Entries about 'travels'

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The North Coast

Last September Francie and I cruised the length of the Norwegian coast, starting down from the top. Half of that trip is north of the Arctic Circle, including Hammerfest, where I joined The Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society.

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My Favorite Restaurant

My cantine has books in the window whose authors are also customers. The patronne is likely to pull up to your table and chat, and likes to introduce regulars to each other.

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Report from Ukraine

Ukraine should be vigorously taking defensive measures while it asks for help. The Russian bear is at the door, and it’s hungry.

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Flamenco

Duende is the effect that flamenco, the national dance of Spain, seeks to achieve – a particular emotional impact. Suddenly in the room there’s a collective rapture.

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Up Mount Nemrut

In October I ascended Turkey’s Mt Nemrut, partly by vehicle and partly by mule, to reach a huge conical tumulus of stones protecting the tomb of King Antiochus I, descendant of Darius and Alexander the Great who awarded himself the title of “Theos,” “God,” and thus felt entitled to a glorious resting-place.

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The Gaucho

Today’s Argentinian cowhands are called gauchos, but that is a somewhat misleading term. The real gauchos dwelt on the pampas in Argentina in past centuries and while gentle and courteous may have been the wildest and freest men who ever existed.

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Excursion to the Source of the Blue Nile

Ethiopia, where my wife and daughter and I travelled recently, is a very curious corner of the world indeed. Twice the size of France and with about the same population, it sits just above the equator in east Africa. Directly across the Red Sea lies Yemen and then, to the north, Saudi Arabia.

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The Russian Visa Problem

A Russian visa cannot be extended after arrival in the country, except for a medical emergency. Travelers who overstay their visa’s validity, even by a day, can be prevented from leaving until their sponsor intervenes.

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How to Invest in China

When you go to Hong Kong, Ronnie Chan is a man you are told to try to meet. A U.S. citizen, he has high contacts in Beijing, and it usually turns out that he has just had lunch with Henry Kissinger. On a trip in China, I was able to collect his views on conditions in that country.

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Glimpses of Vietnam

Going for a stroll in Saigon at either end of a business day is like walking along the bank of a furiously rushing torrent: a torrent of motorcycles, tens of thousands of them, hurtling past. Since much of the city has no traffic lights, you wait and hope for a break in the flow, which may not happen.

All this is something of a metaphor for Vietnam in general: everything is pervaded by hustle, bustle and optimism; by enthusiastic movement.

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LUGZURY O LUGZURY

I’m all for elegance, particularly the elegantly simple, but the truly elegant isn’t self-conscious, and particularly not grossly and vulgarly self-conscious, like the “Luxury Collection” in some top hotels caught in the grip of a hyperactive PR man.

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Visiting Harvard

I graduated from Harvard College in 1950, and can probably say that if it weren’t for the buildings, an old grad of my vintage would not recognize the place today.

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