Monthly Archives: May 2011

Monday’s Links for Curious People – Bulgaria Edition

Posted by on May 30, 2011

The rocks of Belogradchik and the Balkan Mountains

The rocks of Belogradchik and the Balkan Mountains

]I’ve been racing around Europe for almost a month now and I am really starting to feel the effects. I haven’t written a thing for the website this entire week. I’m exhausted almost every night. I’ve managed to keep up with my photo editing somewhat, but I still have a lot to do.

Despite the poor condition of much of the physical infrastructure in Bulgaria, surprisingly enough they have some of the best wifi I’ve seen in Europe.

I’m still on my G Adventure trip through Romania and Bulgaria. The last two days I’ve been in Veliko Tarnovo, the old capital of Bulgaria. Today I’m in Belogradchik in the northwest part of the country, not far from Serbia. On Wednesday I’ll be in Sophia and on Friday I’ll be pulling into Istanbul by train.

On June 8th I’ll be flying from Istanbul to Vancouver by way of Berlin to speak at the TBEX conference. If you are in the Vancouver area, there are a few events I’ll be attending if you’d like to meet in person:

  • June 9, 8pm, G Adventures Concept Store: I’ll be speaking at the G Adventures Concept store in Vancouver about my travels, showing photos and answering questions.
  • June 10, 1-5pm, El Nido Restaurant: My This Week in Travel co-hosts and myself will be doing a meet up and recording a live show at El Nido in Vancouver near the convention center. Everyone is welcome and there is no cover charge. We expect several dozen bloggers and people in the travel industry to be in attendence.

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UNESCO World Heritage Site #136: Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands

Posted by on May 30, 2011

UNESCO World Heritage Site #136: Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands

UNESCO World Heritage Site #136: Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands

From the World Heritage inscription:

The Ligurian coast between Cinque Terre and Portovenere is a cultural landscape of great scenic and cultural value. The layout and disposition of the small towns and the shaping of the surrounding landscape, overcoming the disadvantages of a steep, uneven terrain, encapsulate the continuous history of human settlement in this region over the past millennium.

The towns of Cinque Terra are just beautiful. If you are ever in the neighborhood of Pisa or Genoa, you should consider making a trip there. You can visit the five towns by train, by boat or even on foot. It was the highlight of my recent cruise around Italy and would highly recommend it to anyone visiting Italy. It might not be as sexy as some of the other destinations in Italy like Rome, Florence or Venice, but it has its own unique charm. Try to avoid arriving on a day with cruise ships or show up before 10am or after 1pm to beat the crowds.

View my complete list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites

UNESCO World Heritage Site #135: Historic Centre of Naples

Posted by on May 29, 2011

UNESCO World Heritage Site #135: Historic Centre of Naples

UNESCO World Heritage Site #135: Historic Centre of Naples

From the World Heritage inscription:

From the Neapolis founded by Greek settlers in 470 B.C. to the city of today, Naples has retained the imprint of the successive cultures that emerged in Europe and the Mediterranean basin. This makes it a unique site, with a wealth of outstanding monuments such as the Church of Santa Chiara and the Castel Nuovo.

Naples is great city that is high on my list of places to return to. I was only able to spend several hours walking around the city, but I enjoyed the time I had.

View my complete list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites

UNESCO World Heritage Site #134: Archaeological Areas of Pompei, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata

Posted by on May 28, 2011

UNESCO World Heritage Site #134: Archaeological Areas of Pompei

UNESCO World Heritage Site #134: Archaeological Areas of Pompei

From the World Heritage inscription:

When Vesuvius erupted on 24 August AD 79, it engulfed the two flourishing Roman towns of Pompei and Herculaneum, as well as the many wealthy villas in the area. These have been progressively excavated and made accessible to the public since the mid-18th century. The vast expanse of the commercial town of Pompei contrasts with the smaller but better-preserved remains of the holiday resort of Herculaneum, while the superb wall paintings of the Villa Oplontis at Torre Annunziata give a vivid impression of the opulent lifestyle enjoyed by the wealthier citizens of the Early Roman Empire.

I had always wanted to visite Pompeii and I had my chance this year when the Carnival Magic stopped in Naples. Unfortunately, I was on a tour bus along with several thousand other people who all hit the site at the same time and Pompeii was packed. It really took away from the experience. If you want to see a Roman city which is almost as intact as Pompeii I’d suggest visiting Ostia Antica just outside of Rome. Very few people go there and you can see much of what you can in Pompeii. Likewise, visiting the nearby city of Herculaneum might be a much less busy choice.

View my complete list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Monday’s Links for Curious People….Romania Edition

Posted by on May 23, 2011

I don’t know what it is about Monday’s lately, but the last several weeks I’ve found myself unable to post anything on Monday’s. I’m like a traveling, blogging version of Garfield.

Yesterday I was on an 11 train ride from Budapest, Hungary to Sighisoara, Romania. Needless to say, the Romanian trains do not have wifi.

Sighisoara is a very picturesque town and is also famous for being the birthplace of one Vlad Dracul, aka Vlad the Impaler, aka Dracuala.

Technically, it is still Friday on the west coast of the US when I’m posting this, so I can feel a bit OK about myself. Anyway, here are some things to read from around the internet that those of you curious about the world might be interested in: