A Day Trip From Tokyo For a Mount Mitake Hike – Where Nature and Religion Meet

Mount Mitake National Park is not far from the hustle and bustle of central Tokyo, but with its peaceful setting, it feels a world away. I enjoyed a Tokyo day trip for a Mount Mitake hike and discovered that in Japan nature and religion come together on top of a mountain.

Mount Mitake in  Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park was a green and peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of nearby Tokyo. Only 90 minutes away, it was easily accessible and provided a non touristy cultural experience as I hiked with the locals past shrines, waterfalls, and a natural moss covered rock garden.

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A Visit to Japan’s Most Sacred Island – One Day In Miyajima

I’ve been to Miyajima, Japan twice in the last few years and am sharing my experiences on how I spent one day in Miyajima.

Miyajima, Japan is most famous for the photos of its floating torii gate. But this lovely little island offers up lots of gorgeous scenery, both man made and natural. I visited Miyajima twice on recent trips to Japan and this is how I spent my day on Miyajima exploring its photogenic treasures.

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What to do in Burano – My 25 Colorful Photos and Tips for Visiting Burano, Italy

In some ways I love Burano more than Venice – it is so colorful and photogenic. Use these Burano photos as inspiration for visiting Burano. I am also sharing tips for what to do in Burano and tips for why an overnight Burano stay is even better.

I love the little island of Burano, Italy in the Venetian Lagoon. Visiting Burano for a day or half day is a common side trip from Venice, but spending the night was even better. Once the day trippers were gone, I had the island practically to myself – well, along with all the locals of course.

In this guide I share my favorite photos along with many tips on what to do in Burano from all my trips to inspire a day visit or an extended stay on this easy excursion from Venice.

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My Unforgettable Day With the Falkland Island Penguins

I did not need a formal tour to see the Falkland Island penguins. This is how I saw three different species of penguins on my own at Gypsy Cove outside Port Stanley during a cruise to Antarctica.

One of my biggest wish list items on my Princess cruise to South America and Antarctica was to see and photograph penguins. I saw penguins floating on large icebergs as our ship cruised the Antarctic peninsula, but even with my big telephoto lens, they were small black dots on a bluish white surface. I finally had the perfect photo opportunity when the ship docked at Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands.

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A Paris to Chartres Day Trip – Exploring One of France’s Greatest Cathedrals

I discovered that a Paris to Chartres day trip was an easy escape to see the historic Chartres Cathedral with its beautiful stained glass windows. I also enjoyed discovering the quaint and not overtly touristy town of Chartres.

If you are not “churched” out after a visit to Paris, then take a Paris to Chartres day trip, to see one of the greatest Gothic churches still in existence, along with a quant French town that will not be overly touristy.

The Chartres Cathedral is considered the pinnacle of high Gothic architecture and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979. As one of the best preserved Gothic churches, it is still adorned with most of the original sculptures and numerous beautifully detailed stained glass windows.

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A Day in Versailles at a Golden Palace Designed to Impress

Louis XIV’s palace and gardens at Versailles are a popular excursion from Paris. If you have the time, I suggest spending a day in Versailles to have enough time to explore the palace and vast gardens. I share my impressions of Versailles and also trips on how to get there and how to make the most of your time.

For King Louis XIV of France, size mattered. There is nothing small about the Palace of Versailles and its gardens. Along with size, there is also lots of bling. He built it purposely to impress and overwhelm, feelings that are as much a part of a visit today as they were 350 years ago when the palace was built. Spend a day in Versailles and let yourself be awed by the experience. Continue reading “A Day in Versailles at a Golden Palace Designed to Impress”

Impressions of Monet – Spend a Day in Giverny in Monet’s Garden

A day in Giverny is an easy trip from Paris for all those that are fans of Clause Monet impressionist paintings. I am sharing all the information you need to make this an easy excursion by train from Paris.

If like me, you like impressionist paintings and gardens, then a day trip to Claude Monet’s home in Giverny is a must. Giverny is about 50 miles northwest of Paris and can easily be reached by train for a relaxing scenic break from the busy Paris scene. Continue reading “Impressions of Monet – Spend a Day in Giverny in Monet’s Garden”

One Day in Cartagena, Columbia – A Colorful, Independent Cruise Excursion

I had only one day in Cartagena, Columbia on my Panama Canal cruise and I made the most of it by exploring the city’s UNESCO listed sights on my own.

2022 NATJA awardThis story was recognized by the North American Travel Journalists Association with a Silver award in the Photography – Cover or Feature Photo/Illustration category in the 2022 annual media travel awards competition .

The first stop on my Ruby Princess full transit Panama Canal cruise was Cartagena, Columbia. This was my first visit to Columbia, and I would only have six hours in port so I was going to make the most of it. My focus for my one day in Cartagena was on the UNESCO listed Old Town and the nearby Fort Castillo de San Filipe de Barajas.

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One Day in Jerusalem: Where Three Religions Intersect

Even with just one day in Jerusalem, I was able to see a majority of the historic sights.

On our recent trip to Israel and Jordan, a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage listed city of Old Jerusalem was a high priority. Our schedule allowed for only one day in Jerusalem, but we managed to make the most of our time as we discovered why this city is such a historic location for three of the world’s biggest religions.

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A Walk Down 42nd Street in New York City – Let Me Take You There

Take a walk with me down 42nd street in New York and discover 100 years of history and architecture in the heart of the city that never sleeps.

If Midtown is the heart of Manhattan, then 42nd street in New York City must be its main artery. It’s only a two mile walk from the East River to the Hudson River on this historic lane, but you pass through a handful of defined neighborhoods in the process, each with its own distinctive flavor. You also pass by some of the city’s most iconic and decorative buildings, both old and new.

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