European colonialism has at one point affected most of the world geographically. Entering the 21st Century, developing countries are still dealing with the affects of colonization. While stunting the development and involving centuries of exploitation, it is undeniable that many of the world’s most beautiful cities are European colonial, today blending traditional European urbanity with local culture and food. Today’s colonial cities are some of the most fascinating to visit.
In the early 1800s, China continued to dismiss trade with Britain, assuming that the China, or The Middle Kingdom, was more advanced and needed nothing else from outside. Growing frustrated, the British introduced opium and instigated the Opium Wars, defeating China militarily and opening up the coast and waterways for foreign trade. Foreign powers moved in and kept China fragmented until the Communist Party took power in the late 1940s. However, … Read More »
When living and working in a major North American city, it’s natural to want to experience some exotic, cobblestoned location when things get dull. Sometimes you have only a 3-day weekend. With no time to fly to Spain or Argentina, a more accessible option is necessary.
Old San Juan, on the fingernail of Puerto Rico’s capital city, is not the most beautiful Spanish colonial district in the Caribbean Sea (that would be Old Havana, Cuba). Old San Juan is, however, the most accessible.
In January of 2007, when Ohio was at it’s coldest and bleakest, my sister and I planned a vacation to Puerto Rico for our family. San Juan won over Mexico due to it’s accessibility from the US, lack of passport requirement (for US citizens), European heritage, and hot sun. My sister and I bought the flights and booked an … Read More »
When I was working in Berkeley, California between 2005 and 2008, I often took advantage of cheap weekend flights to Mexico City ($300 RT / 3 hours each way). Taking Friday or Monday off would give me three nights and days to explore a little bit of Mexico City (“the DF”) and to discover a new city in central Mexico (thanks, cheap rental cars).
I took about five of these weekend trips down to Mexico City and I was able to explore the central colonial cities of San Miguel de Allende, Zacatecas, San Luis Potosi, Querétaro and the most beautiful of all, Guanajuanto. Guanajuato is a six hour, 390km drive northwest of Mexico City.
I would recommend taking side roads to see the little towns between. Each town has its own little zocolo (town square) and cathedral. Remember that Mexican tolls are high and … Read More »