Archive | 2015

Beating the Crowds in Rome

Saint Peter's Dome and the Tiber River

It had been fourteen long years since we last visited Rome. And when we finally got back, our first thought was that we couldn’t believe we had waited so long to return.

With thousand year old imperial ruins flanking majestic Renaissance-era palaces standing alongside grand Baroque squares it is obvious that Rome wasn’t built in a day. No, Rome was painstakingly constructed over the millennia, layer upon layer, out of sheer awesomeness.

Even for slightly jaded full-time travelers who’ve probably grown a bit too accustomed to awe inspiring sights, Rome awed us.

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Is this the end of (affordable) travel?

Massive Cruise Ship

We live in a golden age for travel. Never has the world been so accessible to so many. Growing middle classes in previously impoverished nations are taking to the road at the same time discount airfares, packaged tours, and generally improving travel infrastructure everywhere are making destinations more accessible to everyone. It’s a trend that’s proven so successful that it can’t possibly continue.

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Greece Road Trip, Part 4: Mystras and Nafplio

Palamidi Fortress, Nafplio, Greece

Palamidi Fortress, Nafplio, Greece

After two nights in the walled medieval stronghold of Monemvasia, we walked along its roughhewn stone streets for the last time and exited the tiny town through the sole entryway: an opening just wide enough for a loaded donkey to fit through. After reclaiming our rental car, which went unused during our stay in pedestrian-only Monemvasia, we continued on our way through the Peloponnesian Peninsula.

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Greece Road Trip Part 3: A Video Tour of Monemvasia

Elkomenos Cristos Square, Monemvasia, Greece

Known to many as the Gibraltar of the East, the tiny Greek island fortress city of Monemvasia felt to us more like the Mont Saint Michel of the Mediterranean. Both are walled, medieval strongholds, surrounded by water on all sides, and tethered to the mainland only by a single slim causeway. And while its rough-hewn cobbles and Byzantine influences set Monemvasia apart from Mont Saint Michel’s well-laid stone and grand Gothic design, walking the streets of one felt reminiscent of the other.

With that in mind we thought we’d do something a little different and invite our readers along on a short walking tour of Monemvasia’s twisting alleys.

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Greece Road Trip, Part 2: Kardamyli

Old Town Kardamyli, Greece

On the road again, our odyssey through Greece’s Peloponnesian Peninsula brought us from the grandiose ancient ruins of Olympia to Kardamyli, a tiny town that made a big impression on us. 

After a long, winding drive, we finally looked down from a lofty mountain road onto Kardamyli, picturesquely nestled between hillside and sea. Not easy to reach and with nary a cruise ship or tour bus in sight, this pretty village is a place you could spend an uneventful two hours or a delightfully relaxing two weeks. We spent three glorious days there and wished we had allocated more time.

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