Far Horizons

(Second of two parts)

En route to the Atlantic coast on our June 2015 driving adventure in southwestern France, my wife, Gail, and I drove 400 kilometers from Collioure to Lourdes, where we found a hotel row stretched along the banks of the Gave de Pau.

After negotiating a good rate of $78 at the 4-star Hôtel Le Méditerranée (23, av du Paradis, Lourdes; www.lourdeshotelmed.com), we joined the stream of visitors, mostly foreigners and many in wheelchairs, making their way to...

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(First of two parts)

Prior to our June 2015 Canal du Midi cruise in southwestern France (see my August and September 2015 columns), my wife, Gail, and I allowed time to experience Montpellier.

Notable Montpellier

Compared with many of it neighbors, the city of Montpellier is a relative newcomer, its origins traced to the 10th century. By the 13th century, it was a thriving center of commerce and trade with the East, including the exporting of wine. Montpellier has the...

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(Second of two parts)

One of the attractions of barge cruising along the Canal du Midi in France is the opportunity to bike on the towpaths that line its entire 150-mile length. On a partially hosted cruise with European Waterways aboard the classic, Dutch-designed barge Anjodi in June 2015, my wife, Gail, and I took advantage of the biking options along our route from Le Somail to Marseillan. 

The Anjodi carries a bicycle for each passenger, and we found their new...

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In early June 2015 I had the opportunity to realize one of my long-held travel fantasies: traveling by barge on the timeless Canal du Midi in southwestern France. The journey was inspired by the experience of an adventurous British couple portrayed in the 2005 book “Narrow Dog to Carcassonne” by Terry Darlington.

On a partially hosted cruise aboard European Waterways’ oldest and best-known barge, the 8-passenger Anjodi, my wife, Gail, and I lived a life of luxury...

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In 2005 I made a vow that in 10 years I would revisit a topic of increasing concern at that time: “Is the US airline industry moving in the direction of becoming a monopoly?”  Forty-seven years ago, in 1968, Simon and Garfunkel lamented to a war-weary American public, in the famous line from the hit song “Mrs. Robinson,” “Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?” Today a reeling American travel public can ask, “Where have you gone, Continental, Northwest, TWA, US Air (now American Airlines) and...

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(3rd of 3 parts on Brazil)

It was a flight from Salvador to Brasilia, connecting with a flight northwest to the Amazon and Manaus, that started the final part of my September 2014, partially hosted, small-group journey through Brazil with longtime ITN advertiser ElderTreks. 

Manaus is the capital and largest city (pop., two million) in the state of Amazonas. Founded in 1669 as a fort on the banks of the Rio Negro, 6 kilometers from its convergence with the mighty Amazon,...

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(2nd of 3 parts on Brazil)

The inclusion of the amazing Pantanal was one of the primary reasons I chose to travel to Brazil on a 20-day, September 2014 tour operated by the small-group adventure tour operator and longtime ITN advertiser ElderTreks. 

Even before our nighttime arrival at Pousada Aquapé farm, reached by road from the ecological paradise of Bonito, which I reported on in last month’s column, I sensed that our group of 12 was in for a very special...

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(2nd of 3 parts on Brazil)

Despite increased access to our ever-shrinking planet, Brazil, the world’s fifth-most-populous country (about 200 million), remains an enigma to even the most seasoned international travelers.

Brazil’s identity is somehow obscured by rampant diversity on fronts ranging from complex ethnicity and a consistently unpredictable, often volatile economy to unparalleled natural world attractions. With a land area comparable to that of the...

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