by Russ Ellis, ITN

In October ’02, I was a guest on a 4-night tour of Vienna jointly hosted by Austrian Airlines and the Vienna Tourist Board.

Our whirlwind tour included visits to the Austrian Gallery Belvedere, housed in the Belvedere Palace; the MuseumsQuartier Wien, the world’s ninth-largest arts complex; the Albertina, once a Habsburg residence and now home to a comprehensive collection of over a million drawings and prints, and the Kunsthistorische Museum.



by Fred and Ann Abeles, Frederick, MD

Reading about someone’s adventures always makes us want to follow in their footsteps. In this case, we were inspired to follow in Thomas Stevens’ bicycle tracks after reading his recently republished “Around the World on a Bicycle” (2001, Stackpole Books; available through Amazon.com).

In 1884, Thomas Stevens left San Francisco on a Columbia high-wheeler with the goal of traveling around the world. His diary gives a fascinating picture of...


by Thomas McKenna, Montpelier, VT

Easter Island, or Rapa Nui as it is known to locals, is the most remote inhabited place on Earth. Located about 2,200 miles from the coast of South America, its nearest neighbors are on Pitcairn Island about 1,300 miles to the west. Some travelers might consider the remote location reason enough to visit, but the main attraction is the large, mysterious human figures carved from stone centuries ago.

Where the first islanders came from, why...


by Betty and Dick Wood, Seattle, WA

If you have ever thought of visiting Beirut or wanted to see the archaeological ruins of Baalbek, Tyre or Byblos, I would say this is the time to go. The price is right, there are almost no tourists and the local people are very friendly — everyone greets you with “Welcome” and can’t seem to do enough to help you enjoy this most delightful, beautiful country.

Repairing the damage

After many years of civil war (the fighting stopped...


by Carol O'Hara, Orangevale, CA

Only a few short years ago, any traveler who used a wheelchair would weigh the advantages of cruising against the disadvantages of each ship. Older liners often were difficult for those in chairs to navigate because of their construction. They had a lack of accessible staterooms plus narrow halls and raised lips between sections of the ship.

Not so, today. The newer ships are a dream come true for less-able souls who love to travel. Wheelchair-...


by Vern Lewis, Atlanta, GA

An extended trip to Southern Africa: that’s what my sister Patt and I took in January and February ’03. The highlight would be a 16-day rail tour that departed from Johannesburg and took us to a total of six countries.

We began with a week in Cape Town. Because of the extreme distance, we chose to fly first class on South African Airways — $9,250 each, round trip from Atlanta to Cape Town.

We stayed at the Protea Hotel President (4 Alexander...


by Randy Keck, part 2 of 2 on the Philippines

The second portion of my recent visit to the Philippines focused on the island of Cebu, specifically on the area around Cebu City and adjacent Mactan Island, both rich in terms of historical significance.

In 1521 the famous explorer Magellan met his end at a battle on Mactan Island after incurring the wrath of local chieftain Lapu-Lapu, who had no tolerance for the explorer’s exploitative practices. A monument on Mactan...


by Patricia Arrigoni, Fairfax, CA

From a treetop deep in the jungles of Peru, a tiny brown monkey stares down at me with curiosity. I aim my binoculars and stare back into his intense, dark eyes. We check each other out for a couple of minutes, then he is gone, swinging with ease to the next tree.

But there were more animals to discover on this May ’03 trip to Peru, like the saddle-back tamarin and the three-toed sloth, plus a selection of beautiful birds.