Ljubljana: An underrated gem in Europe

Located where the Germanic, Mediterranean, and Slavic worlds come together, Slovenia enjoys a happy hodgepodge of cultures while also presenting plenty of its own unique character. And much like the country as a whole, its capital city of Ljubljana is a delight to explore, yet remains relatively undiscovered.

Rick Steves: Glimpsing Northeast England’s ancient past

While southern England gets most of the glory — and the tourists — the country’s far northeastern corner harbors some of England’s best historical sights. Hadrian’s Wall serves as a reminder that this was once an important Roman colony, while nearby Holy Island is where Christianity gained its first toehold in Britain. And both can be reached from the town of Durham, home to England’s greatest Norman church.

On small islands off Canada’s coast, a big shift in power

HAIDA GWAII, British Columbia — The Raven, the story goes, alighted on the beach and heard sounds coming from a giant clamshell. He found creatures cowering inside, but, ever the trickster, he cajoled them out into the world. Liberated, they became the first people of the islands of Haida Gwaii.

Steves: A quick trip to Tallinn

Stepping off the boat in Tallinn, Estonia — a short ferry ride from Helsinki (and an overnight sailing from Stockholm, or an easy flight from anywhere in Europe) — you’ll likely feel as if you’ve nevertheless traveled a great cultural distance from Scandinavia. Located about halfway between Stockholm and St. Petersburg, Tallinn is both Nordic- and Russian-influenced, and a visit here is a fun peek into a proudly unique and resilient nation.

Will Lewis says he helped hacking investigation. Scotland Yard had doubts.

LONDON — Will Lewis, now the publisher of The Washington Post, was in full crisis mode in 2011. Then an executive at a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, he was an intermediary to the police detectives investigating a British phone-hacking scandal that had placed the company’s journalists and top leaders in legal peril.

Steves: Morphing into a beer aficionado

When I’m far from home, I become a cultural chameleon. I eat and drink regional specialties with gusto, feasting on steak and red wine in Tuscany and stuffing down tapas at midnight in Spain. So when I travel to countries that are known for their beer, I morph into the best beer aficionado I can be.

Tropical Gardening: What would Hawaii be without palms?

Until recently, palms in Hawaii have had relatively few serious insect and disease problems. Unlike Florida and the Caribbean, we dodged the bullet of Lethal Yellowing. That disease destroyed most coconut palms in the region during the 20th century.

Steves: ‘It feels like a new morning in Belfast’

Belfast, Northern Ireland’s capital city, is perhaps best known for the sectarian strife that took place here during the era of the Troubles, and as the birthplace of the Titanic (and many other ships that didn’t sink). While these two claims to fame aren’t too uplifting, Belfast’s story is hardly a downer. This unsinkable city, just two hours away from Dublin by train, makes for a fascinating day trip.

Volcano Watch: A decade later, remembering the Pahoa lava flow crisis

Over the past few years, eruptions of Kilauea volcano on the Island of Hawaii have happened in remote regions and lava flows have not directly threatened communities. However, the approaching anniversary of a lava flow crisis a decade ago reminds us that eruptions on Kilauea have the potential to cause damage and island-wide disruption.

Tropical Gardening: Father’s Day origin is not that old

Mother’s Day has been celebrated long before Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in one form or another. Art in early cultures of Asia, Europe and the Middle East recognized that women were the source of life and fertility. Somewhere along the path of history, patriarchies became en vogue and here we are today trying to recognize the importance of both men and women.

Underrated national parks to visit this summer

National parks are incredible places for discovery, yet oftentimes we think about visiting only the most popular: Yosemite, Yellowstone, Glacier, and a few others. Yet the National Park Service maintains and protects hundreds of parks, national lakeshores and seashores, recreation areas, walking trails and more, all for you to take in and enjoy.