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Fusing Old and New in CHINA

In China, historic landmarks alternate with a few spectacular new buildings by top Western architects, which mark a sharp break with the past. On one side is the Forbidden City and the gardens of Suzhou, with their still ponds and moon gates; on the other are towers that twist and swoop as though they were…

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Putting on the RAJ

The Rajasthani desert flat lands of the ancient Hindu Rajput warriors were once defended by imposing strategic forts that still loom from the surrounding plains where subsistence farming families toil in defiant bright saris and turbans. This vast region of contrasts stretches from Jaipur to Jodhpur to Udaipur (and beyond to Jaisalmer), a triangle (or…

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OMAN- Not a Thousand and One Nights

Lawrence of Arabia would be delighted if he flipped through this year’s travel magazines that all seem to point to the Arabian Peninsula’s politically neutral sultanate of Oman. It’s one of 2019’s hot destinations and Jane Adams has journeyed from its azure Arabian Sea coast through red desert sands to jagged mountain peaks. No camels…

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JAIPUR or Bust!

Review your bucket list. Does it include Jaipur, capital of Rajasthan? This is one list entry considered mandatory by Jane Adams, a recent delegate at the world’s largest writers’ festival held every year in the ‘Pink City’of the Rajputs. It was the sci-fi writer Stephen King who wrote, “Books are a uniquely portable magic.” The…

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Off the Beaten Track in SPAIN

Discover Spain’s northern provinces with Michael Webb.   I’ve explored Spain pretty thoroughly over the years, but it never fails to surprise me. The northern provinces, from the Basque Country to Galicia are far less traveled than Barcelona, the Mediterranean coast and Andalusia. Art lovers flock to the Bilbao Guggenheim and pilgrims still trudge the…

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Deep in the Heart of FRANCE

After over 50 years, Michael Webb revisits southwestern France. I have fond memories of my first trip to the Dordogne, a region of southwestern France that takes its name from one of the three rivers that flow through softly rolling farmland studded with medieval towns and villages. A college friend and I found a congenial…

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Car-Free Weekend in Santa Barbara

Go car-free and ride the rails to the Funk Zone for hip hotels, fabulous food and libations.   Get a taste of Santa Barbara from freshly baked breads and exquisite dinners, to sunset cruises and tiki bars. It’s easy to get around this cool, coastal town without a car — just walk, bike or take…

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TOKYO Translated

The world’s most populous metropolis that sprawls across 23 city wards, islands and other towns and villages, boasting 9.26 million citizens can seem daunting but only from the outside. Gently peel off its layers, and every day will deliver the unexpected, treasured moments and memories, from shochu shared with sumo wrestlers to retired military-uniformed soldiers…

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Sybaritic SRI LANKA

Michael Webb enjoys the more luxurious side of the cities of Sri Lanka.  My first visit to Sri Lanka, many years ago, was a frugal adventure, bumping around in crowded buses from one ancient site to another, exploring the historic city of Kandy, and staying in a vintage guest house in the hill country of…

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HOKKAIDO Haiku

Most travelers head to Hokkaido for the world’s best powder skiing, but Japan’s northernmost and volatile volcanic island beguiles in the tranquil summer ‘green season’ too. Home of the indigenous Ainu, Hokkaido boasts the longest prefectural coastline in Japan, a remarkable 4460 kilometers of cliffs, bays, curvaceous peninsulas, remote fishing villages and evocative waves and…

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Wandering with Wordsworth in England’s Lake District

Kristina Foster explores the Lake District discovering spectacular hiking trails and poetic history.   Nestled in the northwest corner of England lies the Lake District, 885 square miles boasting the longest bodies of water and the tallest mountains in the country. As the first ray of summer sunshine emerges from the clouds, locals escape to…

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SALENTO: Italy’s Cool Heel

Puglia in southern Italy is big on bucket lists – but it’s the sub-region Salento, the tip of Italy’s heel that is quietly strutting its charms. Jane Adams heads down to where the Adriatic meets the Ionian Sea. Waking to an Adriatic dawn atop the rocky corniche south of Tricase, the mirror calm sea glowing…

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ITALIAN Wine by Design

Jane Adams explores the modern architecture of Italy’s top wineries.   Italian design is legendary – in fashion, cars, bikes, furniture and household goods. Just think Armani, Fendi, Ferragamo; Ferrari, Maserati, Pinarello, Alessi, Ilve and Bormioli. These brands spring easily to mind, as do food and drink market leaders like Aperol, Barilla and Lavazza. Italians…

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Goat Yoga and Glamping on a Peach Farm in ARIZONA

Liz Laing explores local farms throughout Mesa and Queen Creek, staying in a decked out 1969 Airstream, and marveling at Sonoran Desert sunsets. The Cozy Peach at Schnepf Farms (Queen Creek, AZ) Have you ever wanted to spend the night in a 1969 airstream? Now’s your chance… Schnepf Farms recently opened The Cozy Peach, a unique glamping…

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Exploring the BALTIC STATES

Michael Webb takes a 12 day tour of the Baltic States.   Having explored most of Europe, I left the three Baltic States–Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania–till last, hoping they would offer as authentic a taste of the pre-war era as Romania. I arrived too late–the three glorious capitals have been swamped by mass tourism and…

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Driving around POLAND

Michael Webb embarks on a 10 day road trip around Poland. Resilience is the greatest asset of the Poles, who retained their pride and sense of nationhood during two centuries of foreign occupation. Twenty years of independence between the world wars were succeeded by the brutal onslaught of the Nazis and the Red Army, devastation…

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Singapore’s Best Architecture and Food

Michael Webb visits Singapore to explore its culture, food and architecture.  In its fifty plus years of independence, the city-state of Singapore has transformed itself into an Asian version of Switzerland: prosperous, clean, and meticulously organized. But the vibrant street life of its multi-cultural enclaves–Chinese, Islamic and Indian–still flourishes amid the gleaming towers. Taxis and Uber…

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A Family Friendly Road Trip through France

Kristina Foster embarks with her family on a voyage through France from the capital to the coastal south.   I wasn’t sure what to expect on a fortnight long, winter road trip with the kids. Cooped up childhood memories of backseat battles with stinky brothers, side of the road toilet stops and barf bags came flooding…

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PARIS IN WINTER

Michael Webb explores the City of Lights in winter, finding a new love and appreciation for its abundance of museums.  For lovers, Paris is heaven year round; in winter it’s equally compelling for lovers of museums. The chilly gray days make the boulevards and outdoor cafés less enticing, and prompt you to explore treasures you…

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MYANMAR: On the River from Mandalay

‘Can’t you ‘ear their paddles chunkin’ from Rangoon to Mandalay? On the road to Mandalay, Where the flyin’-fishes play, An’ the dawn comes up like thunder outer China ‘crost the Bay! -RUDYARD KIPLING Any list of the world’s great rivers includes the mighty Irrawaddy (aka Ayeyarwady), the backbone and lifeline of the embracing troubled land…

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