Best Trip Choices2020-05-22T19:29:59-04:00



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  • Best Trip Choices - Northern Ireland

    Northern Ireland

    Did you know ... ? St. Patrick died in Northern Ireland on March 17, in the year 461. Amelia Earhart ended her historic solo Atlantic flight, in 1932, near Londonderry.


2702, 2020

France: Strasbourg at Christmas

This past December (2019), I arrived in Strasbourg, France, almost exactly 20 years after my first and only other visit. There have been changes — new construction and the like — but the historic center is reassuringly much the same. Indeed, I can offer a

1502, 2020

Thailand: A glimpse of Phuket Old Town

I got my first look at Thailand’s Phuket (the town) in late 2019 and regret that I did not have additional time there to absorb more about the local history, customs and architecture. The visit was a tease, which is why this blog will be

2111, 2019

Michigan: Of trees and horses

I had anticipated that Mackinac Island would be the centerpiece during a recent and very short driving tour in Michigan. But, the island had to share the honors with an attraction I had not anticipated. I planned this trip with two friends, and we agreed

311, 2019

Brazil: Beyond burning forests

I visited Brazil’s best-known city, Rio de Janeiro, a couple of times in the 1970s and, finally, this fall (2019) had the chance to revisit. The run-up to this visit was not especially auspicious. Earth’s lungs — the Amazonian forests — were (and are) aflame.

2707, 2019

England: Of forests and Cornish ales

Cornwall, in far southwest England, is home to the world’s largest indoor rain forest — and I had a chance to see it in late 2018. I was traveling with a number of American travel agents, all of us hosted by VisitBritain and a tour

1405, 2019

Abu Dhabi: Taxi in the desert

I learned a new principle of travel this year. When taking a taxi into the desert, be sure the driver knows where he is going. Sounds obvious. In fact, on the trip I am about to describe, I did think the driver either knew the

1703, 2019

Europe: Fortified homes

I’ve just written a couple of posts about Italy’s medieval tower houses because I found them fascinating — and a kind of unifying theme for some sightseeing while in Italy last year. However, considering mankind’s penchant for war or for simple thuggery, I guess it’s

603, 2019

Italy: Beyond the towers of San Gimignano

San Gimignano, in Italy’s Tuscany, is well known for its medieval tower houses, structures built for defense — and built to show off wealth and power. However, plenty of other towns and cities, in Italy and beyond, once had or still have tower houses, or

403, 2019

Italy’s ‘Manhattan of the Middle Ages’

San Gimignano is best known on the tourist circuit for its medieval tower houses. As a result, the town is sometimes called the “Manhattan of the Middle Ages.” However, in, say, the 13th century, the town wouldn’t have been so exceptional — the wealthy, or

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