Author: Debbie Stone

Basel: Beyond Description

Share: Single word descriptions of Basel don’t do this Swiss city justice. Titles such as “Cultural Capital of Switzerland” or “Oldest University Town” barely scrape the surface when trying to characterize this eclectic and exciting town. Attempts at encompassing the rich variety of cultural and historical sights, as well fun leisure activities available in Basel under one heading are simply futile. Resist the impulse to box this city in; instead, give yourself free rein to use as many terms as necessary to showcase this exhilarating destination. Location wise, Basel can’t be beaten. It’s a central transport hub for Europe...

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Discover the Wonders of the Maine Coast Aboard a Century-Old Schooner

Share: “Ready on the peak? Peak’s ready! Ready on the throat? Throat’s ready! Heave away!” With those words, I found myself pulling a thick rope in tug-of- war style as if my life depended on it. My shipmates and I were lined up single file on either side of the schooner J. & E. Riggin, each group responsible for helping hoist the massive sails. It took an immense amount of muscle to accomplish this feat and everyone grunted and strained in effort. This was just one of many tasks involved in preparing the schooner as it got ready to sail...

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Don’t Expect Ordinary When you Journey to the ‘Edge of the World’

Share: Kissing a codfish was never on my life’s to-do list. In fact, up until recently, I could honestly say it was not even in the realm of remote possibility. But there I was at Skipper Hots Bar in Straitsview, Newfoundland, puckering up to smack a big one on this buggy-eyed cod. I had been talked into taking part in a “Screech In,” a ceremony that folks in this Canadian province like to conduct to make visitors feel at home. Newfoundlanders are well-known for their friendliness and hospitality and they definitely live up to this reputation, though their methods...

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Following in the Footsteps of Pilgrims

Share: Meet Victoria Oubiña, a resident of the seaside village of Cambados in Northern Spain. She’s a retired marisquera or shell-fisher, who had to stop school at nine years old and go to work in order to help her family. Victoria spent 54 years digging for clams and cockles on the beaches of this town and became a face of the local industry, one that is dominated by women in this region. Back in 1992, she and several of her counterparts fought for their rights to organize as a recognized controlled collective and were successful in their efforts. The...

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Bern is a City of Superlatives

Share: Bern is a City of Superlatives If there were a beauty pageant for European capitals, Bern would get the crown. This well-known Swiss city oozes with cosmopolitan charm, history and culture, and consistently gets high marks from visitors. They extol its accessibility, unique attractions and impressive Alpine views, as well as its ample shopping and dining options. Founded in 1191, Bern was built on a peninsula which offered natural protection on three sides. According to legend, it was named after the first animal that Duke Berchtold V. von Zähringen caught – a bear – while he was hunting...

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