Beginners Guides: Practical travel guides to regions, countries and cities.

Romantic Rhine Travel: On and Off the Beaten Path

Rhine Valley

Through sunny days and fog, famous towns and little known ‘burgs, wine cellars and village vintner festivals, this was our time on the segment of the Rhine River known as the Romantic Rhine.Half-timbered homes sit as the foot of cobbled streets. Vineyard paths wind into the hills. And foggy moments as castles disappear and re-emerge on hilltops hint at history. … [Read more...]

Gorilla Trekking in Uganda: A Beginner’s Guide

Kakona, the Silverback Gorilla - Bwindi National Park, Uganda

I followed just behind our lead mountain gorilla tracker. In the hush of the moment under the canopy, I remembered our guide’s advice earlier that morning: “On your way to the gorillas, don’t forget to enjoy the sound of the jungle. There’s nothing like it.”My focus had been on climbing through the tendrils, on getting there. I could feel the heat around me, … [Read more...]

Ladakh Trekking: A Beginner’s Guide

Ladakh

Every year we try to go on a big trek, one that takes us far far away and high into the mountains. For us, it's not only a way to exercise our bodies, but to clear and challenge our minds. It’s a way to disconnect from all that is part of our daily life — technology, social media, blogging — and reconnect with nature and ourselves.Last year’s trek of the Markha … [Read more...]

Cape Town: Our Beginner’s Guide

12 Apostles & Camps Bay, Cape Town

Cape Town. You may come for beauty, but you’ll leave with a story.Cape Town, a city we had heard so much about over the years, but for so many reasons never took the opportunity to visit – until recently.  Like most, we were originally attracted to Cape Town for its natural beauty – think Table Rock cut by coastlines – but we also knew there was more behind that … [Read more...]

72 hours in Edinburgh: Stone, Ale and Spirit

Edinburgh rooftops

In celebration of Robert Burns Day in Scotland, we share our favorite pints, places, and provisions from the fair city of Edinburgh. Now, what did we miss?What’s the essence of Edinburgh? I probably need to return to answer that in earnest. But if you visit Edinburgh for a couple of days, here are a handful of things you could see, eat, drink and otherwise … [Read more...]

Vienna Travel: A Beginner’s Guide

Rathaus (Town Hall) - Vienna, Austria

This is the beginning of a multi-part series we’re calling “lost destinations” in which we highlight activities and destinations that we’ve experienced previously but haven’t written about extensively or enough apparently, for they surface often in conversation and in questions emailed to us by readers.Our first taste of Vienna came in late December 1998. We’d … [Read more...]

Berlin: A Beginner’s Guide

Berlin TV Tower and Berlinerdom

Traveling to Berlin? Here's our Berlin brainstorming guide to give you some approaches and ideas to get started.We have found ourselves in Berlin this year for the third summer in a row. Berlin draws us in, like the school kid who may not be the best looking in the class but has the magnetic personality that everyone wants to be around.Berlin for us is a … [Read more...]

Insider’s Prague: Tourist Traps to Avoid, What to Do, Where to Eat

View of Prague

While we lived in Prague, we were simultaneously awed by its beauty and frustrated by the rapacious tourism development that had swamped its old town. Recently, I've read a few blog posts from travelers disappointed by their visits to Prague because of the city's tourist schlock. Yes, there's a fair heap of it. But, there are also ways to avoid it. … [Read more...]