7 Turkish Delights: The Best of Western Turkey

The blue Mosque is one of the seven turkish delights

Much like the ubiquitous Turkish delight candies that have differing ingredients, flavors, and textures, the delights of Western Turkey are just as varied. The seven Turkish delights I offer range from mosques, former basilicas, Greco-Roman ruins and Byzantine architecture to unique natural world wonders such as the fairy castles of Cappadocia and the terraced pumice pools of Pamukkale. Traversing ... Read Full Article

The Bewitching Sahara

Our rides await outside our hotel in the sahara

I’m at the edge of the mighty Sahara Desert in southeast Morocco , only fifty kilometers from the Algerian border. As the freshly paved asphalt road turns into sand my tour bus grinds to a halt. It looks like I’m at the end of the road, but this journey has just begun. Before you can say pass the couscous my travel mates and I are booted off our air-conditioned coach and shunted into 4WD trucks. ... Read Full Article

Zemun: Belgrade’s Most Charming Neighborhood

Zemun with a view toward Belgrade

Belgrade, with its relaxed attitude, friendly residents and incredible food and drink, can also be sadly short on charm. Outside the historic center, districts tend to run together, and in New Belgrade, indistinguishable rows of apartment buildings seem to stretch for miles. But the city has at least one neighborhood that can be considered distinctive and yes, even charming: Zemun. Longtime ... Read Full Article

Wild Westfjords: Iceland at the Edge of the Arctic Circle

Church in Breidavik , Westfijords

Isolated, obscure, rugged and wind-shorn: These are qualities that easily define the Westfjords in Iceland. But this lonely peninsula also harbors an unfathomable yet pristine beauty borne of severe weather, intense natural forces, and an unforgiving geography. This is the oldest and wildest part of Iceland, forged over 16 million years ago of molten lava. Though the Westfjords jut out into the ... Read Full Article

A Winter Daytrip to the Village of Brisighella, Italy

The Castle- La Rocca in Brisighella, Italy

Deep in the countryside of Emilia-Romagna, a provence in northern Italy, sits the medieval village of Brisighella. To say that it is tucked away would be a lie: the village center sits at the base of three rocky crags, each topped by a structure: a church, a castle, a clock tower. They guard the village, their silhouettes visible from around the Lamone River valley. But Brisighella feels like a ... Read Full Article

Carpe Diem: Seize the Day and Travel Now!

Travel now, the world is your oyster

You would not be reading Europe Up Close if “travel a lot” were not one of your life’s great pleasures. I’d like to suggest that you abandon procrastination before you use up your allotted travel days. Murphy’s Law can strike at any moment and the chance to travel might be gone. Older people inevitably start collecting minor disabilities and issues: heart, hip, knee, back, fill-in-the-blank. ... Read Full Article

The Ghost of Van Gogh: A Tour through Arles and Saint-Remy

Reproduction of The Yellow House

I rested my hands against the windowsill of van Gogh’s bedroom in the Maison de Santé Saint-Paul, an asylum in Saint-Rémy, and peered out at the painter’s Provence: rolling wheat fields bordered by olive trees, a purple-tinged mountain silhouette sweeping the horizon, a golden sun illuminating it all. I was mesmerized by this view, all the more knowing that Vincent van Gogh stood in this very ... Read Full Article

Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way

Fanad Peninsula on the wild atlantic way

I stepped off our coach bus unsure of what to expect out of our first stop in County Donegal along the Wild Atlantic Way, a coastal route of about 2,500 kilometers stretching from southern County Cork to the northwestern corner of Ireland. The weather was noticeably cooler than the hot September afternoons I had been experiencing back in Cleveland. Here, the winds were strong and the air as fresh ... Read Full Article

Finding Paradise: Spain’s Cies Islands

View of Rodas Beach and Faro Island

The Cies Islands are a hidden treasure; a 45-minute boat ride from the bustling city of Vigo in the northwestern province of Galicia, Spain, the islands have pristine beaches and rugged cliffs, a network of quiet hiking trails and a stunning coastline. I couldn’t quite believe what I had stumbled upon: my legs stretched out in front of me and my heels dug into the white, velvety soft sand. Ahead ... Read Full Article

A Hike on Hadrian’s Wall Path

The Hadrian Wall trail

Hadrian’s Wall is one of northern Europe’s greatest remnants of the Roman Empire. It was effectively the northernmost border of the entire empire, which in its heyday extended into three continents. Construction of the wall was initiated by Emperor Hadrian in 122 AD—the wall was more or less complete no more than six years later, a feat so impressive that it could only be done by the Romans. I ... Read Full Article