Europe Tried Walls. Now It Likes Bridges.

From: Rick Steves’ Travel Blog

When it comes to walls, I believe we can learn from Europe, which has done more than its share of wall building in the past. From Hadrian’s Wall (built by the ancient Romans to defend the northern boundary of Britannia) to the Maginot Line (built by the French in the 1930s to keep out the Germans), these walls were symbols of mistrust and insecurity. They were necessary back then, but in our age, society is advancing and dismantling walls as we move forward.

Read the story “Europe Tried Walls. Now It Likes Bridges.”

In the Nepali community of Panauti, women rule


Rather than sit back and let tradition dictate how their lives should play out, these independently-minded Nepali women are building businesses, supporting one another and championing financial freedom.

It’s my first day in the Newari town of Panauti, Nepal, and I’m gatecrashing a wedding.

The bedazzled young bride looks demure under a veil of gold and red lace while her sister prims and prepares her for the groom who is standing nervously outside the door. In the dusty courtyard, I find a group of women decked out in vibrantly colored saris milling around, dancing, and serving trays of fried water buffalo meat, chapatis, and other snacks. The men seem to be relegated to background, as the women scurry around in a frenzy of non-stop activity.

As these vivid blurs of yellows and reds move closer, one of the women, Shila, dances up to me with a wide smile and a garland of flowers which she places over my head, settling it around my neck.


Back in Time: Here Is How to Enjoy a Long Weekend in Historic London

From: Klaava Travel Guide nonfiction ebooks

For those looking for the perfect way to while away a long weekend, the vast and fascinating history that London has to offer is hard to beat. From ancient relics in its numerous museums to crumbling Roman ruins and glamorous boutique hotels to the oldest pub you’re likely to find, the capital has it all. […]

Read more at Klaava Travel Guide nonfiction ebooks .

New Skift Report: Balancing Purpose and Profit in the Travel Industry

From: Skift

Skift Take: Many travel brands assume that committing to do good means they will take a hit to their bottom line. But based on a growing body of evidence, it’s simply not true. Companies like Intrepid Travel are discovering that purpose-driven business goals can help their organizations become more innovative, resilient, authentic, and profitable.

Read more at Skift.

Porto’s Temporary Bolhão Market

From: Rick Steves' Travel Blog

Porto, Portugal’s second city, is a bit stressed out. Its beloved Bolhao Market had gotten really dilapidated and, earlier this year, it was closed for a much-needed renovation. The vendors – with a firm promise that they’d be back home in July of 2020, and with the reassuring presence of their Virgin of the Immaculate Conception – are carrying on in the basement of a nearby department store…and so are those shopper-merchant relationships that literally go back generations. Follow me for a peek at Porto’s temporary Bolhao Market.

Read more at Rick Steves' Travel Blog.

The art of mending memories: Inside the world’s oldest surviving doll hospital


In the heart of Lisbon, overlooking the lively Praça de Figueira, a hospital with a difference has been restoring dolls from Portugal and the rest of the world since 1830. Priyanka Sacheti pays a visit to this storied Portuguese institution. “These are the plastic surgery rooms,” says Manuela Cutileiro of the two sunlit rooms overlooking the market square.

A long table occupies each of them, with toy dolls in various states of dismemberment lying upon them, waiting to be brought to life again.

“We have a baby Jesus today, he came with a problem with his fingers,” Manuela continues. “The hospital happens to be a poly-trauma unit. We have five doll surgeons here, all of whom have received certification.”