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

The Beautiful Blue Coast of Heybeliada

Ferrying to the Princes’ Islands in Istanbul

On the ferries to Princes’ Islands, I would always drink copious amounts of tea. Waiters with dangling trays roamed up and down the decks touting chai for less than a dollar, delivering a tear-drop Turkish tea cup on a little glass saucer, complete Read More

Castle of Ali Pasha, Ioannina

Finding Byzantium in the byways of Ioannina, Greece

As my sisters and I disembark the ferryboat onto into a calliope of sound, smell, and color, we walk up to what seems to be a pet shop. Chickens and doves squabble in hanging cages. Turtles elbow frogs for a better view. Eels shimmer amidst schools 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

L'Austral anchors in Patmos, where St. John wrote Revelations.

Sailing the Greek Isles on L’Austral: A Moonlit Mediterranean Music Cruise

For some reason, concert pianist Gilles Vonsattel had never learned to play Clair de Lune, a staple of the piano repertoire. But strolling the decks of Compagnie du Ponant's mega-yacht, l'Austral on a moonlit evening on the Aegean Sea, he was 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

Malta's Palazzo Parisio

Following the Footsteps of the Knights of St. John into Palazzo Parisio’s Gardens in Malta

"You can't miss Palazzo Parisio", I was told. "Just look kitty-corner from the bus stop on Naxxar’s main square and there it will be." But somehow I was missing it. Yes, there was the parish church just as described, grandiose as a cathedral, but Read More