This is Luganville

Living in the present, with the rusting memories of World War II. (I’m pleased to present the photos of Tom Ediger here; I think these portraits are some of his finest work. I hope you enjoy them.) Greetings from Vanuatu, a string of exquisite tropical islands in the far southwest Pacific. You may not recognize the name; the isles were originally dubbed the New Hebrides […]

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Guide Will, chopping fruit, Bora Bora

The Boundless Beauty of Bora Bora

Bora Bora, in French Polynesia, is impossibly beautiful. It is Fantasy Island come to life; it is every tropical postcard you’ve ever seen, but in three dimensions. Craggy, jungle-covered volcanic slopes jut dramatically out of the South Pacific, surrounded by azure lagoons filled with the clearest waters I’ve ever seen. A halo of coral reefs protects the island and ensures endless, abundant sea life. It’s […]

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Portraits of Papeete

  Long before I understood where on earth Tahiti was, I had an image of it in my mind. To me, Tahiti represented all things tropical, exotic, sensuous and lush. Remember Tahiti Treat? It was some overly-sugary soft drink, I recall, but the images of palm trees on the bottle sparked my childhood imagination. Later, I read of the mutiny on the Bounty, and with […]

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Dublin: Unpretentious and Magical

Dublin, the capital of the Irish Republic, is not a big city. I don’t know why I thought it would be, but it has about four hundred thousand people. Dublin, in fact, was nothing like I expected. It isn’t grand; it isn’t fabulous; it isn’t stately nor venerable nor regal. Dublin, I have to say, met none of my expectations… but it somehow exceeded them […]

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The Birds of Winter: Just One More Reason to Love Stanley Park

As Vancouverites, we’re accustomed to being the envy of Canada as winter approaches. One might even accuse us of being a bit smug about it.  Six inches of snow in Calgary and it’s only September? “Oh, what a shame,” we say, sipping cocktails by the bay. “We can’t wait for December when the lawns green up again.” One of the least-known perks of the Vancouver […]

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Prague: Still Hip, Still Beautiful

… just not the way you expect it. Once upon a time, Prague was the hippest travel destination on the planet. It was the early 1990s, and the Eastern Bloc was reawakening. Kafka’s gorgeous city was coming to life, and any would-be Bohemian worth his salt was making his way there to be part of it. I recall my envy at hearing stories of young writers […]

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Busy in Berlin

I have just spent a luxurious eight days in Berlin, in a bright and modern little apartment on Grosse Hamburgerstrasse. Not long ago, I wrote of my first trip to this remarkable town. It was 1988, the year before the wall came down, and I was thunderstruck by both the raw creative power of West Berlin, and the stark quotidian realities of the East. For this […]

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Ruined chapel, Carrigafoyle

On The Trail of the Enrights

My family name, Enright, is Irish.  And this week I have been exploring the spectacular countryside of the Emerald Isle, in search of deceased ancestors and spectacular photo opportunities, not necessarily in that order. (We also spent several days in the wonderful city of Dublin, which I will attempt to chronicle in a future story.) The Enrights are ethnically Gaelic in origin. That might seem obvious, […]

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Shetland: How do you get a pony on a cruise ship?

It must be hard to be a citizen of Shetland. I’m not talking about the isolation, the harsh North Atlantic storms, the long dark winter. It must be infuriating to have your whole cultural identity associated with adorable ponies and wee sheep dogs, particularly when you have a long, proud and very interesting history to present to the world. We arrived in Shetland by cruise ship tender. Tendering […]

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town crier, london

Losing My Travel Mojo In London

In retrospect, I was setting myself up for a bit of a letdown. I first visited London when I was fresh out of school. At that time, I was only planning to spend a few days there, and then hop on a bus to take a drunken camping tour to Morocco. As it happened, the trip was postponed and I ended up spending two weeks […]

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