
photography courtesy of Nathanmac87 (top); Christopher Cornelius (bottom)
Whipped Hot Chocolate This winter, enjoy a delicious twist to the powdered hot chocolate you’ve been drinking your whole life. Sweeter and creamier, this recipe will guide you to the ultimate in comfort cocoa. The incredible richness of this drink will satisfy the chocoholic in you and leave you wanting more—no marshmallows necessary.
1 cup milk 1/3 cup white sugar 2 tablespoons sweetened cocoa powder 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 pinch salt 2 (1-ounce) squares semisweet baking chocolate, broken into pieces 1 cup heavy cream
Directions 1. Heat milk in a small saucepan over low heat until the milk begins to steam. 2. Whisk in the sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and salt until dissolved. 3. Stir in the chocolate until melted. 4. Remove saucepan from heat and allow to cool slightly. 5. Beat the heavy cream in large mixing bowl with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. 6. Gently fold the whipped cream into the hot chocolate. Serve immediately. Yield: 2 servings —Alyson Reid
www.stowawaymag.com << 19
Do Something Different. Serve in Leprosy Colonies. Lift Indiaâ€™s Outcasts.
2012 Volunteer Sessions Christmas Session—Dec 28–Jan 4 (2011) February Session—Feb 6–22 March Session—March 12–16 March/April Session—March 26–April 4 Summer Session 1—June 11–27 Summer Session 2—July 2–13 Summer Session 3—July 16–Aug 1 Summer Session 4—Aug 5–10 Summer Session 5—Aug 13–24 Summer Session 6—Aug 27–Sept 8 Thanksgiving Session—Nov 18–24 Christmas Session—Dec 30–Jan 5
For more details, or to fill out an application online, visit:
www.risingstartourtreach.org 801.820.0466 email@example.com
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
Getaway For a Weekend >>Go beyond the Space Needle in your visit
to Seattle, and plan free activities in St. Louis. pages 24 & 25
For a Week >> Escape the clock with a visit to a couple of
isles in the Aegean Sea, and take a road trip through scenic Chiapas, Mexico. pages 26 & 28
For a While >> Commemorate the 150th anniversary
of the Civil War by visiting important sites in American history. page 30
photo by Frank Kovalchek
Statues commemorate significant leaders like Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee at battle sites of the American Civil War.
away for a weekend
Beyond Seattle’s Space Need e Do more than visit the famous observation tower on your Seattle trip this winter. Instead, why not watch a fish fly, gum a gum wall, or listen to free music—all in one diverse city! Check out these interesting options to make your trip to Seattle unique. As you explore this city, expect the usual weather. Seattle’s winter is mostly rain with only a few snow days. Bring good shoes and an umbrella, and the city is yours. Pike Place Market
The Experience Music Project, housed in a Frank O. Gehry building, has seen 5 million visitors since its opening in 2000.
underground tour, saying it’s not worth the money. And for your own safety, be sure to leave the First Avenue corridor before dark. Pioneer Square is between Second Avenue and the Alaskan Way Viaduct, and between Columbia Street and King Street. π www.seattletravel.com/pioneer-square.html
The Experience Music Project
Seattle’s quirky gum wall is covered with gum messages from past visitors—and it still smells fresh.
Pioneer Square Locals and tourists alike love this district for its historic buildings, art galleries, shopping, restaurants, and nightlife. The Seattle baseball and football stadiums also offer tours. Grab an umbrella and explore! Locals warn against the 24 >> winter 2012
The must-see museum is the Experience Music Project (EMP). Shaped like an abstract guitar, the museum contains extensive memorabilia from native Seattle bands like The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam. The EMP also features an interactive exhibit where you can put on your own rock concert. It’s located at 325 Fifth Ave. N., at the base of the Space Needle. π www.empmuseum.org
Winterfest Winterfest is held at the Seattle Center every year from November 25 to December 3. The event draws large crowds and offers plenty of free activities. Many nights showcase local talent, such as college and community choirs and orchestras.
All ages can enjoy ice sculpting, fireside singing, ice skating, and puppeteering. π www.seattlecenter.com/winterfest
The Space Needle If you’re nearby, the famous Space Needle is fun to see. The Needle is an observation tower built for the 1962 World’s Fair. Locals recommend either going at night or viewing it from the ground and saving your money. π www.spaceneedle.com
Safe Seattle The Free Ride area extends from the north at Battery Street to South Jackson Street on the south and is available every day from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. This is a handy way to see downtown day and night. Seattle also offers “Night Stop” for secure night travel. The Night Stop program allows you to ask to be let off at any point along a regular route. Just approach the driver at least a block ahead of where you would like to get off. Night Stop is not available downtown. π http://metro.kingcounty.gov
Photography by Brad Coy (top); plusgood (Bottom)
One place to discover is Pike Place Market. Since the covered farmers’ market first opened in 1907, Pike has become famous for its fresh fish, flowers, and crafts. Many products are distinctly Seattle, with their use of lavender, sea salt, and “made in Seattle” stamps. The first Starbucks is still open here and is the only chain store allowed in the market. Adriana Pinegar, a local young adult, recommends not missing the flying fish salesmen at Pike Place. “They throw a fish only if someone buys it,” she says “so if you want to see a fish fly, you may have to invest in some world-class salmon.” Just below the market is the gum wall on Post Alley. The wall, covered in thousands of pieces of gum, is disgusting but totally unique. The market is open at First Avenue and Pike Street from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Clockwise from bottom left: photography by randyr.net; John Storjohann; courtesy of the science center; kopper; Jean Paul Torno
away for a weekend
Clockwise from bottom left: The St. Louis Arch; cheetahs at the St. Louis Zoo; the Planetarium at the Science Center; a view of St. Louis at night from the top of the Arch; Claude Monet, Water Lilies, c.1916, private collection.
St. Louis: Free-for-All T
ravelers with lean pockets and wide interests should include St. Louis at the top of their “To Go” list. The stomping ground of literary giants Tennessee Williams and T. S. Eliot, St. Louis has a rich urban culture. St. Louis is the hub of the Midwest, and Forest Park is the hub of St. Louis. The original site of the 1904 Olympics, Forest Park now provides fun free of charge.
Animals You might want to make the St. Louis Zoo your first stop. Zagat.com rated the zoo as the nation’s best, above the famed San Diego Zoo (U.S. Family Travel Guide). Zookeepers house more than 5,000 animals and create award-winning animal habitats while still maintaining free public admission. Slide through the otter exhibit in the acrylic slide, and pet the parrots perching on the zookeeper’s arm. Hug the penguins when the weather is especially cold and they’re allowed to wander outside their habitat.
St. Louis is the hub of the Midwest, and Forest Park is the hub of St. Louis.
Music and Ballet
The nearby Science Center houses a Boeing Space Station and an 80-foot Zeiss Planetarium. Solar-system lovers will enjoy the daily meteor shower and eclipse demonstrations.
The Municipal Opera and Ballet (affectionately called “Muny” by locals) perform Broadway musicals during summer months at the largest outdoor amphitheater in North America. Former New York City Ballet director Gin Hiroshi directs performances, and each performance offers 1,500 free seats.
Art Around the corner, the St. Louis Museum of Art gives visitors free access to the Claude Monet Water Lily series. While you’re there, take note of the museum’s architecture designed for the 1904 World’s Fair by Cass Gilbert (also the architect for the US Supreme Court building).
History buffs will enjoy the Missouri History Museum, complete with detailed exhibits on Charles Lindbergh (think Spirit of St. Louis).
Botany For life-science fans, nearby Washington University houses magnificent botanical and sculpture gardens and a steamy, glass-plated Butterfly House featuring over 44 fluorescent butterfly species. For additional information on free activities in St. Louis: π www.explorestlouis.com
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away for a week
Timeless Isles Mykonos and Santorini
he deep blue crystal-clear water of the Aegean may be a sapphire itself, but it boasts other timeless gems—the islands of Mykonos and Santorini, which offer much more than a simple tourist vacation. Fall asleep to the sound of dancing grasses and braying donkeys, the lapping of water, and a distant wind chime—and fall in love with Greece.
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Here the locals paint white between each cobblestone on the main roads—roads traveled only by humans, donkeys, and bicycles—so even just walking down the street feels unique. The interweaving of houses, restaurants, and shops creates a charming maze of white buildings, accented with shutters, doors, and balconies of yellow, blue, red, and green. A cook in a familyowned restaurant serves fried goat cheese, while a maid in the hotel upstairs hangs sheets on the line and a local woman next door waters her flowers. Any hole-in-the-wall restaurant will satiate your deepest and most exotic food desires, and the baklava will never be topped elsewhere in the world. The fact that these things have been happening in the same place and in the same way for centuries is rejuvenating for the twenty-first century traveler accustomed to a fast-paced life. Along the waterfront, colorful fishing boats cram against each other, some going out to sea, others coming back with a small catch to sell to a local restaurant. Old fishermen, dressed in black with smiles larger than their faces, greet travelers, promote restaurants, and make jokes in broken English. Tourist or not, all are friends and family to this hospitable community. In Mykonos, centuries-old windmills dot the rocky landscape, along with red-domed family churches, bright bell towers, and shepherds and sheep. These charming churches not only maintain the Mediterranean village feel, but also are a breath of fresh air—a charming, homey alternative to Gothic Era cathedrals found elsewhere. Stone benches along the paths invite travelers to slow down and breathe in the timeless world. Santorini was built on a jagged cliff of a dormant volcano that lost two-thirds of its mass to an ancient eruption. Consequently, many ruins are underwater—possibly even the legendary ruins of Atlantis, locals boast. The island is crescent-moon shaped, and one end of the island is visible from the other, along with red, black, and white sand beaches and cliffs between. The dramatic terrain is filled with wild flowers in the spring and the homey ambiance of timeless people and whitewashed buildings yearround—but with a more majestic spice. No place in Greece embodies a greater feeling of rich yet simple wholeness than Mykonos and Santorini. The charming stillness of these two islands awaits. —Stephanie Secrist
Left: The village of Santorini lies perched on a steep hillside. Right, top to bottom: Bright colors in Chora, Mykonos; church bells ring over the crescent-moonshaped island of Santorini; ancient ruins overlook Mykonos’s largest town. Photography courtesy of Denise Jones; Euro photo courtesy of Jason Mark
The Euro Dilemma Exchange rates can be a beast, but there are larger problems for the euro. Countries nearing bankruptcy have government bonds that are deemed almost worthless in their country. Other economically stable countries that are also on the euro have to step in and give the currency and bonds stability and worth. Because these countries share currency, if one country goes bankrupt, the euro would become weaker and could collapse. Economically strong countries face a dilemma: spend huge amounts of money bailing out other nations or lose large amounts of money when the euro loses value. www.stowawaymag.com << 27
away for a week
Discovering Chiapas An Insider’s Guide to Southern Mexico
hiapas, a beautiful area bordered by Guatemala and the Pacific Ocean, is the southernmost state in Mexico. Wondering where to spend that upcoming week off? Fly to Chiapas, rent a car, and take the road trip of your life.
Tapachula is the perfect starting point for a road trip. Whether you arrive at lunchtime or midnight, Tapachula offers things to do. Daytime travelers can visit the archaeological zone of Izapa and see remains of the Mayan and Olmec civilizations. Afterward, you can stop by the House of Culture, located in the old city administrative building, and enjoy various shows and exhibitions throughout the year. At night, the neoclassic parish of San Agustín lights up and becomes the background for marimba concerts in Miguel Hidalgo Park. It doesn’t matter what time you arrive—Tapachula has something ready for you to enjoy.
Las Lagunas de Montebello (Montebello Lakes National Park) A few hours away from Tapachula, Montebello Lakes National Park extends over 14,000 acres of protected land and forest, including 59 lakes,
each with unique shapes, features, and colors. Camping, hiking, swimming, kayaking, and exploring the cavern Puente de Dios (God’s Bridge) are some of the available activities. If you’re feeling less adventurous, enjoy the view of the park while eating in one of its restaurants or hunker down in one of its many rentable cabins.
Ruins of Bonampak and Yaxchilán Next, drive to the ruins in the ancient cities of Bonampak and Yaxchilán. There is nothing common about these two cities. Bonampak houses famous Mayan murals, which exhibit perfect examples of pre-Columbian art. Yaxchilán, which is north of Bonampak at the bank of the Usumacinta River, is famous for its well-preserved stone lintels, each depicting a different event in Mayan history. To reach this larger city, you’ll need to ride a boat through the jungle.
Palenque offers visitors the chance to explore ancient palaces and temples of the Mayan civilization.
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Ruins of Palenque One of the most studied and well-known cities of the Mayan civilization, Palenque has ruins that date from 100 BC to AD 800. Now excavated after centuries of being hidden by the jungle’s overgrowth, Palenque offers visitors the chance to explore ancient palaces and temples, study bas-relief carvings and hieroglyphics, examine great stone blocks of an ancient aqueduct, and walk in one of the first sports fields in history. You can also climb down into Emperor Pacal’s tomb within the Temple of the Inscriptions, or simply wander through the courtyards and take in the majesty of the ruins. After a day of exploring the ancient city, relax by swimming in the famous Baño de la Reina (Bath of the Queen), a refreshing stream that is only a 10-minute walk through the jungle.
photo by toronja_azul
City of Tapachula
What to Bring: π Sunblock Chiapas is humid and warm. You don’t want to spend most of your trip with sunburns.
π Bug spray Because of the tropical weather, mosquitoes and insects are everywhere—and they seem to prefer visitors.
π Motion-sickness meds You might need something to keep from getting dizzy on the twisty mountain roads.
π An umbrella It often rains unexpectedly in Chiapas. The workmanship of El Templo de Santo Domingo is considered one of the best examples of colonial craftsmanship in Mexico.
Las Cascadas de Agua Azul (Blue-Water Cascades) One hour from the city of Palenque, a long chain of waterfalls creates the natural park known as Las Cascadas de Agua Azul. You can hire a guide, hike along the banks, and see one cascade after another. The larger cascades are as high as 20 feet. You can even swim in certain areas of the park. Because of the popularity of Agua Azul, schedule your visit for early in the morning.
photography by Sally L. Jack (top); Thomassin Mickaël (bottom)
San Cristóbal de las Casas Considered the cultural capital of Chiapas, San Cristóbal offers a view of Colonial Mexico. Filled with cobblestone streets, the city is a reminder of the days when the first Spaniards arrived in Chiapas. The hand-carved temple of Santo Domingo is one of the main attractions of the city. Its majestic workmanship is considered one of the best examples of colonial craftsmanship in Mexico. Six blocks from this temple, the public market gives visitors the opportunity to buy souvenirs, including the famous dolls of El Subcomandante Marcos (the spokesperson of the Zapatista movement) and different types of textiles. Many of these beautiful handicrafts are made by natives who gather early each morning in the
market to sell their products. It is not uncommon to find people dressed in native clothing all around the market and to see women with babies attached to their back by a rebozo (Mexican scarf). Some indigenous people don’t speak Spanish; however, this doesn’t stop the relationship between tourists and natives. The market also provides a great opportunity to taste some of the traditional dishes of the state: candies, sweet breads, and even local favorites like tamales de iguana (iguana tamales).
π A change of clothes and a towel You’ll want to refresh yourself by taking a swim along the way.
π A camera The photos you take in Chiapas will make everyone think you’re a professional photographer.
Tuxtla Gutiérrez Tuxtla, the capital of Chiapas, is a big city with beautiful colonial architecture. With restaurants that will satisfy all types of appetites and events at all hours of the day, Tuxtla offers something for everyone. Only a few miles from the city is El Cañón del Sumidero. You cannot leave Chiapas without visiting this place; the Sumidero Canyon provides a view straight out of a fantasy novel. The national park has a museum, art and craft stores, and areas for rappelling and boating. Whether you visit the state hoping to have great adventures or just to take a break from a fast-paced life, Chiapas is the perfect place for a week off. —David Rivera
El Cañón del Sumidero offers a majestic view for travelers.
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away for a while
Frozen in Time M
ost people believe that the United States of America was born in 1776 with the Declaration of Independence. But while that document was vital, it had yet to be truly tested with sacrifice, blood, and hope against its worst enemy—its own people.
Only 150 years have passed since this nation experienced the Civil War and eventually emerged as a powerful united force that continues today. Many significant Civil War locations are still accessible to visitors, and five of them are listed below. But many others can easily be visited on the way to or from these sites. Nothing adequately describes walking where stalwart Americans sacrificed their lives for a thriving future. History comes to life with reenactments, tours, artifacts, and firsthand stories. Winter is a time when you can come to value what these soldiers went through and experience
some of what they endured. Because the trees are leafless in wintertime, you can gain a wider view of battlefields and better understand the true commitment of men and women who endured such extreme challenges for the greater good of the nation.
Fort Sumter, South Carolina The first shot of the Civil War didn’t hit anything. A ten-inch mortar shell that was fired from Fort Johnson was aimed above Fort Sumter as a signal for the Confederate artillery to open fire on the Union-inhabited fort. The Fort Sumter museum details the expansion of the fort’s island and the construction of the garrison, along with the history leading up to and through the Civil War. The Fort Sumter Visitor Education Center portrays the tension between the North and South that resulted in the first shot that would lead to blazing cannons and years of war. A ferry will convey you to the island where you are free to explore. Other Civil War sites nearby are Fort Moultrie and Liberty Square. π www.nps.gov/fosu/index.htm
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Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park, Georgia, Tennessee Chickamauga Battlefield witnessed the last major Confederate victory in the Civil War. The battle for Chattanooga was of such major importance that General Ulysses S. Grant was present on the field. Its 5,300 acres include hiking trails such as General Bragg Trail, Confederate Line Trail, and Memorial Trail. A seven-mile self-guided auto tour, historical tablets, monuments, and horse trails populate this vibrant landscape. The Fuller Gun Collection displays more than 300 examples of military long arms. Other Civil War sites nearby are Lookout Mountain and Blountville Cemetery and Battlefield. π www.n-georgia.com/nps-chickamauga-military-park.html
Andersonville National Historic Site, Georgia Andersonville (also known as Camp Sumter) was one of the largest Confederate prisoner-of-war camps. Housing over 45,000 Union soldiers, this area witnessed extreme suffering. Over 40% of all Union POWs died here. It has now become a peaceful national cemetery where POWs of Camp Sumter and other American wars are laid to rest. Visitors are allowed to hike, camp, and explore the cemetery and the National Prisoner of War Museum. Other sites nearby are Atlanta Cyclorama and Stone Mountain. π www.n-georgia.com/nps-andersonvillehistoric-site.html
counterClockwise from top: Photography by fauxto_digit; Soaptree; dbking; Frank Kovalchek
Top: The Gettsyburg 149th National Civil War Battle Reenactment occurs July 6 and 8, 2012. Bottom left: A Gettysburg statue continues on the march in the epic three-day battle that involved approximately 95,000 Union soldiers and approximately 75,000 Confederate soldiers. Bottom middle: Union drummer boys participate in one of the Gettysburg parades; the Remembrance Day Parade and Ceremonies are scheduled for November 17, 2012. Bottom right: A view of Devil’s Den as seen from Little Round Top, where Union and Confederate soldiers engaged in battle.
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania Three days of battle at Gettysburg included the bravery of Little Round Top, the determination of Pickett’s charge, and the North American continent’s largest ever cannonade. This unplanned battle was so devastating that remains of soldiers were found on the premises as recently as 1995. This is a sacred forest of heroism, morals, and trust. Soldiers died hoping that their sacrifice would lead to a unified country of brotherhood and prosperity. Today there are guided bus tours, audiotapes, and licensed battlefield guides. You can drive, walk, hike, gallop, or bicycle along 40 miles of battlefield roads. There are 10 Civil War museums, nightly ghost tours, live theatre, and year-round
reenactments. It is a beautiful, holy landscape infused with the lives of many who were willing to die for their convictions. Other Civil War sites nearby are the Rupp House History Center and the Shriver House Museum. π www.gettysburg.com
African American Civil War Museum, Washington, DC This remarkable museum is teeming with historical artifacts of Civil War African American soldiers, such as photographs, newspaper articles, bills of sale for slaves, replicas of period clothing, uniforms, and weaponry. Tours, lectures, and programs run throughout the year. Approximately 209,145 African American soldiers dedicated their destiny to the
This unplanned battle was so devastating that the remains of soldiers were found on the premises as recently as 1995. marching of drums and tasting of bitter bullets. Without their story, the true brotherhood, perseverance, and faith of the Civil War is incomplete. Other Civil War sites nearby are the Antietam National Battlefield and the African American Civil War Memorial. π www.afroamcivilwar.org
—Caroline Kowallis www.stowawaymag.com << 31
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Features A Walk through Istanbul >> Discover the evolution of this ancient
capital. page 34
An American In Florence >> Follow artist Denise Jones on her journey across Europe. page 40
Around the World for $10k >>Travel the world for a year using less money than it would cost to stay home. page 44
Land of Fire and Ice >>Explore the waterfalls, volcanoes, and history of Iceland with insider tips. page 50
Photo By www.worldislandinfo.com
Despite Icelandâ€™s nickname, the Land of Fire and Ice is filled with lush, green landscapes. page 50
More Than a Grand Bazaar
By Lauren Swainston Pinegar
ne of the most historically significant cities in the world, Istanbul has been the capital of various empires. It has also been known by a variety of names, including Byzantium and Constantinople. A historic center for both Ottoman and Byzantine architecture, Istanbul conveys a feeling of being preserved in time. Istanbul continues to amaze visitors with its stunning architecture, ancient landmarks, and engaging culture. The relics of ancient empires provide a glimpse of the grandeur that must have existed in their day. It is clear to see why Jenni Reimann, a German traveler who frequently visits Istanbul, always “feels like [she’s] in a different world” when in Istanbul. From tales of sultans and ancient towers to bustling bazaars and exotic foods, this former capital of Turkey is the perfect backdrop for your own tales and adventures. Matthew Martin, an American studying the Middle East, says, “For anybody interested in Islamic or Byzantine history, Istanbul is a place you can’t afford to miss.” As you visit these historic sites, the city’s cultures and traditions will come to life. Its
history is much more enthralling than anything you’ll find in a textbook.
Kiz Kulesi (Maiden’s Tower) First built by an Athenian general around 400 BC, Maiden’s Tower is surrounded by legends about its name. A popular tale paints the story of a sultan who tries to save his daughter fated by an oracle to die on her eighteenth birthday. To protect his daughter, the sultan trapped her in a tower (the Kiz Kulesi) surrounded by water. On her eighteenth birthday, the maiden was unharmed and seemed to have overcome her destiny. Her elated father brought her a fruit basket to celebrate her victory over death. However, when she reached into the fruit basket, a snake bit her and she died, ironically fulfilling her fate. As Reimann says, “everyone will discover their own favorite story” or Istanbul legend. The body of water surrounding the tower is the Bosporus Strait, a beautiful narrow neck of water that divides the European continent from Asia. “The scenery along the Bosporus is unlike anywhere else,” says Angie Bond, who is living in Istanbul with her husband and son. Sit for
The relics of ancient empires provide a glimpse of the grandeur that must have existed in their day.
Previous page: This portion of Istanbul stands on the European side of the Bosporus Strait. Right: Considered the last great mosque of the classical period, the Blue Mosque took seven years to build. More than 20,000 handmade ceramic tiles line the interior of the mosque and 200 stained-glass windows allow natural light into the mosque. Far right: The L-shaped building of the spice bazaar encloses 88 rooms. Take a free stroll through and find anything from vegetables, fruits, nuts, and cheeses to jewelry, shoes, bags, and toys. PHOTOGRAPHY BY SARA WALK
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Walk through the Ages A brief history of Istanbul 660 BC
Byzantium is founded.
Byzantium officially becomes part of the Roman Empire.
Constantine, emperor of the Roman Empire, declares Byzantium a Christian city; the city is eventually renamed Constantinople.
The city becomes commonly known as Istanbul, although it also retains the name of Constantinople.
The city is conquered by Ottoman Turks and officially becomes the capital of the Ottoman Empire.
The Treaty of Lausanne is signed and Turkey becomes a republic; the capital is moved from Istanbul to the city of Ankara.
Above: Forty windows illuminate the central dome of Hagia Sophia. Right: A Turkish baker sells bread on the street.
a refreshing drink while discussing your favorite tales at either the café or the restaurant in the tower. Hire an inexpensive boat to go to and from the tower. “The Bosporus is the heartbeat of Istanbul,” says Martin. “You can’t really go there without seeing it.”
Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar Located in Sultanahmet, this vast area is lined with more than 4,000 shops and is one of the oldest covered markets in the world. The Grand Bazaar is most famous for its jewelry, spices, pottery, and leather products, so most everyone will find something worth haggling over. 38 >> winter 2012
The Spice Bazaar, also located in Sultanahmet, is almost as big as and possibly even more sensory than the Grand Bazaar. Walking down the aisles, you can see vivid shades of red, orange, yellow, brown, and green. The exotic smells lead you on a tour down each colorful row. The Spice Bazaar also speaks to the legacy of trade in Turkey as the center for spice trade in Istanbul both anciently and currently. “You can get any spices you can think of, and the smell is unbelievable,” says Reimann. The Spice Bazaar, like the Grand Bazaar, is connected to a mosque that is open for exploration.
Topkapi Palace This palace primarily housed the Ottoman sultans for 400 years. After a brief visit, you will immediately gain an appreciation for the sultans’ pristine taste in architecture and decor. “The courtyards were built with love and attention to detail,” Reimann says. This palace, which offers clear views over the Bosporus to the Asian side of Istanbul, houses some of the holiest relics of the Muslim faith, including the prophet Mohammed’s cloak and sword. Tours are offered for those who want to get a full rundown of Topkapi Palace history.
Its massive dome and idyllic Byzantine architecture leave a lasting impression.
A Taste of the Town Have you heard of Turkish Delight? Well, Turkish cuisine has much more to offer than just sugary confections. During your time in Istanbul, expect to eat various fresh fruits and vegetables in season, most commonly green peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant. A typical meal might cost anywhere from $18 to $70, with prices higher along the waterfront. If you’re looking for something beyond the traditional Turkish fare, local restaurants feature menus from other nations as well. For both taste and value, Angie Bond recommends the following local restaurants and lists the neighborhoods or districts in which they are located: Kosebasi (traditional Turkish food) in Etiler Mia Mensa (fish/Italian) along the waterfront in Ortakoy House Café (Turkish/American) in Ortakoy or Istinye Park Mall Poseidon (fish) in Bebek Banyan (Chinese) in Ortakoy
Hagia Sophia For nearly a thousand years, the Hagia Sophia was the largest cathedral in the world; it later became a mosque. “If your time is limited in Istanbul, stay with the mosques and museums,” Martin says. “Those are the true beauty of Istanbul.” This structure now serves as a museum that represents Turkey’s tradition of imperial change. Its massive dome and idyllic Byzantine architecture leave a lasting impression on visitors from around the globe. Be sure to look up once you’re inside—the interior is covered with
breathtaking black- and gold-hued mosaics depicting scenes and iconography from early Christian theology, as well as stylized images of triumphant monarchs. During the Hagia Sophia’s transition into a mosque, most of the mosaics were covered with plaster or painted over, but through decades of careful recovery, many have been restored to their former beauty.
Blue Mosque This awe-inspiring structure, aptly nicknamed for its interior bluetile mosaics, is officially titled the Sultan Ahmed Mosque. It was first constructed in the seventeenth century and still retains its original
function as a place of worship today. Visit the mosque at dusk to see it fully lit and gleaming in the twilight. The size of the mosque brings to mind the grandeur and glory of heaven. As Reimann puts it, “You can feel the religion in there.” Just remember that visitors are expected to remove their shoes before entering the mosque, as it is considered a holy place. The ancient city of Istanbul offers a remarkable walk through time that will tap in to all of your senses. No matter where you wander or what you’re after, your time in Istanbul will be well spent.
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An American in Florence By Jennifer Jones
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Opposite page: Piazza Mattei, located in Rome and partly sculpted by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Above: Denise Jones on a trip to Mykonos, Greece. Below: The Blue Boat at Ross Castle in Ireland.
Art and photo by Denise jones
n order to get accepted as an undergraduate into the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence, Italy, Denise Jones needed $12,000 in cash, fluent Italian, and an exceptional score on a grueling three-part exam. Like most college students, she was broke when she applied. Thanks to an $11,000 mural commission for the public library in Agoura Hills, California, she pulled the cash together in less than three months. But she had only one hastily planned semester of Italian when she shipped over to Florence. “I got over there, and I couldn’t remember how to say ‘thank you,’” Denise says. “Gracias, gracias, gracias. It took me two weeks to figure out I was speaking Spanish, not Italian.” She never did master the grammatical passato remoto. But her Italian must have been passable because her entrance exam won her two years’ acceptance to one of the most prestigious art academies in Europe. The Accademia di Belle Arti is the modern branch of the first drawing academy in Europe, the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno. Here Renaissance geniuses like Michelangelo Buonarotti and Sandro Botticelli created some of the most famous works in history. The legacy of these art history colossi weighed heavily on Denise. “I’m always intimidated when I think about them; I don’t feel like I measure up,” she says. “But I also know it would have been such a waste of potential not to pursue my own talent for art.” Every morning she walked 40 minutes across Florence, hefting her portfolio, a packed meal, and a backpack full of art supplies. European art instruction takes a student-motivated approach, which gave Denise time to paint in class and as she traveled. She made her own watercolors with a mortar and pestle, grinding together paint dust, gum
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Above: The Triumvirate, in Piazza Signoria, Florence. Right: The Trevi, one of the most famous baroque fountains in Rome and home to the oldest Roman aqueduct.
arabic (sap from an acacia tree), and honey. The paint dusts in Europe cost exorbitant amounts of money because they contain highly specified ingredients. (For example, Indian yellow is made from dried urine from an elephant fed only on mango leaves.) Denise didn’t buy a blanket for the first six months she lived in Italy because paint supplies consumed her funds. Although natural landscapes display the beauty of color, Denise prefers painting the human form because of its character, expressions, and convex overlaps. “Every part of the human body expresses an emotion,” she says. “Even down to the tip of a finger, you can express emotion by attitude and position.” For her paintings, she carefully selects angles that speak to her artistic instinct: “There are sacred proportions that coincide and communicate with us. You feel a composition more than you see it. I can tell when I have the right view for my painting because my insides sigh.” What Denise feels, the Greeks measured. GrecoRoman artists, as well as the Renaissance giants, used the Golden Ratio (1.61803399) to craft idealized human figures
“Painting is like listening to a conversation.” in sculptures and paintings. Artists like Denise have been trained to recognize these ratios in the human body—the distance between pupils, the length of the lips, and the ratio of bone-lengths in the fingers, hands, and arms. Da Vinci’s famous Vitruvian Man shows how the human body produces the Golden Ratio when it’s divided at the navel. Although form is an important part of choosing a 42 >> winter 2012
painting, Denise also chooses to paint scenes based on their color and object-to-object interaction. “Painting is like listening to a conversation,” she says. “If I have a boat on water, the boat colors will reflect in the water and the water colors will reflect on the boat.” Recognizing these colors requires second sight. Whereas amateur artists paint black into their shadows, Denise gauges the shadows’ temperatures. She hasn’t seen black in years. “I used to think everyone could see the colors I saw,” she says. “Now I realize it’s a second language.” Denise owes her colorful language to Impressionists like Claude Monet and Vincent van Gogh, who discovered optical mixing. Mixing pigments creates a boring greyblack color; mixing colors in light creates white. Optical mixing, however, places two colors in their original hue, minus blending pigments, side by side, and allows the
mixing to occur in the retina of the eye. Colors then appear even more vibrant. In addition to her second sight for color, Denise also speaks a different medium-language from most of her fellow artists. While many other artists choose oil or acrylic paints because of longevity, Denise chooses watercolor because of its magic. “You have to yell other mediums into the right place on your painting. Watercolor has a life of its own; I just nudge it to do what I want. Sometimes the paint itself creates more beautiful art than I could.” As a watercolorist, Denise really is an anomaly. Many of her teachers in Italy were unfamiliar with her medium. Watercolor was used only in manuscript illumination throughout the Middle Ages until German Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer developed it for canvas painting. Even then, artists continued to use watercolor mostly
for sketches. Watercolor remained mostly dormant until Romantic landscapist Joseph Mallord William Turner (J. M. W. Turner) began using watercolor again in the nineteenth century. With a few notable exceptions like Paul Cézanne and Georgia O’Keeffe, watercolor has remained a lesser-used medium. Thankfully, there are still many exceptional watercolorists to keep the medium alive and thriving. Denise has moved on from her undergraduate at the Accademia in Florence, and she now has a master’s degree from New York Academy of Art. She takes annual monthlong research trips to Europe, carrying her paintbrush and camera. “I paint because I must,” she says. “It would be easier not to. I wouldn’t say art is fulfilling. Rather it’s a constant need—never quite satisfied and always craving more. But I still wouldn’t trade it for anything else.” www.stowawaymag.com << 43
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A Y ear around the
$10K By Austin Walk (with Stetson Robinson)
hen we landed in LAX after 12 months and 28 countries, my wife, Sara, and I looked back and couldn’t believe our trip had cost each of us only around $900 a month—a little over $10,000 a person! It was cheaper to be traveling for that entire year than it would have been to stay home.
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When we were gone, we didn’t have to worry about things like rent, gas, or other typical living expenses. We just got permission to take a significant leave from our jobs, put phone bills and the like on hold or automatic draft from our bank account—and off we went. Having done this twice now, I believe that you too can pull off a world tour like this, so long as you're willing to try new things and to be consistent in a few essential moneysaving techniques.
Plan to do's, not a schedule So many times we’d see travelers stressing out, trying to stay on tight schedules, often fighting about flights missed or time lost. When we showed up in a new city, we just looked on Wikitravel or asked around for good ideas of things to do and see. Once we made a list of things we wanted to do, we cruised until we got bored, regardless of whether it was a few days or a month. For instance, when we arrived in Abu Dhabi, UAE, we planned on staying only four days. But the family we stayed with invited us on a road trip to Oman that extended our stay an extra week! Had we planned our trip out a year in advance, or even a month in advance, it would have been costly and complicated to rearrange things—or we would have missed out on an amazing trip to Oman.
Use the Internet . . . but not for everything
Set up "hubs" This probably saved us the most money. A “hub,” as we called it, was a central place where we planned on staying a while and could store our huge suitcases. From there we’d pack tiny backpacks and travel around to neighboring countries for a week or so. We used many places as hubs: ►► Sweden—from here we traveled to Germany, Poland, Norway, Denmark, and the Czech Republic. ►► Spain—from here we went to Morocco. ►► Turkey—this was our gateway to Israel and Egypt. ►► UAE—remember our road trip to Oman? ►► New Zealand—from here we went to most of Asia. To set up a hub, it’s key to have friends in the area. Before the trip, ask family and friends if they have contacts in the areas where you plan to stay. If not, when you get there start making friends immediately, especially the kind who help you get around for free. You can typically find someone you trust well enough to store your bags at their place as the hub while 46 >> winter 2012
Above: Austin hikes around the second-largest Giza Pyramid, which has base stones as large as 6 feet high. Previous page: Austin and Sara explore the Sahara Desert in Morocco.
Remind yourself that money saved in one place will leave more for somewhere else. you travel gypsy style—just take all major valuables with you. This makes traveling cheap and practical because you can walk, ride a bike, or rent a scooter and not worry about the extra cost and stress of lugging around all your baggage.
Always think cheap Whether you’re eating a late breakfast and an early dinner to avoid eating lunch or finding a cozy tree to sleep under for a night, remind yourself that money saved in one place will leave more for somewhere else. In Cappadocia, Turkey, we really wanted to ride a hot-air balloon—$250 a person! Even though I talked the guy down to $125 a person, I still compensated after that: I skipped a few lunches, opted out of seeing some museums, and researched some sights myself to avoid paid tours. Figure out what is most important to you and spend accordingly. For me, I don’t care what I eat; I’d rather eat rice for a year and save enough money to see an extra country.
photography by austin and sara walk
Always have a laptop or smartphone handy because a lot of airports and hostels have free wireless Internet (and if they don’t, wireless passwords are easier to guess than you’d think). The Internet is your best friend for flights and rental cars, yes— but not for everything. Before or upon arriving somewhere, I usually searched the highest density of hostels in the city just to see the best place to wander. Then I’d drop the bags off with Sara nearby where she could relax while I would roam the city for an hour or so looking for cheap places. Usually the cheaper, sometimes better, options were the businesses that couldn’t afford to advertise. Before we got to Bali, for instance, we saw a lot of hotels advertised online— and $30 a night sounded pretty good. But we knew we could find something better. So we rented a motorbike, loaded up our gear, and drove to Uluwatu, stopping at little hotels we saw along the way. We scored a private room on a beautiful property less than a mile away from world-class surf for only $8 a night. (And their $1 banana pancakes were excellent!)
Top: The beautiful view from our hot-air-balloon ride in Cappadocia, Turkey. Bottom: Hmong women and children in the amazing mountain town of Sapa, Vietnam.
Above: Cathedral Cove in New Zealand. It’s a 40-minute hike to this breathtaking beach—well worth it. Opposite page: A young woman performs a traditional dance in Indonesia.
Sara is different. She’d rather eat quality meals and go to fewer countries. Maybe it’s nice hotels or first-class flights that matter most to you; find ways to save elsewhere to compensate.
Beware of arranged tours In Prague, we knew we wanted to see Poland’s Nazi concentration camps. There were endless ads for special-rate tours that would book all our arrangements for the “best price.” On our own, we got a train into Poland for under $10, got our own tickets into Auschwitz, and snagged a hostel for $12 a night. We saved over $200 and were on our own schedule. However, if the price is right and you’re feeling lazy, don’t hesitate to book a tour. We booked an all-day tour in Bali for less than $10 and it was sweet! Also beware of people trying to “help” you, and remember that anybody who approaches you to help find a hotel, restaurant, or anything will either want a tip or get a cut from the place where they're taking you. Their “help” will just drive up the price. Instead of waiting to be approached, ask someone random where to go and what to do.
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Barter wisely, but be considerate Count on being overcharged, but here are some things you can do to get a better deal when bartering at a market. When you first hear the vendor’s price, act offended, like he just insulted your mother—moan, cry, faint, scream, whatever. The more animated you are, the more fun you’ll have. Counteroffer MUCH lower (I always came back at 10%) and give yourself some room to barter. If he won’t budge on the price, just walk away. If he really wants to sell, he’ll call you back; if he doesn’t, then you’ll know your offer was too low, and you can start a little higher at the next place. Also, put your money in his hand first. A lot of vendors who see you looking at something will put the item in your hands and not take it back until you pay them the amount they ask. But if you put your money in their hands first (at your desired price), and not take it back until you get the item, you’ll be surprised what kind of deals you’ll get. However, be considerate of sincere vendors, and don’t lowball just because you can. If the price is even close to fair and you sense that they are honest, just go with it because they typically do need the money.
The Round Trip Here’s everywhere we went from start to finish. The $ symbols are my ratings (like stars for hotels) for each place based on how much we spent there. Ireland $$$ Scotland $$$ Denmark $$$ Sweden $$$ Czech Republic $$ Poland $ Germany $$$ Norway $$$ Italy $$$ Spain $$$ France $$$ Morocco $ England $$$ Turkey $ Egypt $ Israel $ United Arab Emirates $$ Oman $ Malaysia $ Australia $$$ New Zealand $$ Bali $ Singapore $$ Vietnam $ Cambodia $ Thailand $ Hong Kong $$
Be creative Thinking outside the box is absolutely the key to saving money. For example, instead of booking a hotel room, look for an overnight train or flight so you can sleep while traveling to your next destination. If you arrive somewhere early in the morning, just sleep in the airport—airports, especially in major cities, are actually pretty cozy. Think of ways to travel besides direct flights. Consider flying into neighboring countries or cities and then taking a bus or train to wherever you need to be. We needed to get to Malmo, Sweden, from Dublin, Ireland. Instead of booking a flight from Dublin to Malmo, I did some research online and found a bus up to Northern Ireland, then a ferry to Scotland, then a bus to Edinburgh, then a flight to Copenhagen, and finally a train to Malmo— for a total of only $230! Sure it took me four hours to find and arrange all that, but we saved nearly $1000. Another good way to save a buck is to make a buck. Sara did some freelance photography in Istanbul and later in New Zealand, where we actually both got full-time jobs—Sara was a nanny and I did software testing. Whether I was trying to teach surf lessons in Spain or teach English
in Vietnam, we were always looking for ways to get some money back into our pockets. Above all, actively think up your own money-saving tactics. Don’t just pat your pockets and shrug your shoulders. With a little ingenuity, you too can make something great out of very little. Just know what you want to do, look for shortcuts, and enjoy going with the flow along the way.
Back home Austin is from Huntington Beach, California, and Sara is from Bellevue, Washington. They met through their church and were married in August 2008. They are in their late twenties now and live and work in Huntington Beach—Sara for TOMS shoe company and Austin for a marketing company. They have a one-year-old baby boy, who was born only months after their trip around the world. Visit their blog and check out videos from their trip: π www.austin-sara.blogspot.com π http://austin-sara.blogspot.com/search/label/Clips
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Fire and Ice
There’s more to Iceland than volcanoes and glaciers By Kelsi Walbeck
reathtaking fjords. Majestic mountains. Giant glaciers. In the ninth century, Vikings and other explorers happened upon this peaceful, beautiful island. This idyllic place came to be called Iceland because of the snow-tipped mountains and the drifting ice found in some of the fjords.
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However, Iceland’s chilly name is deceiving. Although there are snowy mountains and glaciers, Iceland’s landscape is also home to lush vegetation, giant waterfalls, and active volcanoes. Because of this diverse landscape, Iceland is known as the Land of Fire and Ice.
Temperatures in Iceland are generally not as harsh as you might expect. Average winter temperatures in the capital city of Reykjavik are similar to those in New York City. The relatively mild weather makes Iceland an ideal place for winter sports and activities. And since Iceland is only a five-hour flight from the East Coast of the United States, adventure is closer than it may seem. One who has traveled to Iceland many times to partake of the rich traditions deeply rooted there is Grandpa Thor Leifson, whose grandparents were born in Iceland. If you don’t want to leave anything out and you have only a few days, “take a tour all around the island,” Grandpa Leifson suggests. On your tour, try to hit several major areas of Iceland, such as those listed below. And the capital city, Reykjavik, bustles with activity and boasts a variety of fine hotels and restaurants. Following are some of Iceland’s must-see locations, as suggested by Grandpa Leifson.
Hot Springs and Pools
Photography by Trine Falbe (Opposite page); Andrea Ciambra
Reykjavik and the surrounding area have some of the finest hot springs and geothermal pools in the country. The most famous of these pools
is the Blue Lagoon, located about 40 minutes from Reykjavik on the Reykjanes peninsula. “It’s warm in the pools,” says Grandpa Leifson. “It’s like a mineral bath.” The milkyblue color of the naturally heated water gives it an almost tropical feel. Because the water is so warm, these pools are open year-round.
National Parks and Reserves Thingvellir is a historically significant and beautiful national park. The area was originally used as a spot for Iceland’s congress to gather. Now it’s a perfect spot for scenic hiking. “There’s a lake and valley with beautiful mountains around it,” says Grandpa Leifson. “And there are all kinds of trails.” Myvatn is a nature reserve in northern Iceland. Grandpa Leifson describes the reserve as being similar to Yellowstone Park because of its eutrophic lake and many geysers. The lush, green area is full of life both above the earth and below it. A variety of bird species thrives in the wetland environment, and far beneath the surface, volcanic activity is taking place. Many beautiful hiking trails can be found throughout the park.
Iceland’s Recovering Economy Before 2008, Iceland was known for its strong economic growth and economic freedom. However, in 2008 Iceland’s economy suffered a devastating crash. This financial crisis severely affected the national currency and the Icelandic stock exchange, both of which have dropped drastically. Iceland was thrown into economic recession but has since greatly improved its financial position. After emergency legislation and major loans from the IMF, the country is well on its way to recovery.
Myvatn is one of Iceland’s most geologically active regions.
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Snowmobiling up to the glaciers is a popular winter activity. Glacier guides take visitors deep within the maze of unique ice formations. For the truly adventurous at heart, river rafting down glacial rivers is exhilarating. “Another popular pastime is skiing on a mountain range not far from the capital city of Reykjavik,” says Grandpa Leifson. People travel from all over Europe to hit these ski slopes. The many volcanoes found on the island make for breathtaking hikes. Mt. Hekla is the most famous of Iceland’s volcanoes. During the Middle Ages, many Icelanders believed that this volcano was the gateway to hell. No one dared climb it until the year 1750, when an Icelandic biologist decided he was up to the challenge. But don’t worry—he made it back down safely. Discover the ups and downs of Mt. Hekla for yourself.
Fjords and Waterfalls “There are some very interesting fjords over on the west coast,” says Grandpa Leifson. The West Fjords of Iceland are somewhat separated from the rest of the island, but this distance provides a peaceful serenity that you can’t find anywhere else in the world. Fjords are long, narrow inlets lined by steep cliffs, usually formed by glacial activity. The deep, blue waters are a spectacular sight, even in the winter. The only thing that’s better than seeing the West Fjords is kayaking them—kayaking trips are offered throughout the year. Although tall waterfalls can be found in the West Fjords, Grandpa Leifson strongly suggests a hike up to something bigger: Gullfoss, the Golden Falls, in the canyon of Hvítá River in southwest Iceland. The cascading falls are nearly 100 feet high, with two spectacular drops, making Gullfoss one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country.
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Top: Mt. Hekla reaches a height of 4,892 feet. Bottom: The Svartifoss is known for its dark, hexagonal columns formed by lava.
Photography by Axel Kristinsson (top); ryan douglasoff (Bottom)
Glaciers and Volcanoes
Northern Lights Iceland is one of the few places in the settled world where the northern lights are plainly visible. “They are very vivid in the northernmost part of the island,” says Grandpa Leifson, “because this part of Iceland is right under the Arctic Circle.” It may take some planning to see those bright colors streak across the sky, but Iceland offers tours specifically for viewing the aurora borealis. The best time to view this celestial light show is during the winter months, usually between November and April.
Wildlife and Other Animals Iceland is home to a variety of wildlife, specifically various bird species. “One of the most famous is the puffin,” says Grandpa Leifson. He explains that puffins nest in the massive cliffs of an island called Heimaey, located just off the coast of Iceland. Iceland is also home to reindeer and polar bears, which are found mostly in the east and north of the island. And the Icelandic horse is a special equine breed. These horses have five different gaits. Although they are small, similar in size to a pony, they are sturdy. Horseback riding is a great way to see the rugged landscape that would otherwise be difficult to reach.
epic battles, and wondrous adventures. The many sagas lining Grandpa Leifson’s bookshelves represent the living legends of ancient Icelanders. The longest and most deeply defined of the Icelandic sagas, Njál’s Saga, is set in southern Iceland, where you can explore historical sites and visit museums to learn more about the saga’s origin. The Skógar Museum, which is near the Skógafoss, is a good place to start. Like Grandpa Leifson, take time to explore the wonders of Iceland without rushing. Pause to meet people and enjoy the scenery. Savor every moment of it.
Photography courtesy of Undertow 851 (top); www.Worldislandinfo.com (bottom)
Icelandic people take great pride in their heritage. They have protected and preserved the island and its history since the twelfth century. Literary tradition and family history are closely intertwined through the tradition of Icelandic sagas, which began with the art of storytelling. “There’s a natural platform at Thingvellir, the meeting place,” says Grandpa Leifson. “Speakers and storytellers would get up on that platform, and large crowds of people would come from all parts of the country to listen.” These stories—many of them now recorded in written form, including poetry—tell of heroes, villains,
Above: The dominant colors in the aurora borealis are usually white and green, but the colors often vary. Below: The Skógar Museum features the traditional grass-covered houses of Iceland.
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Green Umbrella Photography For the pictures when youâ€™re home portraits. engagements. weddings. www.greenumbrellaphotography.com
Field Notes Tales from the Trip >> Relive our readersâ€™ adventures in Chantilly, France, and El Bonete, Nicaragua. page 56
Photo Contest winners >> Take a look at winning photos. page 58 Highway Highlights >> Explore sites along I-90, and learn how to deal with unpleasant travel companions. pages 60 & 62
Profile >>Meet Brent Fluckiger, adventurous painter. page 64 off the beaten path >> Visit the Nkâ€™Mip Desert Cultural Centre
in British Columbia. page 66
art by brent fluckiger
Hesitation by Brent Fluckiger. Brent used the red and black colors to create tension. The wolf is both threatening and tentative. page 64
tales from the trip
Don’t Mind Me, I’m a Tourist
Stowaway readers share their travel adventures
While we wander in Chantilly, Liz greets the lush gardens and French rain. We are expecting Mr. Darcy or an elven princess at any moment.
very tourist visits Versailles while in France, but my friend and I—two crazy girls armed with backpacks and French dictionaries—were not “every tourist.” Wanting a more magical and authentic French adventure, we caught a train to a place a local recommended: Chantilly, home of horse racing and birthplace of whipped cream. (Yes, crème chantilly is French for whipped cream.) Fresh off the train, Liz and I were expecting to find a massive palace, but no palace was in sight. Concerned but excited, we set off down a misty path completely enveloped by a mythical forest. After we had taken two steps in, it became a magical wood. The tall, thin trees were covered in moss and colorful snails and were surrounded by mushroom circles. After an enchanted mile of forest, we finally caught a glimpse of enormous towers and white limestone walls. We had arrived at a castle. There, our fantastical dream came true. The interior of the palace was lavish and elaborate, complete with a Beauty and the Beast library and a Cinderella spiral staircase. Despite the beauty of the château’s interior, the grounds and gardens still called to my imagination. Unlike Versailles’s strictly controlled verge, the gardens of Chantilly were lush and natural. Stone statues, ivy-colored gazebos, and rock bridges were tucked into rolling gardens and forests. We didn’t mind the rain; it added to the magical ambiance and kept other tourists inside. Even though we could have spent days on the château grounds, living a storybook fantasy can work up an appetite, so we returned to the town for food. During
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this transition, I went from being the princess of my own fairytale to becoming the monster of my own nightmare! The first tucked-away café we stumbled on looked like it would be the perfect place for an authentic French dining experience. When we walked in—dripping wet from the rain and carrying muddy, slug-covered backpacks—the café went silent. Everyone turned and stared. Because of the way everyone gawked at us, I felt like an alien from a different planet. I inquired for a waiter but received no response. After several minutes, a hesitant waiter stepped forward, asking which part of the restaurant we would prefer. I turned to ask Liz, but was met with a look of absolute horror and disgust on her face. What was going on? Liz’s finger slowly lifted toward my head. I slowly put my hand to my head, disrupting a six-inch bug-monster—some kind of mythical creature that had joined me when we had stepped from our fantasy world back into reality. It was green with all sorts of wings, legs, and antennas. I was stunned. As I watched, the creature buzzed off. Turning back to the waiter, I peeped out, “N’importe où!” (Doesn’t matter where we sit!) Chantilly, where I lived my dreams and nightmares, was the highlight of my adventure in France. Even though I ended this magical day without whipped cream, Château de Chantilly still served us a royal treat. —Stephanie Secrist Loveland, Colorado
Photography by stephanie secrist (above); Sierra Frischknecht (opposite page)
A Royal Treat in Chantilly
Roosters and Runners
never got used to the rooster that cock-a-doodledooed at four o’clock every morning for six weeks while I lived in the small community of El Bonete, Nicaragua. Yet three weeks into my adventure, none of the drastic changes from my city lifestyle had merited the infamous term culture shock. I had no idea the dose of humility I was about to get. My return date to the United States was set for the same day as tryouts for my high school soccer team. As a dedicated athlete, I was committed to being prepared and had outlined a training regimen for the last three weeks of my trip. As soon as the sun was up, my tennis shoes were on and I was out the door running. I set off in high spirits, jogging quickly on the dirt path that led down the hill to the rest of the community. However, I hadn’t accounted for the endless puddles from the heavy Nicaraguan rain the night before. Once I left high ground, I found that the road was a muddy disaster. I continued running, determined. Within minutes, the soles of my running shoes were covered with inches of mud that I had to knock off every couple of steps. I’m sure my awkward running simulated the gait of an injured rabbit. Run run run . . . hop . . . knock . . . hop . . . run run run. The trek was exhausting, and I was already regretting my decision to keep going. Then I spotted a child peeking out at me from a house up ahead. Before I reached the house, three or four children—and their parents—had gathered in the doorway, pointing and staring as I fought with the mud. Cries followed me: “¡Mira, mira, la gringa está corriendo!” (Look, look, the foreign girl is running!) and “¡Córrale niña!” (Keep running, girl!).
Kids giggle at me along the roadside. What a sight I was!
My host family roared with laughter when I recounted the story; they emphasized that in Nicaragua, the thought of a girl running (especially through the mud) is hilarious. Despite my mortification at the time, this experience has continued to be an inspiration to me, a motivator to always be the person who keeps running in the face of muddy—and cultural—adversity. —Sierra Frischknecht Salt Lake City, Utah Have an interesting tale from your trip? Submit it to www.stowawaymag.com, and your story could be published in our next issue!
Artwork and custom framing | 8330 N University Ave Provo, UT | 800.928.1644 | www.brownstoneart.com
Photo Contest Winners
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Tessa Farnsworth of Bentonville, Arkansas
â€œThis photo was taken this past summer while I was on a trip with my mom in Cambodia. Siem Reap is dotted with beautiful temples, and this one is called Bakong. While walking around the temple, I noticed this monk and fell in love with his grace, the color of his robe, and the surroundings through which he was walking. He seemed so serene and calm, and at that moment he truly brought the temple to life.â€?
nd Eyes of Hope Justin Brown of Salt Lake City, Utah
“A girl celebrates the opening of a water project connecting a village to the Mombasa, Kenya, municipal water supply. The tap was opened by a group of newly diagnosed HIV-positive women, who joined forces to empower themselves in a microfinance collective rather than be carried by the whims of the social stigma associated with their disease.”
rd Phoenix Town Anna Ferrin of Kansas City, Kansas
“While my husband and I were teaching English in China, we took a trip to Fenghuang, Hunan, China, or ‘Phoenix Town.’ In the day, Fenghuang is an ancient, rustic river town. Boats float carelessly through the small village, under bridges and through thousands of years of history. But at night, ‘Phoenix Town’ becomes a dazzling combination of neon lights and classic Chinese lanterns. Shop vendors fill the air with delicious scents of crunchy fried scorpion and steaming dumplings. It’s the type of place you want to get lost in.”
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From Sea to Shining Sea Sites along America’s longest highway
Interstate-90 is the longest interstate highway in the United States. Stretching from Seattle to Boston, it’s 3,099.07 miles long and crosses 14 states. Whether you’re going the entire distance or just partway, here is a selection of some of the popular sites along I-90.
Wyoming On the road in Wyoming? Take a moment to absorb the majesty of Devil’s Tower. Devil’s Tower is a volcanic neck located in the Black Hills that attracts thousands of climbers every year. Composed mostly of sedimentary rock, this unique structure was designated a national monument in 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt and continues to be a point of fascination today. π www.nps.gov/deto/index.htm
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If you’ve ever wondered what happens to old corncobs and husks, the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota, is the place for you to find out. Here, local artists use the remains of the corn harvest to create one-of-a-kind murals that draw 500,000 tourists each year. If, on the other hand, you’ve never wondered about these things, well now’s your chance to start.
While driving through the dairy state, check out Circus World in Baraboo, Wisconsin. Here you can learn about the history of the “Big Top” and, as they say, “experience the thrill that never grows old!” The whole area is basically one big carnival with a historical museum at its center. With such attractions as live performers, animal acts, rides, and magic shows, even adults will want to run away and join the circus!
clockwise from left: Photography courtesy of Mediafury; tim Pearce; andertoons
Above: Devil’s Tower is 867 feet from the base to the top and one mile in circumference. Visitors can climb to the top. Left: Visitors to the Corn Palace are greeted by a giant ear of corn. Below: Circus World houses old cars that held material in transit.
Indiana Just off the interstate in South Bend, Indiana, is the College Football Hall of Fame. Spend some time remembering the glory days of the 886 football players and 186 coaches who have been enshrined here. The newest exhibit, Heritage of the Heisman, tells the history of the award that recognizes the most outstanding players in collegiate football. π www.collegefootball.org
Above: The exterior of the Football Hall of Fame includes a model of a football field. Left: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is the first museum to showcase the “living heritage of Rock and Roll Music.”
Ohio This stretch of I-90 is the shortest intrastate distance. It connects Cleveland and Toledo, the biggest cities in Ohio. While you’re in Cleveland, check out the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, where hallmark performers of modern music are memorialized. This unique museum includes mementos and facts from a distinctive array of performers such as ABBA, Madonna, U2, and the Beatles. Feel free to drop in and rock out—in the interest of education. π http://rockhall.com
photography courtesy of College Football Hall of Fame (top); Dakota Calloway (Bottom)
Also known as the New York Thruway, this section of I-90 is the fifth busiest toll road in the United States. It connects the major cities of Albany, Syracuse, and Buffalo. If you want to divert from the normal activities that attract visitors in this region, check out the Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse. Here you can learn about the history of the canal and the influence it has had on the area. The museum’s collection includes documents, prints, photographs, and rare books related to the Erie Canal’s history. π www.eriecanalmuseum.org
10 Winter Driving Tips
in these levels are typically signs of damage in vehicle components that need immediate attention.
Consider these 10 helpful driving tips to avoid dashing through the snow during your winter travels.
avoid sudden braking, accelerating, or lane changing. The colder air beneath bridges can cause greater ice buildup and thus a slicker surface.
8. Keep blankets and extra food and water handy in case you have mechanical problems when auto shops are closed and you have to spend the night in your vehicle.
5. If you must stop on a slippery road, brake lightly at a constant rate rather than stopping hard and fast; otherwise you could lose control of the vehicle.
9. Avoid traveling at night if at all
1. For tires to grip as they’re designed to, don’t over- or underinflate them. 2. If your vehicle is rear-wheel
drive, put heavy items in the back for better traction.
3. When driving long distances, frequently monitor your vehicle’s fluid levels, such as oil, windshieldwasher fluid, radiator fluid, and power-steering fluid. Fluctuations
4. When driving over a bridge,
6. To regain control of a spinning
vehicle, (a) release the gas but do not brake suddenly and (b) turn the steering wheel in the direction of the spin to regain control.
7. To drive up a slick hill, gain a
reasonable, safe speed on the flat surface before the incline and use the momentum to climb the hill.
10. Always use common sense and plan for dangerous situations. For additional ideas on driving safely in winter weather: π www.nhtsa.gov
—Stetson Robinson www.stowawaymag.com << 61
HIGHWAY TO HEADACHE NEXT EXIT
5 Tips for Surviving a Road Trip with Someone You Can’t Stand
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Nothing turns minutes into hours and car trips into grim death marches quite like awkward silence. filtration. Bite your tongue, literally if you have to. Or better yet, stuff your face with gooey trip-food and you won’t have to worry about saying the wrong thing because all that will come out is “Hm Hmmph fe gib.” 3. Sleep. Considered by some to be a coward’s way out, sleep is still the absolute best way to avoid what might otherwise be inevitable conflict. Don’t get me wrong, avoiding conflicts can lead to deep-seated resentment. However, if you are reading this, then it’s not psychological stability you’re after. What you want is a quick solution, and that solution is a nap. If you’re not sleepy, fake it. Be warned, however, that effectively selling a false slumber takes resolve. With every movement you will unintentionally draw the eye of your companion, and once someone suspects you’ve been faking sleep to avoid their company, there is no way back. Also, don’t attempt any advanced techniques unless you’re sure that you can pull them off. Snoring, for example, is like sneezing; it almost
never looks authentic when mimicked. Whatever you do, just make sure you are committed to the part. It can really hurt your credibility if you sit motionless with your eyes half closed for two hours and then suddenly exclaim, “Oh look, an IHOP! Let’s stop for pancakes!” 4. Find a common foe. Few things bring people together faster than mutual enemies. When two cavemen wanted to get to know each other, all they had to do was make fun of the caveman who still hadn’t figured out how to use fire. If you’re stuck in a 3' x 3' x 4' space while trying desperately to keep from killing the other person in the car, then feel free to pick on someone who is lucky enough not to be present.
5. Sit in agonizing silence.
This is it. Nothing turns minutes into hours and car trips into grim death marches quite like awkward silence. Even pretending to sleep somehow feels better than the painful quiet of two fully awake individuals who have nothing to say to each other. Every muffled fidget, every grating clearing of the throat becomes an echoing testament to the awkwardness that pulses between you. Silence has its uses, of course, or it would have been left off of this list; but it really should be your last, desperate attempt. It still beats a fistfight in a moving vehicle . . . but not by much. —Christopher Fosse
Illustration by jordan carroll
There is no better way to celebrate your independence than by casting off the shackles of responsibility and hitting the open road with your best friend. Too bad your best friend bailed, but don’t panic. Here are some helpful tips for surviving a road trip with someone you dislike. 1. Make an effort. Do you remember back in kindergarten when the funny-smelling kid who ate notebook paper wanted to sit at your table? Well, what your teacher said to you at the time still applies today—be nice. One mark of a mature adult is the ability to patiently accept personality differences, and if you force yourself to give someone the benefit of the doubt, that person may do the same for you. Maybe while you’re going out of your way to be friendly, you’ll accidentally become friends. If you successfully master tip number one, feel free to disregard the rest. 2. Bite your tongue. If you are anything like me, you have a constant stream of internal monologue going through your head at all times. It’s the observation that your mind makes before the censorship of your mouth can clean up. However, sometimes when people are in stressful situations, that censorship gets neglected. So if your companion says something like “I hope that cop didn’t see me speeding,” and the first response in your head is “I hope he did,” you might want to do something to ensure verbal
Brent Fluckiger Is
Living Life on the Edge . . . of a Canvas W
hen people think of wildlife painters, they may imagine someone hunched over a canvas in a peaceful forest, quietly capturing the tranquil beauty of nature. While Brent Fluckiger has spent some time painting in the outdoors—and painting over mosquitoes that get stuck in his wet paint—the majority of his 36 years as a painter and taxidermist have been anything but peaceful. Fluckiger’s career has been filled with everything from near-death encounters with Kodiak bears to 1,000-foot cliffs to strong currents off the shore of Alaska, all in the pursuit of art. But his greatest challenge has been to do what he loves while still being able to provide for his family. We caught up with this active artist and were able to ask him a few questions about his life, his love, and the lessons learned from his nearly four decades of experience.
Spooked. This painting reflects an actual experience Brent had in Utah’s Emigration Canyon.
art and photo by brent Fluckiger
Beauty and the Beast. Brent enjoyed the movement and design of this piece, which he called “an exercise in detail.” There are several tiny insects painted in the grass and gravel.
Brent Fluckiger is an award-winning taxidermist and wildlife painter based in Rexburg, Idaho. His career has allowed him to travel the world from Alaska to Japan and nearly everywhere else in between. Here are some examples of his art.
64 >> winter 2012
Nothing Here. The bird, an Asian Paradise Flycatcher, is meant to distract the viewer from the real threat. A large beetle is also hiding on the branches.
Why did you become a wildlife painter and taxidermist? Because I don’t like steady paychecks, reliable income, decent income—you know, I like the adventure of going without. You should try it sometime [laughs]. In all reality, I did this because I have a natural gift: the ability to see what something looks like and repeat it.
What are some memorable adventures from your career? I was hiking alone in the tundra about five miles outside of Cold Bay, Alaska. I was well over six hundred miles from Anchorage and just about as in the middle of nowhere as you can be, when I saw something brown along the foothills a few hundred yards above me. At first I thought they were cattle. There were three of them, but they were moving fast. Then it hit me: bears. I watched them for some time. I got more and more concerned as they kept coming closer, and the closer they got, the faster they moved. I headed for the beach with the thought of going into the water. Not a workable idea—the water would immobilize me in minutes, and these bears don’t mind water at all. I thought of retracing my steps all the way back to my vehicle and the road, but more than an hour away, across the boggy tundra in hip waders? No.
Let Freedom Ring. Brent took pictures from a plane of Grand Teton Park for this painting.
They kept coming closer. They were now moving at a slow run and I could see their rubbery noses far more clearly than I wanted to. At the last possible minute, the bears, who would stop and sniff the wind every few seconds, suddenly made a drastic right turn and started to run away from me. A couple minutes of watching them trot across the tundra, and they vanished into the foothills.
What advice do you have for aspiring artists? What do you do if you have an obvious talent? Do you throw it away for security? What if you turn it over again and again and think your way through it hundreds of times, and all you come up with is, this will be hard, but I have to heed my heart and my soul?
Several times I have given up, and several times somebody came out of nowhere at the last minute and kept me going by buying some art. One afternoon I bumped into a complete stranger in a store. I told him what I did and showed him a couple photos. He followed me to my home to look at the paintings I had on hand, and bought $20,000 worth of art in 10 minutes. Looking back, I’m astounded at the opportunities that have fallen into my lap out of nowhere. Things have started to turn the corner in the last decade. I now rub shoulders with famous artists and clients, and the struggles to survive financially are fading away. You don’t do this stuff in a month, or a season, or a year. You do it in a lifetime. It changes who you are. You’d better have conviction. —Dallin Turner www.stowawaymag.com << 65
off the beaten path
Okanagan Resort T
he history of the Osoyoos Indian Band of British Columbia begins in a time when only animals and spirits dwelt on the earth. One of the greatest of these creatures was Sen’klip, the coyote. Sen’klip foresaw the coming of humanity and went to prepare the world. He brought salmon into the Okanagan Basin so that when the “people to be” came, they would not starve. He knew that the “people to be” might not always understand the need for balance in nature, but he also knew that they would be intelligent and quick to learn. Sen’klip took it upon himself to guide them so that they would never lose their connection to the land. The Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre in British Columbia is a tribute to 66 >> winter 2012
that connection and a tribute to the Okanagan people—the Syilx—who call the area home. “These legends are where our understanding of the world comes from,” says Charlotte Stringam, general manager of the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre and Osoyoos Indian Band council member. “They teach us to value family and to be caretakers of the land. Here, we teach about the land, the legend, and the people.” Located on the southernmost end of the Okanagan Valley and on the banks of Osoyoos Lake (Canada’s warmest freshwater lake), the Nk’Mip Resort is a new family tourist destination. This luxury resort features hotel suites, a spa, a golf course, vineyard wine-tasting tours, and RV campgrounds all
“These legends are where our understanding of the world comes from.” set amidst the rugged beauty of the Okanagan desert. Plus, the year-round warm weather makes it an ideal destination for winter travelers. In the middle of this unique living landscape, the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre stands as a testament to the thousands of years of Okanagan First Nations culture and to the land in which it is presented.
Photography by Ashley Sanders (Above); Mike Morris (opposite page)
The Land, the Legend, the People
Guests to the Centre can visit traditional structures such as reconstructed pit houses and sweat lodges. They can take daily guided trail walks with trained interpreters and experience the desert ecology for themselves. Or, for those who prefer to remain inside, two multisensory theaters continuously present legends and cultural facts in ways that are both educational and entertaining. One of these theaters, set inside of a replica of a native dwelling, allows visitors to actually watch the story of Sen’klip projected onto the walls. As Sen’klip would remind us, humans aren’t the only important desert dwellers. The Canadian desert lands are at extreme ecological risk and are home to many endangered plants and animals. The Centre allows visitors to interact with some of these species through guided tours and live exhibits. And if you want to get a little bit closer, snake handlers are on site to introduce visitors to Western Rattlesnakes and will even
permit guests to handle Great Basin gopher snakes. “The Osoyoos Indian Band is an active member of several wildlife conservation groups,” Stringam explains. “Part of being caretakers of the land is being caretakers of the animals. We hope that by showing how important these species are we can teach others to respect them as well.” So, for those who find themselves just north of the Canadian border, the Nk’Mip resort in Osoyoos, British Columbia, is a great way to spend a weekend. Sen’Klip the coyote might not be available to offer tours himself, but the Okanagan people will be happy to assist. For more information and a discount coupon: ► http://www.nkmipdesert.com ► http://www.nkmipdesert.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/WebCoupon1.jpg
A distinctive sculpture of interlocking flat metal pieces marks the entrance to the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre.
A stunning First Nations cultural attraction with interactive and fun activities for the whole family. Explore our desert trails, new pit house and village.
1000 Rancher Creek Road, Osoyoos, BC 250.495.7901 www.nkmipdesert.com
Insider Tips & Tricks >>Survive in the snowy wilderness. page 70 JUST THE TICKET >>Take a spin on the most exciting vehicle
in India: the auto-rickshaws. page 71
Gadgets & Gear >> See whatâ€™s new with the Swiss Army Knife, and dress chic this winter. page 72 & 73
Escapades, etc. >>Tour the sites of the Star Wars saga on your very own home planet. page 76
Photo by Alex Polezhaev
Stuck in a snow storm without shelter?
Learn how to make it through the night.
tips & tricks
Survive the Cold
Desperately alone. Facing nature’s eradication of the weak with the need to survive winter’s bleak white wilderness. Whether you get lost skiing, hiking, or taking a wrong turn to grandmother’s house, these basic tips can help you survive.
1. Keep calm The worst thing you can do is panic. Keep yourself busy, optimistic, and composed.
2. Build a shelter Because of the danger of avalanches or snow drifts, avoid building near the base of inclines. Structural designs vary, but make it small; the smaller the shelter, the warmer it will be. (See “How to Build a Snow Trench.”)
3. Build a fire Elevate the fire from the ground or else it will melt through the snow. Use any dry surface you can find (such as rocks or the inside of a hot chocolate can) to build a dry foundation so your kindling stays dry. If you have a trail or camp stove, use it as a beacon for search parties (stoves take less wood than normal fires do). If you move the stove inside your shelter, make air holes to avoid asphyxiation. 70 >> winter 2012
4. Stay dry Perspiration will dampen your clothing and reduce its efficiency to incubate heat. If an item of clothing does become wet, remove it and place it next to you or near a fire to dry. Body heat is lost most easily from the head, neck, wrists, and ankles; keep them covered.
5. Drink water, not snow Eating snow takes energy and heat from your body. Put the snow into a container near—but not touching—your body, and your body heat should melt it.
6. Make snowshoes Trudging through snow consumes energy and time. Cut two 3-foot branches with plenty of leaves on it. Tie your shoelaces around each one to secure them to your feet. Most search-and-rescue teams arrive within 72 hours of a reported missing person. Remain positive; the human will to survive is one of the most powerful things aiding you. Being prepared is your best defense. Remember these tools—but hopefully you will never need them. For more winter survival tips: ► http://adventure.howstuffworks.com/ survive-night-alaska1.htm
How to Build a Snow Trench Dig a trench about a foot longer than your body, three feet wide, and three feet deep. Use the snow that you dug out to build up the sides of the trench. Leave an opening for your door. Put tree branches across the top of the sides for a roof. If there are no trees or branches, use ski poles or the poles from your backpack for the roof. Cover the roof with three inches of powdery snow. If there is no powdery snow, use wet or hard snow to make blocks and rest them on top of the roof’s supporting branches. Elevate yourself from the ground so the ground won’t absorb your body’s heat. Opposite from the door, place sticks in a crisscross pattern, along with branches and needles, to create a barrier between you and the floor. Make a block to act as your door and place it in the doorway, leaving some space for an air supply.
Photography by HOria Varlan (top); Michael Vermeer (Bottom)
just the ticket
Above: Rickshaws crowd the streets of practically every major city in India. Below: A driver waits in his rickshaw for a customer.
Photography by Johanna Quist-Nelson
Tuna-Can Travels T una cans aren’t just for tuna. Slap on an engine plus three wheels, and you’ve got yourself an auto-rickshaw. These tuna cans—I mean, the thrilling auto-rickshaws—are found on practically every city corner in India. Getting a ride in an autorickshaw is a cross between hailing a taxi and shopping at a flea market. If you want to experience the adventure, just look around. Since there’s a plethora of rickshaws on every corner in Indian cities—more so than taxicabs in New York City—it shouldn’t be hard to find a driver. The real challenge might be finding one who speaks the same language you do. Haggling over a ride is common. According to Johanna QuistNelson, who spent the summer of 2010 working at a hospital and orphanage in India, rickshaw prices are not always set. Rickshaw drivers sometimes charge travelers more than they would charge local customers. If this happens, QuistNelson suggests being firm; tell them “no way” and try haggling your way to a lower price. Still, a rickshaw ride is inexpensive and costs about a quarter of the price of a taxi ride. Once driver and passenger agree on a price, it’s time to hop in and buckle up. “It takes an act of
faith to get into a vehicle with three wheels and weave through the crazy Indian traffic,” Quist-Nelson says. “The only things holding you in are a couple of bars on either side and some canvas in the back.” But once you get going, you just won’t want to stop! Rickshaws can provide travelers with a cool, shady retreat from the sizzling sun while observing the daily life and culture of the local people. It can be so exciting that travelers like QuistNelson often get caught up in the experience and forget their earlier misgivings. Quist-Nelson says that while riding in a rickshaw, “it is super fun just to people-watch and see the exciting daily life of metropolitan India. So I usually sit back, let the wind go through my hair, and enjoy the random ride.”
Some people love rickshaws so much that they decide to race them. Three times a year, a group called the Adventurists hosts a two-week-long race known as the Rickshaw Run. Teams are given a starting point and a finish line and must find the best route to take their rickety rickshaw over the Himalayas, through the dangerous jungle, and across the scorching desert. According to the rules, anyone is allowed to enter the race—but be warned that this can be a risky journey. Off-roading through the Rajasthan desert is quite different from racing a rickshaw along the streets of metropolitan India, though either one may very well be the wackiest ride of your life. —Megan Costello
www.stowawaymag.com << 71
What’s in Your Pocket?
The Backpacker’s Best Friend
The High-Tech Trek
Victorinox Flash Alox 32GB, $204
Suited for helping travelers enjoy the mountain views at a national park or hoof it across Europe, this knife fits any journey with its classic selection of tools, including two blades, a can opener, a screwdriver, tweezers, and a toothpick. Its economical price tag leaves plenty of room in the budget for excitement.
Traveling today often requires a trip on the information highway, so this knife adds a 32GB flash drive, along with the accessories found on classic Swiss Army Knives. At 2¼ inches, this model is even sleeker than the typical accessorized pocketknife.
The Business Card
The Roadside Repair Kit
SwissCard Lite, $40
The Handyman, $77
Shaped like a credit card, this innovation fits in a wallet, yet still performs like any high-class Swiss Army Knife. Featuring a letter opener and a miniature LED light, this unique pocketknife comes in three corporate colors, making it classy as well as accessible and functional.
Carrying this super-equipped Swiss Army Knife keeps adventurers prepared for any circumstance. Designed with fix-it needs in mind, this toolbox disguised as a knife contains over 20 accessories, including three screwdrivers, a wire stripper, a parcel carrier, a chisel, scissors, and other tools for working with wood and metal. Knives available at www.swissarmy.com.
72 >> winter 2012
Photography courtesy of swissarmy.com; The Victorinox Cross & Shield and the use of the color red on multifunction pocket knives are separate registered trademarks owned by Victorinox AG, Ibach Switzerland, and its affiliates
In 1897, Karl Elsener, a native of Switzerland, attached a can opener and a screwdriver to a common switchblade and unknowingly created a cultural icon. The tool rose to international popularity when American troops began buying the knives en masse during World War II, but they had difficulty pronouncing its German name—Schweizer Offiziersmesser (Swiss Officer’s Knife)—and the nickname “Swiss Army Knife” was born. Here’s a selection of some of the most interesting and useful multi-tool knives available on the market today.
Baby, It’s Cold Outside
hen it’s 20 degrees outside, dressing stylish may be the last thing on your mind. But whether you’re caught in a snowstorm on your way to the theater or just out for a stroll on a chilly February evening, your attire doesn’t have to be as drab as the weather. Here are five items that will keep you looking chic regardless of climate . . . or budget.
Gloves Mixing and matching gloves is one simple way to create variety in your daily appearance and spice up those long winter days. There are plenty of affordable styles of gloves that can fill your wardrobe with a slew of options. Find similar gloves at Target and Zara:
Hats Was it too cold to get out of bed this morning? A hat can help! Keep your ears warm while covering a bad hair day with the perfect hat. Find similar hats at Forever 21 and Zara: π www.forever21.com π www.zara.com
π www.target.com π www.zara.com
photography by Lauren swainston pinegar
Tights & Socks A burst of color will brighten those gloomy winter mornings. Thick tights and socks come in many different colors and materials, perfect for layering when boots and jeans won’t quite cut it. Try cable-knit socks to add texture to an outfit. Try colored tights to show off your “brighter” side. Find similar tights at Hue and similar socks at Gap: π www.hue.com π www.gap.com
Scarves set the tone of a winter outfit. For serious outdoor activity, try an infinity scarf that adds bulk and interest to any outfit. For evening activities or a more formal look, try a sleeker scarf with an interesting pattern. A lighter scarf is perfect for layering. Check out Gap for similar infinity scarves and Anthropologie for similar pattern scarves: π www.gap.com π www.anthropologie.com
—Lauren Swainston Pinegar www.stowawaymag.com << 73
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EXPLORE. DREAM. DISCOVER.
In a Galaxy Not So Far Away You don’t have to book a light-speed flight to Endor to see amazing locations featured in the epic Star Wars saga. Locations on our own planet provided the backdrop for the scenes in these beloved movies—and you can visit them. Here’s a sample:
Endor For Episode VI, the majestic Redwoods in Northern California created the perfect setting for the small, forested moon of Endor that was home to the Ewoks. Adventurers will want to check out the Avenue of the Giants and the Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park to spot some familiar scenes from the movie. There are plenty of campgrounds around this area and lots of trails that will provide hikers with amazing views of California’s enormous Redwoods.
Great Pit of Carkoon In Episode VI, Luke and his friends are sentenced to be eaten by the mighty sarlacc in the sandy Pit of Carkoon. Thank goodness our heroes were actually quite safe as this sequence was filmed in the Yuma Desert in Arizona. This location also provided the desolate setting for R2-D2 and C-3PO’s crash landing on the planet of Tatooine. With sparse vegetation and sand dunes galore, the Yuma desert is a harsh environment that can make visitors feel as if they were on an alien planet.
Yavin IV The Tikal National Park in Guatemala was used for a brief scene in Episode IV as the jungle moon of Yavin IV, home to a rebel base camp. The shot was taken from atop the Mayan Temple IV looking over toward the Mayan Temples I, II, and III. Adventurers in Tikal can explore the ruins of the Mayan culture and even zip-line through the jungle. 76 >> winter 2012
Hoth The village of Finse, Norway, set the scene for the battle fought on the planet Hoth in Episode V. In the battle, the Rebel Alliance fights the Imperial forces amidst powerful blasts and explosions. In reality, Finse is a rather remote village that is popular with cross-country skiers in the winter and cyclists in the summer. If you decide to go to Finse, be sure to pack a warm jacket—the actual film site is about a four-mile hike from the only hotel in town.
Tatooine Galaxy image by JIm Keller
Photography courtesy of starwars.com;
The shores of Lake Como in Italy served as the backdrop for the lush planet of Naboo, where Anakin and Padmé fell in love. Regarded as the most beautiful lake in Italy, Lake Como is a popular tourist destination and is home to a multitude of villas and palaces. In fact, the Villa del Balbianello served as the location for Anakin and Padmé’s lake retreat and their intimate wedding. Jedi travelers are welcome to tour this villa.
Dry, dusty, desolate Tunisia was the chosen location for Luke Skywalker’s home planet, Tatooine. Remember the igloo-looking entrance to Skywalker’s home in Episode IV? You can still see it in Nefta, Tunisia! The interior shots of Luke’s home were filmed in an actual troglodyte dwelling—the Hôtel Sidi Driss in Matmata, Tunisia. This hotel is commonly referred to as the Star Wars Hotel, and guests can take a tour or book a room for the night. —Megan Costello www.stowawaymag.com << 77
To Err Is Human “Know all, and you will pardon all.” —Thomas à Kempis
hated Mozart for good reason. My grudge developed when I was 15 years old, mostly because performing his Violin Concerto no. 3 in G Major for the Southwestern Youth Music Festival was my most humiliating teenage experience. After years of practice and preparation, I performed so terribly that I didn’t stay at the competition long enough to see my placement. I swore eternal antipathy for Mozart’s music and legacy. But traveling has a way of building empathy and inspiring forgiveness. During a tour of Europe years later, I stopped with my sister and a friend in the city where Mozart was born—Salzburg, Austria. Even as I followed my tourist maps to his house (9 Getreidegasse), my hatred dissipated. Charcoal stones paved the walkways, and ruby geraniums roosted in almost every windowsill. I could almost forgive Mozart just because he lived in such a beautiful city. The Salzburg Cathedral— Mozart’s baptism site—towered above the heart of the town and was surrounded by bustling Austrians and gelato stands. The inside had relief 78 >> winter 2012
Coming to know Mozart helped me accept my shortcomings. sculptures of pure white stone and fire-orange murals, their colors still vibrant after centuries. The floating cadences of a small pipe organ caressed the stone halls. The music from the classical era—Mozart’s pop culture—gave me a glimpse of the faith that inspired the Requiem Mass in D Minor, a true masterpiece. A short distance from the cathedral, the famous baroque-style Mirabell Palace and Gardens nestled against the banks of the Salzach River. I wandered through the red, yellow, and white flowers arranged in geometric patterns, and Mozart’s mathematical compositions made more sense in light of the perfect geometry of the environment. A light rain fell like lotion on the pavement, and the colors of the flowers brightened. Salzburg’s beauty worked like a sedative. By the time I reached the canary-yellow museum where Mozart was born, my childish animosity
diffused. I meandered through hallways of creaking wooden stairs to examine Mozart’s violin, its wood darkened and smoldered with age. The violin seemed amiable enough. The black fingerboard, pegs, and tailpiece had been replaced with more durable alternates. The bridge was made of delicate new wood. Even the nylon strings had been replaced with newer, louder steel strings that improved resonance. In his instrument, the reality of my world meshed with his. Mozart seemed less gigantic and more human. While his talent certainly exceeded mine, at least I had something in common. I left the museum and headed to the Hohensalzburg Castle, high on the hills overlooking the city. I settled into the curve of one of the turrets and wrote in my notebook, watching the hills darken from jade to a plum color. Cathedral bells rippled into the evening. I knew I would never be a famous violinist. But somehow, coming to know Mozart helped me accept my shortcomings. He too had become human. Salzburg’s reverent charm cloaked me in forgiveness. —Jennifer Jones
Photo by ZOlivier
Even Mozart broke a string or two on his violin.
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
Parting Shot Photo by Stephanie Secrist
Travel. Egypt. Photography. How can I not jump for joy?
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