If you can, take the train to Oxford!

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We had never been to Oxford, and this weighed on me heavily. So armed with advance (cheap) tickets that I purchased on Trainline, we ubered to Paddington and hopped onto our train to Oxford. We were able to walk from the station to our hotel and then set out to the meeting spot for our 3 hour bike tour of… Read more »

Food glorious food!

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Over the years, we have had some animated discussions about the food in England with our friend Alex. He and his wife Sheila  insisted that the food was good here. Not being a fan of mushy peas, I begged to differ. Okay, so maybe I’ve been won over–although I’m still not a fan of mushy peas. Lately, we have had… Read more »

Golden hours, golden years

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Despite my not so distant ancestral roots, the UK took us a while to love. In fact, it took decades. In our youth we struggled with the weather, the food and the prices. We spent the first 6 weeks of our aforementioned epic journey in 1972 traveling through England, Scotland and Wales in our tiny, red Renault 4L. The weather… Read more »

Two canaries return safely from the mines: a return to international travel

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INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL IN AN ALMOST POST-PANDEMIC WORLD “Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer” – Anonymous. When Ray and I announced to friends and family that we were going on a two-week long Smithsonian Journey to Portugal and Spain in March the news was met with a variety of reactions: sharp intakes of breath, rolling eyes,… Read more »

Majestic Morocco (Part 2) Fès and the Sahara

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The Medina of Fès was the most jaw-dropping site we had seen so far! The enormous honeycomb of white-washed stucco buildings under cerulean skies is the kind of vision we had all been waiting for! Over 9,000 alleys wind their way through the souk which still lies behind medieval gated walls. Enclosed within the walls are also 350 active mosques… Read more »

Majestic Morocco (part 1) Casablanca to Fès

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“Where’s Mimi?” asked my daughter to my then four-year old grandson. “In Morocco-docco!” came the unhesitant reply. And indeed we were!! Originally, Ray and I were going to meet up in Morocco for a week during the year I spent in France–that is in 1979–but I decided to come home and see my family instead. Ray never quite forgave me,… Read more »

The Lure of the Nile (London and Egypt, 2019)

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On my first trip to Egypt, I had traveled by dahabiya. The elegance and charm of that mode of travel can only be dimly imagined by those who have not experienced it. My boat had been equipped with every comfort including a grand piano in the salon and an outdoor sitting room on the upper deck. How many blissful hours… Read more »

A la recherche du temps perdu

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Like so many others, our plans for travel in 2020 were thrown into disarray. It hardly seems right to complain, since so many people have suffered real pain and loss, whereas our only pain is that of gentle sorrow. And yet, I find myself wistful. This year we were at long last to lead our son, his wife and their… Read more »

Vietnam Part 2: The Center, straddling the DMZ

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Hoi An and Hué Danang is a sparkling new university town and its airport is just about 30 minutes from the tourist mecca of Hoi An. Leaving the airport with our new guide Hoanh, we were impressed by the clearly young and very smartly dressed population as they glided by on their motorbikes, iPhones at the ready. The streets were… Read more »

Vietnam: Part I – the North

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Part 1: Hanoi and Halong Bay Many, many people had told us how much they loved Hanoi. That was surprising to us, since in our youth it was depicted as an evil place. We were nevertheless intrigued. It was also the launching spot for a short cruise into the oft photographed Halong Bay, so it was the starting line for… Read more »