Opening up Appalachia for all

travel festivalsAmid the cherished traditions of Western North Carolina is the deep foundation of family and friends getting together to celebrate their heritage, whether it be through music, dance, food or craft. 

Zeitgeist of Germany, circa 2006

By Michael Beadle

Editor’s note: Smoky Mountain News Writer Michael Beadle recently traveled to Europe. The following is the second of two stories about his experiences abroad.

Life in the (really) fast lane

By Michael Beadle

Welcome to the Autobahn: land of the speedy, home of the brave.

You have to be brave if you want to pass a car going a mere 80 miles an hour and not end up as the hood ornament on a BMW.

The Swiss experience

By Michael Beadle

Editor’s note: Smoky Mountain News Writer Michael Beadle recently traveled to Europe. The following is the first of two stories about his experiences abroad.

You can’t go home again.

More than years after Asheville literary giant Thomas Wolfe gave us this immortal expression, his words echo with the love and longing that a place gives us.

Achtung Elf! Lessons in learning a foreign language

By Michael Beadle

One thing that paralyzes American tourists about visiting foreign countries is the language barrier.

The grumpy traveler department

From time to time, I’ve contemplated compiling an anthology of travel writing from Western North Carolina. Such a volume would commence with the descriptions of the region compiled by the Moravian explorer Bishop Augustus Gottlieb Spangenberg in the early 1750s. Next would be William Bartram, who entered the western tip of the state in 1775 and published his famous Travels’ in 1791. In the 19th century, the accounts were numerous, with my favorite being In the Heart of the Alleghenies (1883) by William G. Zeigler and Ben S. Grosscup. And accounts were equally numerous during the next century. The difficulty would lie not in finding materials but in winnowing it all down to manageable proportions. One late 20th century writer that I’d insist on including would be the irascible Bill Bryson.

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