A New Circle Begins, Part Two


This is our last post from Romania. For all the consternation I went through renting a car from a friend of Cornel’s, we had grown to like the little diesel Volkswagen Golf. Along the way, we had anthropomorphized the compact as "Alf" (those were the letters on the license plate). He had carried us up … Continue reading A New Circle Begins, Part Two

Circle of Friends–Part 4: The Capital


On the road, we headed west and south from Toulcea. After a bit of GPS only guidance, I tried to find our place on the map book and eventually found it. The countryside had gently rolling hills and flat farmlands that stretched to the horizon. Farms were bigger here with fewer houses--there were times you … Continue reading Circle of Friends–Part 4: The Capital

Circle of Friends–Part 3: Tulchea and the Danube Delta


We arrived near dusk, partly due to the fact that Romania had  just changed to daylight saving time here, but I doubt that's what they call it.  As the sky was turning grey and the winds picked up, Rebecca and I found a small restaurant on the second floor of a row of businesses near … Continue reading Circle of Friends–Part 3: Tulchea and the Danube Delta

Romania’s Painful Birth of Freedom: Long Read


The will of the people was inevitable, most people told us. It was building to a flashpoint, waiting for a spark. We retraced the steps of people 29 years ago to find out what were the elements that ignited the Revolution. (Some photos from this post are from the Museum of the Revolution Decmber 16-25 … Continue reading Romania’s Painful Birth of Freedom: Long Read

Austria, Part Two: Hallstatt, Salzburg, and Admont

Hallstatt Hallstatt was the only place we went simply because of Rick Steves.  He says in his travel video, if there is one place you must see to get the flavor of an Alpine village, you must visit Hallstatt.  It was on the way to Salzburg, so we planned one night there. By far, Hallstatt … Continue reading Austria, Part Two: Hallstatt, Salzburg, and Admont

Germany Part Two: Berlin

Reconstruction: "Berlin should be called the city of cranes." Rebecca From the moment we landed in Berlin, we saw very little of it because of all the construction and barriers. And if they weren't fixing something, they were fixing to celebrate something. On the advice of a stranger at Tegel Airport, we took the Express … Continue reading Germany Part Two: Berlin

Germany, Part One: Düsseldorf

First stop: Düsseldorf Serendipity: the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way. Some places we planned to visit were selected on a hunch. Düsseldorf was one of them. Back in April, I was pouring wine at the Berryessa Gap winery for a young couple I had just met, Dirk … Continue reading Germany, Part One: Düsseldorf

Belgium Part 2

Friday, September 21 When Kevin came in after work Friday, he handed me a letter from Mobile Viking; I got my SIM card! (I wasn't sure it would arrive before we were to leave.)  I spent about an hour getting the SIM card installed and getting the account set up. The phone sputtered and chirped … Continue reading Belgium Part 2

Belgium Part I

On the morning we left Paris, we had breakfast at the street cafe right outside our rented apartment. We finalized our packing and took the subway to the Gare du Nord train station. The station is under renovation and not quite done, but it will be new and shiny when it's done. I noticed a … Continue reading Belgium Part I


  September 16-18 Introduction: Dear Readers, Welcome aboard! If you're new to this blog, there are a bunch of posts I have written that have gone up before today: some were practice with WordPress, some were preparations for this trip, and some were the three days traveling across the US before we left from Orlando..  … Continue reading Paris