Travel Letters

Cairo and Giza

Cairo: Madrassas and Mosques and Markets

Along the crowded boulevards and then down the side streets and alleyways lie uniquely Egyptian Arabic school buildings and medieval mosques.

In the Al-Hussein district, some of the mosques are almost a thousand years old and still welcome the faithful to prayer. Exterior walls are tan and black granite stripes with cupolas and balconies, columns and arched doorways and stained glass windows Interior ceilings and walls are decorated with multi-colored geometric granite designs or painted ornamentation of gold and blue and yellow.

I love wandering down the noisy narrow streets where traditional craftsman are pounding out copper and steel pottery and religious articles.

Bangkok Photo Walk



December 15, 2019


Why travel hundreds or thousands of miles away when many interesting things can be found in our own neighborhood?   Just have to look around. 

I was pleased to join the Bangkok Photographers group since we started our tour a short walk from my apartment.

I doubt whether "skyscrapers" is the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about Bangkok.

Nevertheless, we have our share.

The Watermelon Man


Republic of Tajikistan

September 5, 2019


In a previous letter I declared that “The Tajiks are the most kind and generous people I have ever met.”  I stand by my description.  But I neglected to provide any examples.

In another letter, I asked you to “Remind me to tell you the story about the Watermelon Man.”

So please allow me to explain.

My very first experience in Tajikistan is unique:

The Folks of Dushanbe

Bookends: Summerfest and Book Fair 


Republic of Tajikistan

September 4, 2019


On my first day in Dushanbe, Nigora, my Tajik friend, invited me to join her to celebrate Summerfest.

On my last day in Dushanbe, Sudat, a Kurdish man, a fellow guest at my hotel, invited me to accompany him to the Annual International Book Exhibition at the National Library.

Goodbye to Panj and Pamirs

Khorugh City

Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region

Republic of Tajikistan

August 27, 2019

Good-bye to the Panj River

The route of the Panj River is remarkable.  And invigorating.

Five tributaries crash down the mountains to join the Panj.  At 1125 km (699 miles) long, it forms the major border between Tajikistan and Afghanistan. 

The Panj completes its rambunctious journey in Termez, Uzbekistan where it joins the Amu Darya, an important river in Central Asia.  In ancient times the Amu was called by its Latin name, the Oxus.