Monday, May 22, 2017

TRAVEL MELDS THE BITTER WITH THE SWEET

BY JANET STEINBERG

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
                                                                                                George Santayana

With Memorial Day almost upon us, I have been thinking back on my memories of some three-plus decades of travel writing.  Happily, I’ve never become jaded. 

I am still in awe of the fantastic experiences that the magic carpet of travel has swept me to.  Yes, it’s been a great ride!  I spent a weekend in Monte Carlo partying with the Royal Family of Monaco…met a bevy of movie stars, astronauts, royalty and politicians…flew at Mach 2 on both the British and French Concordes…sailed some 140 cruises…circumnavigated the world on a romantic honeymoon...visited the Arctic and Antarctic…ingested numerous kilos of caviar…and drank enough champagne to fill an Olympic swimming pool.

However, with that being said, the memories most etched in my mind are not those sybaritic, hedonistic ones that brought me undeniable pleasure.  The trips that carved a permanent place in my heart and my mind are the ones that inevitably brought tears to my eyes. 

As we approach this upcoming Memorial Day, relive with me some of the world’s sad and sobering experiences that have made this business of travel even more meaningful. 

WAR SITES: The Normandy Beaches are the sites where the members of “The Greatest Generation” landed on June 6, 1944.  The men who landed at Normandy on D-Day made up the largest military invasion from the sea in the history of the world. The code name for the landing was “Operation Neptune”.  Omaha Beach was the bloodiest of the D-Day landings.  The American Cemetery, located on a bluff overlooking Omaha Beach contains the remains of 9,387 American military dead.

THE AMERICAN CEMETERY IN NORMANDY

Monday, May 1, 2017

SUNNY SAN JUAN: SEA, SAND, AND SERENITY

BY JANET STEINBERG

                                                                                                            
Saludos Amigos !  Bienvenido a Puerto Rico.  Greetings friends.  Welcome to Puerto Rico.  This sun-drenched island wears three faces: historic old San Juan…a lush, colorful interior…and lively, opulent beach resorts. Whether you are looking for a secluded retreat or a mecca of activity, you can find it all in sunny San Juan.

WELCOME TO SAN JUAN

San Juan, where palm-fringed beaches of the Atlantic meet aquamarine waters of the Caribbean, is a city teeming with vitality and culture.  And much of it can be observed by boarding one of the free trolleys that allows both locals and tourists to hop on and off around different routes of the city.  All trolleys stop at the cruise ship pier.

Monday, April 17, 2017

ST. THOMAS: THE MOST COSMOPOLITAN U.S. VIRGIN ISLAND

BY: JANET STEINBERG

ST. THOMAS: This island, with its deep-harbor, red-roofed capital of Charlotte Amalie (pronounced ah-MAHL-ya) is the most cosmopolitan of the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI).  Today, the town is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.  Its old-world downtown area was once a New World sea-trading crossroads where the wealth of Europe's colonial nations was exchanged. 

CRUISE SHIPS LINE HARBOR OF RED-ROOFED CHARLOTTE AMALIE 
If you arrive on one of the many cruise ships that dock in the harbor every day, you can find something for everyone just minutes from the dock. There’s hair braiding by Ladi Rainbow.

Monday, March 27, 2017

GRENADA: THE SPICE OF THE CARIBBEAN

BY: JANET STEINBERG

Sugar and spice and everything nice, that’s what the idyllic island of Grenada is made of.  From sugar cane waving into the fields…to cocoa beans drying in the sun…to nutmeg and cinnamon assuaging our olfactory senses…little wonder that Grenada is know as the Caribbean’s  ‘Isle of Spice’.  The most southern of the Windward Islands, Grenada is located some 100 miles from Venezuela. This lush verdant island lies nestled between the Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean.

SPICE ISLAND WELCOME

A 4-piece steel band welcomed us as we disembarked from our cruise ship in St. Georges, the picturesque capital of Grenada established in the 18th century by the French.  Departing the pier, we passed by the early 18th century Sendall Tunnel that was built by the French under the rocky promontory topped by Fort George.  Fort George, known as Fort Royal in the days of French rule, still stands guard above the harbor.  It ancient cannons still manage to fire salutes on special occasions.  

Monday, March 6, 2017

O CANADA, O CANADA! HAPPY BIRTHDAY FROM EAST TO WEST

BY JANET STEINBERG

                                                                                                                    
 North of the border there’s a party going on.  And what better way to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary year than by experiencing Canadian charm from the Atlantic to the Pacific.  You can cruise from the Maritimes to Montreal, ride the rails from Vancouver to Lake Louise, or fly and drive to the city of your choice.  So, hop on my magic travel carpet and let’s party…from the Maritimes in the Atlantic, to a paradisiacal Island in the North Pacific.

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA:  Halifax is the cosmopolitan capital city of Nova Scotia,.  It is Canada’s 13th largest city and its residents, called Haligonians, make up 40% of Nova Scotia’s population.  In Halifax, a city that embraces the sea, all roads lead to the shore. The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic will take you on a voyage of discovery through Nova Scotia’s rich maritime heritage.  Perhaps the most popular exhibit in the Maritime Museum is the one that depicts the tragic history of the ill-fated Titanic that sank some 700 miles east of Halifax on April 15, 1912.   While the Cunard liner Carpathia was taking survivors to New York, 209 of the dead were brought to Halifax.   59 bodies were shipped home to relatives, but 150 were buried in Halifax cemeteries.  One of the first victims to be carried to his grave at Fairview Lawn was a small, unidentified baby boy.  A haunting tombstone marks his grave.



GRAVE OF UNKNOWN CHILD IN HALIFAX