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  noun 1. The act of immersing oneself in other cultures without crossing national borders. 2. Local cultural diversification. 3. Traveling on a budget. 4. A website that will allow you to accomplish all the above from the very seat in which you sit.

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26.7.10

BH.net: new writing, and more to come

Even though our motto is travel for free, sometimes there are even impediments in a world as transient and wonderful as the web. There is still an infrastructure, the realities of our database, time.

But we don't want to talk about any of that. Instead, let's share some of our recent work, in case you haven't checked the Writing and Photography sections in the past few months.

Prague, Czech Republic
1. Prague: Cold City, Warm Soul
by Kristen Kosnac:
When we finally reached the castle at the top of the hill, I was able to see firsthand why Prague had been deemed 'the city of a hundred spires'; looking out over the city, I saw a sea of baroque style buildings that were reminiscent of the Roman Catholic Church's influence in Prague during the 16 and 17th centuries.
Read "Prague: Cold City, Warm Soul" >>


St. Maartin, Netherlands Antilles
2. Island Time
by Linnea West:
You have probably heard the phrase 'island time,' but it can be difficult to appreciate until you see it in action, similar to a turtle race. Time slows down, at least for everyone else. I've sat in traffic watching car after car pile up as two passing drivers held a conversation. I've waited as a cook at a restaurant stopped fixing my dinner to fix her child's hair and then start scribbling in a notebook.
Read "Island Time" >>


Phnom Penh, Cambodia
3. Phnom Peh, Cambodia
by Laurie Saget:
In April 2009 [Saget] visited the Tuol Svay Prey High School, which had been converted into a prison during the Pol Pot Regime from 1975 to 1979. The prison became known as S.21 (Security Office in Phnom Penh, Cambodia). Her photos show images of the gallows used for water torture, prison cells and rooms that still, to this day, contain the tools used to torture and execute engineers, teachers, students, ministers and thousands of other innocent Cambodians then considered enemies of the regime and its politics.
View Saget's photos from Phnom Penh >>


Toscana, Italia

4. Febbre Torino
by Lee Wilson:
The train was not an hour outside of Siena when it suddenly came to a halt. Everyone groaned. An announcement was made in heavily accented Italian, spoken too quickly for me to understand. A group of nuns were sitting across from me in the compartment. "Ah, Dio," one muttered. It was safe to assume that we would not be moving for quite some time. After the sisters and I stared silently and politely at each other for about an hour, I decided that the copy of Corriere Della Sera on the seat next to me was sufficiently abandoned.
Read "Febbre Torino!" >>


Tel Aviv, Irael

5. Israel, in increments
by Jess Gill:
Not only could I see it - I could touch it. I could touch the four walls of the synagogue my great-grandfather built, now held as a historic landmark. I could reach the backyard in which my grandmother and her mother before her hung up the wash, while children chased each other around. For the first time, I could reach out and touch my own history.
Read "Israel in increments" >>


Enjoy.


PS. More publications coming soon!
Web renovations, later.

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24.7.10

Gahzir, Lebanon: the pool

It could be anywhere.


Rose Méditerranéen, in village of Gahzir, Lebanon


Where the water is so still, you wonder if your heart is still beating.

But yes,

it is.


For more photos of this beautiful home, visit An Indian Summer >>

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14.7.10

Lamu, Kenya: envy those who call it "home"

Every July we get a little excited. We feel slightly more luxurious. And a tad more exotic. And we try to imagine: if we called this blue, green and watery place home, would "exotic" still exist in our vocabulary?

It's Architectural Digest's "Exotic" issue. Below, "Swahili Time."



This is the home of Robert Peugeot, vice president of a company within his family’s French automobile empire, and his wife, Domitilla. Designer E. Claudio Modola, Italian but Swahili-transport for parts of the year, navigated the "composite of many styles" that is the island of Lamu for the Peugeot's. “The Arabs and Persians left something, the Indians left something, and the Europeans left something,” says Modola.

The island of Lamu, on the Kenyan coast, graciously welcomes tourists, but it’s not a tourist destination in the conventional sense of that phrase. Most of the island’s narrow streets aren’t wide enough to accommodate cars, and as a result there aren’t really any to be found; transportation options in Lamu Town—a 14th-century Swahili settlement and redoubt of African Islamic culture that has changed little since its emergence—are basically limited to donkeys (which are found in abundance) and one’s own two feet. Hotels and guesthouses are packed with travelers who must endure frequent power outages, typically choosing to wait them out with a good-natured smile and a cold drink from furnished rooftops where sunsets dazzle and merciful breezes blow in from the Manda channel.


Nearby is the tiny village of Shela, itself a getaway from the getaway that is Lamu Town. Among other things, Shela is renowned for its long, calm stretch of white-sand beach; its central mosque, an exemplar of Swahili architecture that dates from the 17th century; and the Peponi Hotel, which opened in 1967 and whose bar has become the village’s undisputed, if unofficial, center of activity, especially for a sizable population of part-time and full-time European expatriates.


It became the place to go when they needed to escape. “At night, with the right light, you have the impression that the entire village is looking at you rather than you looking at the village."


Read the online article accompanying these photos on architecturaldigest.com >>

Also included in the issue: Bali, Acapulco, Bahamas, Athens, India, Singapore, Israel, Kenya, Istanbul

[images © Architectural Digest]

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9.7.10

Gulf of Mexico: UV Light Reveals Unseen Gulf Oil

from National Geographic:







Late last week coastal geologist Rip Kirby was on the seashore as part of an effort to detect oil by shining UV lights—widely used to spot blood at crime scenes—on Gulf beaches. The method, he hopes, will allow scientists and cleanup crews to tackle hard-to-spot oil, such as crude mixed with mud or light stains on sand, that's washed ashore from the sinking of the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon rig.

Under UV light, clean sand appears purple or black. Some minerals, such as calcium carbonate in seashells, glow blue, as does a shovel handle in the picture above.

Although hydrocarbons have long been known to fluoresce, or glow, under ultraviolet light, this may be the first time the technology has been used outside a lab to spot oil. "The use of UV light to identify [types of] oil is an industry-wide process," said Kirby, a graduate student at the University of South Florida. But "I've always seen it in a [lab] machine," he said.

"The first time I took the UV flashlight out on the beach to see if it would work, it was beyond my wildest dreams," Kirby said. "It was easy to see that there was oil on the beach ... the contamination was widespread."

—Chris Combs

View more photos and read the captions >>

[images © National Geographic]

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