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The Joy of Travel is an Oklahoma-based Travel Agency

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The Sistine Chapel

The Sistine Chapel

Saturday, October 7, 2017 at 10:00:00 am

Have you ever been awestruck?  Completely overcome by the magnificence of an object of art?  Mesmerized by the story told within the art, as well as the story told concerning the creation of the art?

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Vatican Museums

Vatican Museums

Saturday, September 30, 2017 at 10:00:00 am

Have you heard about Laocoon, the priest who tried in vain to warn the Trojans about the big horse? 

 

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Italy

Italy

Saturday, September 23, 2017 at 10:00:00 am

What destination is #1 on the bucket list for American tourists?  Home to much of the greatest art, architecture and gastronomy in the world, Italy is #1 for most Americans.

The Eternal City of Rome is comparable to no other city on earth.

 

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Hill of Tara

Hill of Tara

Saturday, August 26, 2017 at 10:00:00 am

We all remember Scarlett O’Hara’s father pining for his homeland and the hills of Tara, don’t we?

Did you know the Hill of Tara is the mythical and spiritual center of Celtic Ireland?  It was even the seat of the High Kings.

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A Night of Fairies and Folklore, Final Days in Ireland

A Night of Fairies and Folklore, Final Days in Ireland

Saturday, August 5, 2017 at 10:00:00 am

Our time in Ireland so far had been full of fabulous scenery and lovely people, great pubs and tours, historic castles and barrels of fun.  For our final days in Ireland we returned to Dublin and began with a tour of the Teeling Distillery.

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A River Runs Through It, Day 5 and 6 in Ireland

A River Runs Through It, Day 5 and 6 in Ireland

Saturday, July 29, 2017 at 10:00:00 am

Does any river bring a more beautiful mental image to your mind than the River Shannon in Ireland?

After a hearty Irish breakfast in Killarney we were off to the River Shannon, which we crossed via ferry and continued to the Cliffs of Moher.  The River Shannon estuary is beautiful, lush and full of wildlife.  We spent all of our time on the ferry crossing outside taking photographs.

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The Gift of Gab,  Day 3 and 4 in Ireland

The Gift of Gab, Day 3 and 4 in Ireland

Saturday, July 22, 2017 at 10:00:00 am

It’s funny how you don’t know you didn’t know something until you know something, you know what I mean?

To say I was less than enthusiastic about our tour of the Waterford Crystal factory is an understatement.

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Exploring Southern Ireland, Day 1 and 2

Exploring Southern Ireland, Day 1 and 2

Saturday, July 15, 2017 at 10:00:00 am

If you are an American and want to explore a foreign country that is fabulously gorgeous and where the people love America and Americans there’s no better choice than Ireland.

Ireland is a land of unsurpassed beauty, about that there is no doubt.  What always surprises guests on my escorted tours in Ireland is the adoration of Americans by the Irish. 

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A First Time for Everything, Saone, Beaune and Paris

A First Time for Everything, Saone, Beaune and Paris

Saturday, June 17, 2017 at 10:00:00 am

April 14, 2017 was a gorgeous, sunny day on the Saone River in France.  Doug and I were enjoying our last day onboard the river cruise vessel Poetry II and decided to sit on the sun deck and watch the beautiful countryside go by.  We were sitting in front of the Captain enjoying the views when we began to hear shouting.

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Lyon and Perouges

Lyon and Perouges

Saturday, June 10, 2017 at 10:00:00 am

Perched high on a hill about 30 miles from Lyon is the charming hilltop city of Perouges.  Since the beginning it has been a village of craftsmen, never under the control of a Lord.   The simplicity and authenticity of the place are a huge part of the appeal.  There are no relics, no imposing cathedral, no electric lines; just uniform timbered homes and quaint cobbled streets.

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Knights Templar Falsely Accused

Knights Templar Falsely Accused

Saturday, June 3, 2017 at 10:00:00 am

Have you noticed most issues are not how they seem to be on the surface?  Take the end of the Knights Templar for instance.  Their demise had nothing to do with heresy and everything to do with money.

The Knights Templar were one of the most respected orders in medieval times.  In a world where both the crown and the church were corrupt beyond belief, the Knights Templar seem to have actually taken their vows to the people seriously.  They protected the people, provided for them, and in the process managed to create what would become our modern banking system.

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Most Beautiful Plumbing, Pont du Gard

Most Beautiful Plumbing, Pont du Gard

Saturday, May 27, 2017 at 10:00:00 am

No other structure in southern France is as famous as the Roman Aqueduct of the Pont du Gard aka “The World’s Most Beautiful Plumbing System”.  The enormous bridge is part of the Nimes aqueduct, a system of over 31 miles that brought fresh water from a fresh water spring at Uzes to the Roman settlement in Nimes (Nemausus) back in the first century.

The Pont du Gard is the highest of all elevated Roman aqueducts (160 feet high with three levels of archways) and one of the best preserved.  After the fall of the Roman Empire the bridge served as a toll bridge, which contributed to its’ upkeep and current excellent condition.

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Avignon, France

Avignon, France

Saturday, May 20, 2017 at 10:00:00 am

Anyone watching the news today notices strife around the globe between civil and religious groups each fighting for power and control.  When you consider the history of Avignon you can simply apply our current political/religious situation back to the 1300’s.

King Francis IV of France was convinced Pope Boniface VIII and Benedict XI were reaching for far too much power in the civil matters of the world.  He felt their realm should be a spiritual one, and intended to keep them in check.

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Where Two Worlds Collide, Arles, France

Where Two Worlds Collide - Arles, France

Saturday, May 13, 2017 at 10:00:00 am

I’ve been to several destinations where I felt two or more worlds collided, but few more profoundly than Arles, France.

Let’s begin with the world of the Romans in Arles.  If you want to see Roman ruins, there are few places with more well preserved Roman ruins than Arles.

Rome began its’ conquest of southern France (known then as Gaul) back in 125 BC.  By the time the Goths conquered Arles in 471 AD the Romans had been putting their mark on the region for several hundred years, leaving behind magnificent structures that are still in use today.

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Is European Travel Safe?

Is European Travel Safe?

Thursday, May 11, 2017 at 10:00:00 am

I just returned from a 12 day tour of southern France just days prior to their election.   A lot of people expressed interest in joining me but most seemed to have the same worry: “I’ve always wanted to go to Europe but I’m not sure it’s safe after seeing the news.”

I was asked “What are the odds of a terrorist attack?  Are there riots everywhere? Is it dangerous?”

Europe is a safe place to visit.  Let me explain why I feel confident about saying that.

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Itís Especially Nice in Nice

Itís Especially Nice in Nice

Saturday, May 6, 2017 at 10:00:00 am

I’m off in a couple of weeks for a Rhone River cruise that begins with two days in Nice and ends with two days in Paris.  11 days, amazing discoveries.  I can’t wait.

I’ve never been to Nice, but I’ve heard it’s really nice.  I thought you might be interested in some of the things I’ve learned about the area and am looking forward to experiencing first hand.

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Normandy Travel

Normandy

Thursday, March 2, 2017 at 3:00:00 pm

In the grainy old film clip a reporter was asking a fresh faced young soldier what he was thinking about just before he jumped from the aircraft during the Normandy invasion.  He replied as I expected, “I was praying”.   It was the words of his prayer that were unexpected. 

What would you pray?  I know I would be begging God to spare my life, to send me home safe and sound, to spare the lives of my fellow soldiers.

This young man, who should have been in his freshman year at college, told the reporter he prayed “God, give me courage”.  Over and over again he sent up the request for courage.

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The Riches of Spain

The Riches of Spain

Thursday, February 23, 2017 at 3:00:00 pm

Which country has the second largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world?

Where can you view an underground basilica larger than St. Peters in Rome? 

Have you seen the 2000 year old Roman Aqueduct that was bringing water into town until the late 1900’s?

The country of Spain proudly boasts all of the above, along with a rich culture and fascinating history.

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London Is a Great First Choice, Changing of the Gaurds

London Is a Great First Choice

Thursday, February 2, 2017 at 3:00:00 pm

London is a fabulous “first time” trip to Europe for an American.  There’s no language barrier, and other than the fact they drive on the wrong side of the road, you’ll get along splendidly.

During my trip to London I headed first thing to the Tower of London.  Begun around 1078 by King William I, the Tower was built as a fortress.  It remains remarkably intact and is home to the crown jewels.  Ann Boleyn and Catherine Howard, two wives of King Henry VIII, were beheaded here. 

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Florence, Italy

Florence, Italy

Thursday, January 26, 2017 at 3:00:00 pm

When you close your eyes, what do you envision when I say Florence?  The Academy?  David? The Duomo?  Florence is all of these and more. 

Florence is known as the birthplace of the Renaissance, (renaissance means rebirth).  There is no other city as famous for art, architecture, music, science and intrigue. 

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Independent, Yet Assisted Travel

Independent, Yet Assisted Travel

Thursday, January 19, 2017 at 3:00:00 pm

Are you dreaming of a romantic escape, whether for a honeymoon, anniversary, or to reconnect?

There’s a delicate balance between the intimacy of traveling alone and just enough assistance to make the trip hassle free.

Let me give you an example of exactly how this type of travel need can be met.

Let’s imagine a trip to Venice, one of our most popular honeymoon destinations.  First of all there is something to be said for a friendly face waiting for you when you step off of the plane at the Marco Polo airport. 

Your new Italian friend will take you to your hotel via water taxi, pointing out sites and offering interesting tidbits of information along the way.

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Scotland, the Year of History in 2017 Hillside

Scotland, the Year of History in 2017

Thursday, November 3, 2016 at 3:00:00 pm

Have you ever wondered how you’d look in a kilt?  If the answer is yes there won’t be a better time to find out than in 2017.

Scotland will celebrate the Year of History throughout 2017 in honor of the country’s people, distinct culture, traditions and landscapes.  From a tourist’s perspective, it’s a rich opportunity for us.

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