Apr 282013
 
The Tallest Brick Minaret in the World: Qutb Minar, India

Did you know that in 2006, more tourists visited Qutb Minar than the Taj Mahal? Though lesser-known to foreign tourists, Qutb Minar contains the tallest brick minaret in the world, and wields a hypnotic power, particularly on a misty Delhi day like the one when our India teacher tour visited.

Qutb Minar reaches 239 feet towards the sky, and was completed in 1368 AD. It is part of the multi-building Qutb Complex, with ancient buildings [...Read More!]

Apr 082013
 
Loving India's Little Taj Mahal: Humayun's Tomb

I have a new favorite building! When our India tour leader declared that we were headed for the “Little Taj Mahal” in Delhi, it was clear we were in for something astounding. However, not one of us was prepared for the caramel-colored confection that soon burst into sight.

Behold, stunning Humayun’s Tomb!

Humayun’s Tomb was completed in 1572 C.E. and was commissioned by Bega Begum, the first wife of Mughal Emperor Humayun to [...Read More!]

Mar 162013
 
Unexpected International Flair in Newport, Rhode Island

When you think “Rhode Island,” do you think “international flair?” Well, I didn’t either… until our recent Newport trip brought the worldly elements of the city into glorious focus! Leap along with me to see.

Newport is famous for its unbelievably opulent cliff-side mansions. One of our favorites was Marble House, pictured above, which is a 50-room mansion built by the Vanderbilt family in 1892 that features 500,000 cubic feet of marble. [...Read More!]

Feb 242013
 
Are the Best Sights of India in Old Delhi? Look Here.

You’ve likely heard of New Delhi, India, but what about OLD Delhi? Our India teacher tour spent part of our second day touring Old Delhi. By the first minute, we’d breathlessly declared, “Old Delhi has the best sights in India so far!” Check out these photos to see why.

But first, what exactly is “Old Delhi?” Old Delhi, originally called Shahjahanabad, was formally walled in by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan starting in [...Read More!]

Feb 092013
 
We Spent Christmas at the Largest Mosque in India!

I am a half Jewish, half Christian gal who spent Christmas at the largest Islamic mosque in India. And it was beautiful!

Though I love gathering with family during the winter holidays in America, I’ve never been obsessed with gifts. How freeing, then, to spend December 25 in a country where just 2.3% of the population is Christian, and holiday consumerism isn’t ubiquitous!

T’was the morning of Christmas and the second day of [...Read More!]

Feb 032013
 
A Sikh Temple in New Delhi, and Neat Facts on Sikhism

“You will like the Sikh temple we’re about to visit,” our guide, Manu, explained after our intense first hours in New Delhi, India. “Gurudwara Bangla Sahib has a great vibe to it.”

We perked up. Our teacher tour needed a good vibe after the hectic sights of India we’d gulped in all day. “Just one thing,” Manu cautioned. “You must remove your shoes for the remainder of the visit.”

We yanked off our shoes [...Read More!]

Jan 212013
 
Where to Stay in Newport, RI to Feel Like Royalty

There are some vacations from which you need a vacation, and our whirlwind trip to India proved one of them. We returned to America from New Delhi jetlagged, dizzy, and greeted by piles of grading.

“We’ve got to go somewhere relaxing, close, and awesome this long weekend,” I wailed to my husband. “Somewhere we can eat like beasts, sleep like bears, and sightsee pretty things at a relaxed pace. BUT WHERE?”

Twitter to [...Read More!]

Jan 202013
 
Startling, Colorful Photos of Paharganj, New Delhi, India

During the first two hours of India travel, we had already seen an elephant, ox, monkey, thick smog, endless vehicles, and a good chunk of the 1.2 billion people of the country. If I tell you this article is about the third hour in India, what the heck will it cover?

Easy: The inadvertent modern art created by walls, doors, trash, and laundry in the Paharganj neighborhood of Central Delhi.

Our first activity of the [...Read More!]

Dec 152012
 
How Travel Unlocks a Secret Layer, As Seen in Greece

The wind atop Greece’s Acropolis whipped my hair like a milkshake as I stared at the towering stone women. Why did they look so familiar?

“You are looking at the Caryatid Porch of Erechtheion,” our guide told our teacher tour group, “built around 420 BCE… over 2,400 years ago.”

I knew I had seen those statues before back in Boston… and often. But where?

“The design is remarkable,” our guide continued. “Each woman is [...Read More!]

Oct 212012
 
Jewish Wedding Traditions in Joyful and Romantic Photos

Today marks the three month anniversary of our epic wedding (married life has been lovely so far, thanks for asking!), so let us commemorate it with a final wedding article: an entertaining yet educational piece using the final photos from our nuptials to illustrate the glorious traditions of a Jewish wedding.

The Ketubah is the sacred Jewish marriage contract, and Colin and I signed it in an intimate room right before the actual wedding ceremony. A Ketubah [...Read More!]