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Globetrooper News: Around The World

Winter in Finland by Rail (Video)

Exploring places more these days via video. I didn’t expect that I would be doing a video of my rail journey in Finland, but the scenery was so nice and the train was simply one of  the best I have taken anywhere in the world. So I hope you enjoy one of my first video efforts that is fully edited, with music and everything. Thanks.

Exciting Hong Kong

Hong Kong is such an oddity. Now part of China, it still has a strong Western feel after being run for decades by the British. More interestingly is that China appears not to be quickly assimilating it to be more like mainland China. It is huge, robust, modern, exciting and fun. And you should check it out and see what you think for yourself.

Finland via Instagram

Finland has quickly become one of my favorite destinations… even in winter! I was stupefied at how much I loved it there in February. Now admittedly, I was lucky on the weather since it was just below freezing for my trip, but given a few extra layers of clothing, I could have handled it even colder than that. Hope you enjoy some of my photos from there!

The Surprise that is Uruguay

South America is one of my favorite continents (and I am headed back there in just a few short weeks). But while countries like Brazil, Argentina and Chile get most of the attention, the tiny country of Uruguay is one of my favorites down there. Part of the appeal is that it really is a slightly undiscovered location. So come check out some of the reasons to visit.

Special Roman Tours, Walking Style

I love Rome. It is one of those iconic tourist destinations that everyone should take an extended period of time to enjoy. Too many times, people just come in for a day or two, but to truly appreciate it, I think you need to spend 4-5 days walking around to see what this city of history has to offer. There are so many things to see in Rome that it deserves your time, your attention… and bring your camera and appetite.

Ireland for 2013 Anyone?

I have only been one time, but with TBEX coming up in Ireland in 2013, I am certain to be heading back there yet again. In fact, since I am going to base out of London for the near future, I think I am going to roll over to Ireland more than a few times in the next year. Great beer, good hotels, golf and more golf, amazing scenery, and the wonderful Irish hospitality to enjoy. What’s not to love? Take me to Ireland!

Costa Brava in Photos

There are few areas of the world that I love more than Costa Brava. Its the part of Spain north of Barcelona, all the way up to the French border. While the mountains in the region are spectacular, I particularly love the small fishing villages on the coast. They are some of the places that I just can sit and rest and relax in for day after day. Here are some of my photos from a recent trip.

Headed Back to Los Angeles Soon

And the question for me is what to do when I get there. My folks moved to just outside LA a few years back, so that is where I do my Christmas holidays these days. But I am not from there and don’t really have any friends there, so I asked around to my blogging friends to come up with a good list of things to do there (frankly, just to get away from my family a little bit, no offense). They can up with ten fun options.

Consider Namibia a Possible New Hot-Spot

There are few places in the world that I recommend more highly than Namibia. It has a lot more to see and do than you would think, especially because South Africa and Botswana get all the tourist attention in this area of the world. From great safaris to the unrivaled dunes of the desert, this is a location that deserves far more attention on the traveler’s agenda than it currently gets, for sure.

Over Shanghai

Zooming to Shanghai via high-speed train – 200 mph, yo! – we were buzzing from our hutong experience in BeijingContinue reading →

Happy in the Hutong

The smartest thing we did in Beijing was getting out of our posh hotel and moving into a traditional residential area. Sure, the fancy hotel had us about as close as we could be to the major tourist attractions, but it certainly didn’t give us an accurate feel for how the city pulses and moves.

Snap Judgement – 24 Hours in Beijing

Before landing in Beijing, China, we decided that – once on the ground – we’d pay close attention to our first impressions. Unfiltered first impressions.

Up for an African Safari Adventure

Its been way, way too long since I went to Africa. 2009 to be exact. I have promised myself that 2013 will be the year that I get back there and explore. There are so many reasons I can’t wait to get back there, but the animals are right up at the top of the list. They are the most unique creatures you will run into anywhere on the planet and well worth your time and money, just to see them. It is awe inspiring to be in their presence.

Cabo Polonio, Uruguay

Want a place where you can literally get away from it all? Here is the spot for you, because this little beach village has no electricity. It was one of my favorite little spots I discovered on my RTW trip and I spend about four glorious days there, totally off the grid. Literally.

Angkor Wat Photo Essay

Angkor is one of the best places to take photos anywhere in the world. It is literally almost impossible to take a bad photo there and here are some of the best ones I took during two trips that I had there this last fall. It is one of my favorite places in the world.

New 7 Wonders Scam

The New 7 Wonders of the World is one of the biggest scam operations going on in travel today. This post is the result of me pulling every bit of information I could find out about it anywhere on the web. Suffice to say that it is must reading.

Travel and Social Conscience as it Relates to Egypt Today

Whether one should travel to a country or not, based on what is going on internally there, is one of the thorny questions for every traveler. Right now, Egypt is in the midst of some internal turmoil (though we all hope it ends soon) and in this post, I address my feelings on current travel there.

Good Jordanian Wine?? Yes… It Does Exist

One of the things that surprised me when I traveled in the Middle East earlier this year was that there are some really good wines made in that part of the world. Both Lebanon and Israel have a series of good wineries, but I was most pleasantly surprised by the Zumot Winery in Jordan. There were some wines here that would retail for $60-100, if the label said Napa Valley.

Monte Carlo Train Station in Photos

I was lucky enough to get to the Monte Carlo train station while it was almost empty one afternoon this summer, so I had a chance to take some longer exposure shots and turn them into HDR photos. I hope you enjoy them, as it is one of the prettier stations I went to on the Ultimate Train Challenge.

Museum of Broken Relationships

In Zagreb, Croatia I randomly walked into the Museum of Broken Relationships thinking that it would make the subject of a funny post lightly making light of the subject matter. An hour later I walked out thinking it was perhaps the best museum I have ever been to. It was breathtaking in its emotional connection to me.

The Damascus Souk in Photos

The Damascus Souk is simply my favorite market in the world. It is huge. Simply huge. And the variety of products you can see and buy there is immense. Here are just a few of my hundreds of photographs I took on my last trip there, before things blew up in  Syria.

Running of the Donkeys?? Why yes, indeed.

After going to the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, I thought my close encounters with animal races were over, but no. The Running of the Donkeys happens at the end of a lovely three day festival in the small down of Sali on an island off the Croatian Coast. As you can tell from the pictures, it is a blast.

Innsbruck Impressions

I recently attended a travel blogger conference in Innsbruck in the Austrian Alps. A full and interesting program, lots of inspiration and great fun to meet up with fellow bloggers and writers. Hats off to Oliver and Travel Bloggers Unite (TBU) for a well-organised event.

Qala’at al-Bahrain

It’s early evening in the village surrounding Qala’at al-Bahrain. The creatively decorated houses remind me of pictures in fairy-tales, especially through the filter of the setting sun. Five horsemen appear out of the dusk in front of the silhouette of a large 16th century Portuguese fort. This is home to Iranians, says Aziz, my guide for the evening. This is a shia village.

St Moritz Autumn

Good things to do in St Moritz in autumn:
1) Stroll around gorgeous St Moritz Lake.
2) At Hotel Waldhaus am See, imagine people having a picnic by the lake, chatting, resting, bathing – 100 years ago.
3) Try the yummy local nut cake, Nusstorte.
4) Take the cable car to Corviglia and on to Piz Nair. Walk back down and look out for cute marmots along the mountainside.

Deciphering hieroglyphs with the Rosetta Stone

The British Museum is one of my faves. The question remains, though – should many of its artefacts be returned to its country of origin? The magnificent Rosetta Stone probably belongs, if not in Rosetta, at least in Egypt. I think it would be fantastic in the new library in Alexandria.

Discovered 212 years ago in the present-day town of el-Rashid (near Alexandria) by Napoleon’s soldiers, the black granite stone was surrendered to Britain after his defeat. When French scholar Jean-Francois Champollion translated the text, he solved one of the world’s great mysteries: how to read the hieroglyphs of the ancient Egyptians.

Books and Ghosts in Norway’s Fjordland

On the Fjærland Fjord, Mundal Hotel is celebrating its 120th anniversary this year. This family-owned hotel has creaking stairs, a great turret bed room, a library, a billiards room, a music room, deep leather chairs by the fireplace – and books; not just in the library but everywhere. Wherever you go in Fjærland, you’ll find books; indoors and outdoors, along the streets, in barns and in boat sheds. Four kilometres of second-hand and antiquarian books are for sale, mostly on a trust system: take the book you fancy and put money in the tin.

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