Stephen Travels

And he's ready to take you with him.


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On the Wall

One of the world’s great fortified cities, Dubrovnik, Croatia, is unforgettable, from your arrival there to every moment you spend sheltered within the impressive defensive walls of the Old Town, drinking fine Croatian red wine, exploring ancient churches, admiring unique doorways, and popping into one of its museums. To get a different perspective of this unmistakable city, I went upstairs and took a 1.2-mile walk atop the walls that kept Dubrovnik safe for centuries. Read about it >


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The World’s Best Urban Parks

Watching a group of Asian senior citizens practicing the slow movements of a choreographed dance. Making friends with a red squirrel. Hearing someone rail against the evils of plutocracy. Standing under a 165’ Douglas fir. You never know what you’ll find in a city park, and that’s one of their many attractions. And the best parks that make all that possible smack in the middle of a city do it in unforgettable style. Read about the top five urban parks >


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The Best New Restaurant in Dover, Delaware

Tavern on Kings, Dover, DelawareWhile staying at the wonderful State Street Inn in Dover, Delaware, I was able to walk to a handful of restaurants with outdoor seating. One of the best, Tavern on Kings, grants that outdoor seating on the generous front porch of an old and wonderfully maintained mansion across the street from the governor’s house. And the view comes with a very satisfying meal. Read about it >


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Malbork Castle Will Hit You Like 10,125 Tons of Bricks

Malbork Castle, Malbork, PolandAs soon as I learned about the major attraction in Malbork, Poland, I knew I had to take a side trip from my base in Gdansk, an hour to the northwest by train. I couldn’t resist seeing the largest brick structure ever built—Malbork Castle. At the size of about 40 U.S. football fields and with its oldest parts going back to the 1200s, this massive complex had the sudden and significant impact on me that its statistics assured me it would. Read more about Malbork Castle >


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Argentina’s Most Beautiful Churches

Cathedral of St. Francis, San Salvador de Jujuy, ArgentinaFour intranational flights in Argentina took me from Buenos Aires to Puerto Iguazú to Salta to Mendoza and back to the capital. It was a whirlwind trip around the northern part of the country during which I hiked around one of the world’s top waterfalls and around the tallest mountain in the Americas, experienced both Latin and Native American cultures, ate llama cutlets and sucked on coca leaves to stave off altitude sickness, and roamed through some of the country’s best cities, filled with beautiful (and often crumbling) architecture, including fantastic houses of worship. Read about the top five churches in Argentina >


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An Outdoor Museum Experience in Residential Oslo

Norwegian Folk Museum, OsloIn the most fashionable residential area of Norway, with the country’s most expensive properties, you can spend a couple of days visiting five terrific museums, a royal castle, and wonderful views of the city and its fjord and harbor. One of those attractions is the open-air Norwegian Folk Museum, a collection of more than 150 buildings relocated from around the country and stocked with exhibits and demonstrations that reveal Norway’s history and culture starting in the 16th century. Read about it >


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Denmark’s Five Best Churches

Holmen Church, Copenhagen, DenmarkWhen it comes to castles, Denmark is one of my favorite European nations, whether they’re watching over the coastline or dropped smack in the middle of the capital city. When it comes to churches, however, Denmark has some serious competition from its European neighbors. Despite that, this little nation of just under six million people has constructed some spectacular churches. Too bad only 3 percent of the population regularly attends services; they’re missing out on surrounding themselves with beauty. Read about the top five churches in Denmark >


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Milwaukee’s Gilded Age Glory

Germania Building, Milwaukee, WisconsinStaying at a hotel in downtown Milwaukee that used to be a Gimbels department store gave me easy access to many of the city’s best attractions, including the remnants of its Gilded Age. Industrious immigrants, including a tidal wave of Germans and other Eastern Europeans, boosted the city’s population so that, by 1900, it was the 14th largest city in the United States. The work of these determined newcomers coincided with America’s explosion of industrial achievements and economic expansion, and they left behind a legacy of fantastic structures in their “German Athens.” Read about the top five buildings in Milwaukee >


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Beloved by All: 1822 –

Mausoleum, Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos AiresSome of the world’s best cemeteries—Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York; Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, New York; and Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri—are grand rural cemeteries, filled with curving roads, hills, trees, flowering shrubs, and ponds. But one of them, Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires, Argentina, differs completely from the rest—an urban, densely packed burial ground founded in 1822 and crammed with mausoleums and monuments along a city-like grid pattern. It looks like a scale model of Buenos Aires itself, and it’s the final resting place of dozens of influential Argentinians, including one who doesn’t want us to cry for her. Read more about it >


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Bodies of Work

Jenners Department Store, Edinburgh, ScotlandIf you feel like the weight of the world is sometimes pressing down on you, imagine if an actual building were doing the same thing. Since the sixth century BC in ancient Greece, stone women have been supporting entablatures on their heads; their male counterparts came along a little later, in the Greek cities in Sicily and southern Italy. These caryatids and atlantids not only served a practical function, as a column or pillar to support the weight of a structure, but they also added impressive panache. Read about the top five atlantids and caryatids >