By Jack C. Ogg, part 2 of 3 on the Balkans

The aqua-blue waters of the Adriatic, the coves and beaches of the Dalmatian coast, medieval walled cities, imperial Roman ruins, mountain lakes and the forests and vineyards of the interior make Croatia a modern-day Shangri-la.

A country of contrasts

Croatia is a relatively new country, and one of contrasts: geographic, political, religious and ethnic. Settled by the Illyrians, invaded by the Celts and, in succession,...


by Jack C. Ogg, Houston, TX; part 1 of 3 on the Balkans

Slovenia, a small gem of a country set between Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia, is a combination of Alpine beauty, majestic valleys and blue- and turquoise-colored lakes purified by their limestone surroundings. The population of nearly two million is neatly distributed over its 20,000 square kilometers, with the only near-metropolis being the capital city of Ljubljana (pronounced Lubliana), a city of only 275,000.



by Donna Jurado, San Francisco, CA. Photos by Joan and Elena Jurado.

My daughters, Joan and Elena, and I were enthralled, watching the strutting display of a male ostrich hoping to impress his intended mate. His face, neck and legs were an intense bright pink during this breeding season. Suddenly, our guide diverted our attention across the grassy savannah, where several lions were engaged in the hunt. The inevitable happened and a hapless zebra soon became lunch for a hungry pride...


by Yvonne Michie Horn, Santa Rosa, CA

“Did you put a little something in the box?” Lord Bigby asked.

He’d met us on the lawn in front of Minterne Manor, where first the Churchill family and then the Bigby family have lived for 350 years. Below lay Minterne Gardens, abundant in century-old rhododendrons and azaleas, ancient cedars, waterfalls and ponds.

Like others wrestling with the upkeep of grand houses and gardens, Lord Bigby counts on “a little something in the box...


by Diane Powell Ferguson, Scottsdale, AZ

I kept telling my husband, “You’ll love Bolivia,” and practicing Quechua on the dog. My other half remained skeptical while the dog became increasingly enthusiastic, since intonations of “Waliq alqu” (“Good dog”) were accompanied by continuous predeparture treats. We wanted to experience Bolivian history and wildlife but particularly emulate the “safari feel” we enjoy in Africa — without traveling quite as far.

Customizing a trip...


by Russ Ellis, ITN

In October ’02, I was a guest on a 4-night tour of Vienna jointly hosted by Austrian Airlines and the Vienna Tourist Board.

Our whirlwind tour included visits to the Austrian Gallery Belvedere, housed in the Belvedere Palace; the MuseumsQuartier Wien, the world’s ninth-largest arts complex; the Albertina, once a Habsburg residence and now home to a comprehensive collection of over a million drawings and prints, and the Kunsthistorische Museum.



by Fred and Ann Abeles, Frederick, MD

Reading about someone’s adventures always makes us want to follow in their footsteps. In this case, we were inspired to follow in Thomas Stevens’ bicycle tracks after reading his recently republished “Around the World on a Bicycle” (2001, Stackpole Books; available through Amazon.com).

In 1884, Thomas Stevens left San Francisco on a Columbia high-wheeler with the goal of traveling around the world. His diary gives a fascinating picture of...


by Thomas McKenna, Montpelier, VT

Easter Island, or Rapa Nui as it is known to locals, is the most remote inhabited place on Earth. Located about 2,200 miles from the coast of South America, its nearest neighbors are on Pitcairn Island about 1,300 miles to the west. Some travelers might consider the remote location reason enough to visit, but the main attraction is the large, mysterious human figures carved from stone centuries ago.

Where the first islanders came from, why...