Take Our Advice ...
Traveling faculty offer their favorite
the academic year seems to have just started, but there may be
those of you out there contemplating your vacation options --
especially if you are planning travel abroad.
help you get a jump on things, we decided to poll some of the
University's own unofficial travel experts for suggestions. Thinking
they might be the worldly types, we sent an e-mail to the faculty
of the Woodrow Wilson Department of Government and Foreign Affairs,
asking for their favorite travel sites.
Although we received only two responses from the busy professors
-- to be fair, they didn't have much notice -- we thought they
were worthy of relaying to you.
first came from Matthew Holden Jr., who had three suggestions.
Florence, Italy, he said, "surprised my wife and me with its compact
foreign tourist can get around on foot. Its city hall still is
a place of business, where Machiavelli had offices four centuries
ago," he wrote, adding "I am told you should stay away
in the summer, too hot and too many people just like yourself."
"would be my second home if I could afford it," Holden
said, citing its rich theatrical and literary treasures.
third suggestion was Capetown, South Africa, which he compared
to San Francisco, lying as it does "on a promontory between two
oceans, and in a wonderful wine country.
"But you also have to take South African reality, which is
not pleasant or ennobling."
B. Quandt, the University's new vice provost for international
affairs and a noted expert on the Middle East, suggested that
area of the world -- Syria, in particular, which he called "a
great destination, with almost no tourists."
listed a few Syrian locales that were particularly memorable:
"Damascus, with its mosques and suqs [mosque-centered marketplaces]
and ancient history; Aleppo, one of the great cities of the north,
with a legendary market; Roman ruins at Palmyra; and the best
Crusader castle anywhere, Kark des Chevaliers. And you can even
see the remains of the pillar that St. Simon the Stylite sat on
for years while proving how holy he was."