Archive | March, 2009

What to Do in Brussels

You may have suffered from the stereotypical mis-perception that Belgium is not the most interesting of places, and that Brussels has nothing much going on beyond the European Parliament and museums filled with Old Flemish masters. Well, like me, you’d be wrong. (I’m tempted not to tell you any of this, as Brussels is the […]

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March 31, 2009 by | 6 Comments

Trans-Mongolia Part 2: Erlian Border Crossing

China seems to be behind us as we pull into Erlian, to cross the border into Mongolia. Already we’ve seen the landscape growing drier and stations have lost their grim institutional look. Actually crossing the border is a formality. Customs officials snatch up our passports and give us no idea of when we’ll see them […]

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March 30, 2009 by | 3 Comments

Trans-Mongolia Part 1: Beijing to Yunguan Caves

We’re not going to catch the train out of Beijing. Our first leg of the Trans-Mongolian train and the cab doesn’t seem to be going fast enough to get us to Beijing West Train Station. It’s about 10 minutes before departure and I’m trying to communicate with my scraps of Mandarin – and frantic pointing […]

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March 24, 2009 by | 11 Comments

Muir Woods & the Redwoods

Standing in the middle of Muir Woods it’s a little hard to believe that San Francisco — and I mean downtown San Francisco — is just 20 minutes away, over the Golden Gate bridge. It’s so eerily quiet in this stand of old-growth redwood trees, you may as well be a thousand miles from civilization. […]

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March 23, 2009 by | 3 Comments

Easter Island Project: Let’s Start at the Beginning

It started with a school movie, the 16mm kind they used to play on rattling projectors, with strips of amber film flap-flap-flapping at the ends of their reels. The great moai heads gazed out over a barren Easter Island landscape, as close to the middle of nowhere as you were ever likely to get. Why […]

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March 20, 2009 by | 1 Comment

Bermuda’s 400th Birthday (On a Budget)

I am noticing a strange trend in my travels over the past year. I end up in places turning 400. Are a lot of places celebrating 400 years? Probably not. Nor do I seek out the big birthday celebrations. And yet last summer I found myself in Quebec City for its 400th anniversary. This winter, […]

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March 18, 2009 by | 2 Comments

DIY: Clotted Cream Teas in Cornwall

“You can’t come to Cornwall without having at least one cream tea. And one again tomorrow. And one again on Wednesday.” I turned quickly but this obvious expert had put the scone into her mouth before I had time to find the answer to a question haunting me all afternoon: jam first or cream? I […]

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March 17, 2009 by | 6 Comments

London’s Top 5 Walks

It pays to walk in London. It may be tempting to jump on the Tube or hail a taxi to get from A to B, but the city gives up its secrets on foot. In a few paces, you can move from a 21st-century glass tower to an 11th-century church. This sequence of walks – […]

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March 12, 2009 by | 1 Comment

You like our blog? Shows us the love.

Today we learned a happy fact – the Viator Travel Blog (um, the one you’re reading right now) was nominated as one of two finalists in the 2009 Chapeau Blog Awards. We were nominated in the Travel & Leisure category. What’s interesting about the Chapeau Blog Awards is that they don’t nominate a short list […]

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March 11, 2009 by | 5 Comments

Public Art from NYC to Australia

One of the joys of travel is finding the unexpected. And that’s why I keep an eye open for strange objects in unfamiliar places, otherwise known as public art. Some is good, some bad, some ugly, some inspiring. And it can pop up anywhere, turning an unremarkable place into somewhere special. Sometimes public art and […]

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March 11, 2009 by | 2 Comments