Rila Monastery

Rila Monastery

Bathers at the Blue Lagoon

Bathers at the Blue Lagoon

In Moscow, an old Russian tradition finds new expression: the padlocked trees of Luzhkov Bridge.

In Moscow, an old Russian tradition finds new expression: the padlocked trees of Luzhkov Bridge.

Ukraine: what looks to be an ambulance van left over from World War II.

Ukraine: what looks to be an ambulance van left over from World War II.

Europe

Berlin in 7 Days or Less

I knew Berlin was a big city, but I never knew how big until I explored it on foot. I had seven days to see the major and not-so-major sites. Since the fall of its ...

Summer of Wagner

Bayreuth has been the big festival for decades.

July and August are Wagner months on account of the annual Bayreuth Festival in Bayreuth, Germany. The festival has been running since 1876, and has been impossible to attend for most of that time. However, ...

Marseille: stay for the soup

The city's trademark Provençal stew is reason to visit by itself.

Bouillabaisse [bu.ja.bɛːs]. For first timers, getting the correct pronunciation is hard. And it’s even harder to spell it. For first timers, it’s also easier to have a bowl of soup in Shanghai, Japan or even ...

The sky is falling in Italy

Productions are being canceled in the birthplace of opera.

The fourth largest opera house in Italy is shutting down its two largest productions of the season, according to a Newsweek report. The fourth-largest opera house in Italy is the Teatro Petruzzelli in Bari, Italy. ...

Buy Puccini's hideout

Purchase a tiny part of opera history in Italy.

The Guardian is reporting that Puccini’s hideout is up for sale. It’s going for about $535,000. The story goes that Puccini knocked up the very-married Elvira Bonturi and needed a place to hide from her ...

Kafka's Prague: surreal moments in Old Europe

Prague is a strikingly beautiful baroque city and the prime gateway for Americans into Eastern Europe. The city has intrigued me ever since I became enamored with Franz Kafka’s books as a teenager. An Old ...

Playing basketball on Mars

A new perspective on the classic City of Lights.

No visit to Paris is considered complete without a glimpse of the iconic Eiffel Tower. And if you want to truly capture the full romantic grandeur of the occasion, it's best to approach from the ...

Must-see Stockholm

Including design, drinking, ghosts and ABBA.

Though Stockholm has much in common with other Scandinavian cities, it has a look and cultural legacy all of its own. This harbor city gets both American tourists and lots of fresh seafood. Stockholm seems ...

Bamberg, Germany: the "beer city"

Nine breweries and a UNESCO designation make it a Bavarian must-stop.

The nearly four-hour train journey north from Munich whipped us past a landscape of farmland, old Bavarian villages and rolling hills. Our destination: the historic city of Bamberg. We booked a small room at the ...

A taste of Southern Italy: Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast

Sorrento is well positioned as the gateway to several locations of interest in southern Italy, including Pompeii, Capri, and the spectacular, meandering Amalfi Coast. But the town of 17,000 is also worth exploring in its ...

Helsinki, Finland

Finnish flavors, friendly folk.

Helsinki, Finland, is considered by many to be the “gateway to the East,” dividing Scandinavia from Eastern Europe. Indeed, it spent time as both as part of the Kingdom of Sweden and as part of ...

Walking the Camino, an intermission

Near the end of Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago — Lydia Smith’s finely observed documentary about travelers along Spain’s 500-mile pilgrim trail, the Camino de Santiago — one of the pilgrims makes a ...

Münich's surfers

Finding a Bavarian surf "break" miles from any ocean.

Sitting near the base of the Alps in southern Germany, Münich's nearest coastline would be where Venice slowly sinks into the Adriatic some 300 miles away. But while one might make the case a gondolier ...

Hidden Bruges: Bonifacius Bridge

Discovery in Belgium's Venice of the North.

Bruges can easily be called one of Belgium's greatest tourist traps. Loads of expensive restaurants, hundreds of surely overpriced hotels and many, many tourists. Thanks to a great guide, though, I experienced an idyllic moment ...

Saarbrücken, Germany

International history, international flavor.

Saarbrücken, the capital of the German state of Saarland that’s right on the French border, was part of an independent nation-state created after WWI. It changed political control back and forth: at times it was ...

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