Here’s part two of Lia Norton’s mini-series on Berlin. The first post focused on art and food in the cutting-edge German capital, which apparently has inspired several readers to add it to their bucket lists.
In this post, Lia writes about some of the more unexpected experiences that both surprised and charmed her, making her visit to Berlin so memorable.
By Lia Norton
Berlin by Boot
There are plenty of options for seeing Berlin by water, but whichever you choose, don’t miss out on this special way of traversing the city. Berlin is home to two rivers (Spree and Havel), a number of lakes, and canals that run alongside neighborhood streets, all navigable by small boat.
With sandwiches and beers in our backpacks, my partner Mike and I joined our German friend Jens,… Continue reading
It’s been 30 years since I was in Berlin. The Berlin Wall was about to come down, but East Germany was still hanging on and Checkpoint Charlie was still up. It was pretty grim.
Berlin, of course, has undergone tremendous changes since then, as my daughter, Lia, writes about in her first guest post for this blog. The city is now a swirl of activity, culture, and culinary experimentation.
In this post, Lia focuses on Berlin’s art and food, both of which she absorbed with gusto. For baby boomers like me who remember Berlin mostly as an outpost of the Cold War, the transformation is a revelation — I can’t wait to go back.
By Lia Norton
The last time I was in Berlin, back in 2008, it was for a… Continue reading
One of my regrets from our years spent in upstate New York (before moving to Tucson) was not spending more time in the Canadian maritime provinces. Somehow we never made it to Prince Edward Island, for example, but one of these days…
In any event, this guest post from Josh Patoka reminds me of what we’ve missed — and, I hope, will inspire others to go where we have not (yet).
By Josh Patoka
Literary fans know Canada’s Prince Edward Island (PEI) best as the setting of Anne of Green Gables, but there are plenty of things for baby boomer travelers with other interests to see and do there.
The island combines rolling scenery, a relaxed pace of life, historic lighthouses, fresh seafood, and biking and hiking trails — along with Anne of Green Gables-related activities, of… Continue reading
A little over three years ago, I was able to travel to Cuba on a cruise ship and write about my trip for a AAA publication in Colorado and a cruise magazine, as well as for this blog.
The cruise ship was mostly populated by Americans traveling on a “people-to-people” program run by the Fund for Reconciliation and Development, a Riverhead, New York-based organization promoting U.S.-Cuba relations.
The cruise included lectures on Cuban culture, tours of historic sites, a visit to the famed Tropicana nightclub, and other activities, such as visiting a privately owned restaurant as well as various Hemingway haunts around Havana.
And yes, we did meet many Cubans along the way, including government tour guides who spoke remarkably candidly about how they surreptitously supplemented their meager official incomes.
Restrictions had… Continue reading
As frequent guest-poster and financial expert Jim McKinley points out in this piece, boomers on a budget can help realize their dreams of outdoor adventure — or any kind of travel, for that matter — by taking a number of relatively easy steps.
Tracking flight deals, accruing mileage points racked up by responsible use of credit cards, planning ahead, and saving on gear by finding coupons and promo codes online are all very doable.
And that list doesn’t even include camping or RVing to save on lodging (though maybe not your back). Or the great options now available on vacation rentals (airbnb, VRBO) that can make staying in a house more affordable than hotels, especially if you have other family or friends in tow.
Jim also provides a number of helpful links — so enjoy browsing through them, but… Continue reading
The news out of Paris is beyond imagining — fire is ravaging Notre Dame Cathedral. As I write this, Parisian officials fear catastrophic damage and perhaps total loss of this world treasure — with late word that its towers and façade may be saved. French President Macron has vowed to rebuild.
For the millions who have visited and loved and worshipped in this magnifient edifice — with so much historic, artistic, and architectural glory — as well as for residents of Paris who have been privileged to view it on an almost daily basis, the news is heartbreaking. And for those who have not had the good fortune to see it and now perhaps never will, words cannot express.
I don’t think I’ve ever been to Paris — from my first visit in 1966 until my latest visit three… Continue reading
My experience with Australian river cruises was something of a mixed bag. When our kids were young, my wife and I took them on a “Crocodile Cruise” on the Daintree River in far north Queensland.
The tropical setting was exotic, the little riverboat was appropriately atmospheric, and breakfast — including frontier-style Billy tea — was included.
The only problem: there were no crocs. Well, we did spot one baby croc toward the end of the day, at which point everyone on board started madly snapping pictures, none of which produced a clear image of the elusive reptile.
On the other hand, the boatman did allow our son, Grael, to play captain and steer the ship for a while, and we met some nice people onboard.
Our guest writer today, Sam Hoffman, lives in Australia and describes… Continue reading
I’m pleased to present another guest post from Jim McKinley, our financial writer in residence (well, virtual residence), who always has good tips for baby boomers who want to make wise use of their travel funds — and who doesn’t?
In today’s post, Jim — a baby boomer himself — looks at several ways to save money on a trip, both leading up to and during your travels.
By Jim McKinley
Many baby boomers have more time to travel now, whether it’s because they’re empty-nesters or retirees, and they’re pursuing it with more intense interest as well, as bucket lists beckon.
The good news is that travel is good for you, with benefits for the mind and body.
You’ll stay active strolling around museums and markets, swimming in the sea, or hiking in the forest, and it’ll broaden… Continue reading
Chinese New Year (also known as Spring Festival), starts on February 5 this year and continues for 15 days.
It’s the most important festival time of the year in China — when millions of Chinese travel to their home villages and cities to be with family or friends for holiday reunions.
One of the world’s most celebrated festivals, Chinese New Year is also a star occasion in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and some other Asian countries as well as Chinatowns around the world. And in recent years, the celebrations in New York, London, Vancouver, Sydney and other overseas cities have spread out of Chinatowns.
Parades with dragon and lion dances and fireworks, family feasts, and, on the final day, a Lantern Festival illuminated by red lanterns are all traditional.
This is the Year of… Continue reading
I hope you’re all having a wonderful holiday season.
Now, as promised last week, here are the answers to our Merry Christmas Travel Quiz. In case you missed the earlier post and would like to take the quiz, I’m listing the answers at the bottom.
1. Christmas Island was discovered by British Royal Navy Captain William Mynors on December 25, 1643, hence the name. Which ocean would you travel to to spend the holiday season on Christmas Island?
a. The South Pacific
b. The South Atlantic
c. The Indian Ocean
d. The Antarctic Ocean
2. Which U.S. state would you travel to in search of a town named Santa Claus?
3. Where would you travel to retrace the footsteps of the original St. Nicholas,… Continue reading