Every country has what I call “the circuit.”  The circuit is the travel itinerary most tourists follow (Rome-Florence-Venice-eat lots of gelato-fly home).  When I put together our Portugal itinerary, I stuck to the circuit much more than I usually do.  HOB was having problems with his foot and I couldn’t anticipate if he’d be able […]

Since I’ll be posting a lot about the Manueline buildings we saw in Portugal, I’ll start with an overview this particular style of architecture and ornamentation. What happened was this: Portuguese explorers, relying on the navigational instruments left behind by the Moors during the years Portugal was under Muslim control, sailed all over the globe, […]

Our only reason for stopping in Vila Nova de Foz Côa was to see to nearby prehistoric rock art in the Côa Valley.  As we were leaving the archeological site to walk the 4K back to town, a nice couple who shared our hike to the petroglyphs offered us a ride, so we ended up […]

We’re in Portugal. Current location: Coimbra. Current occupation: eating.  (I politely request that anyone who notices the food stuck in my teeth refrain from mentioning it). This was today’s lunch, from a bar inside a food market.  (I hope you been a good student of this blog and have noted that the best food is […]

I don’t buy myself souvenirs when I travel, mostly because I’m cheap.  I love clothes and lipstick, but otherwise I’m not a “thing” person.  I am a food person, but most of what I want to bring home is liquid; local honey or you know, about twenty bottles of olive oil, which certainly would exceed […]

Chicago has quite a bit of Brutalism—particularly in hospital buildings and on college campuses—which is weird because this form of architecture does not suggest the nurturing of bodies or young minds. For an appropriate use of Brutalism, I give you the Metropolitan Correctional Center.  Yes, we’re so hardcore in Chicago that we have a Brutalist […]

If I were to pick anywhere in the world to hide Sumerian art in plain sight, I would choose Svaneti.  Svaneti, the Republic of Georgia’s mountainous northwest region, is so remote that it was often used as a kind of safe house for art during times of conflict. Back in 2016, after two flights, an […]

I’m so tired from trying to learn to sleep without sleeping pills that my brain is in a deep freeze.  Talking and writing is like bobbing for apples must think of word stick head in tub of water and try to find the word grab the word with my mouth now what was I saying […]

A few nights ago I was in Norway, eavesdropping on a guy looking for a place to smoke.  The attendant told him “You can’t smoke here but there’s an approved area over by Italy.” I was at Disney’s Epcot Park, which costs $114 a day to visit.  But hey, that price includes the whole world […]

You’re lucky if you have the chance to travel, so going around complaining is pretty lame.  That said, nothing brings people together like shared whining.  So, in the spirit of solidarity, I give you my travel complaints: Glass coffee tables.  Being able to rent an apartment for a few nights is an affordable luxury.  The […]