It’s a glorious April morning and I am listening to birds sing love songs in Portugal’s spring sunlight. All around me are tall stones of the Almendres Cromlech, an entire field containing nearly 100 menhirs, some with strange carvings. Their history, our guide, Carlos, tells us, is shrouded in prehistoric mist, but thought to be the work of early Iberians, perhaps of North African origin, who settled around Evora in Neolithic times (about 4000 B.C.).
The city took its name from Athena, goddess of wisdom, strategy and war, and protector of the city. The financial, political and administrative center of the country and an all-powerful city-state in antiquity, Athens is a major center of culture. A visit to the first-ever museum dedicated to Byzantium, a stroll around the National Garden and a trip to the Olympeion archaeological site will take you back through time.
Switzerland’s long-standing reputation in the world — solid, clean, outdoorsy and maybe even a little predictable — does not apply when talk turns to skiing. Even devotees of the champagne powder snow of the American Rockies have to admit that the ambience, scenery and variety of the Swiss ski experience elevate the sport from staid to spectacular.