"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


As the location of a Royal Navy naval base Portsmouth has a fascinating maritime heritage. There visitors can visit the Historic Dockyard, at Queen Street, which includes a variety of naval museums such as the National Museum Royal Navy Portsmouth. The museum documents the rich history of the Royal Navy from the age of sail, to the world wars and up to more recent conflicts in the Gulf.
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When people think of Miami, they picture sunny beaches, vibrant nightlife, art deco, and authentic Cuban food. But they often miss the chance to visit one of the country's most historical mansions and example of Italian Renaissance style: Villa Vizcaya, described as "the finest private house ever built in America."
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The Welsh town of Llangollen stands near a canal of the same name, on the main London-Holyhead road. The road is now called the A5, and was first laid out by engineer Thomas Telford in the late 18th Century. We visited Llangollen to see the famous Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.
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Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo, begins with the arrival of the ship Pharaon (bearing the novel’s protagonist, Edmond Dantes) into Marseille. I had vowed to visit this sacred place ever since I’d read the novel at an impressionable young age - and finally, here I am.
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We enter the harbour of Messina, greeted by a golden lady perched on top of a very tall column. Inscribed at the base are the words - “Vos et ipsam cictatem benedicimus”. This sparks my curiosity and I’m determined to learn more about this edifice guarding the port. I am excited to be in Sicily for the first time.
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Squeezed in among the expectant crowd on the Plaza del Ayuntamiento in Valencia, Spain, I knew I was about to watch an explosion. I did not anticipate the teeth tingling, throat vibrating, ground shaking impact of over 200 pounds of gunpowder going off in what the tourist brochures describe as a perfectly synchronized rhythmic symphony of noise.
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It is called Yorkshire’s Jurassic Coast, due to the high amount of fossils found in the area. Ammonites that lived 200 million years ago are commonly found, and occasionally the bones of marine reptiles from that era. Human artefacts have been found in the area from about 9,000 years ago.
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Before I set off on my three week trip to Galicia, Spain’s green, wet and wild northern province, I had a vague idea who Rosalia de Castro was, but none whatsoever about a place called Padron. By the time I hit Santiago de Compostella, I was very familiar with Rosalia and her work.
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