Past and Present
This year, 2016, (August 15th to be exact) marked this first national park's hundredth birthday and that of the National Park Service. The park's deep canyons, craggy peaks, vast woodlands, alpine lakes and rushing waterfalls haven't changed much in a hundred years. Yellowstone National Park is the nation's spot, literally. Parts of it steam, spit, bubble and roar.
With countless cultural and historic sites in medieval towns and modern cities, and thousands of castles and wineries in a lush landscape of forests, mountains and rivers, Germany offers the best of Europe’s city and countryside. In 2015, the 25th anniversary of German Reunification, Germany experienced its sixth record-breaking year of international tourism, with the U.S., Germany’s biggest overseas market, posting 5.6 million overnight stays, a whopping 8.5 percent increase over the previous year. In the first quarter of 2016, U.S. stays were up 11.6 percent as Americans continued to flock to new and restored sights in the trendy capital of Berlin and throughout Germany. In 2017, attention shifts from Berlin to the nearby states of Saxony and Thuringia and Saxony-Anhalt for countrywide celebrations marking the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s
The only English the young Turk knew was, “Welcome to my country.” Friendliness comes with a medley of sights, sounds and smells plus a unique landscape and history. Turkey is a treasure.
A crossroads between East and West, ancient and modern, its history is diverse. Islam, Christianity and even Judaism can claim Turkish roots. Some say the Virgin Mary died near Ephesus. Greco-Roman cities, King Midas, the Battle of Troy and Noah’s Ark were said to be here.
In Italy, clients don’t need to count calories to stay trim--and who would want to! All it takes is a bit of
On an 11-day trip to Rome, Florence and Tuscany, my husband, 21-year old daughter and I charted our sightseeing via walking and bike tours and topped off our trip with five days at a Tuscan spa resort. Along the way, we savored the best of Italian cuisine, yet returned home slimmer, fitter and with the intimate sense of discovery that comes with foot-on exploration. We laid the groundwork with a few key guided tours and reserved plenty of time to discover our own version of “La Dolce Vita.”
In Rome’s Borghese Gallery (paraphrasing T.S. Elliott) men and women come and go seeking out Michelangelo and other great masters of painting and sculpture. Visitors enter and exit through the front, without even bothering to walk around the entire building, and miss three unique formal gardens. That’s a shame. Visitors miss an aviary on one side. But above all they miss a magnificent rear-formal garden with fountain and statues (as seen in Three Coins in the Fountain), which is a great place to rest.
The great town of Potsdam (near Berlin) has numerous palaces built over many centuries. The most famous Potsdam Palace is Sanssouci, Frederick the Great’s 18th-century Rococo “Pleasure Palace.” The translation of “Sanssouci” does homage to its purpose, “Without a care.” It rises on terraced vines which from a distance look more like a cascading fountained-formal garden. While it’s delicately magnificent, it’s only a delightful appetizer to much grander, more historic and more substantial palaces scattered throughout massive Potsdam Park, worthy of a entire day’s exploration.
Tours with a knowledgeable guide are not just for first-time travelers. And they are not all alike. Escorted tours range from bus tours that show off the highlights, to trips where a local expert tailors the experience to the interests of one or two couples or a family.
Some advantages of an escorted trip are obvious: all arrangements, lodging, and transportation are taken care of without having to use a foreign language and unfamiliar currency. Prices are locked in and little is left to chance. Expert guides are another advantage. For most travelers, just seeing a famous sight is not enough. They want to know more about its history and artistic significance, and they want a taste of local culture that’s difficult to find on their own. And for those with special interests - art, music, ancestry - sharing a journey with like-minded companions not only enriches the trip but opens up new friendships.
Thousands enjoy the magic of the Northeast’s annual color pageant, driving the scenic byways of Vermont’s Green Mountains and the White Mountains in New Hampshire and Maine. Later in the fall the Berkshires of Massachusetts and the hills and coastlines of Connecticut and Rhode Island are still colorful into late October and early November. But driving is not the only way to enjoy the show. Clients may not think about eliminating the stress of driving and trip planning by relaxing on a foliage cruise. Here are some to suggest.
A trip to the Galapagos Islands might well be one of the most exotic journeys you’ll ever plan, so knowing what you want to see and how can help create the right itinerary. If you’re a nature-lover, the Galapagos Islands await your arrival.
Seven countries make up Central America. Mexico is not one of them. They are Belize, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Panama. With the exception of Belize where the official language is English, natives speak Spanish. Though many countries have fabulous Mayan ruins, jungles and beautiful beaches, each is unique.