Oh Continental, I Love When You Talk French….

10 Nov

Or Techno, or Psychobabble, or whatever this is. Because, God knows no one in the OnePass Program can understand it: Effective Jan. 1, 2011 * System–wide Upgrades: Elite members earning 100,000 Elite Qualification Miles (EQMs) or 120 Elite Qualification Points (EQPs), will earn six one–way, System–wide Upgrades. Two additional System–wide Upgrades will be issued every […]

And so we end where we began…

7 Oct


Or at least where civilization began, to a degree. The Roman Amphitheater at Pula was built early in the first century CE. It is rare even among its brethren, in that it is the only one with four sides and all three architectural orders intact. It is also the sixth largest in the world. Anyone […]

“This is Illyria, Lady”

6 Oct


Its contemporary name is Istria. Somewhere along this coast Shakespeare’s Viola stumbled cold and grieving from the sea. Its vineyards, olive groves, and truffle grounds would have made Orsino a very rich man indeed. I had two days to see it before getting on a plane for Texas. Over 48 hours, we visited a tiny […]

Horseflesh and Meat Fest (Two Separate Things) in the Croatian Countryside

6 Oct

 A morning spent wandering around the upper town gave me a chance to see some of the oldest and most storied parts of Zagreb. The Church of St. Mark depicts on its roof the old coats of arms for Croatia, Dalmatia, Slavonia and Zagreb (no separation of church and state necessary in 1882, when the […]

From Literature to Lapidarium to Bar Lemon

4 Oct

Zagreb is a compact city, settled between two hills. It fits in completely in the European mold; that is, it has architectural character and a coat of grime. Bit of a graffiti problem, too. Here are my two favorite examples. Note the very, erm, urban phrasing on the smaller text: The city is most charming […]

An Open Letter to Continental Airlines

1 Oct

Dear Mr. Smisek and Continental Staff: I’ll begin by acknowledging that flying has changed a great deal for all of us since 2001. I have been traveling with Continental since the early 1990s, and I recall that it used to be easier for all of us on both sides of the experience. Am I correct […]

In the Footsteps of Isabella Bird

9 May

An intrepid explorer, a writer, a woman who never could settle or settle down. The Victorians called her a “lady traveler.” Isabella Bird was allergic to staying in one place for too long. She wrote long, meticulously descriptive letters. She rode astride, but objected when the press reported on her manly dress and unconventional habits. […]