“Don’t touch. And don’t eat what you touch unless you want to die” are the first words you’ll hear upon entering Lotusland, the exotic, 37-acre kingdom of plants tucked away in the quiet town of Montecito, California. Its roots run three owners and 135 years deep, but it’s the touch of its final, failed opera singer patroness, Madame Ganna Walska, that makes the legacy behind its pink walls so magical…div id="attachment_109898" style="width:… Read the rest
Eighty kilometers to the south of Wroclaw, underneath Poland’s oldest mountain range, the Owl Mountains, lies a massive underground complex and tunnel system built by the Nazis. The exact purpose of these tunnels is not known, nor is its true size because the complex was never completed. More than nine kilometers were excavated, but only a small section was reinforced by steel and concrete before the Nazis were driven out of the region by the arriving Red Army. Some say the tunnels were meant to serve as the Führer’s headquarter, while others believe it was supposed to be used as an underground weapons factory.
Photo credit: Przykuta/Wikimedia
For those whose taste in fairytales favours a darker touch, we’re traveling to the far reaches of Eastern Europe, and into the enchanting world of animator Jiří Trnka. The late Czech animator (whose name is pronounced “Yershy Trinka”) created nearly two-dozen films over his lifetime, from folksy gems like Grandfather Planted a Beet (1945) to the gutsy anti-Stalin short, The Hand (1965).
Craftsmanship ran in Trnka’s blood. He was born in Bohemia in 1912, where his grandmother sold toys for a living and his mother worked as a seamstress.… Read the rest