Panorama of the Week: Golestan Palace – Tehran, Iran

golestan palace

Persia's Qajar dynasty kings knew how to have a good time. (Some may argue that they did so at the expense of their subjects and their country, but that's another matter entirely.)For now, a visual. Take a peek inside the lavishly tiled and ornate Khalvat-e-karimkhani room at Golestan Palace in Tehran, Iran. Imagine Qajar dynasty kings from 200 years ago … [Read more...]

A Flight to Tehran: The Full Story

Boarding Pass to Tehran, Iran

What does it feel like to fly into Iran, to enter the country for the first time? Here’s the story of our flight to Tehran including some things you might expect, and some others you might not.Destination: TEHRAN. I ogle my boarding pass at the departure gate in Istanbul. We bought the tickets months before, all easy enough. So easy in fact that we wondered if … [Read more...]

Panorama of the Week: New Mosque (Yeni Camii), Istanbul

Istanbul mosque

Istanbul's Yeni Camii (New Mosque).  Somehow we'd missed this one during our last visit to Istanbul eleven years ago.Today, while wandering around and outside the streets of Istanbul's spice market looking for a head scarf (for Audrey, not Dan), we stumbled across and into Yeni Camii (New Mosque).  While the outside is rather stark gray, the inner courtyard warmed … [Read more...]

Iran: Why We’re Going

Persian Architecture

This is the story of Iran, a country we once expected to visit last, as a final bow wrapped around a journey that tells the story of making human connections around the world. It's also an explanation of why we're going there this Friday. … [Read more...]

Panorama of the Week: Venetian Windmills on Crete

crete windmill

Windmills are a symbol of clean energy today, but wind power is not especially new technology on the Greek island of Crete. In the late 15th century, the occupying Venetians began to use windmills on the edge of Crete's hillsides to grind wheat. To better catch the wind, they attached fabric-like sails on the blades.Today, after over 500 years of facing the … [Read more...]

Crete Week: First Glimpses

Morning View from Royal Mare - Hersonissos, Crete

Greetings from Crete!Difficult to keep track of us sometimes, isn’t it? In one week, after a hop (from Berlin), a skip (to Prague), and a jump (from Munich), we’ve landed on Crete, the almost-southernmost island of Greece. … [Read more...]

Hot Sauce Tasting: Hurts So Good

Hot Sauce Tasting Mosaic, Berlin

A quick visit to a hot sauce store in Berlin turns into an unplanned three-hour hot sauce sampling that made us feel like we just dropped acid.Have you ever planned a hot sauce tasting? Ever even imagined one? Well, maybe you should. … [Read more...]