history

For National Book Lovers Day: our new book

Amelia Earhart Reading,” International Women’s Air & Space Museum,

August 9 was National Book Lovers Day and we celebrated by visiting some of the places in Seattle that are featured in our new book, 111 Places in Seattle That You Must Not Miss, which begins shipping today.

The book is part of the international 111 Places series, which offers locals and experienced travelers guides to hidden treasures, overlooked gems, and charming curious places in great cities.

For the Seattle guide, I’m pointing readers to many airport and aviation-related items around town, including the art collections at both Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) and King County International Airport – Boeing Field (BFI).

Richard Elliot’s ‘Eyes on the World’ at SEA
Brad Miller’s “30,000 Feet” Photo by Joe Freemans Courtesy 4Culture

The Museum of Flight is represented in the book, with the story of the Taylor Aerocar, an early flying car that worked.

Taylor Aerocar III, one wing folded back for ground travel, one wing attached for flight.

And we also point people to the tiny pocket park on the shores of Lake Union where they’ll find a plaque marking the spot where the first Boeing plane took off.

The plaque reads “From this site, Boeing launched it first airplane, the B&W, in 1916.”

Of course, there are plenty of other non-aviation sites in the book, including the Giant Shoe Museum, the world’s greenest commercial building, a haunted staircase, the Rubber Chicken Museum, a shop where you can buy personalized magic wands, the place where you can rent a rowboat for free, and lots more.

We hope you’ll get a copy of 111 Places in Seattle That You Must Not Miss from your favorite bookseller.

Out & About in Arundel, England

Stuck at the Airport is out and about in the English countryside for a few days with Gary Gatwick, the mascot for London’s Gatwick Airport.

Arundel, in West Sussex, is an easy one-hour train ride from Gatwick Airport. The town looks like one of those storybook English towns we sometimes see on TV travel shows, castle and all.

Arundel offers charming B&Bs such as the House Arundel, as well as charming coffee shops, antique stores, and traditional English country pubs, such as the one we visited in The Swan Hotel.

Among the main attractions here are the Arundel Museum and the medieval Arundel Castle.

Collections at the Arundel Museum include pre-historic flint tools found in early settlements around the town, Roman floor tiles found at the site of a luxurious Roman villa, and the large WWII air raid siren that once sat on the roof of the Town Hall.

It’s a good idea to stop in at the museum to learn about the history of the town and get your bearings before heading up to the castle.

If you’re lucky, local history expert John Barkshire might be around to take you around the museum and point out his favorite objects. His family has been in Arundel since the early 1800s and we were honored to have him pose for a photo with Gary Gatwick while standing next to an exhibit about a rare illuminated church choir book from Arundel.

Arundel Castle

In a country that seems to be chock full of castles, the Arundel Castle stands out because it is so well-preserved and cared for. And because it is one of the longest inhabited castles in the United Kingdom.

First built at the end of the 11th century, it has been restored and rebuilt over the years and is currently the home to the Duke and Duchess of Norfolk and their children.

Before you visit, you can read all about the history of the castle here. When you do visit, be sure to wear sturdy shoes. That way you’ll be able to comfortably make your way through the hallways, bedrooms, staterooms, library, magnificent gardens, and up the narrow stone steps to the Keep. And there you’ll be rewarded with great views and, like Gary Gatwick, perhaps have an encounter with one of the knowledgable, in-character guides.

New book filled with marvelous maps

If you’re a serious traveler, you likely love maps.

And if you love maps, you’ll love the maps in a new book from the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England that celebrates the art of atlases with a look inside the museum’s collection of maps, globes, and map-related ephemera.

A is for Atlas: Wonders of Maps and Mapping, is a highly illustrated celebration of cartography from the thirteenth century to today.

Celestial globe, unknown maker, first half of the 17th century

The book draws on the museum’s collection of more than 40,000 maps, charts, globes, and atlases, including a sixteenth-century map of the world replacing the face of a jester, a nineteenth-century inflatable globe, and a twentieth-century waterproof map that saved lives during the Second World War.

Fool’s Head World Map, by unknown artist, around 1590
 
Inflatable Globe, George Pocock, 1830

The oldest object in the book is a manuscript map of Mesopotamia by Abu Ishaq Ibrahim ibn Muhammad al-Farisi al-Istakhri, dated before 1282. Mountain ranges are illustrated in a deep red with floral and geometric patterns, while the rivers Tigris and Euphrates flow across the page in a majestic blue.

Islandia, Abraham Ortelius and Anders Vedel, 1585

The most recent object is a football globe made for Mark Wallinger’s First World War centenary artwork, One World by Mark Wallinger. This 2018 football is a photographic representation of the Earth as seen from satellite imagery. This globe was commissioned to mark the centenary of the First World War, commemorating the ‘Christmas Day ceasefires’ that took place on the Western Front in 1914.

One World, Mark Wallinger, 2018

Rather than approach the collection chronologically, A is for Atlas draws on the collection in twenty-six themes, including ‘commemoration’, ‘manuscript’, ‘sea monsters’ and ‘treasure’.

The book also shows the results of an investigation into a nineteenth-century globe. An endoscope was fed through a hole in a Newton & Son terrestrial table globe from 1842, offering Dr Barford an unusual view – the inside of a globe. The investigation revealed proof pages from various books of the Bible lining the inside and supporting the papier-mâché hemispheres.

All photos courtesy National Maritime Museum, England

Museum Monday highlights from Viking.TV

Courtesy Kon-Tiki Museum

We’re setting off for Iceland in a few weeks to join Viking for one of their Welcome Back cruises. So we have been poking around the company’s website.

One impressive resource there for the general public is Viking.TV. It was created in response to the pandemic and this channel is chock full of videos about art, culture, history, food, music, architecture, and destinations around the world.

Our favorite feature is Museum Monday. Stop in and you’ll see that there are now more than 60 videos about museums and collections. including some wonderful behind the scene tours.

You’ll find your own favorites, but here are a few of the videos that captured our attention and our imagination this week. We started with a visit to the Kon-Tiki Museum in Oslo, Norway, home to Thor Heyerdahl’s original Kon-Tiki raft and the papyrus boat Ra II.

We also went down a rabbit hole at London’s British Museum learning about how prepared the museum for lockdown and toured the collection of the Alaskan objects at the Sainsbury Centre in Norwich, England.

More airports embrace the “How it started” meme

Our first post sharing examples of how airports are embracing the “How it Started Twitter meme got so long that we’ve started a new post.

Please let us know if you find new responses that should be added. We’ll add them as we find them.