Features

The Lamaria Church in Ushguli.

We chose to visit the country of Georgia for its historic religious sites, its culture, its cuisine and its gorgeous scenery, and our 8-day stay in May 2017 did not disappoint.

Though this small, sparsely populated country has become, economically, much poorer since its separation from the Soviet Union in 1991, Georgia is still a popular vacation destination for Russians, who love the food and wine, and it has a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. 

Getting...

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Looking across the harbor of Valletta, Malta, at the “Three Cities.”

In February 2017, we took Viking Ocean Cruises’ “Secrets of the Southern Mediterranean” cruise, from Civitavecchia, Italy, to Barcelona, Spain, stopping at ports in Malta, Tunisia, Sardinia and Algeria. We are both historians, and a primary reason for our taking the cruise was to see the ancient ruins of Barumini on the island of Sardinia, Carthage in Tunisia and the Tipasa Roman ruins and the Royal Mausoleum of Mauretania in Algeria. All four are UNESCO World Heritage...

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Esther Perica enjoying the “Let It Be”  graffiti in the Yoga Pavilion.

Rishikesh, India, may not sound familiar to many people, but if I say it is home to “The Beatles’ Ashram,” those of us of a certain age know the place I am talking about.

The town of Rishikesh has become a center for studying yoga and meditation, with lots of ashrams (religious retreats) — some of which cost only $3 per day, including meals and classes — small hotels and a few more upscale properties. It is located in the Himalayan foothills in the state...

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One of the samba-school floats we saw at the Sambadrome.

My husband, Charles, and I took a 23-day Amazon cruise — down the eastern coast of South America and up the Amazon River — that ended in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Feb. 25, 2017. However, we were unable to get a flight out of Rio until Feb. 27. 

When we realized that Rio’s Carnival would be in full swing at that time, we decided to hire a guide from Tours By Locals (Vancouver, BC, Canada; 866/844-6783, www.toursbylocals.com) for the two days ($665 total).

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Children playing in a square in Luxembourg City.

"Don't we have some ancestors from Luxembourg?” 

The voice on the phone was that of my younger brother, Bob. Usually laconic and often needling, his voice was, instead, eager and excited.

 “A bunch of them,” I answered confidently, although I was equally sure I couldn’t name a single one. “What’s up?”

 “I just read an article in the paper about reclaiming our Luxembourg citizenship,” he said. “But...

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The Sea Spirit glides by a glacier.

Antarctica has long been on my travel bucket list, but after learning of the wildlife wonders of South Georgia Island, I was torn. Which destination should I choose? 

Fortunately, Jessica at Adventure Life found an expedition that offered an itinerary to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, Antarctica and the South Shetland Islands. This would entail spending 20 days aboard the Sea Spirit, with half of those being at-sea days, but (with luck) my husband, Steve, and I could get to...

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Part of the Trashi Chhoe Dzong, located in Thimphu.

Approximately 30 years ago, I passed up an opportunity to spend a month or two in the remote, little-known Kingdom of Bhutan as a trainer in a management program. At that time, the government allowed very few tourists to enter this mysterious, protected, tiny kingdom. As Bhutan became more open and increasingly on the radar of travelers, I wondered what I had missed. 

To satisfy my curiosity, in late February and early March 2017, my wife, Rosie, and I spent two weeks in Bhutan...

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Oaxaca’s Templo de Santo Domingo.

As an avid traveler, I am always attracted to the colorful liveliness of the colonial cities of the New World. So when Grand Circle Travel (Boston, MA; 800/221-2610, www.gct.com) introduced a new tour called “Mexico’s Ancient & Colonial Heritage,” which combined visits to the colonial cities of Oaxaca and Mérida with visits to five UNESCO World Heritage Sites in southeastern Mexico and the Yucatán Peninsula, how could I resist? 

I made my reservation in...

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