Travel in Brief

A brown bear catches a salmon at Brooks Falls, Katmai National Park in Alaska. A new video initiative will bring the famed brown bears of the park directly to your computer or smartphone.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A new video initiative is bringing the famed brown bears of Alaska’s Katmai National Park to your computer or smartphone.

Without having to go there, you’ll be able to watch mature bears compete for salmon at Brooks Falls and other sites and cubs tumbling over each other as they play. A live Web stream ( will allow the public to log on and see the brown bears in their natural habitat.

“I think it’s an unparalleled opportunity for people to get that front-row seat of the lives of the bears at Brooks Camp,” said Roy Wood, chief of interpretation for Katmai National Park and Preserve.

The project is a partnership with, which set up four high-definition cameras in Katmai. The cameras offer access to a national park that is difficult to reach and expensive for most tourists. It is about 275 miles southwest of Anchorage, but no roads lead to Katmai. A trip there involves multiple airplanes and much advanced planning.

The cameras are powered by solar and wind energy.

Given the unsteady economy, a majority of Americans are willing to change their summer vacation plans at the last minute if it means saving a few bucks, says a new survey.

The poll of more than 2,000 Americans taken online by travel website Travel-Ticker found that 83 percent of those with vacation plans could be swayed to change plans if presented with a better deal.

Among other findings in the survey, 72 percent of those polled said they were planning to be more flexible on dates and destinations this summer to save money.

MOSCOW — The Russian capital’s hotel prices may be exorbitant, but the city has some fine free sights that may dry up a tourist’s tears.

Lenin Mausoleum: Two decades after the Soviet Union died, a visit to the glassed-in mummy of its founder is still a potent view into the totalitarian psyche. Entrance is free, but bags, cameras and phones must be checked for a fee. For a true freebie, go with a companion who can hold your gear and then switch off.

Winzavod: This former winery on an industrial street has been turned into Moscow’s modern art nexus. A dozen galleries, modish shops and a cafe draw the young and stylish on weekends. Take a map.

Yauza Valley: A walk through wetlands of the Yauza River is a pastoral idyll just five miles from Red Square. Paths and boardwalks lead through marshes and woods, past a 350-year-old country church, ending at a former nobleman’s estate.

Silver Island: This island was a royal estate when Peter the Great was a boy and contains a soaring church and a fearsome three-story structure dating to his time (he died in 1725). Peter learned to sail here and credited it as the beginning of his drive to make Russia a naval power.

All-Russia Exhibition Center: This complex originally built to laud Soviet achievements features Stalinist Gothic architecture, fountains, a Vostok rocket like the one that put the first man into orbit, and usually a few thousand Russians strolling and enjoying shish kebabs and beer.

RICHMOND, Va. — Thirteen new state historical markers have been approved, including one commemorating a 1608 Christmas celebration by English settlers who were sheltered by Indians in what is now Hampton.

The other signs include a Colonial-era tavern still in operation in Hanover and a Civil War-era hospital in Alexandria where black U.S. soldiers protested the denial of the rights to full burial honors for black war casualties in a military cemetery.

For the full list of new markers, visit

Wire reports