"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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ruth's travel blog
©2008 Ruth Kozak


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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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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A gust of cool wind blowing through the open bus window jolts me awake to an astonishing vista. Ice-blue slopes of distant glacial peaks resemble an impressionist landscape, while nearby valleys are dappled with rectangular parcels of green and gold farmland. Across the highway a lone eagle hovers over a churning river.
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With a history spanning over 2,317 years. Chengdu is one of the oldest cities in the world. Second to none in China, it’s a place where thousands of foreigners reside from all over the world. It’s one of the Middle Kingdom’s most open cities in this western most portion of the country. In Chengdu everybody is from somewhere else.
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I spent three weeks in London this past summer and, along with everyone else, I visited the usual attractions, queuing up in lines and pushing and shoving. But I also found that not far from the mayhem are lovely little places where you can quietly sit on a shady bench and rest and renew yourself.
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If you are passionate about history and about learning more about other countries’ heritage, your visit to Cape Town will offer you a lot of opportunities to explore the vibrant past of the city. You can either go on an organized tour or create your own itinerary to visit some of the exquisite historical buildings and museums of Cape Town.
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Sarah Palin’s infamous quote about seeing Russia from her doorstep has some truth to it. If you visit the remote island of Little Diomede you can see Russia’s island Big Diomede. At a mere 2.3 miles apart, the international dateline runs between the two islands separating Russia from the United States by a whole day.
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