With the value of the euro dipping in the past few months, I've been able to experience Europe without as much of a strain on my wallet. I'm enjoying thinking of the euro as being worth a buck. I've done this in the past -- when a euro cost $1.35 -- just to con myself into splurging a bit. But now, with a rate of about $1....Read more
Intriguing Dresden, Germany, winds up on far fewer American itineraries than it deserves to. Don't make that mistake. Since its horrific firebombing in World War I, the city has transitioned to a thriving cultural center that's well worth a visit. Even with only a day to spare, Dresden is a doable side trip from bigger attractions like Berlin or...Read more
St. Petersburg continually amazes me. Once a swamp, then an imperial capital, and now a showpiece of long-ago aristocratic opulence, St. Petersburg is Russia's most accessible and tourist-worthy city.
During the Soviet era, the city was drab and called Leningrad. Its striking beauty today is all the more remarkable given that this place was ...Read more
Uppsala, Sweden's fourth-largest city, is the best side-trip from Stockholm -- just under an hour away by train. This happy town is Sweden's answer to Oxford, offering stately university facilities and museums, the home and garden of botanist Carl Linnaeus, as well as a grand cathedral and the enigmatic burial mounds of Gamla Uppsala on the town...Read more
European train travel is easier and better than ever, thanks to faster trains, new routes, and additional amenities to keep you comfortable and entertained on the journey. For me, there's nothing better than stretching out in a quiet car, blitzing through the European countryside, with hours of uninterrupted time to think and write.
Recently I ...Read more
Whether you're a serious athlete or a weekend warrior, those who like to keep their heart pumping while sightseeing have plenty of great options in Europe. From scenic jogs through Stockholm to paddling a boat in Hyde Park to biking through bustling Amsterdam, active travel can be better travel.
Biking not only provides a workout; it's an ...Read more
A couple of hours north of Lisbon, Coimbra is the Oxford or Cambridge of Portugal -- the home of its most venerable university. It's also the country's easiest-to-enjoy city -- a mini-Lisbon, with everything good about urban Portugal without the intensity of a big metropolis. I couldn't design a more delightful city for a visit.
One of the best...Read more
If you want to eat like a local -- enjoying tasty local specialties economically -- picnic. While I'm the first to admit that restaurant meals are an important aspect of any culture, in Europe I picnic almost daily. This is not solely for budgetary reasons. It's fun to dive into a marketplace and deal with locals in the corner grocery or market....Read more
Fallen Angel: A Spiritual RomanceK. C. Berg
Beth loves Sam so much that it hurts, but he is a prisoner to his past. Listening to her broken heart, Beth packs up her belongings and flees Eagle River in the middle of the night, hoping to leave all of the pain and the heartache behind. Five years later, a mysterious stranger—and a ...
April marks the 10th anniversary of the death of John Paul II, one of the most beloved popes of recent times. During his papacy, from 1978 to 2005, he was the highly visible face of the Catholic Church as it labored to stay relevant in an increasingly secular world. Today, he is commemorated in statues and paintings throughout the great churches...Read more
Way back in my student travel days, I discovered a handful of completely offbeat sights that remain among my favorite places in Europe. From sculptures of salt to sculptures of marzipan, from a wall dedicated to love and freedom to chapels decorated with bones, a carefully balanced tour of Europe mixes famous must-see sights with quirky, less ...Read more
Mastery of Europe's major cities -- Rome, Paris, London, Vienna -- is the mark of a good traveler. Teeming with color, energy, and cultural vibrancy, these places -- while expensive -- richly reward the thoughtful traveler.
There are plenty of ways to thrive in big European cities without going broke. And the good news is that, in so many ways,...Read more
While most travelers to Greece head for the islands, I head for the hills -- the mountains and valleys of the Peloponnese. Attached to the rest of Greece by a thin isthmus, this rugged land has always seemed isolated from the rest of the country. And while it holds some of Greece's greatest ancient monuments -- such as Olympia or Mycenae -- ...Read more
The great value of travel is the opportunity it offers you to pry open your hometown blinders and broaden your perspective. And when we implement that world view as citizens of our great nation, we make travel a political act. Here are my top ten tips for doing just that:
Get out of your comfort zone: Choose Managua over Mazatlan or Turkey over...Read more
I'm all about traveling efficiently -- and a great way to do that is by savoring local cuisine as you soak up the splendor of the place you came to see. While view restaurants often come with a steep price tag, I've learned to find scenic places to eat where the food is delicious, affordable, and memorable.
You might call taking in the view ...Read more
A port city on the Baltic Coast of Poland, Gdansk is truly amazing -- and amazingly historic. From its medieval Golden Age to the headlines of our own generation, big things have happened here.
Gdansk is the place where World War II began, and as any proud resident of the city will explain, it is the home of Solidarity, the workers' movement ...Read more
I love it when I convince people to engage with the Europe I show them. But when they become engaged with each other in Europe ... I like it even more.
Recently I heard from someone who took his girlfriend on one of my recommended hikes near Muerren, Switzerland. "I convinced Emily to get one last photo of the view together before it got dark, ...Read more
If there's an industrial wasteland where a great European city hits the water -- London, Berlin, Amsterdam, you name it -- it's slated for a major makeover. Derelict areas on the wrong side of the river -- what we in the USA might call "the wrong side of the tracks" -- are being rejuvenated with modern buildings and fresh greenery.
My pick for ...Read more