Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /home/acpaqzsg/public_html/rw_common/plugins/stacks/armadillo/core/displayContent.php on line 598

Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /home/acpaqzsg/public_html/rw_common/plugins/stacks/armadillo/core/displayContent.php on line 598

Travel Thought for the Week

“The traveler sees what he sees; the tripper sees what he has come to see.”
– G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936), English writer and philosopher

Travel Thought for the Week

“A traveler’s thoughts in the night wander in a thousand miles of dreams.”
– Wang Wei, 17th century Chinese poet

See the tulips in Holland this spring

Spring is a beautiful time to explore the Netherlands, when the fields explode in color. From sleepy towns like Edam and Volendam, to thriving modern centers like Rotterdam; from famous windmills and canals to timeless bridges and unique architectural styles, there is no better time to discover it all for yourself.

We have a few staterooms available on a river cruise that travels through the Netherlands and Belgium, with departures in April – the perfect time to experience the flowers. Contact Bryan for more details.

A Stolen Klimt painting, an earthquake in Italy, and Florence's baptistery doors

Florence's Baptistery Doors together again

It's been more than 30 years since the doors of Florence's baptistery were all in the same place. The doors that you actually see on the baptistery if you visit Florence are copies of the originals, which have slowly, very slowly (this is Italy) been undergoing restoration. All three sets of doors are now on display together in the Museo dell'Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore, a museum behind the cathedral. Sculpted by two different artists over a period spanning more than a century, the doors are among the most famous art objects in a city filled with famous art objects. They were created by two different sculptors, one set by Andrea Pisano in the 14th century, and two sets by Lorenzo Ghiberti in the 15th century – that's Ghiberti popping out of the roundel above. The second set created by Ghiberti are known as the Doors of Paradise, a name ostensibly given them by Michelangelo. For more on the doors, see here and here.

Balsamic vinegar not just from Modena

At least that's what the EU court decided. The term "Balsamic Vinegar from Modena" has been a protected name since 2009. Vinegar producers from the area had sought to prevent the term "balsamic" being used on any product not from Modena. The court decided that the term by itself is simply a descriptive, and not part of the geographical protection.

Berlin's Checkpoint Charlie getting a makeover

One of the main crossing points between Communist East Berlin and democratic West Berlin, Checkpoint Charlie is a visible symbol of the once divided city. It's become a very popular tourist attraction, with thousands of visitors every day coming to take a selfie, and browse the 'authentic' pieces of Berlin Wall, soldiers caps, badges, and other East German memorabilia hawked by vendors on the sidewalks. The city has decided that Charlie is going to be getting a new look, though no one is not quite sure yet what that look will be. Last month the city banned people from dressing up as soldiers and posing with tourists (for money, of course), and plans are now underway to redevelop the site. The initial plan is to create a large square, with a new apartment block, a Cold War memorial, and possibly two tanks to commemorate the 1961 standoff that nearly put the Cold War on boil.


A painting by Austrian artist Gustav Kilmt, stolen in 1997, may have been found.

An earthquake rattled the mountain towns near Florence on December 9, causing damage to historic buildings, but no injuries.

Tennis great Roger Federer will become the first living person to be honored on a coin in Switzerland. The Federal Mint, Swissmint, will release a 20 Swiss francs silver commemorative coin in January.

Another Rome bus has gone up in flames, the latest in string of bus fires over the past few years.

Paris is launching an exhibit memorializing the pissoirs, the public urinals that were once common on the streets of Paris (I remember them from my first visit to Paris in 1981).

Pompeii recently opened the site of the Grand Thermal Baths to the public, a major construction project that was still underway at the time of the eruption that destroyed the city. New digs in the city have also uncovered several new frescos, including a scene of a gladiator standing triumphant over his opponent.

Travel Thought for the Week

“I pity the man who can travel from Dan to Beersheba, and cry "T'is all barren" - and so it is; and so is all the world to him who will not cultivate the fruits it offers.”

– Laurence Sterne, A Sentimental Journey, 1768

Show more posts

Compare Rental Cars

Find great deals on hotels


Eurailpasses and Train Tickets

A Single Stop for European Rail Travel

Hand Crafted Travel's Blog Archives

With over 40 years of travel experience, we are experts in many areas

Hand Crafted Travel respects your privacy. Learn more about our Privacy Policy.


Some offers that appear on this website are from companies from which Hand Crafted Travel® LLC may receive compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). Please view the Privacy Policy for more information.

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any advertiser or affiliated company. Any product claims, statistics, quotes or other representations should be verified with the manufacturer or service provider.

All content © 1992 – 2022 Hand Crafted Travel LLC

We love cookies. Most cookies are delicious, but those aren't the kind of cookies we're talking about. We use little files called "cookies" to make our website awesome for you. By using our website you consent to our Terms of Use and our Privacy Policy.