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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)

January 2016
THROUGH A KEYHOLE IN TIME
Northern Arizona

by Margaret Deefholts

The shot reverberates on the afternoon air and startles a couple of crows into flight. Dennis Lockhart, luxuriantly bearded Parks Ranger and guide, lowers his antique Springfield rifle and turns to face us. ... read more »


WHISTLER'S SENSATIONAL SUMMITS
by Jane Cassie

The mountaintop breeze brushes my face and bites through my woolen toque yet, in spite of the wind-chill factor, I feel warmed by the adrenaline that rushes through my veins. This thermal adjustment could be due to Mother Nature and the effect that her surrounding beauty has on me. Or it may be triggered by the anticipation I feel just before launching off on my downhill journey. It’s hard to say. But this magical phenomenon happens every time I escalate to any of the mile high pinnacles that hover over the resort town of Whistler. ... read more »


HAIL HAWAII’S ‘JUMPING FLEA’
Getting in touch with the Ukulele renaissance

by Chris McBeath

If the Ukulele is one of Hawaii’s most enduring signatures, then touring a ukulele factory is to get up close and personal with some of the islands’ most time-honoured traditions. Though take note, like the instrument itself, choosing your encounter makes all the difference to the experience you’ll enjoy. Ko’Aloha and Kamaka are two that deliver more than great music. ... read more »


LOST IN QUEBEC CITY -
The Historic Canadian City With European Charm

by Jamie Ross

Narrow cobblestone streets stuffed with charming vendors, galleries, sidewalk cafes, picturesque churches, historic inns and wonderful restaurants, have helped Quebec City earn the moniker, “Paris without the jetlag.” Add beautiful architecture and colourful vibrant squares full of musicians and artists, and you might end up wondering why anyone would bother travelling the extra distance to Europe? ... read more »


FROM SULTRY SAIGON TO EPIC ANGKOR
by Barry Truter

I’m in Ho Chi Minh City (aka Saigon) about to leave for Kampuchea (Cambodia), land of a thousand smiles and a thousand sorrows. But first I slip in a day trip to the Mekong Delta. There are no Delta Blues here, unless it's the "muddy waters" of the Mekong. Instead, this is a place of Delta greens -- pale, dark, translucent, fluorescent, emerald, lime, jade, olive. Foliage abounds; fruits and vegetables flourish. I sample coconut wine, banana wine and snake wine. I partake of elephant ear fish, spring rolls, chili chicken, rose apples, mango and succulent coconut candy. ... read more »


December 2015
HIKING ARIZONA
by Donna Yuen

I have my walking stick, sunscreen, water, and I am ready for some hiking in Arizona! I also have my camera to capture the grand vistas I have until now only dreamt of seeing. My friend and I start with an easy, interesting trail: beginning in Mesa, we hike through history, along the infamous Apache Trail. The jagged peaks of the Superstition Mountains evoke images of cowboys and gold rush miners who lived here during the glory days of the Wild West. Quaint churches and crumbling ghost towns, help me visualize how life used to be for the ranchers, pioneers and the Apache Indians travelling along this trail in the Sonoran Desert. read more »


CAPITAL WINTER FUN IN OTTAWA:
SKATING ON THE RIDEAU!

by James Ross

The sun is out, and the day is cool, crisp and beautiful, and I am doing something I’ve loved to do since I was a toddler – skating. I am not just skating in circles around the local arena, mind you; I’m off with my family, gliding along the longest skating rink in the world, Ottawa’s Rideau Canal. The iconic skate-way is one of the must-do activities in Ottawa, and one of those things I have wanted to cross off my bucket list. We laced up our skates in the warming hut at the south end of the ice-way, by the Dow’s Lake Pavilion near Carleton University, and headed out to skate the full 7.8 kilometres frozen route into downtown Ottawa near the National Art’s Centre. read more »


SNOWBIRDING IT, COTTAGE STYLE
by Jane Cassie

Where can you book a beautiful four-hundred square foot fully-equipped holiday cottage that's close to languid pools, awesome activities and ongoing entertainment, for a fraction of the price of a comparable hotel stay? Normally we're not on the lookout for accommodation when we motor south to our favourite snowbird home, as our roving fifth wheel is always in tow. But due to unexpected circumstances this year, our visit to Golden Village Palms RV Resort (GVP), in Hemet California, needs to be a shorter one, so we zip down quickly by air to where a park model awaits our arrival. read more »


A SOUTH INDIAN CHRISTMAS
by Irene Butler

Fishermen in from their catch re-set their nets. The Arabian Sea laps at our feet as we walk along the cream-coloured sand. All around us are frolicking native vacationers and foreign sun seekers. Holy cows commandeer a section of beach. Stray dogs chase scurrying crabs. Swaying palms sweep the sky. read more »


November 2015
A MOBILE TENTED NAMIBIAN SAFARI
by Cherie Thiessen

A soft voice outside our expansive tent wakes us in the pre-dawn. It’s our Karibu Safari guide, Lourens Gaseb.

Normally a 5:00 a.m. wake-up would be deadly, but we’re happy to rise from our cozy beds and turn on our overhead solar-powered lights. We take turns in the tent’s bathroom, using the ‘en suite’ facilities and washing with hot water from the thermos provided by our safari crew. read more »


A PLACE FOR REMEMBERING - THE CANADIAN WAR MUSEUM
by James Ross

There are special moments all over Canada every year at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. It is a day of national commemoration for the more than 100,000 Canadians who have died in military service. One exceptional place to visit on this important day is The Canadian War Museum, located near downtown Ottawa. With its prize-winning and richly symbolic architecture, this was the city’s most visited museum last year. read more »


SAND DUNE ADVENTURES IN SEDONA
by Lauren Kramer

I’d come to this city of 10,000 to check out the red rocks for which it is famous, and quickly learned I was one of some two million visitors who arrive into town each year for precisely the same reason. Some go hiking up and around the red rocks, others choose mountain biking, helicopter flights or jeep tours on the dusty roads. But there’s also a good number who are only too happy to partake in the ‘new age stuff’ I’d been warned of - an industry spawned from the notion that vortexes or spiritual energy points cluster around Sedona, enhancing prayer and meditation. Vortex tour brochures touted everything from spiritual growth and self-improvement to yoga and transformative personal experiences at those sites. read more »


IN FLANDERS FIELDS MUSEUM
by Chris McBeath

Whether you’re in Ypres for a vacation or a Battlefield Tour, there are two must-sees: The Menin Gate, one of Europe’s most iconic memorials to WWI, and the In Flanders Field Museum which brings you up front and personal to the pointless carnage of that four-year, hellish struggle. read more »


October 2015
BEDAZZLED BY ST. PETERSBURG’S IMPERIAL MONUMENTS
by Chris Millikan

Cruising aboard HAL’s Eurodam familiarizes us with captivating Baltic ports. Of them all, St Petersburg stands out. There, ship’s excursions prove perfect for first time visitors like us. With the need for costly visas eliminated and transportation simplified, two sightseeing days are filled to the max. ... read more »


GETAWAY TO SPOOKY FUN AT OTTAWA’S ESCAPE MANOR
by James Ross

The heavy door of the wine vault slams behind us, leaving us in the dark. We hear the horrible, cackling laugh of a killer, “Ah,ha,ha,ha,” echoing down the corridor, trailing off in a menacing wail. “You’re all going to die!” Then in a final sinister threat, the fiend promises to be back in exactly 45 minutes to finish the job. There is nothing but darkness and silence, save for the big clock on the wall, counting down the seconds to our demise, “tick-tock, tick-tock!” ... read more »


KOTA BHARU AND KELANTAN:
MALAYSIA’S CULTURAL HEARTLAND.

by Margaret Deefholts

The Malay woman grins at my exclamation of amazement. Her several chins quiver with mirth as she lifts a basket filled with prawns, each the size of a wrestler’s fist, and holds it up for my camera. From across the aisle, another old woman, wearing a scarf around her head, beckons eagerly. She wants me to take a picture of her turtle eggs. ... read more »


GHOSTLY CASTLES IN WALES
by Hans Tammemagi

In Wales, you can hardly travel more than a few kilometres before stubbing your toes on towering piles of blood-and-history-stained stones. Stone castles, that is. They come in many sizes, shapes and states of repair. Some are faint traces on hilltops, while others are thumping great fortifications in city centres, barely changed over the centuries. Many were erected during the conquest of Wales. ... read more »


PACE SETTING IN PARIS
by Jane Cassie

My husband and I are big walkers and it sure comes in handy when exploring Paris. Brent has even downloaded Pacer, an IPhone app, that detects our steps, distances and calories burned, a definite perk that helps justify our intake of croissants. ... read more »


September 2015
AFOOT IN COPENHAGEN:
EXPLORING DENMARK’S ROYAL CAPITAL

by Rick Millikan

Denmark’s compact capital is perfect for exploring afoot. Strolling from our hotel past the bustling train station, we soon arrive in Copenhagen’s historic center. Bronze dragons line lofty City Hall’s terrace. A golden statue above its main entry represents Bishop Absalon, the city’s 12th century founder. ... read more »


DISCOVERING SOUTHERN ICELAND
by Julie H. Ferguson

When IcelandAir began flying from Canadian hubs in 2014, I took advantage of their generous stop-over policy as I flew back to Vancouver from Europe. My ten-day exploration of north and south Iceland in late-September was risky weather-wise, but I got lucky. The rich autumn colours and mostly dry sunny days were a welcome bonus in a land of unpredictable weather. ... read more »


RAJASTHAN’S CITY OF GOLD – JAISALMER
by Margaret Deefholts

“I can’t!” I wail, looking at the camel kneeling on the sand, “I can’t climb onto it!” The camel, eyes hooded and disdainful, turns its head to look at me. We are in Khuri, Rajasthan, 41 miles out of the city of Jaisalmer, and heading into the Thar Desert, to view the sunset – reputedly a dramatic sight as it sinks into the rolling sand dunes. ... read more »


HIT THE ROAD!
A CIRCLE DRIVE FROM WHITEHORSE

by Karoline Cullen

Two old timers slouch in chairs outside the saloon. Hats clamped low on their foreheads, stubbled chins, and dusty boots. “Guess I should head home,” one drawls. “Why do you want to do that?” questions the other as they settle more comfortably in their seats. Nothing happens in a hurry in Chicken, Alaska. ... read more »


August 2015
ARTSY AMSTERDAM VS VILLAGE VIBES: HOLLAND
by Irene Butler

My husband Rick and I are cruising along one of the many canals radiating out from central Amsterdam like silky blue ribbons joined with solid stitches of bridges to the tapestry of land. Captain Frank is adept at maneuvering our Blue Boat past breathtaking scenery while we listen to more tidbits about this historic city. ... read more »


THE BEST OF BEIJING
by Margaret Deefholts

Despite warnings about Beijing’s pollution, the scene from my Ritz Carlton Hotel suite’s windows on this April morning, encompass clear blue skies above a panoramic view of the city’s financial district. In a courtyard below, citizens practise Tai Chi exercises, their elongated forms in the bright sunlight, twisting and bending in a seemingly choreographed shadow-play. ... read more »


NORTH SHORE LOUISIANA:
SO MUCH MORE THAN ALL THAT JAZZ

by Lauren Kramer

Our jeep is stationary and I’m marveling at the scenery when I feel someone nuzzling my back very gently. Turning slowly I find myself eye to eye with an adult zebra whose broad smile displays a set of large, yellow teeth. His message is clear: “Corn, please, ma’am!” ... read more »


STAIRE TO BAGPIPES IN BELGIUM
by Chris McBeath

Without the Red Star Line, the likes of Fred Astaire and Irving Berlin may never have inspired our creative world so expansively; former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir may never stepped onto the world stage, and without Arthur Murray my Aunt Julie may never have learned to Waltz. These were just a handful of the roughly 60 million migrants who left Germany and Eastern Europe between 1815-1940 in the hope of a better life in the New World: North America. ... read more »


GOING WITH THE FLOW IN SOUTHERN FRANCE
by Jane Cassie

When Mother Nature opens her floodgates, all you can do is go with the flow. Two years ago my husband and I were on a Viking European river cruise, but because of high waters we bussed more than we boated. Although it had been disappointing, the company did everything they could to make sure the trip was memorable and gave us a partial refund to use on a future booking. Well, here we are, back again, this time to cruise Southern France. ... read more »


July 2015
A JAUNT THROUGH JUNEAU: ALASKA’S CAPITAL CITY
by Margaret Deefholts

Across the gray waters of the Gastineau Channel the mountains are humpbacked shadows, with thin skeins of cloud drifting across their summits. The Norwegian Sun is the only cruise ship on Juneau’s wharf today, and despite the thin drizzle, passengers continue to flock down the ramp. They wear yellow rain-slickers over thick jackets or hooded parkas as a defense against the rapier-sharp Alaskan wind. ... read more »


ACROSS LANGUID LAOS TO HUSTLING HANOI
Story and Photos by Barry Truter

Xin Chao (good-day): Greetings from Laos, officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic. I’ve been riding local buses across northern Thailand to the Mekong River and the Laos border town of Houei Xia. Now I'm traveling down the Mekong on a slow boat. The river is broad with sandy banks, at times narrowing to rocky channels. The vegetation is lush and green, the area sparsely populated. ... read more »


SUN PEAKS SUMMER A Wildflower Wonderland
By Chris Millikan

A getaway to B.C.’s interior introduces us to Sun Peaks in summer where comfortable lodgings in the heart of the village make a perfect ‘base camp’ for alpine hiking. Nestling amid three mountains, the charming town center conjures thoughts of fairytale villages in Austria’s Alps. Pastel three-story buildings embrace a winding, brick-paved mall. Decorative trimmings, window boxes filled with red geraniums and simple signage embellishes facades. Like our inn, many boast balconies. Arcades open onto specialty shops, boutiques, galleries and cafés with al fresco seating. Luscious ham and tomato crepes for breakfast on one such patio kick off our first morning. ... read more »


WHISTLER WEEKEND WARRIORS
by Colleen Friesen

The odds of having a great Whistler weekend increase exponentially if you start by sabraging off the top of a champagne bottle in the Bearfoot Bistro's wine cellar. And, if you end that evening in a Pan Pacific Mountainside suite after multiple courses of divine tastes and velvety glasses of red wine at the aforementioned Bearfoot Bistro; and if the evening also included four chilly tastings in the -32 degree Celsius Vodka Room while snuggled into a Canada Goose jacket well...life's alright. ... read more »


June 2015
A LITTLE CARIB IN ALL OF US
by Jane Cassie

His pearly white smile contrasts with his ebony-rich skin. He saunters barefoot, showing no urgency about getting anywhere (or at any time), and the slogan on his T-shirt depicts him to a tee. Although the catchphrase, "There's a little Carib in all of us" is advertising the island's local beer, by the end of our Grenada visit, it signifies a much deeper meaning. ... read more »


FAMILY FUN IN IDAHO
by Lauren Kramer

A chill settles over my body as the dark tunnel swallows me and my bike. I pedal hard, pushing for the light at the end of the 1.66-mile dungeon and keeping a sharp lookout for deer, moose and elk. The animals are elusive on the day I'm burrowing into the innards of Idaho's Bitterroot Mountains, but the tunnel's moisture leaves me a triumphant stripe of mud down my back. ... read more »


PEDDLING PUGLIA
by Cherie Thiessen

At the heel of Italy's stylish boot, the southeastern part of the region of Puglia, is the Salento Peninsula, consisting of historic towns, olive groves, fields, broad plains, vineyards and low lying hills. My companion David and I like low lying hills because today we need to cycle 60 kilometres of them en route to the easternmost town in Italy, the Roman town of Otranto. ... read more »


STEPPING BEYOND THE TOURIST ZONE
by Donna Yuen

The tiny Vietnamese village of My Hoi is not on any tourist map. Nor is it on the typical tourist itinerary. Fortunately, it's on mine. Located 130 kilometres south of Ho Chi Minh City in Tien Giang Province, My Hoi is a poverty stricken town of eight thousand people. During this visit to Vietnam, a fellow Canadian friend has invited me to join a group of thirty volunteers consisting primarily of Ho Chi Minh doctors and a few Canadians. Rural villages surrounding My Hoi have also been informed that we will be coming to help. Approximately four hundred people are patiently waiting when we arrive. They are in desperate need of medical treatment, pharmaceuticals and household basics. Upon arrival, the doctors immediately go to their pre-arranged stations where tables and chairs have been set up for medical exams. The remaining volunteers unload the toys, blankets, and food from the truck. They work like well-oiled machines. I can see it's not their first time doing this. ... read more »



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