As I was planning a Yellowstone road trip focusing primarily on photography, I decided to do a one way Salt Lake to Yellowstone itinerary, which I am sharing here.
I’ve been fortunate to visit Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park twice in the last few years. On my first visit I flew into and out of Jackson and did one big loop through the two parks. This time, I got a better flight deal into Salt Lake city so I opted for a one way route ending in Bozeman, Montana.
To have unique experiences is at the heart of why I travel. Recently I was privileged to have one of the most extraordinary luxury travel experiences that I have ever had. I was invited on a France canal cruise on the barge La Belle Epoque with European Waterways. For six days on my Burgundy Canal cruise holidays, I had the ultimate slow travel cruising experience that included gourmet meals, amazing wines, impeccably attentive service and uniquely curated excursions.
One of the most unique aspects of our tour of the Chateau de Commarin were the original heraldic tapestries made for the castle in the early 1500’s. The tapestries depict family armorial designs alternating with alchemical symbols. As a precursor to chemistry, I was particularly fascinated by the alchemy references. Sadly (for us), some of the tapestries were trimmed down to fit the existing space, so some of the panels were no longer complete. However, despite the centuries, the colors were still vivid and all the detail quite impressive. The tour of the Chateau de Commarin was the first excursion on my European Waterways barge cruise on the Burgundy canal.
One of the excursions on my European Waterways Burgundy Canal cruise was to the UNESCO listed Abbey de Fontenay. The abbey was founded in 1118 by a group of Cistercian monks. On our tour, I leaned that the Cistercian order was established in response to the excesses displayed by the Benedictine monks. The Cistercian’s believed in hard work in a simple, austere environment and they built this large abbey to insure that they would be self-sufficient. Much of the original abbey architecture remains to this day, including the cloisters seen in this photo.
These were the parting words that my guide said to me as we finished the fascinating tour of the Gedi Ruins near Watamu, Kenya on the country’s Indian Ocean coast. After three hours of touring the site with him, I could understand why. Other than a local school group, I was the only tourist there.
Visiting the UNESCO heritage site of Ait Bn Haddou was a stop on my three day trip to the Sahara from Marrakesh, Morocco. Ait Ben Haddou is a well preserved and restored example of a ksar, that is, a collection of traditional earthen houses surrounded by a defensive wall and protective corner towers. Here is my experience of Ait Ben Haddou in photos.
On the way to the Sahara desert, we made a brief stop at the Ait-Ben-Haddou UNESCO site. The site is recognized as a great example of a ksar, a collection of earthen dwellings built behind defensive walls which are reinforced by angle towers. At one time, the village was part of a thriving commercial trading route between the Sudan and Marrakesh. Today however, the site has been abandoned except for tourists, hawkers selling their wares, and the film industry. The guides make sure to let you know that the movie Gladiator and scenes in The Game of Thrones were filmed here.
My Sahara Desert experience was hosted by Merzouga Luxury Desert Camps. All content is my own.
The historic west Texas towns of Terlingua and Lajitas share a common location as gateway towns for both Big Bend National Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park. Though only fifteen minutes apart, their personalities are as distinct as their heritage. On my recent visit, I found that both towns are very much a reflection of their historic cemeteries: Terlingua is wild and woolly while Lajitas is more sedate and proper.
“Please. Come into my shop. Let me show you what I have. I will make you a good deal”. This was the constant litany that accosted us as we wandered the narrow lanes in historic Stone Town. But I wasn’t interested just in shopping. What I was really on the hunt for was to see the famous carved Zanzibar doors.
Barns and quilts. Both of these represent unique aspects of America’s traditional farming heritage. Today, old barns and old quilts are lovingly preserved as a link to a slowly disappearing lifestyle. What better way to foster awareness of America’s legacy and history than a Quilt Barn (or Barn Quilt) Trail through the rural landscape.