Photos of Austria

Photos of Austria

The Stubai Valley in the Tirol region of Austria, 27 kilometers from the city of Innsbruck, is a beautiful place. We spent a week there in August 2017, based in the village of Neustift, hiking and riding cable cars to view pine-covered mountains, glaciers, roiling streams, and dramatic waterfalls. The valley has hikes easy or… Read More

Valley Discoveries

Valley Discoveries

Hundreds of thousands of people visit Austria’s Stubai Valley each year (most in the winter), so it isn’t exactly undiscovered. But few of them are Americans, and the valley is new to us, so we feel like it’s a discovery. We’re in Tirol, one of Austria’s alpine regions. When our housesit in Switzerland ended, we… Read More

Around Lake Lucerne

Around Lake Lucerne

Although we’ve taken lots of great excursions, most of our time in Switzerland has been spent around Lake Lucerne, the beautiful body of water that we see out our windows every day. Our little village of Merlischachen, with its handful of old chalet-style houses, is always a good place for a stroll. The benches down… Read More

Adventures in the Bernese Oberland and Unterwalden

Adventures in the Bernese Oberland and Unterwalden

In most U.S. guides to Switzerland, Interlaken and the central two valleys of the Bernese Oberland region (the villages of Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, and Murren) get all the love. So Americans and countless other tourists flock to Interlaken and Grindelwald to gape at mountains like the Eiger and the Jungfrau. That area is beautiful, but it’s… Read More

In the Heartland of Switzerland: Schwyz and Uri

In the Heartland of Switzerland: Schwyz and Uri

Switzerland is divided into 26 cantons, roughly equivalent to U.S. states but much smaller. (The biggest is only slightly larger than Delaware.) The village on Lake Lucerne where we’re housesitting this summer is located just barely (by about a mile) in the canton of Schwyz. It’s also within an hour by train from at least… Read More

Our Best House Sit Yet

Our Best House Sit Yet

We’ve looked after people’s homes and pets in some wonderful places over the years. Rome, Italy; Penang, Malaysia; Burlington, Vermont; and Charleston, South Carolina come to mind. But this summer’s five-week house sit in central Switzerland may be the best one we’ve ever had. We’re in the village of Merlischachen on the shore of Lake… Read More

Layers of History in Antequera

Layers of History in Antequera

You know a place is old when the Romans named it Antikaria (ancient city). The current town of Antequera in southern Spain, home to about 40,000 people, is known as “the heart of Andalucia” for its position midway between the cities of Seville, Malaga, Grenada, and Cordoba. We spent the week before Easter there looking… Read More

Seville in Photos

Seville in Photos

For more than 500 years, Seville was ruled by Muslim caliphs and emirs. Since 1248, it has been ruled by Catholic kings. The intersection of those two eras and cultures can be seen most clearly in the center of Seville. The city’s massive cathedral, the third-largest Catholic church in the world, is built on the… Read More

Beautiful Orange-Scented Seville

Beautiful Orange-Scented Seville

OK, I know I said last month that Rome is one of the best cities in the world for strolling. But I think Seville may be even better. There’s plenty of history and good food and wine. Many streets in the center of the city are pedestrian-only, so you don’t have to dodge cars as… Read More

Battle of the Bands

Battle of the Bands

Our last day in Grazalema was a big day for the village—not because of our impending departure but because it was the 12th annual “Encuentro de Bandas de Musica” or, as we call it, Battle of the Bands. Town bands from Grazalema and two other local villages took over the main plaza in Grazalema to… Read More

Photos of Grazalema

Photos of Grazalema

Pictures from our two-week stay in our favorite village in southern Spain—mountain views, white houses, scampering sheep, fountains with faces, and Chris and Melissa looking goofy in various ways.       Read More