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Searching for the Danube River's Best Christmas Markets

By Doug Hansen

As our ship glided slowly through Austria's famed Wachau Valley, a silhouette of a medieval town gradually emerged from the soft white mist at a bend in the river. Near the tip of the peninsula, a blue Gothic church spire rose high above a set of timeless gray buildings; a thick fortress wall snaked up the hillside behind ...Read more

Find a Lot of 'There' in Mazatlan

By Stuart Wasserman

Gertrude Stein's famous "there is no there there" line could never be said about Mazatlan, a port town on the Pacific northwestern coast of Mexico. It all centers around the Plaza Machado -- the city's romantic Centro Historico and a romantic place that features New Orleans-style architecture: old houses and ...Read more

Don't Overlook the Attractions of Dynamic Mexico City

By Robert Selwitz

Mexico City deserves much more attention than it gets. While most Mexico-bound travelers head for Cancun or other Gulf Coast resorts, there are many reasons to also explore the capital, the world's eighth-largest city.

Extraordinary history, exquisite food, great neighborhoods for walking and shopping, and many ...Read more

Enjoy Western Beauty on Amtrak's Coast Starlight

By Sharon Whitley Larsen

"All aboard!"

I'm always excited when I hear those words -- especially when it's for an overnight trip, which I have experienced several times abroad in Britain, Italy, Norway and Russia and twice on Amtrak. There's something so romantic about riding the rails.

This fall, my husband Carl and I took Amtrak's ...Read more

Stargazing in Chile's Atacama Desert

By Patricia Woeber

When next you wish upon a star, the place to be is in Chile's Atacama Desert. You'll easily see thousands of stars as well as an eye-popping selection of other heavenly bodies. During the daytime the area offers a variety of active sports and explorations.

The high Atacama Desert's lack of pollution allows ...Read more

Discover Wonderment at Santa Fe's Meow Wolf

By Fyllis Hockman

A writer's worst nightmare is being at a loss for words to describe a place or event. And so it is with the Meow Wolf House of Eternal Return, an immersive, interactive art installation and technological wonderland with unending surprises at every turn in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Oh sure, it's magical, mind-boggling, ...Read more

Go Rat Pack Retro in Swinging Palm Springs

The room is the essence of swinging '60s cool. A tuxedo-clad singer croons "One More for the Road" in the best sultry Frank Sinatra tradition. High-stem, frosty two-olive martinis are being served from the softly lit, gently curving bar. The swish of snare drum brushes contrasts with the clink of silverware. You'd almost expect the Rat Pack ...Read more

The Best Way To See Palm Springs Is on Foot

Every day, thousands of visitors stroll up and down Palm Springs' main street -- Palm Canyon Drive. They delve into and out of its succession of eateries, watering holes and eye-catching gift shops.

Sadly, for so many of them, Palm Canyon Drive will represent the entirety of their Palm Springs experience. They will never discover the ...Read more

Highlights of Croatia's Adriatic

By Candyce H. Stapen

Croatia's coast unfurls along the Adriatic Sea as a ribbon of coves and peninsulas that curve along the shore for more than 1,100 miles. Many of the nearly 20 million tourists (in 2018) soak up the sun and the scenic views in the historic and stunning coastal towns. Here are some highlights, tips and suggestions for ...Read more

Explore Croatia on a Cruise

By Candyce H. Stapen

Videos of waterfalls, woodlands and glistening lakes in Croatia's national parks filled the large screen, the landscape serving as background to master Croatian cellist Ana Rucner, who performed live in front of the tableaux. When she launched into an allegro movement of Vivaldi's "Four Seasons," her bow dancing ...Read more

Flights of Fancy: A Lesson in Falconry

By Gay Courter

Is there anything more wondrous than launching a falcon from your wrist, watching him soar into the sky and land where he wishes -- and then having him return to you with a gentle pounce back on his perch and gobble a treat out of your gloved hand? Since childhood I've been fascinated by the ancient sport of falconry but ...Read more

Mauthausen Concentration Camp: Never Forget

By Fyllis Hockman

The four central European capitals we visited on our Danube River cruise -- Prague, Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest -- overwhelmed with their impressive history, expansive promenades and architectural grandeur. But it was an experience in Linz in Upper Austria that made the most impact on me -- a visit to the Mauthausen...Read more

An Irresistible Stopover in Zurich

By Athena Lucero

Zurich, Switzerland, is the "Gateway to Europe," pulsating with one of the world's busiest rail stations and the densest transportation network on the continent. It's also the country's financial capital, the capital of German-speaking canton Zurich and Switzerland's capital of the world's favorite feel-good food.

Each ...Read more

Special Interest Trails Can Be Roadmaps to Fun

By Victor Block

For Elizabeth and Andy Beyer, a drive along California's Sonoma Valley Wine Trail was fulfilling a lifelong dream. They satisfied their love for the beverage during tastings at favorite vineyards. It was food that tempted Mary and Roger Nicholson to visit Louisiana's Cajun Bayou. They sampled traditional dishes that ...Read more

Learn About Laos in Luang Prabang

By Steve Bergsman

The alarm went off at 4:45 a.m., giving my wife and me about 15 minutes to get ready. The monks would be parading the streets of Luang Prabang, Laos, and we would be joining the local citizenry in the daily ritual of feeding the dedicated.

A spot near a local temple had been made ready for us with a small carpet (...Read more

In the Footsteps of First Ladies at Angkor Wat

By Steve Bergsman

The first time I ever heard of Angkor Wat, the huge Hindu-Buddhist temple in Siem Reap, Cambodia, was when I was a young man watching the news after dinner with my father. One night in 1967 the feature story was about Jacqueline Kennedy, the widow of President John Kennedy, visiting Angkor Wat, which I assumed had just ...Read more

Remember Favorite Movies by Visiting Where They Were Filmed

By Victor Block

Bob Burrus is channeling John Travolta. He enters Lenny's Pizza in Brooklyn and orders a slice. After devouring the snack, he emerges onto 86th Street and struts down several blocks as the song "Staying Alive" plays in his head. Bob is reliving the opening scene of the 1977 motion picture "Saturday Night Fever." And he's ...Read more

They Do It Right in Branson, Missouri

By Fyllis Hockman

OK, I know not everyone believes in the Loch Ness Monster, the Easter Bunny or even Santa Claus, but everyone believes in Bigfoot, right? Right? I know this because I've actually been to his very own park in Branson, Missouri, dedicated to all things related to the big hairy guy. It's hard to argue with that much ...Read more

Explore Southeast Asia on a Mekong River Cruise

By Steve Bergsman

When considering a cruise down the Mekong River in Southeast Asia, one is tempted to think back to the patrol boat in the movie "Apocalypse Now." But let me offer a far different cinematic reference, the 1939 Hedy Lamarr and Robert Taylor romance, "Lady of the Tropics," which begins with a cruise ship landing in Saigon before ...Read more

'The Lover's House' Lures Dumas Fans to Sa Dec, Vietnam

By Steve Bergsman

"He says he's just back from Paris where he was a student, that he lives in Sa Dec too, on this same river, the big house with the big terraces with the blue-tiled balustrades." -- Marguerite Duras

Ph-ung looked about 25 and stood 5 feet tall. In the town of Sa Dec, Vietnam, she boasted a good job, the English-speaking...Read more

 

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