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The Longitude Blog

White Star Travel Journals

Newly released by White Star Publishers, the Travel Journal series focuses on four popular destinations: London, New York, Paris and Italy

Uniquely, the journals feature plenty of illustrations and quotes. Open the book to any page and on the left-hand side you’ll see a hand-drawn sketch.

The Sagrada Familia: The Astonishing Story of Gaudi's Unfinished Masterpiece
Towering over Barcelona, La Sagrada Familia has famously been under construction since 1882. Yet despite its unfinished state, the cathedral draws approximately 3 million tourists each year who revel in the wild masterpiece of devotional architecture. Gaudi’s vision combines Gothic and Art Nouveau, resulting one of the most original, memorable buildings in history.
Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, France

Kindly contributed by Katharine Soper, a good friend of Longitude, and the author of Steps Out of Time, a travel narrative alive with the many intangible gifts of the Camino de Santiago.

Tucked away in the foothills of the French Pyrenees is the charming Basque village of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port. I first visited it with my French fiancé when I was twenty and living in Paris. This was my introduction to the French countryside—la France profonde—and it was love at first sight.

An Interview with Midge Raymond

authorIn her book My Last Continent, novelist Midge Raymond shares a love story about penguin researchers who find themselves at the heart of a maritime disaster in the Southern Ocean. We've asked her questions about her novel, her research, and her interest in penguins.

1) What inspired you to write about Antarctica? Did you visit the continent before or during writing this novel?

I visited the Antarctic peninsula in 2004, on a small ship much like the Cormorant. Right after returning, I wrote a short story, “The Ecstatic Cry,” which was inspired by a moment in which I saw a passenger fall on the ice near a penguin colony. He was fine, fortunately, but seeing this reinforced the notion that, at the bottom of the world, you are at the mercy of the conditions and of the few people who are with you...

An Interview with Mark Kurlansky
authorIn his new book Havana, A Subtropical Delirium, Longtime Caribbean correspondent and award-winning author Mark Kurlansky mixes history, travelogue, recipes and hand-drawn illustrations for a unique, insider's view of Havana. He takes us to the city’s colorful streets and mojito swilling bars in this interview.
  Longitude. You describe change as one of Havana’s fundamental characteristics and predict more transformation to come. What are some specific changes you have witnessed in the city over the past few years? Kurlansky. Contrary to what most Americans imagine there have not been huge changes in the last few years.
Antarctica
Teufelsberg5 As a native of Southern California who generally despises the cold, I still claim Antarctica as one of my favorite spots on the planet. There are so many things I love about this continent—its sheer immensity, its towering icebergs and mountains, its moonlike, otherworldly desolation—but perhaps the most wonderful thing about Antarctica is the silence.
Preparing for Baja

The long arm of Baja, fastened on Southern California, seems quiet, beautiful and remote. To the west is the Pacific and nestled in the peninsula’s flank is the Sea of Cortez, what Jacques Cousteau called “the aquarium of the world.” Last summer I trailed Cousteau to the Belize Barrier Reef. This time I’ll cross his path in the Gulf of California after a desert road trip between both sides of the peninsula.

Destination: New York City

This week we’ll be attending BookExpo America, the largest annual book trade show in the United States, in New York City. We’re excited to check out upcoming releases and report back on the best travel titles.

In honor of this trip, we’re highlighting some of our favorite books about New York City.

Teufelsberg, Berlin
Teufelsberg5To get from downtown Berlin to Teufelsberg without a car, you take the 17-minute S-Bahn ride from Berlin Central Station to the Heerstrabe stop. Once there, you step onto the train platform and begin a 30-minute trek along a dirt path that meanders through an expanse of grass and up a hill. You might feel like you’re trespassing or heading into an abyss, but I promise, Teufelsberg waits for you. A man-made hill, Teufelsberg, German for “Devil’s Mountain,” sits atop a never completed Nazi military technical college.
Earning the Rockies

Robert Kaplan usually looks outward from the United States. Ever since President Bill Clinton was spotted with a copy of Balkan Ghosts under his arm (and it was devoured by the entire White House staff) Kaplan’s career has skewed towards precarious situations abroad. Now, in his latest book Earning the Rockies, the foreign policy expert rediscovers America on a cross-country drive all the way from Massachusetts to San Diego.