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June 2014

LAKE LOUISE, ALBERTA – Swiss efficiency. Alberta hospitality. That’s a tough combination to beat when it comes to a hotel. But the Post Hotel and Spa also offers a location in one of the most stunning places on the planet, the oh-so-lovely Lake Louise. Which probably accounts for all those ooh-la-la reviews on Trip Advisor and similar websites. The hotel is cozy and bright and looks very much like a Swiss chalet in a forested glade of quiet, majestic trees, with wonderful views of the amazing Rockies. The staff welcomes you the second you exit your car, and when you ... continue reading →

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  The coast of Sardinia near Hotel Cervo, on the Costa Smeralda. SARDINIA – I’ve only been on the island an hour or two. But my friend Mans Hallqvist wants to show me some cool parts of his adopted city of Cagliari, so I find myself climbing a dry, dusty but beautiful hill on the outskirts of town. The deep blue waters of the Mediterranean are off to our right as we head up the hill. Mans points out wild asparagus plants and we pass brilliant pink oleander as we skip past the ancient rocks. Suddenly we find ourselves gazing ... continue reading →

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AMSTERDAM – Sometimes it’s good to listen to the tourism folks. Okay, it’s almost ALWAYS good to listen to the tourism folks. In this case, I have to give credit to the lovely Henny Groenendijk, who represents Visit Holland . I’d been promising to go for years, but somehow never got around to it. This time, I made Holland the focus of my trip to Europe. I’ve written in the past few days about surprising Rotterdam and about my great bike ride in Holland. But I want to give Henny a special shout-out for booking me a room at the ... continue reading →

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ROTTERDAM – I have to give the people of this city credit. After World War II, after they sifted through the ruins of a city mercilessly bombed by the Nazis, they made a bold decision. Rather than try to make everything the way it was, they opted instead to take their clean slate and rebuild a modern city. The decision has had mixed reviews, but there’s no doubt Rotterdam today stands out with a very different style than Amsterdam. If you ask tour guide and local artist Willem Besselink, that’s a good thing. “Before the war, the city looked much ... continue reading →

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What a great way to see a great country. I just got back from an abbreviated bike and barge tour of Holland , a two and-a-half day, two night trip that took myself and 13 terrifically fun other folks to some of the most charming villages and small cities in The Netherlands. The trip was sponsored by Visit Holland and put together by a company called Cycle Tours , which organizes all sorts of trips all over Europe. I was sampling their “Top of Amsterdam” tour, visiting such places as Enkhuizen, Hoorn, Edam (wow!) and Volendam. We stayed at night ... continue reading →

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