"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 Ruth Kozak

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was once synonymous with steel and the home of some of the most iconic barons of finance and industry. But even as the steel industry in America has declined and the barons of generations past are no more, the city can boast one of the greatest collections of offbeat attractions of any major city.
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Some 700 hundred years ago an anonymous author wrote: “To be in Paris, is to be.” How apt those words were, I thought, as I strolled along the streets of Paris early one morning some months ago. My goal was to explore the two beautiful gems lying in the River Seine – the Ile de la Cité and the Ile Saint-Louis.
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Cairo is the largest city in the Middle East. Of course there are areas of the city that look run-down. There are other more affluent suburbs of the city. Cairo’s modern ‘downtown’ is on the east bank of the Nile. It was built under the influence of French architects and there are many beautiful mosques as well as Coptic sights to see there.
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Brighton had been the destination of choice for many a day at the seaside during my childhood, and would be forever associated in my mind with windswept, pebbled beaches and ideas of escape. It’s been said you should never go back to places where you were happy, lest the reality not measure up, but how could I not?
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St. Boniface was founded in 1818 with the establishment of a Catholic mission. It became part of Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1972. Home to one of the largest French-Canadian communities outside the province of Québec, its rich history includes voyageurs, fur traders, European settlers, Catholic missionaries, rebellion, and the birth of the province of Manitoba.
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198 cyclists will ride 1864 miles (3500km) over three weeks, aiming for the 101st Tour de France finish line in Paris on July 27th. The third biggest sporting event in the world will start in the north of England for the first time. Leeds is steeped in sport and history, so it is a great choice for the 2014 Le Grand Depart on July 5th.
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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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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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