Travel We Would Travel Outside Amsterdam Just to See This Forest Light Installation

09:50  04 december  2017
09:50  04 december  2017 Source:   Condé Nast Traveler

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a tree in the middle of a forest © Getty

Imagine you're walking through a dark forest, when all of a sudden, the trees around you light up with flashing red lights. Well, that's kind of what happens in a Dutch forest, where a group of artists has installed a seasonal light installation. Titled "Pixi," the installation takes over seven and a half acres of forest in Drouwen, a village in the province of Drenthe, about 120 miles northeast of Amsterdam.

According to The Verge, 1,250 battery-powered red lights have been installed on trees throughout the forest. Each light, or "Pixie," is placed on a diamond-shaped wooden plaque and contains a microprocessor that communicates with other Pixies nearby. When one Pixie lights up, its microprocessor determines how often and how quickly it should tell another Pixie to do the same. Because of the microprocessors, no two Pixies are alike. This domino effect is intended for the Pixies to behave like a flock of birds or a school of fish.

This is the Most Powerful Passport in the World (No, It's Not Canadian)

  This is the Most Powerful Passport in the World (No, It's Not Canadian) Photo: Shutterstock These are the most powerful passports in the world When you're leaving for an international trip, a passport is the single most important thing to double-check you remembered. After all, it's your one ticket to get out of the country--and get back in. Passports are powerful, but not all are created equal. Depending on what passport you own, you'll need a visa to get into different countries. For instance, a U.S. passport is all you need to get into Peru. If you decide to head to Brazil while you're there, though, you'll need to apply for a visa. But a Peruvian passport would let you cross the border into Brazil without a visa. Naturally, some passports will get you into more countries visa-free than others. Global financial advisory firm Arton Capital ranked every country's passport from most to least powerful, based on how many countries it would give access to without a visa. The Passport Index updates in real time when new visa rules come out, and you can even explore passports by country or by colour. (Here are seven world-class experiences that don’t need a passport.) As of press time, Germany and Singapore tied as the most powerful passports in the world. Both get their owners into 158 countries without a visa. In second place are Sweden and South Korea, which both give access to 157 countries. The United States, which has 156 visa-free countries on its list, doesn't come in until the third most powerful group.

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The installation was created by four artists—Joachim Rümke, Olav Huizer, Joachim de Vries, and Jelle Valk—who've formed an artist collective called WERC. The project was initially created for Welcome to the Village, a Burning Man-meets-Coachella music festival that takes place every July. After officials in Drenthe heard about it, they decided to subsidize the project and extend it past the three-day festival.

Pixi is only on view at night, and will run every October through January for the next four years. People can visit the installation in groups of no more than eight people; each group is given two lanterns to carry into the forest, and the Pixies begin to light up when they detect the lanterns. Tickets cost €14.50 ($17.25) and are available to buy here. Drouwen is about two and a half hours away from Amsterdam, if you're taking a day trip from the Dutch capital.

Amsterdam May Increase Tourist Tax to Dissuade Budget Travelers

  Amsterdam May Increase Tourist Tax to Dissuade Budget Travelers Tourists could pay as much as an additional €10 per night, thanks to a new city-wide tax.Want a cheap three-day weekend in Amsterdam? Think again. The city wants you to stay a while and, more importantly, spend, spend, spend. The Dutch capital saw 20 times more visitors than it has residents in 2016–a whopping 17 million tourists—and the local government plans to increase taxes on visitors to ensure Amsterdammers see benefits from the tourism boom, The Guardian reports.

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