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Rundown for the Week of December 29, 2000

On the Frankincense Trail, Part Five
Tom Verde has been snaking his way along the ancient Frankincense trail, the path traders roamed in Biblical times, searching for the powerful fragrance. In his final installment of the series, Tom finds a once proud empire. Though it was reclaimed by the desert thousands of years ago, their legacy and culture continue to influence modern Bedouin life.

So, How was St. Maarten?
You never would have guessed the year 2000 was going to turn out the way it did. Seems like every year we trot out the soothsayers to predict what will happen and when. The same goes with traveling, right? You predict your trip, carefully plan and pack. But things get particularly problematic when you're trying to relive a trip from the past. Wesley Weissberg found this lesson out the hard way. Of course it seemed innocuous enough: escape the cold and dim East Coast winter for a week in the Caribbean. "What could wrong?" Famous last words!

Floating Worlds: Luxury, Ease, and Belonging Aboard the QE2
The sea voyage is the most ancient venue of exploration. Until the mid-19th century, only dire necessity or foolhardy wanderlust prompted travelers to board these cramped, leaky vessels, for voyages of uncertain duration - and even more uncertain outcome. But once luxurious steamships replaced transatlantic paddle steamers, greyhounds of the deep like the Lusitania and the Queen Mary made water travel safe and comfortable. So much so that the cruise holiday has come to be seen as little more than a bland, self-indulgent cocoon - an impression reinforced by the emergence of the cruise experience as a rite of passage from middle age to, well, let's call it "maturity." Standard-issue cruises would seem to be the very antithesis of travel. But as authors Lena Lencek and Gideon Bosker learned, in the case of the QE 2, appearances can be deceptive.

My Malaysian Family
At some point, most of us realized that we will always be our parent's children. Mothers and fathers never stop worrying. As Kristin Post found out while traveling through Malaysia, even when the family is not your own, this principle still applies.

Interview: Paul Theroux Wants Trouble
Paul Theroux is one of the most famous, prolific and unorthodox travel writers in the world. He once said "tourists don't know where they've been, travelers don't know where they're going." So when you cozy up with a Theroux book like Mosquito Coast or Kowloon Tong you can bet you're not going to be reading a how-to travel guide.

Deal of the Week: December 29, 2000
Around Europe For Less on Lufthansa

Question of the Week
New Year's Travel Resolutions

Rudy's View
When Pigs Fly

Next Week

Next week, we're going back to the basics - life's little necessities. But when you're out on the road - really far out on the road - even little trips to the market turn into adventures. Join us, then, as we visit Chatachak market. And Cash Peters takes us to Dublin, Ireland, for impressions of an infamous Irish institution - one you may actually recognize. That's next week on the Savvy Traveler. Come along for the journey.

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