by Lei Chatfield, Contributing Editor

Imagine: nomadic yurts, incredibly beautiful tiled mosques, medieval architecture and an ultramodern city created by a dictator “president” with portraits of him and his family at every turn. This mosaic is Central Asia.


There’s something magical about Kyrgyzstan. On our first evening in Bishkek, we were treated to a double dose of Kyrgyz culture at a local restaurant. First there was a special performance of a Kyrgyz...


by Michael Algar, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Within easy reach of London, some of East Anglia’s landscapes will live forever in Constable and Gainsborough paintings. But it is wealth from this area’s cloth-weaving industries that is reflected in its historic communities of such appeal today.

Choosing an itinerary

From several self-drive themed itineraries available from the East of England Tourist Board (Toppesfield Hall, Hadleigh, Suffolk IP7 5DN; phone 0870 225 4800...


by Larry Taylor, Fullerton, CA

The San Blas Islands, off the coast of Panama, are one of the last pristine, undeveloped areas of the world. These islands, with swaying coconut palms, soft sand beaches and colorful coral reefs surrounded by the turquoise Caribbean, are the epitome of a tropical paradise.

The name San Blas was only vaguely familiar to my wife and me when we read that Windjammer Barefoot Cruises (Miami Beach, FL; phone 800/327-2601 or visit www.windjammer.com) was...


By Jack C. Ogg, part 2 of 3 on the Balkans

The aqua-blue waters of the Adriatic, the coves and beaches of the Dalmatian coast, medieval walled cities, imperial Roman ruins, mountain lakes and the forests and vineyards of the interior make Croatia a modern-day Shangri-la.

A country of contrasts

Croatia is a relatively new country, and one of contrasts: geographic, political, religious and ethnic. Settled by the Illyrians, invaded by the Celts and, in succession,...


by Jack C. Ogg, Houston, TX; part 1 of 3 on the Balkans

Slovenia, a small gem of a country set between Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia, is a combination of Alpine beauty, majestic valleys and blue- and turquoise-colored lakes purified by their limestone surroundings. The population of nearly two million is neatly distributed over its 20,000 square kilometers, with the only near-metropolis being the capital city of Ljubljana (pronounced Lubliana), a city of only 275,000.



by Donna Jurado, San Francisco, CA. Photos by Joan and Elena Jurado.

My daughters, Joan and Elena, and I were enthralled, watching the strutting display of a male ostrich hoping to impress his intended mate. His face, neck and legs were an intense bright pink during this breeding season. Suddenly, our guide diverted our attention across the grassy savannah, where several lions were engaged in the hunt. The inevitable happened and a hapless zebra soon became lunch for a hungry pride...


by Yvonne Michie Horn, Santa Rosa, CA

“Did you put a little something in the box?” Lord Bigby asked.

He’d met us on the lawn in front of Minterne Manor, where first the Churchill family and then the Bigby family have lived for 350 years. Below lay Minterne Gardens, abundant in century-old rhododendrons and azaleas, ancient cedars, waterfalls and ponds.

Like others wrestling with the upkeep of grand houses and gardens, Lord Bigby counts on “a little something in the box...


by Diane Powell Ferguson, Scottsdale, AZ

I kept telling my husband, “You’ll love Bolivia,” and practicing Quechua on the dog. My other half remained skeptical while the dog became increasingly enthusiastic, since intonations of “Waliq alqu” (“Good dog”) were accompanied by continuous predeparture treats. We wanted to experience Bolivian history and wildlife but particularly emulate the “safari feel” we enjoy in Africa — without traveling quite as far.

Customizing a trip...