Free Hawaiian culture classes and concerts in Waikiki, Honolulu

Free Hawaiian culture classes and concerts in Waikiki, Honolulu

Glamorous Waikiki Beach was once the retreat of Hawaiian royalty. Here at Helumoa, a royal grove of coconut palms, Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop (1831-1884) wrote a codicil to her will establishing Kamehameha Schools dedicated to educating children of Hawaiian descent. Today the Royal Grove is a garden at the heart of the Royal Hawaiian shopping center, the […]

28.10.2012 · Filled under: Art, Hawaii, Legendary Landscapes · Tags: , , · 2 Comments »
Lagoon dreams: Venice, Burano & Torcello

Lagoon dreams: Venice, Burano & Torcello

I’ve dreamed of the lagoon since returning from Venice, dreamt of jade water shivering as it crosses sandbars, spangled with sun diamonds. Though we rented a car for several days to explore, we left it at the hotel that Sunday morning and took Bus 19 (about a 15-minute ride, 1.30 Euro) from our hotel in Campalto […]

Exploring culture, food, and Route 66 fun in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Exploring culture, food, and Route 66 fun in Albuquerque, New Mexico

The drum is a heartbeat, faster than mine. Apache Crown dancers pace the circle, bodies painted, pine boughs bobbing at their hips, bells the size of tangerines adding an edgy jangle. With cotton sacking disguising their human features, feathers dangling from where their eyes should be, the dancers are eerie, otherworldly. My heartrate rises to […]

Postcards from New Mexico

Postcards from New Mexico

Once upon a time I spun a globe and declared to my sisters that I would go wherever my finger landed. It landed on Albuquerque which, at the age of ten, I couldn’t even pronounce. Though I did pass through New Mexico on a solo trip around the U.S. in my early twenties, I wasn’t […]

Canucks, inukshuks and Cuba

Canucks, inukshuks and Cuba

Waves crash, palms blow, vultures wheel, clouds unspool. Here on the Costa Morena, the rugged coast west of Santiago de Cuba, all nature salsas in the wind. Flopped under a seagrape, sunburnt, pants torn, I suddenly get Van Gogh. Vincent never made it to Cuba but he would have known how to paint it: all […]

24.03.2012 · Filled under: Art, Cuba, Legendary Landscapes · Tags: , · 3 Comments »
Sicily’s seductive beaches and strange symbol

Sicily’s seductive beaches and strange symbol

More than 2,000 years ago, Greek sailors sailing the Mediterranean around Sicily gazed upon its golden shores and likened them to the alluring legs of a woman. They called the island Trinakria, or three pointed, identifying it with the Thrinacia mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey. I love to wander Sicily’s beaches in the off season when […]

Strait of Messina, Italy: myth, magic and a controversial bridge

Strait of Messina, Italy: myth, magic and a controversial bridge

When Odysseus sailed the Strait of Messina he had a tough decision to make.  Sailing too close to Calabria would mean passing Scylla, a sailor-snatching sea-nymph with a body composed of ravening dogs.  Too close to Sicily and the  whirlpool mouth of Charybdis could suck down the entire ship. Navigating the water between mainland Italy […]

16.11.2011 · Filled under: Legendary Landscapes, Myths & Legends · Tags: , · 5 Comments »
Myth and water around Lamezia Terme, Calabria, Italy

Myth and water around Lamezia Terme, Calabria, Italy

We’ve been using Calabria as a back door to Sicily for a few years, preferring direct flights to Lamezia Terme to non-direct flights to Palermo.  Car rental is a lot easier at Lamezia, too. This time we stayed in the area for a few days to decompress and explore.  Our first stop is always the quiet […]

Changing Sicily

Changing Sicily

Having married into a Sicilian family and visited it often enough to consider it a second home, I still succumb to Stendhal syndrome within an hour or two of arrival, willing victim of its beauty and exoticism. At the crossroads of the Mediterranean but on the fringe of Europe (it’s closer to Africa than Rome), […]

Oh, Oahu!

Oh, Oahu!

Finally, Hawaii. We’re kicking ourselves for not having gone before. Why didn’t we? Too expensive? Not in April. Too far? Not bad if you fly during the day (jetlag doesn’t seem to happen flying east). With only a week we stayed on O’ahu, wanting the quintessential Hawaiian vacay, headquartered in touristy–and, yes, gorgeous–Waikiki.  The Hawaiian Islands […]

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