Edinburgh’s Rose Street—A Beer Aficionado’s Nirvana

the Kenilworth, one of Rose Street's most popular bars, named after a novel by Sir Walter Scott

The medieval stone city of Edinburgh boasts a staggering 700 pubs for its population of just under 500,000, the highest concentration of pubs in Great Britain. And the epicenter of Edinburgh’s beer sampling scene, as any local will tell you, is Rose Street, only a brisk 10-minute walk down the hill from the Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle. Now a lively pedestrian walkway, Rose Street lies between ... Read Full Article

Getting Nautical in Greenwich

The grand buildings of Greenwich contrasted with the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf on the other side of the river

There are many ways to reach the Royal Borough of Greenwich in southeast London. You can take the bus, or the underground, or the futuristic Docklands Light Railway. Or, in keeping with the strong naval heritage of the area, you can take a boat. Along with the profusion of tourist cruises on offer, commuter boats stop at Greenwich pier, and it is by far the best way to get an overview of the area. ... Read Full Article

River Cruise: The Ultimate Shopping Shuttle

We cruised aboard the AMABella

You’ve done Paris, you’ve seen Rome but when’s the last time you’ve dug for vintage treasures in Budapest? Or shopped off-the-runway furs in Vienna? For true shopaholics looking to welcome 2015 with a (fashion) bang there’s no better place than Eastern Europe. With local Christmas markets popping up across the region, from big cities to small hamlets, it really is the most wonderful time of the ... Read Full Article

The Spectacular Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Massed Pipes - ©The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

The opening sights and sounds of the Edinburgh Tattoo are spectacular, set against the backdrop of ancient Edinburgh Castle. In the distance, behind the castle walls, I hear the sinister rattle of dozens of snare drums followed by the wail of a single bagpipe. Then, suddenly, 600 pipers fire up their instruments in a loud cacophony of noise that echos across the esplanade. The excited crowd goes ... Read Full Article

Take a New Look at Arty London

The Bertrand Lavier Fountain 2014  at the Serpentine Galleries

London galleries and museums are more often than not an overwhelming experience - an endless parade of disoriented visitors blocking your view and usually accompanied by a busy soundtrack of camera clicks. But there’s a different and far more interesting art and design game being played in a handful of addresses, mostly a stone’s throw from the main thoroughfare. With a little effort, you can ... Read Full Article

National Museum of Scotland Displays The World

Ancient Roman cameo glass, 'Portland vase'

Scotland has scores of museums, all of them interesting, but the National Museum of Scotland, in Edinburgh, is truly exceptional. Its collections of thousands of objects cover natural history, world cultures, geology, archaeology, science and technology, and of course the entire story (pre-history included) of Scotland. The museum is set in the heart of the city, on Chambers Street near the George ... Read Full Article

Paris: In Search of Hemingway

Inside a writer's booth at Shakespeare and Company

On a chilly December night I laze under the terrace awning of a café by the cobbled Place de la Contrescarpe, staring across to the mouth of winding, fairy lit Rue Mouffetard. There is the musty scent of Gauloises in the air, hot café, the literary spirits of yesteryear lingering in the amber washed night street. I soak up Ernest Hemingway’s Parisian hood, a nook where he and many other literary ... Read Full Article

My Favorite Foods of Europe

Yummy Stroopwafels

To travel is to taste the world. And Europe presents a particularly eclectic hotchpotch of flavours. From the strange to the sublime, I’ve sampled various dishes and foodstuffs throughout my jaunts across the continent and here (in no particular order) are some of my personal favourites: Gran Canaria Though the Atlantic archipelago presents a popular European mix of English, German and Italian ... Read Full Article

Memories of Communist-era Prague

These American kids definitely stuck out. Think it was the jeans?

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

Anafiotika: The Hidden Village under the Acropolis

View with Lykevettos Mountain

The great city of Athens, Greece is made up of numerous small villages that have melded together over the years. Plaka is the most ancient, original part of the city where most of the archaeological sites are located. Just up on the hill above Plaka, under the flank of the Acropolis (“the high city”) there is the tiny village of Anafiotika, unique because of how it came to be. In 1841, King ... Read Full Article