Fargas Chocolateria, Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona: City of Chocolate

I have to admit, when I planned to stop in Barcelona, I was looking forward to rediscovering the city I first visited back in 2003. I wanted to visit La Sagrada Familia, stroll along Las Ramblas and finally make my way to the Parc Guell. And I wanted to indulge in tapas, tapas and more …

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Assisi rainbow

Undiscovered Umbria

Based on statistics I made up myself, 99% of first-time visitors to Italy head to the big three of Rome, Florence and Venice. Not surprisingly, when I first visited Italy, I took the same route. But really, if you love wine, history and art – not to mention amazing food – Umbria is worth a …

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Warsaw, Poland

Warsaw: Somber and Inspiring

Warsaw wasn’t initially part of the plan. And in case you were wondering, I do know Poland was never officially part of the Soviet Union. So if we want to get technical, it didn’t belong on my tour of the former Soviet republics. But it may as well have been. After “liberating” Poland from the …

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Helsinki hostel dorm

Facing My Fear of Hostels

  I have a confession to make.   Before this trip, I never stayed in a hostel.   And to be honest, one of my biggest fears before starting this trip was how the whole hostel thing would go. Ever since I can remember, I have pictured hostels as loud, crazy places where drunken 18 …

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View from Suomenlinna

Five Favorite Things In Helsinki

One city down, dozens more to go on this adventure.  So here’s a quick review of my favorite things about my first stop – Helsinki:   1. Suomenlinna Sea Fortress.   Suomenlinna probably was the highlight of my time in Helsinki. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Suomenlinna was founded in the mid-1700s when Finland was …

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Five Favorite Things in Rome

I am in between travels right now, so I thought I would start a new feature looking back on past trips and sharing my favorite things about some of the cities or regions I have visited over the years. First up is Rome – one of my favorite large cities and probably one of the …

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Queue entrance

Witnessing History at Wimbledon

I have wanted to visit Wimbledon for as long as I can remember. Not being willing or able to shell out several thousand dollars to get tickets through brokers or tour packages, I decided a couple years ago to try to get tickets through Wimbledon’s public ballot. When that didn’t work, I paid $40 last …

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