Oct. 27-Nov. 2, 2000
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Take our Advice ... traveling faculty offer their favorite foreign destinations
Looking to the stars
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Take Our Advice ...
Traveling faculty offer their favorite foreign destinations

Sure, 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.

To 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.

The first came from Matthew Holden Jr., who had three suggestions.

Florence, Italy, he said, "surprised my wife and me with its compact scale.

"The 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."

London "would be my second home if I could afford it," Holden said, citing its rich theatrical and literary treasures.

His 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."

William 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."

He 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."


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