Stephen Travels

And he's ready to take you with him.


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Lunching at Café Morlang in Amsterdam, the Netherlands

I had spent an unseasonably cold spring morning wandering around Bloemenmarkt, Amsterdam’s famed floating flower market, and Begijnhof, the lovely medieval courtyard surrounded by historic buildings, including Begijnhof Chapel (1660s), one of only two wooden buildings remaining in the center of the city. Now it was time to warm up indoors for lunch. And I found the perfect place at Café Morlang, just a couple of canals away. Read more >

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Montreal Churchgoers Are Particularly Blessed

Mountainside United Church, Montreal, QuebecI fully expected to see plenty of Catholic churches in Montreal, founded as a Roman Catholic colony by France. But once the British won the Seven Years’ War and English immigrants arrived, Protestant churches were soon rising among their neighbors. Nicknamed “la ville aux cent clochers” (the city of a hundred bell towers), Montreal, Quebec, teems with beautiful houses of worship of various denominations, including Canada’s largest church, the third-largest dome in the world, and a scaled-down replica of the Vatican City’s Basilica of St. Peter. Read more about the top five churches in Montreal >


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Lingering Over Lunch in Tivoli, Italy

L'Angolino di Mirko, Tivoli, ItalyA short day trip out of Rome took me to Tivoli, a smaller city of around 55,000 people about 25 miles northeast of the Italian capital. I traveled here specifically to see Villa d’Este, a 16th-century palace famed for the gardens and 51 fountains that spill down the hillside behind it. A full morning spent admiring the villa’s frescoes and climbing up and down some steep paths and staircases to appreciate the property had stirred my appetite. On my way back to the train station, I hunted for a spot for lunch where I could soak in the aura of this place. I found it perfectly captured at Ristorante L’Angolino di Mirko. Read more >


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The French Food Connection in Washington, D.C.

Not far from my hotel in Washington, D.C., and conveniently located just a block from the Metro station I was using on a regular basis, Café Soleil was the restaurant I kept passing by on my way elsewhere. Finally, after a week of exploring the American capital, including some of the city’s best churches and the fantastic interior of the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress, I skirted around the restaurant’s flowerboxes and wrought-iron fence under the red awning and entered a heavenly petite slice of France. Read more >


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Five Reasons to Be Bowled Over by Boulder, Colorado

Celestial Seasonings, Boulder, ColoradoSometimes you need a couple of days to adjust to the vibe of a new locale, such as deciphering the byzantine mazes of Venice or ramping up your pace in midtown Manhattan. Other times, you instantly feel comfortable, as if you’re a native returning home to a place where you’ve always felt at ease. For me, Boulder, Colorado, was one of those rarities when I was instantly lovestruck. Rich in outdoor recreational opportunities, a thriving arts and culture scene, and a diverse array of restaurants, from Tajik to Brazilian to Italian, Boulder boasts everything a small city could possibly offer — and drops it all amid astounding scenery. Read more about the top five things to see and do in Boulder >


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All Things Irish in Washington, D.C.’s The Dubliner Restaurant

The Dubliner, Washington, D.C.On St. Patrick’s Day, when Irish folk celebrate this revered saint and everyone else is invited to wear something green and be Irish for the day, you could head to the Emerald Isle to explore Dublin’s top attractions, hike around Killarney National Park, or visit the country’s most beautiful churches. If your plans preclude that, you can still partake in the revelry by attending a parade or popping into an authentic Irish pub or restaurant in your hometown. And one of the places that does it best — right down to the music and the accents — is The Dubliner Restaurant and Pub in Washington, D.C. Read more about it >


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Delightful Domes That Grace City Skylines

Salta Cathedral, Salta, ArgentinaDomes. They’re one of the world’s most versatile architectural elements. Whether they’re topping iconic buildings like the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, and the Taj Mahal in Agra, India, or they’re the buildings themselves, ranging from Eskimo igloos to Central Asian yurts to the geodesic dome in Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska, domes add that final splash of panache to our built environments. Found throughout the world, they seem to be appreciated by just about everyone as the perfect way to top off a building in a graceful, elegant style. Read more about the world’s top five domes >