"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


Doe-eyed and powder-faced, the girls march in single file through a wooden hula-hoop, flourishing their Muromachi-style kimonos as camera shots fill the air like a multitudinous flutter of pigeons.
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When we think of December, there is only one thought that comes to mind. Christmas and New Year. The festive air and holiday cheer. In today’s globally connected world, this has become even truer that no matter where we may be.
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Is shopping a true facet of tourism? More often than not we relegate shopping to an afterthought, a gathering of trinkets as a memento of our journeys. Happily, it becomes part of my life on my annual extended visits to New Delhi.
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Durga Puja, the celebration of the victory of the warrior Mother Goddess Durga over the buffalo demon Mahishasur, is a major annual Hindu festival in India. Although primarily a festival for Bengalis in the state of West Bengal, it is observed not just all over India but also around the world
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Venice has been a tremendous attraction and mystery for innumerable adventurers and scientists fascinated by elegance and nonconformity of Venetian way of life (just imagine living your life on a ship!) The architecture and even geographic location make it a compelling destination.
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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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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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It seems that there is always a festival happening in Germany. Germans like to party and throughout the year in Germany festivals prevail. I remember that when I was stationed there in the American military it seemed like every town had a festival especially during the summer and fall. These festivals would culminate in the world’s biggest blast, the Oktoberfest.
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