Travel Letters

Athens: The Fun Ride



April 26, 2015


My friend Ralph Velasco is a professional photographer and tour guide.  He recently published a book called Essence of a Place.

The subtitle of the book is A Travel Photographer's Guide to Using a Shot List for Capturing Any Destination.

Ralph suggests more than a dozen categories including “Customs and Traditions.”

May I add a sub-category?  “Recreation.”

Athens: Museums


Hellenic Republic


April 26, 2015


I need a drink every time I visit a place like this.

Housed in a small, lovely building, displaying a variety of secular artifacts and religious icons, the Jewish Museum of Greece carries the appropriate name - a museum - the lifeless panorama of history.

Jews lived in Greece for more than two thousand years.  But in large numbers, Jews arrived in Greece following their expulsion from Spain and Portugal in the late Fifteenth Century.  For more than four hundred years, communities thrived here, especially in the northern city of Thessalonica, known as the “Little Jerusalem.”  In 1940, the Jewish population of Thessalonica exceeded 53,000 children, women and men.

The Sinaw Souk

The Souk



January 29, 2015

On my drive to the north coast of Oman, I stop in the city of Sinaw.   The guidebook lists the population at about 10,000, but on this Thursday Market Day, the city explodes into a multi-colored array of buyers and sellers from around the region.

Unlike the Nizwa Goat Market where the participants are all men and boys dressed in the traditional white dishdasha,  the souk here in Sinaw is crowded with both men and boys and women and girls. 

Bahla: Two Castles and a Souk


Sultanate of Oman

January 30, 2015

As I drive through the mountains on my way to the north coast beach resort  of Sohar, I visit two castles and a market.

The castles are described in my guidebook and clearly marked on my map.  I find the market (souk) by “accident.”   It is the best site of the day.

Chao Phraya River and Ko Kret

February 16, 2015

Dear Friends,

It seems that the only time I travel to a local attraction is when I have a visitor and he makes a suggestion.  I suppose that I am so busy planning my next international journey that I forget that my own locale around Bangkok offers many rewarding adventures.   (I think I am not alone in this contradictory situation.)

The latest case: My old family friend, David L. made a stopover in Bangkok after he completed his work in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.  He had read about Ko Kret.* We decided to visit.