Sofia subway

Sofia subway

Blue Lagoon bathing area

Blue Lagoon bathing area

Rainy Summer in Moscow, Russia

Rainy Summer in Moscow, Russia

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

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 ...

Luxe Stuttgart, Germany

Wineries, car museums and castles: the refined home of Mercedes and Porsche.

Stuttgart isn’t as frantically busy as many other cities in Europe and even in Germany can be, but it’s lively and thriving. With luxury auto manufacturing, palaces and wine, the city is a place to ...

Small-town Italy: a Tuscan welcome, Greve in Chianti

8th in a series. Derek Ray finds good wine and the simple life in Tuscany.

While visiting Florence, I took the opportunity to spend a few nights in a little town about 30 kilometers to the south called Greve in Chianti. The Chianti region, well known for its Chianti Classico ...

Slumming in Budapest's ruin pubs

Hip, one-of-a-kind nightlife in this Eastern European capital.

Hungary is unlike any other country in Europe, and the enchanting city of Budapest is a center of language, culture and history. Backpackers head to Budapest to party and to party on the cheap; most ...

Small-town Italy: Orvieto and Civita

7th article in a series on the country's lesser-visited charms.

For hundreds of years, Orvieto was a major stopping point along the road from Florence to Rome. It was so highly regarded through the centuries that it is only one of two cities outside of ...

Manly, studly Iceland

Travel tips and (phallic) observations of this Nordic isle.

Iceland – remote and north of most of the rest of Europe – was first settled just over 1,000 years ago by Norse Viking men who brought Celt women as sex slaves. This historic tidbit ...

Small-town Italy: Vernazza

Explore this highlight of northern Italy's Cinque Terre.

Life seems mellow and tranquil in the tiny, idyllic seaside town of Vernazza in Italy’s Cinque Terre. But the community suffered a traumatic experience in October 2011 when torrential rains led to a flash flood ...

Leipzig, Germany

A change of pace in this historic, music-rich urban center.

Leipzig, in what was East Germany, was one of Europe’s most important music centers. I knew Felix Mendelssohn Barthody and Johann Sebastian Bach lived here. As it turns out, Clara and Robert Schumann, Richard Wagner, ...

Small-town Italy: Montelupone

Hilltop jewel in the Marche region.

The Marche region of Italy is rarely included among travel itineraries to Italy. It’s also scarcely mentioned in most guidebooks – yet this may simply enhance its appeal among travelers who yearn to forge a ...

About the beer: Oktoberfest in Munich

An American's take on the world's biggest beer festival.

I took another swig of crisp, clean German lager as I spied the nascent Oktoberfest fairgrounds across the street. Only the steel frames and brewery names were up – the stark beginnings of the world’s ...

Meteora, Greece: The Old Master

A meeting with Father Pefkis.

In the mountainous interior of Greece near Meteora, gigantic granite outcroppings, most of them topped with Christian monasteries, point skyward like fingers tipped in prayer. They are a stone’s throw from the pass of Thermopylae, ...

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