Posts with the category ‘Travel by Land’


Time to Forgive, Congratulations to the Chicago Cubs

November 3, 2016

To understand why I’ve rooted against Chicago’s Cubs for the past three decades, you have to know that once upon a time, the Cubs had me arrested.  And not just me, but Richard Isaac (aka Ike) my dear friend and camera man at WGN-TV. I worked as a city hall reporter in Chicago from 1983 to 1988 during the wild days when Harold Washington was the city’s first black mayor. Baseball? Nope, it was the city council that played hardball back then. Anyway, one day when the Cubs were not enjoying a particularly long run of losses, my bosses at Channel 9 sent Ike and me to… Read More…


Iceland Bared, Three Ways to See What It’s Made Of

October 22, 2016

“If you get lost in the forest in Iceland, just stand up,” or so the joke goes. Iceland has many natural wonders, but forests are not among them. You are much more likely to get lost among the volcanic rocks which pile atop each other over vast distances. Covered by snow in winter, lichen in fall and awash in purple Lupina in the summer, the bones of the face of Iceland have a seasonal sameness. I’ve visited Iceland five times in as many years, including a visit in July for this story for The New York Times. But after a conference here this week, I took two days and… Read More…


Prostitute and Papacy Entwined in Lake Constance History

July 6, 2016

She is thirty feet high and weighs 36 thousand pounds and every inch of her voluptuous and barely-concealed anatomy is alluring – except perhaps for the two naked and wizened old men who sit in the palms of each of her upraised hands, one a pope the other an emperor. The statute of the courtesan Imperia by German artist Peter Lenk is not just the most “photographed attraction” in the lakeside resort town of Constance (Konstanz in German) in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, it is the only public sculpture to so conspicuously memorialize a prostitute. Revolving at a rate of once every three minutes to display… Read More…


A Day at the Beach, a Pinch at Dinner on Hong Kong’s Lamma Island

May 29, 2016

On a steamy but sunny Sunday in Hong Kong, I packed a swimsuit, an umbrella (to ward off rain) and a hotel hand towel, in the thoughtfully-provided nylon carry bag left in my room at the East Hotel and headed for the ferry to spend a day on Lamma Island. This is not just a place to go swimming, it is a hilly walk through fecund forests where every break in the trees yields another spectacular view of small, colorful structures tumbling down the hills and flag-bearing fishing boats bobbing on the water. Just twenty minutes across the water from super-bustling Hong Kong, it is the antithesis of Asia urban, a… Read More…


My Terrible/Wonderful Typically Australian Day

April 23, 2016

No irregular rider goes out on a horse without expecting sore muscles the next day. The price seems well worth it, however, because there’s nothing to compare with the get-back-to-nature nature of horseback riding and doubly so when the destination is Victoria’s St. Andrews Beach, a wild stretch of dunes and energetic surf on the Mornington Peninsula. Early one recent morning, I saddled up for a ride with a group and guide at Gunnamatta Trail Rides. We were given a safety briefing and helmets and then I was assisted into the saddle of a tranquil horse named Banjo. With me atop, he obediently he took his place in a line of horses… Read More…


A Train Called the Lunatic Express

March 31, 2016

When I remember Kenya, I will think of trains. Not because I saw so many of them on my recent visit and not because I traveled in one. But the Kenya the world knows today would not exist except for a rail line that, during its design and construction, was considered such a bad idea it was dubbed the Lunatic Line. Maybe it was crazy and maybe it was not. There are arguments on either side. All of which you can explore at Nairobi’s Railway Museum. I was lucky enough to have an interview with the museum curator, Elias Randiga, an excellent storyteller who kept me spellbound as… Read More…


New Mexico Mountain Gives Bunny Hill Skiers a View

March 1, 2016

“Don’t look down. Look up and enjoy the view,” Seth Hardy said – not just once but all day long. The ski instructor and former junior Olympian was working hard in an effort to get his student off the baby slopes and onto Rocky Mountain trails ten thousand feet in the sky. Seth worked with me for two days this February at the Red River Ski Area near Taos, New Mexico and his wise words were easier for me to hear than to heed. Avoiding looking down at the slippery slope below my skis seemed too scary. I am a fun-lover but not a thrill-seeker. The big… Read More…


Outta My Comfort Zone and Into the Ice in Finland

January 21, 2016

In Miami, where I grew up, swimming in the ocean was akin to stepping into the tub; no discernable difference in temperature between the water and the air and that’s just how I like it. So no one was more surprised then I to be bounding across the snow in Helsinki wearing nothing more than a swimsuit and a towel and headed to a hole in the ice on the Gulf of Finland. And yes, I was planning to swim. To understand what lunacy prompted me do do such a thing, I need to wind back the story a few hours. The plan was to take a hike, what tour… Read More…


Rolling Down the River; World’s Best Waterfront Bike Rides

December 24, 2015

Somewhere between the too-slow pace of walking and the everything-passes-by-in-a-blur of driving, I think riding a bike is just right. Some places are more conducive to bicycles than others, Beijing and Hanoi are for the suicidal pedaler, too much traffic, not enough respect for the two-wheeler. Seoul and Santa Monica, on the other hand are two of many cities where in a manageable distance one can go from city center to scenic waterside trail.  An additional plus in Seoul is free daily bike rentals for visitors.  That’s right, I don’t know how long it will last but the rental is absolutely free with helmets and locks included. How hospitable… Read More…


Travel Products that are “All About that ‘Case”

November 28, 2015

Pop singer Meghan Trainor’s momma may have told her “not to worry about your size” as she sings in her adorable hit, All About That Bass, but when it comes to your travel suitcase, size and weight definitely do matter. Airline bag fees and tougher security at transportation hubs are the two most obvious reasons to pack light. But there are other incentives. To experience a destination like a local means getting out of the cab and onto the bus, bike or sidewalk and who wants to haul a heavy bag up the steps of the subway or down the cobblestone streets? So if you wanna… Read More…


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