Archive for the “Saturday City” Category

The Saturday City: Tallinn

I have always viewed the Baltics as sort of the outer frontier of European travel. A place well off the beaten Eurotrip path that most travelers follow. I couldn’t say where the genesis of this thought came from, but probably from the fact I can count on one hand the amount of people I know who have gone here or even thought about going here. I rarely hear the Baltics mentioned by anyone. So I was excited to head to […]

The Saturday City: Brasov

I loved my visit to Romania and I found Brasov to my favorite city. I had the best time there and I found it to be a wonderful base for exploring the area. For some reason, hardly anyone visits Romania. I rarely ever saw any large groups of tourists while here. But for the travelers that make the journey, they all seem to flock to Brasov. Out of the all the places in Romania I visited, Brasov definitely had the […]

My Favorite Cities in the World

Though I’ve done a post on my least favorite cities (twice!), I’ve realized I have never done a post on my all-time favorite cities, though longtime readers might be able to guess at which ones I really love. (There are a lot of posts about Stockholm, Paris, Bangkok, right?) Given that I’ve written about the places I dislike, I figured it was finally time to write about the places I love the most. Below are my 9 favorite places in […]

The Saturday City: Copenhagen

The city of Copenhagen has a long and rich history. It was the center of the Danish empire for hundreds of years, and, as such, it is home to many palaces, historic buildings, and cultural relics. But modern Copenhagen is not a city steeped in the past — it is looking forward to the future. The classic architecture and canals are juxtaposed by modern infrastructure, new buildings, and a surprising amount of windmills. I’ve been to Copenhagen twice. The first time […]

The Saturday City: Beautiful Bergen

The conversation usually begins like this: “You’re going to Norway?” “Yes, for a few weeks.” “You have to go to Bergen. It’s simply amazing.” No matter who I mentioned my trip to Norway to, they would talk about seeing Bergen with as much excitement as seeing the beautiful Norwegian fjords. I didn’t know what to expect of Bergen, but since everyone seemed to praise it, my expectations for excellence were pretty high. And when I exited the train station and […]

The Saturday City: Quito

Set high up in the mountains, Quito is the capital city of Ecuador. Outside of Rio, Buenos Aires or Bogotá, I have always pictured South American cities to be past their prime – built up in the past and left to just decay.  I had always imagined Quito to be dirty, grimy, a bit unsafe, and with a pocket of modernity.  I’m not sure why I thought this way – probably too much American media and experiences in Central America […]

The Saturday City: Boquete

Boquete. This little mountain town may now be slightly overrun with expats, but I it was one of the few places in Panama I truly loved. The town is small, quiet, located in the mountains, and surrounded by amazing jungles and rivers. After coming from the loud islands of Bocas del Toro, this place was an oasis of calm. My days were spent relaxing in the mountains, hiking, visiting coffee plantations, and catching up on my work. They were quite […]

The Saturday City: Los Angeles

I’m back in Los Angeles for the 2011 L.A. Times Travel Show. Now, as you know, I’m no fan of Los Angeles. There’s just something about it that rubs me the wrong way. But, I keep coming back here because I have friends who live here and I’m never one to fully write off a city without giving it a chance. I think Los Angeles is one of those cities you either love or hate until you live here and […]

The Saturday City: Panama City

Often called the Miami of the South, Panama City is the capital of Panama and very much like the US city of Miami. There are high-rise condos located on the waterfront, lots of traffic, Spanish music everywhere, lots of movements, and an electric energy. But I actually found it to remind me more of Bangkok than anywhere else. Like Bangkok, it was gritty, energetic, active, modern yet still developing. Like Bangkok, high rises buttressed abandoned buildings sharply contrasted the slums […]

The Saturday City: San Jose

When I first went to San Jose, Costa Rica in 2003, I thought it was a grimy city. It wasn’t a place I wanted to spend a lot of time in. There was trash everywhere, the buildings were run down, and when compared to other Spanish cities, there was no post-colonial charm to be found.  After visiting the city again for a second time, I still feel the same way. San Jose isn’t a charming city. It’s still gritty. It’s […]