Saturday, January 21st, 2017

Vintage Valletta: The Least Capital-Like Capital

When you think of capital cities, what comes to mind? Embassies. Bureaucrats. People in suits. Endless meetings. People so protective of their government-oriented careers that they wouldn’t dare rat out an enemy — well, unless they were Frank Underwood. Forget money. Power is the primary currency here. That may be the case in Washington or London or Singapore or Brasilia…but […]

The UNESCO Hunt: 72-81

   While it’s been more than a year since I made it my goal to visit 101 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, things slowed way down in Asia and North America over the winter. Don’t get me wrong — there are sites in Asia and North America, but it’s not as heavy a concentration as in Europe, […]

San Blas Bay: A Hidden Beach in Malta

In a country as tiny as Malta, there aren’t many new places to discover. Every geographic nook and cranny is well-documented — and if any two Maltese meet, I guarantee they will have at least have a few friends in common! But if there is such thing as a secret beach in Malta, it’s San Blas Bay […]

The Miracle Church of Mosta, Malta

If anywhere on the planet is more Catholic than the Vatican, it’s Malta. From giant paintings of the Virgin Mary hanging in Maltese bedrooms to religious festas with saints carried through the street each summer to incredibly ornate churches thanks to generous donations from parishioners each year, Malta is a place where life revolves around the Catholic […]

My 13 Best Travel Moments of 2013

In a year of travel taking me from Austria to Australia, Boston to Bangkok, Malta to Macedonia, Kyoto to Koh Lanta, the good times have been so good. To commemorate the year, I decided to do a round-up of my best travel moments of 2013. Rest assured, as good as the times rolled, it certainly wasn’t […]

My Favorite New Destinations of 2013

2013 was a fantastic and exciting travel year — probably my most active year of travel yet! This year I visited a record-breaking 22 countries (UK, USA, Germany, Italy, South Africa, Netherlands, France, Switzerland, San Marino, Austria, Malta, Turkey, Macedonia, Kosovo, Bulgaria, Romania, United Arab Emirates, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Thailand, and Cambodia — though, […]

The UNESCO Hunt: 62-71

At this point, I can say that I’ve been to more than 70 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. I’m chugging along in my UNESCO hunt — but I didn’t think it would take three months to visit the last ten! Were there missed opportunities? In Japan, most certainly. I easily could have visited Nara for the Historic […]

The Sweet Sliema Life

When Mario and I first arrived in Sliema, he told me to keep my expectations low: “Don’t judge Malta until you see Valletta tomorrow.” I could see what he meant — Sliema didn’t look overtly appealing during our evening arrival. Traffic raced along the water’s edge; the sidewalks were filled with kiosks. Pubs catered to […]

Mdina: The Silent City of Malta

Driving through the Maltese countryside, a white city appears in the distance. It stands atop a hill, layered like a wedding cake from its walled edge, surveying all of Malta from one of the highest points on the island. It’s a city older than Valletta, dating back 4,000 years. It was built by the Phoenicians […]

The UNESCO Hunt: 1-10

A few months ago, I resolved to visit 101 UNESCO World Heritage Sites by the end of the year. That would require me to visit 50 new sites in about eight months. It soon became clear that this was not going to happen. I failed in several ways. First off, I was traveling solidly for […]