Apr 182012
 
Scandalous Facts Behind the Oracle of Delphi in Greece

What actually happened during the hundreds of years between 720 B.C.E. and 395 A.D. when ancient Greeks consulted the Oracle of Delphi? Who was this magical woman named Pythia whose advice changed history?

In our teacher group walking tour of Delphi, we learned shocking facts to explain the history of the Oracle.

1. Ethylene gas in the nose. The Oracle of Delphi was actually several different women from the village below. They were [...Read More!]

Apr 162012
 
Touring the Sites of Greek Myth and Legend in Person

“If you look to the valley below us,” our guide, Mara, instructed our busload of teachers touring Greece, “you will see the crossroads where Oedipus killed his father.”

“WHAT?!” I gasped, nearly inhaling the sesame-seed-encrusted almond in my mouth.

For three different years of my eight-year teaching career, I’ve taught kids the scandalous play, Oedipus Rex… and now we were driving by the actual scene of the crime?!

If you’re not familiar with the infamous legend [...Read More!]

Apr 062012
 
Daniel: Travel Shows There is No Need to Fear China

Article #11 in the Student Travel Stories Series from our tour of Beijing, China. By Daniel, Age 17, 11th Grade in Boston. Born in the U.S. to parents from El Salvador.

Q: What message about China are you bringing home to America now that you’ve traveled to Beijing?

A: I will try to convince people we shouldn’t be afraid of China.

Sure it’s a country that is progressing fast, but we can look at our own country, [...Read More!]

Jan 312012
 
African American History of Boston in a Tour and Timeline

When many people think of Black-White race relations in Boston, they often think of the violent racial battles in the 1970s over forced desegregation of Boston Public Schools through busing.

Either that, or, if they’re not from Boston, they think of the zillion recent Tough White Gangster Boston movies like “The Departed” and ask, “Wait, there are Black people in Boston?”

Guess what, folks? Boston actually has a LONG, RICH African-American History!

I am [...Read More!]

Dec 172011
 
Mansions and Danger at the Cliff Walk in Newport, R.I.

One of the most dramatic tourist attractions in New England is totally free: the 3.5-mile Cliff Walk in historic Newport, Rhode Island!

Just make sure, as this sign pictured to the left politely points out, not to hurtle off the “cliff” aspect of the whole “Cliff Walk” thing.

Here’s what makes the Cliff Walk so amazing: it’s a marriage of nature’s glory with the most opulent human-made mansions imaginable.

On one side, you have [...Read More!]

Oct 102011
 
A Group Tour of Famous Boston TV and Movie Sites

The first  hint, around 2009, that Boston is becoming a hub for filming big movies was that our Charlestown High school announcements started filling with casting calls for “teenagers with strong Boston accents.”

The next hint was last year when seven giant movie trailers set up shop down the street from my apartment and flocks of locals gathered to catch a glimpse of Mila Kunis filming “Ted.”

But it took a guided group [...Read More!]

Aug 282011
 
Why China is the Most Intense Country I Have Traveled To

You’ve read my account of the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, and other China tourist attractions, but now let’s get into the darker side of my 17 days in the most populous country on Earth.

The reality is that China is the most intense country that I have ever traveled to, and I have traveled to over 30 countries across the globe!

Now, the intensity of China travel is actually good news, [...Read More!]

Aug 212011
 
Touring Beijing's Forbidden City Without Fights or Faints

“Be careful at zee Forbidden City,” our French hostel roommate warned. “Eet eez so big and so beautiful, that after a while you say: too much!”

“But look at that tiny rectangle on the Beijing map,” I protested, pointing to the box labeled “Forbidden City.” “I could walk that in like five minutes.”

The French lass guffawed heartily, said, “Well, just arrive as early as possible in zee day!” and headed off on [...Read More!]

Aug 162011
 
An Epic Hike on the Best Part of the Great Wall of China

We had been in China for less than 24 hours, the moment we found ourselves high atop the Great Wall of China, giddy with happiness.

At somewhere between 3,800 and 5,500 miles in total, depending how you measure its parts, the Great Wall of China stretches longer than the entire border between the United States and Canada.

This fact not only boggles the mind, but it also makes it tough for a tourist [...Read More!]

Jul 262011
 
Danger and Glory in Everglades National Park of Florida

“I’m not sure we’re going to survive the Everglades,” I gasped, browsing the Official Everglades Website. “Just listen to these warnings. They’re terrifying!”

“Please do not bring pets on the trails. Not only do you put your pet’s life in danger, you put yours in danger as well,” I read.

“I have this image of bringing a tiny yappy dog and having it instantly whisked away in the drooling jaws of a ‘gator!” I [...Read More!]