Travel Stories

Travel Stories

When I first traveled to places I’d likely never go back to—the world is a big place—I was frustrated and even sad to leave beautiful and interesting sites behind. Sure, I’d bring back photographs galore, souvenirs and other mementos, and books, but they weren’t enough. They wouldn't keep my memories alive.

But writing stories about these places would let me keep them forever. And since everything is better when it’s shared, I am sharing them here, in an uninterrupted reading format that, I hope, will let your mind drift to those places and engage in the experiences. I hope the photographs will then visually take you back there, as they never fail to take me.

Most articles were first published at Buckettripper.com, a multiple-award-winning digital travel magazine - no longer collaborative. Other original travel articles appeared in my travel column in the West Vancouver Beacon. More stories will follow as I format them for Writing is Living.

Travel Memories Marie-Claude Arnott
Tuscany – The Villages of the Chianti

Tuscany – The Villages of the Chianti

Something is missing in Tuscany. It’s mid-September: too late for the golden fields of sunflowers and too early for the glowing foliage of vines. Never mind, I settle for the serene views of hills capped with matronly hills, stone houses morphing into heads, and olive groves and vineyards into long..

Posted by Marie-Claude Arnott in Travel
India – Shopping for Textiles, Jewelry, Handicrafts

India – Shopping for Textiles, Jewelry, Handicrafts

Even Ganesha the deity for wisdom is of no tempering influence. As a result, I deal with temptation by giving in and the laughing Buddha appears to agree. Besides, if I resisted buying something in Delhi, it tempted me in Agra, the last city we visited on our train tour through Rajasthan.

Past..

Posted by Marie-Claude Arnott in Travel
California – The Oakland Zoo

California – The Oakland Zoo

Once upon a time, a female elephant called Effie lived at the then downtown Oakland Zoo. Effie was used to watching the owner’s family stroll on the grounds, so one day, she did what she saw them do, she helped push the baby’s buggy.

The zoo of the 1950s is incomparable to the one of the..

Posted by Marie-Claude Arnott in Travel
New Zealand – The Yellow-Eyed Penguin

New Zealand – The Yellow-Eyed Penguin

The word ‘maybe’ is out. We might see some, but there is no guarantee. Do we still want to go? We do. We came to this spot on New Zealand South Island to see the yellow-eyed penguin, the rarest and most endangered of all penguins. Besides, more of them live in this warmer climate than..

Posted by Marie-Claude Arnott in Travel
India – A Train Trip in Rajasthan

India – A Train Trip in Rajasthan

Persistent children swarm cheeringly around me as if they could read my mind, but the sacred vagrant cows remain unflappable. It’s our last day in India and I can’t sleep. My senses are teeming with sights, smells, sounds, and contrasts: the riches of the palaces and the mud huts of the desert..

Posted by Marie-Claude Arnott in Travel
Sicily – The Godfather’s Film Locations

Sicily – The Godfather’s Film Locations

We left our sea legs on the m/s Radisson Seven-Seas Voyager to board a coach, ready to crawl up to Savoca, the mountainous location of The Godfather II. 

I held my breath as our driver stopped and maneuvered at each hairpin turn, the razor-edged road disappearing as we momentarily hung..

Posted by Marie-Claude Arnott in Travel
India: The Taj Mahal’s Marble

India: The Taj Mahal’s Marble

The grand finale of my trip to India is not a massive fort or a sumptuous palace, it’s a mausoleum: the legendary Taj Mahal.

In interviews published in the Indian English newspaper Asian Age, about the Taj’s 350th anniversary (in 2004), Indian celebrities revealed a fascination either with..

Posted by Marie-Claude Arnott in Travel
Tennessee – Christmas in Nashville

Tennessee – Christmas in Nashville

Streams of lights fell like incandescent snowflakes; children’s books and cartoons characters hung from small-scale hot-air balloons and parachutes. Only Santa had brought more excitement at the Opryland Hotel!

Nashville is famous as the home of country music, the Blue Bird Café, the..

Posted by Marie-Claude Arnott in Travel
France – The Vimy Ridge Memorial

France – The Vimy Ridge Memorial

We turn onto Rue des Canadiens, yet we are not in Canada, not even in Québec. Some ten minutes later, the forested road opens onto the National Historic Site of Canada on the plain of Douai. On our right, the 27-meter-high twin towers of the Vimy Ridge Memorial, representing Canada and France, aim..

Posted by Marie-Claude Arnott in Travel
Canada – Halloween in Québec City

Canada – Halloween in Québec City

A sailing ship has run aground in front of Québec City Hall and a humongous spider crawls on the side of a nearby office building. In any season, the capital of la belle province shows off its historic landmarks, but in the Fall, Québec revives its past with a Halloween twist.

Ships have..

Posted by Marie-Claude Arnott in Travel