The Travelling Professor

Travel Companions


HELLO TORONTO: A Great Guide to Canada's Largest City

Publication Date: November 28, 2016

The late, great Peter Ustinov once said that Toronto was like New York, but run by the Swiss. And that summarizes this great Canadian city. Toronto is world class in every way. It is dynamic, glitzy, cosmopolitan, multi-ethnic and vibrant. And it is impressive with a skyline that rivals that of New York. If you are planning a trip or have even thought of visiting, this is the book for you. It is a very comprehensive look at Toronto written by a Canadian with deep roots in this venerable city. And as a starter, the book introduces you to Canada in a way you may never have thought of yourself. So please give it a read and you will not be disappointed.

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HELLO VANCOUVER: The Gem of Pacific Canada

Publication Date: December 11, 2016

Vancouver is the magnificent jewel in the crown of Western Canada. This dazzling city sits between the blue waters of the Georgia Straits and the towering snow-capped mountains of the Cascade Range. It is the gateway to the striking scenery of the western interior of Canada, and for cruise passengers it becomes the summer gateway to Alaska. This new book is a personalized guide to this incredible city. It also introduces visitors to Canada in general, providing you with valuable information regarding the country, its people and their lifestyles. But more specifically, it presents Vancouver in an easy to read format, loaded with maps and pictures and my recommendations for the best hotels and restaurants. You will find Hello Vancouver very informative as well as enjoyable. So come along and say Hello Vancouver.

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THE ARIZONA STORY: A Geography and History of the Grand Canyon State

Publication Date: October 9, 2016

Arizona is one of the most romanticized states in the United States. Many millions of people believe it is all desert, and still inhabited by cowboys and Native people. They do not realize that most of Arizona is mountain and plateau country that receives winter snow. Yes there are still cowboys and the state's Native American population is the highest in the country. But most Arizonans live in either greater Phoenix or Tucson, vibrant modern cities that are young and energetic. They are indeed located in the desert, but Arizona's Sonoran Desert is the richest in the world with regard to its diversity of plants and animals. They symbol of the state is the giant Saguaro cactus, standing tall with many arms often outstretched or pointing upward. And of all the spectacles on planet Earth, Arizona is home to the Grand Canyon. This is nature's handiwork at its finest, a gorge that is a mile deep, over 200 miles long and up to 18 miles across. No matter how many pictures you see, there is nothing to equal the thrill of stepping to the rim and gazing out into what seems like the world having opened up. There are many spectacular canyons in the state's high country Colorado Plateau. And there are tall, flat mesas, pinnacles and buttes, landscapes that have no equal.

This book details the geography of Arizona, explores its exciting history and then looks at the various regions of the state. It is also filled with beautiful color pictures that bring Arizona to life, as you read the book. If you are a native living in the state, or if you are a prospective visitor, this book will open up the many shades of Arizona and what it has to offer. There is no other book like it with regard to its complete coverage of the state. This is NOT a tour book, so it has no hotel or restaurant listings. It meant to be informative and it will open many facets of the state that you may not ever have known about.

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Publication Date February 8, 2016

Saint Petersburg is the most popular port city on the Baltic Sea. It was once the Imperial capital of the Russian Empire from 1703 until 1923, when the victorious Communist forces moved it back to Moscow. As a result of having been Russia's Imperial capital, the city is filled with monumental palaces and churches, making it one of those rare European cities of grandeur. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, visiting Saint Petersburg has been made so much easier, and once there, you have as much freedom to explore as you would in any other major European capital. There is an exotic character to the city, combining elements of both eastern and western cultures. Most visitors come by ship and only spend two or three days, which limits how many of its great sights they can see. This is more than a guidebook for such a visit. This volume contains the history, cultural background and detailed descriptions of every major sector of the city and its important surroundings. It offers an inside knowledge that can only be provided by an author who has visited many times. And as the author, I have made 38 separate trips to Saint Petersburg. I speak and both read and write the Russian language, which has given me a greater insight into the culture. You will find my guidebook to be very special and one that will enrich your travel experience.

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A Primer on Russian Geography, History and Politics: REVISED EDITION FOR 2016

Publication Date:October 6, 2014

Russia and the United States have been at odds over so many world issues in the last few years. It is so imperative that American citizens have a better understanding of Russia, its people and their attitudes and lifestyles to better assess the differences between us. "Russia is not a country, it is a world!" So goes an old saying from the days of the Tsars. Another expression from that same time period states, "Poor Russia, it's so far from God, but so close to Siberia!" These sayings tell you something about the size and nature of Russia, the largest country on earth. This book is intended for those who are simply interested in learning more about the country that so challenges us politically. It is also a good primer for anyone planning to visit Russia either on a cruise or land tour. If you are better informed you will be able to better understand this vast and somewhat forbidding country. Yet there is a long history of friendship between us that predates the Communist Era. Russia was the second country after France to recognize the independence of the United States. And in the late 18th century, our great naval hero John Paul Jones helped build up the Russian naval fleet on the invitation of Empress Catherine the Great.

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Learn About the Excitement and Dynamics of These Two Great Canadian Cities

Publication Date: October 18, 2014

Toronto and Vancouver are two of the most exciting and dynamic cities in North America. The great British actor Peter Ustinov once said that Toronto was like New York, but run by the Swiss. He was of course referring to the cleanliness and orderly infrastructure of the city. Vancouver straddles the North American and Asian continents culturally and economically. A local reporter once said the city should be renamed "Hongcouver" with reference to its strong Asian cultural ties, especially to Hong Kong. Both cities appear in various surveys of the world's best cities, and they are always in the top ten. This book introduces you to many of the differences between Canadian and American cultures, as seen through the landscapes, cultural aspects and dynamics of these two great cities. Reading this travel companion will prepare you to obtain the maximum appreciation for these incredible cities that have no counterpart in the United States.

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How to Get the Most Out of Visiting London

Publication Date: October 31, 2014

Visiting London can be daunting. This is one of the most fascinating yet difficult cities to comprehend on one's first visit. There is no one city center that can be recognized as central London. Rather the city is a collection of individual cities and boroughs, each with its own regional center. The majority of the famous government buildings are in the City of Westminster. The major retail shopping districts are in Mayfair and Knightsbridge, separated from one another by the massive scope of beautiful Hyde Park. People speak in terms of the local boroughs or cities rather than of London. In actuality the City of London is around one square mile and is centered around St. Paul's Cathedral and the Bank of England, located east of Westminster along the River Thames. For a newcomer to London all this can be confusing especially when combined with the flow of traffic on the left, a fact of London life that is rather intimidating to North American visitors when coming for the first time. T his traveler's Companion is designed to introduce you to the city of London, explaining its layout and unique combination of districts, present its long and exciting history that is visible in its layers of architecture and finally to help you develop insight into how to see London and come to appreciate what it has to offer. As a world traveler, this author has been to almost 100 countries, visiting all the great cities of the world. But when it comes to which city is the most exciting and enjoyable, London ranks in the top five. There is only one London, so come along through the pages of this companion and learn how to appreciate the great city that was once the center of the world.

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An Introduction to the Beauty and Adventure of the Grand Canyon State

Publication Date: November 5, 2014

Arizona is rightfully called the "Grand Canyon State." Within its 114,000 square miles of territory are exotic deserts filled with gigantic Saguaro cacti, rugged mountains draped in forests of pine, dramatic red and gold cliffs that rise against the horizon and more deep canyons than anywhere else on earth. The state is also home to over 6,000,000 residents, many of whom have come for the warm desert climate of the southern half of the state, now part of the Sun Belt. But despite its reputation for being a land that basks in the sun, the mountains and high plateaus of Arizona can have long, snowy winters that would remind one more of Canada than the desert Southwest. Summertime brings dramatic electrical storms that often create flash floods. And autumn in the state's high country is a time of coolness and brilliant golds and lemon yellow among its many groves of Aspens. The Wild West also lives in Arizona. Memories of the Gunfight at the OK Corral, of the raids by Apache warriors and of many marches by the 7th Cavalry are still kept alive to tantalize visitors with a history that has been so romanticized. There are still tribal groups that live in remote canyons and on windswept plateaus, maintaining a lifestyle that dates back centuries. And in southeastern Arizona cowboys still work the ranges, herding cattle from one grazing spot to the next. The West is personified by Arizona. This is truly a unique state. So come along and visit Arizona through the pages of this Traveler's Companion, and hopefully one day you will decide to live the adventure yourself.

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Publication Date: November 10, 2014

To most westerners Japan is still seen as a country with a rather mysterious and exotic culture. It is true that the Japanese way of life is very different from that in the West. Japan is an ancient land that for most of its history had a feudal culture in which the nobility and Samurai warriors controlled the masses. It was only in the late 19th century that the country began to look to the West for new concepts in industrialization and modernization. But Japan maintained many of its ancient traditions and values. After World War II, the governmental structure was brought into mid 20th century along democratic ideals, but with the head of state still being the emperor. Thus stability was maintained and traditional honor preserved. Today Japan is one of the most innovative countries in the world. Yet it is a country where ritual and ceremony are still paramount. This is a nation of charm, grace, elegance and exceptional cleanliness. The landscape outside of the big cities is still honored and protected for its great beauty. Visiting Japan is a memorable experience that will be enriched by reading this traveler's companion. This is NOT a complete guide book like Frommers of Fyodors, but rather an introduction to the landscape, history and cultural traditions. The actual regional chapters are short, just giving you the basics so you will begin to have a firm understanding of what you will be seeing. And the book is loaded with personal photos I have taken in my many travels.

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Host Nation of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, REVISED EDITION FOR 2016

Publication Date: February 23, 2015

Brazil is the largest country in Latin America in both physical size and population. It is the fifth largest nation in the world in both land area and population. Yet so many people have misconceptions about this dynamic and developing nation. Brazil is both a raw material and industrial powerhouse with a great future potential. It is the only nation in Latin America with a combination of a Portuguese and African heritage, giving it a one of a kind cultural flavor. It is also a tropical nation with vast rain forests, great rivers and stunning beaches. Its cities present a mix of great skylines, wealth and unfortunately also poverty. Carnival, held at the start of Lent, is the most vibrant time to visit Brazil, but it is also the most crowded, especially in the big cities. In 2016, Brazil will play host to the Summer Olympic Games, to be held in the city of Rio de Janeiro. This will be the first time any Olympic games have been held in South America.
This Traveler's Companion is designed to give you a detailed description of the landscape, history, infrastructure and culture of the entire nation of Brazil, but with emphasis placed upon Rio de Janeiro for any reader contemplating visiting during the Olympics. The book is not intended to be a guide book with specific hotel, restaurant or tour recommendations. It is meant to make you a more informed traveler by helping you to get to know the nation and its people.

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What Americans Need to Know About Canada

What Americans Need to Know About Canada:
Our Forgotten Neighbor

Publication Date: March 21, 2015

Most Americans know so little about Canada relative to what they know about Mexico. Somehow Canada is taken for granted and therefore forgotten. The majority of Americans are under the false impression that Canada is just like the United States. On that assumption so many Americans can not tell you anything about Canadian geography, history, government or social customs. Even the news media in the United States will only present a story from Canada if it is of great importance such as the terrorist attack on the Parliament Buildings in the fall of 2014. As of now in March 2015, I have not heard one word from the news media in the United States about the fact that Canada will be having a federal election this fall, or the fact that the Canadian military is going to continue conducting air strikes in Iraq. These matters are ignored by our media. As a retired geography professor, and as the son of Canadians who has lived and taught in Canada, I thought it was time to write a short book to provide a concise, yet easy to read picture of Canada and of Canadians. This new book should be in everyone's collection because it makes you aware of our great northern neighbor and closest partner. So I hope you will read by new book on "The Great White North."

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Visiting the Ports of France, Gibraltar, Spain, Portugal and Morocco

Publication Date: April 16, 2016

The Mediterranean Sea is one of the most popular destinations in the world in which to cruise on a luxury ship, enjoying the warm weather, beautiful scenery, romantic countries and gorgeous beaches. And not to mention the crystal clear blue waters of this sea that has been home to so much of Western history. The Mediterranean Sea has been the birthplace of the ancient Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Moors and many other smaller civilizations. Even ancient Egyptians are believed to have left the confines of the Nile River and traded along its shores. Today the Mediterranean Sea serves as the cultural divide between the Islamic World to the south and the European nations to the north. For thousands of years, trade across its waters has created many great ports of call that today are visited by tens of thousands of tourists each year. And the easiest way to enjoy the Mediterranean is by ship. But it is not possible to cruise the entire sea in one journey because of its vast size and the scope of its many nations. This book is the first of three volumes that will be issued on the topic of cruising the Mediterranean. This volume covers the ports of call in France, Spain, Portugal and Morocco. The second volume will explore cruising the ports of Monaco, Italy, Malta and Tunisia. The third and final volume will explore the ports of Croatia, Montenegro, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Israel and Egypt.

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