A voice in the darkness

Will travel for tulips – Day 8 – Anne Frank Huis I read The Diary of Anne Frank for the first time, like many people, as an eighth grade student. It was required for my social studies class. I encountered Anne Frank again as I became a language arts teacher, requiring it as a reading assignment for…

Legends, lore, and little hidden gems of Amsterdam

Will travel for tulips – All the days – Keeping Amsterdam Weird Like I said before, I used the I AMsterdam card like I was mad at it. I would recoup my Euros even if my legs gave out trying to get to yet another location where the card meant I could get in for free. Amsterdam…

Then I paint my dreams

Will travel for tulips – Days 4 & 7 combined – SO. Much. Art. I dream of painting, and then I paint my dreams – Van Gogh The Rijksmuseum and Museumplein were so easily accessible by tram. In fact, you could stay most places in the city and be within reach of a tram line. Many…

A wander in the Western Canal Ring

Will travel for tulips – Day 3 – On to Amsterdam and the Western Canal Ring After only a quick two days in Brussels, I was heading back to Amsterdam for the bulk of my spring holiday. I was here for tulips, and Amsterdam it, I would see tulips. I made the mistake of waiting…

Churches and squares everywhere 

Chinese New Year in Macau – Day 2 – A tour of old colonial Macau If you don’t go to Macau to gamble or shop, you go to Macau for history. I’m not a gambler – and I’d probably be a poor one even if I tried – and I don’t particularly go in for…

Signal lost. Turn right.

Chinese New Year in Macau – Day 1 – Arrival by ferry crossing We were very tired, we were very merry— We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry; And you ate an apple, and I ate a pear, From a dozen of each we had bought somewhere; And the sky went…

The long shadows of war and wall

A German Christmas story – Berlin, Day 4 – Berlin Wall Memorial & Jewish History Museum It was hard to drag myself out of the hotel the next day after staying up half the night watching news footage about the Berlin Christmas market terrorist attack. The hope that it had been only an accident quickly faded away…

From Prussian splendor to post-war gloom

A German Christmas Story – Day 2 in Berlin – Checkpoint Charlie and Schloss Charlottenburg I fell asleep early the night before and did not make it to a Christmas market after all. However, I unashamedly got thirteen hours of sleep after a restless night before leaving for Berlin and almost none on my flight,…

The Forest of Wisdom

Diary of an Autumn Leafer – Heyri Artist Valley & Paju Book City  If you tell a bibliophile that there’s such a magical place as a “Book City”, then it had better live up to its moniker. Add in 8 m high bookshelves and something called “The Forest of Wisdom”, and just point me in the…

War, peace, and the surprising beauty of stones

Diary of an Autumn Leafer – Jeju Island Tourist Bus Besides meet up with old friends and colleagues who now work in schools on Jeju Island – and having Mexican food and local Korean BBQ for various meals – there were a few looping tourist buses that run around the island to drop people off…

What to do on Jeju

Diary of an Autumn Leafer – Jeju, South Korea  About a three hour flight from Hong Kong is a small Korean island called Jeju. The island made its living from seafood, and now, tourism – mostly of from China at about 85% of the usual tourist trade. October holiday, a blessed week that we get…

I am excessively fond of a cottage

Anglotopia Day 19 – the Cotswolds  “I am excessively fond of a cottage; there is always so much comfort, so much elegance about them. And I protest, if I had any money to spare, I should buy a little land and build one myself, within a short distance of London, where I might drive myself…