I visited the Republic of Georgia again earlier this month and marveled at its little-known wonders. From the beautiful Caucuses to its cuisine to its affordable prices, the former Soviet Republic really is one of the lightly trodden destination gems in the world. I list 10 reasons why Georgia is the world’s most underrated country.
We took a day trip outside of Baku where we saw ancient drawings dating back 26,000 years, Azerbaijan’s “famed” Mud Volcanoes, a temple where different religions worshipped together and Fire Mountain, the hill of Azerbaijan’s perpetual flame. Ups and downs but interesting information about the true Azerbaijan.
On our way to Tbilisi for a travel bloggers conference, Marina and I stopped off in Baku, Azerbaijan’s gleaming capital. It’s a fascinating mix of Middle Ages antiquities with leftover Soviet drabness and 21st century architecture. It lived up to its hype and our hotel in the heart of Old Town only helped.
Republic of Georgia: A hike through wine’s birthplace is a yummy treat but Georgians would like a bigger bite
I’m in Azerbaijan on my way to the Republic of Georgia, which I visited six years ago. It was one of the most wonderful surprises of my 46 years traveling overseas. Since I’m out of Rome, I’m re-posting the first blog I wrote about Georgia. I wrote about his pleasures, but also its problems.
Rome’s Termini train station has a reputation of being dark and dangerous. It isn’t that bad, a couple of incidents over the last two years notwithstanding. In the last decade, Termini has turned into a place to go instead of a place to escape. Forty eating establishments have been built inside, ranging from hamburger joints to French bakeries. We went through Terrazza Termini Saturday and here’s what we found.
Every year around New Year’s I write a Most Underrated Towns in Italy list. In light of the second blog Marina and I started last year, TraveLazio, we spent a lot of time in 2023 crisscrossing Rome’s region of Lazio. This year’s list is exclusively from that region. All 10 places can be reached from Rome on an easy, cheap day trip. If you like getting off the beaten path, this is a must read. Every town has a link to a more expanded description from TraveLazio.
On this day exactly 10 years ago, I landed in Rome, leaving behind a 40-year sportswriting career in the U.S. I had three bags and lots of doubts. But I’m still here. And every year on my anniversary, I list a whole new set of reasons why I love Rome. I doubt I’ll ever run out of reasons.
For all those who think camping is rolling in dirt and spending days without comfort, camping can be quite luxurious. And you don’t even have to leave home. Guest blogger Caitlyn Bell lists some items that will make your next — or first — camping trip more comfy thn you ever imagined.
The Roman Empire stretched from what is now Great Britain to Iraq and it built 600 cities in North Africa. Three hundred of them were in Algeria, many of which have well-preserved ruins. I visited three of them during my nine-day cross-country trip across the country.
Traveling to the most conservative city in a conservative country, I was overjoyed with the slice of Islamic culture I didn’t see in the previous 18 Muslim countries I’ve visited. To visit Ghardaia, you need to join a group tour and have permits and a tour guide. Nowhere else in Islam did I see married women covering up everything but one eye. The architecture is uniquely designed to keep houses cool during 120-degree summer temperatures and the food, again, was fabulous.
Sahara Desert: Camping in endless sand brings out the beauty and beast of Earth’s intimidating landscape
The Sahara Desert is the size of China and Algeria’s portion is almost the size of Mexico. My Travelers’ Century Club and I spent a night camping in the desert and a day exploring the vast expanse that covered the southeast part of Algeria. The weather was perfect. We saw no other cars. But we saw plenty, including how intimidating a desert can be.
Algeria: In a bloodied nation where tourism isn’t a priority, this intrepid traveler explores an unspoiled culture
Not many tourists go to Algeria. Algeria doesn’t really care. What that leaves intrepid travelers like myself is an authentic country with so much to offer. A bustling capital. A beautiful desert. Ruins of Roman cities better preserved than the ones in Italy. I just spent nine days in Africa’s biggest country. This is the first of a series of blogs.