Sydney city skyline at dusk

Sydney Harbour at Night

It’s a good thing that the original English settlers of Sydney decided to move a little up the coast from their original base at Botany Bay. Where Botany Bay is flat and nondescript, Sydney Harbour–or Sydney Cove, as it was known at the time–is riddled with inlets, rocky outcrops, and…

Plaza de la Catedral Casco Viejo Panama City

Catedral Metropolitana de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción

Standing on the western side of Plaza de la Independencia (or Plaza de la Catedral), the Catedral Metropolitana de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción (or Metropolitan Cathedral), is one of the largest churches in Central America. It dates to 1688 to 1796, but went through a long period of neglect….

Blue Mosque Prayer Hall in Istanbul

The Blue Mosque

Yes, there’s definitely blue, but the Blue Mosque isn’t as blue as you might expect. It is, however, every bit as beautiful. Impossibly ornate tiles and painting wrap around almost every surface, especially on the dome ceilings towering high above. And with its six minarets, floodlit at night, it holds…

Karakoy Restaurant on the Banks of the Golden Horn

The Karakoy Waterfront

It’s one of Istanbul’s real treats to sit on the waterfront of Karakoy sipping Turkish tea, Rika, or a cold beer and watching the sun setting over the striking silhouettes of the mosques across the other side of the Golden Horn. Ferries dance around on the water, while the hundreds…

Fishermen on Galata Bridge Istanbul

Galata Bridge

The Galata Bridge has multiple personalities. It spans the Golden Horn from Eminonu to Karakoy and provides both a real and symbolic link between two key parts of the city. On the top level, a constant stream of road and tram traffic makes the bridge bounce as the cars, buses,…

Granada Municipal Cemetery

Granada Cemetery

Granada’s city cemetery is Nicaragua’s oldest. And because of Granada’s historical significance, the cemetery is unusually beautiful and ornate and is considered a national treasure. The most opulent tombs and mausoleums belong, naturally, to the wealthy. They’re clustered around the chapel near the entrance. As you move further away from…

Facade of Centro Cultural Convento San Francisco, Granada, Nicaragua

Granada’s San Francisco Convent and Museum

Behind that impressive facade that was once a convent and church, standing above most of the city of Granada, is the city’s main museum. Its exhibits are rather eclectic, but many of them relate in some way to the history of Granada and the nearby region. The building facade used…

Yuca Root at Granada's Market (Mercado Municipal)

Granada’s Market

I love morning markets, and I always make a special point to go to them if a town has one. They’re often one of the best ways to get a good dose of local flavor. They’re an essential part of the life-blood of the local community, and the locals depend…

Altar Piece in Cathedral of Granada, Nicaragua

Catedral de Granada

You can’t miss it in Granada. Most of the city is pretty flat, with the vast majority of the buildings standing, at most, two stories above the street. Towering far above all of it, visible from miles around, are the distinctive yellow and white bell towers and dome of the…

Lake Nicaragua Cows Grazing on Granada Beach on Lake Nicaragua

Granada’s Waterfront by Lago Nicaragua

It no doubt seemed like a good idea at the time. Take about 2KM of parkland along the lakefront and turn it into a public park, with a long beach, playgrounds and park benches galore, and numerous bars and restaurants. It’s close enough to be an easy walk from Parque…

Nave of La Capilla Maria Auxiliadora, Granada, Nicaragua

La Capilla Maria Auxiliadora

La Capilla Maria Auxiliadora isn’t the grandest or most famous of Granada’s churches. It doesn’t dominate the city’s skyline like the Cathedral of Granada. Nor does it wear its weathered history like Iglesia de la Merced. But La Capilla Maria Auxiliadora makes a credible claim as the most beautiful. The…

Iglesia de la Merced, Granada, Nicaragua

Iglesia de la Merced | Granada

When I first saw the crumbling facade, it reminded me of some of the earthquake ruins in Antigua, Guatemala. But behind the facade is a living, breathing church, and one of the most important in Granada. It’s located about three blocks west of Parque Central and dates to 1539. But,…

Streets of Granada, Nicaragua

Granada, Nicaragua

With its colorfully painted buildings, cobblestone streets, and Spanish colonial architecture, Granada is a picturesque town that wears its history on its streets. The colorful architecture is carefully preserved. It’s reputed to be the oldest city in the Americas. It’s a charming place to decompress and take it easy for…

Parque Central at Dusk, Granada, Nicaragua

Granada’s Parque Central

It’s a hustling, bustling center of town. As in so many Spanish colonial towns, Parque Central (or Central Park, if you prefer) forms the heart of a grid that radiates out through the streets. With the distinctive three peaks of Catedral de Granada towering above, the park itself is both…

Biomuseo Theater

Panama City’s Biomuseo

The first thing you notice about Panama City’s Biomuseo is the building. There’s nothing subtle about it–it’s an explosion of color. It was designed by famous architect Frank Gehry and is the first of his buildings in Latin America. It stands by itself on the Amador Causeway, a sliver of…

Arco Chato at Iglesia Santo Domingo in Casco Viejo

Iglesia Santo Domingo and the Arco Chato

The Iglesia Santo Domingo (or Church and Convent of Santo Domingo) isn’t much to look at anymore. It has long been a shell of brick ruins. There’s no roof, and while there are still walls, they’re mostly crumbling. It was built in 1678 but destroyed by fire in 1756. It…

Rustem Pasha Mosque in Istanbul with tourists

Rustem Pasha Mosque

The Rustem Pasha Mosque (in Turkish: Rüstem Paşa Camii) dates to 1560. It was designed by Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan and was the first time he employed an octagonal layout. It’s not the grandest mosque and deliberately makes no attempt to try to upstage the much larger Süleymaniye Mosque that…

La Iglesia de la Merced Casco Viejo Panama City Statue of María de Cervello

La Iglesia de la Merced

Dating back to 1680, La Iglesia de la Merced sits in the heart of Casco Viejo, just a couple of blocks from Independence Square. Its weathered stone facade is made of stones recovered from the abandoned original old city of Panama, Panama Viejo, and is flanked by two gleaming white…

Ancon Hill Panama City Tourists with Skyline

The View from Ancon Hill

It’s not especially large, really, at only 654 feet, but you can spot Ancon Hill from all over Panama City. It’s about the only large hill in town. As well as radio towers, it’s the one with the massive Panamanian flag. But Ancon Hill is most important not because you…

Iglesia San Jose Casco Viejo Panama City Panama

Iglesia San Jose

The massive Golden Altar (or Altar de Oro) of Iglesia San Jose is remarkable in its own right. The towering structure isn’t actually solid gold–it’s carved mahogany that has been covered in gold leaf (and paint). But it looks every bit as opulent as you’d think. But perhaps the most…

Iglesia San Francisco de Asis Casco Viejo Panama

Iglesia San Francisco de Asis

There are larger and more ornate churches in Casco Viejo, but none can beat Iglesia San Francisco de Asis on location. Standing on the waterfront, next to the Panamanian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and across the street from the National Theater, its exterior has been carefully restored. And…

Torre Latinoamericana View North over Mexico City

The View from Mexico City’s 44th Floor

For a city with such a huge population, Mexico City has surprisingly few skyscrapers. The geology of the old lakebed upon which much of the downtown area is built doesn’t help. Nor does being near an active earthquake zone. The most prominent skyscraper anywhere near the downtown area is the…

Statue Preservation at Iglesia de la Santisima Trinidad in Mexico City, Mexico

Iglesia de la Santisima Trinidad

The Iglesia de la Santisima Trinidad (Church of the Holy Trinity) isn’t the most opulent church you’ll come across in Mexico City, a city chock-full of opulent churches. But it has a charm of its own. It sits on a busy pedestrian shopping intersection a few blocks from the Zocalo….

Iglesia de San Bernardo, Mexico City, Mexico

Templo de San Bernardo

It was originally part of a Cistercian order convent dating back to 1636. The church is a little newer, but only by half a century, dating to 1680. On the church now remains, with the rest having been closed and demolished in the late-19th century, making way for the busy…

Mary and Child Statue at Iglesia de Santa Ines, Mexico City, Mexico

Iglesia de Santa Ines

It’s not the most lavish of the many churches in Mexico City’s Centro Historico district, but it is one of the more tastefully decorated. That’s not to say it’s plain–it isn’t. But its color scheme of gold and tan is tastefully restrained and, compared to many other Central American churches,…

Mercado de Mariscos (Seafood Market) in Casco Viejo Panama City Panama

Panama City’s Seafood Market (Mercado de Mariscos)

Panama isn’t an island, but with such a high proportion of coastline to land, it might as well be. So it’s only natural that seafood figures prominently in Panamanian cuisine. Panama City’s seafood market, the Mercado de Mariscos, lies at the foot of the historic Casco Viejo district and is,…

Carving Marble Statues of the Buddha in Mandalay, Myanmar

The Buddha Statue Workshops of Mandalay

It’s dusty and backbreaking work. Covered from head to toe with thick white dust, crouching low on their haunches, the young men and boys use simple angle grinders to carve the shape out of solid blocks of white marble. Some of the statues will be only a couple of feet…

OoHminThoneSel Pagoda in Sagaing, Myanmar (Burma)

Oo Hmin Thone Sel Pagoda

Many of Myanmar’s pagodas are very, very old. But they’re also living monuments. Many of the ones in the Bagan Archaeological Zone are protected and are now frozen in time, but others elsewhere undergo constant regeneration and change. That’s thanks to the strong tradition of donors. Give enough money and…

Myinkaba Village Market near Bagan

Myinkaba Village’s Morning Market

Tucked away in a little dirt side street of Myinkaba Village, just south of Old Bagan, is the morning market. While the tourists and visitors flood to the Manuha Temple across the street, local women mind their makeshift stalls and shop for the day’s supplies. It’s very much for the…

Sunset at U Bein Bridge, Myanmar

Myanmar’s Scenic U Bein Bridge

U Bein Bridge isn’t the sturdiest engineering structure you’ve ever seen, but that it exists—and has existed so long—is quite the marvel itself. It’s three-quarters of a mile long and is reputed to be the longest teak bridge in the world. It’s a foot bridge, so there aren’t any cars…

Buddhist Novice Monks at Sutaungpyei Pagoda, Mandalay Hill, Myanmar (Burma)

On Top of Mandalay Hill, Myanmar

It’s a long way up. It’s humid. For much of it, there’s no sidewalk, so you’ll be sharing the narrow road with cars and buses. And you’ll have to do a good part of it barefoot. But it’s worth it, especially for the sunset. Like Sagaing not far away, Mandalay…

Prayer Hall of the New Mosque (Yeni Cami) Istanbul

Istanbul’s Grand “New” Mosque

In Istanbul, “new” is relative. The New Mosque, or Yeni Cami, is new in the sense that it’s newer than Hagia Sophia (built in 537), the Blue Mosque (1616), and Suleymaniye Mosque (1558). But it’s also not so new in the sense it was completed in 1665. By then the…

National Palaces Painting Museum at Dolmabahce Palace, Istanbul

National Palaces Painting Museum

Reopened in a newly renovated space in the Crown Prince’s apartments of Dolmabahçe Palace, the National Palaces Painting Museum showcases the collection of paintings of the national palaces. The building itself is impressive. On the waterfront of the Bosphorus, at the northeast end of the Dolmabahçe Palace complex, it was…

Gold Statue of Gautama Buddha in Htilominlo Temple in Nyaung-U, Myanmar (Burma)

Htilominlo Temple

Htilominlo Temple is a large, two-story temple in the northern part of the Bagan plain. It dates to the 12th to 13th centuries and is best known for its ornate stucco decoration, especially the patterns on the ceilings of the interior arches. The temple gets its name from umbrellas, one…

Belfry of Bruges, Belgium

The Belfry of Bruges

From the top, you can see most of Bruges. And from most of Bruges, you can see the Belfry. It has stood there, towering over the city, while the economy of Bruges boomed on Flemish textiles and trading, while the economy went bust when ships could no longer reach the…

Conwy Castle (Conway Castle) in Wales

Conwy Castle

Castle Conwy is imposing and impressive, just as it was meant to be. But as you stand on top of the turrets looking out over the waterfront and town, it becomes very clear that the primary thing in King Edward I’s mind when he commissioned its building was the cardinal…

Vietnam Museum of Revolution Statue and Artillery

Museum of the Vietnamese Revolution

Unsurprisingly, Vietnam takes its revolutionary foundations very much to heart. They’re shown off and commemorated in the national Museum of the Vietnamese Museum in downtown Hanoi. Established in 1959 and apparently only infrequently updated since, the museum is a charming clash of ideas and history. It’s housed in a yellow…

Gentoo Penguins at Trinity Island Antarctic Peninsula

Penguins in Antarctica

Seals and whales first attracted humans to Antarctica. But that didn’t go so well for them–they were hunted nearly to extinction. These days, penguins are a major draw. And it’s no wonder–for comical antics and all-around cuteness, penguins are hard to beat. On land they’re clumsy and slow. In the…

Exterior of Trinity Church Bellingshausen Station Antarctica

Trinity Church, The Church at the Bottom of the World

Trinity Church is not the only church in Antarctica, but it may well be the most elaborate. Featuring ornate iconostasis that you might expect to find in Russia but is oddly out of character with all the other boxy, utilitarian, prefabricated buildings on an Antarctic scientific research base, it’s a…

Kayaking in Antarctica at Petermann Island

Kayaking in Antarctica

There are worse places to be than gliding silently at water level amongst the icebergs, seals, and penguins of Antarctica. Exploring narrow and shallow passages that not even the zodiacs can pass through. Weaving through the brash ice. Looking down through the crystal-clear water. Drifting quietly by a leopard seal…

Living Area of Wordie House Historic Antarctic Base

Wordie House, An Antarctic Home Very Far Away from Home

Candidates, SINGLE, must be keen young men of good education and high physical standard who have a genuine interest in polar research and travel and are willing to spend 18-30 months under conditions which are a test of character and resource. — London Times advertisement for the Falklands Island Dependency…

Humpback Whale in Antarctica at Sunset

The Colors of Antarctica

When you think of Antarctica, you probably think of lots of white and blue. And then some more white. I did. So I was surprised to find that it’s a lot more colorful than that. I didn’t expect to find so many other colors, some subtle, some striking. For an…

Reflections in the Lemaire Channel Antarctica

Gliding Through the Glassy Calm Waters of Antarctica’s Kodak Gap

That the Lemaire Channel is nicknamed “Kodak Gap” is a pretty good indication that it is reliably scenic. Steep rocky mountains covered in glaciers and snow rise almost vertically out of the water, creating a narrow channel less than a mile wide at its narrowest point and just under 7…

Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula, Brussels, Belgium

Cathedral of Saints Michael & Gudula

Most churches count their blessings to have one patron saint. This one has two. And, as it happens, they’re both also the co-patron saints of Brussels. It wasn’t always that way. There’s been a church on this spot since at least the 11th century–perhaps even two centuries before that. You…

Our Lady of Pilar Basilica

Despite a checkered history, Our Lady of Pilar Basilica has survived as the second oldest church in Buenos Aires and looking none the worse for wear. The initiative for building the church came from two local entrepreneurs. The first, Pedro de Bustinza, from Sante Fe, Argentina, secured authorization from the…

Our Lady of Pilar Basilica in Buenos Aires Agentina

La Recoleta Cemetery

In terms of luxury accommodations for the dearly departed, Recoleta’s cemetery ranks pretty highly. You would never call it plain. It’s not a field with rows of rectangular marble headstones. Instead, it has hundreds of ornate crypts crowding over each other for attention. It’s not every cemetery that has streets…

Historic Prison at the Maritime Museum of Ushuaia Argentina

Ushuaia’s Maritime Museum

It would have been very cold, very draughty, and, even compared to the low bar set by late-19th-century prisons, altogether rather unpleasant. But if you could sneak to a window, what a view! This was where they sent the prisoners they didn’t want to deal with in Buenos Aires so…

Panorama of the Battle of Waterloo

Waterloo Panorama Virtual Tour

The Panorama of the Battle of Waterloo is housed in its own purpose-built building next to the Lion’s Mound (Butte du Lion) at the battlefield. On the inside walls of the cylindrical building is a massive 360-degree canvas painted by Louis Dumoulin in 1912. It was commissioned for the 100th…

Bruges Canals at Dusk

Bruges by Night

To be subjected to the full fascination of Bruges, one should see it on a fair, still night, without a moon. In every direction gables mysteriously cut the sky. All is vast and dim around the funereal canals, out of which, one knows not how, gray towers, like the architecture…

The Emporer's Room at Ferme du Caillou Waterloo

Napoleon’s Last Headquarters

It was here that Napoleon spent his last night before his empire crumbled for a second time. About two miles up the road to the north, the Duke of Wellington‘s multinational army bivouacked for the night. Not quite three miles behind them, in the village of Waterloo, Wellington himself fretfully…

Metropolitan Cathedral of Santiago Statue

Santiago’s Metropolitan Cathedral

In most cathedrals, you want to look up. They were designed that way so that you’d look to the heavens. And in Santiago’s Metropolitan Cathedral there’s plenty to see looking up. Its Baroque decoration rivals anything in Europe. There are ornate frescos on the ceiling, chandeliers, and gilded columns. But…

Statue in Mercado Central de Santiago

Santiago’s Mercado Central

Chile has an extraordinarily long coastline. The country is very long and very narrow, and runs along over half of the eastern coastline of South America. All that coastline, from the tropics to its wintry southern tip, means a staggering variety of seafood is part of Chile’s cuisine. And not…

Waterloo Battlefield

The Battlefield of Waterloo

Victor Hugo described it as the morne plaine (bleak wilderness). Nearly 33,000 men died on these fields. And it was here, on 18 June 1815, that Napoleon’s march toward nearby Brussels was halted and he lost his empire for a second time. Had he decided to launch his first attack…

Maritime Monument in Punta Arenas Chile

The Waterfront of Punta Arenas

From the frigid fifties of south latitude, through the strait that was to honor his name, and across the Pacific, Magellan drove his little fleet through waters no European had sailed before. His route proved impracticable for the spice trade. The captain himself never reached home, and his heirs got…

Monte Olivia Ushuaia with Clouds

Ushuaia, The World’s Most Southern City

This little town is surrounded on three sides from the snow-covered peaks of the Punta Arenas). Before those were explored and charted, the only other way around was to go below Cape Horn and brave the notoriously wild conditions of the Drake Passage and the Great Southern Ocean. Ushuaia is…

Panorama of the Battle of Waterloo

Panorama of the Battle of Waterloo

Standing at the base of the Lion’s Mound (Butte du Lion) at the battlefield at Waterloo, the Panorama is one of the world’s few remaining panoramas, a type of tourist attraction that was once very popular. Few of them survive today–they can’t compete with moving pictures for visualizing what happened,…

Caernarfon Castle Cannons

Caernarfon Castle

For a 13th century fortress, Caernarfon Castle has a surprising attention to style. It’s one of a string of castles that King Edward I of England built or upgraded in northwest Wales in the late 13th century as part of a concerted program to exert English rule over the Welsh….

Great Court of the British Museum in London

The British Museum

The British Museum is one of the world’s great museums. With over 8 million pieces in its permanent collection, it features a remarkable representation from around the world. The ways in which some of the artifacts were acquired–some say pilfered, some say protected–is rightly controversial. A sizable portion of the…

Istanbul Naval Museum

Istanbul Naval Museum

If I was picking a name for this museum, I wouldn’t use the word “naval.” Istanbul Maritime History Museum would be a better fit. Or better yet: Royal Water Taxi Museum. But what impressive water taxis they are! While there are exhibits and artifacts related to the history of the…

Tourists at the Basilica Cistern in Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul’s Ancient Basilica Cistern

This isn’t just any old water tank. Buried under the streets next to Hagia Sophia might well be the most impressive water tank you’ll ever see. Its purpose was entirely functional. Built during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian (527-565), it provided water to the imperial palace and local residents…

Tomb of Sultan Selim II at Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey

The Tombs of the Sultans at Hagia Sophia

The Ottomans were as serious about their art and decoration in death as they were in life. Tucked around the back of Hagia Sophia, accessible through a separate side entrance, is a small courtyard ringed by several small buildings that look like mini mosques. From the outside, they don’t look…

Topkapi Palace Imperial Council Hall

The Imperial Council Hall at Topkapi Palace

The Ottoman Empire was run from here. These three chambers, between the Harem and the rest of Topkapi Palace, are where Ottoman sultans met with their imperial councils to conduct affairs of state. It is also called Kubbealti (Kubbealtı), which means “under the dome”, and is located in the northwestern…

Reclining Buddha at Dhammayan Gyi Phaya Temple

Dhammayangyi Temple

Dating back to the 12th century, Dhammayangyi Temple is the largest temple in Bagan. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the most impressive. It was never fully finished, and it hasn’t received the same restoration attention as many of the other large temples (which might be a good thing,…

Buddha Statue at Soon Oo Pon Nya Shin Pagoda, Sagaing, Myanmar

Soon Oo Pon Nya Shin Pagoda

It’s one of the oldest–and from all appearances, richest–of the many pagodas in Sagaing. Sitting high on top of Nga-pha Hill, one of dozens of hilltops in the Sagaing Hills, it was built in 1312 by Minister Pon Nya, after whom it’s named. It’s not the most subtly decorated pagoda…

Mannekin Pis Statue in Brussels Belgium

Mannekin Pis

The Belgians are a quirky lot. (But gosh they make great beer and chocolate!) There aren’t too many places that would proudly embrace as a national and city icon a small bronze fountain statue of a naked little boy peeing. And it’s not like this is some bawdy, oddly voyeuristic…

Templo de la Ensenanza Main Altar and Nave

Templo de la Enseñanza

Built in the 1770s, the Templo de la Enseñanza is a small church a block behind the Catedral Metropolitana. Sometimes known as La Enseñanza Church, it’s name translates as “The Teaching Church,” a nod to its original role as a church attached to a teaching convent. The convent has long…

Taungbi Village Pagoda, Old Bagan Myanmar (Burma)

Taungbi Village Pagoda

I really don’t know much about this temple. It doesn’t appear on any of the maps or guides I’ve come across. There aren’t any signs–at least, not in English–nearby. And there was no-one around to ask. I came across when out exploring by myself. It sits in an open dirt…

Nyaung-U Market, Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)

Mani Sithu Market in Nyaung-U

From fresh fish to cooking oil to betel nut, the Mani Sithu Market in downtown Nyaung-U is the main local market for the town. It’s a permanent market and set up under a light wooden structure that occupies a large block in the middle of town. You won’t find much…

Bagan Nyaung Airport

Nyaung-U Airport

If you’re flying to Bagan, Nyaung-U Airport is the airport you’ll fly into. As small as it is, it’s the airport that serves as the aerial gateway to the Bagan region. (There are other ways to reach Bagan, of course, such as flying into Mandalay and taking a bus or…

Pictorial Guide to Pagan (Bagan)

This is a guide to temples and pagodas of Bagan that was compiled by the Director of Archaeological Survey, Burma, in the mid-1950s and revised in 1963. It was published in Rangoon by the Union Cultural Council, Ministry of Union Culture, Revolutionary Government of the Union of Burma. I picked…

Dragon and Elephant Statue at Abeyadana Temple in Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)

Apeyadana Temple

Located just south of Myinkaba Village in the Bagan Archeological Zone, Apeyadana Temple is named after Apeyadana, an 11th-century chief queen consort of King Kyansittha of the Pagan Dynasty of Burma (Myanmar) and maternal grandmother of King Sithu I of Pagan. Much about this temple remains unknown or obscured through…

Buddha Statue in Manuha Temple in Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)

Manuha Temple

Manuha Temple is one of the easiest temples to visit. It’s in Myinkaba Village, just south of Old Bagan, and right on the main road. It’s also one of the oddest, not at all like most of the other temples and pagodas in Bagan. The layout is very different, inside…

Buddha Statue at Naga Yon Hpaya Temple, Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)

Nagayon Temple

Nagayon Temple, about half a mile south of Myinkaba Village, gets its name from the large serpent mouths that arch over the statue of The Buddha in the main shrine. Naga refers to the serpents, or king cobras, that you see stylized around the place, often protecting the entrances to…

Buddha Shrine at Myazedi Pagoda, Myinkaba Village, Myanmar (Burma)

Myazedi Stupa

Myazedi, which translates as “emerald stupa,” is located just north of Myinkaba Village and just south of Old Bagan. A notable item at the Myazedi stupa is a stone slab with the text in four languages: Pyu, Mon, Pali, and Burmese. It’s the earliest dated example of written Burmese language,…

Prayer Hall of Nuruosmaniye Mosque Istanbul

Nuruosmaniye Mosque

Compared to many of Istanbul’s other mosques, Nuruosmaniye is quite new. It was built between 1748 and 1755. So it’s still not exactly a new build. While it shares some distinctive design features with other mosques in Istanbul, Nuruosmaniye Mosque was the first and largest mosque to be built in…

Gran Hotel Cuidad de Mexico Atrium

Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico

The Gran Hotel Cuidad de Mexico is well worth a visit even if you’re not staying there. It sits on a corner of the Zocalo in Centro Historico, the old-town portion of Mexico City that was itself designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. There are newer, fancier,…

Torre Latinoamericana

Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City’s Cathedral of Art

The Palacio de Bellas Artes was built in the early 20th century to house the national theater, but it has become more than that. Some call it the “Cathedral of Art in Mexico.” It has become a cultural hub of Mexico City–in addition to containing two theaters, there are important…

Mural in the Tejada Library in Mexico City

The Mural of the Biblioteca Miguel Lerdo de Tejada

The Biblioteca Miguel Lerdo de Tejada (Tejada Library) specializes on holdings related to economics. It’s named for Miguel Lerdo de Tejada, a 19th-century Mexican finance minister, treasurer, minister of foreign affairs, and magistrate of the Supreme Court. It’s housed in a former chapel, la Capilla de la Emperatriz del Palacio…

Kyauksa Gu for World's Largest Book at Kuthodaw Pagoda, Mandalay, Myanmar (Burma)

Kuthodaw Pagoda, Home of the World’s Largest Book

It’s known as the world’s largest book. But it doesn’t look much like any book you’ve seen before. Each of the 729 “pages” is a large marble tablet inscribed with text from the Tipitaka (some of the Buddhist scriptures). The text was originally in gold, but it has long since…

North Pole Expedition Museum in Longyearbyen, Svalbard

North Pole Expedition Museum in Longyearbyen, Svalbard

Longyearbyen isn’t very big, but there are two museums in town. This is the older but smaller of the two. It focuses on efforts to reach the north pole with various types of aviation, some successful and some not. You’ll sometimes see the North Pole Expedition Museum referred to by…

Pagodas of Bagan, Myanmar

Dhammayazika Pagoda

The gold stupa of the Dhammayazika Pagoda certainly stands out, especially at sunrise and sunset. But it wasn’t always this opulent. Until the 1990s when it was restored, it was basically deserted. The renovations included a gleaming gold finish for the massive stupa. They also destroyed some of the original…

The Little Mermaid Statue in Copenhagen

Copenhagen’s Surprisingly Little Mermaid Statue

I guess it shouldn’t be so surprising that it’s small. It’s right there in the name, after all: The Little Mermaid. As with the Mannekin Pis in Brussels, there’s something a bit jarring for an iconic attraction with such an outsized reputation to be so petite. It’s a roughly life-sized…

Seafaring Culture Exhibit at the Maritime Museum of Denmark

Maritime Museum of Denmark

Denmark has a long and important maritime history, going back at least a millennium to the Vikings up the present day with the largest container shipping company in the world. With so much coastline in such a strategically important location, it was inevitable that moving things and people over the…

Cruising Through Polar Bear Country in the Barents Sea

On a recent trip to the Arctic I decided to stick a GoPro on one of the ship’s rails to capture our progress punching through the polar ice pack as we got north of Svalbard. This drifting sea ice is the summer home of polar bears and the seals they…

Moat at Kronborg Castle at Helsingor, Denmark

Kronborg Castle / Hamlet’s Castle

It’s known as Hamlet’s castle because Shakespeare set his play at the castle in Elsinore, the Anglicized version of the town’s Danish name, Helsingør. Kronborg Castle sits on a peninsula of the Sound that leads down to the Baltic. It’s on a narrow point between Denmark and Sweden. You can…

Chapel at Kronborg Castle at Helsingor, Denmark

Kronborg Castle’s Chapel

The Chapel at Kronborg Castle isn’t especially large, and it’s not ornate by the standards of other European churches, but it has its charms. It’s also one of the oldest parts of the castle. It dates back to 1582 and survived a major fire in 1629 that claimed much of…

tapestries at Kronborg Castle at Helsingor, Denmark

Kronborg Castle’s Royal Apartments

The Royal Apartments at the 16th-century Kronborg Castle are where King Frederick II and his very young queen, Sophie, lived and worked. (Sophie was 14 years old when they married.) As you walk through them when you visit Kronborg Castle today you’re seeing rooms that have been reconstructed to appear…

Holger the Dane Statue at Kronborg Castle at Helsingor, Denmark

Holger the Dane at Kronborg Castle

The legend of Holger Danske, or Holger the Dane, is nearly a millennium old. The legend tells of a Danish prince accomplishing great feats after being sent to Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne as a hostage. The legend actually originated in France, but it has been adopted by the Danes with…

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Saucer Magnolias at the Enid Haupt Garden in Washington DC

I took this photo last spring during the very brief blooming of the saucer magnolias (or tulip magnolias) in Washington DC. They’re one of the spring’s first dramatic blooming varieties in the DC area, usually beating the more famous cherry blossoms by a couple of weeks. But this particular year…

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Colorful Chichicastengo cemetery

Chichicastenango’s Cemetery

If you’re headed into the Guatemalan highlands town of Chichicastenango, chances are you’re going for the famous market day. While you’re there, it’s worth dropping by the town’s cemetery just down the hill a little. The town is not very big, so the cemetery isn’t either, but it sure is…

Bangkok City View at Night

Dinner on Top of the World

Bangkok is the very epitome of a bustling city. Crowded, crammed, and chaotic. Amid all that, there are still millions of bites of beauty around many of the city’s corners. But you get a totally different perspective from up high. Some of the fancy newer hotels have realized this and…

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These terms of service (“Terms”, “Agreement”) are an agreement between Have Camera Will Travel LLC (“Have Camera Will Travel LLC”, “us”, “we” or “our”) and you (“User”, “you” or “your”). This Agreement sets forth the general terms and conditions of your use of the https://havecamerawilltravel.com website and any of its…

Pagodas of Bagan, Myanmar

Thatbyinnyu Temple

Thatbyinnyu Temple is the tallest of the pagodas in Bagan, rising up the equivalent of about 21 stories. And being close to both Ananda Temple and Old Bagan, it’s one of the easiest to visit. Despite its prominence on the skyline and close proximity to the famous Ananda Temple and…

Lemyethna Pagoda in the Bagan Archaeological Zone

Lemyethna Pagoda

Lemyethna Pagoda is located in the eastern part of the Bagan Plain and was built in 1222. It features intricate figure frescoes on its interior walls and ceilings. Based on some of the ruins nearby, the temple was likely originally part of a monastery.1 Photos of Lemyethna Pagoda Paintings on…