🎁 Gifts, Greeks, and More in Pipeaway Newsletter #110

Pipeaway travel newsletter #110; AI image by DALL-E.

This is the archived version of our free weekly newsletter. To start receiving it in your mailbox on the send-out day, join the newsletter list!

Merry Christmas!

Someone recently said that Christmas is singlehandedly keeping the word “merry” alive. Whether you celebrate this holiday, another one, or not at all, December is a month when we’re reminded of the connection between happiness and giving.

I got an unexpected present already for Saint Nicholas Day. A reader scrolled down to the bottom of this newsletter, clicked that “buy me a coffee” button and sent over a donation. It was a single-digit amount, and yet it made my day, that symbolic gesture saying that your showing up in someone’s mailbox or browser matters.

Travel writing/blogging can sometimes look like a luxurious privilege as if it would be detached from reality. Expressing appreciation for people’s work in that space is not a daily event.

So if I could have any work-related wish this Christmas, I’d love if we could all head toward bloggers or journalists we follow, and say a simple “thank you”. That thanks doesn’t have to have a monetary value, even if many colleagues, struck by Google’s updates, would surely welcome that support too.

But already sending a short mail of gratitude, or commenting under an article is a great way to show the support for the writing you cared about this year. It doesn’t cost a thing, and yet it can be priceless.

Find this in today’s newsletter:

  • Words: Making a scene.
  • Images: Landscapes, seascapes, and snow escapes.
  • Numbers: Express check-out.
  • P.S.: Winter wonderland 5% off.

Have a merry week!

Ivan Kralj           


Mikro Papigo or Papingo, one of the Zagori villages with centered around gigantic old tree, Zagorochoria, Greece; photo by Orientalizing.

Exploring the Wonders of Zagorochoria’s Stone Villages

Not long ago, I wrote about Zagori, a Greek land of impressive stone bridges and sacred forests. This cultural landscape is home to 46 villages made of stone. To help you choose the one that fits your needs the best, I selected my 15 favorite villages of Zagorochoria. Some are great choices for history buffs, others are a perfect base for extreme sports lovers. If you want to see Christmas-cake white Zagori, visit it during winter, like colleagues from the Guardian.




During the Middle Ages wars, some Greeks fled to Italy and, in the province of Rieti, founded the village of Greccio. This is where St Francis of Assisi staged the world’s first nativity scene in a cave, exactly 800 years ago.


We know that alcohol hits our heads differently at cruising altitudes. Just in time for Dry January, La Compagnie, the French business-class airline, introduced its first flights with 0% ABV wine. Who knows if a drunk Spirit Airlines passenger who punched a cop would welcome this news?


On the ground, it’s not always a customer caught in unruly behavior. A woman at a Dunkin’ Donuts drive-thru wanted to file a complaint, but the employees pulled guns on her. Thankfully, cops were quick to act. It’s a donut shop, after all.




There’s no business like snow business. For frosty flashbacks, check out these vintage winter snapshots from the 20th century.


Hold your breath for these free-diving photographs among the sharks. The model discovered her jaw-dropping talent for not breathing just recently, and now she breaks records.


The International Landscape Photographer of 2023 is Tony Hewitt, while The Independent Photographer’s main landscape photography award went to Phillip Glombik. Out of competition, I stumbled upon these sleeping cats in Thai rice paddies. Now, that’s a new purrspective.




The price of a hot dog at Budapest’s Christmas Market. Comfort yourself with goulash for €12, or stuffed cabbage for €17! The other European advent feasts are also financial minefields.


The cost of a cheap one-day all-you-can-ride pass on JR East, shinkansen included. Japan Railways raised the price of the JR Pass by up to 77%, but this Kyun Pass will let you visit less-crowded tourist destinations for just 63 euros or exactly three Budapest sausages.


The price of a one-way ticket on the iconic Orient Express from Paris to Italy in the summer of 2024. The three-night journey from baguette to bruschetta comes with Michelin-starred menus, and piano music in the background. The ticket price equals spending 123 days riding those trains in Japan, or stuffing yourself with 368 Budapest Bratwursts.

Tiqets logo.

Unlock Winter Joy With Tiqets’ Christmas Code!

Tiqets brings attraction tickets directly to your phone. With a special Christmas promo code, you can enjoy them with a 5% discount. Immerse yourself in AURA Invalides in Paris, wander through Trame di Luce in Rome’s Botanical Garden, bask in the light show of Barcelona’s Christmas Garden, witness frozen art at the Ice Sculpture Festival in the Netherlands, or go ice skating in New York’s Central Park. Choose your adventure at Tiqets, and use promo code CHRISTMAS5 before January 6.

How did you like Pipeaway Newsletter #110? Send your feedback.
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This is the archived version of our free weekly newsletter. To start receiving it in your mailbox on the send-out day, join the newsletter list!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you click on them and make a purchase, Pipeaway may make a small commission, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting our work!
Ivan Kralj


Award-winning journalist and editor from Croatia

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* pipe away ['paipǝ'wei] (vt, mar) = to give
the whistling signal for the ship about to
leave the harbor

Mapping the extraordinary since 2017.


Pipeaway is a travel blog mapping extraordinary people, places and passions.
Founded and run by Ivan Kralj, Croatian award-winning journalist and editor.
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