This blog does not tell you about places I hate. Only those I like. (If I don’t like a place, I won’t waste time writing about it. The negative, “neener-neener” culture of the Internet is such a tremendous snooze anyway.)
This site does not feature things I haven’t tried. Unless I tell you that the recommendation is hearsay, of course. And hearsay recommendations are only listed if I think the recommender is amazingly clear-eyed and hugely fun.
The places and experiences are listed here because they helped make my vacation/business trip/layover/life stupendous, which really means that I actually felt like I was in the place I was visiting, rather than in one of those weird beige lobbies/restaurants/bars that spring up like formless fungi everywhere.
If I say about a particular place, “Ask for Ruprecht,” I really mean “ask for Ruprecht.” I am telling you about this person because they were really nice and/or are a friend of mine, and they’ll hook you up or at least tell you some random story, often involving berzerk monkeys.
The places and experiences listed here have not paid in any way to be discussed here. Though I perhaps wish they would, in the interest of editorial integrity, I’m only featuring things here because I think they’re wonderful, and think some other folks might like them.
More than 90% of the photos on this site are taken by me. However, I occasionally use pictures from a hotel’s Web site to showcase lodging as long as the picture reflects my experience. This is mainly because my photography skills may not always do a nice hotel justice. When discussing historical figures and similar topics, I also sometimes use images from photo archives so you know who I’m talking about. (No, I wasn’t alive to take that picture of Sartre and Beauvoir, as one example.)
I cannot promise you that your train won’t be late, that airlines won’t lose your luggage, and that you won’t get hassled by some miscreant(s). But since travel is an adventure, it’s all part of the experience. If you’re the kind of person that gets easily frazzled by travel snafus, stay home. (Though my hunch is you’ll still be an unhappy person so maybe some travel would do you some good.)
If, after trying some of my recommendations, you get food poisoning, are attacked by an electric sea snake when snorkeling, or kidnapped by a band of rogue chimps, as a human being, I’m very sorry for your troubles. That being said, you are taking my recommendations at your own risk, so please don’t come back with some rinky-dink, ambulance-chasing lawyer and tell me I owe you 50 bucks for your trouble. Of course, my European friends will have no idea why I would write such a thing, but all you Americans out there…not so fast with the lawyers. You assume liability for your own actions. (Yes, Europals, it has come to this.)