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Dallas Smith's Blog

Xue--Vietnam's Historic Capital City

Visiting a Buddhist Pagoda and the Imperial Palace

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The city of Hue is located approximately in the middle of Vietnam and was the seat of royal power from the 19th and into the 20th centuries.  There were thirteen kings who reigned from Hue.  Many of the ancient structures were destroyed during the Vietnam-American War, which have since been restored.  The photos show scenes from the Imperial Palace as well as the three hundred-year-old Buddhist pagoda.

The Amazing Cities of Southern Spain

April, 2017

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To tour a country as part of a group tour necessarily results in a superficial introduction to the countries visited. But the advantage is that all the logistical details are covered in advance by the tour company. In the case of this Go Ahead tour, we spent two days in Portugal, followed by five days in Spain, to be followed by a week in Morocco. 

Attempting to Understand Balkan History

October, 2015

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In this post, based on what I learned during our Viking River Cruise from Bucharest to Budapest, I will attempt something very difficult: to explain the history of the Balkan countries in a short essay. This journey up the Danube River has been an amazing history lesson. I’ve learned that the Balkan situation is even more complicated than the Middle East, because the Middle East crisis escalated mostly in the last century, whereas the Balkan region has been at war for more than a millennium. . .

Cadiz, Spain

March 2022 - World Cruise

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Until today’s port visit, Cadiz was just a name I had encountered sometime in the past.  I didn’t know anything at all about it.  Now at the end of the day, I feel enriched by learning about this city, as well as having visited an historic village named Vejer de la Frontera. 

Greetings from Bucharest, Romania

October, 2015

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When I took Latin in high school, I learned the acronym FRIPS for the five Romance languages, derived from Latin: French, Romanian, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. So here we are in Romania, and I can recognize half the written words. I didn’t know much about Romania before. In my five days here, I have learned a lot. My naïve preconception was that Romania was inhabited by gypsies and peasants. Wow, was I wrong! We traveled a bit in the province of Transylvania and saw some older traditional houses. But the residents had every modern convenience. So let me declare, Romania is a modern, sophisticated, highly developed, relatively affluent country, not at all like the outdated memories of its Communist decades. . .

Darjeeling: Drinking great tea in the Himalayan foothills

March, 2016

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There has been an interesting progression on this month-long trip. First, we visited purely Buddhist and sparsely populated Bhutan. Next, we visited partially Buddhist and more densely populated Sikkim...

Our Seventh Week in India

From Mumbai to Khajurajo to New Delhi

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Susan and I had such a good time in our six weeks in Mumbai, that we plan to come again in November for another six weeks. Following a description of our time in Mumbai, this blog introduces the amazing sculptures of Khajuraho...erotic sculptures unique in the world.

Cape Verde

February 2022

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I first heard of Cape Verde Islands in the title of a jazz composition by pianist Horace Silver, The Cape Verdean Blues.