Never have I ever found a city that jives so well with me. As soon as we stepped foot into San Cristóbal de las Casas, this cool (both in climate and in level of awesomeness) city, I was in LOVE.
Taos Ski Village is a 30 minute drive into the dramatic Sangre De Grado Mountains from the artistic pueblo of Taos. The drive alone is worth making the trip here, but ski village life is the real draw. We came up here to catch a free concert by the band Tea Leaf Green, and had to hop on a gondola (also free) up the mountain from the base of the resort. I dropped about $5 on 2 PBR pints, including tip. Best Ski Resort Trip Ever.
The moonless night conceals all but the high beam illuminated, endlessly twisting road before us. We've just touched down in Antalya, and are now barreling along at warp speed through a night thicker than the bottom of a Turkish coffee fix. Somewhere in the unknowable distance lies Kas, a seaside hamlet about as far removed from the culture and chaos of Istanbul as our driver is from traffic safety school.
Mexican’s don’t typically consider Baja California to be part of Mexico. It’s viewed as an outlier, a distant cousin — as much a part of the Mexican zeitgeist as the Aleutian Islands are to America. This sense of isolation from traditional Mexican mores has fermented into an intoxicating regional personality, and today our beloved Baja is “La Reina del Baile” ( Queen of the Dance, Spanish equivalent of “Belle of the Ball”).
A multitude of onlookers wait patiently along the terraced viewing platform, every eye transfixed upon the gently rocking sea below. No one speaks, save for the excited babbling of several disengaged toddlers. Below, the ebb of the crystalline tide reverses course, garnering enough momentum to crest into a slow, unmistakable wave — it’s headed for the point of no return, a craggy inlet upon which the mesmerized crowd has trained their attention.
At first I felt that it was in me to wax on the understated charms and bare knuckle beauty of this often overlooked post-soviet gem, but then I actually spent some time there. Considering it's approximation to other more deserving Eastern European heavyweights -- Vienna an hour to the west, Prague and Budapest equidistant on either side, and Krakow a few hours to the northeast -- who in their right mind would designate more than a 24 hour stopover to this highly unremarkable point of transit?
Better orientation. Better health. Better photos. Better sex.
One of the foremost reasons traveling can be such an insightful and life affirming experience is that it offers universal perspective. The universal perspective that travel affords can strike you in the least assuming of places -- It can blindside you in a sweltering bus terminal, under a towering coconut palm (hopefully that's perspective that just slammed into you, not a free falling super food), and in the throes of a Mexican standoff with...well, Mexican Authorities.
At the time of writing, we're negotiating how to travel from the western Romanian province of Arad to the Bulgarian black sea resort city of Burgas. Bulgarian looks like this: "какво, по дяволите ?" and the regional transportation website does not feature an English translation option. To complicate matters further, it's often been our experience that the info on such websites does not sync up with protocol.