The Broadcast Reports Accompanying These Travel Articles

This hyperlinked symbol denotes the archived audio file of the Talking Travel report that each contributing travel journalist contributed along with his or her print material. To hear it, you will need MP3 software. With a high speed connection the file should open in 20-30 seconds.


Other reports “in the works”

Art Meets Innocence in Madrid (If you've been to Madrid, you've probably been to the Prado. But have you discovered the most exquisite Spanish art museum in all of Spain? Bob Fisher takes us there.)

Rain in Hiroshima (The Peace Park in Hiroshima is a World Heritage Site but also one of the most poignant places on Earth.)

The Crab Lady of Cape Cod (Maureen Johnson is a magnificent role model for seniors and for all amateur environmentalists.)

The Prehistoric Art of Lascaux (This report will take you to one of the most important archeological sites in France and will challenge your thoughts on the definition of art and human creativity.)

Rome in the Shoulder Season: A Perfect Time to Go (This report will take you to one of the most popular cities in Europe ... when the crowds have dispersed.)

RVing in Mexico: Should You or Shouldn't You? (This personal memoir will give you an experienced RVer's perspective.)

The Sweet Sound of Doubtful (This visit to a serene fjord in the Southern Island of New Zealand will remind you of the true meaning of peace of mind. )

Tokyo and Kyoto: Heartbeats of Classical Japan (Two of Japan's most important cities are the subject of this report.)


In this Destination Worldview report, Bob Fisher talks about his visit to the famous Shinto shrines of Ise in the southern island of Japan.

Bob recommends:
Japan is one of the safest countries my wife and I have ever travelled in. Language was also never a problem; English signs and directions are in all the major transportation services and all those in the hospitality industry speak some English and are exceedingly helpful to travellers. Travelling around the country by train is a delight, highly efficient, and comfortable. Be advised that Japanese trains really only accommodate carry-on size luggage; take one or two smaller pieces as opposed to a large suitcase. The amazing bullet trains and many local trains (wonderful experiences in themselves) are predictable and reliable. Be sure to consider buying a Japan Rail Pass, which is excellent value. The Japan National Tourist Organization is a recommended first stop when planning your trip. To get to the Ise Shrines, Osaka is a recommended starting point, a wonderful city in itself and — as we discovered a great home base for day trips as well as short overnight trips elsewhere in the South Island. For more information on Ise and how to get there visit this page of Japan-guide.com.

And for a little bit of Japan on this continent (especially if you live in Florida), the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens near Boca Raton, Florida is a visual representation of the reverence for nature. It also has a fascinating history. For more information, read Neala Schwartzberg's article Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens on her award-winning website Offbeat Travel

In this Destination Worldview report, Bonnie Neely describes barging restfully through French Chablis Wine Country on the Nivernais Canal beside the Yonne River. Guided excursions on land made history come alive, and exquisite French cuisine accompanied by wines and cheeses of the region made this a perfect anniversary trip.

Bonnie recommends:

We found the French people to be very solicitous and friendly and the country is extremely clean, a nice surprise if you haven't been to France in recent years. For our barge trip we selected European Waterways Ltd , which was celebrating its 30th anniversary, and decided to celebrate our 40th anniversary on La Belle Époque, their premier barge, newly outfitted and handsome.

We enjoyed several days in Paris both before and after our week of barging. Although we thought we had traveled a long way, we discovered, as our captain drove us in a van back to Paris, that we had traversed less than 50 miles of the historic canal on which logs were originally brought from forests to Paris. We highly recommend the moderately-priced Hôtel Les Relais de Paris for practical comfort and convenient location; a short walk from restaurants and the Paris Métro. We also recommend the more upscale Hôtel Ampère, with its lovely courtyard restaurant and in-room business conveniences. When you plan your trip be sure to get the excellent guide book Hunter Travel Guides: Adventure Guide to Paris & Ile-de-France by Heather Stimmler-Hall.

 


Meet Our Destination Worldview Contributors


What Is a Worldview?
“I have wandered all my life, and I have also traveled; the difference between the two being this, that we wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment.” — Hilaire Belloc, French-born English essayist and writer of travelogues (1850-1953)

In the “global village” each generation is challenged by the need to develop a worldview that encompasses as much of the human experience as possible.

Striving for this ideal — a comprehensive view of humankind and the world within which human civilization has evolved — is a prime objective of travel journalism.

The professional travel journalists who contribute to Destination Worldview know that experienced travelers seek reality-based, in-depth, and meaningful travel experiences.

In addition to offering their personal perspectives on specific destinations or travel experiences, our Destination Worldview contributors also offer our listeners/readers practical “best-buy” information and other travel information sources and resources.

These special reports to Talking Travel underscore the maxim that “the only real change occurs in the village.”


Developing and enhancing your worldview

As globalization and technology create a larger and larger “global village,” travelers are in the fortunate position to develop a greater perspective on human society. A “worldview”" is generally understood to be a comprehensive framework in which we become aware of human culture and all that is fundamental to the human experience. The patterns that comprise our worldview are not arbitrary nor disconnected; it is in fact the interdependence of global human affairs that is at the heart of a dynamic worldview. And increasingly through direct experience (either by travelling to various destinations or engaging in a dialogue with credible sources who have “been there”) our expanding worldview can shape our own lives and serve as a guide to gaining a fuller understanding of who we are as a species.

How Destination Worldview Began

The seeds of Destination Worldview were sown during a media trip to Chihuahua Mexico on which Roy Lowey and Bob Fisher were participants.

Chihuahua is one of the most culturally and historically rich areas of Mexico. It is also a destination in which vision is everything. In the deserts, cities, towns, and great natural areas of Chihuahua — the stupendous Copper Canyon is an example — you get to see many things and great distances. Most of all, you get to see the soul of the Mexican people.


Doug Eads invites us along on a Viking River Cruises Exploration during which he recounts what awaits those who purchase European river cruises: castles, pristine scenery, quaint villages, forests of birds singing to celebrate your arrival: large doses of absorbing adventure and complete serenity.

Doug recommends:

It was quite by accident that while I was surfing the Internet I discovered the concept of river cruising in Europe. I knew about American River cruises like those offered by the Delta Queen Steamship Company, but I guess I had never thought about cruising the historic interior of Europe. The more I explored the various websites, the more I came to realize that visiting the interior of any country by way of its inland waterways really lets you see the geographical realities that determine history and shape how people live. Some initial research of the destinations listed in the itinerary will give you a frame of reference that is useful during the trip and will help you decide which “shore excursions” you want to participate in. Taking a map of continental Europe with you will also be useful.

The essential concept we were looking for was: unpack once and move with the hotel. During the days we would tour (if desired) the sites along our route, or just laze about on the spacious decking and view the passing scenery. Many days we would dock beside river towns, villages and cities and do walking tours. We selected Viking River Cruises not just because it was the largest river cruise company in the world, but because of the rave reviews Internet sources gave the company.


Gone Jewelry Shopping, by Neala Schwartzberg
In this report, Neala Schwartzberg takes us into the world of turquoise, explains the different kinds of turquoise made into jewelry, and describes her shopping experiences in Albuquerque — and how to have a cultural experience with a credit card in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Neala recommends:

Albuquerque has a rich native American cultural heritage that is expressed in the art, crafts and jewelry found in the area — as well as New Mexico in general. Although I focused on jewelry because of my love of turquoise, it's there in the basketry, weaving and other traditional crafts as well. If I had more room in my suitcase I surely would have brought that back as well.

But I was happily astounded by the variety of other jewelry — beaded pieces, sleek contemporary pieces, and of course, lots of silver. Visiting the different places to see what's available is a part of the fun, and the learning. The Turquoise Museum, on the edge of Old Town, should be the first stop. Not only to see one of the most comprehensive collection of turquoise, perhaps the largest private collection in the world but to learn about the varieties of turquoise and the questions to ask before purchasing. Skip Maise's sells a staggering diversity of native American artisan products. Not only turquoise, but beautiful baskets, beaded pieces, feathered pieces, woven rugs, and more. The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center presents the history and culture of New Mexico's pueblos — native American cultural


groups. There are also booths set up outside selling a variety of native American crafts and jewelry. For sleek contemporary silver pieces Lilly Barrackís showroom provides 50% off her normal prices. And since the Gathering of Nations Powwow will be held the last full weekend of April 2005, that should also be put on the list of cultural shopping places. Finally, call the Indian Arts and Crafts Association (505-265-9149) and ask for their brochure on turquoise.

The Grand Canyon: Exulting in Spectacular Scenery and Following the Rhythm of the Sun, by Hans Tammemagi

In this report, Hans Tammemagi describes the Grand Canyon in Arizona from the best perspective of all. He and his wife hike down the steep, cliff-hugging trails to the bottom where they camp. He describes the spectacular vistas and how the dramatic drop in altitude passes through one of the most diverse ecosystems in North America; from cool pinyon-juniper woodland on the rim to a searing desert, complete with lizards, scorpions and cacti. Life at the bottom, removed from automobiles, television and electricity, follows a gentle, soul-fulfilling rhythm controlled by the sun's path across the sky. Read Hans's article here.

Hans recommends:

Be one of the fewer than one per cent of visitors who camp below the rim of the Grand Canyon; it is a trip you will remember (and brag about!) the rest of your life. But prepare carefully and carry lots of water because the climate is harsh and the hike strenuous. The number of backcountry permits is carefully limited, so book well in advance through the National Parks Service (www.nps.gov/grca). An easier alternative is to ride a mule and stay at Phantom Ranch (Xanterra Resorts: www.xanterra.com), which provides meals. Another option is to hike but let a mule “duffle” your gear.

All (non-camping) accommodations in the National Park from the historic and luxurious El Tovar on the rim to the Phantom Ranch at the bottom, as well as mule rides up and down, can be booked via Xanterra Resorts: 1-888 297-2757 or http://www.xanterra.com/

My wife and I went in September to avoid the summer heat and crowds. We flew to Phoenix (although Flagstaff is closer) because we wanted to experience the drive through the Sonoran desert with its distinctive searing landscape and cacti. An excellent place to recover afterward is at Sedona (voted the most beautiful place in America) with red, wind-shaped buttes and dramatic sandstone towers.


Luminous Vence, by Bob Fisher

A jewel of France's Côte d'Azur is the subject of a report by Bob Fisher on one of France's most beautiful artistic pilgrimage destinations.

Bob recommends:

For North Americans traveling to Europe, Southern Provence and France's Côte d'Azur are two of the most popular destinations. (“Riviera,” a slight misnomer, actually refers to only part of Mediterranean coast.) Most people “do” Provence as an extended side trip from Paris in part because whether you arrive by rental car down the very beautiful and dramatic central autoroutes or take the comfortable and efficient high speed TGV (train de grande vitesse), getting there is indeed half the fun. (For more information on the TGV see TGV, or TGV Reservations in the U.S. However, if you have already “done” Paris and want to get to Provence quickly, there are many excellent (often direct) flights to Nice, whose airport is less than an hour by car or public transport to Vence. An alternative route that a lot of people do consider, is starting at the Côte d'Azur, and ending up in Paris. This has the added advantage of saving the “City of Lights” for the last when you are rested and non-jet lagged. For all other websites and information, please see the recommendations included in Bob's article.


Lower Manhattan in the Spring!, by Neala Schwartzberg

Neala Schwartzberg (OffbeatNewYork.com) takes us “downtown” to a particularly interesting part of New York City at the present time. Read about New York on Neala's site: The Rise and Rise of Lower Manhattan; New York City Tenement Museum; Battery City Parks.

Neala recommends:

Spring is actually one of the best times to visit NYC. It isn't blisteringly hot nor is the winter wind howling down the streets. The trees and flowers are blooming — and yes, there are trees and flowers in the midst of the city. They look great with all the new art in public spaces that has sprung up in the last few years. The streets are bustling, and life is good in the Big Apple.

One of my favorite parts of the city is lower Manhattan. It is the heart of history of the city, from colonial era to the melting pot years of the early 20th century. New York City is one of the major colonial cities and you can still walk those streets and see some of the early buildings. Of course, much history has been lost, and some regained. The website Museums Of Lower Manhattan lists 15 museums, most of which focus on the culture and history of NYC. There's also parkland downtown. Battery Park City Parks meld art, shrubs and trees and a walk along the Hudson. Another excellent website is DowntownNY.com. You can read more about New York City any time of year at Neala's new website OffbeatNewYork.com.


Germany's Beautiful Alpine Road, by Bonnie Neely

Bonnie Neely takes us along this world famous route and explores the region's historic arts and crafts centers. In former centuries one of Europe's most important trade routes for salt, which was necessary for life, ran through the Bavarian Alps. Today it is mostly a two-lane, winding highway from Lindau to Bad Reichenhall, Germany and is one of the most beautiful and picturesque byways in Europe. Leaving Munich, you'll pass lush Alpine meadows and farm land, through a National Park, past lakes and gurgling streams, with lovely little churches, their tall, thin spires loftily pointing skyward. The verdant green scenery is punctuated by bright orange roofs and white stucco, rectangular, two-storey houses, with red geraniums brightly tumbling over the rim of flower boxes in each window. Black and white Holstein milk cows and chestnut brown Simental beef cattle, with their engraved brass bells clanking when they shake their heads, lie peacefully chewing their cuds or walk along in front of you. You'll think you're in a movie production or storybook! Our trip to Bavaria was to concentrate on the craftsmanship of today's artists who are continuing traditional art, and we found fascinating ones along this route.

Bonnie recommends:

In Oberamagau, world renowned for the Passion Play, appreciate and purchase beautiful hand-made crosses, paintings, and other Christian art. In the foothills of the Alps just outside of Bad Reichenhall, stay at a storybook Bed & Breakfast “Brucknerbaur,” where the owner, Marianne Kembichler, is a doll maker. Enjoy her display of hundreds of hand-made dolls, each in unique outfits.

In Bad Reichenhall, stay at the five star Steigenberger Axelmannstein Hotel and rejuvenate with their famous therapeutic baths and spa treatments, enjoy nightly concerts in the Kur Garten. Intricately decorating eggs is an ancient Bavarian art. Visit world renowned artist Brigitte Machwitz at her gallery/shop, where she continues the egg-painting tradition. She is also known around the world for her hand-painted glass Christmas balls and ornaments. Tour Reichenhaller Akademie, or plan to stay for their one to three-week classes in painting, drawing, enamel and metals, and sculpture, taught by world-famous artists.

Drive a few minutes away to Berchtesgaten, near Eagle's Nest Monument. In the Middle Ages some of the crafts monks and men of the village formed a guild to make beautiful, waterproof boxes of thinly-sliced wood. Visit Heimatmuseum, “Schloss Adelsheim,” where you'll enjoy numerous collections of many forms of ancient arts and crafts. This museum preserves many traditional crafts and promotes education of present-day artisans for future continuity of these traditions. The local government sponsors the museum shop where you can buy the finest of handmade Bavarian items. Walk through the oldest part of Berchtesgaden where you'll marvel at three-dimensional frescoes painted on the typical Bavarian buildings. For illiterate people in former times these pictures told what each building housed. Many artists painted frescoes on a regular basis in past centuries. Today only a few are skilled in this art form.

Enjoy Bonnie's features here:

Bavaria's Beautiful Alpine Road; Bed and Breakfast In Home of Alpine Doll Maker; Bavarian Arts in Bad Reichenhall

And for more information, go to the following websites:

http://www.bad-reichenhall.de/;

http://www.bad-reichenhall.steigenberger.de/servlet/PB/menu/1001967_l1/index.html;

http://www.picturesfree.org/austriagermany/ober.php


Make Yourself at Home — in London!, by Bob Fisher

This multi-media and in-depth report by Bob Fisher focusses on London, Greater London, and world-class sites within easy commuting distance.

Bob recommends:

Read the report (see hyperlink above), visit the websites, and then start making plans to make yourself at home in London.


Mysterious Morocco, by Karen Hamlin

Karen Hamlin explores the exotic, the historical, the practical, and the sensual in this beguiling North African country.

Karen Recommends:

Parts of Morocco are magical; it's like walking into an Indiana Jones film. My favorite places are the souks of Marrakech and Fez, and the Sahara Desert. Allow enough time for the souks because there is so much to see. Good buys are long kaftan dresses, ornate pillow covers, mosaic tiled tables, henna lamps, houkas, Moroccan pottery, dyed leather goods, hand painted tables, harem pants, silk scarves, silver jewelry, brass products, tea sets and lots more. I would recommend hiring a guide for the souks because it's so easy to get lost in the maize and there are some very good pickpockets there. Be sure and get an official guide from the tourism office. You can probably arrange that from the U.S. by contacting the Moroccan Tourism Bureau (212-557-2520). If you live in another country, do a Web earch for the nearest Tourist bureau. Passing by the booths and doors to homes or even palaces in some of the souks, you can sometimes get a glimpse of life inside. The people are very friendly and hospitable and will often invite you inside their shop or home for some delicious Moroccan tea (it's minty). That's what happened when I passed a very old pasha sitting in a big empty palace. He invited me in and called his servant to bring me tea on a silver tea platter. However in the city of Fez, some University students followed us asking political questions about U.S. policies. Use caution and be as travel-wise as you would anywhere else away from home.

My other favorite place is the Sahara Desert. You get your guide when you go to the camel parking lot in Merzouga and pick up your camel. I would strongly recommend arriving for the sunset, not the sunrise because you will have a much better chance of seeing it. It is so spectacular that you have to see it to believe it.

Protocol

Remove your shoes when entering a Moroccan home or mosque. It is good to make appointments; however, punctuality is not always observed. If you compliment a Moroccan on a possession, he or she may feel obliged to give it to you. Accept tea when offered so as not to insult the host. Ask permission before taking photos.


I Left My Heart in Mt. Rainier WA, by Bill Neely

Bill Neely will take us to one of his and Bonnie's favorite RV destinations in the U.S. For Bonnie and Bill's article Camping & RVing at Mt. Rainier National Park please click on the preceding link.

Bill and Bonnie Neely have been avid RV campers since 1975, and their favorite camping adventures are in our great National Parks. The Neelys, who are always trying to escape Texas summer heat and mosquitoes, prefer the mountains of the Western United States. Bill will describe Mt. Rainier National Park and tell some of the experiences he has had in driving RVs of various sizes there. He'll tempt you to fall in love with favorite places and scenery and to experience the wonder of one of the largest mountains in the lower United States and picture ranger programs around a campfire, hiking beneath centuries-old trees so high you cannot see the tops, trekking through Alpine meadows among deer and wild flowers, traversing steep rocky or snowy trails, walking beside rushing glacial rivers, appreciating the monuments the CCC built during the Great Depression. Having driven RVs the equivalent mileage of around the world eight times, Bill is a real RV expert!

Bill and Bonnie Recommend:

Official National Park Info

Visitor information

More visitor information

A statistical tour of the park


Finding Your Silversea Cloud, by Doug Eads

Doug Eads takes us on the quintessential quality cruise (to the Baltic) aboard a Silversea Cruise Line ship and in the process suggests what constitutes superior quality in the cruise industry.

For additional cruise reviews by Doug Eads, go to CruiseReport.com.

Doug recommends:

It is fair to say that perhaps just a few years back I did not know about Silversea Cruises. Somewhat by accident I got a brochure in the mail, and that did it. Even the brochure was elegant, detailed, and inviting. So I kept it on the coffee table to savor it like a fine Napoleon brandy, just taking a sip/look now and then.

What I was really doing was teasing my taste for quality, and barely staving off my hopes for a cruise vacation on a line that seemed to have it all — quality, ambience, and in a tempo that was not pretentious. I felt I would someday take my wife Carol on a Silversea cruise.

I did some research on the Internet, and that only made it more inviting. The web site is also quite nice, and I set a goal to be cruising on a Silversea ship in 2004. This was in 2001. We worked toward the goal and did the Baltic — this was a memory to share! Quality comes at a price, but Silversea delivered everything I imagined she would, and more.


The Challenge of India, by Suzanne Wright

Suzanne Wright takes us into the heart of India and shares with us her aesthetic, sensory, and emotional reactions. Click here to read Suzanne's in-depth and thought-provoking article on India.


Playing on the Tundra in Finland, by Karen Hamlin

Karen Hamlin takes us to Finland and Lapland in the month of January where she tests her travel journalist survival skills and has good fun.

Karen recommends

You can feel displaced even before landing in Finland (mistaking clouds for snow) but you will quickly feel free to immerse yourself in this country's unique geography and culture. Finns are very friendly. As you walk down the streets of the capital Helsinki, people will greet you with “Hey, hey!” (Finnish for “Hi!”)

In Helsinki, I recommend The Kamp, an elegant 19th century hotel — even as part of your sightseeing . If you travel to Lapland in the winter (an experience I highly recommend) remember that you will be above the Arctic Circle and itís imperative to dress for temperatures that can plunge to -50 degrees F. Layers are important: silk underwear, long johns, scarf, gloves, face mask, hat and anything else that has recently been invented for skiing. Once youíre covered, relax and enjoy the great outdoors.

Be sure to go dog mushing and feel the strength and power of these intelligent animals; the dogs move very fast and it is an exhilarating ride. In Kemi, visit the Snow Hotel even if you donít stay there. Enjoy the dayís activities and maybe a stage show. But if you can, spend the night in the Snow Hotel. Itís a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Try a Finnish sauna. If you're really brave (and your doctor approves) go for the polar dip and then the sauna. Be sure to try some reindeer meat (if you eat meat) and if possible experience a reindeer feast to get a feel for the culture of the Sami. Also, donít miss the snowmobiling, the ice fishing, the reindeer sleighing, or the skiing.

You will find all the modern amenities in Finland you are accustomed to but don't miss out on the old traditions that are still practiced there today. Above all, make the most of a trip to Finland and you may even rediscover yourself as I did.


Rediscovering America: Travel Treasures Close to Home

Hampton,Virginia: The Epicenter of American History, by Bob Fisher

Following their visit to this popular travel destination, Roy Lowey and Bob Fisher explore for our viewers and listeners all that Hampton has to offer. This hour-long special also includes phone-in segments by travel and tourism representatives from the Hampton area.


Bears, Birds, and Belugas on the Edge of the Arctic, by Hans Tammemagi

Hans Tammemagi interacts with a very special northern environment on Hudson Bay in Churchill, Manitoba and in the process he gives us a glimpse of life in a northern community of the Americas.


Augsberg, Germany and World Cup Soccer, by Bonnie Neely

Thousands of soccer fans from all over the world will travel to Germany next summer to see the World Cup Soccer matches, which will take place in several cities in summer 2006. Naturally, prices will be high and crowds will be great in cities hosting the games. Consider staying in a nearby city and avoid the crowded hotels and restaurants, save money, and enjoy the area while you're there. Bonnie Neely will talk about Germany's second oldest city, founded by Augustus Caesar in the First Century on the Lege River. With artifacts dating even farther back, and wonderful art museums, cathedral with the world's oldest stained glass, and the fascinating Fuggerei (the world's first public housing for the poor and aged), many fine restaurants and hotels and excellent transportation by train/bus/highway to any of the soccer matches, this is a city to include in your plans for Southern Germany anytime you go. For Bonnie's article please see: Visit Augsburg When in Southern Germany, By Bonnie Neely, Photos by Bill Neely.

Bonnie recommends

More Information: A feature article; Hotels; German phrase guide; World Cup Soccer Schedule 2006

Other Information: (a) The city of Augsburg; (b) Germany's Mozart City; (c) World Cup Germany 2006; (d) TravelPost.com (Augsburg)

Information in German: “Augburg's New Scene”


Rocky Mountain High — Colorado, by Neala Schwartzberg

In this report Neala Schwartzberg explores the breathtaking beauty that can literally cause you to remain


motionless and stand transfixed. She also introduces us to unexpected and quirky aspects of Colorado and the Rocky Mountains — mountains that make their own weather.


Nepal: A World Away, by Suzanne Wright

Despite a royal coup during her visit to the Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal, Suzanne Wright finds the antidote to the sensory overload of the “outside world.”

Rain in Hiroshima, by Bob Fisher

In this article, Bob Fisher experiences the incongruence of Hiroshima's Peace Park.


Rome in the Shoulder Season, by Bonnie Neely

What can one say about this ageless, incredibly beautiful Imperial City that has not been already said? Tours usually just let you hit a few of the most beautiful (and most crowded) places, see the Vatican Museum, some of the fountains, St. Peter's overwhelming Basilica, enjoy a few meals, and move on. Because we enjoy history and art so much we decided to take ten days to do ONLY Rome, and to spend our time as if we lived there for real, seeing Rome as the Romans do. That meant finding an apartment style hotel and using public transportation to sight-see on our own. It was an adventure, since we don't speak Italian, but it was fun. And our splurge for a few nights was in the top hotel in Rome to see Rome as those not on a tight budget do. We have some tips for anyone going to Italy.

Please see Bonnie's features on Rome by clicking on this link.
And for more information, click on this link as well.

Bonnie recommends

Hotels: Grand Hotel Parco Dei Principi; Aurelia Antica Suites and Apartments

Rome's Tourism Department

Transportation

The Opera


A Wright Moment in North Carolina, by Bob Fisher

The recent 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers famous “first flight” is also a timeless moment for considering the meaning of that amazing event.


For many North Americans, bargaining is a daunting chore, not a lighthearted social activity. Suzanne Wright's report will focus on how to raise your consciousness ó and your skills.


In this report, Peter Flaherty explores the complex and fascinating history of this beautiful city. He also examines how community rivalry and politics are ageless.


Experiencing History First-hand, by Neala Schwartzberg

Neala Schwartzberg examines how the experiential learning of history through visits to several important historical sites in North America makes history come alive.


Art Meets Innocence in Madrid, by Bob Fisher

In this quiet “slice of life” glimpse inside a unique art gallery in Madrid, Bob examines how travel can reveal universal issues such as how children learn the essentials of social organization — from art.


Havana: Everything Old Is New Again, by Peter Flaherty

In this in-depth report, Peter blends the history, culture, politics, and a very “up close and personal” sense of the people of Havana to create a portrait of the new Cuba and the Cuba that is already a major travel destination and one that will inevitably re-emerge as a destination for the United States.


Pleasures of Ponce, Puerto Rico, by Neala Schwartzberg

As Neala shows us, the cultural and natural heritage of this relatively undiscovered "smaller sibling to San Juan, Puerto Rico," is an inclusive and comprehensive experience on many levels. This is a distinct travel destination that offers the visitor an important and discrete glimpse of how culture is enduring. Its historic roots date from 1692 and its founder, the great-grandson of Ponce de Leon. Some of its beautiful buildings are on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. Its unique museums are treasures in themselves. Its importance as a prehistoric archeological site and its tragic indigenous history is once again a significant lesson in the colonization of the Americas. And as a microcosm of Spanish Colonial heritage, it is a very special place in this hemisphere.


Tahiti: James Michener, Paul Gauguin, and Marlon Brando Were Right! by Suzanne Wright

We also travel to escape; to experience even briefly the “perfect” physical environment where geography, topography, and climate create a paradise on earth. The notion of paradise in the human psyche is as old as human civilization. And occasionally, as Suzanne Wright does, we come pretty darn close to the real thing. At such times, travel is also the stuff of dreams.


The Faces of Gujarat: Experiencing India Subliminally, by Bob Fisher

In India's northwestern province of Gujarat, Bob discovers that this is not a faceless nation.


An Agriscape Experience: The Tuscan Landscape at Castello di Spannocchia, by Karin Leperi

In this multimedia and multi-dimensional article, Karin gives a lesson from the heart in the land, landscape, the art of living, and the art of the travel photographer.


The Nikko World Heritage Site in Japan, by Bill Neely

These temples and shrines are known for their architectural and artistic genius, as well as the ingenuity and creativity of its architects and decorators. Bill Neely will take us there. Read Bill's full article “Ascending the Steps of Japanese: Spiritual Culture in Nikko” by clicking here.


Pacuare Lodge, Costa Rica, For Natural Adventures, by Bonnie Neely; Photos by Bill Neely

Our primary reason to go to Costa Rica was for a soft adventure trip to the tropical rain forest we had read about so enthusiastically. We chose Costa Rica Nature Adventures to plan our trip, and we are so very glad we did! With eight glorious days in that exquisite country, which is world-renowned as the best conserver of the environment, our favorite part was our experience rafting on the Pacuare River and our stay at Pacuare Lodge. Everything about the experience was wonderful in this Jungle Paradise, and we hope to return. Of all our travels this was our favorite, second only to Santorini, Greece. Visit the website of Pacuara Lodge.


What Every Traveler Should Know About Avian Influenza, by Karin Leperi

In this special report, which includes an exclusive interview with U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, Karin Leperi gives an overview of this feared pandemic and its impact on the travel industry.


China’s Mount Tai: Where the Steps Climb Over the Sun, by Gregory Monteith

Climbing a mountain in China in the footsteps of millions, including emperors, Gregory reaches a significant level of cultural understanding.


Levels of Experience in Naples, by Peter Flaherty

In this multi-layered and intricate portrait of Naples, Italy, Peter Flaherty takes us on a journey through what may well be one of the least understood and most under-appreciated cities in Italy.


Monterey, California: Exulting in Nature and History, by Hans Tammemagi

Hans Tammemagi is an environmental scientist and a lover of the outdoors. Through his visit to Monterey, California, he gives us a portrait of one of the best marine life destinations in North America, and a lesson in life-long learning.


Once Upon a Gîte in Languedoc, by Bob Fisher

Bob Fisher goes to the ancient region of Languedoc in southern France to find old friends and a vaguely remembered way of life.


The Quiet Hands and Mind of Dora Tse Pe: Matrilineal Potter, by Bob Fisher

The pottery of this acclaimed New Mexican artist reflects many generations of Dora Tse Pe's ancestors as well as her own sensitivity to her environment.


An Artful Journey to Malaysia’s Batik Week, by Michelle Newman

In this arts + travel article, Michelle Newman also demonstrates why the arts industries — indigenous ones especially — contribute to the marketability of a destination.


Return to the Sea: Experiencing a State of Bliss in the Turks & Caicos, by Suzanne Wright

Suzanne explores the notion of paradise ... in real time.


Make Yourself at Home — in Amsterdam!
And experience the world in a nutshell, by Bob Fisher

In another in the “Make Yourself at Home in ...” series, Bob Fisher shows how to get the total experience in this unique capital city.


Contemplating the Collective Psyches of Three Cities: Prague, Budapest, and Berlin, by Suzanne Wright

After a wintry visit to three of the most fascinating cities in Europe, Suzanne Wright considers how cities develop distinct personalities.


Havana Encore: Religion and Other National Passions, by Peter Flaherty

Because of Fidel Castro's recent illness and an oft-anticipated change of régime, travelers and other observers wonder what is in store for Cuba. After his third visit to the island, Peter takes us to the heart of Cuban society


The Virtual and Other Realities of Jeroen Bechtold, by Bob Fisher

Jeroen Bechtold is a contemporary potter and ceramist in Amsterdam. In this report, Bob Fisher explores the legacy of the Dutch connection with the Far East and this extraordinary contemporary artist.


Crossing Jordan: Wisdom, Enlightenment, and Euphoria in the Hashemite Kingdom

This extensive report on Jordan contains multiple in-depth articles, hyperlinks to key resources in Jordan, many photographs, slide shows, mini-videos, and recommended travel amenities.


Stepping Back to Medieval Times in Tallinn, Estonia, by Elle Andra-Warner

Elle Andra-Warner takes us on a journey to her ancestral homeland.


À Cheval Through Cathar Country in France, by Bob Fisher

In the ancient land of Languedoc in the south of France, Bob discovers great drama and a landscape that is also great theatre.


Islands and Eccentrics in the Broughton Archipelago of British Columbia, by Hans Tammemagi

In this intelligent, sensitive, and thoughtful portrait of a gem of nature, Hans explores some of the most important concepts in the world of travel today.


The Siksika Nation of Alberta: Self-determination, cultural affirmation, land, and time, by Bob Fisher

The focus of this report is First Nations heritage travel and the Siksika as a role model of this kind of travel experience.


Transformational Indonesia, by Suzanne Wright

This extensive report by Suzanne Wright is a multi-layered exploration of the nation and its diverse culture.


Karlovy Vary: Through a Lens Obliquely, by Bob Fisher

In this multimedia narrative, Bob Fisher explores the history of central Europe through the medium of one of the most famous spa towns in the world.


Vietnam on the Verge, by Suzanne Wright

Vietnam as an emerging travel and tourism destination is the subject of this report.