Celebration of the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene in La Maddalena, Italy (video)

The feast of St. Mary Magdalene (Santa Maria Maddalena) on July 22nd is a big deal here in La Maddalena. She is the patron saint of the city and the island, and the church here is dedicated to her as well. So when her feast day rolls around,  the locals, tourists, and dignitaries all turn out for a celebration.

Here’s a video from last year’s celebration (2018). It contains everything from prayers to fireworks to …

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Using a U.S. Credit Card in Italy, Even When They Don’t Want You To…

Assuming you have notified your credit card company ahead of time that you’ll be traveling or living outside of the United States, using your U.S.-issued credit cards in Italy should not be a problem. They are “every place you want to be,” as the advertising slogan goes. Restaurants, grocery stores, tourist shops — pretty much every business around accepts credit cards, and the country where those cards were issued is basically irrelevant.

There are situations, …

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Las Vegas Hot-Air Balloon Ride

Flying in a hot-air balloon has been on our to-do list probably since the 1980s. But through all those years, for one reason or another, it never happened.

Most recently, this past summer (2016), we were all set to take a balloon flight over the lunar-like landscape of Cappadocia, in Turkey. Then, less than a month before our trip, the Turkish army decided to stage a coup which, although unsuccessful, caused us (and many …

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A Mystical Experience at Delphi

Some places just have a vibe about them. You can feel it when you go there. It’s in the air — or something. There’s just something special about the place, something perhaps a little other-wordly, something….

This is how “sacred places” become sacred.

Last month during our trip to Greece, we visited Delphi, site of the famous Oracle. Delphi has a vibe to it. It’s been a sacred site since as far back as …

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Delphi and the Oracle of Apollo

Almost everyone has heard at least a little bit about the Oracle of Delphi. This ancient priestess who prophesied in the name of the Greek god Apollo is mentioned at least briefly in most history books. But the mentions in the history books don’t do justice to the magnificent, sprawling temple complex, situated high on the side of a mountain, where the Oracle made her cryptic pronouncements. You simply have to be there to grasp …

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A Visit to Dracula’s Castle

The castle marketed to the public as “Dracula’s Castle” is actually Bran Castle, a fortress perched high on a mountain above the town of Bran in Romania. It sits at the border between the Romanian regions of Transylvania and Wallachia.

Construction of the present castle was completed in 1388, and for nearly 500 years thereafter it served as both a customs house and military stronghold to defend Transylvania from invasion.

We visited the Bran Castle …

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Athens at Night via Segway

Segway for Seniors. 🙂 We did a tour of Athens on Segways after dark. It was GREAT!! None of us had ever ridden a Segway before, so we were a little nervous. But Vera, our tour guide/instructor, had us riding, turning, stopping, and even backing up in literally five minutes. It was incredibly easy.

After an hour, we were navigating through throngs of tourists, avoiding the occasional car or motorcycle, and riding along bumpy, winding, …

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