The Grand Canyon of Greece

Only a two-hour ride from the port city of Volos, on the fringe of the flat fertile plains of the Thessaly region of central Greece, the town of Kalambaka lies beneath the spectacular windswept monolithic pillars and rounded rocks of Meteora, also known as the Grand Canyon of Greece, rising abruptly from the flat fields…

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The Jerusalem of the Aegean

The small geographic area where Southern Europe, Northern Africa, and the Middle East converge is, arguably, the epicenter of world history and religions, existing together in guarded harmony. In November of 2016, our cruise from Rome to Dubai took us on a journey to this region where it was revelatory to see the diversity of…

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Altitude Sickness

I cannot deny it. I am a mountain girl. Not the kind who believes that shaving in winter is a waste of time and warmth, or thinks that a pair of black thermal leggings are formal wear, and not quite like Carolyn “Mountain Girl” Garcia, former Merry Prankster and Grateful Deadhead. But ever since our family…

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Going to Graceland

For reasons I cannot explain There’s some part of me wants to see Graceland ~ Paul Simon The only time we were in Memphis, we did not go to Graceland, which I thought was just wrong. Now once again, we have headed south to escape the midwest winter gloom on a meandering drive destined for…

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Island of the Knights

Castles, moats, knights, and gods may be the stuff of fairytales, but in Rhodes, Greece, the fantasy is alive. Inhabited since about 4,000 B.C. this island in the southeastern Aegean Sea, is at a crossroads between Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, creating a rich mosaic of different cultures and civilizations, including influence from the…

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The Supermodel of Greece

There is, arguably, not a more instantly recognizeable image of the Greek Isles than the silhouette of an azure blue church dome against steep cliffs and the sapphire Aegean Sea below. This image is from the stunning volcanic island of Santorini, where even the small, scenic town of Oia (pronounced “Ee’-ya”), with only a population…

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The Land of the Gods

Mythology was at the heart of everyday life in Ancient Greece and even today, modern Greeks continue the tradition of recounting their oral history in the form of vivid stories of gods, heroes, and monsters. Greek mythology, that body of wildly imagined, fantastical oral and artistic teachings created by the ancient Greeks, is an integral…

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My Affair With Valletta

The Maltese Falcon. The Dashiell Hammett story of crime, intrigue, murder, and mystery made into the noir classic movie with Humphrey Bogart as detective Sam Spade, was not even filmed in Malta, but it has been my only real association with this small country of three islands…until now. Malta is anything but “noir”. It has…

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Egypt’s Highway to India

I am struck by the irony that, on the eve of, arguably, the most controversial presidential election in the history of the United States that is being closely followed all over the world, we are watching the results from our suite on Nautica, in the Gulf of the Suez Canal, one of the most volatile…

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The Face of News

When we returned to the ship in the afterglow of our lovely day in Trapani, Sicily, gazing one last time at the city from our veranda, we curiously noticed the approach of a large boat arriving at the port next to us. It was filled, standing shoulder to shoulder, with black skinned people, some in…

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