Safe in Rio de Janeiro?

Did you know that Carnaval in Rio actually lasts until the Sunday after Ash Wednesday? You did? Well, you’re smarter than I am. I was sure we’d get to Rio and find only the corpses, but there was still a few sparks, a few straggling revelers. There were also quite a lot of paint-slathered youths […]

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On The Skeeter Trail in Banff

On the Skeeter TrailWhen you go hiking in the national parks of British Columbia and Alberta, bears are hardly the most ferocious beasts you’ll encounter–it’s the skeeters. Bears graze on berries and tender flowers while you snap a million pictures of them; mosquitoes graze on YOU, leaving only shiny bones and puddles of blood. If […]

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Mackinac Island: Americana made in China

Mackinac Island (pronounced mack-i-naw, um, eye-land) is at the top of the Michigan mitten. Except for a couple of emergency vehicles and snowmobiles, cars are banned from the eye-land. This peculiarity brings millions of tourists to Mackinac–that and the fact that Somewhere in Time was filmed there. If you want to enter the Grand Hotel, […]

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Naples. Why Doesn’t Italy Love Italy?

(Important! If this post is cut off at the bottom, reload the page. This usually solves the problem.) Italy remains one of the world’s most loved tourist destinations. And I have to ask myself every time I’m forced to go there…why? If you haven’t read my posts on Florence and Venice, do that and come […]

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The Dirtiest Tourist Destinations

The following tourist destinations are renowned for their mystique and popularity but also for their bacteria. In fact, some of these could probably boast not 25 million visitors a year but 25 zillion (if we include Staphylococcus epidermidis, Streptococcus salivarius, and E. coli O157:H7). Talk about mass tourism! In 2009, TripAdvisor listed The Blarney Stone […]

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All-Inclusive Turkish Riviera

Many tourists who swarm to the Turkish Riviera each year—around 25 million—end up holed up in an all-inclusive 5-star hotel. There are lots of reasons for this, the first being that very few foreign tourists speak Turkish, so they’re wary of heading off the beaten path where they can’t read the menu. And what’s wrong […]

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Travel Warning!

This week the US government has issued a travel warning for US-Americans traveling to Indonesia. Oops. Too late. I was already there when I read the travel warning. I was on the island of Bali in the beach resort of Kuta, the site of the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people and injured 240 […]

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Don’t Smell Me Wrong

Name two things that should never have contact with each other, besides Keanu Reeves and the screen. If you chose sweaty feet and carpet, you win today’s prize (to be announced). Join me on a journey down your olfactory passages. I’d like to take you to Istanbul, the home of great food, breath-taking scenery, wonderful […]

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Teşekkürler is a Word that Comes to Mind

I was apprehensive when my traveling partner, Sven the Swedish Monk-slash-plumber-slash-baboon trainer, suggested we enjoy a long weekend in Istanbul with his mother. We’d been to Morocco, Tunisia, and Egypt, and I’d never really enjoyed how tourists are treated in these countries. In the end, however, I gave in. He was paying. He’d had a […]

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A Tale of Two Busses

My trip to Malta began Thursday morning at 4:30—not because I had to be on an early flight, but simply because I like getting up early. My flight to Heathrow was at 11:30. At Heathrow I would take a bus to Luton airport to meet up with my travelling companion, Josef the Hungarian Steel worker, […]

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