In Amsterdam, historic and modern buildings coexist in harmony. Daring additions enhance storied landmarks and modern architecture pops up in surprising ways throughout the city. There’s a spectacular new atrium to accommodate the crowds that flock to see the Rembrandts and Vermeers in the Rijksmuseum, and many of the galleries have been redesigned to enhance the collection of medieval and … [Read more...]

Eating Well in EAST LONDON

Michael Webb relishes the gentrification of one of London's seedier boroughs and finds it quite delicious. A few Rip Van Winkles still marvel that you can eat very well in London, unaware that the revolution has been in full swing for the past forty years. And you can now find exemplary restaurants in poor neighborhoods that once offered little besides jellied eels or greasy fish and chips. … [Read more...]

ENGLAND: Westward Ho!

Michael Webb explores the historic and ancient treasures of England's western countryside. It’s easy to mock Masterpiece Theater and Downton Abbey for their idealized portrait of English country life. In the sprawling cities of the south, cars and asphalt prevail, and the generic suburbs seem endless. Growing up in London I spent many weekends braving traffic jams and the inevitable showers … [Read more...]

Exploring Norway’s Lofoten Islands

Michael Webb heads from Å to BØ by land and sea discovering Norway's scenic delights. On the Lofoten islands, off the northern coast of Norway, you can climb a mountain, row in a Viking long boat (horned helmets optional), and stay in a fisherman’s cabin in villages called Å and Bø. Cod love the Lofoten and come here to spawn in winter; for a couple of months the fishing villages bustle … [Read more...]

Exploring NORWAY’s Scenic Wonders

Michael Webb travels through Norway's high and low roads discovering its hidden gems along the way. A narrow road snakes up the side of a mountain, making nine hairpin turns before reaching the summit. Silver threads of water course down the rock face, merging into cascades that swell a rushing stream. The road is bounded with lichened rocks and embraced by pines and silver birches. At the … [Read more...]

LYON: France’s Gastronomic Mecca

Michael Webb checks out what's on the menu in France's bustling cuisine capital. Celebrity chef Paul Bocuse has promoted Lyon as a gastronomic destination, which boasts his three star shrine, and a dozen other restaurants with at least one Michelin star, plus a rich choice of brasseries and humble bouchons. To whet your appetite visit the food market on the Quai St Antoine, every morning … [Read more...]

FOOD BUZZ: Dining Gets An Upgrade in Venice, Italy

Fourteen of the best restaurants in Venice have formed an association that translates as “warm welcome.” The Associazione dei Ristoranti della Buona Accoglienza is a valuable service in a city where travelers are routinely overcharged for mediocre food, and particularly if you are planning a visit in winter and looking forward to long lunches and dinners to shut out the chill.  Upon realizing … [Read more...]

EAST GERMANY: Dreaming of Dresden

More than twenty years after Germany’s reunification, Michael Webb finds the crown jewel of the former East Germany gleams brighter than ever, luring travelers with deals, culture and a living history. It’s been over two decades since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, but the former East Germany still finds itself lagging behind the west economically. A challenge for residents … [Read more...]

YORKSHIRE: Far From the Madding Crowd

For those who love London, and may have gone over for the Olympics, consider heading north for a change of scenery. There, in Yorkshire and the neighboring county of Derbyshire, you can savor an idyll of natural beauty, grand houses, lively market towns, honest food, snug inns, and warm hospitality, plus reminders of the industrial past. Everything the travel brochures promise and so rarely … [Read more...]

Game for something different? Our Guide To Visiting LONDON After The Olympics

Michael Webb says pass on the hype and huzzahs and opt instead for a post-Olympics London still basking in the glow of the international limelight. There’s a chorus of stories about the excitement of London during the Olympic summer. If you’re a sports fanatic, and love crowds, chaos and heat waves, then hop on over. If you’d rather enjoy the city at its best, you should wait until mid … [Read more...]