Before visiting Hocking Hills, Ohio, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. While I’d heard the state was flat with not much to do, I also heard there were some quirky and adventurous activities to be experienced. After visiting for myself, the latter view won by a landslide.
I went on a hike that started with an informative forest and cave hike, and ended in a session of storytelling led by Wehyehpihehrsehnhwah, a native Shawnee Indian. While I knew the journey would be interesting, I didn’t realize what a live-changing affect it would have on me.At first Wehyehpihehrsehnhwah speaks his native language until he realizes we don’t understand him.
It’s odd that with 100 miles of hiking trails, not many people know about Saltpetre Caves Nature Preserve. That’s one of the reasons company owner Jim Stratton and naturalist guide Joe Brehm love to lead their tours here. We walk through Hemlock, White Oak, Greenbrier, mushrooms and the fun-to-say, Sassafras, which is known for its medicinal purposes as well as being an additive to beer. We shimmy through slots and caves, walk by lichen-covered trees and honeycombed sandstone, learning about local flora and fauna…
I had an interesting but sad experience today, a reminder that despite hometown bookstores hanging on and still existing in the major cities, times are ‘a’ changing. In a search for travel books on Iceland, I came up short on a recent hunt in and around San Francisco’s Union Square. After a meeting I had in the center, I asked eight people back-to-back, on the street and in nearby shops, where the closest bookstore was. They all seemed to look at me as if I was asking where I might find a place to buy cassette tapes. One girl in her twenties with a black polka dot dress on and fabulous pink lipstick took the earbuds out of her ears to talk to me, saying that she too was looking for one two weeks ago and the one she knew about had closed, so she wasn’t sure.
I later learned that there is one in the Union Square vicinity but it took a little digging to find it and no one I asked knew about it. And so, I hopped back on the Bart and ended up back in the Mission where I knew of Dog Eared Books at a…
One of my favorite ways to get to know a culture is through their national and regional drinks. Here, I share some of my favorite libations from around the world, so you can bring them from abroad to your home.
Literally translated, caipirinha translates to “country bumpkin”, although people of all classes drink this popular cocktail. Interestingly, it was originally made for medicinal purposes. In a Brazilian caipirinha, the main ingredient is Cachaça, which was once prescribed with honey and lime to cure colds and sore throats. To make it, you’ll need:
- 1/2 lime, quartered
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- 2 1/2 fluid ounces cachaca (Brazilian sugarcane rum)
- 1 cup ice cubes
Muddle the lime wedges in a glass, fill with ice, pour in the cachaca and stir.
While the two countries argue over who really owns the Pisco Sour – although Pisco is said to have originated in Peru – both are excellent places to enjoy the sour yet sweet concoction. To make it, you’ll need:
Aside from being France’s wine capital, Bordeaux is also a premier gourmet city. We found so many restaurants on offer that it was difficult to choose. Not to mention the fine food shops and gourmet staples like canelé cakes, lamb, oysters, foie gras and cured meat. It’s just as easy to get excited about the food in Bordeaux as it is the regional wines. Here’s a quick guide on where to eat well in Bordeaux (it won’t be difficult!)
Roasted veal from Cafe Lavinal in Medoc
What To Eat
If it’s authentic dishes from the region you are after, be sure to enjoy a rib steak (entrecote) with Bordelaise sauce or any of the fresh fish and shellfish on offer. Near Bordeaux are important meat producing regions like Bazas (for beef) and Pauillac (for lamb). Traditional French fare like snails, tripe, foie gras, duck confit and, of course, cheese are plentiful and everything is fresh. Vegetable lovers are…
Enter meet someone obsessed with mushrooms? If not, head to Lithuania
to discover that a large percentage of the country is in some way shape or form obsessed with mushrooms. Enter into the Mushroom Kingdom
. Says my quirky and amusing guide, “if there were no mushrooms in the forest, the girls would be naked.” Huh? I learn that the majority of residents in more rural areas know which mushrooms should be picked and which ones are poisonous. They’re either picked to consume themselves or they sell them to stores and vendors….or simply set up a small stand on the side of the road just like New Englanders do to sell corn and blueberries.
Mushrooming is a popular pastime from mid-summer to autumn. As a staple, mushrooms are usually harvested in the forest and where you are most likely to find mushroom tables or stands set up on the side of the road is in the Dzūkija
region from Druskininkai
. Despite its status as a delicacy in Lithuania, mushrooms are thought of by locals as hard to…
Here are ten reasons why you should head to Copenhagen and what you should do there.
1. You can walk everywhere
Seriously, Copenhagen feels like it was designed to be explored on foot. It’s awesome. From galleries to monuments to parks, everything is really
compact. You can easily walk from one side of the city to the other in a few hours. This is obviously convenient, but it also saves a whole load of Krone. And if you need to take a load off there’s a modern, efficient and affordable metro system you can use.
image via WikiMedia Commons
2. Bikes, bikes, bikes
Walking and subways aren’t the only way to get around Copenhagen. The city is super progressive when it comes to urban transport. It feels like everyone cycles, meaning Copenhagen probably has the quietest and most peaceful streets of any capital city in the world. This green approach has even led to the term ‘Copenhagenise’ being used by urban planners.
3. Copenhageners are funny
Not LOL funny, more… curious. They find the idea of you even trying
to speak in Danish completely baffling. In fact, they generally give the impression…
Indigenous culture is often a curiosity for outsiders, one we often want to know more about but which we have a hard time relating to once we do in. In my opinion, this is often because people are educating themselves through reading or listening instead of immersing.
In Jordan, I was given the opportunity to truly get to know Bedouin culture, which has a strong focus on strengthening relationships. These people aren’t concerned about money; in fact, they think it’s dirty. Instead, their rituals and traditions revolve around forming healthy and helpful relationships with each other and the land.
My first encounter with the Bedouin community comes in Feynan, one of the few places in Jordan where authentic Bedouin culture still exists. Toward the end of a beautiful but arduous hike from Rumanna Camp to the Feynan Ecolodge through the Dana Biosphere Reserve, I begin to see numerous black Bedouin tents woven out of goat hair. One of the men from the tents notices my flushed face and shirt soaked in sweat and extends an invitation.
“He wants to know if you’d like…
, situated in the old fishing village of Kolga-Aabla on the Juminda peninsula, serves delicious food made with local ingredients accompanied by some excellent French and Italian wines. In summer months, they seat diners in their summer house, while in winter you are seated in the cosy house of the couple who runs it: Merrit and Jaan and of course their American bulldog Hummer.
Only three-quarters of an hour’s drive from Tallinn (directly over the sea can come up with a boat when a storm is, can the seawall next to the anchor keeping) a Juminda peninsula was fifty years of a closed border zone. Many did not know until today what a wonderful natural pearl sixty kilometers away from the hustle of the capital. Here lies MerMer, the place to go for home cooking on your trip to Estonia.
Head out of Tallinn early and take a drive around the Juminda peninsula which takes in the historic fishing villages Kirkkonummi Aabla, Kiiu-Aabla, Leesi, Tammistu, Juminda, Tapurla, Virve and Pedaspea. Nowadays, there are a lot of new houses in these villages, but they also blend in with the old village milieu so it feels on some levels, as
Next Page »