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Julie H. Ferguson

My Very Russian River Cruise: St. Petersburg Russia (Part II)

Russian River Cruise: Arriving in St Petersburg Read Part I of My Very Russian River Cruise from Moscow to St. Petersburg here. The Zosima Shashkov slipped into her berth at St. Petersburg, the northern Russian capital, during the night. The St Petersburg cruise port lies a few miles outside the city center but on the …

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“Yalla! Yalla!” Moroccan Cooking School  

“Yalla! Yalla!” Moroccan Cooking School    I was hungry. My feet ached after three hours in the Moroccan cooking school’s stifling kitchen after we returned from shopping in the Fes medina with bags full of ingredients.  Earlier, Lahcen Beqqi, a Moroccan chef who had worked in kitchens worldwide, grinned at me as he strode into Dar Anebar, the riad or guest house where I was staying in Fes.  “Yalla! We’re going shopping! In the ancient food market close to the main gate.” …

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The Holy Isle of Iona: A Historical Pilgrimage

Like the first monks and today’s travelers, I first glimpse the holy Isle of Iona in the Scottish Hebrides from the sea. This birthplace of Celtic Christianity has attracted the faithful for nearly 1500 years and I wonder how Iona has drawn so many pilgrims and tourists to such a remote spot. Its enormous appeal …

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My Barradise: The Scottish Isle of Barra

The Twin Otter banks hard and within seconds is skimming low over the sea. The fat tires bounce on hard, still-wet sand, and I breathe again. I step onto the biggest runway I’ve ever seen — the Cockle Strand — and my romance with the Outer Hebrides Isle of Barra, Scotland begins.  The airport on …

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The Splendours of Southern Iceland

I wave farewell to sunny Akureyri as I fly south to Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital. I’m aware the weather is greyer and wetter there and wonder if I’ll need my rain suit. Its late September, after all. Sure enough it’s raining as I land, and clouds darken when I reach my hotel. Perhaps my good fortune has …

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Northern Iceland is Hot, Hot, Hot!

The land steams. Volcanoes erupt. Earthquakes rumble. Mud boils. Geysers gush. And, water at 100C to 200C (212F to 392F) pours right out of the earth. Iceland is the only landmass that straddles the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. Their junction is called the Mid-Atlantic Ridge that runs north-south splitting Iceland in two. The geology …

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The Subtle Palette of Scotland’s Isles of Harris and Lewis

I ripped open my package from the Isle of Harris. As I pushed my nose into the fabric, it smelled of lanolin and scratched my face. I had chosen it a month before because its color would forever remind me of the heather, sky, and rock that cover this Hebridean island. The fog was thick …

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