by Vickie Lillo. I stepped outside my cabin at La Posada de Sonada in northern Nicaragua and it was like stepping back in time. A thick mist from the early morning's thundershower had settled across the
treetops in the distance. Read more about a simple life -- a pastoral life -- n the agricultural heartland of Miraflor in the
If you're thinking about taking a riding vacation, you're probably considering Ireland, or maybe Tuscany, Italy, or perhaps a cattle drive in Montana. But how about something really different?
How about Iceland with its glorious, exotic landscape. Iceland is becoming an ever more popular destination for riders, with,
No visit to Brussels would be complete without seeing the architectural gems of the Art Nouveau period, a short-lived but highly distinctive style that influenced everything
from buildings to jewelry. It was a cultural movement that sought to fuse fine and applied arts to create a complete and integrated design and living environment.
Read more about
It's impossible to miss the connection between the endearing and indomitable town of Dinant and famous son Adolphe Sax, without whom where would jazz be?
I thought I'd never enjoy this tourist-busy
city, but I did. Brugge wasn't the city I remembered from years ago, but there is still a lot to
I was in Sarajevo to find the place the First World War started. It was not
easy to find, but evidence of more recent atrocities were. Memories are long
in The Balkans, contrasts and contradictions are all around. History is always
in your face, reminding you nothing stays the same for long in this most
fascinating corner of Europe with
at its centre.
Pine trees appear like dark brush strokes against a mauve sky, framing Losinj off the northern Adriatic coast of Croatia. Visitors, mostly Europeans, come to this enchanting,
herb-enriched island to experience the
by Nicholas Klenske. Whether it is the ghost of a classic fairytale kingdom of medieval castles and tin-covered knights, the failed
ghost of communism, the ghosts of saints, or the ghosts of sinners. We all come to Prague with a ghost to chase.
. Find out what they are and where they are. Bet you didn't know...
For fourteen centuries a cathedral dedicated to Saint Paul has stood on the summit of Ludgate Hill. Despite being a well-known building,
, Cardiff Wales is the place to go.
Ruthin Goal is a fascinating Victorian prison that is unfortunately off most people's to visit list. But here's why it should definitely be on your
by Patrice Raplee.
Charming English towns dot the countryside but a highlight for Beatrix Potter fans is Bowness-on-Windermere in
London, England, a destination where chic meets heritage in a balance that graces the city's heart. Stroll any street in Central London and you'll find a stylish parade of cutting-edge fashion and stunning architecture.
However, the thoroughfare that defines fashion and regal architecture is Regent Street. Originally designed as Europe's initial shopping street by John Nash in 1811, this posh avenue with its elegant columns, wide-boulevard
and prominent, Portland Stone Facades is premiere for
London, England's West End is renowned for its globally esteemed theater district and Covent Garden, but you'll find fabulous boutique hotels, British and international labels, as well as exclusive, independent shops
and restaurants that culminate in one of
The fabulous Cavendish London Hotel, situated in the heart of historic St. James's on Jermyn Street, is one of the city's most centrally located hotels. With a fascinating 200-year
history, royalty and artists to actors and politicians have
Mother nature smiled upon us as we set about our day's venture
exploring the southern shore of Ellan Vannin, the Isle of Man.
breaths from wild abandon
on rocky shores to placid calm in sheltered bays with everything in
by Patrice Raplee. Wiltshire England offers charming towns but it is also home to Stonehenge and nearby Avebury. This guide shares the
history and is a guide to very special Wiltshire
by Patrice Raplee The entire city of Bath, England, is listed as a world heritage site, not only for the Roman baths but for the remarkable Georgian architecture and Bath Abbey as well.
Moreover, global travelers visit Bath year-round to explore its history, museums, cuisine, soak in the Thermae Bath Spa and relax in the sumptuous surroundings.
Read more about Historic Bath England.
by Anna Synder. While a newcomer to Dublin may be stunned by the huge amount of things to see and experience in Dublin, don't constrain your visit to the standard Guinness Storehouse and Temple Bar areas.
From vintage shops to book markets to storytelling events to glitzy nightclubs to the quaintest of old-man pubs, there is something to entice and
charm travellers of all tastes, guaranteed to make your visit to Dublin unforgettable. Read some of the Dublin Highlights
excerpted from her book 24 Hours in Dublin
by Patrice Raplee. Liverpool, England, renowned for its rich cultural heritage, maritime history, arts and unrivalled mix of music, is a thriving and vibrant cosmopolitan city. With recent awards for the UK's friendliest city and Britain's,
best nightlife destination. The accolades just keep coming for this coastal hotspot
by Patrice Raplee.
One of the most prestigious and superior four-star hotels in London, The Chesterfield Mayfair, is a perfect melange. The gorgeous boutique hotel resides in an exclusive neighborhood in the heart of
the Mayfair district, located on historic Charles Street. Read more about the London Chesterfield Mayfair Hotel
by Patrice Raplee. Amid London's exhilarating, bustling atmosphere, trendy fashions and ever-changing cityscape, lays the foundations of history, ceremony and cultural identity. It is particularly apparent in the traditional shops and
businesses that have been in residence throughout the city dating back 100-years or more. These time-honored British establishments often hold Royal Warrants and are a key attraction for those who seek quality
British Royal Warrants are granted to individuals or companies who have recurrently provided goods or services for a minimum of five successive years to The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh (Prince Philip) or The Prince
of Wales (Prince Charles); this of course was true by previous reigning royalty as well. These Royal Warrants lend prestige to the individual or company and infer quality. The establishments that hold these designations
in London are exciting to browse, shop and explore.
Read about Where the Royalty Shop in London
by Patrice Raplee. Across the expanse of emerald colored parklands, a castle stands solid and noble against the onslaught of time. Its ivy-covered towers seem to impart a history that is alluring yet elusive, in the evening's fading light. It is
here in the Yorkshire Dales that the enchanting Swinton Park beckons to the inquisitive visitor. Today, Swinton Park is a beautiful, luxury castle hotel with an estate consisting of
20,000 acres with about 200 acres of landscaped parkland, located on the immediate grounds surrounding the ancestral edifice.
Read about Stay in a Castle: Swinton Park Offers Luxury and Lodging
by Bobbie Green. Most Scottish Castles began as fortresses
for protection against another Clan or the English. The Laird lived in the Castle and provided protection for his people and the fortress grew in size through the years according with their
wealth. Most of the Kirks (churches) began small and grew through the years, according to their wealth or alliances. And many (both intact and in ruins) can be toured.
Our tours through the back roads of the Scottish Highlands gave us an opportunity to visit some of these intriguing places. Read about
Scotland's Castles and Keeps
by Patrice Raplee. A thin veil of mist rises from the rooftop pool, as bathers blissfully soak in the warm, natural thermal spring waters.
After a relaxing immersion, the bathers indulge in a spa experience where hot stone messages, soothing aromas and heavenly water lily flotation treatments
start the day at the beautiful Thermae Bath Spa in England.
The southern French city of Nimes has a host of sites and events within easy reach
for those who come to experience it and all that is within its realm. Here's two weeks of great day trips with
historic Nimes as your homebase
Like some giant's crown enigmatic castle-ruins rest wind-blown above Saint
Guilhem au Desert, France. Their historical silence poses questions as to just
what of the legend of Saint Guilhem may be true
From the wail
of gulls to the host of shipping crowding its canals this is everywhere a
water world. It is no wonder it is hailed as Sete: Venice of southern France.
by Robert Mueller. The Gallic village of Orleans sat along the banks of the picturesque Loire River when it was conquered and destroyed by Julius Caesar in 52 BC. It became
the seat of later kingdoms and wealthy because it possessed one of the few bridges across the river. The medieval city's name became forever linked
to that of French heroine, Jeanne d'Arc when she lifted an English siege during the Hundred Years War in 1429. The relationship has remained strong
over the past 580 years and Orleans holds a Jeanne d'Arc fête every May with a local girl selected to portray Jeanne in a dramatization of her ride
into the besieged city.
by Robert Mueller. No military engagement in the history of mankind was as intense, as brutal, of such duration, or as devastating as what occurred in 1916 east of the French
city of Verdun. In the pleasant hills and once village-dotted fields of Lorraine, enormous armies, supported by the industrial might of the two adversaries, clashed over
small strongpoints, massive fortifications, and literally miles of trench lines for nine months – only to achieve stalemate and the most horrendous
casualty totals of that dreadful war.
by Patrice Raplee.
Paris and elan, intertwined in a never-ending liaison that forms the fabric of the city's society. Virtually every street in Paris is alive with the
hum of creativity.
From islands to old wine cellars to castles and more these six German Christmas Markets
are unusual and fun places to do your Christmas shopping.
by Maureen C. Bruschi
You might want to stroll over the cobblestoned bridges and lanes of Bamberg
and visited the historic
Old Town Halls, churches and palaces.
Bavaria. Home to the Stuttgart Ballet, a UNESCO world heritage site at Regensburg
(a medieval city situated on the Danube) and thriving farmer's markets, a trip through Southern Germany
offers a variety of flavors and cultural experiences
Explore Jewish Dresden
and the two of the main Jewish sites, the old cemetery and the new synagogue.
The story starts with a man coping with his growing blindness and ends as a story about a man who became one of the Righteous Among Nations at Yad Vashem. It's 1936 in Berlin, Germany.
Otto Weidt, almost completely blind, becomes a brush-maker and opens his workshop to others who have lost their sight. It's called the
Workshop for the Blind.
by Neala Schwartzberg. Worms today is a quietly charming town, with a rich past of both mythic heroes and religious milestones. It was also one of the three major Jewish towns in Germany in the Middle Ages. Known as the ShUM (Shin for the community of Speyer, Waw for Worms and Mem for Mainz), the cities were centers of Jewish theology and learning.
by Neala Schwartzberg. The baroque heart of Saxony still beats, the art still amazes, and the architecture still takes one's breath
away. Read more...
by Neala Schwartzberg. To explore, to understand, to experience what it was and is to be Jewish in Germany, head to Berlin. There isn't another city in
country that can match the number of sites that document, explain, or highlight Jewish life, and history.
by Neala Schwartzberg. I don't know quite what I expected, but I do know it wasn't the stunning architecture, thoughtful exhibits and breadth and depth of coverage.
Daniel Libeskind's modern zinc-clad structure is attached to a historic building, making the museum a true study in contrast, as well as fascinating
inside and out, much of it laden with symbolism. Slideshow Read more...
by Neala Schwartzberg. On February 27, 1943, the war was going poorly for the German army, but Hitler was still bothered by the problem
of the 2,000 Jewish men remaining in Berlin. He wanted to exterminate all the Jews, but he didn't count on the courage of their German wives. Slideshow
by Neala Schwartzberg. There is, perhaps, no other city in Germany that had been both the quintessence of the flourishing of Jewish German
life, and its destruction. But the cities and the country are working with the kernel of the Jewish population to create a new era. Even though my family left the area in the 1890s and I have never had real ties to
Germany, it felt like a completion to visit, freeing me to begin to enjoy the real charms of the country. It's not always a happy experience,
but for me, it was a truly important experience.
by Neala McCarten.
Sprawling across acres and centuries, Heidelberg's castle, or Schloss, was the residence of the Palatinate electors, the rulers of Heidelberg, from the 13th to the 18th century.
The history of Heidelberg is mirrored in the history of the Schloss
from magnificence, to ruin, and rebirth. The restored building are glorious and gilded. The ruins are impossibly romantic.
by Neala McCarten.
Situated along the Neckar River, Heidelberg has had a rich and complex history
, including being burned to the ground in 1693
by the troops of Louis XIV. Although almost nothing is left of its
origins, the last 450 years have provided everything from a student prison to a semi-restored magnificent Schloss (castle).
The famous Hippocrates had his hospital at <Asklepeion in Kos, Greece
, treating patients according to his principles of health. Visitors can
climb the stairways to explore the porticoes and ruined buildings. There is a magnificent view of the village below.
by Keith Kellett
We thought we'd be clever. We would avoid the toil up the cliff at Thira on Santorini or the
long wait for the chairlift; in fact, we would avoid the main island
altogether. We would explore the outlying volcanic island of Nea Kamini
by Ruth Kozak
Naxos is an intriguing island with a fascinating history. Naxos Greece
also offers a unique drink kitron, great beaches, and charming villages.
by Michael Cervin. The Palace of Knossos is one of four original palaces built 4,000 years ago, which acted as the cultural and spiritual hubs on the island. I arrived with the throngs of people to view this
amazing complex during the stillness of a hot July day, the sounds of the cicadas and peacocks offering a counterpoint to the various languages of tour groups from far off countries. At
first glance the Palace seems disjointed and unimpressive; a smattering of large hewn stones atop a small mountain.
But as you make your way across the upper flat portion, you begin to
realize the depth that the Palace goes to, the complexity of not only the construction of a 22,000 square meter project, but the idea that, even back then, there was a sense of proper
architecture, order, and a desire to live life in connection with ones surroundings.
Read about The Palace at Knossos Crete
by Ruth Kozak
Athens is the center of Greek history as well as occupation by the Ottoman Turks, this article is
a guide to exploring that history, including the area known as Monastiraki
by Lesley Stones. I gave up counting at number 356, with two thirds of the relentlessly steep stone steps still ahead of me. A cunningly timed pause to admire the glorious view let me catch my breath without anybody spotting what an exhausted wimp I was. I was hiking Italy's self-proclaimed Walk of the Gods, but if I remember rightly half those
debauched Roman deities had wings, or at least winged heels, not clunky hiking books and a rucksack. After snapping some photos I cracked on again, following a picturesque path that winds through the cliff-hugging town of Positano, from the beach below to the towering cliff tops above. I paused for breath yet again.
Thank goodness I was only doing the downhill walk.
Read about Positano, Amalfi, Naples: Italy's Amalfi Coast
by Linda Martin.
Modena is a city of contrasts: ancient churches, blocks of modern shops, two
beautifully restored theaters (The Storchi Theatre and City Theatre) and two schools
of higher education (the University of Modena, begun in 1183, and St. Charles
College). It is a place where one can shop for souvenirs or just sit quietly at an
umbrella-shaded table and feel the stress of everyday life drift away like the steam
from your cup of dark espresso coffee. And there's much more.
Read about Modena Italy: So much to see and do
by Troy Herrick. Vinci receives as many as 500,000 visitors per year. They come in search of its most famous son, Leonardo. The Renaissance
giant lived here from the time of his birth in 1452 until the mid-1460s, when he and his family moved to Florence.
by Troy Herrick.
A fascinating guide to things to do in Italy and Targuinia
, focusing on Etruscan history.
by Neala Schwartzberg. Romantic, elegant, and fascinating
by Neala Schwartzberg. A leisurely journey through Northern Italy's history
by Keith Kellett. Throughout the history of Maastricht, it seemed that, until recently,
nobody ever actually went there; just passed through on the way to somewhere else. That's changing -- and it's about time.
This city offers statues on fire, art in mines, and so much more.
by Caroline (Caz) Crutchley. The Danube finally ends its European meanderings at Tulcea on Romania's Black Sea coastline. Hectares of water, mud and reeds are a botanist and bird spotter's dream. But it is south I go to Constanta,
not only one of the
largest ports in Europe but with the nine-mile sand bar of Mamaia, a chic holiday destination for adventurous Europeans. But I actually started my Romanian spa experience just south in Eiford. Here the Black Sea gave way
to sulphur-rich lakes, full of life enhancing salts and minerals. My mission was to wallow in mud and with some persistent searching, (there was no signage), I found the Bai Reci -- under a road and rail bridge. A steady
stream of locals clad in only swim wear went, and so I followed. Read more about Black Sea and Spa Mud in Romania
by Neala Schwartzberg.
I walked through the gated entrance to the medieval town of Sighisoara and gasped. It was night, and the effect of the city was magic, like stepping back
If you're looking for totally charming and quaint historic town, head to Sighisoara. Disney could take lessons from this tiny medieval jewel.
For bigger city differently delightful it's the Old Town in Sibiu. Named European Capital of Culture for the year 2007 Sibiu is cosmopolitan charm amid
16th century buildings.
by Neala Schwartzberg. If you're going to be a villain, it's better to have been one deep in the past. It seems the further back in history, the more colorful the man and less
horrific the deeds. Think - Genghis Khan, Attila the Hun. And Vlad the Impaler. But Vlad has a doppelganger who is quite (in)famous on his own – Dracula the Vampire.
Vlad is indeed Dracula, and he is from Romania. And he did live in a castle. But he is was known Vlad the Impaler Dracula or Vlad Tepes (pronounced TEP-ish), and
his behavior easily qualifies as bloodthirsty without even referencing the fictional character.
by Neala Schwartzberg. Legend has it that the capital city of Romania, Bucharest, was named after a shepherd, Bucur, who was tending his sheep by the side of the river.
Charming, but a bit fanciful. Others suggest Bucur might have been a warrior or freedom fighter. What is known is that the city likely dates back
to the 15th century when it was mentioned in official records. But it only became the capital of Romania in the 19th century.
During the period between World Wars, the city thrived, earning the nickname Little Paris
. But under communist rule for several decades, it
suffered the devastation of neighborhoods and then the chaos after the end of Nicolae Ceausescu's rule in 1989.
Today the city is a mix. Peeling paint and pieces of facade decorated with graffiti tags coexist with areas of cafes and patisseries, and the funky
charming historic heart of Lipscani.
by Neala Schwartzberg. It's a bit like seeing things inside out. These architectural treasures, unique to the Moldavia area of Romania, have their highly colored, exquisitely detailed
15th and 16th century frescoes on the exterior walls.
Exposed to sun, wind, rain for 500 years, they are elaborately decorated with portraits of saints and prophets, scenes from the life of Jesus, images of angels and demons, and heaven and hell. All sought to send a religious message to the people.
Parts of faded away, other areas more protected from the weather, are still vibrant. None of have been retouched, making them even more impressive.
by Neala Schwartzberg. As much as I loved Ljubljana there was much to see in the rest of the country, so off we headed.
We're sitting at an outdoor cafe on the Alameda de Hercules, a broad tree-lined
boulevard in central Seville, Spain's fourth largest city and the capital of
Andalusia. Legend has it that Hercules discovered Seville and the Alameda is named
after that mythic hero. Hercules didn't, of course, but old stories die hard and Seville has parlayed the Greek hero,
or at least his name, into a tourist attraction. Read more about Hercules, Columbus, Alcazar and much more
I knew Toledo was a UNESCO World Heritage site. I knew it had
been visited by a host of invaders over two millennia, Romans, Visagoths,
Muslims and finally Christians and I knew they had all left their mark,
incorporating elements of each other's culture into the common thread.
That was the appeal of Toledo
by Bobbie Green. You can do many tours from your cruise ship
(and do-it-yourself) in the Canary Islands, but instead, leave the city of Accerife and visit the Fire Mountains. Read more about
Mountains of Fire, camels, and some fine wine
by Inka Piegsa-Quischotte.
combines outstanding art, architecture, tapas, and history, from the Spanish Inquisition to art on leather.
by Jon Voelkel and Pamela Craik Voelkel.
Like the rainforest, Galicia is wild, wet and green. It is rich in superstition, legend and myths. It has its own language. And, most importantly from a
Maya perspective, it faces the setting sun. With its craggy coast, medieval cities, Celtic heritage and colorful festivals, it is one of the most
evocative locations in Europe. So we set out to explore this hidden treasure for the sort of idiosyncratic details that make a story come alive.
Journey slowly to Europe's highest railway station some 11,000 feet above sea level where breathtaking views and snow-capped mountains await. But that's only the beginning of
your Alpine adventure
by Caz Crutchley. Take the train and enjoy the cities of
Lugano to Lucerne then Chur and Arosa, all by rail
The boarding call came over the loudspeaker: Istanbul. My plane was boarding for Istanbul, where I would catch a connecting flight to Kayseri, and then be picked up by Akhal-Teke Horse Center for my horseback trek in Cappadocia.
When I told people I was headed to Turkey, I got one of two reactions. One was That's amazing! You are so lucky!
The other response was Turkey? Why are you going to Turkey?
And the answer to that was, Oh, for so many reasons!
Because there are so many reasons to go Riding in Cappadocia
by Inka Piegsa-Quischotte.
Think gondolas on the river, the tomb of a real giant, who was also a famous
Muslim warrior in the fights against Byzantine, and Paris-style cafes. All this and more in Eskisehir, Turkey
by Karen Hamlin
It's been eight years since I was in Istanbul and I found a lot has changed; yet some things remained the same. The streets are still narrow, twisting and steep and the city maintains its allure,
mystery and charm. Istanbul is a bustling city 24/7 and makes the Big Apple look like it fell off the tree. Read more about
shopping from Grand Bazaar to tres chic
by Patrice Raplee
It is the world's northernmost accessible destination with two thirds of Svalbard permanently covered by
snow and ice. This majestic archipelago is one of the last remaining areas of unspoiled wilderness in Europe and a magnificent frontier to explore with adventures such as glacier hiking, skiing, snow scooters, dogsled trips,
ice cave trips, boat trips, kayaking, bird watching and fossil picking. Enjoy Adventuring in Svalbard
Fine dining, great shopping, even superb teas and elegant lodging makes Oslo Norway a perfectly sophisticated city.
Find more out about Sophisticated Osolo
by Patrice Raplee. Oslo, Norway is a stunningly picturesque city with its myriad of islands, forested hills and flowing fjords that lead to the North Sea. Moreover, Oslo's cutting-edge
architecture, world-class museums and Nordic culture make this city a top destination for lovers of art and architecture, with a side-helping of Nordic history and culture.
Enjoy Why You'll Love Oslo Norway
by Keith Kellett. When you're about to go on a cruise, your packing list doesn't usually include stuff like heavy boots, woolly hats, thermal underwear and such. But, this one's happening in Winter, and will be calling at Alta, which is about
as far north as you can go on mainland Europe.
The main attraction of Alta in winter is the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights. They can't be relied on 100% to put in an appearance, but there are plenty of things to do in Alta if they don't show, so it's not too much
of a disappointment if they fail to appear. And even if they do, you'll still need something to do during the day.
Read about Ice Igloo Hotel and More in Alta Norway
by Patrice Raplee. In a small, southeastern Swedish town with narrow cobblestone lanes, colorful hollyhocks and charming, half-timbered stone houses, crime lurks in this
quaint hamlet. In fact, a murderer lives on Harmony Street and explosions rock the village square! Why on earth would anybody want to visit this town?
Perhaps charm is deceiving. Or, is it reality mixed with one of the most popular crime fiction dramas on the globe in Sweden
by Patrice Raplee. Gothenburg Sweden offers spectacular gardens, museums, art, history, culture, festivals, canal tours, amusement park, cuisine and walkable downtown
Africa (and Egypt)
It is said that Alexander Alexander the Great had a dream in which he recalled the lines from Homer's Iliad of 'an island, Pharos, by the surging sea.' Alexander had come to Egypt to drive out the Persians and to him, this
dream was an omen.
Read more about Alexander's Famous City and the Library at Alexandria
Beside the highest point in Southern Africa the two shepherds come to meet us. They're dressed in underwear, gumboots, balaclava, and a woollen blanket, the latter occasionally swaying open in the strong wind. Despite
weather beaten faces and stoic walking sticks I'd be surprised if they weren't still teenagers. These two shepherds never went to school and get paid one sheep for every month spent away from home guarding animals.
I'm the uneducated one, because I can't glance at speckles of white on the green mountainside and immediately calculate there are 280 sheep. And despite being ten years their senior, they are men and I am still a boy.
Read Stephen Bailey's Observations of Life and Culture in Lesotho
by Lesley Stones. In a split second, everything you have been taught about human history flies out of the window.
Those melodramatic words are the introduction to an ancient and mysterious world scattered across the seemingly ordinary hills of South Africa. This green
and pleasant land, tour leader Michael Tellinger tells us, is the birthplace of the human race. The site where aliens landed 300,000 years ago and cloned
themselves to create mankind. Others disagree.
Read about Aliens? Humans? The Stone Circle Mystery in South Africa
by Julian Worker. No matter how many times I gazed at Table Mountain, rested on the Atlantic beaches, or savoured the food at one of the many restaurants
at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, I could never really escape the history of Cape Town.
Robben Island, the Slave Lodge on Wale Street, and the Bo
Kaap district all lead you back to a dark past. There's a reason for everything here and this
intriguing past makes Cape Town a must-visit city
My mother has refused to fly for decades. It's something to do with a perforated eardrum that would make her head explode on take-off.
I rue that medical (or mental?) abnormality whenever I drive into the bush in my adopted home in Africa. I wish she could see countless wildebeest
making their spectacular migration. The skittering springbok that comically prance away if something spooks them. She'll never see a glorious sunset over
wide-open plains of gold and tan. Or admire that extraordinary thing the moon does when it rises as big and as red as the sun that just went down.
Go along and experience Africa's bush and National Parks
by Neala Schwartzberg. The stately Nile flows through Egypt
as it has for centuries upon centuries. Life along its banks and in the mud-brick
houses seems to have changed little. As I visit the temples that dot the land along the
river a sense of temporal dislocation happens again and again.
by Neala Schwartzberg. The call to prayer floats over the city. The eternal sounds, the ancient melody is both beautiful and calming. It competes with the more mundane
sounds of traffic, and forms a counterpoint to the driving base of horns and treble of screeches.
by Keith Kellett. I'd never been to Tozeur before; indeed, I'd never been to Tunisia before. But, as we approached, it looked somehow familiar.
‘Did you see the original ‘Star Wars' film? asked the guide. ‘They used Tozeur to represent the spaceport at Mos Eisley.' But on the safari, there was a lot more to discover.
Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Iran and the Middle East (See Africa for Egypt)
Terrorists, extremists, and mental: Iran only seems to be in the news when something absurd happens, like dishing out death sentences for trivial crimes or a president suggesting Europe steals the rain.
The stereotypes had been embedded to the point that while I was in Iran I deleted the James Bond collection off my laptop and memorised the GPS coordinates of the British Embassy. If interrogated my plan was to list my
favourite dishes from a Persian restaurant and claim my journalism extended only to food. It wouldn't have worked. In this vast and diverse country there are almost no restaurants.
Read about Exploring Iran Through its Food
by Inka Piegsa-Quischotte. Last week, I made my dream of visiting Oman a reality, but it wasn't until my friend Wendy and I went to reception of the fabulous Crowne Plaza Hotel in Muscat where we stayed to start
planning our trips when we got a real surprise: the #1 spot in the brochures offered dolphin watching off the coast of Muscat and an overnight tour to Sur via Wadi Shab to Ras Al Jinz in
the south east of the country to watch the rare nesting grounds of the Giant Green Turtles. Who would have thought?
Read about Two Don't Miss Tours in Oman: Turtles and Dolphins
by Troy Herrick. Many pilgrims visit the Galilee to renew their faith at the many Old and New Testament sites mentioned in the Bible. While Tiberias is certainly beautiful
in its own right, there is little of any Biblical significance within its city limits. Because of its central location however, Tiberias makes an
excellent base for daytrips into the countryside to sites like Megiddo, Sepphoris and Mount Tabor (where Jesus was transfigured).
Set at the crossroads of civilizations, this city has witnessed a number of battles involving Egyptians,
Canaanites, Israelites (Joshua 12:21), Assyrians and Babylonians in ancient times; and the French (under Napoleon), Ottoman Turks, British and Israelis
more recently. But at least one more battle remains to be fought because Megiddo is Armageddon – the site of the Biblical Apocalypse (Revelation 16:16). However,
visitors should note that Armageddon
is actually a corruption of the Hebrew word Har
(mountain) and the city name of Megiddo.
by Troy Herrick. For almost two thousand years, Christians have visited the Holy Land to connect with their faith and to walk in the footsteps of Jesus
pilgrims might be under the impression that the traditional sites associated with Jesus and his family are unique and firmly established but this is not so.
Nazareth has two churches commemorating the Annunciation. Jerusalem has two locations for Jesus' tomb. Kafr Kanna (Cana) has two churches celebrating the
miracle of transforming water to wine.
by Judith Fein. The hills around Safed are dotted with ancient tombs. To Jewish believers, these tombs of long-deceased tsaddikim, or holy men, are the
meeting place between the living and the dead. People make pilgrimages to the burial places to ask for blessings, favors, surcease from suffering.
by Keith Kellett. The problem with visiting places on a cruise is that you seldom get to stay anywhere long enough to really get to know it. This does, though,
sometimes have a reciprocal advantage; if you DON'T like a place, you won't be there long enough for it to be a big issue.
But, Oman was a country in which we could have stayed longer. I felt that almost before we docked at around breakfast time. We
entered the harbour at Muscat, the capital and chief port of the country, and rather rushed our breakfast, so we could hurry out on deck to see the
ship entering the harbour. And then... came the castles.
by Neala McCarten
For shopping, strolling, and unique artchitecture in Shanghai China
try Yu Gardens and the French Concession.
We were going to Chengdu to see the pandas, which is why most people go there. But if pandas are a lure of nature, just down the road is the Giant Buddha of Leshan,
the lure of gigantic sculptural achievement.
Read more about Pandas and Giant Buddha in China
by Teresa Bergen. For me the beauty of Macau was in the surprising details. This former Portuguese colony hanging off the edge of mainland China has a fascinating cultural
history -- a mix of Portuguese and Chinese, Catholic, Buddhist and Taoist. This manifests in mixed architecture, mixed cuisine and mixed people. You see it in the beautiful little shrines
on the sidewalks outside businesses, and in the blue and white Portuguese tile work on the walls of the old parts of town.
Read about Macau Beyond the Casinos
by Patrice Raplee. On a warm, fall afternoon, couples and families stroll along the quay, gazing at the enormous towering buildings across the Huangpu River in the Pudong
district. Teenagers are grinning into cameras, while toddlers lick sticky fingers from ice cream cones and aunties chat on stone steps; it is the perfect
day to relax and explore Shanghai, and China's famous Bund. Read more...
by Patrice Raplee. A small lotus pond, surround by fragrant flowers and sculpted trees, reflects the images of three elegantly dressed Chinese women chatting idly in an
ornate pavilion. The midday sun shines down on the women, as they wait for their family to join them for a serene Sunday walk around Suzhou's magnificent
Suzhou and Tongli
by Neala Schwartzberg. A guide to the major attractions, some great hotels, and suggestions about traveling around the city. Slideshow
by Neala Schwartzberg. His name was Dr. Feng Shan Ho, and he was the rescuer of thousands and thousands of Austrian Jews who fled the Nazis, finding a haven in Shanghai, China.
No movie has been made of his life, so few people even in China know of his good deeds. But both before and after the influx of Eastern European Jews in
China, there was a thriving community in the city. And the remnants are still there to explore.Slideshow.
Jewish history in Shanghai
by Patrice Raplee.
From serene and lovely West Lake to the markets of Qinghefang and the famous Dragon Well Tea and Lingyin Temple
, Hangzhou is one of the most popular destinations in China.
by Shivya Nath.
My first tryst with Spiti, Ladakh's lesser-known cousin, was an act of online serendipity; I stumbled upon Ecosphere, a social enterprise fighting climate
change in the Trans-Himalayan region of India, and impulsively decided to take a sabbatical from work to volunteer in this cold mountain desert of Spiti
by Shobha Sriram. Ever heard of hanging gardens of hot Chennai? Neither had I, despite living most of my life in the south Indian metropolis. But all that was to change when Meri again stepped into the city
this winter. Read about the Secrets of Chennai
Explore Munnar in Kerala, India for its tea plantations, beauty and colonial British history
by Lesley Stones. It must have been on the 10th day that I developed a craving for chips and cheesecake. Noodles for breakfast, lunch and dinner had been a novelty until
then, but my jaws were craving something to actually chew on. So I excused myself from a restaurant where the menu entices with noodles and frog, and
"noodles fried with miscellaneous", and let myself loose in Vietnam's Saigon
Luckily, though, there are plenty of places in the UK where a fun, yet educational, day out can be had by the whole family. If you are looking for something that will get their minds whirring while also keeping them
entertained, here are just a few of the UK's best educational days out..
Spending your vacation in the impressive city of Belfast is definitely worth it. And if you are a big fan of the popular television series, Game of Thrones
, you will be more interested to see its filming
locations. In fact, the Seven Kingdoms in the series were shot in different landscapes and castles found in Northern Ireland. You can actually tour these places
and have the chance to relive your favorite scenes.
There are over 1 billion motor vehicles currently clogging up the world's highways and byways, an estimated 34.5 million of which are currently kept within the 89,000 square miles of Great
Britain -- it's fair to say we can't really cope without our cars
It isn't hard to get out and discover the fantastic fauna and flora just outside your door. The UK has it all and provides a
diverse range of days out for those wanting to take a trip on the wild side. Read on to learn about 5 brilliant examples that embrace nature, both on land and in the sea
There are plenty of amazing things to do on your travels, but if you're looking for a truly unique and memorable time, here are five fantastic travel experiences to put on your bucket list
Holiday apartments are an increasing trend amongst visitors as they offer great savings and privacy. Here's five advantages.
If you're looking for a new destination in which to spend the festive period then the Republic of Croatia should be on your list of choices. Here are
10 reasons why this country is worth visiting over Christmas.
Without National Borders
"There's a chance peace will come in your life, please buy one..."
From: Peace Will Come (According to Plan) by Melanie