Climbing Mount Shasta

The landmark Mount Shasta is the 14,162-foot (4,249-m) centerpiece of northern California, rising like a giant diamond in a field of evergreens. Long regarded as a place of intense energy, Mount Shasta has a...

Thebes – Ancient Center of Egyptian Religious Life

The cyclical rhythms of nature — the annual flood of the Nile that made agriculture possible and the daily phases of the sun — became the basis for Egypt’s worldview. The cycle of birth,...

Nan Madol – Venice of the Pacific

Early European explorers called Nan Madol the “Venice of the Pacific” because the ancient city was built upon a coral reef and is intersected by artificial water canals. On the remote Micronesian island of Pohnpei...

Mount Sinai and Saint Catherine’s Monastery

Mount Sinai and Saint Catherine’s Monastery have been the inspiration of Christian, Jewish, and Moslem pilgrimage for over 1,300 years. The Monastery is the oldest continuously used religious retreat on earth. Perhaps the most sacred...

Jericho and the Dead Sea Caves

Israel is a land of contrasts and contradictions. It is an ancient land of enormous historical significance yet remains a divided and embattled country. It is one of the most hotly disputed territories on...

America’s Stonehenge

On a hilltop near the Massachusetts border are a series of low stonewalls and cobbled rock chambers called America’s Stonehenge. The entire complex covers about 30 acres (12 ha) of hills and woodland, around...

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon

The temples of Mesopotamian soared above the flat river valley, rising tier upon tier to the sanctuaries that crowned their parapets. As centuries passed, their walls grew even higher, culminating in the colossal neo-Babylonian...

Chaco Canyon – American Cradle of Civilization

Called the “American Cradle of Civilization,” Chaco Canyon represents the most important concentration of archaeological remains in the United States. The 12-mile (19-km) long and one-mile (1.6-km) wide canyon was a thriving urban center...

Axum – First Christian Kingdom?

The holiest city of the Ethiopian Orthodox faith, Axum was founded over 2,000 years ago and is capital to one of the most glorious empires in history. The numerous churches and monasteries of Axum...

Saint Peter’s Basilica – The Heart of Christianity

The autonomous state of Vatican City (Holy See) has been the focus of Catholic pilgrims for many centuries. Crossing the Tiber River on the Ponte Sant’Angelo bridge, the visitor is welcomed to the world’s...

Archipelago of Tonga

The archipelago of Tonga borders the western frontier of Melanesia, yet is distinctly Polynesian in race, culture and language. The actual land area is a scant 269 square miles (433 sq. km) of verdant...

Haleakala – Very Sacred Place to Ancient Hawaiians

Everything in East Maui centers around, or is inside, the massive cone-shaped Haleakala volcano. Rising 10,023 feet (3,007 m) into the tropical sky, from a sea-level base of 33 miles (53 km) in diameter,...