Expressing the joy that dance creates. Quito, Ecuador, 25-May-2013

Best of Piran Café

First time here?

Welcome to Piran Café, and thanks so much for stopping by!

There are more than 2,200 posts on Piran Café, so you’re forgiven for not knowing exactly where to begin exploring. I enjoy playing tour guide so let me offer a few suggestions.

But first you have to look at this photo of some of the nearly 4,000 penguins that greeted me when I stepped foot onto Martillo Island on the Beagle Channel.

Magellanic Penguins, Martillo Island, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, 31-Jan-2013
Martillo Island, Beagle Channel

Great, thanks. 🙂

Best of Piran Cafe
Pin this!

For starters, a dozen popular posts, in no particular order:

Leave your expectations and stereotypes at the unclaimed baggage counter or dump them in the non-recyclables bin before passing through security, and don’t look back.

Next, a few more recently published posts that in my humble opinion warrant your attention:

Suitcases collected from inmates at Auschwitz
Suitcases collected from inmates at Auschwitz


The Museum of Islamic Art, Doha
The Museum of Islamic Art, Doha

I visit lots of museums and exhibits. Sometimes I’ll blog about them. Like the Museum of Too Modern Art in a small rural village in Slovenia. Or The Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar, architecturally, one of my favorite museums on the planet. Or, exhibits like this comprehensive Stanley Kubrick retrospective at the National Museum in Krakow or a visit with the Mummies of Sucre.

I’m often asked what my favorite place on the planet is. It’s a tough call but usually I answer Patagonia. Both Argentine and Chilean. Some evidence:

Balmaceda Glacier, Southern Patagonian Ice Field, Chile, 08-Feb-2013
Balmaceda Glacier, Southern Patagonian Ice Field, Chile

Do you like to visit cities?

I do to. Here’s a notebook entry looking back at eight days in the Argentine capital, Leaving Nostalgia Behind – A Buenos Aires Notebook. And here’s one on the time I visited Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany’s premiere winter sports center, in early February when there wasn’t any snow.

And from my occasional City Quickie video series, here are fairly brief but busy looks at Berlin, Doha, Qatar‘s West Bay area and the Moroccan capital, Rabat. And among my personal favorites, this time lapse video I shot in Sarajevo.

From the War and Conflict Archives

Just a handful to start:

  • Remembering Argentina’s Dirty War. Memorials for the 30,000 that perished at the hand of the right-wing military dictatorship between 1976 and 1983.
  • Hoa Lo, aka The Hanoi Hilton: an Abbreviated Tour. Hoa Lo means ‘fiery furnace’, an apt name for this prison built to house those fighting the French and then later U.S. soldiers during the American war, or the Vietnam War.
  • 60 Second Kobarid Museum Advisor. A museum in northwest Slovenia dedicated to chronicling the Twelve Battles of Isonzo Front which were later immortalized by Hemingway in A Farewell to Arms.
  • Sarajevo Olympic Bobsled Run, 30 Years Later. A photo and video tour of Trebević Mountain, which in 1984 hosted the Olympic bobsled and luge competition and less than a decade later served as a Bosnian Serb artillery position during the siege of Sarajevo. A surreal stroll.
  • And Agent Orange’s Golden Anniversary, an account of a visit to the Thanhxuan Peace Village, or Lang Hoa Binh Than Xuan, an orphanage, school and clinic in Hanoi set up specifically for victims of Agent Orange. Rarely a day goes by that I don’t think about this afternoon visit with the Agent Orange’s third generation.

The All-Time No. 1

And finally, the most visited post here: Did Anyone Tell the Amazon Swimmer About the Candirú?

Published in January 2007 –yes, the first full month that this blog existed– it went semi-viral in less than 24 hours and attracted nearly 30,000 visitors that day. Lesson learned? Posts about an obscure spiny fish that painfully lodges itself into a penis will attract a crowd. And still does.

Let’s Connect!

Enjoy the tour, don’t be a stranger and don’t hesitate to get in touch. Likewise, let’s connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google Plus.



  1. I have thirty minutes before the bus leaves for Tulipe (Trans Otavalo bus. $1.50 ticket) and I don’t think I’ll have time to read all of these! Great post – some of the links I remember well, and many are new, so it will be time well spent until time to leave for Tulipe.

  2. Your blog is inspirational!!! We will take our own sweet time to vicariously explore places that we haven’t come close to at all. Thank you for sharing! 🙂

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.