Marie Claude Arnott

Marie-Claude Arnott is a freelance writer and a global citizen. Raised in France near cosmopolitan Geneva, Switzerland, she speaks four languages, has lived in five countries and visited over fifty. She holds a B.A. in International Studies from California State University East Bay, and studied Feature Writing with the London School of Journalism. In addition to writing real travel stories, she writes short stories about real people in imaginary places. She enjoys fashion, golf, French pastries and her grandchildren.

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Exploring Life on Raiatea Island: A Cruise Shore Excursion in French Polynesia

Taputapuatea Marea is the second most important archaeological site in all of Polynesia (Photo: MCArnott)

Ambling through the untidy streets of Papeete, I find myself wondering what happened to the once blissfully depicted capital of French Polynesia. I know the cruise will take us to moss-laden jagged mountains, teeming marine life and stilted … [Read more...]

Hounding Halloween Ghosts in Québec City, Canada

Halloween-style jail in the Joan of Arc Garden in Québec City (Photo: MCArnott)

A giant spider crawls on the side of an office building. A sailing ship has run aground in front of Québec City Hall. Halloween decorations set the tone for our family visit to Québec City, with grandchildren in tow. Ships have a lot to do with … [Read more...]

Focusing on the White Marble of the Taj Mahal

The construction of the Taj Mahal in the 17-th century took 22 years (Photo credit: MCArnott)

The grand finale of my trip to India is neither a massive fort nor a sumptuous palace, instead, it's a mausoleum: the Taj Mahal. For some of the Indian celebrities interviewed on the occasion of its 350th anniversary (in 2004) the love story was the … [Read more...]

Boating from Cairns to the Great Barrier Reef

Pontoon at Norman Reef, Queensland, Australia (With permission: Great Adventure Tours)

When we asked friends from Brisbane and Sydney what’s the best time to visit Australia we hoped they would say March, which is the only time we had available for our trip. Instead, they said September to November. Our timing to go to the Great … [Read more...]

Pondering Old Growth Forests at the Trees of Mystery in Klamath, California

Carving at the Trees of Mystery park in Klamath, California (Photo MCArnott)

I am looking at the top of a tree that is so tall, I have to hug it to keep my balance. Let's do the math: It was a seedling around the time Christopher Columbus discovered America. Before the 1800s, the American Northwest was still a dangerous … [Read more...]

Teeing-off over Rice Paddies at Nirwana Golf Club in Bali, Indonesia

Players and caddies ride on a golf cart at Nirwana Bali (Photo credit: MCArnott)

She briefly scouts the fairway and points to my ball, in a narrow ditch along a rice paddy. All eyes are on me as I give it my best shot. When a splash of mud squirts in all directions including mine, I am miffed. Yet, my caddy smiles and my … [Read more...]

Attending the Traditional Cart Marking Ceremony in London, England

1920 Fowler Road Locomotive (Photo credit: MCArnott)

What do Montgomery’s Rolls Royce and a butcher’s handcart have in common? They appeared in a London ritual dating back to 1667: Cart Marking. The first time I heard the name of this ceremony -- Cart Marking Under the Worshipful Company of Carmen … [Read more...]