Almost exactly one year ago, we visited the island of Crete. The “crisis” was in full tilt, demonstrations were plenty in Athens and around Greece, and we were just into the shoulder season (mid-October). It seemed like we had much of the island to ourselves, including lonely little Arkadi Monastery perched on a hill in Crete’s Amari Valley.
The monastery facade you see in the panorama below dates back to the 16th century. Look closely, though, and you’ll see that it is strewn with bullet holes from a 150 years ago, a symbol of Cretan resistance and independence. Continue Reading »
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 driven across Austria after celebrating Christmas in Salzburg and we arrived in town under the most inauspicious of winter circumstances – Central European midday darkness, frigid temperatures, a biting wind from the Danube, non-existent parking, and fully-booked hotels.
Adding insult to injury, the only people willing to help: overeager men dressed in period costumes skulking around and selling tickets to “best of” classical music performances. We eventually found a place to stay in the far suburbs of town, in the home of an Austrian man holed up with the world’s largest St. Bernard. But that story is for another time.
In any event, this was Western Europe, but with an eastern look. Our relationship with Vienna: off to a rocky start. Continue Reading »
Up until our recent travels into the heart of port wine country, and despite countless glasses of the stuff under my belt, I was still tempted to consider port as a heavy drink that was quaffed by older British men with a cigar after a pot roast dinner.
Then we traveled deep into the Douro Valley in northern Portugal, the epicenter of port wine. And there, things opened up to me. Continue Reading »
Japanese food, where clean eating meets culinary artistry. Where raw fish and pickled vegetables sit astride seaweed strands and tempura sculptures. Japan, the place where you can eat blowfish sashimi, octopus balls and cow rectum one evening, then follow it all up the next day with a 15-course meal that might qualify as one of the truly greatest eating experiences of your life. Japan, the home of some of the world’s most exquisite beef, certainly its most exquisite fish.
Japan, where the dining experience is not only about the actual food consumed, but also the presentation, the design, the sheer beauty of what you’re eating. Japanese cuisine, where the food canvas employs color, where form truly follows function.
From the traditional to the modern, from the quick to the drawn-out, and from the haute to the street — with a few unusual (and necessary) ideas for limited budgets to help your yen go a bit further — this is our take on Japanese food. Continue Reading »
Ever go to a market expecting one thing, only to find something refreshingly different? That’s how it was with our visit to the Saturday morning market near Pont de l’Alma in Paris’ 16th arrondissement. It’s only a stone’s throw away from the Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysee and a handful of Paris top ten sights. Given all this, we figured the market fancy, polished, and full of tour groups.
It wasn’t. Continue Reading »
We don’t often write about upcoming conferences and projects (i.e., the business side of things), but many of you have expressed interest, so we’re trying to make amends. We also understand that this blogging and business stuff isn’t for everyone, so we won’t be offended if you decide to head to our thoughts on Paris or Mt. Fuji instead.
Saying goodbye to summer in Berlin.
Days get shorter, nights cooler. Summer is sadly coming to an end, but another period of travel and speaking begins.
So where will the next month take us? Continue Reading »
Have you ever come away from a long weekend visiting a city, your map torn in half and frayed along the way? That’s good old-fashioned map wear and tear, a sign that you’ve gotten lost many times. Sometimes you get to your original destination, sometimes you don’t. Maybe you’ve found something else along the way, some unexpected discoveries.
That’s what makes the weekend, your weekend, interesting.
And so it was with our recent long weekend in Paris for my birthday at the end of August. Continue Reading »
This is a story about how sometimes it’s a good thing to take the long way, to miss the bus, and to find the shrine.
Continue Reading »
The Louvre Pyramid. Love it or hate it? Continue Reading »
This is a short story in the form of a touching email I received recently. It demonstrates how life sometimes comes full circle in odd and delightful ways.
When Dan and I recall all the unusual yet universal connections we’ve uncovered throughout our travels and life experiences, we often reflect on how “we’re all more connected than we think.” However, each time we accept this maxim and settle comfortably into its implications, life surprises us once again in an odd, humbling and inspiring way.
A few weeks ago, we’d just arrived in Berlin, fresh off of speaking at the World Domination Summit (WDS) conference in Portland. Then, I received this email. Continue Reading »