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This is the kind of view you might get when your container ship is in port. This is Piraeus, Greece. Photo courtesy of Rebecca Hall.

Rebecca Hall on 1001 Travel Tales

When Shobha and I decided to interview Rebecca Hall for our podcast, 1001 Travel Tales, what we had in mind was her blog about being an expat in Greece: Life Beyond Borders. But before reading my response to that conversation, go ahead and listen to the podcast. To listen on SoundCloud, click on the image…

In the background, the Palau de les Arts. In front of that, the IMAX theater. At the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain

The City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia (with teenagers)

I caught my first glimpse of Valencia’s City of Arts and Sciences last year as we drove by on our way to see the old center of the city. It was astonishing: massive, futuristic architecture contrasted sharply with everything we had seen so far. Shining white in the sun, I wouldn’t be surprised if these…

Archways provide shade in Monells,, in the Baix Emporda,, Spain

Baix Empordà villages: a photo essay

Baix Empordà, part of the province of Girona in Catalonia, is one of those hidden gems, to use the cliché, that no one seems to know about. Many tourists visit Girona, and many of them venture out to the Dali Theatre-Museum in Figueres. Most, though, don’t stay long enough to explore the lovely stone villages…

sculpture in the Dali Theatre-Museum in Figueres, Spain

Dalí Theatre-Museum: A glimpse into Dalí’s mind

To look at a Salvador Dalí painting is to wonder about the mind that painted it. A visit to the Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres, Spain, gives visitors a chance to look into that mind. That doesn’t mean, though, that you will understand Dalí’s thinking any more than you did going in. I certainly didn’t. It’s called a…

a modernist building in Alcoi, Spain

Modernism in Alcoi, Spain

It was a hot Sunday morning in August when I walked from the deserted Plaça d’Espanya into the visitor’s information office in downtown Alcoi, Spain. The lone woman at the counter seemed thrilled to have someone to talk to. All I wanted was a map, but she insisted on telling me, in detail, about everything…

one part of Levante beach in Benidorm, Spain

Reconsidering Benidorm

Benidorm is one of those places everyone has an opinion about, and it usually isn’t good. When I asked my husband what he thought of the place, he described it as “an overgrown beach town with high buildings right up to the beach.” It was full, he said, with “loud Dutch and fat, pale, English…

Doorways in Arolithos Traditional Cretan Village near Heraklion, Crete

Arolithos “Traditional Cretan Village”

I’ve never seen a hotel quite like Arolithos Traditional Cretan Village before. I only stayed there because I took the gamble that Hotwire offers, and I thought that I’d lost the gamble. I’m still not sure one way or the other. Hotwire On Hotwire, you can book hotels last-minute at very low prices, but their…

This view gives an idea of how the Rethymnon fortress walls tower above the sea. The building is the House of the Councillors.

Rethymnon in half a day

The town of Rethymnon on the north coast of Crete is a popular destination for visitors who want to venture away from their all-inclusive resorts for a bit of local color. The narrow streets of its old center wind between rows of narrow houses with balconies, often overflowing with flowers. Shops sell everything from made-in-China…

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