In the footsteps of Heidi in the Swiss Alps

MAIENFELD, SWITZERLAND — The alpine meadows. The soaring mountains. The cute little goats with bells around their necks, chiming away in the shadow of a hillside chalet.


Travels in Switzerland

CRISTALLINA PEAK, SWITZERLAND — Our mountain guide Donatella nods approvingly at the treads on my sturdy hiking boots. It’s the wonky ankle inside the boot that gives her pause. The night before our hike up the Cristallina Peak near the Italian side of the Swiss Alps, Donatella has ordered an inspection of our gear. Already two women from Israel have failed Donatella’s test. Relieved, they’ve made plans instead to tour […]


Travels with Christina Rossetti to Ticino, Switzerland

TICINO, SWITZERLAND — Poet Christina Rossetti, born on this day in 1830, was a Victorian poet and along with Elizabeth Barrett Browning, one of the great women poets in nineteenth century England. The sister of  Dante Gabriel, Rossetti was torn between obligations and expectations of the Victorian age. She turned away two suitors. One named Charles Cayley, a scholar, may have proposed to her in 1864 when she was 34 years old. […]


Travels with Twain

The most famous and beloved travel writer America ever produced once confessed to a reporter that he didn’t even like travelling that much. He was born Samuel Clemens in Florida, Missouri 175 years ago,  but when, as Mark Twain, he landed by steamer ship or at rail stations at various ports and crossings around the world, he was known simply as The American. In the late 19th century, Twain travelled […]