Krakow, Poland: Historic and now trendy

By: Caryn Rousseau

With crowds of tourists and a college-town atmosphere, Krakow — once the capital of Poland — has become a European hot spot.The center of it all is the centuries-old main square in the Old Town, or Stare Miasto, where brick streets are filled with restaurants, coffee shops, trendy boutiques and sidewalk cafes. Midnight feels like noon as crowds crawl late into the night, when... READ MORE

The euro: neither a windfall nor a worry

By: Ed Perkins

Today’s media are full of reports on the “crisis” in the euro currency. The euro is the common currency among 17 European countries — including all the big ones other than the UK — and what happens to it influences almost all U.S. visitors to any of those countries.The upside for visitors is that European travel costs for U.S. and Canadian visitors are somewhat ... READ MORE

The Everglades: One watery wonderland

By: Glenda C. Booth

A sheet of water once flowed from the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes near Orlando to Lake Okeechobee and then across the southern tip of Florida through ponds, sloughs, wetlands, hummocks and forests.Once covering almost 3 million acres, the Everglades was perceived by many during Florida’s early boom years as a worthless swamp interfering with agriculture and other development.So, human... READ MORE

Become an airport VIP at a sensible price

By: Ed Perkins

For most of us, big airports are among the world’s most hostile environments. Crowds, noise, long lines, inadequate seating, and garbled announcements are the norm.Fortunately, even occasional travelers can avail themselves of the road warriors’ refuges: VIP airline lounges. Mostly, you’ll have to pay, but an oasis of calm can be worth a few bucks.Most large airlines... READ MORE

Reasons to go to — or revisit — China

By: Victor Block

Throughout the city of Qufu (pronounced Chew-foo), China, numerous statues and posters depicting Confucius gaze out at the scene. If those portrayals were to come to life, they might frown at what is taking place in the birthplace of the venerated philosopher and teacher.Brought up in poverty some 2,500 years ago, Kong Fuzi — the Chinese name which from “Confucius” evolved ... READ MORE

Alabama’s Civil War and civil rights sites

By: Glenda C. Booth

Montgomery, Alabama, claims to be the birthplace of both the Civil War and the civil rights movement — events 100 years apart, but not unrelated.Morgan Berney, with the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Convention and Visitor Bureau, told me: "You should come here to learn the history of the important things that happened here." So I set out to do just that.And it's... READ MORE