Columns

Aerial view of Playa de las Teresitas, a Blue Flag beach near Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. Photo: ©dziewul/123rf.com

Dear Globetrotter:

Welcome to the 511th issue of your monthly foreign-travel magazine. For those of you holding a sample copy, while it may be on newsprint and in black and white, there's nothing ordinary about it.

Each issue of ITN carries the escapades and discoveries of travelers of all types who have at least a few things in common: they love to travel, they subscribe to this magazine, and they have written in about something they think other travelers —...

CONTINUE READING »
Children passing by the shrine that remains of the monastery — Borromeo Garden, Brno, Czechia. Photos by Yvonne Michie Horn

Think Czech Republic (Czechia) and Prague springs to mind, everyone's mind, as elbow-to-elbow encounters in the city's picturesque Old Town attest. Mention Brno and the reaction is likely to be a scratching of the head. Brno definitely does not spring to mind.

It should. Brno, the Czech Republic's second-largest city (pop. 400,000), is but a 2-hour high-speed train ride from central Prague. Wander Brno's hilly streets and you'll hear nothing but Czech spoken....

CONTINUE READING »
To avoid the worst crowds on a cruise ship, use amenities such as swimming pools during off-peak hours. Photo by Rick Steves

Last year I spent two weeks on a Mediterranean cruise, filming a one-hour TV show* that will present an honest look at the pros and cons of cruising and will equip travelers with the knowledge they need to be smart cruisers.

You might not think of it as budget travel, but cruising can be extremely affordable. When you consider that the price includes accommodations, food and transportation to far-flung destinations, it's simply a steal. But reckless spending on a cruise...

CONTINUE READING »
Walking on top of the medieval walls of Ávila — central Spain. Photos by Julie Skurdenis

Sixty miles west of Madrid lies one of my favorite places in Spain: the small city of Ávila (population 58,000). Four decades ago I wrote two books of walking tours of European cities. Ávila was one of the 24 cities included in those books.

One of the reasons Ávila ranks as special is its magnificent stone walls that encircle the city, among the best preserved in Europe. I wanted to walk along these walls again and revisit the medieval city they enclose. I also wanted to see...

CONTINUE READING »

Constantinople was the capital of the Byzantine Empire from AD 330 until 1453, when it was captured by the Turks, made the capital of the Ottoman Empire and renamed Istanbul.

David’s selfie and caption: “Big rock, big hat, big chin — David Bentley at Ayers Rock.” Photos by David Bentley

An Aussie friend, David Bentley, recently completed a coast-to-coast journey solo from northeastern Australia to the far southwest in his faithful Troopy (78 Series Toyota Land Cruiser). This 3-part article is edited from his daily reports. — Randy Keck

Day 4 (May 10, 2018) — I'm now at the famous Aussie Red Centre and Northern Territory landmark of Ayers Rock, officially known as Uluru. I had a nice, easy drive on well-graded gravel road all the way from Mt. Dare to...

CONTINUE READING »
The thatched roof of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, where Shakespeare’s wife grew up, seems to drip over the 500-year-old building.

To see or not to see? Nonliterary types might find England's Stratford-upon-Avon to be much ado about nothing, but Shakespeare's hometown is blanketed with opportunities for bardolatry. It's an easy side-trip from London, but an overnight stay is best to take in a performance of the world's best Shakespeare ensemble.

Within Stratford's compact old town, you can walk easily to most sights. The River Avon, which flows right through town, has an idyllic...

CONTINUE READING »
Bastille Day block parties throughout Paris (and all of France) bring locals and tourists together for music, dancing, and patriotic celebration.

For the ultimate summer party in France, visit during Bastille Day, the country's Independence Day. This July 14 holiday is celebrated with gusto, with all-night parties, picnics and fireworks. And the fun permeates the country, from tiny towns to Paris.

The day marks the symbolic start of the French Revolution that brought down the monarchy. In 1789, France was under the tyranny of its king, bishops and nobles. The corrupt monarchy spent...

CONTINUE READING »