Author Archive

Christmas Eve in Old Town

Posted by Bob Hoelscher in The Southwest on March 26, 2014

 
 

Last month I discussed several sights that made my winter in Southern New Mexico a most memorable one. However, I also spent a few days during late December in the state’s largest city, as I particularly wanted to see the holiday decorations and Christmas Eve luminaria in Albuquerque’s colorful Old Town. Although luminaria (basically outdoor…

albuquerque-1

 
 
 

Just east of Albuquerque, the Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway and one of New Mexico’s numerous fascinating “back roads,” which takes the traveler through two historic mining communities. Madrid served as a major coal mining boomtown in the 19th century. The town met the energy demands of both the federal government and the Santa Fe…

madrid-5

 
 

It is highly unlikely that most readers have ever heard of Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, one of New Mexico’s most fascinating but little known monuments. You won’t find it shown in the Rand McNally Road Atlas at all, and you’ll have to search diligently to locate its listing in the New Mexico TourBook, where…

tent-rocks-10

 

My Winter at White Sands

Posted by Bob Hoelscher in The Southwest on March 03, 2014

 
 

I’ve spent the last couple of months as an interpretive volunteer at magnificent White Sands National Monument, 13 miles south of Alamogordo in Southern New Mexico.  This monument showcases the largest field of dazzling white gypsum sand dunes in the world. It not only offers a one-of-a-kind visitor experience, but its convenient location has allowed…

white-sands1

 
 

With the discovery of silver in the area after the Civil War, Silver City began life as a typical Western mining “boom town.” Silver City avoided the “ghost town” fate of many similar New Mexico communities after the silver market crashed in 1893 by reorienting itself to cattle ranching, shipping and education. Mining in the…

silver-city6

 
 

One of the nation’s more remote park sites, Gila Cliff Dwellings was named a National Monument by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1907. From Silver City, four-hour round-trip via a scenic and winding mountainous highway. Motorcoach tour groups should plan for a full-day trip and bring a picnic lunch. Facilities of a modern Visitor Center, but…

gila-cliff8

 
 

Hidden among a typical Southwestern landscape of mountains and desert wilderness is New Mexico’s unique City of Rocks. In fact, until reaching the top of a rise in the access road, no one approaching the site for the first time would even have an idea that this curious complex is located here. Through millions of…

city-of-rocks13

 
 
 

  Winter is the prime time of the year for visiting Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge’s migrating birds. Built in 1939 along the Rio Grande, the refuge is celebrating its 75th anniversary. Bosque del Apache’s 57,331 acres include a scenic, 12-mile loop road, an observation blind and hiking trails. The terrain contains a variety…

apache-14

 

Cruise logistics to Rome

Posted by Bob Hoelscher in Italy on February 05, 2014

 
 

Since Rome does not lie directly on the coast, some time will be consumed by getting from the ship to Rome’s primary sightseeing and back. Since it is literally impossible to see Rome in just one day, the typical cruise traveler will choose is a shore excursion that is more of an introduction to the…

rome-cruise-featured

 

Impressions of Rome

Posted by Bob Hoelscher in Italy on February 05, 2014

 
 

My favorite aspects Rome Prior to my recent trans-Atlantic cruise aboard Holland America Line’s Noordam, I decided to spend three nights in Rome to get a real “feel” for the “Eternal City” and take in as many of the city’s numerous sights as possible. Although I had spent a full week here back in the…

cafe-in-trastevere-featured