Tag Archives: City Parks

A Fighter Jet Emerges from the Trees

Flying by in Minnesota

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Special thanks to the City of Proctor, MN for their assistance with this article.

Cruising through northern Minnesota on our way home from our three-month inaugural road trip a while back, we noticed this vintage fighter jet quickly emerging from over the tree line as we drove along U.S. Highway 2. Except it wasn’t flying towards us. Actually, it wasn’t flying at all.

The jet—a (real) retired Cold War era F-101 Voodoo—is a memorial to Captain Sherman L. Gonyea and Captain James L. Verville of the Minnesota Air National Guard, who perished when their own F-101 was lost on December 17, 1971. This memorial also honors “All National Guardsmen who have given their lives that this great privilege will remain forever secure.”

This F-101 has a permanent home on the grounds of the city’s golf course, which is open to the public. A fitting tribute from the hometown of these men, the golf course also hosts a tournament each year in their honor. They will not be forgotten.

Parking
The nearby Community Center (100 Pionk Drive) has plenty of parking located at the bottom of the hill from the golf course, plus additional spots are at the nearby museum.

LINKS
Things to do in Proctor, MN
Proctor Golf Course


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A Walk in the Park in Luxembourg

Walk Among the Ruins

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For our peeps in the Northern Hemisphere, winter is well on its way with all the joys that freezing cold, ice and snow bring to us each year, so it’s easy to feel like the travel season is officially over. Let’s prove that myth wrong once and for all, because we here at UndiscoveredWanderings have found some of the best places to explore during the season of freezin’.

Enter Luxembourg, a small country in Europe bordering Belgium, Germany and France. We made a point to visit this place because so few outsiders have. It’s unfortunate that Luxembourg is frequently overlooked by backpackers and people on holiday; even fewer go to Europe to visit only Luxembourg. But, being us, we didn’t wind up there by accident.

No matter the season, Luxembourg is a BEAUTIFUL country. In fact, it was this time of year that we visited. While there’s plenty of countryside, old buildings, and Christmas markets to explore, our focus today is Luxembourg City, the capital. And in this city is a place called Vallée de la Pétrusse, home to the Pétrusse Parks. This is no ordinary park landscape. It takes a few minutes of walking the footpaths to realize that it’s not level with the rest of the city–it slopes down to where you’ll find yourself under a couple of bridges, surrounded by ancient city walls. When you get to the bottom, you’re literally looking up to the cityscape. That’s a first for us!

Even if Luxembourg isn’t your primary European destination, a quick day trip there is an easy train ride away.

LINKS
Learn more about Pétrusse Parks


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Lakewood Heritage Center

These Buildings Are a Little Displaced (But That’s a Good Thing)

Special thanks to the Lakewood Heritage Center for their help with this article.

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The Denver Metro Area is growing at a rapid pace, but it hasn’t forgotten its roots. We were pleasantly surprised, as we enjoyed a stroll through Belmar Park last summer, to find a number of old and even older buildings that were remarkably well preserved. 

Officially, we had wandered onto the grounds of the Lakewood Heritage Center, which borders the Park. Lakewood is a burgeoning suburb of Denver with its own unique history. The Heritage Center–originally known as Belmar Village when it was founded in 1976–has worked hard to preserve some of the original farm buildings built on this land in the early 20th century.

But then there are the other buildings, like the diner, that seem oddly out of place. Those came later…and they were built somewhere else. The Heritage Center, like the City of Lakewood, has grown since its inception, and now incorporates a number of artifacts, large and small, to document the history of this fascinating part of the country. 

Belmar Park also happens to be exceptionally beautiful with lots of trails and pathways. A perfect combination of outdoor fun and exploring.

You know how we love to step back through time at UndiscoveredWanderings. This one you can’t miss.

LINKS
Lakewood Heritage Center
City of Lakewood, Colorado
Belmar Park

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In Europe, You Can Always Visit Your Friendly Neighborhood Christmas Market

Plenty of Christmastime to Go Around

They’re a growing trend in the States, but a staple of Christmas in Europe. A Christmas Market is pretty much what it sounds like:

Markets. At Christmas.

Each year, for about a month before Yule, many towns and cities across the continent set up makeshift marketplaces in their center squares, with food, drinks of all kind, and Christmas-themed trinkets. Lights are just part of the show, including those that adorn buildings and churches (see below). Larger Christmas markets usually have ice skating rinks set up in the middle of them. 

Roasted chestnuts are some of the favorites, along with Glühwein and well-decorated cookies. Of course, if that’s not your thing, there’s plenty of other local eats, depending on the country. We’ve visited a number of Christmas markets in Western Europe and found Germany and Belgium host some of the most elaborate ones (perfect places to get chocolate-covered Belgian waffles!). Although we haven’t made it to Switzerland yet, we’ve heard the Christmas Market in Zurich is by far the best anywhere.

And then there’s the Christmas trees. Europe really takes their Christmas trees seriously, putting the one at Rockefeller Plaza to shame.

LINKS
100 Best Things to Do in Switzerland


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North Manhattan…Have You Been?

Might as Well be the Sixth Borough

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If you’ve ever played tourist in New York City, chances are you’ve never been anywhere north of Central Park. But Manhattan is more than just concrete. Would you believe there’s actually dense woods and a medieval castle-looking place just a short subway ride away?

Northern Manhattan is a borough of its own in a way. Between Fort Tryon and Inwood Hill Parks, it’s easy to forget the trademark New York City hustle and bustle just a few miles away. And for NYC residents, the rent in northern Manhattan is a lot cheaper than the rest of the island, if you don’t mind a longer commute.

And if you’re in the area, you must visit The Cloisters, a 20th century building modeled after an ancient castle, although its courtyard looks like an Italian villa. It’s now a museum with relics from throughout the last millennium. Plus it provides fantastic views, but we won’t spoil it for you. Get on down there and see for yourself!

Fort Tryon Park
Inwood Hill Park
The Cloisters

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