Northland, New Zealand

We wanted to see the far north of New Zealand. We didn’t get to Cape Reinga, the tip of a long finger of land that points north from the rest of the island, but we got to the knuckles, around Doubtless Bay. One long sandy bay after another stretches along the north end of NewContinue reading “Northland, New Zealand”

The Spondylus Route to archaeology, Ecuador

Romantically named, the Ruta del Spondylus highway borders the the ocean in places, then dips inland around high hills, making its way from northern Peru to northern Ecuador. It is named after the spondylus shell, brilliant orange or deep purple species that were used to make beads and jewelry by the ancient people of bothContinue reading “The Spondylus Route to archaeology, Ecuador”

Sucre and the Tarabuco Market

¬†We spent three nights in Sucre. The Hotel Monasterio used to be a monastery and still has some great decor–Bolivian Baroque? It was comfortable and placed us in the heart of Sucre. We walked down to the central plaza for dinner each night and found good places, La Taverne (French-Bolivian), Cosmo Cafe, and Cafe FlorioContinue reading “Sucre and the Tarabuco Market”

Something new: the toe of Manhattan

I thought I knew about Manhattan, having visited quite a bit while growing up and having lived in couple of neighborhoods. I’ve ridden on the Staten Island Ferry and been to the Statue of Liberty. Both require you to go to the toe of Manhattan. What I skipped over until this trip was the neighborhoodContinue reading “Something new: the toe of Manhattan”

Last stop Dublin, and what’s Good to Know about Ireland

Our last day in Dublin was spent inside the National Museum of Ireland. Lyra was wonderful in agreeing to stay with her crazy parents in the museum all day when all of Dublin was beckoning. After visiting many archaeological sites around Ireland we had often read reference to finds made at a site followed byContinue reading “Last stop Dublin, and what’s Good to Know about Ireland”

Hill Towns of all Sizes

We visited three of the smaller hill towns: Monteriggioni, Montepulciano and San Gimignano. All of these have most of their ancient encircling walls intact, and a central area with narrow streets and relatively tall buildings that date from times when people¬† felt safer living within the walls. Each town has its charms. Visitamos tres deContinue reading “Hill Towns of all Sizes”

What happens when you twist your ankle?

Occasionally, people ask how we will deal with illness or injury as we travel, particularly since US insurance rarely applies outside the US. Travel insurance only covers injury during travel. My macular degeneration is considered a chronic condition and therefore not covered (see Jonathan sprained his ankle on one of our last days inContinue reading “What happens when you twist your ankle?”

Tile is everywhere in Portugal

We’ve seen a lot of decorative tile in Portugal. It covers many buildings, sometimes as an overall pattern: exterior walls, interior walls, decorative wainscoting, decorative details. Sometimes there are scenes created from tile. The Porto train station is one such place, Here is a church that is completely tiled with religious scenes on the exteriorContinue reading “Tile is everywhere in Portugal”