Tallinn is a beautiful city. Tallinn is a beautiful city full of sculptures with weird necks. HOB and I were checking out St. Nicholas Church in Tallinn and we saw this sculpture by the front door.  “Whoa!” I said, in my most eloquent and sophisticated tone “that dude has a weird neck!!!”  Then, on realizing that […]

DO NOT DEFEAT DO NOT FIGHT BACK DO NOT SURRENDER So ends the constitution of Republic of Užupis. Užupis is a self-proclaimed republic in the city of Vilnius, Lithuania and HOB are willing citizens, at least for a couple of days. The neighborhood-sized republic is presided over by an angel, the mascot of Užupis. Užupis has […]

We may be the least hip couple in Riga, with our drip dry travel pants, matching backpacks and lack of irony.  Still, we hit the streets today (ten hours of walking!) and ended up with all the cool kids and their street art. At first, we just dipped our toes in hipness, in the Pardaugava […]

You know how sometimes there’s a magic hour at dusk and the light is all golden?  Well at this time of year in Latvia golden hour lasts all day.  LATVIA IS GORGEOUS.  Cēsis, in Northern Latvia, is gorgeous and it smells like the giant national park it is adjacent to: crisp and fresh and maybe […]

We’re in Tartu, Estonia, up to our usual tricks—at least eight hours of walking today, looking at an intriguing variety of architecture. We saw a leaning building (where a tree apparently grew out of HOB’s head). And how could we miss the upside-down house? The Snail tower dominates Tartu’s skyline. And everywhere tactile street art […]

Getting busted by a nun was the best thing that could have happened to us in Sandomierz.  Because of our bus snafu in Zamość, we arrived later than expected and rushed our tour of the town. Now just look how funky this town hall is, one of those types of buildings that every generation adds something […]

Our guidebook lied about Torun. Oh, it didn’t lie about Torun being lovely—it is a gorgeous medieval Polish town.  No, the lie was that it is somehow an undiscovered destination, free from tourists. Torun, at least when we visited, is loaded with tourists.  And 95% of them are children.  Children are streaming through gates of […]

Things I did for the first time this week: Travel to California Present on a panel at a conference Wear a two piece bathing suit The last two items weren’t all that traumatic and San Diego—still the only city I’ve visited in California–is just lovely. I’m here for a conference but I’ve had bits and […]

I went to Nowa Huta to gawk at a dreary communist dystopia and found myself in a Renaissance ideal city.  Oh man, I just love when this happens, the travel surprise.  In fact, not including that time we traveled to Ghent and accidentally encountered a blackface Christmas celebration have I ever had my expectations so […]

When it comes to looking at altarpieces, I consider myself a professional.  I have so much experience, I could teach a class. Hmmm, how about it?  Let’s have a quick class, right this minute. How to View a Famous Altarpiece by the Wife of Bath Show up early and buy a ticket to see your […]