Travel

Meet the Famous Residents of Paris' Père Lachaise Cemetery

Editor’s note: This post by Benjamin Waldman was originally featured on Untapped Cities, a Flavorwire partner site. Read more from his ongoing series on the cemeteries of Paris here.

Père Lachaise was established in 1804 and is located at 16, rue du Repos. It was named after Père François de la Chaise, the confessor to Louis XIV, who lived on the site. Unfortunately, the cemetery was not an immediate success. Parisians were wary of being buried in a new cemetery, especially one not consecrated by the church. In order to remedy this situation, the cemetery managed to secure the remains of La Fontaine and Molière and transferred them to the cemetery in 1804. Another public relations move occurred in 1817, when the remains of Pierre Abélard and Héloïse were also transferred to the cemetery. They were interred under a canopy made from fragments of the Abbey of Nogent-sur-Seine. Also of note are the Holocaust memorials, the Mur des Fédérés (Communards’ Wall), the lipstick stained tomb of Oscar Wilde, and Jim Morrison’s grave. … Read More

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The Casualties of War: The Hotel Belvedere in Dubrovnik, Croatia

In the lobby of our hostel within the walls of old Dubronik, we sat with new friends over wine. One backpacker whispered of an abandoned hotel where a traveler he met had found an intact wine cellar and undetonated grenades. It was decided that the next day, a few intrepid would go search for it. Nobody knew where it was — all we knew was that outside the city walls, we needed to follow the main road along the harbor.

About halfway there, we could see the ruins across the bay. The Hotel Belvedere was a 5-star luxury hotel destroyed in 1991 during an attack by Serbian forces on the city of Dubrovnik during the Croatian War of Independence. The hotel was only six years old – the cornerstone we found had the year 1985 etched in. During the course of the multi-month siege, significant damage was done to the old city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The old city, which was cut off from electricity and water, was host to 55,000 Croatian refugees while dozens had taken shelter inside the Hotel Belvedere. The siege of Dubrovnik is regarded as the turning point of international opinion against Serbia. … Read More

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A Dream Vacation for ‘Star Wars’ Fans: Travel to Tatooine

It’s less than four short months until summer, and what better way to pass the last couple weeks of winter than by planning your dream vacation to Tatooine! While the Outer Rim is only a figment of the Bearded One’s imagination, Tatooine is actually much closer than you think – an adventure playground of sun-scorched mesas, eroded seas, barren canyons, sculptural standing stones, and extinguished geysers. Podrace down Beggar’s Canyon, hit the markets at Mos Espa (and haggle with the Jawa shop-owners), discover Mos Eisley’s nightlife, tour Jabba’s palace, ride the rugged terrain by Bantha, and explore the ruins at Anchorhead. Accommodations can be made at the Lars homestead, where you’ll enjoy the cozy ambiance, home-cooked meals (with fresh blue milk), and a complementary droid cleaning. Dig in and watch the twin suns dip down past the horizon. … Read More

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Exploring the Thermal Baths of Budapest

It was cold outside in Budapest on the day I visited Széchenyi Bath (or fürdő in Hungarian), a Neo-baroque-style bathhouse built in 1913. Snow flurries were intermittent and wondrous, the chill broken by pockets of bright sunshine streaming between the cloud cover. It was about 34 degrees Fahrenheit and I wore only a swimsuit, my skin goose-pimpled as I crossed the outside courtyard toward the pool. Steam wafted from the surface of the thermal water, purported to be healing. I stepped in and sunk down, wading slowly through the vapor, the air smelling faintly of minerals, icy flakes melting on my shoulders. … Read More

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Take a Street Art Tour of La Boca, Buenos Aires

With bookshops on every corner, a unique mix of architecture and coffee shops as far as the eye can see, Buenos Aires is like a sweet marriage of New York and Paris, with lots of Latin influence. For art fans who want to see an authentic piece of the city, don’t skip out on visiting La Boca. This little corner of Argentina is in flux: enterprising entrepreneurs set up kiosks every day, peddling kitschy souvenirs next to artists lofts, while the artists themselves keep studio doors open to attract patrons. The real enjoyment, though, comes from walking the winding streets of this neighborhood and looking for the tiny details, like a pint-sized painting at the foot of a building, a neon yellow fountain in a fenced yard, or a political declaration sprayed on a curb. … Read More

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Ace Hotel Offers Polaroid Instant Cameras and Film at the Mini-Bar

It didn’t seem possible that Ace Hotels in Portland and New York could top their “virtual concierge,” which included a Google Chromebook for guests to use during their stay. Their latest offering, however, is both unusually cool and a throwback to an era before people could shoot photos with their phones.… Read More

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'Live the Language' Captures the Exuberance of Foreign Travel

The rush of travel comes from the excitement of the unknown, the new experiences fluttering by every moment of the day. Live the Language is an ongoing series of promotional travel videos from the EF International Language Centers which captures that exciting and frightful feeling of being in a new city and not speaking the language, and those strange cultural differences that make each place unique. … Read More

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Modern Ruins: The Beauty of Abandoned Amusement Parks

Last week, we clicked through a gallery over at Gawker documenting the still-ruined state of Six Flags New Orleans and marveled at the strange, surreal beauty of the destroyed theme park. Abandoned spaces are always interesting in their own way, particularly, to our minds, when nature begins to reclaim something forced upon it by man, but we think abandoned amusement parks are especially fascinating. After all, much like clowns and small children singing, the pomp and wild colors of many amusement parks are only barely to one side of the line between happy and ominous. It all depends on how the light is hitting them. Though these theme parks have definitely crossed over into creepy, we think there’s something beautiful and nostalgic about them, reminders of an age that seems to be slowly dying. Click through to see our gallery of abandoned amusement parks from all over the world, and let us know what you think in the comments. … Read More

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Pic of the Day: The Ruins of the Future

Hot on the heels of The Atlantic’s trend piece on the growing popularity of travel to desolate locations like Roswell and Chernobyl, our friends at Gadling have put together a photo roundup of 10 abandoned cities that might strike your fancy. Our favorite of the bunch? The Sanzhi District of Taiwan,… Read More

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The Best Cities for Young Artists

Where have all the young artists gone? Well, they’ve been priced out of Melbourne, New York, Barcelona, and all of those other city enclaves that promised low-rent and lots of encouragement. But new art communities are popping up every day on unexpected parts of the globe. Creative hubs, city funded projects, and lots of public works are just some of the perks these locations offer to young artists who seek refuge. Click through for our eight favorite cities for young artists, and leave a comment if we forgot your favorite. … Read More

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