"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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Who knew that my pilgrimage in Europe was going to be a lot more about locating the source of chivalry than a shrine to an Apostles' remains in Santiago de Compostela? For it seemed The Knights Hospitaller had guided my itinerary planning and arranged that my formative experience with them would be with their reincarnations – the hospitaleros – in pilgrim albergues on the Camino.
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Menlo Park, CA has swallowed up a secret under the canopy of its tree-lined streets. A few boring brown historical marker signs on the main street, El Camino Real, weakly hint at the existence of something worth exploring in the adjoining neighborhood.
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The year was 936 when Abd ar-Rahman III, the first Umayyad Caliph of Córdoba, began the construction of his magnificent Islamic city 5 miles west of Córdoba, the prosperous capital of al-Andalus (Islamic Spain). Legend has it that the Caliph named it Madinat az-Zahra (City of Zahra) after his favourite concubine from Granada.
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Lake Atitlan, nestled within the fog-shrouded mountains of the Guatemalan highlands, is graced with twelve towns scattered around its periphery like the pearls of a necklace. Over 90% of the inhabitants in the area are indigenous people.
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Mark Twain once referred to them as “Cities of the Dead” and nowhere is the term more appropriate than in New Orleans. Cemeteries here are unlike others across the U.S. that bury their dead “six feet under” so to speak. New Orleans’ swampy low terrain sits one to two feet below sea level.
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By the time we left the hotel, it was already late afternoon, and our plane left at dawn. The buildings shimmered with a golden glow particular to Italian cities of stone and marble. After fortifying ourselves with an espresso, we strolled to the stylish Via Veneto.
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Summerville, South Carolina displays an artist’s palette of blooming bright pink azaleas contrasting against the backdrop of green pine forests. Children play on a bridge over a gurgling creek while chirping birds echo their energetic laughter.
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Hunger pains, tongues sticking to the roofs of our mouths and the heat of the morning forced us to stop for breakfast in a town named Beit She’an as we were driving north to Tiberias. Finding a little strip mall restaurant, we ordered our food and then proceeded to see if Beit She’an was even listed in our guidebook.
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If you've been to Versailles you'll know that it redefines large. Looking out from the main palace, the gardens go past the horizon in two directions—literally as far as the eye can see. The historic site covers 2,000 acres, making it larger than Manhattan.
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I first heard of cormorant fishing in infant school, sitting cross-legged on the floor and listening in wonder as our grey-haired teacher recounted her travels through exotic lands. Her tale of seeing the cormorants fish in Japan has stayed with me. It was a story belonging to an enchanted time when magical things could happen.
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I was standing at the edge of the bowl-shaped hill hypnotized by the beauty of the aquamarine lake that lay glittering in the basin below - low-lying hill, dense forest and a tranquil lake. I stood there in awe when suddenly my mind took me eons back.
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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.
Would you like to be informed when this site is updated? Just send us an email and we'll keep you in the know.
This site was last updated on
July 26, 2017.