Travel Articles

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Ignorance Abroad

By billpetro / September 15, 2006 /

Welcome to Ignorance Abroad …with apologies to Mark Twain Herein I share my adventures in cultural ignorance and education the hard way. You’ll find some differences that are fascinating and intriguing, humorous, or irritating — the last two need not be mutually exclusive. What prompted me to create this series of articles?

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train

Serendipity

By billpetro / April 13, 2008 /

SERENDIPITY I believe travel should be like a well-oiled machine. The saying goes that Mussolini “made the trains run on time” in Italy and I figured I should take advantage of that. Upon our arrival in Rome, I navigated us on the Airport Express train to Rome‘s main train station, the Termini. It is named…

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Let’s Float Down to Peru

By billpetro / June 15, 2008 /

LET’S FLOAT DOWN TO PERU In Frank Sinatra’s song “Come Fly With Me,” the second verse starts with: Come fly with me, lets float down to Peru In llama land, there’s a one man band And he’ll toot his flute for you Come fly with me, well float down in the blue While no one-man…

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SmartCars

Driving In Italy

By billpetro / November 4, 2008 /

DRIVING IN ITALY It has been said that you have to be CRAZY to drive in Italy, but I tell you that you MUST be crazy to drive in Italy — preferably homicidal. Drivers here are assertive and aggressive, believing it is more blessed to take the right of way than to give it. Indeed,…

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Michalangelos David

Florence Galleria – Michelangelo’s David

By billpetro / November 4, 2008 /

FLORENCE GALLERIA – MICHELANGELO’S DAVID To see the statue of David for the first time takes your breath away. In the tribune at the end of a long gallery lit naturally from above by a glass cupola, this statue is the most beautiful man-made thing I’ve ever seen. You know the familiar story from the Bible…

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Reek Sunday

History of Reek Sunday

By billpetro / July 27, 2018 /

HISTORY OF REEK SUNDAY Several years ago at this time of the Summer, I was on the west coast of Ireland, where they say, “West o’ here, ta next parish over, tat’s Boston.” This Sunday, the last one in July every year, marks Reek Sunday, or Garland Sunday in Ireland. At this time between 25,000…

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13-PEI

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

By billpetro / August 19, 2018 /

HOW I SPENT MY SUMMER VACATION This summer, I spent an extended two-week period in New England and Canada, particularly Maine and Prince Edward Island. Here is my travel log.  

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Reek Sunday: Croagh Patrick

History of Reek Sunday, part 2: Pilgrimage

By billpetro / July 25, 2019 /

HISTORY OF REEK SUNDAY, part 2: PILGRIMAGE Pilgrims, nature lovers, archeologists, historians, and hill climbers come from all over the world to climb the mountain on Reek Sunday. In our previous article, we discussed the Tradition. Here we discuss the pilgrimage that has been going on for centuries, and an older one for millennia. More…

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Reek Sunday

History of Reek Sunday, part 3: Location

By billpetro / July 26, 2019 /

HISTORY OF REEK SUNDAY, Part 3: LOCATION In our previous article on Reek Sunday, we discussed the Pilgrimage to County Mayo, Ireland for Cruach Phadraig — as it is known in Irish — that is also called “The Reek.” It stands at 764 meters or 2510 feet elevation. It is located about 5 miles from…

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Auschwitz

History of the Liberation of Auschwitz: January 27, 1945

By billpetro / January 25, 2022 /

HISTORY OF THE LIBERATION OF AUSCHWITZ: JANUARY 27, 1945 January 27, 1945, was the liberation of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp, one of the most notorious camps of World War II, by the Soviet Red Army. This date is now known by the United Nations and the European Union as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. In America,…

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Munich Starkbierfest

History of Starkbier Festival

By billpetro / March 4, 2022 /

HISTORY OF STARKBIER FESTIVAL Starkbierfest runs from March to April, with some biergartens as early as March 3. The heart of this festival is in Munich, Germany, specifically at Paulaner am Nockherberg Brewery, where it all began and lasts about two weeks. It is unlike its more well-known sibling Oktoberfest in a few ways.   Little Known…

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Ides of March

History of the Ides of March: Who should Beware?

By billpetro / March 15, 2022 /

HISTORY OF THE IDES OF MARCH According to the ancient Roman calendar, the ides fell on the 13th of the month except for March, May, July, and October, when it fell on the 15th of the month. Something epochal occurred in 44 B.C.   Et tu, Brute? On March 15, 44 B.C., the Roman dictator…

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