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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)

June 2016
Woodstock, UK

by Rick Millikan

Our public footpath to Woodstock includes Stonesfield Steps, a stairway over the nine-mile dry-stone wall surrounding Blenheim Estate. Ambling through shaded woodlands and pastures, we spot silver pheasants strutting under some gnarly oaks. In the distance stands the lofty Column of Victory amid 2,000 plus acres of Blenheim’s parkland. Eventually arriving at the column, we study its lofty statue of John Churchill and read about this first Duke of Marlborough’s military triumphs. ... read more »

by Colleen Friesen

Queen Victoria must have been a pretty savvy woman. Sure, she had good advisors, but ultimately, on December 31st, 1857, it was up to the 38-year old Queen to pick the capital of the Empire’s colony. Ottawa, a hinterland city that still held pig races in their muddy streets, seemed an odd choice. It was far away from the colony's main cities, Quebec City and Montreal in what was then called Canada East, and Kingston and Toronto in Canada West. ... read more »

by Margaret Deefholts

Kuala Lumpur loves to whoop it up. Its citizens—Malay, Chinese and Indian—may follow the precepts of Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism or Christianity, but that’s of little consequence. A celebration is a celebration, be it Christmas, Id or Chinese New Year, and everyone joins in the revels. ... read more »

by Jane Cassie

What’s something that everyone hopes for when traveling? Good weather, right? Prior to this quick visit to Czech Republic we constantly check the long range, in hopes of transforming the gloomy forecast. No matter how much we visualize bluebird skies we still end up puddle jumping our way through Prague. ... read more »

May 2016
by Margaret Deefholts

What could be more typically British than ‘a cuppa tea’? And, almost a thousand years ago a break for tea (in a manner of speaking!) changed the course of English history. Or so a charming little tale goes. I’m standing on a knoll in Sussex, England. It is a glorious August morning with a light breeze playing through the trees. Before me lies a tranquil Constable landscape: a field cross-stitched by hedgerows, which merges into distant woodland. The only sounds are chittering sparrows, and the far-off rumble of traffic floating up from a thread-like highway. ... read more »

Story by Karoline Cullen, Photography by Cullen Photos

Above the shoreline of a sheltered cove stands a row of totems. They lean, crumbling with age but with still discernible details. Carved more than 100 years ago, their faces stare out to sea and their symbolism reaches across the ages in a mystical way. ... read more »

by Irene Butler

Looking out over Beira Lake, in the heart of Colombo, we find a tranquil pause from the energetic pace of the capital’s business area. Another favourite are walks in swirling tropical breezes along Galle Face Green, the grassy space running beside the Indian Ocean. Invariably, my husband Rick and I find a handy outdoor café to slurp iced coffee under swaying palms. I can barely believe we are here! This island country off the south-east coast of India, known as Ceylon until 1972, has long been on my bucket list as one of the world’s most exotic places. ... read more »

by Lauren Kramer

If you love your stomach, drive it to Leavenworth and don’t stop until you reach the Kingfisher Restaurant at Sleeping Lady Resort. We’d come for a taste of Little Bavaria, fascinated by the story of the Little Town That Could. Back in the late 1950s, after its logging industry slowed down considerably, Leavenworth was facing near extinction. Its future as one of America’s many ghost towns looked inevitable until the 1960s, when community leaders initiated a plan of action: Leavenworth would be reinvented as a Bavarian hamlet that would attract tourists as much for its craggy mountains and sparkling Wenatchee River rapids as for its cutesy theme. ... read more »

by Jamie Ross

When my Quebec City guide told me that tomorrow I would be experiencing something called Via Ferrata, she must have been surprised by my reaction, something she undoubtedly would have put down to the subtle nuances of language. “Sounds delicious,” I had responded, dreaming fondly of some kind of pasta dish – a delicious white wine, garlic and clam sauce over linguini, served up at the wonderful Bello Ristorante in Old Quebec. ... read more »

April 2016
by Jane Cassie

Both hands are clasped around his chubby belly and between his wide-spread legs is an impressive body part that would delight any demi-God. Although early artisans once removed this appendage, today his entire image stands visibly intact and is even minted on a special coin. Tangaroa, the Maori guardian of the ocean, is a well-known deity of The Cook Islands and is one of the first carved artifacts we encounter during our recent Rarotonga experience. ... read more »

Story and Photos by Karoline Cullen

Ignoring the crowd around me, I study the pink blush of the rosé in my glass. I swirl. I sniff. I sip. Elegant, with hints of fresh, small fruits. According to wine tasting protocol, I should spit this mouthful into the bucket provided. But not this time; it is too tasty. I swallow my sip and put a check mark by the wine’s name in my tasting booklet. So begins my adventure at the Galiano Wine and Beer Tasting Festival. Islanders and visitors alike have come to sip, savour, and sample wines, craft beers and ciders. Galiano Island, one of the Gulf Islands off the coast of the Lower Mainland, is a forty-five minute ferry ride from Tsawwassen. For over twenty years, this outdoor festival has been the main fund raiser for the Galiano Health Care Society. ... read more »

by Irene Butler

A more inviting city centre is hard to come by! The Vardar River flows lazily through it. Folks mill about from early morning until the after dark blaze of neon lights. One side of the river holds a plethora of restaurants and cafes to pop into; the other side boasts a museum, national theatre and government buildings in neoclassical and baroque style. ... read more »

by Hans Tammemagi

I revere the amber fluid and was excited when my dearest, Ally, and I had the opportunity to visit San Diego and see if it really has a claim to be the Craft Beer Capital of North America. The first evening we visited the Draft Restaurant in surf-side Mission Beach where our server, Matteo, waved his arms and said, “Of course, no question that San Diego is tops in beer. We have over 100 breweries, microbreweries, and brew pubs in this county. Many are eclectic.” Then he confronted us with a mind-boggling choice. Draft offered 100 local beers, with 69 served from a long line of taps. ... read more »

March 2016
by Margaret Deefholts

Some things are evocative of childhood. Remember combing the beach looking for pretty shells, sand dollars and tiny crabs while mewling seagulls wheeled overhead? That’s what I’m doing today—trolling the shallows off on a little island in Tampa Bay, in the company of a group of eco-tourists led by James, a volunteer marine-life expert from the Florida Aquarium. And just like kids on school field trip, we crowd James’ elbow, peering at minuscule fish, thread-like black worms, and translucent shiny crustaceans with bulging eyes. James identifies each one as they crawl across his hands. ... read more »

by Jane Cassie

The Rideau Canal, flowing between Kingston and Ottawa, was built as a defensible waterway after the war of 1812. Although never needed for this purpose, it has continued to operate since 1832. Thanks to forty-seven locks, boats can navigate the varying water elevations by floating up when the tubs are filled, and dropping down when they’re emptied. And beyond every park-like station, are unique vistas: bird-loving wetlands, sliver-thin canals –some etched out of limestone, others embraced by Canadian Shield. It’s truly an aquatic route of untarnished beauty. ... read more »

by Colleen Friesen

We first learned of Kekec in a restaurant in Ljubljana.
It was a rainy September night, but, like us, everyone was sitting outside under large awnings enjoying drinks and meals while the rain gushed off the walls and roofs.
Like most Slovenians we met, our server spoke excellent English. I asked her what the WiFi password, Srecno Kekec meant. ... read more »

by Chris McBeath

Before I was able to catch my breath, Tino’s strong tattooed arms scooped me up and, lifting me high above the crashing waves in which he stood, he delivered me over the side of the boat to shore like an irreverent feather. After nine-days of traveling together, we had all come to appreciate Tino’s dexterity and seamanship. Besides handling human cargo with a gentleness that belied his size, his other duties were as a member of the 53-person crew aboard the Aranui III, the only purpose-built passenger freighter of its kind in French Polynesia. ... read more »

Skip the All-Inclusive, and Head to Mexico’s Charming Bucerias

by Jamie Ross

When we left our taxi and walked through the front archway to our beachfront condo at the Costa Dorado in Bucerias, I felt like I had stumbled into some kind of Mexican Marigold Hotel. We were greeted by all sorts of elderly characters; in the pool, lounging bar-side, sitting around tables shaded by umbrellas – all waved a friendly welcome. “Buenas Dias!” Many were Canadians down for a winter break. All were over 65. My young 14 year old daughter scowled my way. ‘Where were the youngsters? Where were the boys? Where was the all-you-can-eat buffet?’ ... read more »

February 2016
by Jane Cassie

Although hiking boots weren’t on my packing list when making plans for my trip to Grenada, they sure would have come in handy while hiking the hills in Grand Etang National Park. ... read more »

by Margaret Deefholts

The morning air is cool and the mist curling around the mountains reminds me of Vancouver. But I am half a world away, amidst the Himalayan slopes of Darjeeling, India. Anticipation surges through me as, collar turned up against the chill, I scramble downhill along a labyrinthine pathway, and emerge at Darjeeling’s railway station. ... read more »

by Lauren Kramer

Thurston County in Washington State is best known for its jewel, Olympia, a stately, historic and scenic city filled with soaring examples of Greco-Roman architecture and irresistibly browsable book shops, galleries and boutiques. Washington’s version of Victoria, its beautiful state buildings are on a bluff overlooking the ocean and its 278-foot high capitol dome is visible from most everywhere. A five hour drive from Vancouver, it’s a great destination for a weekend away. ... read more »

Shakespeare’s Hometown

by Chris Millikan

Joining other literary enthusiasts in Bancroft Gardens, an informative guided walk begins our explorations in Shakespeare’s hometown. From Swan Fountain, David leads us back in time around Stratford upon Avon. ... read more »

January 2016
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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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