Basque Cooking School: San Sebastian

Most food lovers who pintxo crawl through San Sebastian’s old town are more than satisfied sampling these legendary Basque bites. Among them, though, are a passionate few who want to take their experience to the next level – that is, learning how to cook pintxos...

DEVOURING MADRID

A great food tour is a far cry from just eating and drinking. Food is intertwined with history and culture, so you won’t know Madrid, or any other destination, without knowing its food. Our guides were insiders who had a passion not only for food and drink but also for the history and lore of the place they call home. At each stop, they shared stories a casual diner would miss if wandering on their own. Like the nondescript door where nuns answer a bell and sell homemade cookies. Or the tapas bar Hemingway frequented. Or the reason squid sandwiches are a Madrid favorite. The following are some highlights of our most excellent Devour Tours in Madrid.

SOUTH AFRICAN WINE COUNTRY

More than 300 wineries thrive here in the moderate Mediterranean climate cooled by breezes from the Atlantic and Indian oceans, but they aren’t lined up, Napa Valley-like, on the main roads, preserving an appealing farm-country vibe. Our arrival in February coincided with harvest - and some of the area’s warmest weather. From our first base, the charming Plumwood Inn, we would explore Franschhoek and neighboring Stellenbosch, historic small towns considered by many to be South Africa’s wine and culinary capitals.

THE MOUNTAINS ARE CALLING

STORY & PHOTOGRAPHY BY WIBKE CARTER “The mountains are calling and I must go” is what is written on a sign in the lounge of my accommodation in the SalzburgerLand, and what a calling it is for the people who live in the mountainous region of this part of...

The Grand Tetons

Grand Teton National Park is more accessible than Yellowstone, and even a little warmer, but winter shuts down many of the park’s roads. Temperatures hovered around 10 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit under a brilliant blue sky during our three-day stay, maybe breaking into the low 20s on one afternoon. That is perfect ski weather, but we weren’t there to ski. We were there to take in the Grand Tetons and see wildlife.

DUBROVNIK’S GAME OF THRONES

Often called the "Pearl of the Adriatic," Dubrovnik instantly transports you to a different era. Known to millions as King's Landing from the popular TV series “Game of Thrones,” this Croatian city crowned with distinctive red-tiled roofs is a lively living museum. Each step within the historic walls of Old Town brings you in touch with the city’s rich history and cultural heritage.
IRISH CUISINE ROCKS

IRISH CUISINE ROCKS

BY RON AND MARY JAEMS Ireland’s verdant countryside – where sheep and cows graze, and rustic farms hide behind hedgerows – is an Eden visitors find irresistible. These days, so do the country’s chefs.  Innovative food pros are putting Ireland on the map as...

BASQUE COUNTRY BLISS

BASQUE COUNTRY BLISS

Unveiling San Sebastian’s Culinary Coast and Cultural Charm San Sebastian, Spain is a Basque jewel nestled on the country’s rugged northern coast. This city, proudly called Donostia by locals, transcends the typical Spanish experience. It’s a city of many...

SOUTH AFRICAN WINE COUNTRY

More than 300 wineries thrive here in the moderate Mediterranean climate cooled by breezes from the Atlantic and Indian oceans, but they aren’t lined up, Napa Valley-like, on the main roads, preserving an appealing farm-country vibe. Our arrival in February coincided with harvest - and some of the area’s warmest weather. From our first base, the charming Plumwood Inn, we would explore Franschhoek and neighboring Stellenbosch, historic small towns considered by many to be South Africa’s wine and culinary capitals.
BASQUE COUNTRY BLISS

BASQUE COUNTRY BLISS

Unveiling San Sebastian’s Culinary Coast and Cultural Charm San Sebastian, Spain is a Basque jewel nestled on the country’s rugged northern coast. This city, proudly called Donostia by locals, transcends the typical Spanish experience. It’s a city of many...

The Grand Tetons

The Grand Tetons

BY MICHAEL BURGE / Story and Photographs by Michael Burge Story and Photographs by Michael Burge: Every travel destination has its surprises, and Grand Teton National Park was no different. We expected sawtooth peaks, sugar-crystal snow and bracing cold. After all,...

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ALMOST HOMELESS IN MADRID

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THE BOOKING GAME

A multitude of apps, internet sites, and tools make it easy to book and we generally use a combination of them when doing our research and making reservations. Over the decades of booking our travels, we have made plenty of mistakes but with each error; we become a little wiser and a little more cautious as we do our booking due diligence. Here are some lessons we’ve learned.

Cruise Fever

The Return to Cruising Survey coincides with the nearly first anniversary of the suspension of cruising in the United States. One year ago, we were in Oman aboard the Azamara Journey, preparing to fly home after mounting COVID fears truncated our exotic voyage. That was our last voyage to date and the ship’s as well. It’s now docked with two sister ships in Glasgow, Scotland. Little did we know when we walked down the Journey’s gangway that cruising would come to a standstill. 

Uncharted Waters

Perhaps the biggest unknown is the duration and strength of the current surge. Will the dramatic rise in infections and deaths in the United States lead other countries to again close their doors to American visitors? Will people continue dying needlessly because brainwashed and ill-informed citizens refuse to be vaccinated or wear a mask? Will the politicians who have recklessly resisted calls for mask mandates, testing, and vaccinations finally wake up and join in taking the much-needed steps to secure citizens around the world from this scourge?

CRUISE AT YOUR OWN PERIL

There is risk in any travel, whether hitchhiking through South America or spending a weekend at Disneyland. This fact was emphatically validated for us when our recent luxury cruise turned from dream to nightmare. In these never-ending pandemic times, we knew that...