Part 3: A Tale of Three Cities in Switzerland

Lugano, Pontresina, and Zurich are examples of Switzerland’s appeal; something for everyone.  In Lugano, one gets the feeling of stumbling into Italy, because of the language and food.  In Pontresina, while hiking, you expect either Heidi or the Von Trapp family to pop up over the next hill.  Zurich, the largest city in Switzerland (400,000+),[…]

Riding the Rails: Switzerland

Switzerland is smaller than Vermont and New Hampshire combined. That, and the Swiss penchant for efficiency, means travel from city to city by rail is easy and scenic.  Here’s my “To Do” list for the following destinations which are all short train rides apart:  Interlaken Ride the cable car to Harder Kulm to sightsee, eat,[…]

The Swiss Adventure Begins

Edelweiss Air’s seasonal San Diego to Zurich non-stop flight follows Archimedes’ rule: the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. The plane was comfortable and the crew friendly and attentive. There were free movies galore, plus plenty of good food and a wide assortment of beverages.  The Zurich airport is well marked and[…]

A Swiss Trip

Preparing for 2 1/2 weeks in Switzerland took time and careful coordination.  Here’s the blueprint of my Swiss adventure and, hopefully, useful for any journey. Getting There – Always look for the quickest route with the fewest stops. The good news for San Diego residents (like me): Edelweiss Airlines has seasonal non-stop flights to Zurich,[…]

River Time on the Seine

A recent AmaWaterways riverboat trip captured the essence of travel; an interesting itinerary, beautiful scenery, historic landmarks, well-planned tours and wonderful surprises. Upon boarding and after a quick exploration of the boat, we happily settled into the leisurely rhythm of what I call river time. River time refers to the ship’s pace as everything seems[…]

The Alentejo and Porto: Portugal – East and North

The Alentejo The Alentejo covers approximately one third of Portugal, occupying most of the area to the east of Lisbon. It is the least populated region in the country and features picturesque villages, roads shaded by canopies of eucalyptus trees, rolling hills covered with olive groves, and wide stretches of plains. Monoliths and megaliths dot[…]

A Very Brief History of Portugal and Lisbon

What a rich history this country has! The Iberian Peninsula was first explored by the Phoenicians before the birth of Christ. Next came the Romans, the Greeks, Barbarians, Arabs (Moors) and the Crusaders. In the 10th century, the first Portugese King, Afonso Henriques, declared the independence of what we now call Portugal. In the 14th[…]

Amsterdam and Budapest: A Quick Guide by Howard Hian

The historic rivers of Europe, starting with the Rhine in the north and ending with the Danube in the south, form centuries-old trade routes connecting many great cities. Two of my favorites, Amsterdam and Budapest, are joined by these waterways. Both have their own unique history, culture and great art but are inexorably linked, even[…]