Sofia's St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, one of the largest Eastern Orthodox cathedrals in the world.

Sofia's St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, one of the largest Eastern Orthodox cathedrals in the world.

Blue Lagoon from a distance

Blue Lagoon from a distance

Forrest of Zelenograd, Moscow, Russia. Photographed by Natasha Rockland. (2013)

Forrest of Zelenograd, Moscow, Russia. Photographed by Natasha Rockland. (2013)

Europe

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 ...

Essential Budapest

A guide to the Eastern European city's classic treasures.

Few people are aware that Budapest is actually two cities, Buda and Pest, situated along the banks of the Danube River. Most visitors stay in Pest – it's got more to offer in terms of ...

Brahms versus Schutz

The World Cup of Composers.

We’re going to go Bach versus Bach here in the second match of Germany’s World Cup of Composers: Johann Sebastian Bach (papa Bach) versus his son, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. CPE Bach was a classical ...

Wild, traditional Faroe Islands

This Nordic island chain spurs the visitor's imagination.

Most Americans probably don’t know where the Faroe Islands are. They’re a small island chain between Iceland and Scotland, speaking a language derived from Old Norse and Western Norwegian dialects. If anyone's heard of the ...

Mystical Glendalough, Ireland

An hour from Dublin, find ancient ruins, hiking trails and postcard beauty.

As I walked near the mist-shrouded lakes beyond the ruins of the Glendalough monastery, it was easy to imagine there were magical creatures just beyond my field of vision. A misty morning stroll past the ...

Georgia (the country)

Offbeat finds, budget prices, rich cuisine and culture, no tourists.

Google “Georgia,” and you are much more likely to get recipes for peach pie than to learn about the unique ex-Soviet republic where wine was invented and a special language and culture survived a thousand ...

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