Lisbon: Alfama

If comparisons between Lisbon and San Francisco are to be believed - and I heard many such statements before coming here, from friends and Rick Steves - this is where they come from. Walking up hills on winding, narrow streets while dodging street cars that rattle by does indeed remind me of San Francisco, at…

Trip Itinerary: Portugal

Ah, Portugal. Mysterious nation at the western end of the Iberian Peninsula. Land of nata tarts, salt cod, and port wine, of fado, salty ocean air, sunsets, and surfing. It is the only continental European country on GMT, and it is also my first stop on my Iberian adventure! For the most part, my month…

How Greenwich Changed the World

There are so many things I take for granted in my life, and especially when I travel. I carry in my pocket more computing power than existed in the entire world in 1980. My phone tells time and always knows where I am. It's hard for me to remember a time before smart phones, let…

Salisbury and Stonehenge

"It's just a stone circle." "It's too crowded." "I don't see what the big deal is." These were the things people told me before I went to Stonehenge. And... yes, it's a stone circle. Yes, it's crowded, even in the pouring rain. But Stonehenge is absolutely a big deal. For that matter, so is Salisbury,…