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January - June 2009

JANUARY 2009:

VICTORIA’S CHINATOWN – A ONCE FORBIDDEN CITY
Story and Photos by Margaret Deefholts

Victoria’s Chinatown this May morning is hazy: the flamboyant gold tiles and red pillars of the Gate of Harmonious Interest on Government Street are muted and Fisgard Street beyond the Gate is veiled in chiffon-like mist... read more »


CATCHIN UP WITH CAJUN CULTURE
By Chris McBeath

This was pretzel dancing – a hybrid of square dancing, blue grass jive and the haphazard movements that Elaine’s character creates on Seinfeld... read more »


YUCATAN, LAND OF THE MAYAN RAIN GOD
By Robert Scheer

Bats flapped overhead as I made my way deeper into the cave. A rope handrail helped me navigate steep steps. The air got hotter and steamier as I descended. No wonder the Maya believed caves were the gateway to the Underworld... read more »


WALKING THE BARRIOS OF SANTIAGO, CHILE
By W. Ruth Kozak

Located in one of the most spectacular settings of any city in the world, wedged between the snow-capped Andes and the coastal cordillera, Santiago, Chile is unique... read more »

 

FEBRUARY 2009:


OLYMPIC ODYSSEY
by Caroline M. Jackson

With the advent of our 2010 Winter Olympics, it seemed fitting to weave an Olympic thread into my tapestry of European travel. My adventure began in Lausanne, Switzerland, home to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the state-of-the-art Olympic Museum... read more »


A VERY UNUSUAL TEMPLE
New Delhi’s Akshardham Complex

By Margaret Deefholts

“You must see the Swaminarayan Akshardham temple when you’re in Delhi,” a friend says to me. “It’s fab! And different. Not like a traditional Hindu temple.”... read more »


PERUVIAN PILGRIMMAGE:
PAYING HOMAGE TO THE INCAN MOUNTAIN GODS

Story and Photos by John Geary

I picked up the coca leaf, and whispering my most heartfelt wishes into it, I blew through it, toward the base of Humantay Mountain. That small act of devotion completed a ceremony to honour the gods of the mountains, and help ensure a safe journey as we prepared to ride further into the Land of the Incas... read more »


SWEETHEART SITES OF SEATTLE
By Jane Cassie

Although Seattle’s downtown core is a mish mash of past and present it all works together like a good relationship... read more »

 

MARCH 2009:


DISCOVERING QUADRA ISLAND
Story and Photos by Margaret Deefholts

“There...look there! A bear! Can you see him?” Our Zodiac operator, Jeff, cuts back the outboard motor, and steers us across the choppy ink-blue waters of Discovery Passage... read more »


OFF THE GRINGO TRAIL IN PERU
by Irene Butler

At midnight police summoned Archaeologist Walter Alva to the village of Sipán in northern Peru... read more »


MEDIEVAL MEANDERINGS IN SOUTHWEST FRANCE
Montségur, Mirepoix and Carcassonne
Story by Karoline Cullen, Photography by Cullen Photos

The rocky trail angles steeply upwards and demands all my attention. Looking at the ruin above, I find the cool, gray weather an appropriate match for this forbidding place... read more »


MAKING TRACKS TO WHISTLER
By Jane Cassie

Whistler is definitely the place for making tracks and though we don’t plan on cruising from heavenly peaks during this spring visit, we do manage this task in another way—by getting there and back on The Whistler Mountaineer... read more »


IN THE QUEBEC HEARTLAND
By Lauren Kramer

If there are modern-day Quebecois explorers, or coureurs du bois as they are known in Canadian folklore, Raymond des Rosiers is one of them. For the 44-year-old guide at Auberge St. Alexis des Monts in Quebec, his favourite time of year is October when, for two weeks, he douses himself in animal urine, lays salt blocks on the ground and wakes at 4am to race to his tree hideout. The reason? Moose... read more »

 

APRIL 2009:


BLUES, BOOZE AND BARAK
Story and Photos by Colleen Friesen

For some reason I keep thinking of two rather disparate things: the band playing on as the Titanic went down and Nero fiddling while Rome burns. These are not necessarily good thoughts while standing on the back deck of a large cruise ship listening to a band bashing out the blues... read more »


JUDEA IS CLOSER THAN YOU THINK
By Margaret Deefholts

It isn’t every day that I get to meet Jesus, but this afternoon I stand in a coulee surrounded by craggy ochre-coloured hills, listening to him and a couple of his disciples chatting to [Blind] Bartimaeus. Dust devils dance in the breeze, and in the shade of the Jerusalem Wall, a donkey stands patiently awaiting his owner... read more »


POWELL RIVER: NO LONGER JUST A MILL TOWN
By Jane Cassie

In 1911, Powell River, British Columbia was thriving. It was home to BC’s largest pulp and paper mill and during its peak, employed 3,500 workers... read more »


BONNIE LOCH LOMOND
by Caroline M. Jackson

The summer sun had just kissed the peak of Ben Lomond and now the still, slate-grey waters of Loch Lomond became as dark as coal. With my back to the castellated Hotel Tarbet, I sauntered down the grassy slope towards the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond... read more »

 

MAY 2009:


BRIDGING THE GAP AT WHISTLER
By Jane Cassie

When I was seven years old, I had high hopes of joining the circus. My dad even installed a trapeze in our basement to pacify this childhood whim. That was a few decades and a hundred or so pounds ago. Today, as I teeter on the edge of Whistler’s Zip Trek platform, I’m not as certain that I’ll soar through the air with the greatest of ease... read more »


HOPEWELL ROCKS
By Susan Deefholts

I am walking through a mermaid’s living room. We are at the Hopewell Rocks, in New Brunswick’s Bay of Fundy. It is low tide, and the rush of the water’s ebb and flow is muted by distance. In a few short hours, this whole area will be submerged by the highest tide in the world... read more »


MAGICAL MAUI MOMENTS WITH MY MOTHER
(A Mother’s Day Tribute)
Story & Photos by Donna Yuen

The years have slipped by so quickly. Turning towards her now I notice her gray hairs, and the wrinkles growing almost imperceptibly from the corners of her eyes... It has been eight years since we last traveled together, so we are long overdue for this impromptu mother-daughter trip to Maui... read more »


BEYOND THE BEACHES
Outback Safaris reveal Domican Republic Disparities

by Chris McBeath

Hispaniola is an island divided. The larger portion comprises the Dominican Republic, best known for its lushly appointed beachside resorts set against hills of tropical rainforest. Beyond those hills, however... read more »

 

JUNE 2009:


GOAT-GIRLS AND HEART-HEALTHY CHOCOLATES
By Colleen Friesen

It’s somewhere between the fifth and sixth muttered expletive that I’m able to finally heave myself on to the top of the cliff. Looking down, I realize that calling it a cliff might be overstating the geographic truth. In fact, once I’m standing solidly on the top, it’s kind of embarrassing at just how little distance I’ve come...read more »


VENICE: MISTRESS OF THE SEAS
By W. Ruth Kozak

As I step outside my small hotel, it is the light in the piazza that impresses me first; the way it filters through the narrow passageway, a bright shaft of daylight flooding across the cobbled path. I stand transfixed for a moment, breathing in the scent of old stones and pungent sea...read more »


ECO TOURING ALONG THE SUNSHINE COAST
By Jane Cassie

Where in BC are you treated to 180 kilometers of scenic shoreline bordered by mossy rainforests and recreation abundance? What destination has been dubbed, the Scuba Coast, Wildlife Coast and Wellness Coast? And where on this province’s water-logged mainland are you warmed by 2,400 sunny hours each year? If you guessed the Sunshine Coast, you’re spot on!...read more »


GRENADA – JEWEL OF THE CARIBBEAN
By Lauren Kramer

It’s choppy in Grenada’s Moliniere Bay, and as I splash over the edge of the boat and glance through misty goggles, I find myself looking straight down at a female figure standing on the ocean floor 30 feet below me...read more »


YORKSHIRE YARNS
Story and photos by Margaret Deefholts

Once upon a time, a good-natured giant named Wade lived with his wife Belle on the wild fells of the Yorkshire Dales...read more »


 

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