Go Abroad!

Juan’s foreign affairs, cont’d

Fresh from an April junket with his wife in the Bavarian Alps paid for by nonprofit foundations backed by German industrialists, House Democrat Juan Vargas embarked alone on another free foreign journey in May, thanks ...

France's Haute-Savoie: not the Riviera

Ditching the Mediterranean for a different beauty in the French Alps.

On a steep narrow country road 3,700 feet above sea level, my travel partner accelerated the engine, heading toward the sound of alpine bells. As herdsmen rallied the cows to graze on the undulating pastures ...

In search of Romeo and Juliet

The course of true history never did run smooth

Lamb’s Players fine production of West Side Story raises a question. The musical based Tony and Maria on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. But where did the Bard’s star-crossed lovers come from? And were they real? ...

Beijing: first impressions

Making sense of old and new in China's imperial capital.

I stood in Tiananmen Square (above) on a windswept, sunny morning, and gazed at the locals and tourists milling about under the watchful visage of Chairman Mao’s portrait. Having just arrived in China the previous ...

Craft beer's eastern front

More challenge for the corporate giants and all they symbolize.

Poland is the forerunner in the Eastern European craft brewing world. Serbia and Bulgaria are right behind.

What enters with difficulty goes not out easily

From "The Dove's Necklace" by Ibn Hazm

Some men there are whose love becomes true only after long converse, much contemplation, and extended familiarity. Such a one is likely to persist and to be steadfast in his affection, untouched by the passage ...

After the Wave: Sumatra, Indonesia

Experiencing Banda Aceh, among the areas hit hardest by the 2004 tsunami, and tropical Sabang.

While living in Asia I decided to travel a bit. My first stop was the island of Sumatra, Indonesia – devastated by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that killed over 230,000 people in 14 different ...

Grandma drove a tank while pregnant in 1948 Jerusalem

Israel was the first foreign country I visited, in 1980, four months after I was born. Although my Jewish-ish parents didn’t take my brother and me to temple, I went to the Holy Land six ...

Temple of Wes

Prada's precious new watering hole makes Milan the hip destination.

Dear Hipster: What would be the ultimate hipster vacation destination for this summer? — Deb, Golden Hill Well, until recently that might have stumped me enough to cop something lamely ironic, and overzealously punctuated, like, ...

Tour de Belgium: Sax and the saxophone

Music-themed explorations in Brussels, Dinant and beyond.

Last year, Belgium celebrated the 200th anniversary of the birth of the inventor of the saxophone, Adolphe Sax. His birthplace and important milestones occurred in the Wallonia (French-flavored) part of the country. It’s his inventions ...

The real Chiang Rai

Feeling like tourists in Thailand's north.

After easing through Phuket and bustling through Bangkok, the Northern mountainous jungle villages of Chiang Rai left the friendly smiles of the big cities behind. My first impression of Chiang Rai? Holy crap! Never before ...

Rhodes, Greece: island of the knights

History lives and breathes in this center of the ancient world.

Rhodes is probably best known as the island once home to the Colossus of Rhodes, a 98-foot-high statue of the Greek god Helios and one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Today, the ...

Mud and infidels: Djenné, Mali

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is something to behold – if you can make it here.

When the first rays of sunrise strike the great mosque at Djenné, many believers fall to their knees from its beauty. Djenné, Mali, is a fly speck on a map. Overlooked by most travelers, it's ...

Ağva's "Club Bar"

Finding a good tequila shot in Turkey: about as hard as you'd think.

My friend Saba and I decided to take a trip outside of Istanbul to Ağva, a vacation village in the mountains, by the Black Sea. Saba is a native Turk, but she majored in American ...

Adventures in Tawi-Tawi

The Smugglers' Bar and other traveler favorites.

Editor's note: The author visited Tawi Tawi in 2007. There are a few more accommodations there now, it looks like. A few years ago, ignoring the advice of our horrified Filipino friends, my wife and ...

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