Visiting Italy in 21st-century August is a tricky thing, it takes skill and preparation. The country is dense. It is dense with art, culture, and historical artifacts, but it is also dense with the tracks of mindlessly spending zombie tourists with a chronic lack of interest in much beyond the lack of ranch dressing at… Read More The Crowded Roads to Rome
Two small streams, the Arroyos de Los Carneros and del Morete flow through the thick pine forests of the Sierra de Guadarrama into the palace gardens of La Granja de San Ildefonso. The water collects into a mirror-smooth lake, then pours down an intricate system of canals and piping, and on special occasions, the water… Read More It Tolls for Thee because of the Queen
The Guardian is a very large and reputable newspaper, a prolific factory of words, ideas and comments. It produces an overwhelming amount of articles from almost all walks of life. But, from time to time, it seems to struggle to find things to fill the empty spaces of the Internet. The following “rant” is an… Read More Stop Worrying about Grammar Snobs
Every man or woman eventually pines for the days of the past, at least occationally, and either marvels or shudders at the speed at which thing happen, change, and disappear. Unfortunately, most of these observations of culture are drowned in sentimentality and eventual contempt for “the crazy things kids do nowadays.” But our collective memory… Read More What is this?
As a slight break-away from my usual travel writing, I´ve published a piece in Huffington Post´s World Post about free speech and Islam. Free speech and the ability to debate intelligently and freely is extremely important, especially for writers. Thanks to Huffington Post´s blog team for plastering the giant photo of Reza Aslan below the headline.… Read More Dear Liberals: Being Critical of Islam is not Racism
In the village, more than in the city, there is a strict adherence to schedules – schedules dictated by inactivity. Certain things are only done at particular hours; any momentary deviation from the way things are done is considered at least a minor incident. In the winter, locals in villages move slower than ever, as if… Read More Morning Market
In La Granja de San Ildefonso, a once glorious playground for the royals just outside of Segovia, the chilled fall air slides down through the valleys from the tops of the hills, and the smell of fireplaces and roasting lamb wafts in the streets. The air is thin and cool, and the residents of Madrid… Read More La Granja de San Ildefonso