Category Archives: TRAVEL

China Adventure: Part 1 — Beijing

A rickshaw perhaps? No, John and Ellen Chappell describe this as a pedicab service in a Beijing neighborhood known as a ‘hutong.’ By John and Ellen Chappell Editor’s note: This is the first of a three-part series in which John and Ellen – who live in Oriental – describe their experiences from a recent trip to China. “We definitely would recommend the trip to others,” says John. CHINA — After a 30-hour trip from the United States, we landed in Beijing. I had traveled to China frequently on business but this was the first time for my wife, Ellen. It was also a chance for me to see mo…

Newspaper vacation means no Oct. 20 issue!

Resorts Casino Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey Hang on to your next copy of the County Compass for TWO WEEKS! The ink-stained wretches around here have decided to embark on a brief mini-vacation. It’s off to Atlantic City, New Jersey, for the Ms. Senior America pageant at Resorts Casino Hotel. Look for us to resume publication with our Thursday, Oct. 27 issue – just in time for Halloween and the Elections!…

Driving 17 miles backwards to beat a rising tide!

Just one of many crazy memories for this gal.      Heading south on Portsmouth Island. Editor’s note: Preparations are well underway for the 50th Annual Portsmouth Village Homecoming, set for Saturday, April 30. Reporter Jeanne Robertson wants everyone to attend, and here she looks back on a memory or two, from her 40-year love affair with island. By Jeanne Robertson Jeanne Robertson CAPE LOOKOUT NATIONAL SEASHORE – I can remember the first time I ever ventured to the Village of Portsmouth on one of my shelling episodes. The homemade sign hand-written and perched a red bread carton…

Interstate moves from pipe dream to possibility

Enhanced corridor would offer shot-in-the-arm for northeast corner of state I-44, if approved, would provide fast transit from Raleigh to Hampton Roads, Va. WILLIAMSTON – A proposed Interstate would follow a path along current US 64, beginning at I-40 in Raleigh, intersecting with I-95 near Rocky Mount and on to Williamston, and then following to US 17 North through Elizabeth City to Norfolk/Hampton Roads, Va. With the understanding that market accessibility is of primary importance to recruitment and retention of industry and general commerce, a group of partners met Wednesda…

Loss of steering disables ferry with passengers on board

Eyewitness account at odds with official version This file photo shows the state ferry vessel known as the Silver Lake, which experienced a loss of all steering during a late Saturday afternoon trip from Ocracoke to Cedar Island. OCRACOKE – A press release issued by the North Carolina Ferry System suggests that a steering problem Saturday afternoon with the vessel Silver Lake was handled smoothly and efficiently. However, real-time phone calls received by this newspaper from passengers on board the vessel paint a much different story. Here is the ferry system’s verbatim press rele…

Loss of steering disables ferry with 14 passengers on board

This file photo shows the state ferry vessel known as the Silver Lake, which experienced a loss of all steering during a late Saturday afternoon trip from Ocracoke to Cedar Island. (MANNS HARBOR) – The North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Ferry M/V Silver Lake returned to Ocracoke Sunday under tow after losing steering power and running soft-aground Saturday night. The incident happened about one mile south of Ocracoke as the Silver Lake was making its last run of the day to Cedar Island. The captain of the Silver Lake contacted the U.S. Coast Guard, wh…

World’s oldest working restaurant promises timeless quality

By Penny Zibula | Staff Writer Photo credit: Simon Lock The original oven of Botin, the world’s oldest restaurant. MADRID – In the heart of Spain’s capital is Sobrino de Botin, the oldest working restaurant in the world, according to the Guinness Book of Records. While my husband and I were on a walking tour of Madrid, the guide took our group into the restaurant. What we saw enticed us to return later that afternoon to learn more about this centuries-old structure and its inspiring story. Botin was founded by a French chef in 1725, and is now owned by Antonio Gonzalez and his family. They ser…

Wizards, witches and wondrous film-making techniques

By Penny Zibula | Staff Writer Harry Potter & Hogwarts Castle. (Photo credit: Simon Lock) LEAVESDEN, ENGLAND – For those who still retain a sense of wonder, a day of fantasy, fun and fascinating facts awaits you, approximately 22 miles northwest of central London. The Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio Tour offers the opportunity to step into the magical world of the eight films based on J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books, and to explore the wizardry that made them such a huge success. When you enter the clean, modern building that houses the films’ two sound stages, J and K, you migh…

Tales from London’s Dark Side

Nocturnal walking tour offers plenty of goose-bumps By Penny Zibula | Staff Writer The ancient remains of a Debtors Prison. (Photo credit: Simon Lock) Editor’s note: County Compass reporter Penny Zibula has extensive travel plans this summer, and recently filed this dispatch from Great Britain. Standing at the site where Scottish hero, William Wallace was executed is enough to give you a chill in and of itself, but when Robert, your well-informed and articulate City Wonders tour guide, describes in vivid detail the brutality with which this great man was dispatched, you find yourself i…

‘ We held, fed babies ’

By Melanie Campen and Hattie Harrell | Special to the County Compass Campen and Harrell briefly visit the Sugar Cane Museum, during a break from their week-long mission work in Haiti. PORT AU PRINCE, HAITI – We recently returned from a week-long mission to Haiti, where we traveled with a group of about a dozen North Carolinians. The people of Haiti are proud. Everywhere we looked, the people were well dressed, with clothes pressed and clean, and in good spirits. It is an extremely poor country with most of Port au Prince living meal-to-meal. Fortunately, we did not see much conflict (not what y…
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