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Canada

Capturing human rights through the lens of a camera

By Maureen Fitzhenry

National exhibition of crowd-sourced photos opens for Canada 150. (Photo: Ossie Michelin, Mi'kmaq Woman, 2013)

Canada

This land is our land

By Paul Knowles

The eight of us came from almost every part of this country – one from Nova Scotia, two from Quebec, three from Ontario, one from Alberta, and one from B.C. When we compared notes about our hometowns, the settings were very different, from proximity to lighthouses to proximity to mountains. And the languages we speak at home are different – six spoke English, two, French.

United States

United by the Border: Explore San Diego and Baja's Binational Spirit 

By joyoftravel.ca news services

Pristine beaches and vibrant neighborhoods make San Diego the ultimate beach city, but its relationship and proximity to Baja California, Mexico, makes San Diego a unique destination unlike any other in the U.S., where art, architecture, cuisine and more build cultural bridges on both sides of the border.
At less than 20 miles from downtown San Diego, the busiest border crossing in the world connects the city with Tijuana, Rosarito, Ensenada and Guadalupe Valley, a cluster of cities known for their rich artistic and culinary offerings. Here, a continuous exchange of ideas, flavors and traditions shape San Diego's cultural, historic and culinary identity. San Diego welcomes visitors from around the world to experience this binational spirit first hand.

Continental Europe

Outside of our comfort zone

By Paul Knowles (first published in the New Hamburg Independent)

Let me make it clear, right off the top, that it is a terrific assignment. I’ve been asked to write a major feature for the United Church Observer about Martin Luther, on this 500th anniversary of the Reformation. This meant I was sent to walk in Luther’s footsteps in Germany for a week, trying to learn everything I could while we were there. It’s a great gig.

 

United States

The best meal…. ever!

By Paul Knowles

 One of the best and worst things about being a travel writer is that, while on a research trip, you may encounter absolutely spectacular experiences… and then not have an outlet in which to write about such specific occasions. My trip to San Diego was amazingly full of such incidents – and while I am writing the “big picture” articles for large-circulation print media (eventually to pop up on joyoftravel.ca, as well), I feel happily compelled to publish a few highly focused pieces, right here.
Let’s start with perhaps the best meal I have ever – yes, ever – enjoyed. (Shown: Brian Malarkey, left, and Chris Puffer; Paul Knowles Photo).

Continental Europe

Cognac workshop the highlight of Bordeaux experience

By Paul Knowles

Beside my keyboard, as I write this, there is a snifter containing a unique Cognac. It sits next to an elegant wooden box with a brass clasp. The box is labeled “Camus: Maison Familiale Depuis1863”. Inside the box is the 50 cl bottle, bearing the label “PMK”, and its unique code – 15-07-108. Oh yes, it also lists the details of the blend – 60% from the Camus vineyard in Borderies, 20% Fins Bois, 10% Petite Champagne, 10% Grande Champagne, each a different – although neighbouring – “cru”. A perfect blend, to my way of thinking. Of course, I am biased – the “PMK” on the label are my initials; this unique bottle of Cognac is my own, personal blend, the end result of the highlight of a trip to Bordeaux, France – a “Master Blender” workshop at Camus, the largest independent and family-owned Cognac House.

United States

Torrey Pines – a once-in-a-lifetime round

By Paul Knowles

Lucky travel writer gets a unique opportunity to play one of the great golf courses – alone!

Canada

A wise “million-dollar” investment

By Paul Knowles

The Drayton Festival has made a shrewd investment this season, bringing the deservedly popular musical, “Million Dollar Quartet” to several of its stages.

United States

Much in common between communities, but the Tech Museum is a San Jose stand-out

By Paul Knowles

(First published in www.exchangemagazine.com)

Waterloo Region residents who visit San Jose, California, will probably feel quite at home, very quickly. The two communities have a lot in common – except for the southern California climate, of course. San Jose is part of the state's famed Silicon Valley, home to many start-up and global tech companies, including Apple, Facebook and Google.

Continental Europe

“Stay open-minded. Stay with us.”

By Paul Knowles (first published in The United Church Observer)

When the Vienna Tourist Board’s Helena Hartlauer told some lunching and munching media about a new hotel in her Austrian city, no one was surprised. A travel rep promoting an accommodation facility? That’s her job. What was surprising, though, was absolutely everything else about the Magdas Hotel, whose apt motto is, “Stay open-minded. Stay with us.”

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