Visiting Bhutan And Finding My Shangri-La

Bhutan Tiger's Nest

When I was on the cusp of adolescence, I became aware of a book called, “Lost Horizon”, a 1933 novel by James Hilton.  It’s the story of a group of airplane passengers who crash in the Himalayas and are brought to the lamasery of Shangri-La where inhabitants seem to live forever. The protagonist, Hugh Conway discovers a peaceful, pristine environment and inner peace, and must decide if he wants to stay. 

Like the main character, Hugh Conway, I too, have been searching for my Shangri-La, which is why I was so keen to visit the country which many say is the LAST Shangri-La: Bhutan.

This week’s post is about Bhutan and what it was like to visit. Sorry it’s not about France, but I hope you’ll find this post interesting, nonetheless. Let me begin with some facts about Bhutan and then I’ll share with you my recent experience.

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France To Switzerland (Part 1): Montreux And The Jazz Festival

Montreux Jazz Festival

France shares the border with eight countries: Spain, Andorra, Italy, Monaco, Switzerland, Germany, Luxembourg and Belgium.  It is so easy to get to any of these countries by plane, train, or automobile. Recently I drove from Chamonix, France in the French Alps and highly recommend you make a short excursion to western Switzerland. In the first of two posts, I’ll share how I got there and some highlights you might enjoy. This week it will be about Montreux, located on the northeastern shores of Lac Léman (Lake Geneva). Continue reading →

France To Cinqueterre, Italy: Jaw-Dropping

France to Cinqueterre

(Be sure you read the P.S.)

When you are in the south of France, Italy is just around the corner. Cinqueterre is known for having the five (hence, “Cinque”) towns on the hillsides of the Italian Riviera and I ended my 5 1/2 week trip with a couple of nights in the region before I headed home. You’ve likely seen pictures of one of the five towns (Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore) and yes, the towns are STUNNING!! Your jaw drops when you look down on the towns during a hike or from the ferry. I suggest you do both. Continue reading →