- Michael Clemmer at Compass4 hrs ago
Things aren’t all good in Antigua Guatemala. The UNESCO World Heritage Site faces an uphill battle against rising crime, dispiriting poverty and (surprise) political dysfunction. In September 2012, the mayor and several members of his family and staff were charged with stealing $3 million from the treasury of the city of only 53,000 people. The U.S. State Department ranks the country of Guatemala as having a “critical” risk of violent crime. American tourists are particular targets because they are thought to carry more dinero than the average Guatemalan…and that’s probably true.
Despite all the bad press, Antigua — a crumbling jewel full of colonial Spanish architecture — still draws hundreds of thousands of American tourists every year, especially during Lent. Bottom line: stay in popular tourist areas and don’t go out alone at night.
JMartinC photographed these women and children in Antigua.
- Christy Karras at Compass8 hrs ago
Natural Bridges is both one of America’s most fascinating national monuments and one of the most remote. From the entrance beside a usually empty stretch of highway on a desert plateau in south-central Utah, it's impossible to tell what lies just a few hundred yards away. There, a river is digging a canyon into the plateau’s surface—and carving giant natural bridges in the process.
A natural bridge is a bit like the formations that populate Arches National Park (also in southern Utah). But while arches are created by wind and precipitation, bridges—true to their name—are undercut by water running below. The three bridges in the national monument’s White Canyon are impressively large. One of them, Sipapu, has the third-greatest span of America’s natural bridges, after Morning Glory and Rainbow natural bridges (both also in Utah).
- Michael Clemmer at Compass1 day ago
A modern pink plastic poncho is juxtaposed against an old green agave plant, stucco that may have been bright yellow a century ago, doors faded to the color of rich cinnamon for which Vietnam is famous, and a lintel that recalls years of French colonialism. A sliding metal-mesh door allows for ventilation (over privacy) on torpid summer days and nights when salty breezes blow in from the South China Sea, blanketing H ộ i An like hot, wet wool.
Well known to Portuguese sailors of the 16 th century as an important port, H ộ i An was already ancient when they arrived. Later the Japanese and Chinese regarded it as the best destination for trading in all Southeast Asia. Indeed, the Japanese believed the heart of all Asia lay beneath H ộ i An. Today, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and popular tourist destination.
Photograph by PJR Photography .
- Kelly O'Mara at Compass1 day ago
Before there were smart phones and Google Maps, people relied on road atlases and paper maps stored in their glove boxes. The most ubiquitous of these was the always-handy Rand McNally Road Atlas.
- Bekah Wright at Compass1 day ago
“Total bitch” is a term Alysia Reiner has given to describe her character, Natalie “Fig” Figueroa, on the Netflix hit “Orange is the New Black.” With the series return this summer, there’ve been hints of big surprises, including learning what drives Fig, and not just as prison administrator/assistant to the warden. Which leads us to wonder … When Reiner takes a break from her character’s “prison life,” what drives her travel-wise? Voluntourism? Spa treatments? Dining on insects? Check, check and check.
What’s something you never fail to pack in your suitcase? My journal and watercolors.
Carry-on or check-in? Carry-on only, baby, even for a month-long honeymoon. Even a ski trip. My new obsession is my LeSportsac Light as a Feather roller bag carry-on. It packs so much in so little space, and it’s super cute, too.
Window or aisle? Window. God, I love daydreaming out plane windows.
- Michael Clemmer at Compass2 days ago
“The pictures taken that day in front of the glacier and over it during a 7 hours trekking reflect the best adventure in my life. It was a dream fulfilled...” Those are the words of , of Barcelona, Spain; referring to the day he photographed the in Los Glaciares National Park in southern Argentina.
Only 450 miles from the tip of the South American continent and Cape Horn, the glacier is one of the wildest and cleanest places ordinary vacationers can visit. Perito Moreno is part of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field, the third largest reserve of fresh water on earth. You can take a two-hour bus ride from the city of El Calafate and on the glacier. While you’re , grab a little bit of that blue ice for drinks on your trip back to the city and see if it’s everything it’s cracked up to be.
- Claudine Zap at Compass2 days ago
Allegiant Air passengers flying to Hawaii can now say "aloha" to "Giant Seats." The airline has supersized some economy rows on Boeing 757 airplanes for long-haul flights to Honolulu, Maui, and some western U.S. cities. Although they've only been offered for a couple of weeks, "generally we're seeing people purchase them, so there is a demand for them," Allegiant Air spokesperson Jessica Wheeler told Yahoo. The airline made the change to comply with FAA rules that require wider seats for crew members who need to rest during longer flights. The seats are a roomier 25-inch width, up from 17.5 inches. The airline decided that in addition to those required seats, paying customers might also enjoy (and pay for) a bigger seat on longer flights. Passengers can now reserve them on some flights to Hawaii and Las Vegas. The "Giant Seats" are available for a fee on all six of the airline's 757s, which fly the longer distances. For those who want to stretch out, the seating arrangements also include a "Legroom +" option, which gives travelers an extra six inches of space, with up to 34 inches of legroom between rows. In order to make these changes, the number of available seats on the retrofitted planes has gone down from 223 to 215. Allegiant isn't the only airline making some updates to its economy seating. Many airlines now offer customers the option of premium features and perks, such as extra legroom, priority seating, priority boarding, and free checked luggage. Virgin America offers "Main Cabin Select," with "six extra inches of legroom," according to its website. US Airways has "Choice Seats," which are mostly aisle and window seats, some in exit rows, at the front of the plane. Although there's no difference in seat size, travelers are among "the first to board (with Zone 2) and among the first to leave." United offers "Economy Plus," which gives travelers extra legroom. JetBlue promotes its "Even More Space" option, with seats that promise "up to 38 inches of legroom." Travelers who choose Delta can opt for "Economy Comfort," with up to four more inches of legroom and priority boarding. American has "Main Cabin Extra" seats with up to six inches of extra legroom and priority boarding. Even Southwest will offer slightly wider seats, from 17.2 to 17.8 inches, on its 737 Max Jets starting in 2017, according to Bloomberg News. While your seat will be bigger, your wallet will be lighter. The cost of an Allegiant Air "Giant Seat" upgrade will run about $40 to $50 a flight, according to the Chicago Tribune. These days, there's no such thing as free elbow room. [Related: Controversy Over Norwegian Air, Dubbed ‘Walmart Of The Skies’]
- Christy Karras at Compass2 days ago
Today, Ford’s Theatre stands as a memorial to the president who was shot there in 1865. But for decades, only government workers were allowed inside the historic building. And even though the public can wander through it again now, some believe the building is cursed. The redbrick structure on 10th Street in Washington, DC, was originally a church. When the congregation moved out in 1861, John T. Ford renovated it as a theater. Remodeled with plush fittings and decorative woodwork after a fire in 1862, Ford’s Theater was considered one of the city’s finest theaters when President Abraham Lincoln took his box seat to watch “Our American Cousin” on the fateful night of April 14, 1865. After Lincoln’s assassination, the U.S. government took over the building, using it for storage and administrative work and expressly prohibiting its use as an entertainment venue. When part of the building collapsed in 1892, killing 22 workers, some saw the accident as additional evidence that the building was cursed.
- Christy Karras at Compass5 days ago
The Stone of Scone has more than a funny name going for it: The shoebox-shaped chunk of mottled red sandstone occupies a major place in the history of both Scotland and England — as well as in a famous 1950 heist.
The “Stone of Destiny” called Scone Abbey near Perth, Scotland, home for hundreds of years, and generations of Scottish kings used it in their coronation ceremonies. In 1296, King Edward I of England took it to London as spoils of an ongoing war against the Scots. The 330-pound rock was fitted into King Edward’s Chair in Westminster Abbey, where it’s been used ever since as the coronation chair for British monarchs.