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Only Gaudi Could Conceive Sagrada Familia

Barcelona deserves its reputation as one of the world’s top travel destinations, a city with a grand mix of history, culture, cuisine, and architecture. When it comes to Barcelona’s architecture, no name is more highly regarded than Antoni Gaudi. His singular style of design has bequeathed the city some of the most recognizable buildings on the planet and the pinnacle accomplishment of the Catalonian’s “labore corporis” is Sagrada Familia. The story of Sagrada Faimilia – Sacred Family – and Antoni … READ MORE – CLICK HERE

Palau Güell

Antoni Gaudi easily ranks as one of the most brilliant architects of all time. Barcelona, Spain is home to Gaudi’s greatest works, and Palau Güell is a first-rate example of some of his early efforts. And while Palau Güell might be considered a more traditional, as compared with some of Gaudi’s later accomplishments, it is technically marvelous and strongly hints at some of the inventiveness he would demonstrate throughout his career. Gaudi did design and build projects outside of Barcelona; … READ MORE – CLICK HERE

Castell de Montjuïc

There are a number of excellent reasons tourists find Barcelona one of the most popular cities in the world. Beauty, culture, unique attractions, Catalan magic, and so much more combine to produce a city that attracts millions of visitors each year. One of the oldest sites in the city is Castell de Montjuïc, essential to the story and history of Barcelona. Like many areas along the Mediterranean Sea, the Catalan region has been occupied since the Stone Age. Over the … READ MORE – CLICK HERE

Barcelona Showcases Gaudí’s Singular Vision

The architecture of Antoni Gaudi is eye candy for the imagination. Creativity, inventiveness, form, function, visual daring, grandeur, and playfulness merge into structures as dramatically pleasing as they are superbly functional. And despite Gaudi’s immense talents he was a pious and humble man. His work is so impressive that seven of Gaudi’s projects, all in Barcelona, have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Two of those landmarks, one a completed project and the other a dream not fully realized, are … READ MORE – CLICK HERE

Málaga, A Spanish Coastal Beauty

In some form or fashion every city in the world brags on itself. Some boast of interesting moments from their past, or notable people who were born or lived there. Other cities are famous for foods or drinks. And some places played a crucial role in a nation’s development. But a few cities in the world can lay claim to something truly special – being there when human civilization was just getting its feet off the ground. Málaga is one … READ MORE – CLICK HERE

Salvador, Brazil, Old City in a New World

  Salvador began as Brazil’s first capital city, but today it continues as the home of 2.9 million people and the capital of the state of Bahia, with a rich tradition of celebrating Carnival and an historic center that has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Portuguese explorers first landed in what is today Brazil in April of 1500; Salvador was established in 1549 and became the colony’s first capital, until 1808, when it was moved to Rio de … READ MORE – CLICK HERE

A Rift is the Gift of Iguazu Falls

When laws of nature cross paths with a happenstance of geology, in this case water, gravity, and topography, a waterfall results. The basic configuration is the same, but every waterfall is distinctive and beautiful in its own way. By many definitions, one of the most impressive and incredible waterfalls on the planet is Iguazu Falls, proudly claimed by both Argentina and Brazil. A number of features make Iguazu Falls special. Probably the most breathtaking aspect is the portion known as … READ MORE – CLICK HERE

Falkland Islands or Islas Malvinas? It Depends Who You Ask

Call them what you will – Falkland Islands or Islas Malvinas – these tiny windswept specks of land situated in the South Atlantic Ocean approximately 330 miles off the coast of Argentina might well have been omitted from the annals of modern history had not two nations growled and bared their teeth when they squared off and waged a 10-week war to reconfirm who owns the land. Europeans first sighted the islands – half the size of the U.S. state … READ MORE – CLICK HERE

Fjords, Glaciers and Rounding the Horn

  Chile is home to an amazing collection of natural wonders and her southern coastal region offers an array of travel treats – world famous fjords, glacier watching and a chance to go around Cape Horn – the southern-most spot of South America. The easiest way to take in this beauty is aboard a ship. Treat yourself to this experience and you’ll see firsthand Chile’s amazing coastal beauty that has been created thanks to the geology of tectonics, time, and … READ MORE – CLICK HERE

Santiago, Chile, Fascinating Capital of the World’s Most Elongated Country

Santiago is a city that defies simple summary. It is Chile’s financial and cultural center, has the largest population and is the political hub of that South American nation. But Santiago is emerging on a number of levels, with one of South America’s highest rates of economic growth and per capita income, a high literacy rate, recognition for its expanding culinary scene and a relatively corruption-free government. Santiago’s New World beginnings began a few decades after the European land grab … READ MORE – CLICK HERE

Galapagos Islands, Where Nature is the Rule

  The Galapagos Islands are a must-see experience for world travelers and anyone interested in ecology, species protection and preservation, and glimpsing a part of the world that remains pristine. The unique character of these islands has been featured in countless articles, documentaries and television programs produced by luminaries such as Jacques Cousteau, David Attenborough and National Geographic. Historically, Charles Darwin’s experience at that remote archipelago sparked his imagination and led to his groundbreaking theory of evolution. Those lucky enough … READ MORE – CLICK HERE

Cartagena, Colombia’s Most Caribbean City

Thanks to an insatiable lust for gold by the Spanish Crown, a prime location along Colombia’s northeast coast, and a shameful distinction as one of Spain’s slave trading centers, Cartagena might never have risen to prominence as an important New World city. But those factors, along with the aspirations of ambitious men, enabled Cartagena to grow and prosper. Today they are ingredients that make up a recipe for a vibrant history and lifestyle of a beautiful city on the bay. … READ MORE – CLICK HERE

Medellin Magic: People, Parks, Art, Markets and Food

It’s always exciting to discover and new city, and with Medellin, you’re also likely to fall in love. Forget the clichés you might have heard about Colombia’s second largest city – gone are the days of a crime-ridden haven run by drug lords. As recently as the 1990s Medellin was considered the most dangerous city in the world. But as Paisas – those who live in Medellin (population 2.4 million) and the surrounding area – are quick to point out, … READ MORE – CLICK HERE

Amazon Jungle Canopy Walkway – Strolling Between Heaven and Earth

When flying overhead, the Amazon jungle looks impenetrable. Gaze upwards from the jungle floor and the light and sky are nearly obscured. But at the interstitial between top and bottom one gets a perspective of the vibrancy and vitality of the Amazon River jungle. It’s a place to see both the trees and the forest. For arboreal lovers, ambling along the top of a forest is a true delight. The longest canopy walkway in South America, which is also one … READ MORE – CLICK HERE

Yagua, Namesake of the Amazon

As time marches on some people get left behind. The Yagua, today a diaspora of fewer than 6,000 people scattered in small and remote villages along the Amazon River in Peru and Colombia, are an example of how “progress” can ravage a culture unprepared to deal with a changing world. Yet the Yagua have a distinguished heritage and remain proud. The Amazon River was so named because early Spanish conquerors mistook the Yagua men, who wear a type of grass … READ MORE – CLICK HERE

The World’s Biggest River

Compared to every other one of the world’s great rivers, the Amazon is by far the biggest. However it’s measured, by the amount of water, size of its drainage basin, or total length, no other river comes close. Yes, some argue the Nile River is a bit longer in total length, but that fact too is in dispute. The Amazon River, with an average discharge of 55-million gallons per second, releases more water than the next seven-largest rivers in the … READ MORE – CLICK HERE

The Floating Islands Where the Uros Live on Lake Titicaca

For thousands of years the Uros people have proven to be survivors. When faced with adversity this ancient peace-loving civilization in southern Peru adapts. When the Incas were ascendant 1,500 years ago it could have been life or death for the Uros. Their choices were stark: be subsumed by the Incas, fight and face extinction, flee the rich bounty of Lake Titicaca, or perhaps come up with another answer. Their ingenious solution – build floating islands using the plentiful totora … READ MORE – CLICK HERE

Machu Picchu, Most Famous City of the Inca Empire

Travelers keep a list, if not on paper then in their heads of the places they would love to see. Some destinations are decided early on and for others it’s a notion that comes along later. No doubt virtually every list includes a stop at Machu Picchu, where upwards of a million people a year visit one of Mesoamerica’s greatest places. Researchers say it took nearly 100 years to build and it was in use for only about that long … READ MORE – CLICK HERE

Peru’s Ancient Salt Works — Maras

  Salt is both simple and complex. An ionic compound of sodium and chloride, it is easy to produce. Salt’s complexity arises from its importance to civilizations, its value and role in human health, and food preservation. Societies prospered and failed because of it, and wars were fought over who would control the salt. Today it is a commodity easily and cheaply obtained. Our value as human beings has been compared to salt. Someone highly regarded is said to be … READ MORE – CLICK HERE

A Man A Plan A Canal Panama

The above title is a palindrome and also sums up a collective ambition to construct one of the world’s great engineering marvels that immediately became an indispensible asset to the global economy. Today, the Panama Canal is a thriving and efficient method to move ships, cargo, and people between the two largest oceans on the planet. Yet, for hundreds of years a canal across the Isthmus of Panama was a pipe dream. But before the first ship steamed through in … READ MORE – CLICK HERE

The Canals of Xochimilco

Mexico City offers plenty for both locals and visitors to enjoy but perhaps one of the more distinctive experiences would be time spent at Xochimilco where, for hundreds of years, 110 miles of canals that separate floating islands is an enchanting place where people grow flowers, food, and sustain their families. Today, this UNESCO World Heritage Site (designated in 1987) is still a popular destination for Mexicans, and an intriguing stop for international visitors. The best way to experience Xochimilco … READ MORE – CLICK HERE

Teotihuacan – Greatness, and Mesoamerican Mystery

Any number of markers can attest to a civilization’s preeminence. Art, mathematics, science, law, politics and architecture are just a few examples. Some of the greatest architecture to be found in ancient Mesoamerica is a complex of temples and buildings called Teotihuacan, about 30 miles northeast of Mexico City. But for all of Teotihuacan’s greatness the most basic question may never be answered – who built it? And also, what happened to the people who lived at Teotihuacan? Scholars speculate … READ MORE – CLICK HERE

Casa Azul – Frida Kahlo’s Home For Life

Frida Kahlo created art at a price paid dearly. “Tortured artist” understates the pain she endured much of her life, pain both physical and emotional. But it was in the cauldron of conflict where she produced some of her greatest work. And while she lived in many places in Mexico City and around the world, the idyllic home known as the Blue House – Casa Azul – was a touchstone throughout her life. To better understand Frida Kahlo, it helps … READ MORE – CLICK HERE

Two Brothers, Singular Visions – The Artists Marin

If only one word in the English language described the work of artist brothers Javier and Jorge Marin, it would be audacious. Their larger-than-life sculptures are bold, daring, brave, fearless, original, and without restriction or attachment. When you take in their art with your eyes, you see it with your body, feel it in your soul and you keep turning it over and over in your mind. Even a jaded “lover” of art will stop in their tracks when first … READ MORE – CLICK HERE