Articles

Iceland’s Golden Circle

It’s just after midnight, June 21, 2016, and I’m standing on the street outside the Reykjavik pub from which I have just emerged.  The sky above is clear and bright.  Perhaps not as bright as when I went into the pub three hours ago but, then again, neither am I.

In the last 24 hours, I rafted (and swam) a glacial river, photographed a massive waterfall from dozens of angles, explored a terrain pitted with …

7 Ways to Save on Airfares

There’s nothing like boarding a plane, sitting back in the seat and enjoying a movie, reading or some sleep before landing at your holiday destination. But with the cost of airfares on a steady increase it’s becoming harder to find the right price for that desired destination. Airfares change throughout the week and even during the day, so, how do you know when is the best time to get more bang for your buck? Well, …

Fighting Ethnocentrism by Going to Europe: Travel as a Political Act with Rick Steves

The name Rick Steves has become synonymous with savvy, frugal, no-nonsense travel. He’s established a veritable European travel empire, including dozens of guidebooks, tours, apps, travel products and even the beloved PBS series, complete with its own theme song. But in the case of Rick Steves, “empire” isn’t really the right word, not with his emphasis on meaningful cultural exchange and the publication of his award-winning manifesto, Travel as a Political Act. In a …

Eating London’s Soho

Whilst eating my way around the square mile of Soho I got to meet some of its food heroes – the people who create the greatest food in the capital. Like a gin-infused meat pie at The London Gin Club, La Bodega Negra’s modern-day twist on tacos, the Spanish ham at Enrique Tomas, Basque Country ‘aperitifs’ at Pix Bar, Dim Sum tea pairing at Opium – and the ultimate in Italian hot chocolate at Said.…

A visit to the Keukenhof Gardens

The narrow window for visiting the Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse (in the province of South Holland in the Netherlands) is limited to eight weeks a year—between March and May. So flower-lovers, gardeners and photographers from all over the world convene at the Gardens at that time, coinciding with the season when the flowers are in full bloom.

Riverboats plan “Tulip Cruise” itineraries during this period. And if you are lucky enough to be on one …

Following the Sound of Music in Austria

It’s been over 50 years since The Sound of Music was released (1965). Everyone remembers Julie Andrews singing “The Hills Are Alive,” but not many know the Alps behind her are. They are in Austria, along with the rest of locations used for the movie. It was the home for the real von Trapp Family and it’s possible to relive one of the world’s favorite family films during a tour in that European country.

Watch

Go Glasgow – one of Europe’s most exciting and stylish cities

Glasgow is renowned for its style and friendly locals. It’s well rounded with a blend of internationally-acclaimed museums and galleries, stunning architecture, vibrant nightlife, fantastic shopping and a buzzy array of restaurants and bars. The city centre’s architecture is an attraction in itself with countless impressive Victorian structures, including Charles Rennie Mackintosh masterpieces – one of the city’s most celebrated architectural sons.

The city is going through a long-term transformation, combining urban mayhem with black …

Colintraive: A true Scottish Experience

Colintraive is a quiet coastal village on Scotland’s west shoreline; the nearest town being Dunoon is some twenty minutes away. At one time cattle would swim across the narrowest point from the Isle of Bute, on their way to the markets of lowland Scotland. It’s barely more than a couple of hundred yards across but now a Cal Mac ferry departs from Rhubodach on Bute, providing a back door to the mainland.

Nothing much happens …

Belgium: Flanders Battlefields

Wanting to explore Flanders’ WW1 poppy fields and old battlegrounds? I tapped in the GPS coordinates for Dover – just a stone throw from London only 82 miles away. In Dover I took a ferry which deposited me across the English Channel in France’s Calais 90 minutes later. I planned to explore the territories where The Great War had been fought and to see the appalling conditions in which the soldiers lived and the immaculate …

Mainlining on Madrid

It’s difficult to keep your mouth closed in Madrid.

Every corner reveals a building more jaw-droppingly gorgeous than the last. You admire one ridiculously ornate building in front, then turn to see an even more over-the-top edifice behind.
Madrid is one of the most architecturally stunning cities in the world, although it’s not the grandeur of its buildings that intoxicates. It’s the vibe on its streets as they bubble with exuberant life, making the Spanish …

Speaking for your Supper

My new walking companion Maria sniffed apologetically and told me she was suffering from bad constipation.

I was a little perturbed. I know the Spaniards are outgoing and flamboyant, but I hadn’t expected her to share this much information. Then she sniffed again and told me the constipation was also making her sneeze. Ahh, she has a cold, I realized, and this is one of those linguistic twists where a word in one language has …

Elegance in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is the greatest small city in the world. It overflows with character, 17th century merchant houses and distinctive canals who themselves are listed as a World Heritage.

It’s impossible to escape the city’s history, like that of the quietly elegant De L’Europe, built in the 1800s on the banks of the Amstel River in the heart of Amsterdam’s canal area. Owned by Heineken International, who recently gave it a $83-million facelift, De L’Europe is …

Touring Haydn’s Graceland in Austria

Tourists planning to visit Vienna might want to consider renting a car and taking a day trip to Eisenstadt. This town located in Austria’s Burgenland province, the easternmost region of Austria, is situated about 40 kilometers ( 25 miles) from Vienna. Here one finds the home of classical composer Joseph Haydn who lived in this town for over 40 years in his capacity as Prince Esterhazy’s Kapellmeister (music director). While this destination is not as …

Organic Wine Tours in Penedès, Spain

Almost everyone agrees: some very tasty wine comes from Spain. As a Barcelona resident with “localvore” tendencies, I mostly buy bottles from nearby Emporda, Priorat and Penedès. Of the three, Penedès is the most established and also closest to the city, making it an effortless option for a wine-tasting day-trip.

When locals think Penedès, they think “cava.” Cava, if you haven’t been lucky enough to sip it yet, is like champagne but from Catalonia. It’s …