Solio Ranch, Kenya

On a recent trip to Kenya we were lucky enough to get to stay at Solio Ranch.  Solio is a 17,500 acre privately owned conservancy that is geared towards the protection and conservation of African rhino.  The initial reserve was started in 1970 when Courtland Parfet, the owner of Solio cattle ranch, fenced off a…

Coffee in Ethiopia

For all intents and purposes, Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee; the “magical fruit” was first cultivated sometime around the 11th century.  It was believed to have medicinal properties and quickly spread across the Arabian Peninsula. Europeans got their first taste of coffee in 1615 when Venetian merchants, who had become acquainted with the drink in…

Lalibela, Ethiopia

My main reason for going to Ethiopia was to see the churches of Lalibela — and they were fantastic.  What I didn’t expect was the beauty of the surrounding countryside.  Lalibela is located in the Amhara region of northern Ethiopia and is surrounded by majestic mountain ranges, lush valleys and colorful farming terraces.  The population…

The Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela

Seeing the rock-hewn churches of Lalibeli has been on my “Must See” list for a very long time.  I remember reading about the churches in high school when I stumbled across a book on unusual ancient architecture.  Then, while watching an episode of Ancient Aliens, I was reintroduced to them and vowed to make a…

The cemeteries of Kyoto

I love cemeteries! Whenever we travel I try to find the closest one possible. In Kyoto I was lucky enough to simply stumble upon several as I walked through the city.  Death is one of the few truly universal constants and I’m fascinated by the way different cultures honor and venerate their dead. Unlike the…

Cannes, France

Several months ago I got to spend a few days in Cannes. I’m not exactly sure what I was expecting… honestly, I think I was expecting something “newer”, something “flashier”, something “larger then life”.  I grew up associating Cannes with luxury hotels, opulent boutiques, impressive yachts and movie stars.  All these things exist in Cannes — but…

Balinese offerings

In the 16th century Islam became the prevailing religion on the island of Java (the geographic and economic center of Indonesia); today, Indonesia is the largest Muslim country in the world. With the continuing influx of Islam, the nation’s Hindus fell under increasing persecution and many fled to the island of Bali. Today, Bali has managed…