From Syria: Erin Trieb’s Photos

We interrupt our travel blog to bring you these photos published by NBCNews.com today. Our daughter and photojournalist, Erin Trieb, was in Iraq and Syria for the past month. The link below will take you to her poignant story on the Women’s Protection Unit, a 7,000-strong Kurdish military group. It’s a bit humbling to be traipsing around the lush Basque Country…

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The halfway mark, Nice and The Rothschild Gardens

Two weeks down and two to go at French school. We’ve finally gotten past “Je m’appelle Shauna. Je suis Américaine.”  We’ve actually learned some simple past tense (passé composé) and future tense (futur proche). Some of you have asked what our classes are like. We each have ten students (Mark is in Debutante 1 and I…

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K-k-k-k-k-k-Kathmandu

Nepal is a land-locked country the size of Iowa, with a population of 28 million. 2.5 million live in the capital, Kathmandu. Kathmandu gained notoriety in the 1960s when its Freak Street was a hippie nirvana.  Marijuana and hashish were legal and sold openly in government licensed shops into the 1970s. These days you’re less likely to see tie-dyed hippies in…

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Kuzu zangpo la – Greetings from Bhutan

The Kingdom in the Clouds. The Happiest Country in the World. The Last Shangri-la. Mystical. Magical. What a fascinating country. Bhutan is a (virtually completely) mountainous country roughly equal in size to Switzerland. Half the size of Indiana.  Go ahead, Google it; I had to. (Indiana is 36k sq miles, Bhutan is 18k sq miles, Switzerland is 16k…

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Two Tales of a City, Hiroshima

“Sixteen hours ago an American airplane dropped one bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, and destroyed its usefulness to the enemy. That bomb had more power than 20,000 tons of T.N.T. It had more than two thousand times the blast power of the British Grand Slam, which is the largest bomb ever yet used in the history of warfare”. These fateful words…

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Our Stay in a Japanese Ryokan

Our hotel in Takayama, Hidatei Hanaougi, is a ryokan. The hotel’s website lists ‘Heart-warming hospitality” as the Number 1 reason to stay there, and we couldn’t agree more. From the first moment we arrived, we felt welcomed, pampered and attended to. Where else does the general manager himself stand at the curb at the end of…

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