The cast iron and masonry work on the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct in Wales are more than 200 years old. (photo credit: Katherine Rodeghier c 2013)

Crossing the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Northeast Wales

From my vantage point in the field below, the structure rising from the riverbed looks like a bridge—a magnificent one, certainly, with graceful 200-year-old stone and iron arches. But wait a minute and an incongruous sight appears: A boat slowly Read More

High Line from above by Iwan Baan

Walking New York City’s High Line

The High Line, one of New York City’s most unlikely tourist attractions, has been an overnight sensation that was almost 30 years in the making. Its life began in the 1930s, when a railroad spur serving Manhattan’s West Side industrial district 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

Long brown building with many pointed spires and a giant clock tower at the right hand end, on the far side of a broad river

Pondering Power at the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, A UNESCO World Heritage Site in London, England

When in London, listen to the stones. The Tower of London says, "Power comes from the King and his army." Westminster Abbey says, "Power comes from God." You would expect the Houses of Parliament to say, "Power comes from the people", but that's not Read More

Street cars on the F Line were rescued from the dust bins of the world. This one from Milan.

Sightseeing San Francisco on the F-Line Trolley

I agree with the world. To visit the city by the Golden Gate and not jump aboard a cable car for at least one cling-clanging, hill-climbing ride is tantamount to visiting the Louvre and skipping the Mona Lisa on purpose. But once that's been done, Read More

Tourists aboard Staten Island Ferry

Seeing New York City from the Staten Island Ferry

The greatest New York City sightseeing trip you could imagine is absolutely free: the Staten Island ferry. The views of the city’s skyline and East River bridges, the Statue of Liberty, and blazing sunsets are as enchanting as any on a paid cruise or Read More

The scenery knocks your sox off (Photo credit: Roberta Sotonoff ©2012)

From the Window of Norway’s Flam Railroad

It is cold and wet. Standing next to Myrdal, Norway’s railroad tracks—a tiny town that is about a four-hour bus trip from Oslo, I am lost in a crowd of about 500 people. But the weather and the crowds can’t dampen my spirits. I am about to embark on Read More

Entering the Moscow Metro (courtesy of Emma Gallagher)

Touring the Famous Moscow Metro

The Moscow Metro first hit the rails in 1935. Back then, there were only thirteen stations and not even seven miles of track. These days, the Metro ranks as one of the world’s top three busiest transits (Tokyo is an unstoppable first in that Read More

The Tiffany mosaics, Marquette Building

Walking and Talking Architecture in Chicago

It was a cold and snowy day in the Windy City but the walking tours offered by the Chicago Architecture Foundation take off promptly - rain or shine - from the CAF headqurters on South Michicgan Avenue. A variety of tours are scheduled throughout the Read More

Tyne Cot 4

Wondering Why in Flanders’ Fields: the First World War Battlefields of Belgium

“Why?” demands Raoul. We stand in a line, look at our toes and shuffle our feet uneasily on the spot. “Why?” he demands again. It isn’t that we don’t know why the gravestones in front of us, white as a row of perfect teeth, are jostling shoulder Read More

The decorated walls and carved pillars characterize Bolivia's Jesuit Missions (©Coen Wubbels)

Touring the Jesuit Missions in La Gran Chiquitania of East Bolivia

150 kilometers of unpaved road meander through thick forest and cattle ranches in eastern Bolivia. The road takes me to my third Jesuit Mission: Santa Ana. It's the smallest of the six missions that make up the UNESCO World Heritage Site of La Gran Read More

Walking here is utterly peaceful (©Karin-Marijke Vis)

Running through Brazil’s Colonial Town of Goiás Velha, a UNESCO Site

Running through a town? What kind of way of exploring a place is that, you may ask. Did I get to see anything at all? Yes, I did. In fact, running through Goiás Velha was exactly what made my visit to this 17th century, colonial town Read More

According to the neighbor the most beautiful building in the city (©Coen Wubbels)

Studying the Art of Azulejos in São Luís, Brazil’s City of Tiles

In the doorway stands an elderly man. Our eyes meet and I shake his hand. "You are lucky to live in such a beautiful building. What an incredibly tiled façade your home has," I comment. For the past couple of hours I have been strolling through the Read More

The Great Wall of China

Standing Sentinel on the Great Wall, Badaling, China

The last of the fall color was about to disappear from the trees growing in the shelter of the Great Wall. "A really awful place to be a sentry in winter," I said. My companion nodded. We were looking out from one of the many watch towers Read More

An example where Oscar Niemeyer's architecture and Burle Marx's landscape garden complement each other (©Coen Wubbels)

Appreciating Modern Architecture in Brazil’s Capital of Brasília

"Why would you want to go to Brasília? It is an ugly city that lacks a soul," is the most common remark I have heard from Brazilians about their capital. Despite these discouraging words I decided to visit the city and judge for myself. My Read More

Lighthouse

Winter Critter-Cruising on an Aquarium Research Boat on Long Island Sound, Connecticut

"Whose idea was this?" I demand. There is an inch of snow on the ground, the temperature is in the teens, the weather forecast is for more snow, and the living room floor is covered with ski clothes, hats, socks, gloves, long underwear and anything Read More

Burnet Red Foliage Warms the Capitol Dome and Statue of Freedom in Washington, D.C. (photo credit: Chuck Eirschele, c 2008)

Discovering Fall Color Among the Historical Monuments and Memorials of Washington, D.C.

Dusk has arrived and the restaurant we have been searching for -- seemingly for hours -- is nowhere in sight. It is our first night walking in Washington, D.C. and my dogs, to put it colloquially, are barking. My family and I have just taken a left Read More

The beginning of the Centennial Seawall in Dundarave

Walking the Centennial Seawall of West Vancouver in British Columbia

I can’t say that I would take up dancing in the rain, but I am enjoying its drumming sound on my umbrella as my wellies (read: Wellington boots) splash in puddles. I have not completely adapted to the rainforest climate of the Pacific Northwest, Read More

Sailing past the Pitons, St. Lucia

Sailing from Soufriere, St. Lucia, Under the Shadow of the Pitons

"Look! It's happening! Wait, watch for it!" The excitement on the catamaran is palpable, and we strain our eyes to the horizon where the last tiny pinpoint of an orange sun is just about to dip below the horizon. We are hoping to see the legendary Read More

Looking down the Liffey

Walking Along Dublin’s River Liffey to Ireland’s Famine Memorial

We’re off to meet a friend for dinner – the perfect conclusion to a weekend break in Dublin. And we have time in hand. “Come along,” I chivvy my reluctant entourage, who are quite happy to lounge in the hotel in front of the telly, “We’re going to Read More

What is vegetation and what is the reflection? (©Coen Wubbels)

Boating Through the Flooded Forest of Anavilhanas in the Brazilian Amazon

I feel as if I am looking at a scene in the cartoon of Jack and the Beanstalk. The tree trunk is a good three meters wide, and as I look up, I see that the tree divides into three immensely thick branches that reach high into the sky, as if they are Read More

Bridge from Europe to Asia in Istambul

Drifting Between Continents on a Bosphorus Day-Cruise in Istanbul

Talk about Continental Drift: I am floating -- literally -- between Asia and Europe. To my left is familiarity, reassuring names like Paris and Venice, Vienna and Madrid. To my right are places like Kazakhstan and Urumqi: the exotic lands of western Read More

Shakespeare memorial

Discovering the City of Dickens and Shakespeare with a London Walks Tour

Our guide is loud and theatrical, and has no problem making himself heard by the crowd of people clustered hopefully around him. "It had to happen sometime," he booms. "A North American telling you about those two icons of English literature, Dickens 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

Lush, green vines turn golden as fall enters Sonoma County's Valley of the Moon. l

Exploring Wine Country’s Fall Color in Sonoma County’s Valley of the Moon

  Never a day passes that I don’t marvel at the beauty of where I live, but never more so than when the early fall frenzy of grape-pickers at work, crushers and pressers in motion is over. With the last cluster removed, I watch the Read More

Alcudia walls feature

Walking the Walls of the Historic Town of Alcúdia, Majorca

The woman in front of me on the bus is beginning to get stressed about her travel arrangements. “This looks like the old town,” she tells her companion. “We don’t want to the old town. We want the beach.” He peers through the window. “We could get Read More

The Narrow Gauge Train to Darjeeling, North India (©photocoen)

Taking a Narrow Gauge Train to Darjeeling, India

It's still dark when we walk downhill to the train station. Although the train will only leave at seven, we have been advised to arrive an hour early, as there are few seats. The Sikkim narrow gauge diesel train runs all the way up from the town Read More