Cancun Tours: How Good Is the Gray Line?

The Gray Line cruise via catamaran to Isla Mujeres was crowded but fun. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

Three times on my recent trip to Cancun I wound up on a Gray Line tour, and my experiences ranged from “highly recommend—would sign up again” to a less-than-entirely-enthusiastic “you get what you pay for.” Working in 700 locations around…

Facebook
Google+
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn
Instagram

Chichen Itza, Top to Bottom

A yellowed 1989 image of Chac-Mool at Chichen Itza. Photo credit: L. Tripoli

Even as my lawyerly side contemplated liability, I relished climbing the monuments at the Mayan city of Chichen Itza on my first visit there 24 years ago. I remember hearing stories of high-heeled women falling to their deaths on the…

Facebook
Google+
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn
Instagram

Mayan Bloodletting at Chichen Itza: Any Worse than Ours?

Society at Chichen Itza in Yucatan, Mexico is too often remembered for the human sacrifices and not for its impressive engineering. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

On our way from Cancun to the ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza, our tour guide takes care to note that the Maya should not be seen as savages. That he feels obligated to say that makes me think that…

Facebook
Google+
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn
Instagram

Cancun for the Convenience

Cancún’s beaches and views appeal at any time of year. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

When heading to a place like Cancun, Mexico, I’m not going on a jungle-trekking adventure or anticipating anything much more rugged than rough water during a snorkel.  I’m going for a getaway from the daily stress of my workaday world,…

Facebook
Google+
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn
Instagram

What I Learned at Doctor Zhivago’s Revolution

It took me a half a dozen tries to get all the way through the three-hour-long 1965 film Doctor Zhivago, a love story set amid the backdrop of the Russian revolution but filmed elsewhere. Starring Omar Sharif as a doctor-poet,…

Facebook
Google+
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn
Instagram

Our Perestroika

What’s engaging about the 2010 documentary, My Perestroika, and that was largely absent from my own visit to Russia isn’t so much the views of Moscow but the captured moments of real Russians, those not selling anything to tourists or…

Facebook
Google+
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn
Instagram