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 the Szechenyi public baths were clean, beautiful and great fun.
Hungarian paprika from the Great Market in Budapest.
Having a fixed home while seeing all these towns and sights was great.
Wish we’d packed:
Budapest is beautiful, with ornately decorated buildings and a wealth of sculptures.
Frank Gehry’s striking design for the Louis Vuitton Foundation merits its own exhibition at the Bois de Boulogne museum, through March 16.
On permanent display: equally striking works by Ellsworth Kelly, Olafur Eliasson and other modern artists. www.fondationlouisvuitton.fr/en.
Quito celebrates Founders Day on Saturday, Dec. 6, a date tied to Spanish colonization in 1534, long after the pre-Incan Quito tribe lived there.
Take a nine-day cruise aboard the luxurious, 28-suite Irrawaddy Explorer, plus three days on land, to view Bagan’s ancient shrines, Mandalay, Inle Lake and the house of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi.
Hiking, diving, birding and exploring Moriori (Polynesian but not Maori) heritage are highlights; arrive via Air Chathams from Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch.
The Navigator Duffel Bag from Timbuk2 is a no-muss, no-fuss duffel that easily converts to a backpack with adjustable straps that can be tucked inside when not being used.
On the GoPro Hero 4 Silver, the touch-screen alone is worth the upgrade, if only for being able to frame shots and review footage, as well as easily change the settings with a finger.
 improved: low-light performance, sound quality and photo capture — up to 30 frames per second of 12-megapixel shots.
ExOfficio’s Give-N-Go Boxers are odor resistant, moisture wicking, breathable and quick drying (for hotel sink laundry), and the Sport Mesh version is similar, but with softer, stretchier material and a style and cut more suited to biking, trekking, running and other sweaty pursuits.
The Tile is a plastic tracking gadget about the size of a poker chip that can be attached to pretty much anything you don’t want to lose.
Once you register the Bluetooth chip, attach it to frequently misplaced valuables — keys, TV remote, camera — and use the Tile App for iPhone and iPad (coming soon to Android) to locate the objects.
The RFID Travel Vest by Scottevest features an RFID-blocking pocket to “protect your valuables from high-tech skimmers that can steal your identity.”
Guidebook company Bradt has assembled a great collection of tales that range in wrong from “that’s unfortunate” to “how did he survive?” Among the gems:
Michael Palin’s attempts to lasso camels, Rolf Potts stumbling onto a secret society in a Jordanian movie house, and Christina Ammon wine shopping in Morocco (a version of which ran in The Chronicle).
Typically, we shun the “listification” of travel, reducing history, culture and people to a Top 10 for readers with no attention span.
While overall this is one big list, it’s really more a 100-chapter love letter about France and a manual on how other women can best find that love.
DeSanctis’ short entries, which range from more narrative to more reportage, include plenty of spots in Paris (obviously), as well as meaningful locations in other regions — the lavender route of Provence, the Bayeux Tapestry in Normandy, the toothy peaks of Chamonix.
Using a format employed by Nat Geo and Lonely Planet, the book offers a few glossy pages — a summary and food and cultural highlights, as well as the kind of photos you expect from Nat Geo — for each of 62 cities in the world, arranged in size from Tokyo to Vatican City.
The affordable EXO 2.0 Hardside Spinner Carry-On by eBags is the maximum size allowed by most major U. S. airlines (22 by 14 by 9 inches), including wheels and handle. A separate compartment on top for shoes or toiletries can be opened without removing the garment bag, and includes a padded sleeve for a laptop.
Naturalist and explorer John Muir was said to go off into the wilds with little more than a jacket, a tin cup, loaf of bread, pound of tea, a “copy of Emerson” and an old sack to carry it all. Clearly, this was before Gore-Tex trek shoes, Topo map apps for iPhone and solar-paneled hydration packs.