Campania Adventure Day 5: Ravello and Amalfi

We left Positano by high-speed ferry boat, which whisked us to Amalfi in about 20 minutes.  After arriving in Amalfi, the son of our Airbnb host in Ravello, located us near the ferry docks and drove us up a winding road to our lodgings for the next two nights, an old paper mill in mountainous area between Atrani and Ravello.  The walls of the building were … Continue reading Campania Adventure Day 5: Ravello and Amalfi

Campania Adventure Day 3-4: Positano

We arrived in the spectacular seaside town of Positano in the evening after a fun-filled day trip to Capri.  Be forewarned! Getting around Positano is quite a challenge.  If you arrive by boat, luggage porters are needed to take your bags up to your hotel.  Our hotel, the Hotel Royal Positano , was situated a decent distance up the hillside.  The porters told us that it was impossible … Continue reading Campania Adventure Day 3-4: Positano

Campania Adventure Day 2: Capri

The day after our visit to Vesuvius and Pompeii, we turned our attention to Capri, which has charmed visitors ever since Roman Emperors discovered artifacts of an even more ancient people and constructed temples and villas on the island’s limestone cliffs. Through the centuries, Capri has attracted writers and artists, the rich and famous, and  daytrippers from Naples and the Amalfi Coast.  We decided to explore … Continue reading Campania Adventure Day 2: Capri

Campania Adventure Day 1: Vesuvius and Pompeii

Ever since my third grade teacher, a proud descendant of Italian immigrants, told me the story of Pompeii and its destruction by the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius, I always wanted to see the ruins myself. Before taking this recent trip to Southern Italy, I had  been to Italy twice, but always wished I had made it further south than Rome to see this legendary … Continue reading Campania Adventure Day 1: Vesuvius and Pompeii

Ancestral Journeys — Part One: Tracking Down my Müller ancestors in Rheinland-Pfalz

My great uncle used to tell me stories about my great-great grandfather, William Miller, who grew up in Speyer, Germany before immigrating to the United States. He had been an altar boy in the city’s Romanesque Cathedral and considered studying to become a priest. He was drafted into the military of the newly formed German Empire, but decided to leave the country after witnessing a Prussian officer … Continue reading Ancestral Journeys — Part One: Tracking Down my Müller ancestors in Rheinland-Pfalz

Sun, Sand and Ceará: Exploring Fortaleza, Brazil

Fortaleza is a city of 2 million inhabitants located in Brazil’s Northeast region and capital of the state of Ceará. Fortaleza and the Ceará coastline are a popular tourist destination for Brazilians and, to some extent, Europeans. Few Americans visit Fortaleza, possibly due to the greater popularity of Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and Iguaçu Falls and the lack of direct flights. Another reason could be Fortaleza’s … Continue reading Sun, Sand and Ceará: Exploring Fortaleza, Brazil

Slow Boat Voyage on the Mekong River into Laos

One of the most unique and memorable ways to travel into Laos from Thailand is to take a slow boat on the muddy Mekong River from Chiang Khong/Huay Xai to Luang Prabang. Rather than trying to coordinate the border crossing and boat rides on my own, I decided to go with an organized tour (the Thailand to Laos Adventure by G Adventures) and let them figure out … Continue reading Slow Boat Voyage on the Mekong River into Laos