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Editor’s Letter


fter four years of working with NYU Baedeker, I am still amazed by the breadth of experiences that I get to read each semester before articles, photographs, and illustrations make their way onto our pages. I am fortunate to not only be able to travel, but even more so to be privy to this information and camaraderie from the NYU community. Reading about members of our community extend their curiosity and friendliness outward to better understand a people, a place, and a culture excites me. It feels even more important as we enter times where our ability to be mobile in a global sphere is being challenged. Let us consciously understand who will be affected by such changes. Those who have agency need to be aware of those, including myelf, who have been impacted by recent political events in the United States as well as abroad. As you read this issue of Baedeker, know that we have made the

choice to include places that some of us might never get the chance to visit, like beekeeping establishments in Russia and France. Other feats are perhaps more attainable, like hiking through all 50 of the United States. Please continue to travel—but understandard that wherever, you go you are a visitor. The way you do things might be different from how someone else does, and your experience of a place will never match how someone else lives in it. Enter a space with an open and curious mind. Learn that space. Learn to be a part of that space, in the best way you can. Leave the

KARI SONDE | editor-in-chief ANNA FERKINGSTAD | editor-in-chief WILLA TELLEKSON-FLASH | managing editor ETHAN SAPIENZA | managing editor JACK DAVIDSON | art director FRANCES YACKEL| secretary JENNA ELLIS | treasurer HARTANTO YUWO | events & distribution LIZZY TEPLUKHIN | social media SAM SOON | photo editor

space with memories and an experience. Sometimes, even return. This is my last year at NYU Baedeker and I have been incredibly fortunate to have worked with such a passionate, talented staff alongside an array of contributors. More than that, I am fortunate to have met people who share my approach to travel, in which we reject the notion of traveler as a voyeur and seek to go beyond glancing at a new space with the same eyes that we arrived with. kari sonde


latin america editors OPHELI LAWLER VALERIO FARRIS

middle east & oceania editor SHERVIN ABDOLHAMIDI JENNY LEVINE

north america editor SAM DOWNIE



asia editor ALISON RAO


SARAH PETERS | web editor ZOYA TO | illustrator |

Unexpected Harmony in Cairo 11 by Sabrina Illiano

TABLE OF CONTENTS LATIN AMERICA 4 Spots to Visit in Ecuador..... 3 by Jonathon Su Cabellos, Guachos, Cerveza........ 4 by Opheli Lawler Argentina: A Roadtrip from Salta to Jujuy....................................... 5-6 by Mathilde van Tulder Protests Abroad: Ni Una Menos, Argentina...................................... 7 by Julia Bucci AFRICA My First Taste of Tajine................ 8 by Jack Davidson Snapshot: Lanzarote............... 9-10 by Alicia Duato

MIDDLE EAST A Note from the Editors............. 12 by Editorial Staff A Taste of Jaffa........................... 13 by Jenny Levine Crossing Borders: A Peek at Life Behind the Wall......................... 14 by Zein Nasser Salalah: Oman’s Southern Oasis 15 by Jessica Saab ASIA How to: Eat Your Way Across Bangkok........................................ 16 by Marley Medina Historical and Culturally Rich: Visit China............................... 17 by Brendan Rosenthal Kyoto: The Secrets of the Past... 18 by Sweta Gangopadhyay India....................................... 19-20 by Nikita Metharamani


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23 22 25

EUROPE Cliffs of Moher: At the Edge of the Atlantic................................. 21 by Willa Tellekson-Flash A Ride Through Rural Netherlands 22 by Erik Arsovski Snapshot: Heeveren............. 23-24 by Eik Arsovski Climbing to the End of the World 25 by Chris Wu Prague: A Quiet Capital.............. 26 by Christine Sim Snapshot: France.................. 27-28 by Hannah Baek Keeper of Bees........................... 29 by Hannah Baek As the Saints Go Marching In.... 30 by Adam Lassner NORTH AMERICA The Road to 50............................... 31 by Heather Schindler DEPARTURE ............................... 32 by Editorial Staff





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(Cover) The drive through the northern part of the Canary Island of Lanzarote is filled with empty, long, windy roads going up and down the hillsides. photo by Alicia Duato (Left) Scenic view of the Quebrada del Rio de la Conchas. photo by Mathilde van Tulder


La Mitad del Mundo



Quito, the capital of Ecuador, is situated at an elevation of around 10,000 feet, an altitude that can make breathing difficult. The teleférico can be taken an additional 2,000 feet higher, offering an amazing, panoramic view of the city. The teleférico also leads to a hiking trail up Volcán Pichincha, an active volcano that overlooks Quito.



The Andean region of Ecuador has been nicknamed the Avenue of Volcanoes. Located here is Quilotoa, one of the most visited dormant volcanoes in the Andes, famous for the lake inside it. Minerals in the land cause changes in color depending on the day, creating beautiful hues of blue or green around the lake. While the lake is hikeable, there is also the option of going down by horse.



A trip to Ecuador isn't complete without visiting the equator. From Quito, the equator is easily accessible by bus from the city’s northern terminal. The bus will drop you off by a monument where you can take pictures walking along the equator. While this is not the actual equator, it is the closest monument to it. Surrounding the monument are numerous museums that show the scientific implications of being on the equator. Contrary to theories you may have learned about the heat of the equator in elementary school, Quito can actually get a little chilly, due to being at such a high elevation.


Baños de Agua Santa ( TUNGURAHUA PROVINCE )

Located by the active Tungurahua volcano (the last eruption was just last year), is the town of Baños de Agua Santa. Also known as the gateway to the Ecuadorian Amazon region, this lush, green town gets its name from an abundance of hot springs, the high mineral concentration of which are said to have healing powers. Other favorite activities include adventure sports, swinging at Casa del Arbol (‘the swing at the end of the world’), ziplining, biking, and bungee jumping.




Falling in Love with San Antonio de Areco



an Antonio de Areco is the gaucho capital of Argentina. Though only an hour and a half outside of sprawling Buenos Aires, it is a town nearly untouched by the cosmopolitan waves washing over the nearby metropolis. It bears traces from a bygone colonial era: low flat roofs, shuttered windows, pastels and pale whites, all centered around Parroquia San Antonio de Padua, the town cathedral. There is a chocolateria, a cerveceria, a shop that only sells mate and gourds, and others that sell traditional gaucho gear, like knives, pelts, and large wool blankets. We spent the first day exploring the large park that runs along the bank of a silent river, visiting shops, and sampling dulce de leche from the chocolateria. That night, we stumbled upon a restaurant-turned-dancehall, where families danced in traditional gaucho style, holding white and blue cloth in their hands and step-clapping to fast guitar rhythms. The second day, we paused for lunch at a small bar. Inside were men dressed in traditional garb, swilling beer out of large pitchers. I was trying to tie a scarf I bought in the puro gaucho fashion, but my lack of experience made it look like a large ascot. Our waiter, a tall man wearing gaucho pants that highlighted the physical result of gaucho labor, offered to help. He leaned into me, his face close to mine, and slowly tied the knot, so I could do learn to do it myself. As he fixed my scarf, I imagined our wedding, the best boots to wear while working on Argentine farmland, and the names of

our three children. Before I could propose, he pulled away. He winked at me and handed me a beer, on the house. I drank, still dizzy from the encounter. We left the bar to meet the gauchos who were going to take us horseback riding. Originally, I was unsure if the town’s charms were simply an act for visitors. I soon realized that in San Antonio de Areco, this lifestyle isn’t a performance for tourists, but a genuine adherence to a way of life that has been drowned out everywhere else. Fernando, one of our guides, greeted us and I began to feel faint again. He was studying dentistry in Buenos Aires, but lived and worked here in San Antonio. He was a young, charming, handsome man, living as a gaucho because he loved the tradition. While others did not have the same level of mobility as he, they too chose the clothes, the quaintness, the quietness. As we tumbled of out of a small car, a slew of people greeted us: our tour fell on the celebration of a ranch granddaughter’s first communion and the festivities had no intention of pausing. After meeting cousins, aunts, and uncles, we were shown to the horses. Martin, the man in charge, laughed as we struggled to mount the saddles on our own, before giving us each a hand. Our ride was about an hour long, during which we traversed verdant ranchland, cut through with skinny dirt roads. We began unsure, too afraid to accelerate past a slow trot, but with the instruction of our guides, our group was galloping across swaths of land by the end of the hour. As we dismounted—exhausted—we were given mate and sweets. The women and girls invited us to dance with them, and we played Truco, a traditional card game, with the men, as their guests. As the sun set, we said goodbye to our new friends, with wishes to return and one last longing look towards the handsome gauchos who taught us to ride. A family that had come to visit drove us back into town and dropped us off at a corner of the main square. It was empty, short of a few people wandering out of the cathedral.


Argentina A Road Trip from Salta to Jujuy


hether it was the altitude, the scorching mid-January sun, or the numerous bottles of local wine consumed, the 630-mile road trip through the northwestern Argentine provinces of Salta and Jujuy left me in a complete mental haze. Small adobe pueblos with crisp white painted churches, impressive red rock formations, vast green vineyards, and cacti-spotted plains gave me the impression of being worlds away from Buenos Aires’ cosmopolitan aura. Signing the rental papers for our early 2000s Chevy (only slightly beat up), the clerk showed us the spare tires and ensured that we knew how to change a flat. He thoroughly highlighted the province map, marking several roads that were off-limits and considered “too risky” for our trip. Worried, I began to wonder what we would do driving in the middle of nowhere throughout Argentina for an entire week. The answer, it turned out, was simple—eat, drink and enjoy the view. The Itinerary We set off from Salta on our 630mile long journey: driving south through the rust-colored, rocky landscape of Quebrada del Rio de las Conchas into the vineyards of Cafayate. From there, we headed northwest through the moon-like landscape of la Quebrada de las Flechas which led us into Cachi, a chalk-white, serene pueblo. Finally, we drove the 200 miles to the rainbow mountains of Purmamarca and the Humahuaca before returning south again to Salta.

A herd of llamas roam around a small house selling fresh bread, artisan work and hot water along the drive from Salta to Cafayate.

Leaving Salta Our first night in Salta was spent drowsily roaming the music-filled cobblestone streets, analyzing din-

ner options for our first meal in the northern province. We were drawn to a small pub-like venue, where old black and white photos of guacho culture adorned the wall; a band played softly in the background, and the overwhelming smell of marinated meat filled the air. The atmosphere was somewhat nostalgic as we sampled Salta’s specialties: classic quinoa soup and Locro—a thick, hearty stew of corn, beans, potatoes, and an assortment of red meat (most commonly chorizo or llama). With full stomachs, we made our way back to the hotel to prepare for our early morning drive. Once on the road, our first taste of the local cuisine was bread—the heart of any worthy meal. Driving through a lengthy stretch of the desert, we spotted a herd of llamas standing by a small house, outside which a sign read “pan casero y agua caliente.” Having spent the morning driving through endless canyons, we hungrily welcomed the thought of pita-like piping hot loaves. We purchased four for a total of 40 pesos ($2.75). Plain, but delicious nonetheless, we chomped down on the fluffy carbs and took a few selfies with llamas before running to escape the heat in our air-conditioned car. The Vineyards of Cafayate Having traversed dozens of miles of vineyard, we eventually decided to stop at Bodega Nanni. Sitting in a quaint courtyard, we sipped on local Argentine wine while playing catch with a dog. As a slight wine buzz began to settle on our empty stomachs, we walked two blocks into the main town square. While Cafayate may be known for its wine, I can honestly say I’ve never had better pasta in my life (for which Italian immigration to Argentina in the early 19th century is to thank). Sitting at sidewalk tables overlooking the central plaza of the small town, we

enjoyed the warmth of the setting sun as we sipped wine and nibbled on homemade pasta and peanut cream soup (a specialty of the Andes region). We finished off the meal with a traditional dessert— quesillo con dulce de cayote (fresh goat cheese with sugarcane and herb marmalade). Increasing Altitude & Longitude The next morning, we headed back north towards the village of Cachi. Along the way, we stopped at Colomé, known to be the highest working vineyard and bodega. I had never seen anything like it— an oasis of vineyards, blooming cacti, and bright lavender fields enveloped the snow-capped Andes mountain range. We sat on the terrace taking in the unreal view and soaking in the mountain sun while sipping on sweet Torrontes wine. We arrived in Cachi just at dusk, and circulated the cobblestoned roads of the small white pueblo. Our guide book led us to a small restaurant known for having the best pasta sauce in the region, offering a traditional twist on Italian cuisine. After a long wait in a candlelit home-turned-restaurant setup, we were served generous portions of vegetarian lentil lasagna, quinoa risotto and pasta in salsa de la valle, after which I was ready to head back to our quaint hotel. The next day, driving up to an altitude of 4,170 meters, the air turned frigid, as mist covered the steep, winding roads. As we moved upwards, our car motor started to struggle, and we, too, felt hungry and low on energy, until we spotted a roadside stand stocked with dozens of dried sausages and giant cheese wheels. We pulled over for a simple yet satisfying lunch of fresh goat cheese and llama saucisson. Looking around at the vastness of the mountains, I couldn’t help but wonder where the two vendors lived, as their goats

flocked on the hillside behind the metal shack—a scene strongly reminiscent of the Swiss Alps. After a long day of driving, we decided against going out again, instead settling for a bottle of Malbec and a dinner of peanut soup, grilled glacier-river trout, marinated slow cooked lamb and quinoa pasta at our hotel—a combination that did not disappoint. A Taste of Purmamarca In the neighboring town of Purmamarca, known for its colorfully striped mountains, we tried regional staples of tamales and humitas at a small, dimly lit restaurant. Tied up like a bonbon, the tamales were wrapped in corn husks and filled with creamy corn dough, beef, potatoes, and spices. Similarly, the pocket-like humitas were filled with slow cooked sweet corn, melted goat cheese, and sauteed onions, with picante seasoning. As we walked back from an afternoon hike up the rainbow colored mountains of Humahuaca, we were drawn in by the smell of fresh empanadas at a corner almacen. Stopping to catch our breath, we ordered a dozen fresh carne suave and jamon y queso empanadas. Anxiously waiting for our food, we watched scenes from a dramatic telenovela and recovered from the dusty outdoors. In a Road Trip Haze Although one week seemed ambitious for an Argentine roadtrip, I found myself surprisingly sad when we had to return our old beat-up Chevy rental. The journey seemed like something I had imagined, and I had trouble grasping the wide variety of vivid landscapes, moments of surreal cultural encounters, and endless palette of traditional flavors we’d experienced in just seven days.

PROTESTS ABROAD: Ni Una Menos, Argentina



hile studying this year in Buenos Aires, I have participated in the Ni Una Menos movement. Devoted to ending feminicide in Argentina, Latin America, and the world, the Ni Una Menos launched a protest on March 8th. Thousands of women flooded Avenida de Mayo on this day, marching from Congreso to the Casa Rosada, the office of Argentina’s current conservative president Mauricio Macri. Women were calling for workers’ rights, legal abortion, and the end of transphobia. The march was welcoming and tranquil, yet strong. I spotted a 10-year-old girl spray painting a crosswalk with the words “ni una menos” and other groups of women branding drums and dancing. The event was a contrast to a

Ni Una Menos march I attended last October, where the weather was cold, women were yelling while carrying umbrellas, and huddling for warmth. At this protest, during the end of the summer season of March, women walked down the city’s largest avenues topless, doing cartwheels in the sun. The march was not just a celebration of being a women, but also an imperative call for action towards the government of Argentina to expand women’s rights. The event became a space in which the issues facing half the country came out in full force. My friends and I were welcomed even as foreigners, and women with camera phones asked for pictures of our signs: ¡El lugar de una mujer está en la revolución!; La revolución será feminista o no será; Quisieron enterrarnos, pero no sabían que somos semillas.

(Upper Right A woman holds up a sign, “Alive and free, My body is mine” in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Above) Thousands of people gather in front of the Argentine Congress building to begin marching on Avenida de Mayo.

My First Taste of




y first experience with a Moroccon tajine, the North African stew named after the conical vessel that it’s cooked and served in, was in a small, one-room, roofless apartment made of mud in the outskirts of Marrakech. Our couchsurfing host, Amin, promised us a tajine traditional to his Berber hometown of Imlil, located in the Atlas Mountains. I was excited to get some hands-on experience cooking Moroccan food, but I was cut short. Amin’s mother, the head chef of the household, was preparing the food and I, a foreign man, was not allowed in the same room with her. Instead of helping cook, I waited as the warm scents of the tajine filled the home. When the dish was finished, Amin brought it out to where I was seated, set down the clay pot, and slowly lifted the lid. As the steam rose and cleared, the stew

appeared. I had never seen goat, prunes, raisins, and eggs presented together in such an ornamental way. The concentric pattern of food was mesmerizing, but perhaps my hunger aided to the effect Although I was given a fork and a plate, Amin took the entire tajine and ate with his hands, as is customary with the dish in Morocco. Cumin, salt, and pepper were provided on the table, but I thought it best to try it as it was. Flavors switched between savory and sweet with every bite depending on what I gathered with my fork. Despite the lengthy preparation time for the dish, we ate it in just a few minutes. For dessert, Amin provided us with apples, oranges, and bananas. With my stomach happily packed full, I knew that I would be exploring this dish in the future.

A Berber Tajine from Imlil Valley

Cut into two inch cubes.

According to Amin, cut this in another room to avoid crying.

1500g (3lbs) goat leg 8-10 dried plums 1/2 cup golden raisins 2 tablespoons cumin 3 pinches ground ginger 2 pinches pepper 1/2 teaspoon saffron 5 pinches salt 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 green onion 3 eggs

1. Place goat meat throughout bottom of the tajine. 2. Section onion and place on top of goat. 3. Mix in cumin, ginger, pepper, saffron, and salt with hands. Reposition goat on the bottom of the tajine. 4. Pour olive oil over top. 5. Place the lid on the tajine and put on stove on lowmedium heat for 40 minutes to an hour. 6. After 15-20 minutes (so that onions are cooked) add 1.5 cups of water to fill bottom of tajine half way. 7. As the tajine cooks, soak the dried plums in water for ten minutes. While you do this, hardboil three eggs.

8. After 35 minutes more, add the plums and raisins to the tajine but do not mix. Add more water so nothing burns. 9. Slice the eggs and add on top. According to Amin’s mother, this is what makes it specifically Berber, as there are many variations of tajine to be found and eaten across the country. 10. Let steam for 5-10 minutes. Serve it up!

LANZAROTE, CANARY ISLANDS, SPAIN Lanzarote’s famous Cactus Garden (Jardín de Cactus) is in the northern part of the windy, volcanic Canary Island. The garden brings together thousands of different cacti species from all around the world, all arranged to showcase their strange textures and eccentric shapes. The odd park sits atop red and black volcanic hills and as you go through the garden, the sticking face of a familiar sight for all Spaniards comes in the shape of a white Manchegan windmill in striking contrast with the alien backdrop.



tepping off the plane in Cairo into the oven-like heat typical of Egypt in the summer, anxiety, excitement, and anticipation had my stomach in knots. Individuals and families hurried past me, luggage and children in tow. Many of them paused briefly to give me a curious though not unfriendly look. I stood out in an airport otherwise void of tourists. Since the 2011 Revolution, Egypt has experienced an unfortunate drop in tourism, particularly from western countries. I saw few other tourists throughout my stay, most of whom were from neighboring Middle Eastern countries or Southeast Asia. When I informed people that I would be spending my summer working in Cairo, I was frequently met with comments about my adventurousness or “bravery”, and cautioned to be very, very careful. While it’s always important to be careful when traveling, especially when traveling alone, this advice was based on an image of Egypt crafted through media images of chaos, violence, and destruction. The Egypt of their imaginations was not the Egypt of my reality. Cairo is a city built from layers of history, where the ancient intermingles with the modern. Cell phone providers and retail shops are housed in buildings far older than the United States itself. Cars drive on the highway alongside carts pulled by camels, donkeys, and horses. The call to prayer that frequently echoes through the streets is often interrupted by the sounds of contemporary American pop music, creating an odd combination of sounds that became the soundtrack of my summer. Fast food joints like Pizza Hut

and McDonald’s offer delivery services, but venture down a narrow, dusty street, and you’ll be served koshari, the delicious national dish of Egypt, starring rice and lentils, and tea out of someone’s home. During my stay, I found myself continually fascinated by these seemingly conflicting, yet somehow harmonious elements of Egyptian culture. My Egypt is the taste of fresh mint tea, saturated with sugar, drunk on the side of the road while sitting in a plastic chair. It’s the salty tang that hangs in the air over the beaches of the Gulf of Suez. It’s the relief in the cool comfort of a glass of water-soaked dates, walnuts, and apples as the sun sets on Ramadan. My Egypt is the sticky residue of mango on my fingers, purchased from a farmer on the long drive from Cairo to Alexandria. It’s the feeling of bare feet on the carpet of the oldest mosque in Cairo, surrounded by history. It’s the colorful light cast by the fanous— lanterns hung decoratively for Ramadan—that dance on the woven fabrics in the market. My Egypt is the kind smiles of strangers, eager to share their homes, food, language, and culture. My Egypt is a place of family, hospitality, and kindness. When I stepped back onto a plane at Cairo International Airport ten weeks later to begin the long journey home, my chest panged with sadness. As we took off, I watched the seemingly endless desert roll by, occasionally dotted by tiny structures or winding roads. I was grateful for the opportunity to have witnessed an Egypt that goes beyond sensationalized media images.


The Great Pyramids at Giza, as seen across the Libyan Desert.


a note As a travel magazine, Baedeker aims to explore all regions of the world with thought, consideration, and an open mind. When the editorial staff first received the upcoming two articles on Jerusalem and Jaffa this winter, we jumped into a conversation. Several important (and largely unanswerable) questions dominated our late night messages and daytime meetings. How can we, as a university-funded publication, best represent the diverse student body of NYU? What duty do we have the large number of students who submit writing and photography to us each semester? And how do our personal feelings, values, and voices have a place in this publication? Wanting to be considerate of the varying opinions in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but also valuing the voices of our submitters, we decided to not only include these two articles but to also pair them together on facing pages. Our reasoning ultimately returns to our desired role as not only a travel magazine, but as a university travel magazine. It is never truly possible to present a completele objective story,


and the very nature of travel forces us to confront the subjectiveness of cultural experiences as individuals with unique perspectives. It would be an incomplete conversation, to present one story without the other. Each piece offers a distinct perspective when faced with the politics, borders, and tastes of the region. Both are experiences of a place and ultimately, that is what Baedeker aims to do—show you what a space is like. First, we welcome you to the streets of Jaffa, Israel. The historic center of Tel Aviv, Jaffa is politically part of that city, though culturally Palestinian. The author witnesses the culinary diversity of Jaffa, offering vivid descriptions of the sights, smells, and tastes of a day’s worth of meals in the area. She approaches this subject with the understanding of the meaning of her presence and act of searching for “authentic” food in the area. In this, she acknowledges the cultural perspective of a site of manifold history through a personal narrative of daily encounters. In Crossing Borders: A Peek at Life Behind the Wall, we read about a student’s experiences moving through

Palestine, to a border checkpoint, and then into the walled city of Jerusalem. Reflecting on the political context, as well as the culture of the city itself, this article offers a critical perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through someone with deeply personal ties to the space. We recognize the political gravity of this pairing— we even encourage the dialogue around it. We hope that you read this with the understanding that both of these experiences are a part of the lives lived there. To eat and literally consume the culture you are surrounded with is deeply meaningful in an area where the comingling of culture is, in many areas, forceful. To pass through a conflicted space is again meaningful when we think about who gets the agency to move freely and who doesn’t—and why. We hope that both of these instances of daily experiences enable open dialogue that is particularly reflective of our university and community in this time. We hope that you take this as an opportunity to explore the diverging and intersecting stories that occur even in times of political tension.

a taste of Jaffa

My relationship with Israeli food can best be described as unaware. I associated falafel and pita with the Holy Land without truly understanding their origin. One can venture the shuk and find fluffy potato pierogi and hearty German schnitzel, but it’s the food that originating from this region that draws the hunger of both natives and visitors. It’s important to understand the origins of food in the multi-dimensional society that is Israel. When my Israeli friend drove me to the ancient port city of Jaffa, our act of




I first tried this Middle Eastern dessert at the shuk in Jerusalem; it had that old-pastrytaste and I had to grind the grain like a piece of gum to get it down. In the most cliché and wonderful sense, my world turned upside down when I had my first bite of the generous slice of knafeh that a baker cut for me from a large disk of pastry. The flaky, orange, shredded-filo crust was touched with fresh honey and packed full of pistachios. With a delicate crunch from the pastry, the still-warm, soft cheese melted on the tongue.



This place truly deserves a doctorate in shakshuka. Located in the Jaffa flea market, Dr. Shakshuka might be a tourist destination, but it’s well deserved. It’s one of the many dishes that cannot be replicated outside of its source: with the perfect balance of sizzling sauce to baked egg, you’ll be licking the pan clean. We ate fried eggplant or falafel as well, but my mind and tongue only remember the shakshuka in full clarity. Eat here as soon as you land and the night you fly out of Ben Gurion Airport.

stopping by for “the best hummus in the world” was indeed problematic amongst the city’s predominantly Muslim population. If you, like me, can only pass by, fill your day learning about Jaffa’s rich culture and its equally rich cuisine. The best part of the day was talking to locals and learning the history of the architecture, the port, and the problems facing families who have lived in Jaffa for generations. We found that a lot can be learned over the best hummus in the world.



On a normal weekend, this hummus hub can pull in lines around the block. Luckily, we went for lunch on a cold January day and were able to grab a choice seat on the patio, far from the mayhem otherwise known as the kitchen. The waiter handed me an overflowing bowl of hummus with olive oil pooling at the top, but I had to wait for a demo by my lunchmates to understand the art of hummus. Do not eat one slice of pita per dip of hummus, otherwise you will never be able to finish the bowl; use every last bit of that slice to scoop it up before starting another one.



Modern day malabi stands offer dozens of flavors of the milk-based pudding and endless toppings. Malabi Dajani goes back to the basics, offering a homemade malabi topped with fuchsia syrup. Almost every Middle Eastern culture has the “best recipe” for malabi, but this cold custard with a sauce so sweet that my teeth ached had me singing its praise to any of my friends who would listen.



his past summer, my mother, sister, and I woke up early one morning to make the trek from Ramallah to Jerusalem, leaving the comfort of my grandparents’ house in the familiar neighborhood of Al-Tireh to catch a taxi and then bus that would eventually bring us into the Holy City. The journey was not an easy one to make, particularly with the hot summer sun shining down on our backs. The two cities are only about 10 miles apart from one another and under normal circumstances would only take twenty minutes to get from one to another. But the concept of “normal” does not exist in Palestine; travelling between the two cities can take up to four hours and involves crossing through multiple checkpoints. Before boarding the bus that would eventually take us to Jerusalem, we had to pass through a luggage and passport check at the checkpoint in Qalandia, as though boarding a plane. Our British passports were scrutinized by army personnel who sat behind thick screens of glass and communicated with us in as few words as possible through loud speakers. Once approved, we crossed through narrow metal corridors and revolving doors to board the bus that would drive us into Jerusalem.

A peek at life behind the wall

The drive from Ramallah to Jerusalem is dominated by the 25-feet high concrete wall, which Israel has erected to keep Palestinians out. Graffiti attempts to make its ugliness slightly more palatable, and Banksy’s Balloon Girl can be seen just before the Qalandia checkpoint, a poignant reminder of the elusive nature of peace. Once the bus finally reached Jerusalem, we stepped out into the streets of the Old City. The streets were relatively deserted, empty of Palestinians for whom it is almost impossible to get a permit because of the occupation of the West Bank. Approaching the souk, we were shocked to see armed settlers, beer in hand, strolling the streets with impunity, while Palestinian grandmothers from the villages surrounding neighboring Bethlehem squatted on the centuries-old stone ground selling mint and prickly pears. Vendors left and right advertised fresh produce, spices, falafel, and sesame rings (ka’ek in Arabic)—the aroma of which filled the air and made our stomachs growl. We strolled through the Old City, stopping a couple of times to pet the occasional cat; around us, children ran through the streets and tourists haggled with vendors. Eventually, we reach the city ramparts that have surrounded Jerusalem since the 16th century, and now serve as a spot for mainly

tourists and school groups who wish to see the city—both old and new—from above. Starting at Jaffa Gate, we squeezed through narrow pathways and up wobbly steps, traversing carefully along the wall, peering onto red rooftops, gardens and courtyards along the way—an intimate view into the lives of those in the quarters we passed. Domes and spires pierced the sky, symbols of the three competing religions making their mark on Jerusalem’s skyline. To the east span the cemeteries and churches on the Mount of Olives, the vastness of which presents a stark contrast to the hotels and high-rises on the city’s newly developed west. After taking in views of the Dome of the Rock by the Lions Gate, we descended the wall and walked through the Russian Compound to a rooftop Palestinian restaurant where we sipped fresh mint lemonade and dined on a feast of traditional specialties, including falafel, hummus, foul, labne, and tabbouleh. With the sun setting over the Old City, we mounted the bus, ka’ek in hand, ready for the long trip back to Ramallah. Once a bustling city that served as the cultural and economic heart of the West Bank is now a shadow of its glorious past, isolated by the Wall as well as a series of orders and restrictions that apply only to Palestinians.


n Salalah, Oman, you are more likely to see a troupe of camels meandering across the road than a pedestrian. My sister and I were visiting my parents who have lived in this Omani city for two years now and see these hump-backed animals almost daily. In this year-round tropical heat, camels exist in disproportionate amounts in this southern city at the edge of the Arabian Sea, where they have their pick of mountains, desert, or serene beaches perpetually awash in light. Salalah is at the southern crest of the Arabian Peninsula; it is Oman’s second largest city, following the resplendent capital of Muscat. It is not as developed as Muscat b u t


Where the Camels Roam by JESSICA SAAB its infrastructure is progressive— well-paved streets stretch far into the desert, connecting small communities through the dusty terrain. Salalah is the capital of the southern province of Dhofar, and is the birthplace of Oman’s current sultan, Sultan Qaboos bin Said. What defies expectations in this city is that it is not solely a landscape of dry heat like so much else of the Arabian Peninsula: the summer brings the Khareef, the monsoon, and dresses the mountainous region in a swath of green. During those wet months, the camels are rounded up and brought down to a large empty lot by the recently renovated airport.

The reason is preemptive: the mountains are pure rock, with many jagged cliffs, and camels can slip and fall during the wet season. The Salalah Tourism Festival occurs during the Khareef and many visitors from across the Middle East come to witness the lush greenery rare to the region. The waterfront is a busy port for commercial activity and industry. Palm trees and banana trees thrive at the sea’s border, giving the longstanding fishing community verdant sustenance. A bucolic, meandering road snakes through these trees and at various strips, coconut and banana vendors display their fruit in wooden huts. On one of the mild winter days during our visit, we drove along this stretch of road and pulled over at one of the vendors. We picked out coconuts and a man deftly hacked them open, sticking straws through the top openings for us to sip on. Salalah’s main souq, or market, is in the same area, close to the water. Incense vendors have tins piled high in their windows of fragrant sandalwood and frankincense, while other vendors tout their customizable souvenirs in glass cases. Women shopkeepers sit cross-legged in the shadows, draped in brilliantly colored cloths. In the distance, fuel tanks and other visual indicators of industry dot the waterfront indicating the important position Salalah has as one of the first stops for boats entering the Persian Gulf. The rugged terrain across Dhofar is a gold mine for explorers. Unusual rock formations and the sea have intermingled here a long time creating some beautiful landscapes devoid of human interruption. The beaches are not crowded with bathers but instead with walkers who take their time, with the occasional van driving by performing quick turns to test their vehicle’s ability to hit sand dunes. We went along Salalah’s roads far enough to where spas and beach resorts appeared along the coast; we spend a couple of days unwinding. My parents have lived in Salalah for a couple years now so it’s become the home I am excited to return to. Southern Oman is distinct in its beauty, culture, and, of course, casual abundance of well-lookedafter camels.

How To:

Eat Your Way Across Bangkok by MARLEY MEDINA

AN OVERVIEW I remember first arriving in Bangkok, Thailand: it was mid-December, more humid than New York during the summertime and very early in the morning, which resulted in a dream-like fog. Despite the time, climate, and fact that I had been running through airports for two days, the first thing I wanted to do was not hibernate in a hotel bed but eat some authentic pad thai. The stir-fried rice noodle platter is known for being one of Thailand’s national dishes, often served with eggs, tofu, dried shrimp, chili pepper, garlic, and peanuts, and flavored with tamarind pulp and fish sauce. Thai food doesn’t stop being delicious there, as dishes like red and green curry and chicken with cashew nuts always prove to be delectable. For those looking to experience authentic Thailand cuisine, here are three places not to miss.







Malls in Thailand—and specifically the food in malls—are not what you would expect. Whereas American food courts are comprised of a litany of fast food chains, Thai malls offer a buffet of delicious goods. None may be better than Terminal 21’s food court. You can buy a $5 meal card and use it similarly to a meal plan; swipe for every meal you choose. Thai, Indian, dim sum, ramen, and burgers are all available and worth feasting on.

This marketplace—located in Northern Thailand’s largest city, Chiang Mai—is made up of food stalls and flea markets alike, containing so many food options that it’s difficult to choose from. The marketplace resembles the many 7/11’s in Thailand, with tons of different dried fruit, Thai snacks, and candy. It also boasts some sit down restaurants. For dessert, there are carts selling rolled ice cream and crepes.

Along the coast of Thailand. Rayong Province—known for its picturesque beaches—is home to a multitude of tiny seafront cafes and restaurants serving up delicious fried shrimp with chili sauce, pad thai, khao pad ( fried rice), and crispy fish that’s fried in its entirety. In the Mae Phim Beach area, you can ride up the coast (5-seater motorbikes can be rented for $10 per day) and stop at any one of the tiny food shacks lining the water. My favorite was a place called Khun Krai, nestled next to a 7/11. If you’re craving coffee and pastries, check out Swedish Bakery, an outdoor café that serves both Western style breakfast and Thai dishes, with a particularly delectable one of fried rice with a fried egg on top.


hen American students travel to China, the massive country exposes them to a dramatically different world, an exquisite variety of traditional foods, and incredible historical sites. With one U.S. dollar equating to roughly seven Chinese kuai, there are plenty of opportunities for travelers to make the most out of a limited budget, making it a prime location for students to travel to. My first order of xiaolongbao in China— referred to as “soup dumplings” in the United States—cost 12 kuai, equivalent to around $1.75. These were not only the cheapest but also the best dumplings I’ve ever had. On your visit, you might be surprised to find that traveling in China is remarkably easy and involves seeing a variety of cultures. Traveling to different provinces is almost like traveling to different countries—each one has a very unique history and flavor. Here are just a few places to visit in China:


is the fastest growing city of the 21st century, causing it to be more modern than historic, although there are glimpses of ancient history dispersed throughout the city. In some ways, Shanghai feels like New York—Joe’s Pizza is set to open this year on Nanjing Road, Shanghai’s main shopping street, which is worth a visit with or without pizza. The fast paced environment of Shanghai also is reminiscent of New York. In terms of traditional food, Shanghai offers dim sum—small morsels usually steamed in baskets— and some of the most delicious noodles you will ever taste. Try Danny’s in the Jing’an district for a casual meal of spicy noodles. Some significant sightseeing destinations in Shanghai include: the Bund, a beautiful waterfront walkway with a tremendous view of the cityscape; Yuyuan Gardens, extensive gardens dating back to the 16th century; Jing’an Temple, a beautiful Buddhist temple with history going all the way back to 287 AD; and the Propaganda Poster Art Centre, which is exactly what it sounds like. Here, you can see Shanghai intertwining its ancient history with its modern culture.


showcases more of China’s past, dating back over 3,000 years. The “old town” section of Beijing has preserved the age of the dynasties. The buildings retain their traditional design, which is dramatically different from the more modern areas of the city. The people all around Beijing are especially warm and welcoming. One way to experience this hospitality is by pursuing traditional living accommodations, like 161 Lama Temple Courtyard Hotel. In terms of food, the serving sizes are large and consist of some of the food we are accustomed to here in the United States. Two delicious Beijing specialties that are less familiar in the U.S. are the Beijing Duck—sliced duck served on steamed pancakes with sweet bean sauce, which can be found on Wangfujing street—and spicy Sichuan cuisine on Ghost Street, characterized by the use of spicy sichuan peppercorns.


There are several river towns in China, with Zhujiajiao as just one great example. While it lies on the outskirts of Shanghai, it takes on a completely different atmosphere than the buzzing city. Stepping foot into Zhujiajiao, one is instantly transported back hundreds of years when the town was created for agricultural business. Today, Zhujiajiao prospers from tourism. In the town, there are vendors lining the river selling specialty jewelry, traditional Chinese garments, and tasty local desserts.


Historical and Culturally Rich: Visit China


The Secrets of the Past

A couple dressed in traditional Japanese apparel walks amongst trees and sunlight.



hile the rest of Japan’s big cities like Tokyo and Osaka have seen enormous urbanization, Kyoto— Japan’s original capital—remains a metropolitan center that still holds on to the traditions of the past. Within Kyoto lies Gion, one of the city’s oldest areas, notable for its geisha district, in reference to the women trained in the art of entertainment, distinctive in their white face makeup and brightly colored kimonos. Geisha schools still exist in Gion, where students are taught the art of the tea ceremony, as well as traditional folk song and dance. The area is abuzz with tourists and locals flocking together in the peak summer heat, trying on rental yukatas—light kimonos worn in the summer—and hoping to get a

peek of an ever-mysterious geisha passing by. Walking through Gion’s winding, cobblestone streets amid the crowds and the growing noise, I felt like the district had succeeded in preserving its practices of the past 100 years. There were still vendors lining the narrow alleys, selling various flavoured mochi (rice cakes) and cold barley tea. The area boasts respectable teahouses as well, which are visited by Japan’s most affluent denizens during celebrations or business meetings. Beyond Gion, there are a few hundred shrines and temples throughout Kyoto that have been maintained religiously since their construction. Whether you like the picturesque setting of the golden Ginkaku-ji temple or the

more dramatic 10,000 torii gates of the Fushimi Inari shrine, Kyoto’s religious sites are all distinct in style and ambiance. The city’s cultural richness expands to the local food scene as well, offering different flavors from all over Japan. While the more upscale restaurants offer traditional kaiseki (multi-course meals artistically served in layered bento boxes), more hole-in-thewall, family-run establishments provide other Japanese staples such as ramen, okonomiyaki (savory pancakes) and cold soba noodles, which are perfect for a hot day. Whether you visit Kyoto for a day or for a week, there is no doubt that you will feel immersed in a very ancient and utterly fascinating culture.





(1) An array of vibrant soft quilts and clean cloths utilized for the Guru Granth Sahib. Known as Rumala, they protect from heat, dust and pollution. (2) A man smoking opium from a water pipe inside the Mehrangarh Fort. (3) A family resides in a self-made hut composed of dried cow dung and clay in the Jaisalmer Desert. As a whole, the family makes 200 rupees per month, about $3 USD. (4) A white building complex around Amrit Sarovar that contains facilities for pilgrims based of the Golden Temple. (5) The locals engaged in Makar Sankranti or Uttrarayan, the International Kite Festival of Gujarat. (6) The Southeast Lotus Gate of the City Palace exhibits continual colorful flower and petal patterns, in ode to the summer season.






During my frequent travels to India, I never truly engaged with the space, preferring to focus on my upbringing in the United States over my cultural heritage. This time, I pleaded with my family to let me go. I had a sudden desire to explore this part of my identity. With that, I travelled to West Bengal, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Maharashtra. There is always the generalized picture of India comprised of vibrant colors and endless clamour. While this is true, I found myself more astounded with the sense of community. I travelled to India at a time where there were kite flying festivals to celebrate the change of seasons all over the country. Residents prepare for months,

producing kites with elaborate designs that have been passed down for generations. From the servant quarters in City Palace to the residents of Vadodara, people gather, cut down competing kites, and dance till the sun sets. At night, they light lanterns and fireworks into the skies, sending blessings into the sky. I forced myself to let go of my preconceived notions of India, finding variety in the cultures and traditions in each state. I embraced the traditions of my heritage with pride, questioning my existing lifestyle choices and habits. Through my experiences, there was an immediate sense of belonging in these warm, genuine surroundings. A sense of home.




ess than five feet from the edge of a cliff that drops over 700 feet into the Atlantic below, one would expect to be filled with either fear or excitement. I, however, felt incredibly calm. When I had agreed to visit Ireland’s Cliffs of Moher with a group of friends, it was half-hearted. I had already visited the cliffs six years ago on a family trip, and though I remembered them as beautiful, I had categorized them under “been there, done that.” Plus, they’re one of Ireland’s biggest tourist attractions—second only to the Guinness factory in Dublin—and saying I have an aversion to crowds would be a dramatic understatement. But when the bus dropped us off in the parking lot next to the visitors’ center, I realized relatively quickly that my reservations had been unfair. The saltiness of the ocean air provided a sharp and much needed contrast from the stale air of the bus. And though the day had started with a typical grey Irish drizzle, the sun had bravely decided to make an appearance. It seemed like a good omen. When I arrived at the first lookout point, I stood frozen, eyes wide, only able to share awe inspired looks with my friends to either side of me. The Cliffs of Moher stretch for about five miles along the western coast of Ireland, reaching their

peak at 702 feet above the ocean. The sun, peaking out from behind a cloud, shone like a spotlight on the mist that leapt higher than the rim, gently showering visitors with salty ocean water. It’s no wonder that Harry Potter and The Princess Bride were both filmed at the cliffs, which—extending beyond the limits of my vision—could be described as nothing short of magestic. Groups of tourists stood in herds on the paved path, safely behind railings, taking in the scenery only through the lenses of their cameras. But I did not limit myself to a single, limited viewpoint. Extending south along the rim is a dirt path, open to visitors with a simple warning to be cautious. I climbed away from the pavement, towards a quieter, grassy stretch of land. Traces of dirt stuck to my boots and the wind threw my hair in opposite directions across my face. When I had carved out a sufficient amount of distance for solitude, I sat down cross-legged in a patch of spotty grass and stared out into the horizon. The howling wind quieted the sounds of all human activity, and, staring down at the gurgling white water, it was easy to forget that I was a tourist. Instead, I was reminded of why I travel—to take part in the shared activity of witnessing extraordinary beauty, while simultaneously creating an experience that is entirely my own.


At the Edge of the Atlantic



(Upper left) A lone home peeks through the fog along the bike path in the rural town of De Hoeve. (Above) A fan sitting proudly with a team jacket and a beanie adorned with countless pins.

round 9am, we rolled out of bed and layered up for the journey ahead of us. Thialf, the legendary speed skating ice arena, stood 20 kilometers away in Heerenveen, and the competition was set to begin around noon. There is no bus or train from where we were staying in De Hoeve to Thialf—transportation in rural Netherlands consists primarily of bikes and cars. We had been able to rent a bike from a local Dutch family the night before, but only had the one bike between two people. This would not set us back. The small bike rack in the rear served as a makeshift seat, and soon we were on our way. The entire journey took us around two and a half hours in total, including time to rest and switch positions on the bike. Although this particular bike trip may have been one of the most grueling, it was simultaneously peaceful. The morning mist settled in around us, providing a gratifying and encouraging backdrop. When we finally arrived in Heerenveen, it seemed we had entered an entirely new realm. The entire town funneled into the stadium rink to watch the world's best skaters compete in the art of speed skating. Thialf has the highest attended speed skating competitions outside of the Olympics and the atmosphere, as a result, is unparalleled. The town is truly in love with the sport. Though every athlete receives a warm welcome of hearty applause, nothing compares to the roaring cheers when a Dutch skater appears.

HEERENVEEN, NETHERLANDS An olympic qualification event that took place at an ice rink in the small town of Heerenveen in the north of the Netherlands. Hometown hero Kjeld Nuis, rounds the corner as he beats out the American, Shani Davis, for first place in the 1000m.



ll at once, I was free and alone—away from daily life, worries of class, work, and anyone else. Every part of me was focused on two simple tasks: placing one foot in front of the other and not falling. And when I made it to the top, and looked out over a sea of clouds, I felt like I could reach out my hand and touch the sky. It had taken us a week of traveling to reach this moment on the Spronser Rötespitze, one of the larger peaks of the Texel Group in the Italian Alps. For the last month, our group had planned to climb a mountain in Austria. Bad weather conditions and the risk of avalanches, however, pressured us further south, into the Sudtirol region of Northern Italy. The last minute decision to head south towards the Italian Alps threw off our travel plans. We found ourselves missing trains and squatting on farms in sleepy Austrian towns as we made our way westward from Vienna to Innsbruck, then southward to Sudtirol. By the time we eventually arrived in Merano,

the German-speaking town at the southern foot of the Texel Group, we were hungry and tired. We didn’t have a solid understanding of the mountain range, and knew nearly nothing of the local trails and summit conditions. But we had come all of this way and were certain that we were going to climb something. Finally, after a day or talking with locals, we had picked our mountain. The ascent through the clouds was cold and damp. The last of the trees disappeared quickly behind us as the terrain grew steeper and rockier. We traversed switchbacks for a good 1,000 feet of elevation, anxiously gripping the chains that were fixed to the rock to keep ourselves from tumbling down. The higher we climbed, the more effort each breath demanded, the more strenuous each step became, the heavier each pound of gear on our backs felt. After an hour or so, we broke through the clouds and scrambled over the top of the ridgeline. Looking back, we saw nothing but plumes of silver mist rolling up against the jagged rocks. The warm

climbing to



Rötelspitze is in the South Tyrols, located at the northernmost point in Italy and bordered by Austria to the east and north.

valley below us, glowing green in the October sun, was now a distant memory. Before us lay the craggy, snow covered peaks of the Texel Alps; to our right, the summit of the Spronser Rötelspitze. We spent some time moving across a relatively flat field of snow and rock, but as the face of the mountain grew steeper and the rocks larger, we were forced back toward the very edge of the ride. Essentially, we were walking on top of a giant overhang of rock. To our right, the mountain dropped off for one hundred feet of more. A sea of clouds beneath us obstructed our view of the expanse, leaving us to imagine the dangers that laid below. One wrong step would have been deathly. I scrambled over patches of ice, some just a few feet wide, and desperately grabbed at rocks to keep myself from slipping over the edge and disappearing into the void. After another 1,000 feet of gutwrenching climbing, we were able to survey the landscape from the summit of the Rötespitze. Looking northward, over the sloping face of the mountain, I saw the magnificence of the Texel range; to the south, the summit looked like it dropped sharply into the clouds. A month of planning, a week of homeless traveling, and hours upon hours of painstakingly slow climbing, had culminated to this moment. But as I peered into the endless mist, I wasn’t thinking of any of that. My stomach was in knots of fear, adrenaline, and excitement. I was captivated by the mountain’s sheer beauty and I didn’t have to time to consider our journey. Later, we could celebrate our accomplishment. But in that moment, standing on the summit of the Spronser Rötespitze, all I could do was look at the expanse. It was like standing at the end of the earth.

:A Quiet Capital St. Vitus and Prague Castle as seen across the Vltava River, the longest river in the country.



n Wednesday mornings, like clockwork, the six tram arrives at the stop in ten minute intervals. I board the tram and take a seat towards the back of the car, observing the people around me. Elderly Czechs and several young parents with their children sit still with their heads down. Almost nobody is on their phone. I look out the window as we pass the picturesque Prague Castle. Even after two months in Prague, I’ve never been checked for my public transportation pass. At the popular station Namesti Republiky, several people get on, and a young man stands up from his seat to yield to an elderly passenger. I step off the tram and continue on my quiet route to campus. This experience provides a stark contrast to my experiences on the NYC subway. All passengers there need to swipe their MetroCard and pass through a turnstile

each time they enter the subway, while commuters in Prague are simply trusted to validate their passes before boarding the train. This loyalty system would not be possible in New York. There’s rarely a set schedule for when the New York trains arrive, and there always seems to be delays or construction en route. The trains themselves are always loud, matching the clamor of the city they permeate. Boarding a train in Prague, however, is always a serene experience; you can be almost certain of when the next train will arrive. Prague is the capital of a young nation with a tumultuous past. The Czech Republic is only 24 years old, and has a tumultuous history as a small nation surrounded by large powers. The nation is still very much in the process of developing its own voice. Even in the Old Town Square, the fairytale district that attracts the highest volume of tourists after Prague Castle, the area still retains a

quaint ambience. Rowdy tourist groups and police sirens are rare, and even the youth in Prague are quiet and keep to themselves. For a city with a river running through it, the wind is minimal—even the pigeons and clouds seem more still and at ease. The entire city exudes a tranquil vibe, and even has official quiet hours from 10PM until 8AM. Although this constant, zen atmosphere may not be for everyone, it is exactly what has made me grow so fond of Prague. Whether I’m on the tram or sitting at my favorite cafe, I find comfort in the serene anonymity that I’m able to slip into in Prague. As I do most Wednesdays, I snag a seat at the Bakeshop counter and enjoy a slice of carrot cake. I make a mental note of the time I need to arrive at the station to catch my train home. But before leaving to catch the tram, I sink into my seat for a final five minutes, staring out the window at the cobblestone streets, relishing in the peaceful nature of this city.

SAVOIE, FRANCE Eric, a French beekeeper, and his friend Francois prepare the smokers. The smoke helps the bees stay calm while the men work on the hives to collect the honey.


Keeper of Bees


hen I asked the French beekeeper hosting me two summers ago what his favorite English word was, I teased him for being unoriginal when he replied “beekeeper.” But Eric meant it—in France, the word apiculteur exudes a coolly scientific air, and the idea of being a keeper of bees felt much closer to the deep sense of stewardship inherent to his work. In my series “Beekeepers,” which spans

by HANNAH BAEK my three years apprenticing with beekeepers in New York City, the French Alps, and rural Russia (and after graduating, Finland), I illustrate the unique character of international beekeeping practices and environments. But more than that, I try to capture what Eric felt when he told me his favorite English word, for no matter the changes in borders or tools, any beekeeper you find will be a proud keeper of bees.

Hannah’s work was featured in this years Gallatin Arts Festival, located at 1 Washington Place in New York City. The exhibit ran from April 3-7, 2017.

(Opposite page) Savoie, France - Every summer, Eric drives a portion of his hives into the French Alps to collect mountain honey. (Left) Near Ufa Russia - Self-taught beekeeper, Zinnur, knows the exact details of every one of hus hundreds of hives by memory.

(Right) Near Ufa, Russia While we wait out the rain, Zinnur looks up words in his Russian-English dictionary to describe last year’s harvest to me.


“Oh when the Saints go marching in, I want to be in that number. Oh when the Saints go marching in…”


could barely sleep. My favorite team, Southampton FC—nicknamed the Saints— was playing in the English Football League Cup final against Manchester United the next day, and I would be one of 90,000 fans in attendance at Wembley Stadium. This was Southampton’s first League Cup final since 1979. This was also my first time in England. The coincidental overlap of these two events seemed beyond lucky. On the day of the match—after the relatively sleepless night and a quick breakfast—I put on my beloved red and white striped Saints jersey, which felt good to have back on after lying dormant for too long. It didn’t sink in that I was on my way to the final until my friends and I were on our way to the closest underground station. The tube was packed with fans proudly sporting their respective club’s attire, though, to my dismay, many of them appeared to be there in support of Manchester United. Fortunately, upon entering a fan pub at Wembley, we were welcomed by a sea of friendly red and white: a few hundred faithful Southampton supporters were crammed in, with supporters of all ages—from those who saw the Saints play in their last League Cup final to those half my age. Everyone was drinking, laughing, singing, and anxiously waiting for the final to kick off. Immersing ourselves in the lively atmosphere, my friends and I conversed with other supporters. Many were impressed that we supported a smaller football club considering we came from New York. The herd of Southampton supporters then moved its way to the stadium, buzzing with

nerves and excitement. We had all been waiting for this moment, to witness our team play on the meticulously-groomed green grass of its first final in 38 years. Supporters poured into the stadium. With scarves held high, everyone was ready for kick off. Things appeared to be going well as the Saints scored an early goal, but it was soon called offsides and wasn’t counted. The exhilaration on the Southampton side quickly turned to despair when Manchester United took a 1-0 lead. And then a 2-0 lead. Hanging my head, I feared our fate was sealed. The Saints had been playing relatively well, but they hadn’t been taking enough chances required to tie the game up. And then, late in the first half, Manolo Gabbiadini—our new Italian forward—scored. The Southampton supporters came back to life, and I had hope again as we went into halftime. Gabbiadini found himself on the scoresheet once more just after the second half began. A 2–0 game was now 2–2. The celebration was like nothing I’d ever experienced. I was witnessing the Saints climb their way out of an incredibly deep hole, We screamed and cursed as loud as we possibly could, hoping that in some way our vigor might spur the Southampton to victory. It didn’t last: Southampton crumbled in the end. They fell to a late goal, coming within the final few minutes of play. When the final whistle blew, Southampton fans were frozen in utter shock. Final score: Manchester United 3, Southampton 2. Though the result was not what I had hoped for, I still got share the excited of my watching my team play alongside thousands of fellow Southampton fans.



he shopping centers and billboards gave way to dry grass and sporadic rest stops as we drove out of Dallas. As we continued to pass through the nondescript countryside of Northern Texas, the lively chatter between my sister and me subsided as the anticipation rendered us nearly breathless. After an hour, we passed a small, rusting road sign that read, simply, “Welcome to Oklahoma.” We erupted into a messy combination of screaming and crying. We had reached our 50th state. While visiting every state had come to hold central meaning in our lives, we came upon the journey almost by accident. Up until the 2008 recession slashed our family’s travel budget, we had been world travelers. My parents loved traveling too much to stop, so we traded in trips to Europe and South America for road trips around the country, often staying with family. Though we first resented the long drives, seedy motels, and third-rate attractions that often come with the budget-road-trip territory, we eventually grew to love this more

spontaneous way of traveling. A few years and many road trips later, my sister and I realized we had already visited 35 states. Given how close we were, we could actually conceive of getting to all 50—and the feat quickly became an obsession. Instead of long road trips, we began to target individual states, finding creative ways to get wherever we wanted on a budget. Sometimes this meant braving states like Nevada in the heat of mid-summer because flights were cheaper. For awhile, I was a few states ahead of my sister, but by August 2016 she had caught up with me. We had both visited 49. My 21st birthday fell during NYU’s fall break two months later, making it the perfect time to travel to our 50th. A few years prior, I likely would not have imagined that I would celebrate my 21st at a surfing-themed restaurant in a casino in southern Oklahoma, but it ended up being exactly what I wanted. Traveling within the United States has allowed me to better appreciate its diversity. Because I live here, I never used to see it as an interesting or exciting

travel destination. But traveling throughout the country made me realize that there are countless attractions worth visiting—from big cities and famous national parks to the so-called “flyover states” and other lesser known areas. When someone recently asked me what my favorite state was, I named South Dakota. While this admission was surprising even to me, the combination of visiting Mount Rushmore and the Badlands and spending the night in an actual covered wagon on Laura Ingalls Wilder’s homestead made our visits there some of the most memorable. The various states and regions of the U.S. differ so drastically that traveling to them can feel like visiting individual countries. As a lifelong New Yorker, the journey also allowed me to better appreciate the U.S. as a whole. I was constantly surprised by people’s friendliness. Not only can I never remember a time when someone I encountered on a trip was offensive or unkind, I can recall countless instances where a waitress, cab driver, or even someone who saw us looking confusedly at our phones welcomed us to their area, gave recommendations, and often ended up having a meaningful conversation with us. I can’t pretend that my personal experienecs around the country as a child and young adult makes me an expert on the state of the nation, but it gives me hope that we are more unified as a country and a people than it may seem today. Whether it is to see more of the U.S. or simply to travel in a different way, I encourage everyone to try to visit all 50 states—or even just burst out of the region you call home and visit a few new ones. It may seem daunting, but the best way to start is to just jump in the car and go.






From the friendly streets of Kathmandu, Nepal to the dreamy mountains of South Island, New Zealand, each issue we are left with photos that are just too noteworthy to miss.

BAEDEKER is the student travel magazine of NYU. All rights reserved. Š 2017

Baedeker Spring 2017  

Baedeker strives to connect readers with incredible people and places around the globe, as well as present stories and images from diverse a...

Baedeker Spring 2017  

Baedeker strives to connect readers with incredible people and places around the globe, as well as present stories and images from diverse a...