Recent Articles

Inca ingenuity

The Inca Empire of South America was known for a few of its architectural achievements, as well as for a remarkable system of roads and bridges that enabled fairly quick communication among communities that were scattered throughout the rugged terrain of the Andes Mountains. The NY Times just ran an interesting article that combined a bit […]

Experiencing the Ganges River

There was a five-part series on NPR recently in which a reporter delved into Indian life by traveling the length of the Ganges River. The waterway, which is considered holy by Hindus, extends more than 1,500 miles from the Himalaya Mountains to the edge of Bangladesh and cuts across a long swath of northern India. The […]

Aboriginal wisdom and weather forecasts

Even with all the achievements of modern science, there are still many times when we can benefit from the accumulated knowledge of the world’s indigenous cultures. One example of this can be found in a recent article in the Christian Science Monitor, which reported on the successes of Australian Aborigines in predicting the weather and understanding […]

Books, espresso and Buenos Aires

Argentines love to read and to drink coffee. So the annual Buenos Aires International Book Fair, which runs late into the night and draws more than one million visitors during its two-week schedule, is a popular event with most Argentines. Here is a description from a recent Washington Post article: For all those who love to read, who enjoy […]

Maple season in New England

It’s maple sap season in New England, and NPR recently ran an interesting Kitchen Window story about the traditional process of tapping trees and producing maple syrup. It’s a chilly March Monday at the beginning of Massachusetts Maple Month. And even though Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary in Lincoln, Mass., is closed, Roger Backman is hard […]

Spontaneous travel

Have you ever had a desire for a last minute, spontaneous trip? Scott Kraft has, and over a few long weekends he’s managed to travel to Machu Picchu in Peru and Iguazu Falls in Argentina. He had a similar urge to see the Taj Mahal on a quick trip, but India is not so easy to get to. Still, […]

Culture and democracy in Bhutan

It’s easy in the West for us to assume the democracy is a natural state of government, or at least something that people in every country long for. That’s why I was intrigued by an article about Bhutan in the International Herald Tribune. It seems that the king of Bhutan has decided his Himalayan country is ready […]

Differing ideals of beauty

As one travels around the world, it becomes obvious that different cultures have varying ideals of beauty. A recent Associated Press article touches on this subject, focusing on the West African nation of Mauritania, where some families force feed their daughters because obesity is considered a sign of beauty and wealth. Mey Mint struggles to carry […]

Italy’s stunning Amalfi coast

Italy’s Amalfi coast is a stunning series of cliffside villages. When Nicole Cotroneo recently decided to spend a week there, she chose to rent a villa in the small town of Praiano. She did get more exercise than she bargained for, since the town has a vertical landscape connected by staircases, but she also felt more a […]

The enchantment of Fez, Morocco

There is a nice travel story in the NY Times about Fez, Morocco. It describes this 1,200-year-old city as the soul of the country. … this mazelike city of minarets, shrouded figures and forgotten passages can seem impossible to decipher – yet tinged with a deep enchantment. “It’s a mysterious place,” said Abdelfettah Seffar, a […]

Tranquility in Kerala, India

Where does one go for tranquility in India? Some would say it’s not possible, but John Flinn found Kerala, on the country’s southwestern coast, to be an idyllic spot. He wrote about it for the San Francisco Chronicle. Traders still come for the spices — when the wind is right a hint of nutmeg, cinnamon, […]

Baseball goes international

It’s opening day for baseball season in the United States. Every newspaper just did some form of a preseason preview and a few of them used the occasion to discuss the internationalization of baseball, particularly with more Japanese players now joining a large contingent of Latin Americans on team rosters. The Hartfourd Courant looked at the […]

    Meet Bob Riel

    Bob Riel is a writer and a traveler. Go here to read more about Bob, his work and the Travels in the Riel World blog.

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