2012 was a big year for anniversaries of many notable events - from the Queen's Diamond Jubilee to the sinking of the Titanic.
2013 is no different and there are many important anniversaries coming up. Indeed, London has already celebrated the 150th anniversary of its Underground system! Across the world, this year will see a number of cultural, historical and heritage events taking place to honour and commemorate important people, locations and actions.
The Flexicover Team takes a look at some that may inspire you on your travels this year!
Juan Ponce de León was one of the first Europeans to arrive on mainland America (in fact, Columbus never actually set foot on the mainland) when he made shore near present day St. Augustine on the east coast. He named it la florida in honour of the Spanish celebration Pascua Florida ("feast of the flower"). Nowadays, 2nd April is nominated as a state day and this year is particularly important as it marks 500 years since the 'discovery'. 'The Sunshine State' has always been a big draw for tourists with pristine beaches, some of the world's best known theme parks and the famous Kennedy Space Centre - you will never tire of Florida!
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Amsterdam, the largest city and constitutional capital of the Netherlands, has a reputation as a party town and this year several milestones will do its reputation justice. Most notably, the famed city canals turn 400 years old. Add to this the opening of the renovated Rijksmuseum (following a 10 year closure), the 175th anniversary of the Artis Royal Zoo and on 30th March, Vincent Van Gogh turns 160! The city will be full of exciting events pretty much throughout the year, hosting outdoor exhibitions, concerts and street fests. If you are a cultural party animal, head for Amsterdam!
Livingstone is a town named after the Victorian explorer Dr David Livingstone, situated on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River by the great Victoria Falls (known as Mosi-oi-a-Tunya - "the smoke that thunders"). The falls themselves are stunningly beautiful and a World Heritage Site. The 19th of March marks the 200th anniversary of Dr Livingstone's birth, celebrated for his commitment to medicine, education and the eradication of slavery. To commemorate the bicentenary, major events will be held in Livingstone between his birthday and Zambia's Independence Day (24th October) including street theatre, traditional dancing, bands and concerts, soccer matches, seven-a-side rugby, an international arts exhibition and other really exciting events - enough to set anyone's heart racing!
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, USA
Gettysburg is a town best known for a battle that many believe was the turning point of the American Civil War (1861-1865). In 1863 the Union's victory that ended General Robert E. Lee's second invasion of the North was the war's bloodiest battle with over 51,000 casualties. It was also the inspiration for President Abraham Lincoln's immortal Gettysburg Address. To mark the 150th anniversary, special activities are planned throughout the year, although the main events will be held in summer with a huge re-enactment of the battle taking place on 4 - 7th July. In true American fashion, there is a lot to do, from exploring the Gettysburg National Military Park on horseback or Segway (two-wheeled, self-balancing personal transport), in memory of the soldiers' at the National Cemetery to a tour round historic Gettysburg.
It is fitting that, 20 years after the peaceful split of Czechoslovakia, Košice, the second largest city in Slovakia (after the capital Bratislava), also gains the prestigious title of European Capital of Culture 2013 (jointly with Marseille, France). This year is all about showcasing the city and, in addition to special events and myriad sightseeing opportunities, not least St. Elisabeth's Cathedral, there are plenty of attractions, including Zoo Košice (the largest zoo in Central Europe) and the Botanical Garden of P.J. Šafárik University. The city is also popular for sport - you could try water skiing, wakeboarding or wakeskating at Jazero Lake or plan your visit to coincide with the Košice Peace Marathon, the oldest marathon in Europe. So enjoy European culture here throughout the year!
Wherever you decide to travel in 2013, Flexicover Direct, the travel insurance specialists, are committed to providing the highest degree of care to ensure that you are safe and secure, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
If you are travelling soon, have a great trip!