Aachen Cathedral: Just Look Up [360-Degree Panorama]

Aachen Cathedral

Some cathedrals -- with their fanciful gargoyles, detailed carvings and elaborate flourishes -- are best admired for their exterior. For others, it's all about appreciating what's inside.What makes Aachen Cathedral so special for me, despite the beauty of its imposing Gothic exterior, are the mystical elements within. … [Read more...]

Next Up: From Mines to Wines, Germany’s Rhineland

Rhine Valley

As we set off for Germany's Rhineland this weekend, I think back to an exchange I had with a tourist from Stuttgart the other night.“It’s been really fun visiting Berlin this week. It’s like traveling to a different country from Germany,” he said.We laughed. We understood. This is often what we tell people when they ask us how we like living in Germany. We've … [Read more...]

Itsukushima Shinto Shrine on Miyajima Island, Japan [360-Degree Panorama]

miyajima shinto

Miyajima, a sacred island in Japan. So sacred in fact that its famous Itsukushima Shinto Shrine (now a UNESCO site) was designed very cleverly 500 years ago. You see, the raised boards provided a way for pilgrims to visit the island without actually touching sacred land directly. The purity of the island was kept in check for hundreds of years. (Another feature of the … [Read more...]

Skellig Michael, Ireland [360-Degree Panorama]

skellig michael

Off the southwestern corner of Ireland, pitched west of the coast of County Kerry, sit two little islands, one of which has a 600-step stone staircase that appears to wind straight into the sky. Those stairs, it is told, were built by monks who long, long time ago cast themselves away from civilization in order to meditate, study and pray.This is the island of … [Read more...]

Panorama of the Week: Blue Sky Quito, Ecuador

quito church

Quito, Ecuador -- at 2,800 meters (9,200 feet) in elevation, it's just a bit closer to the sky than most capital cities. Walk around Quito's old town and you'll feel it -- not only because of the slight shortness of breath you might experience, but also because of the inimitable cloud-popping blue sky overhead. It's so surreal that you sometimes feel you can reach … [Read more...]

Panorama of the Week: The World’s Loneliest UNESCO Site

trinidad unesco

Have you ever wondered which UNESCO World Heritage site is the least visited?When we heard a rumor calling out the Jesuit ruins in the towns of Trinidad and Jesus in Paraguay as the least appreciated UNESCO World Heritage site, we figured they were worth a visit.Open the panorama below in fullscreen (tilt up) and then consider the back-story of a community … [Read more...]

Why Paraguay?

To be hugged by a rodent of unusual size (ROUS)?Despite all the itinerary changes we made during our Latin American journey, we never took Paraguay off the table. Maybe that’s because we knew virtually nothing about it. We hadn’t met anyone who’d been. That few others traveled there was an indication that we should. … [Read more...]