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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 2016
NEW YORK CITY – NAVIGATING THE WORLD
by Ray Chatelin

New York - The first thing you have to understand about this city is that it is more than just another place to visit. New York is a world onto itself where the real and the illusory combine in one place and where you have to diminish its size before you can successfully navigate its charms. ... read more »


WORLD HERITAGE POTSDAM
Parks, Palaces and the Cold War

by Chris Millikan

Our exceptional holiday along the elegant Elbe River brims with discoveries. One Viking Cruise excursion introduces Potsdam’s intriguing past, beginning with Cold War history at the legendary Glienicke Bridge. ... read more »


HOME ON THE RANGE AT SIWASH LAKE
by Jane Cassie

His cocoa brown eyes appear despondent, yet when glancing my way he blinks flirtatiously. He inches closer, gently nudging my side. There’s an instant connection. “What’s with the long face, Dude?” I ask, while brushing a wisp of silver hair away from his freckled brow. Although he doesn’t reply, I know how to make him happy. And before long, I have him eating out of the palm of my hand.
. ... read more »


GOING WILD IN THE VALLEY
by Cherie Thiessen

The lush and fertile farmlands of Vancouver Island’s Cowichan Valley are not surprisingly the home of the popular “Slow Food” movement, a trend that stresses from farm to table and from foraging to feasting. My partner, David, and I jumped on the B.C. Ferries and headed over to tunnel into the beating heart of this movement, deep in the valley’s hidden foodie oases. ... read more »


August 2016
CHECKING OUT THE CHIEF
by Jane Cassie

The Sea to Sky Highway has always been one of my favourite drives. Whenever we head up Whistler way, I love to check out the sites: the seascape and inky-blue backdrop of Howe Sound, BC’s Mining Museum and historic township of Britannia Beach, and the coloured spots that inch their way up The Stawamus Chief. At least that’s what they look like from the base of this sheer granite slab that soars 610 meters (2,000 feet) skyward, just outside the city of Squamish. With my face pressed against the window and head cranked mountain-side, I strain to catch a glimpse of the rock-hugging daredevils as we whiz on by. Like gravity-defying ants, they scale the vertical rise, a challenge conquerable only by the boldest and buffest. ... read more »


HAWAII’S LEGENDARY VOLCANOES
VISITING GODDESS PELE’S HOME

by Rick Millikan

With fellow nature lovers, we head off to learn about Hawaii’s volcanoes and witness Kilauea’s fiery caldera at twilight. Investigations begin in north Kona, where Ka’ahumanu highway slices through vast lava flows. ... read more »


CALCUTTA THEN, KOLKATA NOW

by Margaret Deefholts

I am doing a risky thing. I am revisiting Calcutta (Kolkata as it’s now called) - a city where I was once a little girl living with my parents and my sister in the long vanished world of Raj. So now, after all these years, will my childhood memories of the city I loved be shattered? If I’m to believe ex-Calcuttans who have returned on visits, the city is a sweltering hellhole of teeming crowds, beggars, crumbling tenements and overflowing garbage heaps. ... read more »


COIMBRA - THE PRIDE OF PORTUGAL
by Chris McBeath

When I think of robes and academia, the staff at Hogwarts comes to mind. Snapes billowing down ancient corridors, bats passing through mournful apparitions, and eclectic treasures appearing at every corner. Then I discovered Portugal’s Coimbra University. ... read more »


TRYING TO GET A BITE IN ALGONQUIN PARK
by John Geary

Bzzz…slap! Bzzzz…..slap!
Humping along the trail with the paddles and fishing gear, I thought to myself, “I hope the fish are biting even as half as much these mosquitos!”
I was part of a small group of outdoor enthusiasts portaging canoes from Lake Opeongo to tiny Minnow Lake in Ontario’s Algonquin Provincial Park. I was about to do something I’d never done before – if the mosquitos didn’t eat me alive, that is. ... read more »


July 2016
BRITAIN IN THE SLOW LANE - BOATING ON THE NORFOLK BROADS
by Cherie Thiessen

My partner and skipper, David Dossor, loves munching kippers or a ploughman’s lunch while sipping the ales on tap in Britain’s historic old pubs.

Our friends, Gerry McKeating and Pat Crossley, are avid and expert birders who have come on this trip specifically for the best bird watching in the country. One quarter of the country’s rare wild life and flora exist in the Broads, Britain’s largest protected wetland. ... read more »


TUMBLING DOWN THE THOMPSON
by Jane Cassie

My husband, Brent, is one of those domestic guys. Without being nagged he’ll do the vacuuming, cooking –even the laundry. So on this adventure, when we get agitated by the washboard spin, churned up in the garburator and spewed out of the roiling cauldron, he manages to keeps his cool. It’s the Terminator that finally gets his vocal chords going. Not a surprise –he’s a bit of a wuss when it comes to thrillers. ... read more »


PASSION FOR PORTLAND
by Colleen Friesen

Whether winemakers, lamp makers, distilled-spirit makers, tea blenders, sushi servers, Vermouth drinkers, beer brewers, sake makers, bicycle guides, or kayak paddlers, the theme remains the same, people in Portland are not just creating a product or service, but with the creativity and enthusiasm they bring to their livelihood, they are creating a passionate life. ... read more »


ON AND OFF THE RAILS IN SOUTH AFRICA
The Sholongololo Experience

by Margaret Deefholts

There is an enormous shudder, a loud clanking jolt...and wheee, we’re off! I peer out of my window as the sign “Cape Town” on the railway platform slides away into my past. We are moving...new horizons beckon. ... read more »


June 2016
BLENHEIM PALACE:
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 »


LIVING LIKE THE ROYALS
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 »


KUALA LUMPUR’S JOIE DE VIVRE!
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 »


PUDDLE JUMPING THROUGH PRAGUE
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
BATTLE ROYAL
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 »


HAAW’A (THANK YOU) HAIDA GWAII
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 »


SRI LANKA – ELEPHANTS AND TEMPLE OF THE TOOTH
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 »


A BELLYFUL OF BAVARIAN IN LEAVENWORTH
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 »


CLIMBING THE IRON WAY – VIA FERRATA IN OLD QUEBEC
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
COOK CULTURE
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 »


SWIRL, SNIFF AND SIP AT THE GALIANO WINE FESTIVAL
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 »


SKOPJE MACEDONIA – CITY OF MONUMENTS
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 »


SAN DIEGO’S FROTHY BEER SCENE
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
TAMPA’S WILD AND WONDROUS WATERS
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 »


RV-ING THE RIDEAU
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 »


SEARCHING IN THE BALKANS
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 »


ADVENTURING THROUGH THE MARQUESAS
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 »


THE MEXICAN MARIGOLD HOTEL
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
NIKES AND NATURE IN GRENADA'S GRAND ETANG NATIONAL PARK
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 »


DARJEELING’S “TOY” TRAIN
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 »


WEEKEND IN THURSTON COUNTY
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 »


MUCH ADO ABOUT STRATFORD UPON AVON:
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
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 »



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freelance travel writers Jane Cassie and Margaret Deefholts

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