Fast Food Traveler

Soda and fries from McDonald's outside the Kremlin, Moscow. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

Although I am a vegan most of the time, a possibly slightly annoying restaurant patron who frequently orders off menu, and increasingly a locavore, I am not a foodie when I am traveling. I’m not going to Russia or Germany…

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Romanov Dynasty Ended 94 Years Ago This Week

Former Czar Nicholas II and his family were killed in Yekaterinburg on July 16 or 17, 1918. The whereabouts of their bodies was unknown for years until they were discovered in 1979. The bodies were exhumed in 1991, and today…

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Cruise Ships: Where Smaller Is Better

Cruising always promised glamour and excitement for me. My grandmother, tired of being married and with an empty nest, ran away, not to join the circus, but to sign on with a cruise line. I have yellowed postcards from her…

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A Long Ride on a Slow Boat to Moscow

I had been in Russia less than 24 hours when I realized that the overused maxim­—“It’s not the destination, it’s the journey”—would be particularly applicable to this trip. I was told the first day’s jaunt to the Hermitage was delayed…

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The Mystery of Belize: Where Everyone Has a Back Story

Word that computer anti-virus genius John McAfee, of that McAfee, is in hiding in Belize after being accused of running a meth lab there brings to mind the opening line of Bruce Barcott’s The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw:…

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Please Don’t Make the Police Blotter on Your Trip

The Brawny Sherpa, accompanying me on a press trip to Hamburg, was supposed to be on his best behavior. Ever the polite escort, he would be the tourist—and occasionally carry my bags—while I learned about Hamburg’s environmental record as the…

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