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  • New Zealand: North Island

    Auckland, Rotorua and Waimangu Volcanic Valley

    By: Zeren Earls - Apr 25th, 2017

    As New Zealand's largest city, Auckland offers a distinctive urban landscape with two harbors, modern high-rises, beautiful gardens, and impressive museums. Rotorua stands out with its geothermal activity and predominant Maori culture. Waimangu Volcanic Valley is a wonderland of crater lakes, hot springs, boiling mud pots, and an exuberant nature that has regenerated following the devastation of an eruption.

  • New Zealand: South Island

    A Wonderland of Natural Beauty

    By: Zeren Earls - Jun 04th, 2017

    Milford Sound with scenic fjords, national parks with spectacular mountain views and cascading waterfalls, and Dart River with thrilling jet-boat rides are the rewards of South Island. Traveling west across the Southern Alps, the rewards continue with the snow-capped Mount Cook region, Fox and San Josef Glaciers, a craggy coastline with "Pancake Rocks", and the artists' haven town of Hokitika.

  • New Zealand's Urban Wonders

    Christ Church and Wellington

    By: Zeren Earls - Jun 26th, 2017

    Christ Church is a vibrant coastal city rebuilding itself following a major earthquake devastation of six years ago. Contemporary architecture is on the rise, while historic treasures are being restored. Wellington, the capital city, is an urban wonderland with a thriving movie industry, world-class museums, outdoor cafes, an attractive waterfront, and beautiful botanical gardens.

  • The Roads of North America – Part 5

    Sketch: Cruising the Golden Gate Bridge

    By: Astrid Hiemer - Jul 19th, 2017

    Picking up this series after some time, we are continuing with reports about our travels in North America. We flew to San Francisco to attend a theater conference and to discover the city once again, followed by visits to Muir Woods and California’s wine country. There will be other sketches drawn from different locations and events. Here my personal photo-perspective of the Golden Gate Bridge, arguably the most famous bridge in the USA.

  • A Shot in the Armagnac

    Getting to Know Gascony's Treasure

    By: Philip S. Kampe - Jul 20th, 2017

    Armagnac has finally been recognized as the up and coming brandy. Its only taken 700 years to be recognized in the 21st century. At one time it was Louis XIV's favorite.

  • Iceland: Part One

    Westman Islands

    By: Zeren Earls - Aug 13th, 2017

    Heimaey is the only inhabited one of the fifteen volcanic Westman Islands on the southeast coast of Iceland. Rising from the cold sea, the island has a rugged appearance which belies its natural beauty and friendly people. Visiting Heimaey is a moving experience to learn about volcanic devastation and people's resilience to rebuild and to preserve the island's nature-made beauty.

  • Iceland: Part Two

    Reykjavik and Western Iceland

    By: Zeren Earls - Aug 27th, 2017

    Iceland is a destination for both the culture and nature enthusiast. Although Reykjavik is a small capital city, its cultural offerings are as varied as those of any major European capital. Snaefellsnes Peninsula in western Iceland is dotted with charming coastal villages and a feast of natural wonders. Snaefelsjokull, a glacier capped 700,000-year-old volcano, looms large over the western end of the peninsula.

  • Iceland: Part Three

    Wonders of the North and South Coasts

    By: Zeren Earls - Sep 05th, 2017

    Traveling from the northern fjords near the Arctic Circle by way of Lake Myvatn to the south coast, Iceland offers breathtaking displays of geological wonders. Craters, hot springs, lava fields, roaring waterfalls, geysers glacial rivers and black sand beaches are all within easy reach. Landscapes of beautiful farmlands and cliffs with seabirds are the added bonus.

  • Greenland

    A journey South of the Polar Circle

    By: Zeren Earls - Sep 13th, 2017

    Greenland, the world's largest island, offers majestic mountains, green valleys and picturesque fjords dotted with icebergs along its eastern coast. Towns of Tasiilaq and Kusuluk are home to Inuits, who have a unique way of life mediated by their environment.

  • The Roads of North America - Part 6

    San Francisco Bay and Sausalito Houseboats

    By: Astrid Hiemer - Sep 14th, 2017

    This is our second article from the San Francisco area and continuation of The Roads of North America. More than 50 photographs accompany this report. The views along the Bay and other discoveries are well worth seeing - no doubt!

  • Exploring Annapoilis Maryland

    Three Hundred Years of History

    By: Susan Cohn - Oct 21st, 2017

    The state of Maryland was named after Henrietta Maria of France, the queen consort of England, Scotland, and Ireland as the wife of King Charles I. Maryland is the only state in the United States whose judges wear red robes.

  • TAP Wine Tour of Portugal

    Day One in Lisbon

    By: Charles Giuliano - Nov 22nd, 2017

    In mid November there was glorious, summer-like weather during the TAP Wine Tour. We were among 70 journalists from the States, Europe and Brazil. Over three days of bus and airplane hops we visited the major regions and quintas or estates in Portugal. Even for experienced food/ wine/ travel writers this was a rare opportunity. There were four daily vineyards or tasting rooms with several wines at each stop as well as five paired with gourmet meals for lunch and dinner. This is a report on day one, a Monday, which previewed the launch of the three day tour that ended with a TAP Gala in Porto.

  • On TAP in Portugal

    Wine Tour Day Two

    By: Charles Giuliano - Nov 23rd, 2017

    The wine tasting officially started in the late morning on the terrace of Quinta da Alorna. Some dozen or so wines later, after an elegant lunch, we flew to another region and Esporao. There was a third tasting and dinner at Monte da Ravasquaira. It was lights out at 2 AM then back on the bus at 9 AM. It was a pace that continued for the three day TAP Wine Tour.

  • TAP Tap Tap in Portugal

    Day Three of a Wine Tour

    By: Charles Giuliano - Nov 24th, 2017

    By day two of the TAP Wine Tour we were locked into an endurance marathon. We tasted the wines of several regions; the Alentejo, Dao and Douro. Off schedule by two hours we arrived after dark at the venerable and ancient Quinta do Bomfim Symington. After a long hard day I passed on a late dinner that ended at 1:30 AM. The extra sleep helped to get back on track for the third and final day of the program which ended in Porto.

  • TAP Dancing in Portugal

    Final Day of Wine Tour

    By: Charles Giuliano - Nov 25th, 2017

    Concluding the TAP Wine Tour after three days and many tastings I'm now a fan and convert. ASAP I plan to find a case of the Alvarinho style of white wine. Hopefully it will evoke ecotic memories of ancient quintas and elegant gourmet meal pairings. Even the best trips, however, have their challenges and pratfalls.

  • TAP Gala

    Annual Awards Celebration for Wine and Tourism

    By: Charles Giuliano - Nov 26th, 2017

    For its annual TAP Gala the Portuguese airline pulled out all the stops. It was a spectacular evening of food, drink, awards and entertanment. There were some 350 VIP guests assembled in a vast Porto warehouse. The event ran well past midnight ending with a performance by renowned Fado singer, Ana Moura.

  • TAP Is On The Move

    TAP Re-Brands

    By: Maria Reveley - Nov 27th, 2017

    TAP Airline of Portugal re-brands and becomes the largest promoter of Portugal in the world. Led by Abilio Martins, VP, of TAP, the airline has invested for the future resulting in great results since 2015. Marketing Portugal through its fine wine and cuisine is an important part of its new image.

  • Hanging Out With Brad Smith

    In Search of Exquisite Port in Porto

    By: Charles Giuliano - Nov 28th, 2017

    Brad Smith, a fellow traveler in the TAP Wine Tour is a port authority, reaconteur and comedian. It was a non stop flow of information, insights and humor as we paired up for day trips first in Lisbon and then during the following weekend in Porto. The experience evoked hints of apricot, explosions of flavor, with an aftertaste of Dante and Poe.

  • TAP Enhances the Portuguese Experience

    Michelin Star Chefs And Top Portuguese Wines on Flights

    By: Philip S. Kampe - Dec 01st, 2017

    TAP Airlines cares about their country and customers. Somewhat like a tourism company, TAP prepares you for a Portuguese experience starting 40,000 feet above the earth. Fine Portuguese wines are paired with dishes designed by Michelin Star Chefs. There are videos that educate the viewer about the Portuguese experience.

  • Judging Wine At 40,000 Feet

    Sampling 600 Wines For TAP Airlines

    By: Philip S. Kampe - Dec 11th, 2017

    The tedious work of sampling six-hundred plus Portuguese wines for TAP airlines in-flight wine service was an involved project. There were ten wine tasters, seven from Portugal, two from Brazil, and myself from America . Wines were first sampled on the ground and then the top fifty were sampled in the air on a round trip flight from Lisbon to Prague.

  • Pay Attention To Israeli Wines

    Quality, Not Quantity Is The Focus

    By: Philip S. Kampe - Dec 12th, 2017

    Since Biblical times, wine has been produced in Israel. Originally for religious observances, but, now for consumers, who compose 85% of the market, with the United States, as the leading importer. Kosher wines are produced the same way as non-kosher wines. For that reason, consumers are looking at the wine for what it s, not because its Kosher. Six wines were sampled for this article.

  • Military Working Dog Teams National Monument

    Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.

    By: Susan Cohn - Dec 29th, 2017

    In the center of a spacious plaza, a 9-foot modern day Military Working Dog Handler stands with larger-than-life bronze statues of four of the more common breeds of Military Working Dogs utilized by the United States Department of Defense since World War II: Doberman Pinscher, German Shepherd, Labrador Retriever, and Belgian Malinois.

  • Southern France

    Along the Foothills of the Pyrenees

    By: Zeren Earls - Jan 02nd, 2018

    The walled city of Carcassonne, the heritage site Albi with its Toulouse-Lautrec Museum, the Basque cities of Auch and Bayonne, and the Atlantic coastal cities of Biarritz and Saint-Jean-de-Luz are treasures that make this region of France unique for the visitor.

  • Northern Spain

    The Basque Country

    By: Zeren Earls - Mar 12th, 2018

    The Basque region of northern Spain stands out with its beautiful coastline and unique culture. In addition to being historic towns with notable architecture, the cities of Bilbao, Guernica, San Sebastian and Pamplona boast a vibrant contemporary life flavored with local charm. The network of ancient pilgramage routes, the Camino de Santiago (Way of Saint James) also stretches through this region.

  • Exploring Idyllwild California

    River Deep Mountain High

    By: Susan Cohn - Apr 07th, 2018

    It’s not unusual to spot a herd of colorful deer right in the center of Idyllwild, the famously art-hearted small town (pop. 3,874 year-round) in the mountains (elevation 5,413) above Palm Springs. Not your ordinary deer, mind you, but 22 fabulously painted aluminum bucks, does and fawns, each decorated to reflect a part of Idyllwild’s history.

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