16-19 July 2014
Wow, now here is a city! Walkable historic center, lively, inexpensive, clean, good food and beer, cafés and street shopping abound. I immediately like the old-world atmosphere of Kraków. Its awesome main square is filled with the noises, conversations, music, and clinking glasses and cups of locals out to enjoy their city. I am happy to be here sharing it with them.
12-16 July 2014
Rarely in the 21st century can I travel in a country before the tourist explosion changes everything. I like Bratislava because it is still ‘eastern European.’ Travelers call it the “new Prague” and this could be true. Under its layer of grime, crumbling facades, Communist apartment and historical city center lies a fascinating, fun and up-and-coming travel destination. Not many Americans come here so book now before the hoards overrun this city as they did Prague.
Picked up a button at the Visitor Center that says “I love Nome” and I do. But I get ahead of my story.
Writer’s are taught to answer the five ‘Ws’ – who, what, when, where, why.
Answers are: me, achieving a travel goal, today in Nome. The why is a little more complicated.
20-22 June 2014
15-19 June 2014
Cloudy and a comfortable 50° as we dock in Kake on Kupreanof Island. The island, named for the governor of Russian America, may have been visited by Sir Francis Drake in 1579, but it’s greatest fame comes from resident Tlingits being bombarded by the US Army in 1869. The 52×20 mile island is now home to 600 residents and the world’s tallest totem pole at 128′ (built to celebrate the centennial of US purchase of Alaska). Talked with a carver and a weaver; locals are sparse but friendly; saw many eagles, a black bear cub, and numerous ramshackle houses. The low islands in the bay are where they bury their dead. Today, Father’s Day, this island isn’t any livelier.
10-14 June 2014
What has 100 jewelry stores, five large passenger ships, and 10,000 pedestrians crammed into six small blocks? Ketchikan, Alaska. Unless you want to purchase a diamond or a fur coat, watch a duck tour boat drive down the street, or pose in front of its iconic welcome sign, it is best to find a historic bar and order an Alaskan beer then get out of town ASAP. This is exactly what I did. I cursed the miserably crowded streets, enjoyed the ambiance and beer at the historic Gilmore Hotel, then boarded the Baranof Dream to better destinations.
“Revolucion Siempre” Always the revolution. In Cuba, revolution counts, and not just the one in 1959. Signs and slogans are everywhere. Cuba is a country of revolutions: against Spain in 1868 and 1895, and Batista and imperialist intervention in 1959. When I think of Cuba it is one-dimensional: Fidel/Communism/State; for Cubans this is not true. Cubans may not have confidence in Fidel but Cubans never fail to support the revolution. Read more…