Along for the ride, but with a better view.



I have heard wonderful things about Spain, so I was not particularly surprised when Madrid turned out to be a beautiful, friendly, fun city. (Although, Barcelona was usually the city being mentioned, so that city must really be something.) I think there’s something about the […]

Let them eat slightly stale eclairs!

It is so lovely when a dear friend comes to visit. Beyond good conversation and fun outings, a visiting friend can also provide motivation to get out and do some of those things that have been on the list for months.  The touristy things, if […]

Ancient and Modern

The plaza in Rabat that holds both the Tour Hassan and the Mausoleum of Mohammed V is a salute to Morocco old and new and contains many icons of the country:colorful tiles set in neutral stone, ornate carving, gold lanterns, fountains, large Moroccan flags fluttering […]

Chellah, Home of the Storks

These ruins, which combine a Roman city called Sala Colonia with Chellah, a Merenid encampment are fascinating and peaceful. Just up the banks of the river, as it snakes inland, further from the ocean than the medina or the new city, the area had several […]

The Kasbah

I believe I have somehow made it through two and a half years of posting about Morocco without once mentioning a certain song by The Clash from 1982. It is probably best not to start now. The Kasbah of the Oudaias (alternatively Oudayas and Udayas), […]

The Fortified City

Rabat, Morocco sits on the Western coast of North Africa. Slightly north of Casablanca, and west of Fez, Rabat feels calm for a city of well over a million. The fifth-largest city in Morocco and the capital of Morocco since independence in 1956, it is […]

world enough, and time

The first time I visited the Musée d’Orsay in Paris I was spending my junior year abroad in London. I was taking an art history class taught by Pat Utermohlen, an elegantly eccentric older woman with giant glasses, handfuls of rings and a love for art […]

Château des ducs de Bretagne

Nantes, France is an old city that feels very modern, as I mentioned in a previous post. Partially it is simply a function of being very young, but the city also seems to make an effort in that direction. A good example is the castle […]

the old uncles

Nantes, France is about as packed full of churches as you would expect a thousand-year-old city to be. There seems to be one around every corner, including out the window of our rental apartment. They rest their ancient bones around the corner from a café, […]

Where the wild (machines) are

So far the most unique thing we’ve seen, in a very unique city, is Les Machines de l’île, or “Machines of the Island”. Taking inspiration from Jules Verne, who was born in Nantes, Leonardo DaVinci, and the shipbuilding history of the city, the machinists at Machine […]