Peaks of the Balkans Trek: A Beginners Guide

Each year we like to go on a long trek, one that takes us to a new region somewhere in the mountains. It’s an exercise for the body and also for the mind. To disconnect with our day-to-day and also to reconnect with a region once unknown to us and learn about it through its nature and people.

This year’s trek of 200 km / 125 miles through the mountains of Albania, Montenegro and Kosovo along a newly established circuit called Peaks of the Balkans was one we’ll never forget.

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Uganda Beyond the Gorillas: From Boda Boda to Bunyonyi

Lake Bunyonyi

While mountain gorilla trekking is the big draw and anchor experience for many people visiting Uganda, the country offers a lot more in terms of atmosphere and experiences. Prior to our trip to Uganda, we’d heard from other travelers that the country was among their favorites in Africa due to its friendly people and laid-back feel. Beyond the critical human element, you have rafting through Nile River rapids, exploring sprawling markets, hopping a back-seat motorbike tour around the capital city of Kampala, and taking mini animal safaris across the country.

So if you’re wondering which travel experiences in Uganda to consider beyond the mountain gorillas, here are a few thoughts.

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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 in Germany.

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.

If you have a fear of missing out on the must-see bits of the region, but long for a taste of the lesser-seen local experience, then this article and guide to the Upper Middle Rhine is for you.

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Aachen and Cologne, Germany: 24-Hour City Guides

Cologne Cathedral

Upon a recent visit to the German Rhineland cities of Aachen and Cologne and the surrounding area, we realized there’s a lot to experience and unpack — that is, to comprehend the full picture of what we’d seen and how astonishingly complex history can be.

From Roman beginnings, to medieval ascendency to industrial superiority, Germany’s Rhineland seems to have known it all. It has been influenced by French culture, impacted by the Prussians, and even spiced by a dash of Eastern European industrial migrants. It knows a blend of influences, cultural imprints and scores continually settled and resettled through events like World War I and II. Pull out a map and note that by cause and effect, the region borders Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg — in addition to France — and you begin to get a sense of the near randomness of the borders we draw.

How to come to this understanding? Visit the towns of Aachen and Cologne on a city break or weekend getaway. Take a couple of day trips and immerse yourself in the history, eat heartily and take more than a few photos along the along the way.

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Gorilla Trekking in Uganda: A Beginner’s Guide

For many travelers to Uganda, gorilla trekking is the anchor activity and highlight of their trip. To encounter mountain gorillas not only carries some expense, but it also takes planning and preparation to make the most of your visit. In this Uganda Gorilla Trekking Beginner's Guide we share all you need to know to prepare for and get the most out of you gorilla trekking experience in Uganda.

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Cape Town: Our Beginner’s Guide on Things to Do And See

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 Mountain cut by coastlines – but we also knew there was more behind that exterior.

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72 hours in Edinburgh: Stone, Ale and Spirit

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 72 hours (and ideally more), here are a handful of things you could see, eat, drink and otherwise experience to help you answer that question for yourself.

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Vienna, Austria: An Experiential Travel Guide

We’ve visited Vienna over 10 times, on each visit exploring a different dimension — from markets and wine to art and architecture — to get under the skin of the city’s polished exterior. After answering scads of questions about what to do in Vienna, we figured it was time to share our favorite activities and our perspective in this Vienna Experiential Travel Guide.

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