Places I Remember with Lea Lane

Lea's Favorite Bits From Places I Remember, 2022! (Part 1)

January 03, 2023 Podcast host and award-winning travel writer Lea Lane chooses excerpts from Episodes 48 to 62. Season 1 Episode 75
Places I Remember with Lea Lane
Lea's Favorite Bits From Places I Remember, 2022! (Part 1)
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In honor of this 75th episode,  podcast host Lea Lane chooses favorite excerpts from Episode 48 to Episode 62 (Part Two, in the next episode, will include favorites from the rest of 2022.)

Excerpts include beautiful memories of the Serengeti plains and Pacific Northwest waterfalls, twilight train rides in Finland, swimming in the Baths of Virgin Gorda, and seeing Icelandic geysers through the eyes of a child.

Hear about customs that are odd and fascinating in Russia, India and China. And music from Portugal's mesmerizing fado to Mississippi's blues. Food discussions include haggis in Scotland (with whiskey cream sauce!) and lobster ice cream on Cape Cod.

You'll hear about memorable people from kind friends in Panama, to a grandfather in the Netherlands who hid a famous Dutch painting in WW2. Adventure tales include swimming in dead calm waters in the middle of the Atlantic, to sailing solo in the Pacific.

And an inspirational and unforgettable memory of hiding in a closet from the Nazis in a Nazi headquarters, is included from an award-winning episode.

To listen to any of the full episodes, note the episode's number, given for each of these excerpts. And check the show notes included with each episode, for links and more details of our terrific guests.
Podcast host Lea Lane blogs at, has traveled to over 100 countries, written nine books, including Places I Remember, and contributed to many guidebooks.

Contact Lea! 
@lealane on Twitter; PlacesIRememberLeaLane on Insta; on  Facebook, it's Places I Remember with Lea Lane. Website:

New episodes drop every other week, on Tuesdays. Please tell your friends, family and colleagues about us, and follow, rate and review this award-winning travel podcast!

Lea Lane  0:06  
Hi, I'm Lea Lane, an award-winning travel writer and author of Places I Remember: Tales, Truths, Delights from 100 Countries. On this podcast we share conversations with travelers about fascinating destinations and memorable experiences around the world. 

It's our 75th episode, and we're now heard in 140 countries and over 4000 cities around the world. Thanks to you. We are in the top 3% of podcasts globally, according to Listen Notes, the top podcast search engine. To celebrate, I've compiled a sampling of some of the best memories from all episodes we recorded this past year, for our award winning travel podcast. There are so many we're dividing these favorite excerpts into two episodes. So let's begin with Part One of my favorite excerpts of Places I Remember 2022. As you listen, jot down the episode number so that you can go back to enjoy the conversations, the places and the guests you're most interested in. 

Patty Ehsaei is the SI factor, known as the Duchess of Decorum by almost a million Tiktok followers. In Episode 48, we both discuss fun and fascinating customs around the world, including this exchange. 

Well, cultures typically approach sex marriage and reproduction in unique ways. September 12, is the day of conception in Russia because the declining birth rates of Russia coupled with a unequal proportion of women to men, and the alarmingly short lifespans of Russian men. Because of that there's a public holiday on September 12, to give couples time off from work in order to have a baby. And parents whose babies are born exactly nine months later can even win prizes. (Wow. I didn't know that.) Now, another one in China, it's believed that if the husband carries his pregnant wife over burning coal with bare feet, the wife has an easy delivery. So I guess physical pain for the husband to ease out the wife's labor.

Pattie Ehsaei  2:07  
Perhaps it balances things out.

Lea Lane  2:10  
Okay, how about another one from you.

Pattie Ehsaei  2:12  
in Thailand or really any of those South Asian countries, you're not supposed to touch a monk, especially if you're a woman. I remember I was on the train in Thailand and I got on the train with my tour guide, there was a monk and I go to sit next to the monk. And the guy just like literally just grabs me and pulls me up like what are you doing? He's like, you're not supposed to sit near a monk, you're not supposed to touch a monk. I had no idea.

Lea Lane  2:38  
On Episode 49 excerpts from the Best of '21 episode, there's lots to choose from. But here's a particular favorite: American Idol. And So You Think You Can Dance producer Simon Fuller shares a travel memory of eloquence, simplicity about nature and family when he was filming the documentary Serengeti, in Tanzania.

Simon Fuller  2:58  
There was one trip where I actually went specifically to just recharge my batteries and to think about projects in my career. And that was the trip where I came up with the idea of Serengeti. So that was obviously fun and important, but the part two to that was that I got to take my three young daughters there, after Serengeti had broadcast, and shared the wonder of that beautiful part of the world with them. And so to see them see an elephant in the wild, and a lion and all the many, many beautiful creatures we saw, to see their reaction to it for the first time. And they  were three and a half and eight now at the time. Nothing will ever beat that for me. That's the memory I would take to my grave. It was just the innocence of young humans and the innocence of nature meeting and, and that purity and the love. No, it wasn't fear. Actually, it was just awe. That will be a memory I  will last forever and ever.

Lea Lane  3:59  
In Episode 50 survivor, Alan Hall tells of hiding with his Jewish family in Poland during the Holocaust. Even in this short take, you can hear why this exceptional episode won awards.

Allan Hall  4:12  
A German was complaining that he had an office in a Nazi headquarters building the tallest building in Poland --second tallest building in Europe -- and he was just paying rent for an office he could not use. Well, my father almost jumped out of his shoes. And he said, Well, I've got a little factory. We could probably use that space, how much you want for it? A price was established. And my dad sublet that office in a Nazi headquarters building. We climbed up the 13 flights of stairs because we would not use the elevator. Since these were manual elevators, run by operators. And so we climbed up the back stairs, got into the office and for the next two years, my mother and I were hidden in the back closet in the back in the private office in the Nazi headquarters building in Warsaw, 

Lea Lane  5:04  
Tell me about the closet. 

Allan Hall  5:06  
Well the closet was about  two feet two and a half feet wide, or deep, I should say. And about maybe four and a half to five feet wide. My mother and I sat on the floor facing each other. And we each had a pillow on our lap, because there were people working all around us, so if we had to cough sneeze or anything, we would bury our heads in the pillow. The only other things that we had in the closet, was a potty for personal needs, and lastly, a little bit of white string like a baker string, and we would play cat in the cradle for hour after hour after hour. And that's the way we spent about nine to 10 hours each day, five days a week. And even on Saturday, Sundays when we come out of the closet, we could never rise above the bottom of the window, so that nobody would see us.

Lea Lane  5:58  
In Episode 51, one of our most popular ones, we talk about Portugal with travel expert Jayme Simoes. Here he describes the famous Portuguese singing style called the fado.

Jayme Simoes  6:10  
Go for the fado houses that are more driven towards locals, like Cafe Luiza, and not towards tourists. And where anybody can walk it off the street and so these fado houses and sing a set of fado songs, you know, the postman, the clerk from the store, the cafe, but a couple of things you need to know about fado: it is cathartic. People describe these as sad songs. They're not, they're very sad, yes, about loss and longing and tattered relationships. But there's a certain ability to cleanse your soul with the sadness of this music to make you actually feel good. So when Portuguese go to hear fado, it actually makes them feel better about it.

Lea Lane  6:13  
Sounds like the blues.

Jayme Simoes  6:49  
Yes, very much. Very good comparison. So anyways, do try and find one of these local fado houses where local singers sing, and Portuguese people go. But the number one rule is the later you go, the better the music. And the number two rule is: Be quiet, be silent, it is respectful, you know, because in Portuguese, we say you know, sea lands, you have to be quiet, we're going to sing the Father. That is a sign of respect the person singing and enjoy it. There are more tourist oriented clubs that do more of a floor show. And those are fun too. But that really isn't the fado. That's more of a stage thing. And it's fun to enjoy. But I say go hear the real fado, hear the soul of Portugal, laid out all of its beauty.

Lea Lane  7:26  
In Episode 52, we learned about another form of blues one that originated in the Mississippi Delta from Josephine Matyas and her husband, economist and musician Craig Jones. There were a couple of other juke joints I went to and I know they're pretty famous; one is called Reds. 

Oh, yes. Yes, that looks like when you go in there. It looks like an attic or something. It's a fire hazard. But the music was unbelievable. It was real stuff and we didn't even care-- I you know, you go in there and you think I don't know. But you come out and you're happy. How about Ground Zero? Ground Zero is a famous one. I think that one is well known. Tell us a little about that when those these are both in Clarkdale. 

Craig Jones  8:09  
Clarksdale. Ground Zero is a more typical, you know, large bar or tavern, great sound system. You know, dollars stapled to the walls and people you know autographing and everywhere and so it's much more typically in contrast to Red's Lounge, which, as you said, looks like like a fire trap. But it's very authentic.

Lea Lane  8:30  
It is I loved it. In Episode 53, to celebrate the first anniversary of Places I Remember, I spoke with my two sons Cary and Rand about some of our family travels, and they interviewed me.

Cary Lane  8:42  
I think having a mother who is a travel writer is a really different and cool thing when you're growing up. When your friends are doing conventional things or conventional travel. It was a really fun thing to be exposed to different cultures and different foods and different experiences at an early age. And I think that certainly helped shape our outlook, as we got older, embracing diversity.

Lea Lane  9:07  
I hope so. I certainly tried when I traveled to come back with some recipes that were interesting that maybe you didn't like so much when you were little, but I think both of you are foodies now. 

Cary Lane  9:19  
When our friends were eating Wonderbread and chicken nuggets, we were eating couscous out of a Tagine and you know, so I think there's value in that.

Lea Lane  9:29  
I hope so. Well, we went on some interesting trips, one of the earliest which was to Iceland, when we were living in England, Icelandair was giving a big promotional deal. You could go to Iceland in the 70s for free for a couple of days because nobody was going there. I had never thought of going there. It was on our way to Luxembourg. So we stopped over there and it was like going to the moon; there were no tourists and very few hotels and Rand remembered one thing.

Randall Lane  9:55  
I remember looking down a giant pit into hell basically. But in retrospect, it was a geyser. But when you're that just looked like infinity and like, like you said, the most magical, and unless you're scary or fantastical, but it was that's one of my if not my earliest memory.

Lea Lane  10:13  
Episode 54 is an interview with Sandra Smith, a fascinating woman who sailed solo in the Pacific among many accomplishments. Here, she gives us an example of her interesting life.

Sandra Smith  10:25  
You talked about crew, that was another bad crew. Well, I was on PV and trying to decide if I should go south, because it was kind of scary. Yeah. And so this fellow there, he needed crew, he was going to go to Costa Rica. And so I thought, Well, that's good. I get a chance to see what it's like sailing down there. And if I can handle it myself, and he had leather patches on his jacket, and had graduated from Stanford, so I thought he can't be all that bad. So I said, because I had stopped drinking years before. I said, I'll be happy to do it if you don't take any booze and I can bring my dog. And he said, Yes, he agreed to that. And the next day, another fellow appeared that wanted to go on the trip. And he's a cinematographer for the, the largest movie company in Canada. And when he didn't have movies to do he would just come down there and hang out. And so I called him bear. He was kind of cuddly and big, you know, and really nice. So we took off and few minutes out of the harbor, the owner, I'm gonna call him Captain Bligh. said, Get me a beer. So Bear opened up the refrigerator and I had donated all this filet mignon that I had driven to San Diego just to get because some Mexican meat is so tough to chew. And I donated this whole thing. He had gotten rid of it and the whole ice box was filled with beer. Bear went to get a glass to pour, and the guy shot it down. Don't bother with a glass just bring me the quart bottle!

Lea Lane  11:57  
Episode 55 is all about Scotland, with Scots brother and sister Bruce McAlpine and Rona Patterson, Can we talk about one of the country's most well known foods? Tell us some specialties that we only find in Scotland.

Bruce McAlpine  12:10  
Probably everybody knows haggis. I don't know? Did you have it Lea? 

Lea Lane  12:13  
I had haggis? Tell me about it. What is haggis? 

Bruce McAlpine  12:17  
I mean, haggis is a delight. It's got oatmeal, and then it's got some other bits and pieces in it.

Lea Lane  12:23  
Bits and pieces make it different. Yeah,

Bruce McAlpine  12:27  
Historically, those bits and pieces were things you might not want to eat, the offal, and the whole thing was cooked in a sheep's stomach. But I think now it's it's maybe higher quality and seasoned. I love haggis. Do you love haggis?

Rhona Patterson  12:41  
If you play with a nice creamy whiskey sauce then potentially with a creamy whiskey sauce. I'm not sure I think

Lea Lane  12:47  
if you put anything with creamy whiskey sauce, it tastes good.

Bruce McAlpine  12:50  
So the funny thing is Rhona was born on Robert Burns' birthday and which on Robert Burns his birthday you you eat haggis, right? That's what you do. Well, you do other things too. You toast the haggis and you read poetry and you drink whiskey or whatever. 

Lea Lane  13:03  
Well, that's famous around the world. They a local place here not far from my house toast Robert Burns on his birthday with all that stuff. I think they even serve haggis. So that's really interesting. In Episode 56, Renske Green Lute shares a personal memory of the Netherlands.

Renske Green-Lute  13:21  
If I'm thinking about special I'm thinking about my grandfather in the war. World War Two. Yes. And he was a truck driver. He had his own truck. So he would drive around and help people with whatever move and he was asked to help the Nightwatch to (the famous Rembrandt painting.?) Yes, yes to put it in his car and drive to the dunes here in District One, which is a little town next to the sea. And in here we got bunkers. And that's where the night was, was stored away for the Germans. So it would be kept for the Dutch.

Lea Lane  13:54  
So he drove the Nightwatch to the I mean, I have heard about the fact that they had to take it out and protect it and how fabulous it was when it came back and what a ceremony and I can only imagine that's one of your great treasures of your country. So wow, it's quite a memory. 

Renske Green-Lute  14:10  
There's a small bunker here in the dunes. And there's a little plaque stating there on the side that this was the bunker that the Nightwatch was stored in a way it's very famous.

Lea Lane  14:21  
Many travelers are considering moving abroad, becoming expats. In Episode 57, Jennifer Stevens and Jessica Ravish, editors at International Living, give us advice and suggestions of the best places to live abroad. Here's an example about the people of Panama where Jessica moved to from the States.

Jessica Ramesch  14:40  
And for me, a lot of it boils down to the people. Sure the internet is great. And I can do my work as a writer from here, but it's the people. My dad was living here until he passed away in 2013. And, you know, I've been to countries where there's maybe a little bit more impatience with people as they get older rather than respect Whereas here in Panama, what we encountered a lot of the time was just really respect or compassion:  supermarkets, cashiers would remember my dad and he was the last dinosaur insisting on paying for things with paper checks and taking forever in line and people waiting behind him and they remembered him and got to know him. And they would ask him how he was. And one day he was out, I wasn't with him. He was at a bank, and he got dizzy and passed out. You know, the people, they sat with him. They found my number in his phone, they called me, they stayed with him until the ambulance came to take him to the hospital. They went to the hospital and waited until I got there. Before leaving, they kind of just left wouldn't take anything from me. Didn't want to accept anything, called me the 


Clive McCoy  20:16  
What about 10:11 in the day, when the sun is directly overhead you will you'll get that sunlight coming in. it's absolutely wonderful.

Lea Lane  20:26  
Yi DIng,  born in Beijing and now living in the Netherlands, is a Eurail exec. In Episode 61 she tells of a special train trip she took,

Yi Ding  20:36  
I'd love to share my experience memory traveling in Finland with the Europass. My best route experience was to travel from Helsinki, Finland to the central Finland during Christmas period in 2017. And this is the same tree roads up north to the Latin area in Finland. At that point they live was short in winter in Finland. And I remember my train past through small villages, lakes and forests covered with snow in different types of twilight. And that's the first time I know the twilight actually has different types of different colors. And the whole experience was just magical because of the light and snow which made be understand why there are so many fairytales in a Scandinavian country. It's so pure and magical.

Lea Lane  21:26  
In Episode 62, Leon Bolivar longtime resident and resort executive, shares has delights of the Cape Peninsula and nearby Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket islands. We share experiences in this little excerpt. 

Leon Bolivar  21:40  
The Cape has two sides really, it's got the ocean side and it's got the bass side. The bay side is where you will see most of the whale watchers --so humpback whales with the little babies kind of following them around. Typically you will hop on these Whale Watch tours in Hyannis in Barnstable area and you know, you're out there for about 2,3,4 hours you know, there's concessions on the boat, but you get out there enjoy the sun and really see these massive beautiful majestic animals swimming along the bay. And then if you go to the other side of the peninsula on the ocean side, that's really where you would see things like seals and things of that nature. So that's kind of what separates the land -- the wildlife, I guess, because all the seals and the other one has more of the whales.

Lea Lane  22:22  
I do know when you go out to the beach. And when you're looking for the whales, I guess you can sometimes see them from the shore. One of the things that you want to think about is some of the seafood. So I think of fried clams, and I'm thinking of Wellfleet oysters, and lobster, of course in all forms. I remember one form I have to say, I've talked about other ice creams before but I had lobster ice cream. Have you had that one chocolate Emporium, very sweet, sweet and savory ice cream. It's sort of butter flavor with bits of lobster in it. And it was really different. 

We hope you've enjoyed listening to some of the best travel memories and stories from the past year. In our next episode, we'll bring you more of the best excerpts from 2022.

My book Places I Remember: Tales, Truths, Delights from 100 countries. is available in print Kindle, and I read the audio version. You can follow me on where I write five travel posts a month. Please subscribe to this podcast and consider giving us a review. And I'd love to hear from you on any of my links in the episodes show notes or on my website Until next time, make some travel memories.

Customs - Ep 48
Serengeti- Ep 49
Holocaust Memory- Ep 50
Fado in Portugal - Ep 51
Mississippi Blues- Ep 52
Sons interview Lea - Ep 53
Pacific story - Ep 54
Scottish haggis- Ep 55
Dutch memory -Ep 56
Expat in Panama - Ep 57
Waterfall in Pacific NW - Ep 58
Swimming in the Middle of the Atlantic - Ep 59
The Baths in Virgin Gorda, BVI - Ep 60
Train ride in Finland - Ep 61
Cape Cod delight - Ep 62