Travel

Hilary Larson's travel tales and tips.

A Shiny New Sofia

05/26/2015
Travel Writer

As my in-laws’ Peugeot headed into downtown Sofia, I squinted into the shimmering gold of the Alexander Nevsky Church, the Bulgarian capital’s most famous landmark.

A café in downtown Sofia.

Immigration, Then And Now

05/19/2015
Travel Writer

At a seaside café near the Greek-Albanian border, during halftime of last week’s European Champions League soccer match between Barcelona and Munich, I got an unexpected lesson in the European perspective on immigration, minorities and diaspora.

Post-communist immigration has changed the face of Europe. Above, a street scene in Greece.  Hilary Danailova/JW

Like A Slice Of The Amalfi Coast

05/12/2015
Travel Writer

“Here,” the smiling Greek woman said, proffering a jar of burnt-amber marmalade. “It’s homemade. We call it the Jewish citrus.”

The Parga coast at dusk offers an inviting look of Greek scenery.  Hilary Danailova/JW

Nostalgia On The Danube

05/05/2015
Travel Writer

The beautiful blue Danube was neither beautiful nor blue.

Gazing over a ramshackle assortment of trailers, creaky amusement-park rides and abandoned Mercedes parts, I surveyed the waterfront of the city Bulgarians call “the little Vienna” and concluded that Strauss would have trouble with the appellation. We were in Ruse, a Bulgarian city on the banks of that fabled river, which was an unappealing shade of gray. From our perch on a pedestrian wharf, we watched shady-looking men in dark jackets prowl and puff on cigarettes among the detritus below.

A scene on Ulitsa Alexandrovska, a prominent pedestrian promenade in Ruse.  Hilary Danailova/JW

Regionalism Still Exists

04/28/2015
Travel Writer

As Oggi and I sped through the cactus-spiked wilderness of southeast Arizona, I reflected that more than a quarter-century had passed since my first cross-country road trip. And from behind the wheel on Interstate 10, it was surprising how little had changed visually from the summer of 1988 — when my parents took my sister and me on a three-week odyssey from Phoenix to Connecticut.

The author’s cross-country trip gave her a new appreciation for America’s vastness and its regional differences. Hilary Larson

King, Carter And Beyond

04/21/2015
Travel Writer

Many cities like to promote themselves as collections of neighborhoods — enclaves that are distinctive and yet still meld, harmoniously, into a cohesive metropolis.

The arty, eclectic Little Five Points neighborhood.  Hilary Larson/JW

History Amid The Magnolias

04/14/2015
Travel Writer

The rain came down steadily, at times in torrents, other times in a chilly drizzle under leaden skies. But the legions of marchers on their way from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., to commemorate the recent 50th anniversary of that legendary civil rights march were undaunted by a little precipitation.

Maya Lin’s black-granite Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery. Wikimedia Commons

A Walker In The Garden District

04/07/2015
Travel Writer

It was drizzling as I strolled down Magazine Street in New Orleans’ Lower Garden District. In this city without a major art museum, the architecture and storefront displays are art in and of themselves, and the window in front of me was no exception — a dazzlingly colorful, sparkly arrangement of chic umbrellas.

A sidewalk on Magazine Street in the Garden District. Photos by Hilary Larson/JW

Wine, Wildflowers And Kolache, Texas Style

03/31/2015
Travel Writer

Texas isn’t an especially popular vacation destination for New Yorkers. (Many Democrats, you may recall, viewed President George W. Bush’s choice of hot, arid Midland for summer vacations as proof of his poor judgment.)

A scene of America with a German twist: Main Street, Fredericksburg, in Texas’ Hill Country. Hilary Larson/JW

South By Southwest

03/24/2015
Travel Writer

Strolling around the pretty Spanish plaza at the heart of Old La Mesilla, Texas, watching children play and families chat in the public square, I thought: Why aren’t there more places like this in the U.S.?

View over Cuidad Juarez from El Paso, above. Hilary Larson/JW
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