Queue crowd

Queuing at Wimbledon

Once upon a time, I was afraid to try to go to Wimbledon without tickets in hand. The idea of queuing for hours (the way that the majority of people gain admission) and then not getting in just seemed too risky. So I made my first trip to “The Championships” in 2010 when I was …

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Plovdiv amphitheater

Impressions of Bulgaria

The sun was still shining as I exited the airport in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. It was 6:30 p.m., but on a Saturday in late August, that meant I still had about two hours of daylight remaining. I ignored the touts offering me a ride and instead headed straight to the official taxi stand, …

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Rila Monastery

A Day Trip to Rila Monastery

Rila Monastery is probably the most popular tourist attraction in Bulgaria. The colorful monastery was first established in the 10th century by St. Ivan of Rila. After being destroyed by the Ottomans in the 15th century, the monastery was renovated with the help of the Russian church. It was later destroyed once again by a …

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Rila Monastery

Bulgaria in Photos

I have to say, travel to Bulgaria exceeded my expectations in many respects. There were mountains and forests and rivers; cute cobblestone streets and massive Soviet era buildings; colorful monasteries and really, really old churches. Oh, and some amazing Roman ruins. A little bit of everything, to be sure. Take a look:

gluten free fudge

Gluten Free Heaven in Helsinki

Before I embarked on my career break trip, I heard that Finland, my first stop of many, was a fairly gluten free friendly country.  I only had three days to explore Helsinki, but it was enough to determine that everything I had heard was correct – eating  gluten free in Helsinki was heaven! Nearly every …

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Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain

Sagrada Familia in Photos

When I visited Barcelona for the first time back in 2003, I had just two days to explore the city, but I made it to most of the major sites, including the forever-under-construction cathedral known officially as the Basilica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia – or Sagrada Familia for short. While I marveled …

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Barcelona, Spain

Putting Gaudi in Context

  When you think of Barcelona, what do you think of?   Delicious tapas? Vibrant night life? Strolling down Las Ramblas? If you are like many people, the name “Gaudi” may also come to mind. Antoni Gaudi  may be the most famous Catalan architect in the world – the man responsible for some of the …

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