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Uluru Rock – One for the Ages

The approach to Uluru rock in the outback of Australia is long, anticipation building as the view of the massive structure grows over the desert horizon. From a distance, it appears as an ordinary isolated plateau but up close, visitors are dwarfed against its looming fortress walls.  Millions of years ago the formation was pushed… Read more »

Ancient Kunming – Now the Garden City of China

I knew nothing of Kunming, China until discovering it was the terminus for most of the WWII flights over the Himalayas from India bringing supplies to the Allied and Chinese armies.  My father flew this dangerous route over the “Hump” 150 times.  When I journeyed to follow his WWII footsteps in 2014, a stop in… Read more »

The Thrill of the Sudden View

With photos available on the internet and travel sites galore, it is difficult to be surprised in traveling today.  Professional photos online with their perfect lighting beautifully reflect a location at its best. An in-person visit can sometimes be disappointing. I do believe in being prepared for a voyage.  If I know the history of… Read more »

Traveling against State Department Advisories

Travel Advisory Levels When I first began traveling internationally to Europe in 1969, no warning system by the United State Department of State was readily available for citizens abroad.  I have visited countries where travel advisories should have been in place.  When I first landed in Santiago, Chile, in the spring of 1974, a year… Read more »

Oh, Those Romans Could Build

Most visitors to Italy believe they are viewing the best Roman ruins and certainly the Coliseum, Circus Maximus and the array of partial structures in the Roman Forum are a few examples that display the construction abilities of the Roman engineers over several centuries. I first saw them in 1969 after studying Roman architecture in… Read more »

Thanksgiving in New York City – Then and Now

Power Ranger in Thanksgiving Parade

It’s hard to believe that just a year ago, my daughter, her family, my husband and I were in New York City for the Thanksgiving holiday, worrying only about catching a cab or where to have breakfast before our visit to the Metropolitan Museum. Crowds were expected and we learned how to weave through them… Read more »

November 15th is 75th anniversary of the ending of the WWII “ Hump” transport operation over the Himalaya Mountains and it is still remembered in Kunming, China

Thanks to its temperate climate and mile high altitude, Kunming is known to Chinese citizens as the city of eternal spring. Now numbering 7 million residents, it is a governmental and manufacturing center for the region. But in WWII, it was bustling with American and Allied pilots, the destination of most flights flying “The Hump”,… Read more »

“G’day, mate” and more Australian talk

I’ve always loved the Australian accent. Despite being perceived as descended from the Royal British dialect, it really comes from more modest beginnings and has its own distinctive pronunciation. This shouldn’t be a surprise as immigrants to Australia came from Ireland, Scotland, and different parts of England. Kel Richards has studied and interpreted the language’s… Read more »

Buddhists Amongst Hindus Amongst Muslims in the Assam Valley of India

Except for tea buyers, few visitors have discovered the remote Assam Valley of India, the country’s appendix in the far northeast corner surrounded by Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Myanmar.  In this ancient state, layers of religious beliefs gradually revealed themselves as we moved through the state. The diversity of religions was not unexpected.  With even a… Read more »