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David Paul Appell's Blog (153)

Basel an Undersung Gem of Switzerland

              Boris Stroujko

This week (June 15-18), the international art world is once again beating its way to the door…


Added by David Paul Appell on June 15, 2017 at 10:38am — No Comments

On Protestantism's 500th Anniversary, Hitting Germany's Martin Luther Trail


Of the key developments that have altered Western (and world) civilisation, it could be argued that the Protestant Reformation of…


Added by David Paul Appell on May 31, 2017 at 3:24pm — No Comments

Salvador: The Soul of Brazil

To truly understand Brazil, it seems to me, you of course should visit inimitable Rio de Janeiro, but you also really must come to this city of 3 million (metro area 4 million) up on the coast of the country’s northeastern state of Bahia. Founded in 1549 as the first capital…


Added by David Paul Appell on May 20, 2017 at 11:41am — No Comments

Why Norway's Capital Oslo Is a Real Prize

Perhaps best known as the venue of the annual Nobel Peace Prize (awarded each December 10), this gracious, attractive city (pop. 942,000/metro 1.7 million) has been voted one of the world’s most “liveable”, with a marvelous menu of historic/cultural sites, dining, and more. But today’s…


Added by David Paul Appell on May 10, 2017 at 7:24am — No Comments

An Astonishing Egyptian Temple in...Madrid??

During my first visit to Madrid way back in 1978, strolling out near my family’s hotel near Plaza de España, I was gobsmacked to suddenly spy, of all things, an ancient Egyptian temple – right on downtown Calle Ferraz, on a platform in a reflecting pool of…


Added by David Paul Appell on April 30, 2017 at 6:52pm — No Comments

A Fez in Morocco That Fits Beautifully

As a Westerner, this country at the western end of North Africa remains one of the most memorable I have ever visited, due in no small part to its “Imperial Cities” – …


Added by David Paul Appell on April 20, 2017 at 11:46am — No Comments

In Cuba, Papa Hemingway's Got a Brand New Bag of Visitors

Heady days in Cuba! Now that after all these decades the dam has finally broken – relations between Cuba and the USA nearly normalized, travel restrictions relaxed, and a flood of new air routes, hotels, and other Cuban…


Added by David Paul Appell on April 9, 2017 at 7:45am — No Comments

5 Spectacular Spa Towns of the Czech Republic

“I walk on, once again, down these corridors, through these halls, these galleries, in this structure of another century, this enormous, luxurious, baroque hotel…”

That line, from French director Alain Resnais’ 1961 film…


Added by David Paul Appell on March 29, 2017 at 6:58pm — No Comments

Having a Ball in the Baltics: A Visit to Riga

 has quite the roller-coaster history, controlled by powers including Lithuania, Sweden, and Russia,  until the birth of a new republic in 1918. Then of course it fell back under Soviet Russian subjugation until the rebirth of a new independent republic in 1991.

I first visited…


Added by David Paul Appell on March 19, 2017 at 4:30pm — No Comments

Safely Experiencing the Favelas (Slums) of Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro
 famously boasts one of the most spectacular natural settings of any major world city, a charismatic interplay of ocean with dramatic plunging hills (the most dramatic and reknowned, of course, being Sugarloaf and Corcovado). And though much of Rio has a prosperous…


Added by David Paul Appell on March 9, 2017 at 3:00pm — No Comments

A Fungus Among Us! Truffles Rising in Northeast Spain

Highly coveted as far back as ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome, the mushrooms known as black truffles remain a major object of desire of foodies and gourmets across the globe. But while many think of them as typical of Italy and France, most of the world’s supply of the…


Added by David Paul Appell on February 27, 2017 at 12:18pm — No Comments

8 Best Cities for Exploring Islamic Spain

Back in the 1960s and 70s, a famous and persistent Spanish tourism tag line proclaimed: “Spain is different.” And one of the things that does indeed make this country different in a key way from the rest of Europe is the fact that only the Iberia…


Added by David Paul Appell on February 17, 2017 at 12:32pm — No Comments

Recife Is an Exciting Brazil Original

While Rio de Janeiro understandably attracts and enchants millions visitors from abroad, this ginormous country – nearly the size of all of Europe – overflows with other remarkable regions and cities. And its ninth largest – sometimes dubbed “the Venice of Brazil”…


Added by David Paul Appell on February 16, 2017 at 6:00pm — No Comments

16 Top Orlando Draws Beyond the Theme Parks

Back in the mid-1960s, the Orlando region of central Florida was lake-dotted but also unappealing to most people - a hot, swampy, mosquito-ridden backwater. Then came “The Mouse” – Disney’s Magic Kingdom – and lo, these 45 years later, Greater Orlando is now a…


Added by David Paul Appell on February 5, 2017 at 1:11pm — No Comments

The USA's Top 16 Presidential Libraries & Museums

image | U.S. Federal Government

I'll say upfront, I'm horrified by the nightmare this country is installing in the Executive branch of our government, and wincing at the massive damage we're going to be taking over the next four (and hopefully only four) years. So it's all the more worth noting that given the…


Added by David Paul Appell on January 20, 2017 at 10:03am — No Comments

The Cultural Allure of Guatemala City

I confess, I am especially fond of Guatemala. In many ways, it’s the country of Central America which more than any other truly “has it all”. That includes breathtaking Mayan archaeological sites (Exhibit A: Tikal), lovely Spanish colonial architecture…


Added by David Paul Appell on December 27, 2016 at 10:14pm — No Comments

Jaén, Spain: Not Just World Olive Oil Capital but a Cultural Treasure

One of my earliest memories of Spain – lo, these many years ago – was jumping a high school trip in Andalusia to visit (with permission of all concerned, of course) a pen pal in a somewhat isolated, provincial backwater – but one filled with venerable Renaissance…


Added by David Paul Appell on December 19, 2016 at 12:21pm — No Comments

Mayan Sites of El Salvador, and the 'Pompeii of the Americas'

The allures of the tiny Central American country of El Salvador are still not all that well known beyond its borders.…


Added by David Paul Appell on December 19, 2016 at 12:09pm — No Comments

Antwerp's a Boffo Belgian Bonanza

Yet another European city tracing its roots back to a settlement of the Roman Empire, the Flanders (Dutch Belgium) city of Antwerpen (Anvers in French) started coming into its own in the late 15th century, and by the 16th…


Added by David Paul Appell on December 17, 2016 at 12:51pm — No Comments

Giving Thanks for Voluntourism

It's Thanksgiving Day in the USA, and despite all the world's controversies and problems, many pause to reflect on what in their lives they're thankful for, and perhaps, too, the travel-minded a bit on how they can give a little back of their own good fortune the next time they travel.

It's certainly…


Added by David Paul Appell on November 24, 2016 at 1:04pm — No Comments



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