Page 2 of D MJ Binkley Travel Blog Posts


Europe » Italy » Lombardy » Varenna September 29th 2017

Although most visitors to Italy concentrate on only the more popular venues and cities, we’ve discovered that northern Italy has so much more to offer than we possibly could have realized. In our fourth and final week in this most enriched and culinary blessed part of the country, we came upon a grand lake, a walled city and the “New York” of Italy. To make this part of the journey even more pleasurable, we were joined by our good friend Michael, who traveled with us through Myanmar several years back and now makes his home in Paris. Put natural beauty, great cuisine, historic venues and Michael together, and you’ve got the makings of grand adventure……and it was. Varenna Our continuing affair with train travel brought us to the shores of Lake Como and the small town ... read more
Surreal Lake Como
Duomo di Milano
Lake Como seaside towns

Europe » Italy » Veneto » Venice September 20th 2017

Ravenna: The Beauty of Mosaics Ravenna is town in Italy that doesn’t get much notice when you toss it in with the better-known city destinations like Venice, Florence or Rome. It is a small town nestled down the coast from Venice that is best known for its majestic mosaics in the churches and mausoleums. These absolutely lovely mosaics are UNESCO World Heritage sites and this town contains eight of them. We find that unbelievable… 8 in one town. You’ve got to add this town to your travel list. Here’s a quick list of the sites so you can do your own search. The Basilica of San Vitale, the Mausoleum of Galla Placida,the Arian Baptistery and the Baptisteryof Neon, the Basilicaof Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare in Classe, the Oratory of Sant’ Andrea or Archiepiscopal Chapel ... read more
Romeo and Juliet Balcony
Gondolier
Stunning Mosaics

Europe » Italy » Liguria » Cinque Terre September 11th 2017

Italy is a romance for the senses…. taste, smells, sounds, touch and visual…. all your senses need to be keen to truly enjoy all that Italy offers. This blog is longer than usual but so necessary. La Morra – Piedmont Region Italy’s hidden gem from our perspective We’re somewhere in that half sleep, half-awake state early in the morning when we hear the gong of church bells across the street. With eyes closed we are trying to focus on the number. Oh good…. its only 5am, we can continue to snuggle in our crisp fresh sheets at the UVE Wine Bar and Rooms. Just a bit later as we hear the church bells gong 7am we decided we should think about starting our day. As we’re having a nice breakfast in our B&B we were discussing ... read more
Cinque Terre Coastlne
Pizza in Italy
Opera singer....bravo!

Asia » Armenia » West » Yerevan August 27th 2017

After an amazing experience lead by the Travel Camel, it was time for another adventure…..this time just in the exclusive company of Dancing Dave and Denise. We’d decided long ago that after spending a couple of weeks in the wonderfully beautiful but rustic environs of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan that a jaunt to a nearby nation was in order to try and shake off the dust and take a good look around at another Asian nation…..Armenia. The Dancing One and Denise had made all the necessary arrangements, so when we landed in Yerevan, we were whisked off to the Grand Hotel to sort of clean up our act……and also some of our clothing. It was simply grand to be basking it a bit of luxury and we took full advantage of the situation by pampering ourselves in ... read more
The Singing Fountains
David feasting on the fish sauce
Rocks with meaning?

Asia » Kyrgyzstan » Osh » Sary Mogol August 18th 2017

The road less traveled has allowed for some interesting tales as we continued our road trip out of Tajikistan into Kyrgyzstan. While our journey took us through much of Tajikistan and a small portion of Kyrgyzstan; from the border to Osh, we found these countries to be somewhat similar. Perhaps Kyrgyzstan is more developed and the roads we experienced were in much better shape. But as we said, the bulk of our travels were in Tajikistan. Flat Tire….. No Surprise Toward the end of day two of our trip we were beginning to feel a bit road weary. Even though our driver Zamanbek was firmly in control, riding in a 4X4 over what could be best described as the most basic roads proved a bit tiring when riding many hours each day. At one point, we ... read more
Shane Dallas
Yurt Village
Majestic Mountains

Asia » Tajikistan » Murgab August 13th 2017

Months ago, we had read about a horse festival held the second week of August each year in Murghab. We were not certain if we would be in town on the right dates but as it turned out our timing was perfect and we were very fortunate to attend this local festival. As we entered the outskirts of this town, we turned to the right, went up a rather steep incline and there it was…..a gathering of locals and visitors alike….for the annual horse festival. We are not entirely sure how long they have been holding this festival, but it appears to be at least about 10 years since the first one. A website dedicated to the festival states that, the foundation named “Kyrgyz Ate” and the “Kirghiz NGO for the protection and the promotion of ... read more
Riding high in the saddle
Kicking up some dust
Narish accepted Tara's scarf

Asia » Tajikistan » Khorog August 8th 2017

Chances are, if you are reading this blog, you either have an insatiable appetite for traveling in the more remote or lesser known places on this planet or you are a friend or family member. Either way, welcome to one of our more unique adventures. Introduction Until recently, any country containing the syllable “stan” would not have been high on our list of places to visit, but then we discovered that Shane Dallas, a.k.a. the Travel Camel was organizing a 14-day excursion to Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is most worthy of note that the Travel Camel goes on the road less traveled. He is the traveler’s traveler. You will not find him hobnobbing at the Cannes Film Festival or working on his tan in San Moritz. You’re more likely to find him in Iran, Afghanistan or ... read more
One bridge to Afghanistan
Playing the sato
Mountain scenery

North America » United States » California » Lancaster July 15th 2017

As we described in our previous LA blog, the usual conversation about the Los Angeles area revolves around everything from the glam and glitz of Hollywood to the ten-lane highways where cars creep along at 20 mph to the multitude of venues to visit to quench the tourist’s thirst for excitement. This is all well and good as LA has much to offer along these lines…..but drive a little further outside of the confines of this megalopolis and you will find some natural beauty that any traveler would admire. We are keenly aware that most people have only a few days to a week to see this area…..but if you have a need for nature and the outdoors…well the LA area has that also. California Wild Flowers Earlier this calendar year, the annual rains came to ... read more
Ventura Highway California
Dolphins a plenty
Common dolphins


As we peered through the flowers and saw the floating marine layer wafting through the hillside at Godric Grove in Elings Park, we could see why she loved “her Santa Barbara” so much. Just this small slice of her home town revealed to us the beauty and grandeur of a place she held so dear. We had arrived with many others to celebrate the life of one of TravelBlog’s own, Tara Cloud. We always enjoyed her blogs, her comments to other bloggers and her stunning pictures. But most of all, we appreciated her candor on all subjects and love for her native California. It was more than obvious that she held the Golden State in the highest regard and had a running love affair with Santa Barbara, a smaller coastal city north of Los Angeles, which ... read more
A free spirit
Celebration of Life
Brendan & Tara


Many travelers around the world have Los Angeles on their short list of places to visit mainly due to the romance of the movies, endless sunny days and surfer dudes hitting the beaches. Los Angeles California is a small city of 4 million people, however the metro area is said to have more the 19 million inhabitants, which makes it the 2ndlargest U.S. city. A stream of entertainment must be available to keep all of these people busy. Having been here only a few short months causes one to try and get a good feel of what LA has to offer turns out to be quite a large city….especially area-wise. There in lied the struggle on whether or not to publish a blog about the museums and places we’ve visited as it is hard to describe ... read more
Hollywood Sign
Downtown LA
LA Baby




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