Persian Design at the Jameh Mosque – Yazd, Iran [360-Degree Panorama]

Yazd, Iran

Yazd, a historically Zoroastrian town and a sort of desert outpost that took in people fleeing persecution and wars in other parts of the country, is one of our favorite cities in Iran. Its old city is almost entirely built in brown-red adobe clay, helping to blend it into the surrounding desert landscape and to keep its building interiors cool.Ones eyes adapt to … [Read more...]

Amidst Piles of Freshness: Antigua Central Market, Guatemala [360-Degree Panorama]

Antigua Market

As we take off for Central America (this time to Costa Rica), we think back to our first visit to the region a couple of years ago: Antigua, Guatemala.Although Antigua has a reputation for being touristy, we found that it wasn't too difficult to get lost and find a slice of authentic Guatemalan life. One of our favorite places to do this: Antigua's central … [Read more...]

Markha Valley Trek, Ladakh: Hiking Through Canyons [360-Degree Panorama]

ladakh canyon

First day of our Markha Valley trek. We weren't quite certain what to expect for the remaining six days of trekking through the Himalayas, but we were sure the following day would be steep and uphill, to 4,950 meters/16,200 feet. So on our first day on the trail we were relieved to find relative flatness, to lose ourselves in the red rocks of the canyon around us and … [Read more...]

Buddhist Temple at Likir Monastery, Ladakh [360-Degree Panorama]

likir monastery

While traveling, we often find ourselves focused on the present. This is a good thing. Then, something helps us appreciate the history, the roots of where we happen to be. This too, is useful because it provides perspective.Likir Buddhist Monastery in Ladakh, at almost 1,000 years old, is one of those places.For much of our visit to Likir Monastery we were … [Read more...]

Trekking Ladakh: On Top of the World in the Himalayas [360-Degree Panorama]

Ladakh lake

Five days into our Markha Valley Trek in Ladakh, India. We were on our way to Nimiling, a summer hangout for local shepherds (with their flocks of sheep, goats and cattle/yak hybrids called zos) and the overnight base camp for our final ascent to Gongmaru La Pass (5,130 meters/16,800 feet). That morning we endured and enjoyed our share of steep climbs, losing … [Read more...]

Cape Town Road Trip: Chapman’s Peak Drive [360-Degree Panorama]

chapmans peak

There are certain parts of the world that simply cry out: Road Trip! You know the requisite ingredients: rugged cliffs dropping into blue ocean waters, waves crashing against rocky outcroppings, and pockets of white foam shooting into the air. Roads wind, barely two lanes wide, cars hug mountain turns. Drivers and passengers crane their necks to catch a glimpse -- the … [Read more...]

Panorama of the Week: The Hidden Peacock Mosque – Isfahan, Iran

esfahan mosque

"If you look up, at just the right time, you'll see a peacock on the ceiling," our guide, Javad, explained as he walked us under the gilded and tiled dome of Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque in Isfahan, Iran.We craned our necks, searching for just the right angle. With the aid of sunlight passing through a nearby window, an image of a peacock -- previously unseen, now … [Read more...]

Panorama of the Week: Inside Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

edinburgh castle

In a typical European medieval town, its castle lay at its heart. In Edinburgh, however, its castle is its head -- the head of a fish, to be more precise. The Royal Mile, the main thoroughfare of Edinburgh that spills from the castle forms a sort of spine of the fish to which many closes (alleys) are connected.And although Edinburgh has evolved over the … [Read more...]

Panorama of the Week: Sunset on Nicaragua’s Pacific Coast

nicaragua sunset

A long horizon, inky waters and waning light.  What is it about all this that delivers a sense of peace and perspective, of one's small place in this world? The rhythm of the waves serves as a sort of meditative mantra, keeping petty stresses and worries in their place, at bay.We recently arrived at this spot on Nicaragua's Pacific Coast, and ended our first day … [Read more...]

Antarctica, Beyond the Circle (A Panorama)

detaille island antarctica

Antarctica, uninhabitable in the truest sense of the word. No human can survive it naturally. So what is it that draws us in, makes us want to visit, explore, push the boundaries, and place it on the bucket list?Open up the panorama below from Detaille Island, just south of the Antarctic Circle, for a clue. … [Read more...]