Europe

Parque Maria Luisa

parque maria luisa

Spend A Relaxing Day In Sevilla’s Central Park

In America, weekends have become somehow busier than weekdays. We cram a whole
week’s worth of errands into Saturday and then spend Sunday “relaxing” by shopping at the mall, often close to where we were the day before. In order to supply this demand, more of us are working on weekends.… Continue Reading →

Rent A Bike In Amsterdam

windmill amsterdam

Go Dutch And See The City On Two Wheels

When you get off the train at Centraal, the first thing you see is bicycles. Kids biking. Old folks biking. Moms with babies on their laps biking. Men texting and smoking and biking. The only suckers using their own two feet to get around are foreigners like you, so it is high time you get on a bike and ride.… Continue Reading →

Palacio Real

Spain’s Royal Palace In Western Madrid

No trip to Europe would be complete without a visit to at least one palace. Visiting these larger-than-life residences gives you a chance to see how the Kings and Queens of yore spent their spoils of war and New World gold. No expense was spared, but if you think you would like to trade places, just remember where the bathroom is.… Continue Reading →

t’Hotel

t'hotel amsterdam exterior

The Cutest Hotel In Amsterdam

Ok, there isn’t an official ballot, but if there ever is, our money would be on t’Hotel. While you are walking along the cobblestone sidewalks from the train station to your hotel gazing over the impossibly cute canals, you look at all the canal houses from the Dutch Golden Age.… Continue Reading →

Amsterdam Museum

Amsterdam Museum, Historical Museum in Amsterdam

The Story Begins When The Amstel Was Dammed…

The Amsterdam Museum should be your first stop on your first visit to Amsterdam. (Note — if you are looking in a pre-2011 guidebook, this museum was previously known  as the Amsterdam Historisch Museum.) Why go there first? Well, when you arrive in Amsterdam, the beauty overtakes you.… Continue Reading →

Pannenkoekenhuis Upstairs

Small Restaurant, Big Pancakes

Yes, we know it shows up in all of the guidebooks but that should not scare you away. Pannenkoekenhuis Upstairs is nothing short of charming. After you find Grimburgwal 2, you immediately ascend some pretty steep (though typical by Dutch standards) stairs and find yourself in a room that would be described by a real estate agent as “cozy.” This is the entirety of the Pancake House Upstairs.… Continue Reading →

ABC Bookstore

American Book Center in Amsterdam

Anglophone’s Paradise in Central Amsterdam

Towards the end of your trip to Amsterdam, after a couple of long layovers and train rides, you suddenly find you are out of things to read. You breezed through your paperbacks and magazines, and you watched all the movies you put on your iPad.… Continue Reading →

Alcazar

Sevilla’s Royal Palace is One-of-a-Kind

Forget everything you know about Royal Palaces. Good. The Alcazar of Sevilla is unlike any palace you have been to before. Here, you will not find room after room of ornate furniture you are allowed to look at (people were so short back then, weren’t they?) but not touch, nor will you find galleries filled with portraits of long dead royals, all bearing an uneasy resemblance to each other.… Continue Reading →

Sevilla Cathedral

Sevilla Cathedral Doors

“Let a church so beautiful and so great that those who see it built will think we were mad”.

With those words, construction on the Cathedral of Seville began. During the Reconquista, the Spanish exiled the Moors (who had been there since 711) and turned either replaced or converted the mosques into churches.… Continue Reading →

The Mezquita

The photo on the title page of my 11th grade Spanish textbook captivated me. The picture showed a temple of some sort with an array of stone columns. The columns supported a seemingly endless system of red and white arches that faded away to a vanishing point. As a high school junior, this picture stared at me every time I opened my Spanish book to practice verb conjugation or learn the vocabulary of a typical household.… Continue Reading →