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Examiner.com (2008-2016). Examiner launched in 2008 to provide lifestyle, entertainment and news articles from independent contributors across the US and Canada, writers who are experts in their fields. The website shut down in July 2016, leaving partner AXS's marketing and entertainment platform as the focus.

The Story of the Irish: When eight-year-old Frank Fitzpatrick was staying with his grandfather during a school holiday, he asked his Grandda why the 1916 Easter uprising was so important. Mick Smyth gave the boy a knowing look and began rearranging items on the kitchen table into a map of key rebel positions in Dublin during the week of war that started on Easter Monday...

The studs of County Kildare: The Irish National Stud in County Kildare, about 45 minutes southwest of Dublin city, is a mixture of attractions each blending into the landscape with great planning and care. Some things you'd expected in such a place, but others you would not.

The Amazon — A Whirlwind for the Senses: What's it like to go camping in the Brazilian Amazon? It's calming and thrilling, and it touches all the senses.

Cin-Cin under the sea — the drink's in the drink: Sardinia comes second only to Japan in having the most centenarians. If you suspect that there must be something in the food and drink, you'd be right.

Snorkeling Rio da Prata in Brazil: Swimmers stare at fish. Fish stare at swimmers. Then, like surfacing whales, gusts of wet air blasts through the snorkels as the group begins to investigate the underwater terrain.

From Zeus' daughter to Jesus' mother, Ephesus has always known how to draw a crowd: Ephesus is one of the most famous cities of antiquity. With a population of over 200,000 it was the largest port city of the Roman Province of Asia. Destroyed over time by earthquakes and warring cultures, the ruins that exist today are from around 300 BCE when it was ruled by Lysimakhos, one of Alexander the Great's generals.

Rich, regal Rio — wandering through the 19th century: In the mid-1800s and the harbour of Rio de Janeiro was humming with activity since the coffee boom had revitalized the Brazilian economy. Little did Dom Pedro know his rein was coming to an end. And who could have predicted that the wealthy Santa Teresa neighbourhood would become home to hippies and artists.

Dublin's 1916 Easter Rising: 100 years after Dublin's uprising, read about the pivotal event that led to its eventual freedom from British rule and the formation of a republic.

Itú — Brazil's Own Rome: A humble outpost until history led it on a rip-roaring adventure to prosperity, Itú's history is largely ignored by most visitors. At the footsteps of its greens and fairways, here is what the golfers are missing.

Ancient cultures of northern Sardinia: Sardinia's history stretches past its Bronze Age nuraghe and reaches out to its even earlier step pyramid, which makes an interesting stage for modern performances.

Sardinia's north reveals itslef to the discerning gourmand: Steeped in history, culture and traditions different from the rest of the country, Sassari's old town is a great place to spend an afternoon strolling around the neoclassical architecture in the city with one of the best climates in the world. Then have dinner at a trattoria to experience local food and humour, and learn what Sassaresian cionfra is all about.

The Battle of Hastings story on the Bayeux Tapestry: Aside from a few outstanding questions, here is a summary of the Bayeux Tapestry Museum's interpretation, where the Bayeux Tapestry, also knowas the Cloth of Conquest, has been on display since 1983.

The Bayeux Tapestry — a thousand-year-old cartoon strip of the Battle of Hastings: If a picture is worth a thousand words, imagine the value of France's Bayeux Tapestry, a 70-meter-long cloth embroidered with 58 scenes depicting the events leading up to William the Conqueror's invasion of England and the Battle of Hastings in 1066.

Monumental Mont Saint-Michel: A solitary mountain rises in the middle of a vast plain, a monastical fortress steadfast and imposing. Within six hours, when the highest tides of Europe have filled the bay, the heap of rock will dominate the seascape becoming an even more impenetrable island.

The beauty of Munich is the lifestyle: It might be Oktoberfest that comes to most minds when thinking of Germany, but locals have other ideas. Each year in the lead up to Christmas, Glühwein (German style mulled wine) is sold in newly designed cups to add to one's collection. People bundle themselves in scarves and “hand shoes”, which are really gloves – German is a practical language. And in evenings, the best time to be there, is when the air is spicy and cold, lights are twinkling, and groups of friends stand around tall tables talking and laughing. It’s homey and cozy despite what the thermometer reads.

Willamette's demure is its greates appeal: Oregon's Willamette Valley is not only about non-snobbery wine culture. It's about farm to table, sometimes served in multi-course meals in the very fields where the produce is harvested. It's about organic, it's about restaurants using locally sourced produce and it's an agricultural labor of love. It's also about craft beer. And movie sets, apparently.

The Pergamon Acropolis and Asklepieion of Ancient Greece: Well positioned on a 275-metre high promontory 100 kilometers north of Izmir in western Turkey, the ancient Greek acropolis of Pergamon overlooks the Aegean Sea from 26 kilometers inland. Little changed when Rome conquered them in 130 BCE, except for the library whose contents Mark Antony gave to Cleopatra.

Anne of Green Gables: In 19th-century Canada, a red-haired orphan girl, Anne Shirley from Nova Scotia, arrived at the Green Gables homestead on Prince Edward Island to help out an aging brother and sister on their farm. They had asked for a boy.

Luoyang Longmen Grottoes' giant Buddha sculpture: The Longmen Grottoes in Luoyang, China display 2,300 caves and niches cut into the rock over a 400 year period. Some images are smaller than a hand; the largest is 17 meters tall. Longmen is a place of pilgrimage today, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its treasure trove of artwork and the information provided by the inscriptions at nearly every relief.

A mighty Xi'an army - the Terracotta Warriors: As First Emperor, China's King of Qin had more than 700,000 conscripts from all parts of the country working on his mausoleum of over 56 square kilometers. Thousands of life-sized terracotta soldiers, horses and chariots were set in place, ready to march up the ramps from underground when called upon to defend in the afterlife...

Orkney Island's Skara Brae, Scotland: The 1850 discovery of the prehistoric settlement, Skara Brae, was an incredible find on Orkney. Now excavated, today's visitors can see actual homes as they existed until around 2600 BC. Not caves. Not primitive. Homes – with stone furniture. Flagstone dressers, box beds and a central hearth...

How to visit the real Oktoberfest: Those seriously planning to attend Munich's Oktoberfest are the ones at their computers on the first of January buying up 12 tickets for a table in a beer tent that won't be assembled for another nine months. She who doesn't is a knockout in a Dirndl and confident that some Lederhosen'd hunk will make room for her tush on the bench beside him...

Beijing's Mutianyu is one of the best sections of China's Great Wall to visit: Along a mountain ridge that climbs at some points to 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) above sea level, the Mutianyu section in Huairou District was built around 1404. Endless forest covers steep mountain slopes and treacherous passes, while the wall wends its way along the top of the ridge, slithering back and forth like a serpent dragon...

A good travel piece is fun, informative and factual,
not a place for hackneyed embellishments.
Do contact me to discuss bringing improbable journeys into the realm of possibility for your readership.

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