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a market vendor in Hoi An, Vietnam. Photo courtesy of Anita Breland of Anita's Feast.

25 Real Tips for Women Traveling Solo

A recent article from The New York Times has been making the rounds in Facebook travel groups. Written by Shivani Vora, it’s called “Tips for Women Traveling Solo, From Dining Out to Hotel Safety.” The title is misleading. Rather than a collection of tips, the article is an interview with Suzanne Randolph, founder of Alix…

Another view of Burghausen Castle

Lovely Burghausen Castle

I love castles, especially the medieval kind. I wrote about this attraction to everything medieval a few years ago, trying to get at why we like it, when that historical period was clearly such a terrible time in Europe. But anyway, as a result, I visit castles pretty much whenever I can. So this summer,…

Deva Castle, as seen from where Albert stood under the shelter. It's the closest we got to it.

Not visiting Deva Castle

We weren’t even planning to go to Deva Castle. My husband and I were just driving along, minding our own business, on a road trip in the western Carpathian mountains of Romania. The GPS was guiding us from Timişoara (beautiful buildings, much in need of renovation) to Alba Iulia (18th century fortress with seven bastions),…

The Erotic Museum Amsterdam is in the red-light district, in a building that served originally as a warehouse and was built in 1685.

Is the Erotic Museum Amsterdam erotic?

This entry is part 18 of 18 in the series Amsterdam Museums

The short answer to the question in the title is “No, the Erotic Museum Amsterdam is not erotic.” What is it? Thought provoking and sometimes disturbing. Why I didn’t go to the Erotic Museum Amsterdam before You may remember that I reviewed the Sex Museum some time ago, calling it “the cure for insomnia.” I…

The wall of petri dishes at the Micropia exhibit

Micropia: museum of invisible life

This entry is part 1 of 18 in the series Amsterdam Museums

Getting off the tram with my son and daughter, my first indication that we were nearing our destination, Micropia, was an arrow on a building with the text “only 80,000,000 micrometers to Micropia.” Micropia, a new exhibit at the ARTIS zoo in Amsterdam, bills itself as “the world’s first museum of microbes.” It’s quite a…

A small Banksy stencil showing a man throwing flowers.

Moco Museum: New in Amsterdam

This entry is part 2 of 18 in the series Amsterdam Museums

Banksy and Dalí on show in one museum? When I heard that, I was definitely up for a day trip to Amsterdam to visit the new Moco Museum. Moco Museum Moco stands for Modern Contemporary Museum and, like the much better-known Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh museum, it is located on the Museumplein in Amsterdam. The…

The remains of a doorway with a view at Belvoir Fortress in Israel.

Defense (with a view) at Belvoir Fortress

The Crusaders, arriving in what is now Israel back in the 12th century, didn’t waste any time staking their claim. Their effort to dominate and control the “holy land” for Christianity was bloody and misguided and, in many ways, shameful. Yet it has left us some fascinating historical structures to study and enjoy. I’ve already…

The Torah ark at Um el Kanatir shows detailed carvings.

Um el Kanatir: ancient synagogue in the Golan Heights

When I write about off-the-beaten-path sights, I don’t necessarily mean that they’re hard to get to. I went to Um el Kanatir in the Golan Heights on the advice of Sara Zafrir, owner of Genghis Khan in the Golan, who insisted it was worth the effort. (Disclosure: I received two free nights in Sara’s hostel in…

Our first glimpse of the A380 in Dubai Miracle Garden.

Dubai Miracle Garden: Absurdity in the desert

The taxi ride promised little excitement. It was mid-afternoon and the traffic flowed smoothly past the shiny tall buildings. Impossibly green grass and brilliant pink flowers edged the wide highway, and beyond that we saw sandy vacant lots, parked cars, huge billboards advertising the next luxury development or flashy car, construction sites spiked with tall cranes….

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