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16 November 2020

Machu Picchu Again Welcoming Visitors


Peru has reopened several Inca sites including its most popular, Machu Picchu


MACHU PICCHU, Peru’s most popular tourist destination, reopened 1 November 2020 after an eight-month shutdown due to covid-19. Used to receiving 1.5 million visitors a year, it has had its capacity reduced by 70 per cent to accommodate physical-distancing rules, limiting the number of daily sightseers to just 675, and no groups larger than eight. Everyone must have their temperature taken before entering and wear a mask throughout their visit.




15 November 2020

Secret Swiss Fortification Opens to the Public


Fort de Chillon, opposite 12th-century Château de Chillon, was part of WWII defences


FROM THE END of November 2020 the Swiss will open the defences carved into the rock opposite the 12th-century Château de Chillon during the Second World War. The tunnels and caverns were part of the “national redoubt,” a series of fortifications begun in the 1880s to defend Switzerland by denying an invader access to the country by controlling its mountain passes. The Fort de Chillon works were constructed in 1941-2, when the country was surrounded by Axis powers, as the system’s western gateway. It had a garrison of more than 100 soldiers.




23 October 2020

Praise for Artemisia Gentileschi Exhibition


National Gallery’s first major show since covid-19 struck gets rave reviews


THE FIRST MAJOR exhibition at London’s National Gallery since covid-19 struck in March 2020 has opened to five-star reviews from the Telegraph, the Times, the Guardian, the Evening Standard and the BBC.




21 October 2020

New Berlin Airport to Finally Open


Nearly a decade late and billions of euros over budget


BERLIN’S NEW airport will finally open on 31 October 2020, nearly a decade later than originally planned, and billions of euros over budget.

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Taos, NM


Mabel Dodge Luhan House

One-time New York salon hostess filled her Taos, New Mexico home with writers and artists

Rough Guide to Argentina, 7th edition

TAOS, SAYS THE 11th edition of Moon New Mexico, “has long been associated with artists and writers.” A good deal of that association is thanks to Mabel Dodge Luhan. Luhan, born into wealth in New York state, lived in Paris and Florence before returning to America and setting up a salon in New York City. Art and politics were both up for discussion, and those dropping by ranged from anarchist Emma Goldman to photographer Alfred Steiglitz.

In 1917 Luhan moved to Taos, bought five hectares of land, built a big house ( and began to to encourage writers and artists to visit her. Among those who accepted her invitations were Ansel Adams, Georgia O’Keeffe, Greta Garbo, Willa Cathers, Martha Graham, Carl Jung and D.H. Lawrence.

The house, now a compound, lives on, and “is open to curious visitors as well as overnight guests. Knock at the main building first; the caretaker will give you a history brochure for a self-guided tour around the public areas of the house.”

There are 19 rooms to stay in. Tony’s Room, named for Mabel’s husband, comes with the use of the D.H. Lawrence bathroom. Luhan had the bathroom built with curtainless windows. The author of Lady Chatterley’s Lover objected and, “to soothe his sensibilities…painted colorful swirls directly on the glass.”

Dennis Hopper, who edited Easy Rider in the Ansel Adams Room, bought the property in 1970 and ran a hippie version of a salon. It’s now operated as a non-profit foundation, with a small conference centre and a year-round series of workshops on subjects ranging from tapestries to yoga and astrology, anchored by writing, painting and photography.















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Port Arthur, TAS

Port Arthur a Pretty Site for Punishment 19th-century Australian penal colony retains charms, horrors


Port Arthur, TAS






St. Helena








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