Stephen Travels

And he's ready to take you with him.


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Going Green Around the World

Decanter Set, Pittsburgh, PennsylvaniaWith spring almost at the doorstep for many of us, we begin to think of shedding extra layers of thick clothing and weatherproof boots, stowing away our rock salt and shovels, and not having to de-ice our cars every morning. Buds will soon appear, and gray will morph into green bursting all around us, bringing with it all signs of rebirth and new life. Of course, nature doesn’t hold a monopoly on green; there are plenty of nonliving objects that are green that you can see and fall in love with all year. Read about the world’s top five greens >

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A Baroque Masterpiece in the Center of Ljubljana, Slovenia

St. Nicholas Cathedral, Ljubljana, SloveniaThe city of Ljubljana seems to have been created for its residents and visitors to spend a lot of time outside. Whether you’re kayaking down the lazy Ljubljanica River, exploring lovely Prešeren Square and one of the top five bridges in the world, climbing the hill up to the castle, or romping around some fantastic parks, Ljubljana inevitably draws you outdoors for long stretches at a time. But the capital of Slovenia is also one of the wettest cities in Europe, which means you’ll be spending some time indoors as well. And one of the best places to do that is the Cathedral of St. Nicholas, a truly spectacular Baroque house of worship in the heart of the city. Read more about it >


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Ljubljana’s Very Special Circular Square

Triple Bridge, LjubljanaIt may not be able to boast the size of Red Square in Moscow or Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, the unending urban pulse of Times Square in New York, or the fame of London’s Trafalgar Square, but for pure charm and visual appeal, Prešeren Square in the heart of Ljubljana, Slovenia, ranks among the best. There’s something here for everyone, no matter what your interests — history, food, nature, romance, architecture, shopping, religion. It’s the de facto meeting point for the city’s residents and visitors alike, whether they’re here to attend a festival or a political rally, meet friends or a date, or just stop and rest for a bit in an utterly engaging space and admire one of the world’s top five bridges. Read more about why you should spend some time here >


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Five Doors to Admire Before You Open Them

House of the Blackhead, Tallinn, EstoniaWe pass through doors countless times every day — in our home, our workplace, the subway, elevators, barns, garages. Most are fairly unremarkable, utilitarian means of egress. But every now and then, a masterfully crafted door stands out in the crowd, arresting our attention, hinting at something remarkable behind it and enticing us to go inside and discover the treasures or surprises awaiting us on the other side. These are my top five doors in the world. Read more >


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Lake Bled Remains a Romantic Idyll in Any Weather

Lake Bled, SloveniaSlovenia is one of the greenest countries in Europe, thanks to its also being one of the wettest — a challenge to my plans to take in one of the most idyllic places on the continent after a week in brilliantly sunny Croatia next door. Ultimately, Mother Nature did not cooperate, but even a cloudy day at Lake Bled proved to be magical. Read more >


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Five Post Offices That Truly Deliver

Post Office, Ljubljana, SloveniaIn the present era of instantaneous communication and e-everything, post offices around the world are in serious decline. But it wasn’t all that long ago when post offices were the lifeline of nations, delivering long-anticipated letters, critical documents, history-making news, and packages of all shapes and sizes. Their vital importance was reflected in the grandeur of the buildings that housed them . Although some of them no longer serve their original purpose, these are my five favorite post offices in the world. Read more >