Located among the leafy foothills of the Caucasus Mountains, the Azerbaijani town of Sheki is green, tranquil, and artsy. Low-rise buildings feature eye-catching stone and brickwork. People smile easily and are eager to engage in conversation. What’s more, Sheki still bears delightful evidence of its Silk Road past. Before we got there, I had theContinue reading “Watching How to Make Kelaghayi Silk Scarves in Sheki, Azerbaijan”
One of the most iconic images from the country of Georgia features the Gergeti Trinity Church dwarfed by immense mountains. This 14th-century church is crowned with cone-shaped towers and is located in the heart of the Caucasus. It’s just a few kilometers from the Russian border.
Portugal is a feast for both the stomach and the eyes. It’s a land of irresistible port wine, trayfuls of crispy and creamy pasteis de nata (custard tarts), and buildings adorned with colorful ceramic tiles called azulejos. When you visit Portugal, you’ll spot azulejos on the outsides and insides of many different types of buildings,Continue reading “Portugal’s Alluring Azulejos”
Since ancient times, the island of Malta has been renowned for its splendid honey. There’s even some speculation that the country’s name has its origins in honey. The ancient Greeks referred to Malta as “Melite” (Μελίτη), translating to “honey sweet.” During the Roman period, the island was called “Melita.” In Latin, “mel” means honey.
We took the night train from Tbilisi to Yerevan. Arriving in Armenia 11 hours later, we were feeling disoriented, groggy, and ravenous. When Shawn and I chanced upon some ladies baking lavash flatbread inside a restaurant next to our apartment, we immediately perked up. Sensing our curiosity about the baking process, an employee motioned forContinue reading “Armenia, a Land of Lavash”
A red squirrel pauses after doing some death-defying moves in the evergreen treetops of Makarska, Croatia. This “stunt squirrel” — with impressive nails and fabulously furry ears, I might add — lives on the Sveti Petar Peninsula, a forested area that overlooks the Adriatic Sea. When I took this picture earlier this year, I wasContinue reading “Photo du Jour: A “Stunt Squirrel” Takes on a Croatian Forest”
For nearly 2,000 years, limestone has been extracted from quarries on the Croatian island of Brač. In the 3rd century, laborers used this dazzling white stone to build the palace of Emperor Diocletian in the city of Split. During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Brač limestone was used to construct the Saint James CathedralContinue reading “Brač, Croatia: Hunting for Hercules in a Roman Quarry”
The northwestern Portuguese city of Porto is characterized by hilly streets, buildings covered in multicolored azulejos, and a long history of port wine production. Polished townhouses decked out with flower boxes stand proudly beside dilapidated structures covered in graffiti, making Porto just as pretty as it is rough around the edges.