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Welcome to Travel Writers' Tales, an independent travel article syndicate that offers affordable and professionally written travel articles to newspaper editors and publishers. Over the course of a 52 week term, we will meet your need for travel copy, whether it is one story a week, bi-weekly or monthly. We provide two CD ROMs, each covering your six month supply. The lively and up-to-date travel stories are written by accredited travel writers. As well as diversified destinations, the compilation of articles is thematically selected to suit the calendar year. The pre-packaged CD ROMs not only simplify publishing deadlines, but also promote increased advertising sales on a monthly basis. Travel Writers' Tales offers the discerning armchair traveler, as well as the active adventure seeker, glimpses into the excitement and mystery of worlds that lie beyond our horizons.

If we are always arriving and departing, it is also true that we are eternally anchored. One's destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things.
....Henry Miller (1891–1980)

September 2019
THE COLOURFUL CABOT TRAIL
by Jane Cassie

"A little wildlife and some colour would be nice to see," my husband, Brent, says wistfully. "Along with the occasional ocean view. But then, that's a given." We'd planned this trip to Cape Breton on Canada's East Coast with hopes of getting some visual overload, not only of the many dramatic coastlines, vibrant bays and empty beaches, but also the burst of colour that happens every fall. Unfortunately Mother Nature seems to be a bit tardy this year in delivering the eye-popping goods and everything is still pretty green. ... read more »


IMPERIAL CAESAREA: KING HEROD’S ROMAN CITY
by Rick Millikan

A Viking Star Cruise offers fascinating overviews of early Mediterranean civilizations. One excursion in Israel investigates a prominent Roman port. ... read more »


RECEIVING THE SPIRITUAL GIFTS OF LUANG PRABANG, LAOS
by Donna Yuen

I step out from the dark alley into the dimly lit street. The pavement is still glistening from last night’s rain as I make my way towards the main road. Here in the UNESCO town of Luang Prabang, the day begins early. It is only 5:30 am, and the locals have already started to gather on the sidewalk. The people are on their knees with their prepared food ready to give alms. They are silent or quietly praying as they await the arrival of the monks. In the distance, I see movement up the street. Out of the darkness, the monks appear. There are hundreds of them, and they approach single file, barefoot and clad in orange robes to receive the food. I am humbled witnessing the respect and kindness that characterizes the daily ritual in this town. ... read more »


LUXURY IN THE LOCKS
“Navigate your way along the historic Rideau Waterway
as the captain of your own Le Boat cruiser!”

by Jamie Ross

I was awake early, bringing a coffee to the upper sundeck. We had moored for the night in an enchanting glade below the Burritt’s Rapids Lock and I am greeted this morning to a pink sunrise over the Rideau River – the gray mist that cloaked the locks at first light had now drifted away. I am reminded of the old saying, “Red sky in morning, sailor’s warning,” but since my wife and I aren’t sailing but rather travelling aboard an impressive 45 foot luxury rental yacht along the historic Rideau Waterway, I’m not concerned. We push off and set a course north. ... read more »


August 2019
SEDUCED BY LEMONS AND LEGENDS
Along Italy’s Amalfi Coast

by Chris McBeath

Limone Abbondante
Picturesque villages cling to high cliffs that drop into a cobalt blue sea. Narrow roads wind precariously around the rugged Tyrrhernian coastline. And lemons larger bocce balls are everywhere: hanging beneath rustling green leaves on terraced landscapes. Painted on ceramics. Carved into walls. Printed onto tea towels. Styled into haute couture. Crafted into perfumes. Distilled into limoncello, and flavoring almost every local dish, be it scialatielli ai frutti di mare or linguini. And, being Italy, food is a serious affair deserving of its own celebration. ... read more »


JAMBO AFRICA!
by Margaret Deefholts

I have a balcony seat at a spellbinding show. The stage is a gigantic mud hole, surrounded by thick African jungle, and the performers have been front centre for the last hour. ... read more »


WILD ADVENTURES IN THE DISCOVERY ISLANDS
by Lauren Kramer

If you’re looking for a slice of paradise this summer, look no further than Feather’s Cove on Maurelle Island. This small, barely known isle in the Discovery Passage is home to The Flow Wilderness Retreat, a small, family-owned destination where guests spend five all-inclusive days kayaking across the clear, aquiline water. They take soul-nourishing forest walks to pristine lakes no-one has heard of and end their days in a cedar-smoking hot tub overlooking a bay untouched by time, as still and serenely beautiful as it was centuries ago. ... read more »


MILL VALLEY, CALIFORNIA
LITTLE PIECE OF PARADISE

by Jane Cassie

Sailboards skitter across the breezy bay waters far below, as we bridge the gap from San Francisco to the Marin Peninsula across the Golden Gate. Stretching over forty-two hundred feet, it was the world’s largest bridge when opened in 1937 and although the record has been surpassed many times, it continues to exemplify an icon of unique beauty. ... read more »


IN SEARCH OF MOZART
by Ray Chatelin

If you want to know Mozart the man, then it stands to reason you have to eventually come to grips with Salzburg and Vienna. It’s the only way you’ll ever discover what made the man tick and why his music endures. ... read more »


July 2019
CHATEAU DE FONTAINEBLEAU
Home of Kings

by Chris Millikan

Paris offers holidaymakers like us marvelous experiences of every description, including a daytrip to Chateau de Fontainebleau, 55 kilometers southeast of the city. ... read more »


LAND’S END IN INDIA
by Margaret Deefholts

Standing on the rocky shore looking south across the Indian Ocean, it is difficult not to feel a sense of awe bordering on the mystical. Behind me reaching across 1.7 million square kilometers is the vast seething sub-continent of India in all its diversity of language, customs, religions and peoples. And this is where it ends. Abruptly. Waves slap against stone steps and the surf breaks over boulders which jut stark and black against the glitter of blue-grey waters of three oceans – the Bay of Bengal, the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea. ... read more »


QUAINT OLD QUEBEC
by Jane Cassie

We discover during this visit to Old Quebec that all you need is a good pair of walking shoes and a yearning to discover this city's colourful past. Come along on our self-guided tour and enjoy some of the historical icons, tasty eateries and charming landmarks. ... read more »


VICTORIA, NATURALLY
by John Geary

As the capital of British Columbia, the city of Victoria offers a great many interesting options in the way of dining, entertainment, recreation, culture, history and other travel experiences. ... read more »


June 2019
GLACIER BAY NATIONAL PARK: ALASKA’S PRIMEVAL WILDERNESS
by Margaret Deefholts

A ripping sound, followed by a crackle—and the crowd holds its breath. A thick chunk crumbles and falls off the crenellated wall of ice with a thunderous roar, raising a spume of gray and brown flecked spray. A moment later, another whip-crack reverberates on the afternoon air, and further along the glacier front a second sliver breaks free and disappears into a foam of churning green water. A collective “Aaah” shudders along the ship’s rails. ... read more »


BUSSING AND BOATING COPENHAGEN
by Jane Cassie

"Watch out," my husband shouts, just before I step off the curb into oncoming traffic. "You always have to look both ways and yield."

Anywhere in North America, you might think he was referring to motorists. But here, in Copenhagen, it's all about the cyclists. They're everywhere and have the right of way. The morning commute is more like a professional's pedal parade. Women dressed in long skirts, men in suits, kids tucked into attached carts. And while getting where they want to go they all exude that effortless, scandi-cool style. ... read more »


BEHIND THE SCENES OF LONDON’S GRANDEST STAGES
Tours that reveal their secrets

by Chris McBeath

If discovering the secrets and superstitions of some of London’s grandest stages is a mouthwatering temptation, then the West End is where it’s at. These are my top choices and if you’ve time, head for the Royal Albert Hall in South Kensington. ... read more »


OUT AND ABOUT ON VANCOUVER ISLAND
Parksville, BC

by Chris Millikan

Our whirlwind getaway starts with a BC Ferry ‘cruise’ across scenic Georgia Strait. Disembarking at Nanaimo’s Duke Point terminal, we settle 37-kilometers north in Parksville, our favourite Vancouver Island destination. ... read more »


May 2019
CAPTIVATING CAPRI
by Irene Butler

The isle of Capri in the Bay of Naples is a gem of Italy, and a perfect day trip from the county’s southwestern coastal city of Naples. A one hour ferry ride whisks us to the island. The hilly terrain is dotted with whitewashed grand villas glistening in the sun. Yachts galore come into view as we near the Marina Grande dock – not surprising as Capri is known as a playground for the rich and famous taking a few days off from sailing to nestle in one of the upscale hotels. Further out cruise ships are anchored, their passengers no doubt enjoying the beaches. ... read more »


FUN ON FUNDY
by Jane Cassie

I'm not surprised to find out that The Bay of Fundy is one of North America's seven wonders. The three hundred and twenty kilometre-long waterway divides the province of Nova Scotia from New Brunswick and is home to rare whales, semi-precious minerals and the world's highest tides. The amount of daily water that goes in and out of this geological wonder actually surpasses the combined flow of all the freshwater rivers on our planet. Yes, this gem has earned the accolades. ... read more »


THE QUIRKY GULF ISLANDS
by Hans Tammemagi

The Gulf Islands, nestled in the bottom, left-hand corner of the country, are like glittering jewels — and they’ve got some fascinating history too. Before planning your trip, however, a word of caution. The archipelago also has a bizarre, quirky side ... read more »


Where the Buffalo Roam
“Discovering unexpected landscapes and rare wildlife in Grasslands National Park”

by Jamie Ross

“Who said Saskatchewan was flat?” I whisper to my horse Gus as he gamely hauls my butt up another steep incline. The question was meant to be rhetorical, but with a sharp expulsion of air, from both ends of his body, the horse gives me his answer. ... read more »


April 2019
EASTER ISLAND (RAPA NUI)
by Ray Chatelin

On Rapa Nui, the 21st Century is somewhat out of place.

It seems at times there are as many people riding horses down the main streets of the island’s only town, Hanga Roa, as there are cars and trucks. ... read more »


WADDESDON MANOR:
A Stately English Manor Off The Tourist Track

by Margaret Deefholts

“Have you heard of Waddesdon Manor?” asks my hostess, Diane, as she hands me a cup of tea across the breakfast table.

I venture a guess. “One of those stately homes of England?” ... read more »


STROLLING STOCKHOLM
by Jane Cassie

There are lots places to get a pretty panorama of Stockholm. We could hop on SkyView, that transports us to the roof of Ericsson Globe, the largest spherical building in the world. The transmission tower of Kaknästornet is another bird's eye beauty. And while drinking in the scene from this thirtieth floor's observation deck, we can also sip on a cocktail. Now that's my kind of a viewing platform. ... read more »


THE UNEXPECTED PILGRIMAGE
by Colleen Friesen

September’s morning fog lay low in the fields, pushing up against ancient rock fences. My hiking sticks tapped on stones worn smooth from centuries of footsteps. Mist, floating free of the fog, rose, illuminated and golden, before disappearing into the light of the sun. ... read more »


March 2019
STEPPING BACK IN TIME
Athens, Greece

by Chris Millikan

Our Mediterranean cruise kicks off with a two-day stay in the heart of old Athens. And during leisurely meanderings throughout the old city, my husband Rick and I reacquaint ourselves with the distinguished remains of a distant past. ... read more »


EGYPT – A LAND OF GHOSTS
by Ray Chatelin

The old and the new live side by side here, a physical and spiritual culture of pharaohs and kings, and a contemporary population whose past is tightly linked to its economic future. ... read more »


WAVES AND HAVENS OF HALSNAES
by Jane Cassie

When you think of Denmark, beaches aren't usually the first thing that come to mind. Unless you visit the municipality of Halsnæs. Located in Sealand, you're never too far from the water; the Kattegat Sea is to the northwest, the Ise and Roskilde Fjords are to the south and west, respectively, the Arresø, (largest lake in the country) lies to the east. And almost the entire northern coast of this lovely landmass is rimmed with one heavenly stretch of sand. ... read more »


EXPLORING JOHANNESBURG
by Margaret Deefholts

Johannesburg stirs strong emotions. It is one of South Africa’s wealthiest cities, yet it is also a city where poverty and crime stalks its citizens. It has seen violence and heroism; cruelty and courage. ... read more »


A SLOW TRAIN CELEBRATION
by Karoline Cullen

“Champagne?” asks the steward. I hesitate as it is 9:30 in morning. Then I recall being up before day break for departure from our hotel. There was barely enough light to see the honour guard of lounging elk along the hotel driveway. So it is “Yes, please!” and he pours a glass with a smiling flourish. ... read more »


February 2019
THE HEART OF HALIFAX
by Margaret Deefholts

Nova Scotia smells of the Atlantic Ocean—there’s a tangy freshness to the air that is different from the pine-scented summer breezes off the Pacific coast. Even though I know that the open sea is quite a long way off, the feeling persists as I stroll the boardwalk overlooking the harbour in Halifax. ... read more »


ROMANCING THE RHONE
“Take a slow, delightful river cruise to enjoy the sensations of Southern France!”

by Jamie Ross

It is early spring in southern France. The temperature is pleasant, the throng of tourists has not yet arrived and the sun-drenched vineyards, bucolic countryside and charming towns and villages ooze romance. Rivers were once the lifeblood of Europe; commerce, defence, culture and cities followed their path. ... read more »


SWEETHEART SITES OF SAN FRANCISCO
by Jane Cassie

How do time-deprived couples manage to stay blissfully connected these days? While juggling jobs, kids and homestead, who has the energy to keep love alive and sparks flying? These are questions that many pairs grapple with, especially at this time of year when Cupid goes to work. ... read more »


ON THE WHISTLER MUSEUM TRAIL
by Karoline Cullen

As we rattle along the tracks, it gets progressively darker and distinctly cooler. The guide extinguishes her light and we are engulfed in total blackness. Not a speck of light anywhere! When she turns on her headlamp, the thin wavering light shines on rough rock walls and the tunnel’s low ceiling. This is how miners saw their world. ... read more »


January 2019
OSTIA ANTICA
Rome’s Ancient Seaport

by Rick Millikan

Departing Civitavecchia, our Viking motor coach offers views of Italy’s scenic central coast and chaparral-covered foothills. Approaching the mouth of the Tiber River, excursion guide Sophia introduces our destination: ancient Ostia. “Beginning as a fort in the 7th century BC, Ostia evolved into Rome’s main seaport and flourished from the 1st to 3rd century.” ... read more »


BEYOND BANGKOK: THAI FAMILY GETAWAY
by Lauren Kramer

On a quest to expose our three teenagers to a culture entirely different from that of Canada we flew to Bangkok this summer with a twofold goal: keep the kids stimulated, excited and energized so that the word ‘boring’ would never come up, and avoid the tourist hotspots in favour of off-the-beaten-path travel that would enlighten and inspire them. ... read more »


STAR PERFORMERS OF BC
by Jane Cassie

Our province offers a wealth of activities when the stars come out. Here are half a dozen that you'll never snooze through. ... read more »


IRELAND’S MAGNIFICENT REALITY SHOW
A drive on the wild side

by Chris McBeath

At first blush, hurricane-force winds, horizontal downpours and a thunderous sea lashing up against some of the highest and most jagged cliffs in Europe, wouldn’t normally be on my bucket list. But driving Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way (WAW) is an absolute must. ... read more »


RAJPUT CHIVALRY, UDAIPUR
by Margaret Deefholts

“Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all...” the nursery rhyme jingle runs through my mind as I stand in front of an angled mirror which reflects the scene of a lake and a little palace that lies beyond the room’s window. ... read more »


December 2018
AN OLD-FASHIONED CHRISTMAS
Three Lower Mainland heritage homes celebrate the holidays

by Margaret Deefholts

What was Christmas like over a century ago here in the Lower Mainland? To find out, I drive out to three heritage homes at the Yuletide season. I don’t get all the answers, but gain a wonderful insight into the lives of some of the families who lived here in the mid-1800s. ... read more »


RACING INTO THE PAST IN JERASH
by Donna Yuen

My footsteps reverberate along the long colonnaded street in the ancient city of Gerasa. Known to the modern world as Jerash, the Greco-Roman city in Jordan was founded by Alexander the Great and his general Perdiccas. ... read more »


MELE HAWAII KALIKIMAKA
Merry Island Christmases

by Rick Millikan

Hawaiian Christmases have become a family tradition. Every December, we settle into condo living. Breathing in flowery perfumed air, we begin ventures to farmers’ markets gathering tasty local produce. ... read more »


ENCHANTING AND EXOTIC CYPRUS
by Irene Butler

Aphrodite, goddess of beauty and love was born on Cyprus, according to Greek mythology. It is clear that she favoured this Mediterranean island giving it exquisite landscapes, a winsome climate and alluring beaches. ... read more »


November 2018
TREKKING THROUGH BENEVOLENT MOUNTAINS
by Chris McBeath

When the mythology of Northern India’s sensorial overload becomes reality, head for the southwestern hills of the Western Ghats. Hiking this extraordinary mountain range, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, reveals a very different India -- one where there’s time to absorb a gentler authenticity and a rural hospitality. ... read more »


MAUI MASSAGES
For Me and My Man

by Jane Cassie

There’s nothing better than getting away with the man in my life and, for the most part, we’re pretty compatible when it comes to travel. We usually agree on the destination and accommodation, but when it comes to the ‘spa thing,’ I stand (or lie) alone. ... read more »


WINTER MAGIC AT QUEBEC’S MONT TREMBLANT
by Jamie Ross

An active winter ski escape has quietly become an annual tradition for us – not surprising, since my wife is passionate about skiing. I’m okay with that, with the tiny proviso that every year we experience someplace different. ... read more »


CONFESSIONS OF A NEOPHYTE CRUISER
by Margaret Deefholts

I’m on a dock in Jamaica’s Montego Bay, gazing open-mouthed at the cruise ship which is to be my floating hotel for the next week. To a newbie cruiser like myself, the Marella Discovery 2 with its eleven decks seems like a mammoth sized vessel, but a fellow passenger hearing my gasp of amazement, says, “I’ve seen bigger!” and shrugs. I’m impressed, nonetheless. ... read more »


PERUVIAN ADVENTURE
by Colleen Friesen

Our taxi flew down the dark highway, a moon-lit Pacific pounded the beach on the right, steep cliffs on our left glowed in the lunar light. We cut through a break in the cliff and drove up a steep hill to a hotel on a quiet street. ... read more »


October 2018
LONDON'S FAVOURITE HAUNTS
by Jane Cassie

He’s dressed from head to toe in raven black and melds seamlessly into the pitch dark night. In one hand is an umbrella that doubles as a cane. In the other, is a flashlight, waiting to come to life. Timing is everything, and when the nearby bell of St Andrews begins to toll, he goes into action. ... read more »


SURF, SITES AND SAMBA IN RIO DE JANEIRO
by Irene Butler

Tropical rain forests, white sandy beaches and monolithic mountains surround the waterway into this famed Brazilian resort city. I imagine the euphoria of the Portuguese explorers who first sailed into the stunning Guanabara Bay in January of 1502, and thinking it was a river named it Rio de Janeiro (River of January), which became the city’s name. ... read more »


BARKERVILLE’S GHOSTLY RESIDENTS
by Margaret Deefholts

Barkerville, in Canada’s Cariboo region, is where illusion and reality merge. Let me tell you a story: maybe it’s true, maybe not. Nonetheless, it sends a funny little shiver up my spine. ... read more »


WINNIPEG – THE HOME OF WINTER
by Jamie Ross

“Seriously?” my friends exclaim incredulously when I tell them my brilliant travel plan. “You’re going to Winnipeg? In January?” I understand their drift. Why would any sane person want to visit Winnipeg in the throes of winter, at a time when most Canadians are travelling south on a desperate search for beaches, warmth and sunshine? ... read more »


September 2018
CHILLY IN CHURCHILL
Story and Photos by Karoline Cullen

The wind whips around the side of the gigantic inukshuk and broadsides my face with a stinging cold. Despite the sunshine and blue sky, I shiver as blue waves and chunks of ice jostle in Hudson’s Bay. ... read more »


THE HEALING CENTRE OF HOLLYHOCK
by Jane Cassie

The ocean breeze caresses my face, as I stand rooted next to the deck rail. Plying effortlessly through choppy waves, we cruise by evergreen islands that are rimmed with driftwood. The undisturbed setting is a welcoming change from the bustling city I left behind earlier in the day. ... read more »


NEW YORK’S ONE WORLD TRADE CENTRE
The Past Revisited

by Margaret Deefholts

Do you remember what you were doing on the morning of September 11th 2001? I woke to the sound of my bedside radio (just as I did every morning) and listened groggily to an announcer saying something about the World Trade Centre in New York. His voice sounded high pitched. Theatrical. Almost as though he was reading a script from War of the Worlds. Then the phone rang. It was my sister. “Turn on your TV,” she said. “Quick!” ... read more »


PANAMA’S CLOUD FORESTS, COFFEE & CARIBBEAN ISLANDS
by Lauren Kramer

If you want the champagne of coffee, the world’s most expensive, there’s just one place to go: Boquete, a small town on the slopes of the Baru Volcano in Panama’s Chiriqui province. Boquete’s Geisha coffee, which sells for a whopping $600 per pound, is coveted by Asia’s high society for its jasmine, flowery taste and relative unavailability. Panama is a small, modest player in the coffee industry, but what it does produce consistently wins the top awards in the world’s coffee competitions. ... read more »


August 2018
HERCULANEUM, ITALY
The Other Pompeii

by Chris Millikan

Cruising the Mediterranean aboard the elegant Viking Star, we investigate astonishing early civilizations from Greece to Italy. At Naples, most shipmates head for storied Pompeii; we visit neighbouring Herculaneum. ... read more »


NORTH DAKOTA: REMOTE, UNDER-APPRECIATED GEM
by Hans Tammemagi

Approaching Minot, North Dakota, by air, the landscape looks like a large, flat quilt of green rectangles. I am in this remote corner of the United States to explore the wide open spaces, the big skies, the ruler-straight roads and the cowboy mentality. ... read more »


PEACEFUL PEI
by Jane Cassie

Although Prince Edward Island is one lovely land mass, due to the many geological curves along the coastline, it appears to be divided into three; North Cape, Central Coast and Points East. The main hub being Charlottetown. ... read more »


EXPLORING VICTORIA BY FOOT AND BIKE
by Lauren Kramer

Victoria in the Spring is a breath of fresh air. Tulips poke their flowery heads above the soil in a chorus of bright color and cherry blossoms explode into bloom, dressing the city in a cheery pink. Up early and ready to bike, my nine-year-old daughter Maya and I head out on a morning bike ride with Charles Horn, owner of the bike tour company The Pedaler. ... read more »


WONDERING AND WANDERING IN WASHINGTON DC
by Margaret Deefholts

Washington DC reeks. The stench, according to some, is caused by corruption in high places, political chicanery, and machinations by self serving lobbyists. It’s a city engulfed in a miasma of arrogance, greed and ambition. ... read more »


July 2018
OFF THE BEATEN PATH IN DELHI
Two Museums with a Difference

by Margaret Deefholts

The sari in a display window is disturbing. It is a simple rust-coloured cotton garment, but on it are splashes of blood, some of them dark blotches, others smudged stains on the fabric. This is a palette of vengeance and retribution, which although now thirty-four years into the past still evokes shock. ... read more »


A TASTE OF THE WILD WEST IN BC'S CARIBOO
by Jane Cassie

If you’re in search of a dude ranch that offers five star accommodation, you’ll have to steer your stallion in another direction. If, on the other hand, you’re fancying a taste of the ‘Wild West', then this galloping getaway may end up being your favourite. And after replacing your SUV with 1,200 pounds of horsepower, you may discover that you have some hidden cowboy spirit, just waiting to be rejuvenated. ... read more »


London Food Safaris
Graze your way through history

by Chris McBeath

Move over mushy peas and spam from a can, today’s English cuisine is nothing short of revolutionary. With celebrity chefs like Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver on the international circuit, and national cooking treasures such as Mary Perry and Delia Smith, it’s clear that the country’s obsession with the weather has been usurped by its passion for food. And nowhere is this better experienced than on a London eating tour. ... read more »


FEASTING ON FALL FOLIAGE: AN AUTUMN PADDLE ALONG THE RIDEAU
by John Geary

We paddled off the main channel of the waterway, admiring nature’s paintbrush of autumn splendor, and then spotted it: a great blue heron standing on a tree sticking out into the Tay River as we paddled closer. ... read more »


June 2018
THE RIVERBOAT POSTMAN
by Margaret Deefholts

It doesn’t look promising. As we pull up to Brooklyn Public wharf, an hour’s drive north of Sydney on the Hawksbury river in New South Wales, the sky is a surly gray and on the horizon banks of clouds are piling up. My Australian cousin Diane and her husband, John are undeterred. “You never know about the weather.” Diane says. “It can change in minutes. Let’s go for it! ... read more »


SECRETS OF THE SACRED SAWA I LAU CAVES
by Donna Yuen

From ten-headed Gods to romantic young love, Fiji's Sawa I Lau Caves are steeped in legend and beauty. It is said they are the home of the God Ulutini, described as an entity with ten heads, nine of which take on the form of snakes and the last, of an exceptionally beautiful human with a jewel-encrusted forehead. Folklore also claims that two fish and an eel reside here. Maintained by the cave’s magic, they do not grow or age. ... read more »


IN NORTHWESTERN PERU, BIRD IS THE WORD
by John Geary

If you hear “South America” and “bird-watching” mentioned in the same breath, chances are you’ll envision large, colourful parrots winging their way through jungle canopies. ... read more »


PERSONALIZED TOUR OF SAINT JOHN
by Jane Cassie

It helps having an ex-brother-in-law and partner who are tour guides. Especially when we visit Saint John, New Brunswick, where they live. ... read more »


May 2018
OPPOSITES ATTRACT
by Colleen Friesen

We thought our time spent in the Chilean capital of Santiago would prepare us for the smaller coastal city of Valparaiso. After all, like Valparaiso, Santiago contains many stray dogs, is filled with colourful murals and random buildings tucked into odd places. Yet as much as we’d loved Santiago, none of it came close to the gritty glory of Valparaiso. ... read more »


INCREDIBLE ICELAND
by Karoline Cullen

“Iceland seems to be on everyone’s bucket list these days,” a friend exclaims when I tell her I will visit there soon. “I hope it lives up to the hype,” I reply. ... read more »


I’SE COME FROM AWAY
Impressions of Newfoundland

by Margaret Deefholts

A warm glow suffuses me as I pucker up to kiss him. He stares back at me, cold and glassy-eyed. Despite the indifferent response, I am a-tingle! After all its not every day that one earns honorary Newfoundlander status by swallowing a shot of neat Screech (rum), and smooching a dead codfish. ... read more »


FAITHFUL YELLOWSTONE
by Jane Cassie

Yellowstone. It’s been America’s granddaddy National since March 1, 1872, and it's one that takes me back to my childhood. Grizzlies, geysers, gushers, oh my! After two days of traveling from British Columbia, we’re here. And we’re blown away (no pun intended) by the magnitude of this recreation playground. ... read more »


April 2018
BULGARIA’S BOUNTY OF ATTRACTIONS
by Irene Butler

The tiny town of Melnik in wine country beckons us a mere day after arriving in Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital. Our hotel manager, Asen, has exuberantly offered to drive my husband Rick and me around the countryside on his days off! We accept with delight! Orchards are fruit-laden and fields of sunflowers lift golden heads sunward as we breeze along. “Baba Vanga is a worthy stop along the way,” Asen announces. ... read more »


CAMBRIDGE THEN AND NOW
by Margaret Deefholts

This is not how I pictured it: tourists thronging the narrow, winding streets, the air filled with the sounds of a myriad different accents and languages, the smell of fish and chips wafting out of open pub doors, and giggling couples posing for selfies. ... read more »


THREE SCENIC DRIVES IN NOVA SCOTIA
by Jane Cassie

Although there are more direct driving routes from Halifax to Antigonish, if you have more travel time, take a detour onto Highway 7 and enjoy this prettier route. The ribbon of asphalt hugs up to the rugged Atlantic, curves around tranquil bays and links together quaint fishing villages that dot the way. ... read more »


SPELUNKING IN SOUTHEASTERN FRANCE:
Cro-Magnon Artwork and Other Wonders

by Chris Millikan

A 300-kilometer bike ride in the Dordogne and Lot River valleys offers us many memorable escapades, including two unique cave explorations. ... read more »


March 2018
BERMUDA – A WEE BIT OF ENGLAND WITH A DIFFERENCE
by Ray Chatelin

Bermuda has been called a tiny chunk of England that floated away in search of better weather. And for the past couple of centuries it has been the playground for British and European royalty, socialites, money barons and celebrities from around the world seeking sun-drenched pampering. ... read more »


ROAD TRIP TO MILE ZERO – THE FLORIDA KEYS
by Jamie Ross

I step off a plane and onto the tarmac at Key West’s International Airport, and then out of the humid heat and into an air-conditioned van. My mission – a Florida Keys road trip, a drive northward up the coral cay archipelago that arcs gently down in a south-southwest direction from mainland Florida. It is a journey that I have a vague memory of doing once before, although this time I’m approaching the whole thing in a different direction, and in a much more mature and civilized manor. ... read more »


HALIFAX:
A CITY OF MANY CONTRASTS

by Jane Cassie

Halifax is a city of many contrasts. It's a blend of the young and old and a place where modern skyscrapers rise in juxtaposition to their historical brick neighbours. During this visit to Nova Scotia's capital, we also discover that there are variables with its weather. ... read more »


MESMERIZING MARRAKECH
by Margaret Deefholts

The sun brazens down from a steely sky, shadows sharp-edged. Small dust devils whirl and die. Horses neigh in the distance, the clop of their hooves and creak of carriage wheels drawing nearer. Then, suddenly the deep, sonorous call of the muezzin from the nearby Koutoubia mosque reverberates on the air. ... read more »


MONTMARTRE:THE SOUL OF PARIS
by Rick Millikan

Visiting our daughter Jessica in Paris inspires a vacation extraordinaire! An Air France upgrade provides immediate haute cuisine, cozy sleeping spaces and very entertaining French films! Our favorite reveals the life of Dalida, a beloved Parisian singer. ... read more »


February 2018
QUEBEC’S ILES DE LA MADELEINE
“Islands Brushed by the Waves!”

by Jamie Ross

It is the middle of the night. I am bundled up against the cold and damp and down at the main wharf on Grande Entrée watching the lobster boats slip from the harbour in an organized procession. Their bright guiding lights illuminate the dark and rippled sea, as they churn out past the breakwater. I give the departing boats a jaunty wave and they blow their fog horns, likely wondering what brings a sane man out at this ungodly hour. ... read more »


LA MODE DE MONTPELLIER
by Chris McBeath

If you’re looking for un peu de culture Francais typique, Montpellier, on the edge of the French Riviera, isn’t always top of mind. Look a little closer and you’ll not only find a medieval city with a youthful vitality that’s hard to match, but also a countryside strewn with historic hamlets, vineyards, and brackish lagoons filled with flamingoes. Oh yes, and long sandy beaches. So who needs the Cote d’Azure at triple the expense? ... read more »


TWO DAYS IN PANAMA CITY
by Lauren Kramer

It’s been long overlooked as a tourism destination, but Panama City is one of Central America’s most exquisite gems. With its mixture of ancient history, indigenous culture and tropical jungle, the city’s attractions are diverse and fascinating. Give yourself at least two days to absorb the thrum of Latin American magic, feel the pulse of the jungle and walk the historic corridors of Casco Viejo. There’s a good chance you’ll be longing for more. ... read more »


SCENIC SANTA BARBARA
THE AMERICAN RIVIERA

by Jane Cassie

A blanket of fog cloaks the Pacific in a mystical veil and permeates the palms that line the sandy beach-boulevard. As soon as the morning mist dissipates, the distant powder playground will become a magnet for outdoor enthusiasts and bikini-clad sun worshippers. Surfers and sailors will skim the oncoming waves, while fishermen search for habitants beneath. And while volleyballs rally over sugar fine sand, the paralleling pathway will become a thoroughfare for cyclists, in-line skaters, and those out for a casual stroll. ... read more »


January 2018
A BOTSWANA SANCTUARY
Water for Elephants

by Chris McBeath

Travel across Africa’s landscape, and chances are you will weep at its beauty, its contradictions and its challenges. Find yourself at Botswana’s Elephant Sands Bush Lodge, and chances are it will change your perspective on a part of the world where the qualities of nature and nurture are driving a hard bargain, especially for the African elephant. ... read more »


TRANQUILLITY WITHIN A LOTUS: THE BAHA'I TEMPLE IN DELHI
by Margaret Deefholts

Among the stereotypical images of poverty and over-crowding, India is also perceived as a deeply spiritual country. Notwithstanding this, daily life is clamorous and pressing. So it is appropriate that temples are noisy with the clang of bells, the wail of conch shells, the chanting of priests and throngs of pilgrims. Millions of people freckle the edges of rivers and lakes during religious festivals. ... read more »


HISTORIC JOURNEY ON THE SALISH SEA
by Lauren Kramer

It’s a beautiful Spring day in the San Juan archipelago and I awake to glassy water in the bay overlooking Sucia Island. On the island campers are just emerging from their tents and stretching their legs, but from where I stand on the Schooner Zodiac, breakfast is done by 8am and all hands are on deck as a crew of nine volunteers and 12 guests polish the brass, hose down the deck and scrub the historic vessel’s surface free of dirt. ... read more »


LANAI – IN SEARCH OF THE REAL HAWAII
by Ray Chatelin

LANAI, HAWAII - Every day, Hawaii is challenged by its own image—wind-swept beaches and crystal blue waters edged by palm trees shading grass-skirted hula dancers. ... read more »


LEAVING MY MARK IN FREDERICTON, NEW BRUNSWICK
by Jane Cassie

All shapes, colours and sizes are suspended from the yellow twine that spans the pedestrian bridge. Maidenform, Cross-Your-Heart and Playtex intermingle with under-wires, push-ups and delicate lacy garments. ... read more »


December 2017
WINTERTIME WONDERS OF MOUNT WASHINGTON
by Jane Cassie

While strapped into webbed soles, we waddle over the blanket of freshly fallen snow. Beams from trusty headlamps ignite the way and reflect onto powder pathways that shimmer like glitter. The illumination is augmented by the star-studded sky, and aside from my laborious breathing, the night is still, peaceful and serene. ... read more »


BEDDING DOWN WITH THE BEDOUINS
by Margaret Deefholts

He has piercing grey eyes, a strong hawk-nosed profile and a trim beard. Dressed in dishdashah robes, and wearing a traditional chequered head scarf, (Shumag), banded in place with a coiled Ogal, he sits astride an Arab stallion, looking for all the world like a bit-actor in Hollywood’s Lawrence of Arabia. The mountain, Jabel al-Mazmar, arguably T.E. Lawrence’s inspiration for the title of his Seven Pillars of Wisdom, serves as a perfect backdrop. ... read more »


PUFFINS AND EAGLES AND SEALS, OH MY!
by John Geary

“If you look back, you should see a bald eagle trailing not too far behind us,” says tour guide Donelda MacAskill. “She’s looking for some fish, we’ll see if we can help her out! Keep your cameras ready on the left side!” ... read more »


TWO LONELY ROADS
by Hans Tammemagi

In 1986, Life magazine described a 462-kilometre stretch of Nevada’s Highway 50, which traverses forbidding desert terrain, as the “Loneliest Road in America,” warning that drivers better be equipped with survival skills. But surely, I thought, Canada has an equally forbidding and lonely road. ... read more »


November 2017
PALM CREEK PARADISE
by Jane Cassie

Welcome Home! The inviting greeting spans the sandstone archway to the entrance of Palm Creek Golf & RV Resort, a man-made oasis in the city of Casa Grande, Arizona. Last year was our inaugural snowbird experience at this 55-plus park. And by the end of our fun-filled stay, it truly did feel like home! ... read more »


‘THE TROUBLES’ AND TITANIC TRAGEDY IN BELFAST
by Margaret Deefholts

I’m with a group of tourists in Belfast, and our coach driver, Sean, is distinctly uneasy. He is a Dubliner and we are driving through Belfast in Northern Ireland, a city with a dark, tormented past and it makes him acutely uncomfortable. Not surprising, for when he was a young lad visiting Belfast in the late 70’s, the savage uprisings of the Sinn Fein and the murderous clashes between Catholics and Protestants terrified him senseless. A Catholic himself, he was profoundly relieved to cross the border and return home to Dublin. ... read more »


THE NORMANDY INVASIONS:
Bayeaux and Juno Beach

by Rick Millikan

Normandy’s D-Day landing site becomes the highlight of a Seine River cruise. At Rouen, American shipmates board motor coaches heading to Omaha Beach, interpretative centers and cemeteries. Joining a smaller group of Brits, Aussies and fellow Canadians, we travel to Juno Beach. ... read more »


EMBRACING REAL WINTER IN LA MAURICIE
Story and Photography by Jamie Ross

The ice fishing is superb here at the Pourvoirie du Lac Blanc. The Brookies and Specs are biting all around me. To the left and right, rods dip on their supports, bowing down to the circular holes augured in the thick lake ice, causing whoops of excitement as flopping fish are hoisted high and displayed with pride. I join in, cheering every catch, applauding each success, while watching my own ice-fishing rod and line do nothing but sway in the breeze. ... read more »


MYANMAR’S MYSTICAL MAGIC
by Chris McBeath

As the U Thein Sein government continues to open up large swathes of Myanmar, no-go zones are quietly becoming history. While there are still some conflict zones and truly remote areas requiring a special permit and guide, this former British colony – Burma -- is becoming one of the worlds most sought after traveler destinations. ... read more »



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