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Icelandic turf houses: Laufas, Glaumbaer and others

Iceland is a place to see natural wonders: mountains, glaciers, craters, and coastlines. With my love of historical sites, though, there were a few human-built things that I also wanted to see. In particular, I was curious about what Icelandic turf houses look like inside. Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. That means that if…

A self-guided Rotterdam walking tour: Architecture and art

Rotterdam is famous for its post-war architecture, mostly because a World War II bombing in 1940 destroyed much of the city. Yet it didn’t just rebuild and settle in; it is still constantly changing, expanding and reinventing whole neighborhoods. On a recent visit, I took a tour of a few new buildings, but I also…

De Rotterdam Architecture Tour

Very little of Rotterdam survived World War II. While this means it is not the place to see the Netherlands you expect – charming streets along canals, 16th century merchants’ homes, or picturesque windmills – it is the place to see post-war architecture. This is why I signed up for a tour with De Rotterdam…

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…

carving above the door of Sant Felix in Vilac, Val d'Aran, Spain

Medieval Churches in the Val d’Aran, Spain

There’s something special about the medieval churches in the Val d’Aran, Spain. All are quite small, stone-built in Romanesque style, and date from the 11th to the 15th century. Disclosure: I went to the Val d’Aran as part of a discounted package provided by Pyrenees Experience. I’ve already written about what to do in the Val…

A hanok interior courtyard in Buckchon Hanok Village

A Tale of Two Seoul Neighborhoods

When I checked into the Hotel Ibis Insadong in Seoul, South Korea, I was immediately fascinated by the view from my window. The hotel overlooks the Ikseon-dong Hanok Area, or perhaps I should say it looms over it. Ikseon-dong Hanok Area The neighborhood looks from above to be about a city block around, and is…