Compass
  • (Photo: Brian Hammonds / Flickr)

    In this remarkable photograph taken by Brian Hammonds, the Alhambra evokes the meaning of its Arabic name: Al-Hamra, “the red one.” It was built by the 11th-century Moorish king Mohammed ben Al-Ahmar, of the Kingdom of Granada. In 1492, with his soldiers greatly outnumbered, Muhammad XII of Granada surrendered the Emirate of Granada to the Catholic King and Queen Ferdinand and Isabella, who ordered the expulsion of all non-Christians from Spain.

    The Alhambra was built to reflect the beauty of Paradise itself, but subsequent Spanish kings had other plans. Most of the beautiful Moorish tile work’s arabesques and calligraphy were whitewashed or effaced. King Charles I added Renaissance architecture; Phillip V Italianized rooms and replaced the Moorish building with his own palace.

    In 1828, with an endowment from Ferdinand VIII, Jose Contreras and his son, Rafael, began 60 years of restoration. The Alhambra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an inspiration for music and literature.

    Do

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  • Left field of Weeghman Park, home of the Chicago Chifeds, from a 1914 postcard. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

    There was baseball in Chicago before there was a Wrigley Field, and Wrigley Field (originally called Weeghman Park) existed before the Chicago Cubs called it home. But the match of team and venue is one of the most iconic in professional sports. The stadium would help define baseball as we know it now, and — despite a lackluster Cubs record over the ensuing decades — it remains a symbol of baseball’s history and popularity.

    The city’s first professional baseball franchise was a minor-league called the Chifeds; that strange name was an amalgamation of Chicago and Federal, after the Federal League in which it played. The team started out playing at DePaul University, but club president Charles “Lucky Charlie” Weeghman soon secured a 99-year lease for a site, formerly a seminary campus, on the city’s North Side.

    Construction began in early March, only six weeks before the season was scheduled to start, but the steel-and-concrete stadium was ready by the time the home opener started on

    Read More »from April 23, 1914: First baseball game is played at what is now Wrigley Field
  • It’s possible to enjoy the bustle of Las Vegas without breaking the bank. (Photo: Moyan Brenn / Flickr)

     

    As countless amateur gamblers and weekend partiers have learned the hard way, the cash we spend in Vegas stays in Vegas. But even as Sin City increasingly caters to high rollers with plush new rooms, top-notch entertainment and gourmet restaurants, it can still be surprisingly inexpensive — if you play your cards right.

    I’ve been visiting Las Vegas since childhood. My brother is a longtime resident, having spent the last 20 years building and overseeing maintenance of casino pools (his tip? Stay away from pools known for hosting big late-night parties. Chlorine can only do so much).

    Things you could buy for a little in the old days ($2.99 breakfast buffet, anyone?) now cost a lot. But savvy Vegas veterans have a few secrets on how to enjoy classic Sin City pursuits without losing your shirt — unless you want to.

    Time your bets.

    Gambling on the Strip (seen from The Cosmopolitan) can be less expensive in the daytime. (Photo: Thomas Hawk / Flickr)Many of the best money-saving tricks boil down to timing. A big one: Avoid weekends, when room prices can easily double.

    Same thing for big conventions. Las

    Read More »from Budget Las Vegas: how to save on Sin City fun
  • (Photo: Sal Celis / Flickr)

    There is simply no question about it; Iya Traore is the best football juggler in the world. Born in the East African country of Guinea, the 28 year old now lives in Paris where he amazes tourists who gather at the steps of Sacré-Coeur cathedral.

    Let’s cut to the chase, there’s a whole slew of videos of Iya on the web, each worth a thousand words. (We've got one for you below.)

    Photograph taken by Sal Celis.

    Do you have your own compelling travel photos to share? Join the Yahoo! Travel Flickr group, or look us up on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest. You can also download the Flickr app.

     

     

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  • A news photo shows weightlifters competing during the 1906 Olympics. (Photo: James Edward Sullivan [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

    The little-mentioned and now often-ignored Olympic Games of 1906 — also known as the first-ever Intercalated Olympic Games — kicked off on April 22, 1906 in Greece. Today, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) no longer recognizes those games, and no records achieved at them count in official Olympic history.

    In 1896, the French aristocrat Pierre de Coubertin revived the idea of a modern Olympics. Those first games, held in Athens, were considered a success and paved the way for an international competition every four years. But there was a dispute: Greece wanted to host every Olympics, while Coubertin and the newly-formed IOC wanted the host country to change for each Games. A compromised was reached wherein Greece would host an Intercalated (basically meaning “placed between”) Olympic Games in the years between the rotating-city Olympic Games.

    Because the compromise was reached in 1901, hosting a 1902 event between the 1900 and 1904 Olympics was deemed to be too soon. The first

    Read More »from April 22, 1906: First intercalated (unofficial) modern Olympics kick off in Greece
  • (Photo: Nitin Vadukul)A string of titles follow in Terence Blanchard’s wake: world-renowned jazz trumpeter, bandleader, composer, five-time Grammy Award winner, Golden Globe nominee. One he holds most dear: New Orleans native. He’ll be in his hometown when the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival kicks off this weekend. Afterward, he’s back touring and simultaneously composing for projects like the films “Black and White” and “Little Rootie Tootie.”

    What’s something you never fail to pack in your suitcase?

    Other than my trumpet, my iPod.

    Travel playlist?

    Fred Hammond, Disturbed and Miles Davis.

    Carry-on or check-in?

    Check-in.

    Window or aisle?

    Aisle.

    What’s your idea of the perfect vacation?

    Being in an area where you’re forced to do nothing for three weeks.

    Tell us about a vacation you’ve taken that’s come close thus far.

    A couple of years ago, we had a staycation. We did nothing and didn’t venture too far from home, trying to really appreciate our neighborhood, home and some of the great local restaurants

    Read More »from Terence Blanchard vacations at home in New Orleans
  • (Photo: Linda Hatfield / Flickr)

    There once was a cat from Rabat, who lived for her next tasty rat. She loved the color blue and said, “This corner will do; I will sit here and relax.”

    Linda Hatfield of northern Westchester County, N.Y., photographed this fine feline in the historic medina of Morocco’s capital city. Hatfield’s love of photography began as a child with a Brownie Duraflex. Her photo showing goats grazing in a tree set an all-time record for Flickr photo of the day comments.

    Do you have your own compelling travel photos to share? Join the Yahoo! Travel Flickr group, or look us up on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Pinterest and Tumblr.

    Read More »from The cat from Rabat: Flickr photo of the day
  • In a recent photo, 1962 World’s Fair landmarks are still visible at Seattle Center, including the Space Needle and the Science Pavilion arches (at right).  (Photo: Panchenks / Flickr)

    With both the space race and Seattle’s rise to aerospace hub in full swing, the Seattle World’s Fair of 1962 celebrated the emerging jet age. Its design showcased the city and capitalized on America’s enthusiasm for all things modern (not coincidentally, “The Jetsons” first aired that same year). The structures that remain feel quaint now, but many have become beloved landmarks.

    The world’s fair — and the look of Seattle’s skyline — might have been very different if the Seattle World’s Fair had happened in 1955, when organizers originally hoped. Realizing they would never have the site ready by then, they switched themes from the American West to the future.

    Demonstrations were held at the Science Pavilion. (Seattle Municipal Archives via Wikimedia Commons)Much of the result is preserved in what is now Seattle Center, a park and performance space just north of downtown. The most iconic: the Space Needle, a 605-foot-tall concrete tower that crews raced to build in less than a year and that was finished the day before the fair opened.

    A monorail train (still in use) carried passengers

    Read More »from April 21, 1962: Seattle World’s Fair opens, showcasing ‘city of the future’
  • (Photo: Brian Huang / Flickr)

    Once again, behemoth cruise ships are prowling the Venetian Lagoon. (It just isn’t the same as being serenaded by a stripe-shirted gondolier.) The ships slide slowly past Saint Mark’s Square on their way to Venice’s cruise ship terminal. It’s a perk for the excited passengers looking forward to experiencing the picturesque charm of Venice that some say their mother ships are ruining.

    A regional court has overturned a law passed last November that banned giant cruise ships in response to the Costa Concordia’s disastrous grounding the year before. While showing off for tourists on shore, captain Francesco Schettino ran his 114,000-ton ship aground, costing the lives of 32 of his passengers and causing an environmental nightmare. Venetian officials are understandably worried that something similar could happen again, so this coming June they will present the court with alternative routes for ships to use.

    Brian Huang photographed the 140,000-ton, 1,000-foot-long MSC Divina in the Venice

    Read More »from They’re baaack: Flickr photo of the day
  • San Francisco residents watch as fire engulfs Sacramento Street on April 18, 1906. (Photo: Arnold Genthe via Wikimedia Commons)

    In 1906, San Francisco was a thriving city of 400,000 residents, full of majestic Victorian mansions, beautiful hotels and a thriving arts scene. But the earthquake that hit on the early morning of April 18, 1906, changed everything — including how today's rebuilt city looks and works.

    The earthquake destroyed many buildings and ruptured gas lines, igniting a three-day fire that ripped through the city. By the time it was all over, three-quarters of San Francisco's buildings were smoking piles of rubble. The author Jack London mourned, "Not in history has a modern imperial city been so completely destroyed. San Francisco is gone."

    Arnold Genthe, who took the photo above, later described the eerie scene: “On the right is a house, the front of which had collapsed into the street. The occupants are sitting on chairs calmly watching the approach of the fire. Groups of people are standing in the street, motionless, gazing at the clouds of smoke. When the fire crept up close, they would

    Read More »from April 18, 1906: Earthquake, fire rip through San Francisco

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