Summer outing to Rüdesheim am Rhein, Germany

Rüdesheim am Rhein

The Rhine makes a sharp, scenic curve at Rüdesheim am Rhein, which is also a delightful place to stop on any trip through Germany’s Rheingau winegrowing region. When we visited last summer, Tom and I were surprised at the diversity of attractions on offer in this crook of the Rhine. From next weekend’s Rhine in Flames celebration until harvest festivals and beyond, there is always something happening on the tourism calendar in Rüdesheim. Continue reading

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The best tascas and tabernas in Porto, Portugal?

tiled rooftops of PortoDo you seek out good food when you travel? Appreciate local traditions? The tiled rooftops of Porto conceal extraordinary food experiences in the many tascas and tabernas scattered along the steeply-pitched alleyways below. Tom and I are always on a quest for local flavors and good eats–and we found both in family-style meals with locals in Porto. Continue reading

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Old Timer Cars in Baden-Baden

Baden-BadenSeveral times in my years in Europe, I have seen road rallies featuring old cars, beautifully restored and maintained. I enjoy seeing sturdy piston engines tucked inside sleek, or at least colorful, bodies built for another era. And of course, it’s always a pleasure to see American cars in the lineup dating back to my own youth and beyond. On a recent stay in Baden-Baden, I had another chance for just this sort of thing. It was an unexpected American Nostalgia trip. Continue reading

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Frankfurt, Germany: a #NoFilter glimpse

Frankfurt’s Holbeinsteg pedestrian bridgeFrankfurt, Germany, mostly destroyed in World War II, has been rebuilt with vigor and imagination, and is now a thriving center of commerce and creativity. While a number of historic buildings were rebuilt in their original style, postmodern architecture has played a central role in creating the Frankfurt we see today. I especially like the simplicity of style of the Hobeinsteg pedestrian bridge, with its clean and uncluttered appearance. Continue reading

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Nepal still needs your help

Bodnath Stupa, Kathmandu, Nepal

Late one afternoon last December, on a break from a photography assignment in Kathmandu, Nepal, I returned to my guesthouse for a rest. After changing lenses and charging camera batteries, I lay down to relax in my fourth-floor room. Lying there with my eyes closed, I felt the bed begin to sway from side to side. “What’s going on? I thought. “Is this an Earthquake?” Continue reading

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Lessons from a Catalan kitchen

cooking in Barcelona

“We are chefs, not magicians!” Chef Alvaro told as we toured Barcelona’s Santa Caterina market, collecting ingredients for our cooking lesson. Basque-born and -trained, Catalonian by marriage, Alvaro Brun is a food enthusiast to the core. He is also an ambassador for the fundamentals of good cooking. Before we even tied on our aprons, we were reminded to choose fresh ingredients, choose the proper ingredients for the dish at hand, and above all choose ingredients sure to deliver authentic flavors. Continue reading

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Flying with Àngel: ballooning over Catalonia

Flying high with GlobusKonTikiAs our flight topped out at about 2150 meters (7055 feet), Àngel pointed toward the southeast and said “You can almost see the coastline.” It was hazy in the distance but nearer, within a 10-mile radius, the landscape was studded with villages. Roads wound through fields of terraced farm land, bright green on a May morning. I have always wanted to float on air currents like an eagle, and in Catalonia I had the chance to do just that. Continue reading

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Blanes, gateway to Catalonia’s “Wild Coast”

La Sardana Catalonia’s national danceThe scent of pine spirals toward me and sand crunches underfoot. An intermittent sun splashes light, then retreats, leaving shadows of palm trees across the path. Bees strum the rosy petals of a family-sized bush lounging fragrantly nearby. The way dips, then curves upward and becomes a staircase as the Mediterranean comes into view. The sea air is fresh and the breeze becomes a bluster as I near the promontory. The stunning Marimurtra Botanic Garden at Blanes has given me my southernmost opportunity for a true sense of Catalonia’s “Wild Coast”. Continue reading

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Prime time for food travel

PortugalCultural tourism is booming, and travelers are increasingly seeking out the culinary experiences so important to authentic cultural exploration. Last week, Tom and I traveled to Estoril, Portugal to learn more about food travel as a part of a destination’s branding and services, and what this might mean for us as a writer-photographer team forever “traveling on our stomachs.” Continue reading

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In search of Portuguese flavors

Alentejo

When Tom and I traveled in Portugal last year, we gloried in its varied landscapes, magnificent sunsets, and vibrant history. We visited cities bedecked with art, old and new–much of it depicting culinary traditions, from salt production to baked goods, as well as seafaring traditions. In our quest for authentic Portuguese flavors, we thrilled to regional food specialties and wines from north to south and back again. Continue reading

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