Traveler's Tales, Adventure, Ideas & Resources, and musings from The Traveler... The adventure awaits...
October 2003* 10/28/03


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Yosemite Valley

Going their Seperate Ways
Autumn in New Mexico
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Welcome to the October 2003 issue of The Traveler!

Halloween is just upon upon us and with it the beginning of another holiday season. Now is the time to start making those holiday travel plans and exploring options for exciting adventures in the coming year.

In our feature articles this month, we'll take you on a romantic rail journey through the breathtaking vistas of northern Montana, then half way around the world to the mystic, Buddha-filled caves of Raya Maha Viharaya in Sri Lanka, and then back to the states to follow the ancient footsteps of the Anasasi in Northern Arizona.

As always, we also offer our travel writing pick-of-the-month. We'll round it all off with some travel ideas and bargains sure to get those creative juices flowing as you dream of your next adventure.



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Feature Articles

Riding the Rails on the Montana Daylight
Ride the rails through some of the most scenic landscapes in the country

Face to Face With Buddha
Visit the mystical cave of Raja Maha Viharaya in Sri Lanka

Canyon de Chelley - Ancient Footsteps
Trails that connect an ancient culture to the present

Travel Writing Pick-Of-The-Month

This month The Traveler takes a little departure from our typical travel writing pick. Regular readers know that one of our favorite writers is Bill Bryson, whose many selections of informative, insightful, and downright funny travel books have been featured in past columns of the Travel Writing Pick-of-the-Month. This month we features Bryson's latest book "A Short History of Nearly Everything". Bryson takes us on the ultimate journey as he presents our current scientific understanding of the world around us. From the unimaginable vastness of the universe to the unbelievably infinitesimal and strange word of quarks and protons and all the tiny bits of matter that make up everything we see. It's a journey of discovery for the curious but scientifically untrained among us - which is most of us. Bill Bryson presents fascinating and complex ideas in his usual easy and humorous manner. Another highly recommended book for anyone the least bit curious about what makes our universe - and ourselves - tick. A Short History of Nearly Everything

Travel Ideas, Resources, and Bargains

Great Fall Color - Now Peaking - Many have visited our special Fall Color Page we introduced last month. Many parts of North America are now experiencing"peak color" and other parts will soon reach their ultimate color display. You can use the resources on the Fall Color Page to find out the best places to go to see the wonderful colors of autumn! Visit our Fall Color Page and find out more.

It's Springtime in New Zealand - Air New Zealand is now offering special airfares and vacation packages for travel now through December 2003 (like the 12 night "Best of New Zealand" package starting at $1899). To find out more about all they offer, including packages to Tahiti and other destination throughout the South Pacific, check out the Air New Zealand website.

It Isn't Spring in Hawaii - But the weather this time of year is still great! In fact, it's The Traveler's favorite time of year for visiting the islands. A great place to start exploring the islands on the web is at, where you'll find a plethora of resources and information about the islands and ways to visit. The Traveler also recommends the 33rd annual Kona Coffee Festival on the Big Island (The Traveler's favorite island). Find out all about it at the official Kona Coffee Festival website. For more information about visiting the Big Island, read our travelogue The Big Island Revisited and our web photo albums. For travel information, places to stay, and resources on the Big Island, check out Aloha!

Ride the Rails on the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad - Relive the romance of a bygone era aboard the Great Smoky Mountain railroad. Passengers will enjoy the year-round scenic beauty of North Carolina, traveling across fertile valleys, through tunnels and across river gorges in a spectacular region of eastern America called the Great Smoky Mountains. Exciting special events such as a ride with Thomas The Tank Engine™, the Santa Express, Railfest 2003 and our Fall Leaf Spectacular make the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad a special treat. Find out about the train, learn about all the special events, and book online reservation at the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad website.

Get One Night Free in Europe - is offering one night free for cities throughout Europe, including Paris, Rome, Florence, and Amsterdam. Find out more about these great specials for hotels in Europe

Perfectly Located San Francisco Hotel for only $99 per night - A special (one night stays are $109. The ultra-hip Hotel Triton is offering this great deal through January 2004. Book your reservations online, or call Hotel Triton reservations at 1-800-800-1299 and ask for the Triton Exclusive.

Japan welcomes tourists enchanted by acclaimed film "Lost in Translation." - Film goers dazzled by the vision of Tokyo in director Sofia Coppola's critically acclaimed new film Lost in Translation, starring Bill Murray, can now check into two Tokyo hotel packages inspired by the film. The new Oakwood Residence Aoyama is where director Sofia Coppola and her crew stayed during the Lost in Translation filming in Tokyo. Oakwood is located in Tokyo's creative hub, Aoyama, the heart of Tokyo's fashion, music and art world. The Oakwood Residence offers beautiful suites complete with flat-screen TVs, all-cotton linens, silk pillows and high speed internet. Each suite has its own kitchen and washer/dryer too. The property is adjacent to Omote-sando, one of Tokyo's favorite shopping streets. Oakwood's bilingual front-desk staff help guide guests to the best of Japan. Rates at Oakwood Residence Aoyama begin at ¥18,000/night (approx. US$150).
The Park Hyatt Tokyo, where much of the film takes place, has launched a luxurious "Lost in Translation Package" inviting travelers to, "Experience the energy, romance, and humor of a visit abroad with this special package, which mirrors the adventures of the film’s main characters (played by Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson)." The five-night package in a Park Suite includes complimentary breakfast, shiatsu massage, free drinks and more. The package price is ¥530,000 (approximately $4,527) for double occupancy excluding tax and service charge. For more information and reservation for the Oakwood, check their Tokyo home page. For the Park Hyatt Tokyo, visit their website here.

Go Back in Time at the Hotel Valide Sultan Konagi in the exotic and ancient city of Istanbul - Hotel Valide Sultan Konagi is an old ottoman house of the 19th century and a special category – family run hotel situated in Sultanhahmet, very close to the Haghia Sophia, Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace. For more information visit their website.

All Your Travel Needs In One Place - Find a flight, rental car, winter vacation, weekend getaway, or the adventure of a lifetime! You'll find everything you need from airline tickets to vacation packages to travel insurance, foreign currency exchange, and passport processing... It's all at!

What's New at

A new travelogue and photo album - Bear Aware in Yosemite. Visit Yosemite Valley in early autumn with our new travelogue and photo album.

We're always adding new resources and features for your travel and adventure. Make sure to check out the latest by visiting our What's New page

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