The Iron Curtain

As I’ve often done in the past, every time I visit Austria, I return to Guglwald, a sleepy 50-soul community amidst the rolling hills of Upper Austria along the Austrian/Czech border. My love for Guglwald goes way back to my childhood years when our family spent summers at the border. Until history changed the course of…

Pancakes on the Plaza

Although Independence Day has come and gone, I’d like to share what’s been happening in Santa Fe, New Mexico for the past 43 years. Yes, 43 years! Pancakes on Plaza on Fourth of July. This fun-filled annual summer event put on by the Rotary Club of Santa Fe is not only popular with local Santa…

Some Enchanted Evening

Springtime. Season of awakening, season of bright colored blossoms, season of new life. That’s what unfolded on stage at the Popejoy Hall in Albuquerque one evening in early March. 5,000 Years of Chinese civilization presented by Shen Yun Performing Arts. http://www.shenyun.com From the moment the curtains were drawn, an all-Chinese male and female dance cast…

Wild West Wagon Trail

In 1821, with Mexico’s independence from Spain, a vital trading route was established between Independence, Missouri and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Coming to be known as the Santa Fe Trail, this only thoroughfare out to the Wild West was America’s first commercial highway west of the Mississippi River, stretching 900 miles across Kansas, the Great…

Rumi Magic

Although Rumi lived way back in the 13th century, his teachings have had a universal appeal, spreading across national borders and ethnic discords. Muslim communities across Central and South Asia have embraced his spiritual legacy for over seven centuries. Today his inspirational poems can be appreciated in many languages. And thanks to American scholar and…

Alpine Gold

Buried deep within the famous mountain ranges of the Austrian Alps lies a precious commodity. White gold. This mineral rich mountain salt has been the main income source for eons, generating a flourishing mining history dating back 7,000 years. At the center of it all sits the fairytale lake community Hallstatt. www.hallstatt.net/home-en-US/ A Unesco World Heritage site, its flower…

Imperial Splendor

Vienna owes much of her imperial glory and splendor to the grand Habsburg Dynasty, which ruled a vast stretch of central Europe for six centuries from its capital city Vienna.   www.aboutvienna.org. Germans by origin, the Habsburg family gained power when Pope Gregory X needed support for a new crusade. To secure a counterweight to the King…

The Green Heart of Europe

Vienna… an experience for all your senses. www.vienna.info. According to the World Economic Forum, Austria’s imperial capital sprawling along the famous Blue Danube River has been named the “City with the highest quality of life.” And strolling through the manicured city parks, down pompous avenues, and past baroque facades, this quality of life pulsating in the green…