Category: travel

Time traveling: Minnesota has many historic — even prehistoric — sites worth seeing

You don’t have to be Indiana Jones to be an archaeologist, and you don’t have to be Marty McFly to travel back in time. Minnesota is rich with its own treasures from antiquity, with sites across the state that tell the story of American Indian and European settlement in the region.

Visiting these historic places is not without controversy, as shrinking state budgets and a growing respect for the sanctity local Indians hold for some locations have led to restrictions and even some closures. Most notably, Grand Mound near International Falls, a prehistoric burial ground older than the Roman Empire, has been closed since 2007.

But there are plenty of wonders still to be seen, none more than a few hours’ drive from the Twin Cities. For an archaeological tour of the Upper Midwest, consider these sites:

Originally published July 31, 2011 in the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Read the complete article.

London: How to see the queen’s city without paying a king’s ransom

On this day 234 years ago, America declared its independence from England. And sure, at the time, we had our reasons. But thankfully the hostilities didn’t last; Britain and its former colonies share too much in common.

London was the cultural capital of the English-speaking world for centuries, and remains an unmatchable destination for any lover of history, literature and art. Samuel Johnson’s happy declaration is still true: “when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.”

It’s the “afford” part that poses a hurdle: For all its other charms, London is expensive — one of Europe’s priciest cities, in fact. And although U.S. travelers to Britain have benefitted from the global recession, the pound can still give the unwary traveler a pounding.

But with a little advance planning, it’s easy enough to immerse yourself in London’s sights — from the sophisticated to the downright strange — without feeling like you need to tap Queen Elizabeth for a loan. Here’s a rundown of some sights…

Originally published on (St. Paul Pioneer Press) July 4, 2010. Read the complete article.

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