#19: Portugal. The Mariners.
Portugal is a proud country. At the westernmost expanse of the European continent, the Portuguese were among the first to look out at the Atlantic in wonder and build ships to weather the seas and sail west and south into the unknown. They discovered Madeira, the Azores, Cape Verde, islands all to which it took […]
#18: Canada.The Layover; Second Edition.
My journey is now winding down to an end. The countries that remain on my list to which I’ve ventured (excluding those other countries in which I didn’t leave the airport such as Taiwan, the UK, and Texas, for example) are few. The next is one which I can barely count, but since I have […]
#17b: Vietnam. The South.
And so, we went south. We boarded a plane and landed just outside of Hue, the old capital of Vietnam. In many ways, Hue turned out to be forgettable city. Its urban center non-existent. Many historical landmarks barely recognizable as anything more than piles of old rocks. But Hue does have a story to tell. […]
I’ll take a brief pause here. A pause to paint picture of perspective. It’s one informed, admittedly, by blatant North Vietnamese communist propaganda, but one which should be experienced nonetheless. There is a museum in Hanoi known now as the “War Remnants Museum” which we visited on our visit to the city in 2014. But […]
#17a: Vietnam. The North.
I’ll be completely honest: I never wanted to go to Vietnam. Well… in a way. It’s not like I was drugged, blindfolded, and brought here against my will, but this place just never seemed near the top of mind when I imagined the world and what to experience. I’d heard from friends that it was […]
#16: Germany. The Fatherland.
In the fall of 1941, William McCready, an Irishman from East Orange, New Jersey, wed a young German girl named Marian Heidrich at a small church in Montclair. This couple went on to produce three children: Ellen Elizabeth, John Harold, and Karen Diana, my mother. I have always been fascinated by my family’s history. In […]
#15. Austria. Zell am See.
As a young guy growing up, I was completely taken away by the HBO mini-series Band of Brothers. It’s incredibly filmed and written, and based on the true story of one of the most courageous groups of men this world may ever know. I can remember watching it week after week as it aired, wondering […]
#14. Montenegro. The Bay.
Under the benevolent (most would say) dictatorship of Josip Tito, the former Soviet Republic of Yugoslavia remained intact and in domination of most of the landmass in the Balkan peninsula in the years following World War II; the victors of the war had drawn an arbitrary political boundary around this huge area, and in so […]
#13: Bosnia. The Bridge
The following is a repost from May 20, 2012, shortly after this trip took place. Ivanka was pleasant enough. She smiled a lot and made sure to explain the aging relics of the Ottoman Empire as the van rolled northwards into Bosnia and Herzegovina. The ride was long, and I could not help as the […]
#12: Croatia. Lejos.
The bus rumbled on northwest up the Dalmatian coast. Although completely sleep deprived, I struggled to keep my eyes open to glimpse the coastline of the Adriatic Sea. First we passed Trsteno, a small fisherman’s village not very notable other than it being home to two huge old trees which the bus slowed down for […]