"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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©2008 W. Ruth Kozak
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FEATURE: FUSHIMI INARI, JAPAN
I rode a shaky, silent train from Kyoto, Japan to the mountain-side shrine, Fushimi Inari. The rays of the sun, dispersed over the rice fields, were ebbing to dark. I was arriving late, too late to meet my friend who had already trekked down the mountain. She had called me from the train stop. “Be careful,” she warned. “ At this hour Fushimi Inari is completely empty and the shrine is full of fox demons.” Fushimi Inari is a shine dedicated to Inari, the god of rice and his messenger the kitsune or fox. Fox demons are good omens in Japan, charged with warding off evil. These ethereal foxes can have multiple tails. More tails mean an older fox of greater power. Along with being messengers for Inari, often depicted as a large white fox, fox demons are tricksters. According to legend, foxes take human's forms for deceitful purposes. The cruel, proud and greedy were all targets.
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CHINA

In the Muslim quarter of Xi’an there are countless vendors selling many dishes that use mutton or beef with eastern spices as the base. In the neighborhood near my hotel just a few blocks of walking took me to an amazing Muslim restaurant where the Chef serves a dish called du wah (pita bread soaked in lamb soup).
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CHINA

The only thing worse than being sober, is being drunk on Chinese alcohol, or so I thought. Luckily my imaginings were wrong. For the discerning eye, there is a whole world of completely random and strange beers that seemingly pop up out of nowhere and in the most unlikely of places.
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SPAIN

My priority was to find the Holy Grail. The story of the Holy Grail or chalice, which is the cup Jesus supposedly used during the Last Supper, has fired the imagination over centuries. Did it survive, where was it, is the story really true?
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CZECH REPUBLIC

I’ve always been fascinated by revolutions and rebellions, particularly in countries that I’m otherwise not that familiar with.What do rock and roll music and the fall of the Iron Curtain have in common? In Prague, the answer is quite a bit.
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CALIFORNIA USA

If you head to Monterey’s historic Cannery Row in the middle of the week (preferably during the off-season), you might turn a bit nostalgic especially if you are a Steinbeck fan. Visuals from Cannery Row still remain. These are special characters and places I fell in love with a long time ago.
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ENGLAND

Some thirty years ago I repeated a walk when on holiday with family in Yorkshire, which I had done often in my teens. Yorkshire, a lovely county and a favourite of mine, allows easy access to lovely dales and outstanding moorland and to the wilds of Northumberland and Cumbria.
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KEY WEST, FL

My journey to experience more of Hemingway’s legendary life began with a flight to sun filled Miami, home to some of the most beautiful white sand beaches in America. The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, located in Old Town district of Key West Florida, is the farthest southern point in the continental United States.
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ARIZONA USA

In 1967 I was working in London. To me, London Bridge was an unremarkable piece of masonry blackened by 136 years of coal smoke belching from London chimneys but I found the idea of selling the bridge quite bizarre. Who on earth, I wondered, would buy this dirty pile of old stones?
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UNITED KINGDOM

The vast sprawling smile of Douglas Harbour is for many their first view of the Isle of Man by sea. Since 1830 the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company has been plying the waters of the Irish Sea bringing tourists and more from the shores of the United Kingdom and Ireland; the oldest continuously operating passenger service in the world.
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JAPAN

Sacred even before the Daishi established his monastic retreat here in 816, Koya-san is only two hours by train from Osaka. Farmers with conical straw hats worked fields cultivated for centuries. It was a scene lifted straight from the anime of Hayao Miyazaki (famous for classics such as Spirited Away and My Friend Totoro).
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NEW ORLEANS USA

New Orleans is known for many things: seafood, i.e. crawfish, shrimp, crab and also for its music and musicians. The New Orleans area has the most home grown musicians in the country. However if New Orleans is known for anything it is a slogan and an attitude of, “Laissez les bons temps rouler, let the good times roll.”
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WALES

Ruthin Castle stands on a ridge overlooking the beautiful Vale of Clwyd. It was the castle that gave the town its name, for it’s a corruption of Welsh words meaning ‘red fort’, referring to the sandstone from which it was built. The castle, which Dafydd built in 1277, is in ruins now, destroyed in the reign of Charles II.
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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
March 19th, 2015.