"Setting out on the voyage to Ithaca you must pray that the way be long, full of adventures and experiences."
- Constantine Peter Cavafy "Ithaca"
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I am on a wooden wharf by the banks of the Nile River at Aswan, in Egypt with my travel companions. There are many small boats tied up along the river bank, their helmsmen eagerly awaiting passengers. We will be the only ones that day – ten of us: six travel writers, an Egyptologist, a tourism rep from Aswan and two burly escorts dressed in business suits. Unfortunately we have no time to bargain and buy souvenirs this morning. We’re on our way to board a boat that will take us to visit the island temple of Philae. Hanan, the Egyptologist explains, “These dark-skinned people are Nubians. They live in settlements along the river.” She tells us that because of the lack of tourists due to recent political unrest, these souvenir hawkers and boatmen are struggling to make a living.
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I am amused and entertained by the wooing of passersby that ensues, the waltz of gestures and pivots, the come-hither looks. Economic casualty aside, I presume the pride of owning an un-Burberry outweighs the pesky oppression of jail. Yesterday, I watched as they installed themselves in front of the Prada store, selling fake Prada bags. Some laugh, some applaud, I cringe.
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I must admit to having my doubts about Liverpool’s World Heritage Status and its European Capital of Culture award back in 2008. The reality is that my visit to Liverpool was a wonderful surprise, from the moment I walked out of Lime Street Station to see the magnificent St. George’s Hall across the road, to my farewell drink in Ye Hole in the Wall pub.
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The Florida Keys are made up of some 1,700 islands. From Miami to Key West, this archipelago stretches over 150 miles alone. It’s here where I found some unique saltwater kayaking opportunities stretching from Cow Key to Key Largo.
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It’s a bit of a shock to see an ‘Egyptian-looking building’ on top of a hill, while on an open-top bus tour of Madrid. It is, I later discovered, Egyptian indeed. Even if you aren’t into ‘things Egyptian’, you can’t help but wonder how an Egyptian temple came to be situated almost in the centre of Spain.
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In 2012, Southampton commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Titanic in the month of April.For the anniversary a new state-of-the-art SeaCity Museum was opened at Havelock Road, within the Cultural Quarter of Southampton.
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Samoa consists of two main islands. It is relaxed and casual, warm and sunny with friendly people, none of whom are in a hurry. You can go to Samoa to enjoy the beaches and unwind, but there’s also plenty to see and do. I was keen to find what remained of its colonial history.
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If you visit my city, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, you are sure to spend some time in one of Vancouver’s unique tourist attractions, Stanley Park. The park became the favorite haunt of an Indian princess/poet, Pauline Johnson, the first Native Indian to be published in Canada. Her book “The White Wampum” gained her high literary standing.
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I was back on the train to Belfast after decades, the new stock state-of-the-art shiny, clean, comfortable, smooth and fast. Back in the 1980s the train to Belfast shuddered and creaked its way to the city. The seats were blighted with cigarette holes and knife slits, the floors covered in litter, the walls plastered with graffiti.
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I’ll admit to not recognizing the structure of a giant penis on a commercial building at first, thinking it was some elaborate design that I just didn’t get. Initially, I was somewhat taken aback by the penile projectile, but then I began to contemplate why decorated penises adorned many buildings and homes.
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My first thought upon observing the houses of the Spanish city of Cuenca, was that I wouldn’t want to be a sleep walker if I lived in one of them. Due to limited space, the former inhabitants of the old city built their houses close to the edge, on a rocky mountaintop. Over the centuries, the relentless wind eroded the lime stone cliffs leaving some houses clinging precariously to the edge.
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Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the world, with skillful carvings adorning every block in the place. However, my most memorable moments spent in Siem Reap did not happen in Angkor Wat but in the sights that surround it.
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What faithfully happens, as summer turns to autumn in Tuscany, is that people come down with a pernicious fever - let’s call it ‘acute funghiosis’ - which causes a delirious devotion to truffles. Truffles are discussed with the same intensity and fervor usually reserved for Plato.
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TRAVEL THRU HISTORY is a unique travel 'zine dedicated to exploring historical and cultural experiences. If you have toured the wonders of Egypt, trekked through Berber villages in the High Atlas mountains of Morocco, explored the ancient ruins of Greece or the Mayan pyramids in Mexico, and immersed yourself in another culture, we'd like to hear from you. This is a site for writers to share their travel experiences in a creative, literary way through travel articles, essays, journals and creative non-fiction memoirs.
We publish stories featuring the historical, archaeological, and cultural aspects of a destination. We also accept stories about literary journeys, visits to the haunts of famous writers and artists, unique museums and art galleries. Explore the exciting and diverse world of other cultures, and take us on exotic adventures.
Readers will be taken on fresh, often overlooked experiences and adventures that will provide a valuable insights into the past as well as the lifestyles of other cultures.
To send a story or query a story idea, please read the writer's guidelines in the Submissions section and review previously published articles.
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This site was last updated on
April 20th, 2014.