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The Real Alcazar

Seville March 12, 2020 “Real” in Spanish means “royal”, and the “Real” Alcazar we saw today is real in both senses—regal (it’s the oldest continuously used palace in Europe) and the top of the line. Our guide pointed to it as one of the contributors to her story of Seville as a blend of the … Continue reading »

Categories: Spain 2020 before the virus hit, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

There’s Gold in them hills

May 19, 2019 Sabi Sabi We spent yesterday exploring Johannesburg, and, in the process, learning about the history, which, as in many other countries, helps explain the present (and the challenges of doing business there). Johannesburg is a late 19th century city, founded on gold.  As I’ve mentioned, that gold  helped shape South Africa in … Continue reading »

Categories: Southern Africa 2019, Uncategorized | 4 Comments


Cape Town, May 8, 2019 The Chinese word for scenery combines the characters for mountain and water.   In that sense, the Western Cape certainly has the two, which help explain both the allure and the history of the Cape Colony. The Cape of Good Hope was first rounded by the Portuguese explorer, Bartholomew Diaz in … Continue reading »

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School Started Today

May 6, 2019 School started today when we officially gathered the 30 faculty who are on this trip for what was our (so first day of schoolish) introduction to the teachers, each other, and the topic of the course.  Professor Rolfe, our host from the University of South Carolina spoke for about an hour and … Continue reading »

Categories: Southern Africa 2019, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Two Nights, 1 Knight, 1 Lady in 13th Century Carcassonne

March 13, 2019 Carolyn’s other bucket list stop on this trip was the medieval fortress at Carcassonne, the best preserved (or perhaps restored) architectural gem of its kind in Europe.  It’s no wonder it was important as long ago as Roman times (typically, the Romans founded the locations for the great cities of Europe). It’s … Continue reading »

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San Miguel De Allende

January 6, 2019 We left Mexico City yesterday to come 150 miles north to San Miguel de Allende, birthplace of one of the four heroes of Mexican independence.  Mexico City of 9-25 million was much more modern than I expected.  I should know better; the capitals of major countries tend to be ponderous and pretentious, … Continue reading »

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2000 years, two religions

January 5, 2019 The recent discovery of a new temple complex nearby (dedicated to the “Flayed” Aztec god—you wore the skins of the sacrificed humans) is a reminder of the rich Meso-American cultures waiting to be discovered, unearthed, and understood. What so far has been unearthed is spectacular, as we discovered at Teotehuacan, about 30 … Continue reading »

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Finally Louisbourg

August 8, 2018 I’m sitting in the Quality Inn Halifax reflecting on our week-long trip to the Atlantic Provinces grateful that our 24 hour plane delay (due to maintenance!) came at the end of our trip; had it come at the beginning, we might have had to scramble to book new reservations; by and large, … Continue reading »

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Ants and Virgins

Big bottomed ants, a virgin, and tropical dry forest add up to “the most beautiful city in Colombia” January 6, 2018. If you look at the CIA World Fact book, as I did, you’ll get an idea of the expanse of Colombia. Superimposing a Colombian map on the United States stretches the country the length … Continue reading »

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The Great Italian Caper

The great Italian caper August 10, 2017 We sailed through the Straits of Messina last night, from the protected channel between Sicily and the rest of Italy, into the Tyrrhenian Sea.  The Straits, the closest land distance (about 2 ½ miles) between the mainland and the island, have been of historic importance for at least … Continue reading »

Categories: Malta and Italy August 2017, Uncategorized | Leave a comment