Calendar of Travel Bug Events
|Sat Aug 26||Slide Show||Biking in Northen Portugal||Judy Costlow||I had never been to Portugal and when I had a chance to go biking there, I jumped at it. We bicycled in the North, in the Duero and Minho River Valleys in the wine country. It was challenging, climbing every day, with temperatures ranging from 100+ degrees to chilly rains, wind and smoke from fires and one day climbing a hill with biting bugs surrounding me. - I made it up in no time! Loved the Portuguese and their country. Lisbon and Porto were very special cities with a history that ties them deeply with our history.
|Sat Sep 09||Slide Show||Splendors of Morroco||John Pitts||SPLENDORS OF MOROCCO
It does not take much to inspire John Pitts to visit an exotic land filled with a long history and impressive natural contrasts. So, this past May, John and partner, Siobhan Hancock, joined a small group sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution on a two-week exploration of most of the major sites Morocco has to offer. This country, albeit a profoundly Muslim one, is relatively safe to travel in and has excellent facilities for tourists, a rarity in North Africa today.
Every day was filled with exciting and new experiences. Starting with a visit to the capital, Rabat, one Morocco 's four ancient imperial cities, one discovers the fortified Kasbah, visits an ancient necropolis built on Roman ruins, and enjoys a walk through the median (old city). Further north we tour the extensive Roman site of Volubilis with its extant intricate mosaics. Next, the city of Fez opens up its artisan quarters and traditional 14th Cent Koranic schools and earns its reputation as the "Athens of Africa. " Shifting to the South, we cross the Middle Atlas mountain range with snow on its peaks, leading us to the edge of the Sahara desert at Erfoud. A highlight here is the camel ride into the sand dunes at Merzouga. Another day 's drive along the "Route of a Thousand Kasbahs " in sight of the High Atlas brings us to Ouarzazate, and then over the Mountains to Marrakech, undoubtedly the most intriguing of Moroccan cities. In the course of three days in Marrakech, we visit ancient palaces, an impressive mosque, private gardens, a Berber museum and even have a chance to meet with a local imam to discuss the Muslim faith. A final stop in Casablance with more surprises concludes this all-encompassing tour of Morocco.
The colors will dazzle, the antiquity will inspire and the rugged terrain will try your stamina while experiencing the Splendors of Morocco. I, for one, am ready to return!
|Sat Sep 23||Slide Show||Egypt||Roger Toll||Travel writer and photographer Roger Toll recently returned from a two-week trek to well-known and hardly-known places in Egypt: Cairo and Luxor, of course, but also his favorites: Alexandria, Aswan and Siwa. The latter is reason enough to attend. Buried deep in the Western desert near the Libyan border, the oasis was well-known for its oracle when Alexander the Great was building the coastal city of his name. With some of his army, he trekked 300 miles for a consultation. He is the son of Ra, the Pharaonic sun god, he was told, and he would be emperor of vast stretches of land. It was enough for him. From Siwa he set out to conquer the known world of the time. Today, Siwa is special for the all-mud eco-lodge at the edge of a salt lakeâ€”sans electricity, sans Internetâ€”that commands one of the highest hotel prices in Egypt... and it 's worth every penny. Come and find out why.|
|Sat Oct 07||Slide Show||Sicily: On the Trail of the Goddesses.||Catherine Trapani||â€œFinding the Goddess in Sicilyâ€
Presented by Catherine Trapani
In May 2017, artist Catherine Trapani traveled to her ancestral home to seek out stories and places where Goddess cults thrived. Exploring Siracusa, Palermo, Segesta, Enna, Morgantina, Agrigento and Gela, a vivid narrative began to take shape, revealing a connection of ancient and present day Sicily to itsâ€™ female deities.
About her adventure, Catherine says, â€œI went to Sicily to see where the myths I loved as a child took place. In Enna, locals have no doubt that their town is the place where Persephone was abducted into the Underworld. Lake Pergusa was, in fact, formed by her mother Demeterâ€™s tears. The entire island pulses with a sacred delight in the harvest, procreation and life itself.â€
Catherine will present her images of people, architecture and sites from modern, classical and neolithic eras. Her photographs reflect the ancient roots and spirit that continues to thrive within present day Sicily.
|Sat Oct 21||Slide Show||Pacific Crest Trail||Barney Scout Mann||Escape to the Pacific Crest Trail--join Barney Scout Mann for stories, photos and videos straight from the PCT. For the 2016 holidays, Smithsonian magazine chose this book as one of its "10 Best Travel Books to Give. " The Pacific Crest Trail: Exploring America 's Wilderness Trail, by Mark Larabee and Barney Scout Mann, was published by the Pacific Crest Trail Association and Rizzoli New York. The book tells the saga of the 2,650-mile hiking and horseback riding trail and has more than 250 scenic and historic photos. Wild author Cheryl Strayed calls it: "A must-have for your coffee table library! " The New York Times labeled Mann "the informal historian of the trail " while Backpacker magazine called him "a geek for trail history. " Come see for yourself. Followed by book sales and signing. "Scout " (Barneyscoutmann.com)|