Sailing the Wallace Line in the Land of Komodo Dragons

Like all accomplished killers, they’re patient. They’re even camouflaged. And their saliva is to die from. Many do. But they’ve got other weapons, too. Last May, after a swing around Bali, we hopped across the strait to the island of Lombok on a Lion Air flight to join some friends on a chartered 100-foot wooden…

Swiss Dreaming – Cheese, Chocolate and Chairlifts

I’ve cashed in some frequent flyer miles and heading to Switzerland for a 10 days in January. Pure and simple, there’s no place like Switzerland for skiing. It’s even affordable. You don’t need a car. Trains take you everywhere. Lifts tickets cost half what they do in the U.S. The food is, well, real food….

Top 10 Things To Do in Maui

Maui means surfers riding mammoth waves, bays crowded with sailboats and waterfalls alongside the ragged, verdant Hana Highway. But the Upcountry, which sweeps across the island’s interior and climbs the volcanic foothills of Haleakala, is another Hawaii. Here are ten activities not to miss in Maui. 1. Lahaina is old. Before the earliest of early…

Hawaii Revisited

I sit on a bamboo chair in an oceanfront lanai at 5:15 a.m., first morning back on Maui, the day after the first snowfall on the ski mountain behind my house in Park City, Utah. Last night, coming through the darkness into Kahului (OGG), the second-busiest airport in Hawaii, seems a world away. Exactly five…

From Airport to City

Veteran travel writer Margaret Loftus wrote about airport tips and strategies in this month’s National Geographic Traveler. She considered many of the world’s major hubs, covering what’s new and trendy if you pass the time eating and shopping in terminals. What I found interesting were the details on getting to town from the tarmac. Here’s…

Zurich: Switzerland’s Downtown

Not everything you hear about Switzerland is true. The place doesn’t run like a Rolex. Not Zurich, where time has a hitch. The eye-popping beauty freezes time. Like there is no other place in the world. No other time. The Swiss call Zurich “Downtown Switzerland.” I started coming here years ago. We’d roll off a…

Tokyo’s Mountain of Tranquility

The world’s biggest city. Vast suburbs and an honor-bound population of 35 million, equal to all of California. Where they eat all manner of Oceanic goop. But wilderness in Tokyo is not as slippery and elusive as you might think. In the time it takes to blow off an afternoon meeting, you can hike wooded…

Two-Wheeled Reaches of the Netherlands

I’m up north in the unbounded Netherlands. Cycling beyond the old fishing village of Harlingen, way out on the western tip of the province of Friesland, where the great Dutch ice-skaters live. Where action is virtue. Down at the dock in Harlingen, the departure point for ferries to the nearby Friesland islands, I fuel up…

No Place Like Bali

What do you do with your miles? I chase OneWorld and Star Alliance to get from North America to Bali via Cathay Pacific or Singapore Airlines as often as possible. Oh, I know the place has changed. Years ago, I worked on an Indonesian guidebook and briefly taught school in a village outside Ubud, the…

Switzerland’s Precision Instruments: Trains

I’ve had enough of airports for this week. I’m trading The Tarmac for trains. We’re heading into the Alps, rollercoaster-ing through Switzerland’s heroic scenery. Almost brushing the carriage are the closely clipped vineyards buffering Lake Geneva, the heart of the opulent Swiss Riviera. Lausanne, Montreux and other whistle-stop villages scroll by. I’m riding on what…

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