Archaeological Sites: The Bucket List

Prehistoric Pile Dwellings Museum, Unteruhldingen, Germany (Photo credit: Amy S Eckert, c 2013)

Discovering Prehistoric German Dwellings, UNESCO World Heritage Site

Alpine chalets. Half-timbered wood-and-stucco houses. Long house-and-barn combos brimming with flower boxes. I had seen hundreds of these houses in southern Germany and Switzerland, in the Alpine landscape surrounding Lake Constance. Houses Read More

Roman Baths

Walking With the Ancients at the Roman Baths, Bath, England

“It isn’t fair,” says the elderly Roman rather tipsily. “We aren’t invaders. Who on earth comes wanting to fight?” He swigs from his stone bottle and offers it, a little unsteadily, to the camera-laden tourist sitting beside him on the stone Read More

Stones at Avebury

Uncovering the Mystery of Avebury’s Stones

A group of people, standing in pairs at the centre of the stone circle, perform a solemn ritual with exaggerated hand movements and stamping on scraps of paper. Perhaps an obscure Wiccan ceremony, or just a bonding exercise. Such sights are Read More

Coba Cover Photo

Climbing Mexico’s Tallest Mayan Pyramid at Coba

Chichen Itza may be the most famous ancient Mayan city in the Yucatan Pennisula. It may have garnered all the big titles, like New World Wonder, but that doesn’t change the fact that the older Mayan site of Coba, the region’s capital before Chichen Read More

Chac Mool Waiting for the Sun

Calling Quetzals at Chichen Itza in Mexico

We are standing at the foot at El Castillo, near the bottom of the staircase famous for producing a snake-like shadow on the equinox, and taking turns clapping, looking satisfied at one another, and inviting the next person to take a turn. Through Read More

'Roman Legionaries', Housesteads Fort

Following the Roman Legions Along Hadrian’s Wall

As I left the car park at the side of Cawfields Quarry, I was glad of the breeze, for the day promised to be hot. I followed the footpath along the pond’s edge, past the tall quarry face and gently uphill to the walls of Milecastle 42. The section of Read More

View of Machu Picchu from Mountain Machu Picchu (©photocoen)

Climbing the Machu Picchu Mountain in Peru

As Peru was going to be the next country on my itinerary in South America, I read the Buckettripper account of my colleague Grace Lichtenstein about climbing the Huayna Picchu, one of the mountains at the famous Machu Picchu ruins, with specific Read More

Tree roots grow over a temple in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Exploring the Angkor Archaeological Park in Cambodia by Bicycle

I'm covered in sweat. Sweat is pouring down my back under my t-shirt, and my hair is soaked. I don't mind the sweat, because I'm looking at my favorite temple in the Angkor Archaeological Park so far: Ta Phrom. Unfortunately there are about a million Read More

The Great Clash of Nature-001

Sleeping like Monks in the Caves of Goreme in Cappadocia

As an independent traveler, it happens every so often: You find yourself walking beside a road in the middle of the desert, cars whizzing by you with little regard, no more than a bottle of water and a book in your bag. It was that way one afternoon Read More

Mayan Pyramid Rising into View
(courtesy of Emma Gallagher)

Entering Tikal, Jungle Heart of the Maya Empire

From atop Temple IV, above the trees of the jungle, the noisy morning sounds of animals went on for ages. “Little” Cesar, our tour guide, had instructed us all just to listen. “Don’t talk,” he said, holding his hand next to his head as if Einstein Read More

Ruins of abandoned houses, St. Kilda (Copyright Stillman Rogers Photography)

Stepping into the Past on Scotland’s St. Kilda Archipelago, a UNESCO Site

The taste of salt was strong on the wind as we sailed past cliffs that dropped to a wave-dashed tumble of stones below. Beyond this cluster of cliff-bound islands known as St. Kilda, open Atlantic stretched to the gray line of the horizon. The Read More

Steep headlands in Scotland's Outer Hebrides

Cruising Scotland’s Islands on the Hebridean Princess

As we approached the ship, an opening skirl sounded from a piper on the upper deck, and he piped us aboard to the rousing strains of Scotland the Brave. So began our immersion into Scotland’s Western Isles, where more often than the highland Read More

Wat Mahathat, Ayutthaya, Thailand

Exploring the Historic City of Ayutthaya, Thailand, by Bicycle

As I park my bicycle next to a 7/11 and a collection of souvenir shops, I realize Ayutthaya is not going to be the step back in time I hoped it would be. It feels more like a history theme park. Before I came to Ayutthaya – the old capital of Read More

Machu Picchu seen from Huayna Picchu

Hiking Above Machu Picchu: Peru’s Huayna Picchu Climb

Machu Picchu is almost a cliché on Bucket Lists. It’s the most famous destination in South America. Still, I wanted to spend my Christmas birthday there. Some friends said "don’t bother, it’s been overrun. You won’t be able to see the stones because Read More

The Bezeklik, or Bizaklik, Thousand Buddha Caves in Turpan, China (©photocoen)

Touring Xinjiang’s Historical Sites Around Turpan, China

I traveled for thirty hours by bus traversing one of the world's largest deserts – the Taklamakan Desert – and got off in the middle of nowhere in a town called Turpan. I was intrigued by the region for two reasons: The extremes of landscape: a Read More

The First View of China's Terra Cotta Warriors in Pit One. (Photo Credit: Dennis Jarvis)

Taking a Day Trip from Beijing to the Terra Cotta Warriors at Xi An

I was pushed by the crowd around me all the way to the edge of the pit. Once there, I stopped and stared entranced by the sight of the thousands of warriors, trapped in time in their glass domed building. The first five corridors alone covered more Read More

Crete Shoreline

Kayaking in Crete, Greece: The Libyan Sea to Phaestros and Beyond

An eight-day paddle in Crete sounded like the perfect trip: I'd been wanting to return to Greece, and I'd been wanting to improve my paddling skills, which to this point had often resulted in me being tangled in mangrove roots. My adventure began Read More

King Arthur's Castle

Encountering the Real Camelot at King Arthur’s Castle in Cornwall, England

With my poo-hoo nose firmly in the air, I’m on my way to Tintagel on Cornwall’s northwesterly edge. Tintagel is widely known, and wildly visited, for the ruins of its castle – King Arthur’s castle. King Arthur’s castle? Had no one noticed that Read More

The steep Snake Path winds up Masada (Melanie Radzicki McManus).

Hiking up Masada in Israel

The air still holds the night’s chill, although the inky sky is beginning to show just the faintest hint of light. Throngs of students laugh and joke and generally clog the ramp leading to the top of Masada, an arid rock plateau south of Jerusalem Read More

Ghost Town of Humberstone in Chile's Atacama Desert (photo credit: Coen Wubbels)

Strolling through Chile’s Ghost Towns of Humberstone and Santa Laura

A breeze carried the sound of squeaking hinges and creaking wooden panels. In the overwhelming silence of the desert the slamming of a metal roof plate echoed as if a gun had been fired. When listening carefully I heard voices from the past. Voices Read More

Bagan Pagodas

Exploring the Temples of Bagan, Myanmar, by Bicycle

"One more photo. Please??" I wrap my arm around the young girl's tiny waist and smile. It is barely 9 am, but I have already posed for at least 20 photos that will soon decorate homes around Myanmar. Everyone around me is dressed in their Sunday Read More

Rock paintings in Serra Capivara National Park, Brazil (photo credit: Coen Wubbels)

Visit UNESCO-listed Rock Paintings in Brazil’s Serra Capivara National Park

Smack in the middle of Brazil's sun-scorched, dun-colored, vast and desolate northeastern Sertão region lies a national park. Why? What's there to see? I read a local guidebook, became fascinated and jotted down the park on my bucket list. The Read More

The view from St. Peter Great House and Botanical Gardens

Kayaking, Volunteering, and a History Lesson on a St. Thomas Eco-Adventure

Perched on the wall of a crumbling 18th century ruin, I gaze down to the  the Caribbean Sea. Despite the sweat streaming down my back and my aching arms, I feel exhilarated.  Instead of  lolling on the beach and relaxing in the sun, I have just spent Read More

Taking in the view after scrambling to the top of the Mountain in Wadi Rum (Photo by Rachael Cerrotti)

Living and Hiking with the Bedouins at Jordan’s Wadi Rum

Just 70 kilometers north of Aqaba, there is a Bedouin Village in a place called Wadi Rum. The valley, or wadi -- one of Jordan’s most important historical sites --  is cut into the sandstone and granite cliffs in a landscape so stark it is known as Read More

A camel wrangler in Petra

Exploring the Ruined City of Petra in Jordan

My conversation with Nasser started the way these conversations so often do. “30 dinar! It’s a good price!” “No, it’s too much.” “How much you want to pay?” “I don’t want to pay, I want to walk.” “25 dinar, then. I give you good price.” And Read More

sunset over Nile

Visiting Egypt’s Ruins from a Nile River Cruise

Look at a physical map of north Africa -- a map with brown mountains and green forests and beige deserts -- and you will see thousands of miles of sandy beige, and, then, a thin green line. The Nile. Life giver. In ancient times, the rising and Read More