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Travel & tourism

Nick Reid looks over the edge of a cliff in Virginia during his 2,185-mile thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail last year. (Mark Tsigounis photo)

Ultralight hiking tips to bring less and go farther

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Too many people picture a long-distance hiker painfully hauling this unwieldy backpack with enough stuff strapped to the outside to make you wonder what could possibly be inside. Don’t let the image of that misguided fogey with his dangling pots and pans stop you from hiking in New England’s wondrous backcountry this summer. You don’t have to be like him. …

Godzilla welcomed in Tokyo – to lure visitors

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Fire-breathing, building-stomping Godzilla was welcomed in part of Tokyo on Thursday as a sign of prosperity, not destruction. The irradiated monster was appointed special resident and tourism ambassador for Shinjuku ward, known for its down-home bars and noodle restaurants. A Godzilla-sized head towering 171 feet above ground level was unveiled at an office …

Georgian architecture, hot springs among gems in Bath

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Yes, there really is a natural hot spring beneath the city of Bath, but soaking in the above-ground sights and sounds will leave you plenty relaxed. With its Georgian brick buildings and lush green hills, almost everywhere in Bath feels like a living postcard. With landmarks from Roman and medieval times, you may …

Don’t just eat that ramen: Go to a museum and learn about it

Sunday, March 29, 2015

There are two kinds of ramen in this world. There’s the packaged staple of dorm-room cuisine, one of the most processed, industrialized foods ever invented. And then there’s the trendy, artisanal, handmade soup that fans line up for …

Airline world’s tiny secret: love of model planes

Sunday, March 22, 2015

In America, businessmen shake hands. In Japan, they bow. But all over the world airline executives engage in a greeting that is all their own: the exchange of model airplanes. When airlines start flying to new cities, make …

Roughing it: Trekking in Nepal offers adventure

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Dawn’s golden light caught the tops of the snowcapped Himalayas and gradually crept downward as the rising sun lit up a sweeping arc of soaring peaks, at once forbidding and starkly beautiful. The stunning vista from the top …

Lights, camera, blossom! Disney films inspire floral fantasy

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Lights, camera . . . blossom! Floral and garden designers are paying homage to Disney and Pixar films at the Philadelphia Flower Show, which opened yesterday with the theme “Celebrate the Movies.” Meticulously landscaped exhibits have been inspired …

Travel Talk: This service provides an easy – and speedy – way to recover lost items

Sunday, March 1, 2015

I wrote my very first Travel Talk column in Dec. 2007. It was about my much-loved cell phone, a dandy of a flip phone, which fell out of my pocket onto my seat on the first leg of a trip to London. We figured it out in the …

A reluctant tourist braves zip lining in Costa Rica

Saturday, February 14, 2015

‘I’m not sure I can do this,” I said to myself while climbing a few steps to take a practice ride for a zip line. I was in northern Costa Rica, in the shadow of the country’s majestic …

Red, black, green: Sand on Hawaiian beaches not just golden

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Go ahead, sink your toes in the sand on Hawaii’s famous beaches. But you might be surprised by the color of that sand – it’s not always golden. You’ll find black sand, red sand and even green sand …

From ocean to ocean, through the Panama Canal

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Nina and Fred Fenton have gone on 40 cruises, including five times through the Panama Canal since 1998, but they keep coming back. While aboard the Norwegian Sun on their latest journey into the storied waterway linking two …

Balloon crew makes history crossing Pacific Ocean

Friday, January 30, 2015

A pair of pilots has traveled farther and longer in a gas balloon than anyone in history, trying to eliminate any remaining debate over a century of records in long-distance ballooning. The Two Eagles pilots surpassed the distance …

It’s a hoot hanging out with owls at this Tokyo cafe

Saturday, January 24, 2015

In the U.S., hanging out in a cafe with animals is such an exotic concept that people can’t get enough of it. A pop-up cat cafe in New York last year had lines down the block. Online reservations …