Memories of Communist-era Prague

Prague is undeniably a magical city, a beautiful tourist paradise rich in history. But a visitor who was a student there 45 years ago reveals a different city hidden in plain sight, one with a drab, painful, and very recent past. Travelers just need to know where to look.  Prague in 1969 My friend Mike spent five months - from January to May of 1969 - studying in Prague and Brno with Portland’s ... Read Full Article

A Brief History of Spain

Christopher Colombus Statue in Barcelona

Before embarking on a trip to Spain, learning a bit about its history can make your trip more meaningful. The Iberian Peninsula was first inhabited around 800,000 BC and proved to be a much-desired piece of real estate through the centuries, as evidenced by the large number of foreign invaders that chart Spain's history. First came the Phoenicians, then the Greeks, and then the ... Read Full Article

Exploring Naxos’ Venetian History

View of Kastro from the port of Naxos

One fascinating era of Greek history is the Medieval period during the occupation by the Venetians. One of the Venetian strong-holds in Greece was on the Cycladic island of Naxos. The Venetian Duchy of the Aegean ruled here from 1204-1537. At that time the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas were beset by pirates who invaded the coastal towns and islands. The Venetian navy was powerful and came to the ... Read Full Article

Beaucaire, France: Village of Artisans, History and Bullfighting

  Located in the Gard region in the south of France, Beaucaire is set in the center of a triangle comprised of Avignon, Nimes and Arles. It is distinguished by a medieval castle, winding cobblestone streets and the Rhone-Sete canal that runs right through the center of town. In fact, it might just be the perfect base from which to explore the wonders of the South of France. When we ... Read Full Article

Hungary Tourist Information

Hungarians have contributed some of the world's best musicians, world class cuisine and a glorious medieval legacy. Budapest is a cosmopolitan city of old lanes and flashy people and has a lot to offer to everyone. The surrounding countryside is dotted with castles, fortresses, monasteries and beautiful villages and towns that hark back to the days when Hungary was a great empire. The Danube River ... Read Full Article

History Up Close in Bodrum, Turkey

  With a shriek I hung on to my brand-new camera first and the railing next, much to the amusement of my friends who had seen my choice of priorities! It’s very unusual for the Aegean Sea to be  rough in summer, but on that very day she decided to show us how capricious she can be and how a particular wave could catch me unaware. Somehow the dramatic weather conditions were befitting, ... Read Full Article

Germany: Where History Comes to Life

Germany, the land of Gemaechlichkeit and lederhosen invites you to share in its beauty and heritage. Since east and west Germany united, it has become one of the most economically successful countries in Europe. Germany has several major cities; in each you will experience not only different architectural styles and art treasures but also a very distinctive lifestyle. Local traditions and ... Read Full Article