Twelve months ago, we rang in 2011 at a wild party in Savannah, Georgia, a city which definitely knows how to let its hair down. As the clock struck midnight, I know I kissed Jürgen, and I faintly remember kissing a couple other people, too. We entered 2011 full of excitement — it would be our first full year of travel, and we knew that a lot of incredible times were waiting for us. But, even so, I think we underestimated how much we were about to experience.
We moved to Buenos Aires in February, and then onto to Bolivia in May. After a short break in Valencia, our nominative home, we moved onto Palermo. And soon enough, we’ll be back on the road; this time to Sri Lanka. Here are some of our favorite posts of 2011… if 2012 is even just half as exciting, there’s a lot to look forward to. We wishing you all a wonderful New Year’s celebration, and a great year to come.
On Franklin Square, the First African Baptist Church is the oldest black church in North America. Founded by slaves in 1775, the church has a history nearly as old as Savannah itself. The church was built by slaves who, as you might imagine, didn’t have much money or time. Over the course of four years, they worked at night on the construction. That’s some faith — after a day of back-breaking work in the fields, to come and toil even longer… Read More
Argentinians are a famously literary people. In coffee shops, parks, on the bus and even while walking down city streets, their heads are often buried in a book. So it’s only fitting that Buenos Aires can lay claim to one of the world’s most incredible book stores: the Ateneo Grand Splendid… Read More
In the 19th century, the wealthiest corner of Buenos Aires wasn’t Retiro or Recoleta, but Barracas. Over the decades, this southern neighborhood lost its former glamor but recently has been showing signs of a resurgence in popularity. Today, it’s an exciting up-and-coming area in the capital city, still happily off the radar of most tourists… Read More
Before moving to Buenos Aires, we conducted a little research into the city’s music scene and stumbled upon an artist by the name of Chancha via Circuito. We were instantly hooked, and his music became our constant soundtrack for our final weeks in Savannah. Fresh and modern, but firmly rooted in tradition, it sounded exactly how we imagined Buenos Aires would be like. It made us anxious to arrive. So, given that we’d been listening to his music non-stop for a couple months, we were thrilled to be able to meet Chancha at ZZK Records’ studios… Read More
A radio station with an unusual and highly laudable purpose, Radio La Colifata was established in 1991 as the world’s first station run by the inmates of a mental hospital. Twenty years later, the project is still going strong. We decided to check out one of the transmissions. Attending the broadcast of La Colifata turned out to be an adventure. I don’t know what we expected to find, but this was just an abandoned building. A woman at the corner bar verified it was the correct place, so we ventured inside… Read More
On the second day of our hike, we woke at sunrise with aching shoulders, backs and legs, but possessed by a strange energy. The Crater of Maragua was within sight, and the promise of restorative thermal baths at hike’s end made us eager to get moving. But breakfast and packing up the campsite took longer than anticipated: a delay which would later haunt us… Read More
The pre-Incan ruins of Tiwanaku, just 35 miles west of La Paz, host Bolivia’s biggest celebrations in honor of the Aymara New Year. With a belief system rooted heavily in the natural world, the Aymara recognize the winter solstice (June 21st) as the true beginning of the year. We woke up early in the morning to take part in the fun… Read More
The first day of Independencia’s party was crazy, but we had been tired following the 7-hour bus ride. After a restless night, Jürgen and I were back in the main plaza at 7am watching cholitas in glittering dresses and politely declining offers of cerveza from marching band members who clearly hadn’t stopped imbibing all night. The party had never paused — of this, I’m sure. I had laid in bed, eyes wide open, listening to it rage the entire night… Read More
Stepping into the neighborhood just behind the somber bulk of Palermo’s Cathedral feels like entering another country. An Arabic one, to be precise. Il Capo is one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods, and has managed to retain a distinctly Moorish influence in its streets and market… Read More
This might be common throughout Italy, but Palermo is the first time we’ve encountered a store that sells wine by the liter, as though it were gas. Pumped from a tank, through a nozzle into a large plastic container, with a ticker racking up the price, really as though it were gas. It’s even about the same price… Read More
Without a doubt, the top touristic sight in the town of Bagheria is Villa Palagonia. A architectural masterpiece and an ode to eccentricity, this building is most famous for its flock of “monsters”; an army of gargoyles who adorn the garden walls… Read More
Visiting Syracuse is like taking a trip back into the ancient world. Greek ruins thousands of years still claim space around Roman, Byzantine, Jewish and more modern Baroque constructions. The entire old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and you can’t hardly walk a block without seeing another noteworthy building, ruin, fountain or church… Read More