Columns

To mentally reconstruct a ruined ancient site like Italy’s Ostia Antica, it pays to do some homework in advance.

Climbing the Acropolis, communing with the druids at Stonehenge or marveling at the sprawling remains of Pompeii -- exploring the remnants of Europe's distant past brings a special thrill to those of us able to resurrect all that rubble.

I had such a thrill recently in Epidavros, where I visited the finest and best-preserved of Greece's many ancient theaters. With my travel partner sitting on the top row of the stony grandstand, I stood alone in the center...

CONTINUE READING »
Workers at Scotland’s Speyside Cooperage fashion oak casks for aging Scotch whisky.

When I was in Scotland recently updating my guidebook, I came to a sobering conclusion -- this is a land of booze geeks. Some of my favorite discoveries have been inviting whisky bars and historic distilleries, run by people evangelical about Scotland's favorite beverage. When it rains -- as it often does, the showers elicit a cheery "That's tomorrow's whisky!" from the locals.

Scotch whiskies come in two broad types: "single malt...

CONTINUE READING »
The picture-perfect village of Oia in Santorini, resting a thousand feet high on a volcanic crater, is a dream come true for photographers and sunset watchers.

The words "Greek Isles" evoke visions of sun-bleached houses shoulder-to-shoulder against a hillside with a mesmerizing view of glittering blue water. But with more than 200 Greek islands scattered across the Aegean and Ionian seas, where do you start?

Chances are Santorini is the island you're picturing. Once a complete island like its neighbors, it was a volcano that blew its top thousands of years ago, creating a giant caldera. Today its whitewashed villages crowd the...

CONTINUE READING »
On the colorful streets of Dingle, you’ll hear a steady beat of Irish folk music ringing out through vibrant pubs like Dick Mack’s.

When someone asks me about visiting Ireland, I tell them not to miss the southwest coast. This is the place to experience the wonders of the Gaelic language and old Irish civilization, as well as the country's contemporary charms. It's the most mystical, Celtic, spiritual and rugged region of Ireland -- and the towns along the way are just plain cute. There's even a competition for the best-kept town.

Every year, the Irish government holds a ...

CONTINUE READING »
The “Barcode Project,” a sleek and distinctive collection of high-rises built on former industrial land, has reshaped Oslo’s skyline.

I'm always inspired by Norway's capital Oslo -- a classic old city that keeps chugging into the future. It's architecturally fascinating, extremely livable, and mellow. While buying things is expensive, many of Oslo's joys are free.

Situated at the head of a 60-mile-long fjord, Oslo sprawls out from its historic core. Its streets are a mix of glassy high-rises, and -- especially in its finer residential neighborhoods -- grand...

CONTINUE READING »
A Trenord train arriving in Stresa, northern Italy. Photo ©Anton Yanchevskyi/123rf

Dear Globetrotter:

Welcome to the 509th issue of your monthly foreign-travel magazine.

This publication prints articles, letters and pictures sent in by its subscribers, of course, and I thought I’d explain a little about sending in pictures.

We can accept prints, so long as they’re professionally processed prints, not just computer printouts or photocopies. These days,...

CONTINUE READING »

Borneo is the world’s only island divided between three countries: Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia.

CONTINUE READING »
The Embankment Café is a casual place to take a break in London. Photos by Yvonne Michie Horn

Westminster Abbey, the National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, the Old War Office: London’s concentrated wealth of “must visits” can be an exciting yet exhausting, traffic-noisy, people-packed sightseeing experience.

Time out. A series of three gardens — expanses of immaculately kept lawns and flower beds, ponds, shrubs, towering trees and wandering paths with...

CONTINUE READING »