To Lhasa and Beyond On the Road to Shangri-La

In Lhasa’s Barkhor Square, the weathered Tibetan woman softly intoning a Buddhist mantra fell to her knees, looked fervently skyward and then lunged face down on the pavement, oblivious to the commercial life surrounding her. After a few seconds of prayer, she rose stiffly, moved two steps forward and repeated the process. Shoppers flowed around her with scarcely a sideways glance because Lhasa residents are used to prostrate pilgrims

Poimiroo - CMT - San Luis Obispo

Cycling California’s Royal Road – Part II

Cycling California’s El Camino Real is an 800-mile (1,287 km) epic adventure. The appeal of visiting picturesque missions established by Spanish friars between 1769 and 1823 is enhanced by traveling a route that still looks much like it did 200 years ago. Says writer John Poimiroo: “This is not like the Camino de Santiago in Spain where every community and business along the route expects pilgrims. The El Camino Real runs through open country with few directional signs and services. Along some stretches you must make your way much as the padres did.”

The House of Neptune and Amphitrite gets its name from this stunning mosaic in its dining room


By Beth Reiber The first thing you notice upon entering Herculaneum is how resplendent it is, how unapologetically it asserts itself as Rome’s resort town for the rich and famous. To be sure, you’ve seen plenty of wealthy residents and villas in your hometown of Pompeii, just 5.5 miles away. But whereas Pompeii is a…


When in Mérida, Do as the Romans Did

  By Richard Varr Corinthian columns stand double-stacked across a wide Roman stage, and although chipped and riddled with cracks, the remarkably well-preserved blue-streaked marble pillars add to the splendor of one of Spain’s most visited landmarks of antiquity: the Roman Theatre of Mérida. “Most of it was hidden in a thick layer of earth…

Doorways decorated for Dia de Muertos. Picture by Ramaa Reddy

Spain’s Colonial Heart Beats Seductively in Mexico’s San Miguel de Allende

San Miguel de Allende lies in the Eastern part of Mexico’s State of Guanajuato, about a three-hour journey from Mexico City. It’s a cobblestoned colonial town with pastel-colored buildings that has changed a lot over the past century yet remained remarkably the same. The city’s main square, or Jardin Principal, is canopied by trees. It’s a popular local hangout where Mariachi bands roam about awaiting paying customers. On the Northern corner stands the majestic Catholic church, Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel.