Travel

TAUT COMPETITION AT JERUSALEM SCRABBLE CLUB

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JERUSALEM - Perhaps it is a bit strange that Jerusalem, where Hebrew and Arabic are the native languages, is home to probably the world's largest club of English-speaking Scrabble players.

But its 50 or so members - and the three or four newcomers who drop in weekly - don't care about that. They just want to play.

``It's a social haven for every sort of Jerusalemite. Here, they have everything in common,'' said Sam Orbaum, director of the Jrslm Scrbbl Clb, as he likes to spell it.


KENYA: Many animals, no crowds

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NAIROBI, Kenya — One of Yogi Berra's famous malaprops is, "No one goes there anymore, it's too crowded."

Kenya is like that these days, only different. No one goes there anymore, so it's a lot less crowded.

There are plenty of reasons not to go, of course: political violence, tourism crime, washed-out roads, fears of Rift Valley Fever and other exotic diseases, and even the weather. Even some tour operators in Kenya, whose livelihood depends on attracting people to the central African nation, say they have difficulty advising people to come.


REST, RECOVERY AT WILSON HOUSE Twelve-step pilgrims can sleep in the Vermont birthplace of AA’s founder

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EAST DORSET, Vt. - There are plenty of rustic inns in Vermont. There are even plenty of inns in Vermont that are on the National Register of Historic Places. But there's only one inn in Vermont where the founder of one of the 20th century's great social movements was born.


IN THE HOUSE OF THE JAGUAR In San Cristobal de Las Casas, Mexico, a guest house promotes Mayan culture

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SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS, Mexico -- At the end of a narrow, cobblestone street in San Cristobal de Las Casas, hopes for an ancient Mexican people and their home in the rain forest reside in the house of a jaguar.


THE SANDS OF PUERTO ANGEL

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PUERTO ANGEL, Mexico -- What seasoned tourist hasn't complained about the paving of paradise, those once-unique destinations that have been transformed into ugly commercial monsters by developers spurred on, well, by tourists?

Take Mazatlan, for example, or Acapulco. You can have them.
 
But then there's Puerto Angel, a tranquil fishing village down the coast where developers, thankfully, have missed the boat. Here, charm and character and ease have survived.

And there isn't a swinging hot spot to be found.


THE DAY I DIDN'T GO TO SPAIN

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It was a long, hectic, tiring journey, the day I didn't go to Spain.

My destination was not only Madrid but adventure itself, the excitement of deciding on Friday to hop across the pond on Saturday. No reservations, no plans, no luggage. I was going to be an air travel courier.
 
Air courier outfits view airline tickets as a two-course delight, where the booked space in the cargo hold is every bit as valuable as the space in the passenger compartment. They buy the tickets to meet the needs of shipping clients, and then sell off the seats almost as excess.


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