Barge cruises in France – the way to see the heartland

It’s not the typical way to see France, but a trip on a barge on one of its river canals is for sure the best way to explore the heart of the country and avoid crowds of tourists. That’s what I had in mind when I booked a one-week trip on Barge Luciole, which cruisesContinue reading “Barge cruises in France – the way to see the heartland”

Costa Brava – the stunning wild coast of Spain

Spain’s Costa Brava isn’t on the radar for many Americans tourists yet. However, its stunning Mediterranean coast and quaint white-washed coastal towns, combined with rich culture and traditions, are great reasons to cross the Atlantic. I had visited places nearby Costa Brava many times, while living in London. But as familiar as I was withContinue reading “Costa Brava – the stunning wild coast of Spain”

Girona, Spain – a rich Jewish history town

I arrived in Girona in the mid-afternoon of a bright winter day in January, after an easy one-hour drive from Barcelona’s El Prat Airport. Northern Catalonia’s largest city, Girona turned out to be bigger than I expected; I even got lost in a commercial area on its outskirts before finding my way downtown. I droveContinue reading “Girona, Spain – a rich Jewish history town”

Mallorca, Spain – the rich, the royals, the Germans

I arrived at night at Mallorca’s Palma airport, one of the busiest in Europe, and was intrigued right away by the amount of ads in German – not in Spanish, the language of the land. “The Germans own Mallorca, they buy everything they can,” explained my French friend Margot, who has a vacation home thereContinue reading “Mallorca, Spain – the rich, the royals, the Germans”

Madrid, Spain – reasons to go

I had not been to Spain in a long time, but returning to Madrid last month made me wonder what took me so long – Madrid is thriving! The Spanish capital is a lively city of 3 million people with everything that other European capitals offer: culture, history, gastronomy, art, plus two important ingredients addedContinue reading “Madrid, Spain – reasons to go”

Winter in Florida – best time to come

Due to the very high temperatures and humidity levels in Florida for most of the year, the best time to visit it is from late November to the beginning of April, winter in the Northern Hemisphere. The ‘season,’ as it’s called, is when the thermometer goes from the mid-90’s down to the very pleasant 70’sContinue reading “Winter in Florida – best time to come”

Mount Saint Michel part II – The skull with a hole

After visiting Mount Saint-Michel in France, my daughter Clara and I were impressed by the fantastic tales we had heard there. Perhaps the most fantastic of all is the legend of Saint Aubert, an 8th-century bishop of the nearby village of Avranches, a man so pious and religious that he was believed to  perform miracles. LegendContinue reading “Mount Saint Michel part II – The skull with a hole”

Mont Saint MicheI, France, Part I – A long overdue visit

Some places we visit enrich us with good moments, good memories and good pictures to show our people back home. Some others have a deeper effect on us – they change the way we feel and how we see things. Mount Saint-Michel, in France, was one of those. I knew that Mount Saint-Michel is oneContinue reading “Mont Saint MicheI, France, Part I – A long overdue visit”

The Gauchos of the Pampas, a breed surviving the times

In a world now dominated by technology, the Gauchos of South America stand practically  alone in their success in keeping their traditions alive, despite frenetic globalization.    The Gauchos flourished from the mid-18th to the mid 19th centuries in the region known as the Pampas, a vast portion of grassland that stretches from southern BrazilContinue reading “The Gauchos of the Pampas, a breed surviving the times”