Tag Archives | travel writing

Should Foreigners Pay More? Damn Straight.

Should foreigners pay more? That was the question back at the beginning of summer when a heated discussion ensued among travel bloggers on Facebook. At the center of the debate was the tendency of some world governments to charge foreign visitors more than locals to enter a national monument, archaeological site or wildlife park. The [...]

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What to do about Barriles? Archaeology Travel in Panama

Below the grassy parking area where the majority of the stone artifacts were on display I crawled into a cool, tiny sandy nook. The hole at the edge of El Sitio Barilles was made into a cave by the dangling roots of bright green bamboo stands that teetered overhead. I was looking at the layer [...]

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Seeking Some Sassy Ceviche at the Fish Market in Panama City

Everyone was yelling. You notice all the shouting about the same time the fetid reek of salt, tin, ammonia and decay smacks you in the nose. “¡Permiso! ¡Permiso! ¡Cuidado!” A short man in a mustache and green apron pushed past me with a dolly overloaded with ice. His rubber boots splashed in a puddle, spraying [...]

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Losing My Venetian Codega

The irritating little Spaniard followed me onto the traghetto near dawn and we crossed the Grand Canal to the markets at Rialto. “I’m like your codega, amigo!” He told me again. “You know, I really don’t want you following me around again today.” In Venice Italy the codega was a professional guide, an escort, protector, guide [...]

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Walking the Cova de Montserrat

Hitler thought the Holy Grail was hidden somewhere inside a mountain in Catalonia. According to Wolfram von Eschenbach,  Titurel safeguarded the Grail at Munsalvaesche. The Benedictine monks of Montserrat, however, always claimed the Grail was hidden in the caves and tunnels under the sanctuary northwest of Barcelona. Montserrat juts up from the edge of the [...]

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On the Road with: Giuseppe Acerbi

On a chilly afternoon in early April 1799, a group of large horse drawn sledges appeared on the ice off the coast of Oulu in Finland. They had come all the way from Sweden and the horses were tired. Clouds of steam rose from the animal’s flanks. They blew and stomped on ice so clear [...]

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On the Road with: Pietro della Valle

Even after Maani died she travelled with Pietro for five years until he could get her back to Italy. Quickly, the group of women attending the body removed her viscera and filled her innards with camphor oil. Next they delivered her heart, likewise camphorized, to Pietro on a saucer. He was less than impressed and [...]

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My Hometown – In 500 Words

The undersized bars were packed. The streets were not. I remember it a lot differently in high school. Mike and I cruised Main Street Pueblo Colorado  in my white, worn out Toyota Corona looking for girls. Then, inevitably disappointed and at the same time somewhat relieved, we meandered off somewhere to drink beers and talk [...]

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Book Review: The Discovery of France: A Historical Geography

When you realize that Saint Bernadette most likely saw a fairy and not the Virgin you’ve made a key discovery about the very core of France. Bernadette indeed saw something in the cave that day along the roiling Gave de Pau near the village of Lourdes at the base of the Pyrenees but… “Ou pétito damisèla”, [...]

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Pictures from Above. First Impressions

The first pictures from above the Earth come in the form of a drawing. From the Astra Castra, about 4,000 feet above the River Dee, Thomas Baldwin drew rainy cumlo-nimbus clouds below, roads curving through fields, grids of villages and the river, red perhaps from erosional silt. Airopaidia, published in 1786 is Baldwin’s extremely detailed [...]

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The Invincibility of Madame Mathilde. A Story of Haiti

Beautiful Madame Sylvie felt her lungs tighten and her throat burn.  Her grey and wrinkled mother looked at her and asked if she was Ok. “No,” she answered.  Then her eyes bulged and she gasped for breath.  There was none to be had.  She collapsed into her breakfast of fried egg and boiled plantain.  A [...]

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Fort Aguada India

I walked the hill to the fort above the Goa Resort and the Russians didn’t like it. “It is too hot.  Get on.”  Scooter after scooter passed me, stopped, waited for me to reach them then offered me a ride.  It was very kind but, “I’d really like to walk.” “You will die.” “I won’t [...]

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