Long Layover: 6 Hours in Shanghai

Long Layover: 6 Hours in Shanghai My bus pulled into the Shanghai South Long Distance Coach Terminal at 9 am.  Since my flight wasn’t scheduled to depart from Dupong International Airport until 7:20, I wanted to make as much as I could of my six hours in Shanghai. I did a little research and opted for a circular route beginning and ending at People’s Square and encompassing several of Shanghai’s most popular attractions.  Here is what I did with[…]

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Shekou as seen from Nanshan Mountain

China: Nanshan Mountain, Shekou

Nanshan: Mountain of a Thousand Steps, Forest of Tranquility, and Place of Friendship     I tried to get an early start – hoping to reach the top before the sticky heat settled over Shenzhen but even at 7:00 on a Sunday people were already out enjoying the park. Walkers raced down the road in their sneakers and leggings. Several sets of retirees played Badminton on the landing at the trail-head, hitting the little birdie[…]

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Many of Tirana's buildings are painted in wildly colorful designs

Photogallery: Tirana

Tirana is the capital and largest city of Albania. It is a colorful city with lots of hidden corners and fun quirks. The city is relatively new, only coming into prominence as the capital of Albania in the last one hundred years.  There are very few truly old buildings in the city. New office towers are interspersed with older apartment blocks with crumbling facades splashed with bright paint. In Tirana’s Quiet back streets, small houses[…]

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Tirana's Sky Bar

Sky Bar, Tirana

Sometimes-Sunday Coffee Club (Tirana) Wednesday February 17, 2015 Sky Bar (Rruga Ibrahim Rugova, Tirana – map) I expected both more and less when I visited Tirana’s famed Sky Bar for the first time. I expected a better menu, and I expected it to cost more.  As it was, the very standard menu of coffees, drinks, and deserts cost only a little more than similar fare at a non-rotating establishment closer to the ground. That is[…]

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The National Theater - Zagreb, Croatia

Photogallery: Zagreb, Croatia

Zagreb, the capital city of the Republic of Croatia and Croatia’s largest city (at just under 1 million people) teems with life, vibrance, and a kind of modern grit that can only be found in the largest of the post-communist era cities.  Graffiti litters walls indiscriminately; old and new, sound and crumbling all bear the colorful markings of urban youth. Ancient trams ply the city’s tracks under magestic, if a bit uniform cream colored stucco[…]

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Kazakh Yurt Shymkent

Kazakhstan: My Shymkent Top 10

Shymkent – if you ask anyone from Almaty, they will tell you that Shymkent is like Texas, wild and untamed. In Shymkent, people seem to embrace the idea.  They drive where and how they want, take a fierce pride in their city, and are also some of the most open, and generous people I’ve met in Kazakhstan.  If you are ever fortunate enough to visit the city of Shymkent, here are some things you might[…]

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