Hilary Larson's travel tales and tips.

On (And Off) The Jewish Heritage Route

11/24/2014 - 19:00
Travel Writer

‘You can’t tell Americans how to pronounce Kosice,” my husband, Oggi warned me.

We were planning an excursion to Slovakia’s second-largest city, a former European Capital of Culture with a stunning historic center and a well-preserved trove of Jewish heritage sites. But Kosice has the misfortune to be graced with a name whose middle syllable, for English speakers, is the kind of vulgarity that elicits titters from my inner 8-year-old.

Kosice’s Pushkinova Street synagogue is a center of Jewish life in the Slovakian city’s Jewish community. Wikimedia Commons

Sosúa, Then And Now

11/17/2014 - 19:00
Travel Writer

If Sosúa, an idyllic beach town on the Dominican Republic’s north coast, looks like paradise to us, one can only imagine how pleasant a sight it was for European Jewish refugees in the early 1940s.

A typical street scene in Sosúa. Wikimedia Commons

A Walk In The Park

11/10/2014 - 19:00
Travel Writer

Between the museums, palaces, theaters and pubs, it’s easy to spend a week in London entirely indoors. Given the famously drab weather, it is often preferable to do so.

Hyde Park is London’s answer to Central Park and the largest of its royal lawns.  Amy Larson

An Air Of Fear

11/03/2014 - 19:00
Travel Writer

I was sitting in LAX about a month ago when a fellow traveler asked me, “Are you scared to be flying, with Ebola?”

For the cautious traveler, a bit of sensible precautions can allay travels fears. Above, the Halifax Airport.  Wikimedia Commons

The Core Of California

10/27/2014 - 20:00
Travel Writer

High up in the San Bernardino Mountains, I found all the apples I needed to ring in the Jewish New Year.

An apple store and a farm store make for good shopping in harvest season in rural California.  Hilary Larson/JW

Seattle After Dark

10/20/2014 - 20:00
Travel Writer

Given all the coffee its residents drink, it shouldn’t be surprising that Seattle stays up late.

I was tipped off to this by my sister, an inveterate night owl and Seattlephile who starts her day when most people are winding theirs down. She and my brother-in-law take their morning coffee around 5 p.m., then look for things to do while everybody else is at dinner. And that’s how I discovered that Seattle’s most hallowed attractions are all the more attractive after dark.

A Dale Chihuly sculpture set against the Space Needle at night. Amy Larson

Reveling In ‘Island Time’

10/13/2014 - 20:00
Travel Writer

Note: This is the second of two articles on Jamaica.

Hermosa Cove is aptly named, I thought as I took a seat on the shady veranda of the eponymous resort. Before me, a pale-aqua sea lapped gently at a tiny, pristine beach. Earlier that morning I had taken a dip in these waters off Ocho Rios, where a rocky coastline and thick, jungle-like forests conceal some of Jamaica’s most intimate resorts.

Hermosa Cove, near Ocho Rios. Hilary Larson/JW

Jewish Life In Kingston Town

10/07/2014 - 20:00
Travel Writer

Note: This is the first of two articles on Jamaica.

For those who complain that Caribbean resorts are too plastic, too generic or lacking in local culture, Kingston is the antidote.

Devon House, a mansion that belonged to a succession of well-heeled members Jamaica's Jewish community. Elie Klein

The Mile End, And Beyond

09/30/2014 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Note: This is the third of three articles on eastern Canada. The other two focused on Newfoundland and Halifax, Nova Scotia.

St-Viateur Bagels in Montreal is run by Joe Morena, who calls himself a "good Italian boy who speaks Yiddish." George Medovoy/JW

Down East: Riding The Canadian Rails

09/23/2014 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

Note: This is the second of three articles on eastern Canada. Next week: Montreal’s Jewish food and arts scenes.

“The Ocean,” VIA Rail Canada’s round-trip overnight service between Montreal, Quebec and Halifax, Nova Scotia, is taking me to the city that greeted my late father in 1924.

Like so many Jewish immigrants, he arrived by ship, but I arrive in Halifax, the gateway to Atlantic Canada, in the comfort and style of a modern Canadian train.

Striking view from the Montreal-Halifax VIA Rail route.
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