Lake Como, in Northern Italy’s Lombardy region, is an upscale resort area known for its dramatic scenery, set against the foothills of the Alps. The lake is shaped like an upside-down Y, with three slender branches that meet at the resort town of Bellagio. At the bottom of the southwest branch lies the city of Como, home to Renaissance architecture and a funicular that travels up to the mountain town of Brunate.
Day 1: Nashville to Oxford, Miss
Land in Nashville the afternoon before the drive to explore the new National Museum of African American Music (510 Broadway, nmaam.org). Its imaginative interactive displays explain the evolution of genres from gospel to R&B to hip hop. Find fresh air in Centennial Park and a to-scale replica of Greece’s Parthenon (nashvilleparthenon.com). Stashed inside the temple: a 42-foot-tall gilded statue of the deity Athena whose lips are allegedly modeled after Elvis Presley’s kisser. Music City’s other current goddess is Dolly Parton. Her image is sprinkled throughout the candy-colored country-music themed Graduate Hotel (from $169 a night; graduatehotels.com).
Day 2: Oxford to Natchez
After chicken and waffles at Oxford’s popular Big Bad Breakfast (bigbadbreakfast.com), drive east toward Pontotoc then south toward Troy to rejoin the Trace. A stop near Milepost 221 affords a glimpse of the Old Trace, a forest trench worn deep into the earth by countless feet. For lunch, seek out Saltine, an oyster bar in a former suburban Jackson elementary school (jackson.saltinerestaurant.com). Approaching its Natchez terminus, the Trace grows wilder. Wisps of Spanish moss, dangling vines and the nearby Windsor Ruins, an immense mansion burned in 1890, evoke a lost world. Windsor’s surviving columns with their ornate, crumbling capitals resembling a plantation Palmyra.
Day 3: Natchez to New Orleans
Before heading to New Orleans, walk the promenade on Natchez’s Bluff Park overlooking the Mississippi. Head south to Baton Rouge on Highway 61, the famed “Blues Highway.” (Most of the musical history lies further north in Mississippi’s Delta.) The landscape rolls by fast: The 90-minute drive should get you to Baton Rouge, Louisiana’s capital, by lunch. Visit the deli at Tony’s Seafood market (tonyseafood.com) for to-go oyster po’boys and ginger cake, then eat them in the landscaped grounds of the Louisiana State Capitol. Conceived by rabble-rousing populist governor Huey Long, the 1932 building is a 34-story art deco skyscraper, the country’s tallest state house and a monument to the Kingfish’s Kong-sized ego. Bullet holes from Long’s 1935 assassination remain just off the ornate lobby.
Lake Thun is an Alpine lake in Switzerland’s Bernese Oberland region. Its shore is dotted with towns, including Thun, and Romanesque churches. In Thun’s old town, 12th-century Thun Castle houses a museum exhibiting prehistoric and medieval artifacts. To the south, Schadau Park has the Thun Panorama, a 19th-century 360-degree painting of the town. Farther south is Spiez Castle, with furnished 15th-century courtrooms.
Yosemite National Park is home to firefall, one of the most amazing natural wonders that happens only a few times every year. During mid to late February, Horsetail Fall lights up with the sunset and looks like it is flowing lava.
In this episode of the “Southern Road Trip” series, I visit White Sands National Park in New Mexico. My camp is a free campsite just outside of Alamogordo, NM (on BLM land). Inside the park I hike the 5 mile Alkali Flat Loop which is anything but flat. The cloud formations cast beautiful shadows on the dunes which made for a stunning day in the park. Approximately 12,000 years ago, the land within the Tularosa Basin featured large lakes, streams, grasslands, and Ice Age mammals. As the climate warmed, rain and snowmelt dissolved gypsum from the surrounding mountains and carried it into the basin. I have embarked on a road trip from Southern California to Florida (then back west) with lots of stops for adventure along the way. From the Southwest to the Southeast the plan is to seek warmer climates during the winter while living full time in my truck camper. This trip will be full of firsts as it is all new territory for me along my entire route. Come along for the ride!
In the late 1960s, Portuguese racing driver Heitor de Moraes took his Renault 8 Gordini from Corsica to Poland, rallying all across Europe. Now, the ocean blue car has found a new owner and a new sportive duty – carrying surfboards in style from Lisbon to the Algarve.
The year was 1968: six years before the so-called ‘Carnation Revolution’. Life in Portugal at that time could be tough. Not for Heitor de Moraes, though: this was the year he became the first owner of a pretty special blue car. Fast-forward to 2020, and another chapter of the car’s history was written, with its third owner also driving it along the curving roads of southern Portugal. Only this time, with surfboards on the roof.
The car was purchased from Timeless Garage in Lisbon (which had carried out a full restoration) and that’s why the story you see in the pictures starts there. A few days later, after some small mechanical corrections and a surfboard roof rack installation, the real mission began: the blue car hit the curves of the Algarve once again. It quickly became clear that even after more than 50 years, Amédée Gordini’s great engineering talent still shines through.
A journey along Norway’s most northern coast to the northernmost point in Europe that can be accessed by car: North Cape. The more north you travel, the more remote, vast and rough the environment gets. From the Lyngen Alps it was still roughly 400 Kiolometers to Nordkapp – and we decided to cover this distance in one day. We met ( a lot of!!!) reindeer, rode on route E6 over the mountain pass Kvænangsfjellet at 402 meters altitude (yes, that doesn’t sound very high, but it’s indeed one of the highest passes in this far north of Norway) and turned on Route 69 at Olderfjord to follow the coast. The closer we got to Nordkapp, the more I felt like like dreaming. Maybe because all of a sudden our goal was so close. But instead of driving straight to North Cape we drove to the town Honningsvåg first after driving through the North Cape tunnel and reaching the island Magerøya. Honningsvåg has the largest cruise port in Northern Norway and was our base to head to North Cape at 5am the following morning. We had a reason to visit Nordkapp that early. Rumors said that taking a motorcycle to the iconic globe, the symbol of North Cape, is only possible as long as the tourist center is closed. With opening times from 10.30 am to 1 am in summer due to the midnight sun, there is only a very limited time frame to do so. If you want to know how to ride your motorcycle to North Cape this episode is for you – or if you just want to reach the northernmost point in Europe that can be accessed by vehicle with me.
U.S. Highway 66 — popularly known as Route 66 or the Mother Road — holds a special place in American consciousness and evokes images of simpler times, mom and pop businesses, and the icons of a mobile nation on the road. Discover this shared heritage through the historic places that recall those images and experiences that are reminders of our past and evidence of the influence of the automobile.
Driving Historic Route 66
The romance of Route 66 continues to captivate people around the world. Running between Chicago and Los Angeles, “over two thousand miles all the way” in the words of the popular R&B anthem, this legendary old road passes through the heart of the United States on a diagonal trip that takes in some of the country’s most archetypal roadside scenes. If you’re looking for great displays of neon signs, rusty middle-of-nowhere truck stops, or kitschy Americana, do as the song says and “get your kicks on Route 66.”
Today, we give ourselves a lift from the Lockdown Blues with a trip I did in November from my home in North Uist to Inverness, and back again via the Rogie Falls. The Rogie Falls are about 20 miles to the West of Inverness, and at certain times of the year you can see salmon leaping. No leaping salmon today though, just some enjoyable flying of my DJI Mavic Pro Drone (1st Generation.)
The contents of the video are: 00:00 – Introduction 01:02 – CalMac Ferry mv Hebrides Lochmaddy to Uig, then on to Inverness 03:15 – Inverness to the Rogie Falls 05:46 – The Rogie Falls 08:42 – Garve to Lochmaddy via Strathcarron and CalMac ferry from Uig 13:24 – Wrap up – He never smiles!
My two good friends and I take a road trip to Quebec in mid-December to stay in log cabins, go snowmobiling, and wandering around the old city to experience the holiday magic.