Fernando Botero is about as well-known an artist as there is in Colombia. His signature sculptural style can be pretty well described as, well, “bulbous.” During a renovation of the Antioquia Museum in central Medellin (Antioquia is Medellin’s state) in 2004, Botero donated several of his own works, and they sit in the plaza just between the museum and the Uribe Palace of Culture.

Casco Viejo is Panama’s second-oldest old town. (The oldest, Panama Viejo, was burned down by Henry Morgan, the Captain Morgan of rum fame.) Starting in the early 17th century, this became the center of Panama City, although it’s more the tourist center these days with stunning modern skyscrapers popping up everywhere else nearby.

Michelle and I are still alive, despite not posting for quite a long time. We had a four-month-or-so interlude in the United States at the end of 2016, but come the new year and we were at it again. We began our 2017 travels with a base in Panama, going also to Costa Rica, Guatemala, […]

Traveling as a lifestyle affords plenty of opportunities otherwise unavailable, but maybe not as much as the simple power of “yes.” As an introvert, I would tend to accept quiet nights in without much fuss. As someone married to an extrovert, I hardly get the opportunity. But this time, saying “yes” to a pub crawl in Bucharest, Romania led us to an abandoned cable car station on top of a mountain in Sofia, Bulgaria.

In the northern reaches of Greek Cyprus, a stone’s throw from the UN-imposed “Green Line,” separating Greek Cyprus from Turkish Cyprus, there is a village called Nikitari. About three kilometes south of Nikitari, the intrepid traveler will find the Church of Panagia Phorviotissa. And the traveler will be rewarded for his perils.

Just after the turn of the 18th century, however, another church was built here: the present Peterskirche. It was begun in 1701 and consecrated in 1733. It was the first domed structure in Vienna, and its towers are said to have been inspired by the tents of the Turks during the siege just a few years earlier.

One neighborhood name I’d like to know the story behind is Prague’s Malá Strana, or “Lesser Town,” because for the life of me I can’t tell just exactly what’s “lesser” about it.

We’ll head back to Bohemia, to a picturesque mountainous region just east of Prague, where there sits a small town called Kutná Hora. Now it is home to multiple UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and at such close proximity to Prague, easy to visit.

We didn’t mean to visit Santa Maria, or Our Lady in Trastevere, when we did; we were just looking for good food in the Trastevere (“across the Tiber”) neighborhood. Eventually we would have found our way to it, but hungry as we were when we walked by, I simply couldn’t help myself. I had to go in.

One of the definite must-dos in Croatia is the Plitvice Lakes National Park, a wonderland of forests, cascades, and lakes. It has a series of nature trails throughout the park. The trails will take you past 16 lakes of various sizes, numerous waterfalls, and beaches. There are even a few ferryboats to give you a pleasant ride over Lake Kozjak.