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Verdant views

posted: 09/24/2017 1:49 a.m. Discuss

Walking along with my guide, Gundela, through what was undoubtedly one of the most spectacular wine trails I have ever experienced, I had to wonder how, nearly a thousand years ago, the Lavaux terraced vineyards were planted on these dizzyingly steep slopes along Switzerland's Lake Geneva.

Fountain's wet display 90 years on

posted: 09/24/2017 1:48 a.m. Discuss

CHICAGO -- A bit after dawn Eric Kelmar and his team of engineers arrive for their routine check of Chicago's Buckingham Fountain for the day.

Travel in Europe: Amalfi Coast playground of the rich for a reason

posted: 09/24/2017 1:47 a.m. Discuss

Serene Sorrento, wedged on a ledge under the mountains and over the sea, is a great springboard for sightseeing along Italy's Amalfi Coast. Just an hour south of wild and crazy Naples, calm and genteel Sorrento makes an ideal home base for day-tripping around the region (Pompeii, Positano and Capri are well within reach). And every night, you can return "home" to Sorrento, to enjoy its elegant vibe while sorting through its fine restaurant options.

Serenity on a bus

posted: 09/17/2017 1:48 a.m. Discuss

Old Faithful isn't as faithful as it is supposed to be, at least according to an impatient gentleman standing right behind me at Yellowstone National Park. The posted prediction time for its eruption on that sunny yet cool summer afternoon is 2:25, but the geyser seems in no hurry except for a few preliminary wisps of steam.

Travel in Europe: By air, by rail, by road: Europe easily traversed

posted: 09/17/2017 1:48 a.m. Discuss

In Europe, getting from Point A to Point B is a snap. The train system shrinks what is already a small continent, making a whirlwind or far-reaching tour a reasonable possibility for anyone. For me, trains remain the quintessentially European way to go, and the best option for romantics. However, the proliferation of competitive discount airlines -- and cheaper car-rental options -- has revolutionized European-itinerary planning: It's turned vagabonds into jetsetters.

Church's walls hold ancient art

posted: 09/17/2017 1:47 a.m. Discuss

I'm lost in a world of hedges. The narrow lanes crowd in. I drive ever slower, looking for a signpost. Just as I think I'm lost, a squat, square tower and a weather vane peep above the greenery.

Are We There Yet: Trolley, rail cars a part of Fort Smith's heritage

posted: 09/14/2017 1:47 a.m. Discuss

Not every property on the National Register of Historic Places always stays in the same place. That's true of Birney Safety Streetcar No. 224, which offers Fort Smith visitors a 15-minute ride daily from May 1 through Oct. 31 and on weekends the rest of the year.

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