Browsing: Travel

A Brief History On April 20, 1828, French explorer René Caillié became the first European to return alive from a visit to the ancient African city of Timbuktu.  Yes, this ancient city located in Mali is indeed a real place, a mysterious and fabled city of almost mythological proportions to 19th Century Europeans, enough so that the Société de Géographie in Paris offered a 10,000 Franc award to any European that could travel to Timbuktu and return alive with an accounting of the mystery city. Digging Deeper Africa was still “The Dark Continent” to Europe in 1828, largely unexplored and…

A Brief History On April 21, 2019, millions of Christian students across the United States of America will celebrate Easter.  Given the holiday’s significance, many colleges and universities give students up to  a week off of classes so students can spend time with their families.  Whether Christians or not, millions of American students will also seize the opportunity from being free from classes to travel. With so many wonderful destinations in the world, it is a shame not to use your student years to travel abroad. Nowadays, there are cheap airfares and accommodation options that make student travel an actual,…

A Brief History On April 10, 1858, the original bell called “Big Ben” in the clock tower at the North end of Westminster Palace was removed because it had cracked when tested.  The giant 14.5 metric ton bell was replaced with a smaller version, weighing only 13.76 metric tons (or 30,300 pounds for Yankees), but also called Big Ben.  Built by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, the bell called Big Ben is often confused with either the tower the giant clock sits in or the tower itself.  Big Ben is really just the bell that chimes the hours. Digging Deeper Like…

A Brief History On March 28, 1933, the first known incident of an airliner airplane being taken down by the actions of a passenger occurred when the City of Liverpool (airplanes, trains and the like used to have names like ships are named), a biplane operated by Imperial Airways was taken down because of a fire set by a passenger.  Ever since then, terrorists, a\saboteurs and  assorted criminals have taken down airliners, usually with bombs, but also by commandeering the plane and flying it into the ground or other object, most notably the aerial hijackings of September 11, 2001 in…

A Brief History On March 17, 1891, a civilian ocean liner, the steamship SS Utopia of the Anchor Line ran into the moored battleship, HMS Anson in Gibraltar Bay, causing the ill-fated steamer to sink taking 562 of the 880 passengers to Davy Jones Locker!  We have frequently written about naval and maritime disasters, and today we include another one of those times a ship’s captain would love to have a “do over.” Digging Deeper As stated above, the British battleship HMS Anson (the 6th Royal Navy ship to bear the name, but not the last!) was anchored in Gibraltar…

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