Far Horizons

by Randy Keck (First of three parts, go to part two or part three)

After experiencing many enjoyable visits to Southern Africa over the years, in late February 2011 I finally had the opportunity to visit the East African wildlife safari stalwarts Kenya and Tanzania. My solo journey was partially hosted by longtime ITN advertiser Sita World Tours and, with a few additions and minor modifications, was similar to their “Kenya and Tanzania Highlights” tour.

The focus...

Peja streets have room for all.

by Randy Keck (Part 2 of 2)

Continuing through Kosovo in October 2011 as guests of the American Tourism Society, our group of three journalists traveled from Pristina to Peja via the enthralling Rugova Gorge, one of the country’s most scenic attractions.

We stopped at Hani Restaurant for lunch and meetings with local tourism officials and were able to savor the beautiful display of fall colors lining both sides of the gorge. We enjoyed a meal featuring trout and other...


(part 1 of 2 on Kosovo & Albania)

Is the tiny country of Kosovo in the Balkans a viable tourist destination for Americans? This was the question on my mind as I traveled to the world’s newest country, separated from Serbia only in 2008, as a guest of the American Tourism Society (ATS). ATS had invited me to attend their annual conference, being held in Pristina, Kosovo, in late October 2010.

ATS is an organization of tourism professionals representing all facets of...


For countless trips around the sun, my discourse on subjects of interest to international travelers has required constant diligence to keep from lapsing into preaching to the choir. It is my choice to risk that, on this occasion.

Many ITN readers are among the most traveled humans on the planet, while countless others aspire to be included in that grouping. Few of us have completed all of our international travel goals, despite our efforts and intentions, and, for many, even coming...

The impregnable, 13th-century Caerphilly Castle
I spent three hectic days in London in March 2010 as part of a small press contingent being hosted by Visit Britain and Ireland. The next stage of our journey began as we departed the city by rail from Paddington Station bound westward to Cardiff, capital of Wales. After a two-hour journey, we arrived in Cardiff and were immediately transferred to the waterfront for an extensive, behind-the-scenes tour of the state-of-the-art Millennium Centre, a truly world-class entertainment venue.
Looking over Westminster Bridge toward Big Ben — London. Photos: Keck

by Randy Keck (Part 1 of 2 on the UK)

London cuisine today is clearly on par with those of the major gastronomy centers of Europe. This was one of the primary discoveries of a March ’10 visit I made to the city as a guest of the tourism promotion organization Visit Britain and Ireland. Our group of five writers had the chance not only to visit the annual “Best of Britain and Ireland” travel and tourism exhibition but to experience some of London’s finest...

Classic autos compete for attention with the Gran Teatro de la Habana on the Paseo del Prado. Photo: Keck

by Randy Keck (Part three of three parts on Cuba. Part one, in the May 2010 issue, thoroughly explored the legal considerations for Americans considering traveling to Cuba.)

On the morning of day seven of my January ’10 tour of Cuba, our ElderTreks group of 16 visited the Cienfuegos Botanical Gardens for a highly informative guided walking excursion that featured many varieties of exotic palms.

Colorful Trinidad entertains

We continued on to the colorful city of...

Sightseeing in style in Old Havana. Photos: Keck

by Randy Keck (Second of three parts on Cuba. Part one, in the May 2010 issue, thoroughly explored the legal considerations for Americans considering traveling to Cuba.)

Havana — lost in time

The most accurate way to describe Havana and Cuba in general is with two words: time warp. This haunting reality was ever present during my 12-day January ’10 Cuba tour, which was hosted by Toronto-based ElderTreks (800/741-7956, www.eldertreks.com), an ITN advertiser. Their...