"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


Because of the great distances between communities in rural western Manitoba, our priest couldn't attend each village for Midnight Mass. I remember when I was 10 years old it was his turn to come to our village. That evening we got ready and dressed warm with our home made clothes, woolen coats, hats and mittens and brought wool blankets to cover and keep us warm for the sleigh ride to church.
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I decided to visit the most famous castle in Bavaria. Most people would not recognize the castle's name, Neuschwanstein, but they would probably recognize its iconic turrets and spires. This fairy tale castle, which inspired Cinderella's Castle in Disney's Magic Kingdom, soars into the air from a spectacular perch atop a mountain ridge, appearing to defy gravity as it commands the valley below.
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Tucked away in the region of Snowdonia lies Dolgellau and its surrounding area. In search of peace and quiet, I travelled there at Easter, but of course any time of year is good. I stayed with my family in a little stone cottage outside the town of Dolgellau. The cottage was the first source of delight.
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Marrakech was our first stop in Morocco. We passed through the old city walls and a park where camels were sitting in a shady grove. People strolled the streets wearing their traditional jellabiyas and “calls to prayer” were coming from loudspeakers on the minarets of the mosques. This was Morocco!
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The atmosphere in Oxford is a juxtaposition of time standing still and the frenetic energy of young students rushing around on bicycles through the narrow, crowded streets. I learned extensive information about the people, architecture and history that seeps from every brick.
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Convents and monasteries have offered hospitality for centuries, providing more economical accommodation than most hotels. Italy especially has a plethora of choices. The vast majority accept guests of both sexes, married or single, of any denomination – although some still pose a nightly curfew.
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The bus flew along the motorway and bounced down more residential roads. Then the bus pulled round a corner and the Acropolis of Athens appeared above the city. Wrought in dramatic lights, the cream stone columns rose warm against a velvet navy sky, shot with pinpricks of stars. I gasped.
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Thetis Island is one of the lesser known but no less appealing of the Gulf Islands of B.C.; an archipelago off the coast of southern Vancouver Island. The island is home to around 350 permanent residents. Its tranquility is even more pronounced during the off season when you can share a spot on the shoreline with no one but nature's critters.
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