The Grotto of the Nativity, where it is said Christ was born. Photo by Yvette Cardozo

Blundering Into Bethlehem

The rental car is safely back without a scratch and filled with gas, and the hold on our credit cards is off. So the story can be told. We were SUPPOSED to drive to the main checkpoint leading into Bethlehem, which is located just across the border, Read More

Leadlights of the St Peter and Paul Cathedral in Paramaribo, Suriname (photo credit: Coen Wubbels)

A Guided Tour of Suriname’s St Peter and Paul Cathedral in Paramaribo

I stood in front of the largest wooden structure in the Caribbean, Latin America, the Western Hemisphere or the world, depending on whom I talked to. Verifiable facts are that the St Peter and Paul cathedral is 161 feet long, 54 feet wide, 48 feet Read More

ruins_jesuit_mission_trinidad

Stroll Among the Ruins of Jesuit Missions in Paraguay

Dark red bricks stand out against a stark blue sky. Long shadows peter out over fields, the soft light of the late afternoon giving the ruins an air of mystery. Who was that saint draped in a robe, holding a staff in his right hand? Or that elegantly 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

Abu Dhabi Grand Mosque

Visit Abu Dhabi’s Grand Mosque: a Masterpiece of Islamic Architecture

We stare at the dazzling white columns surrounding the courtyard of the Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque, the sunlight forming pools on the marble mozaic floor. The effect is mesmerizing, a play of light and perspective that renders us momentarily Read More

Entering the Vatican Museum

St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican with a Freelance Guide

Michael’s shtick is designed to make us feel smart. We are smart to be on his tour, smart to ask the questions we pose. Most other tourists don’t notice that, he insists, as we gape at the trompe l'oiel on the ceiling of the Vatican’s Hall of Read More