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Linda Barnard

barnardwrites@gmail.com

Linda Barnard

Award-winning film and travel writer
Travel Media Association of Canada, Society of American Travel Writers, Toronto Film Critics Association
My company is Spellbound: captivating writing

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Taj Mahal 101: Everything You Need to Know About Visiting the Monument to Love

It's more than just viewing a pretty building, and you'll get the most out of the experience if you've read our need-to-know guide. Editor’s Note: The Taj Mahal is on Fodor’s 2018 No List due to scheduled renovation work throughout much of the year. With so much to see, taste, and experience in colorful, chaotic, thrilling India, you may be tempted to give the Taj Mahal a pass.
Fodors.com Link to Story
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Beaches make great galleries

Toronto residents don’t let winter get in the way of hitting the beach — or getting creative. This month, artists are erecting temporary installations — ranging from fanciful-to-thought-provoking as WinterStations launches its fourth annual exhibition Feb. 19 on the shores of Lake Ontario.
American Way in-flight magazine Link to Story
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Eating your way through Montreal’s Jewish history

In 1938, a lucky poker win turned one-time busboy Moishe Lighter into a restaurant owner. Lighter’s son, Lenny, tells the story before chopped liver, filet poutine and sliced rib steak is served on the white linen-covered table at the place his dad won and turned into legendary Moishes Steakhouse. Stories add flavour to the feast in exploring Montreal’s traditional Jewish neighbourhoods of Plateau-Mont-Royal and Mile End.
Toronto Star/thestar.com Link to Story
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Fodor’s Go List 2018: No. 11: Prince Edward Island

Why It’s Wonderful: Prince Edward Island is an irresistible combination of rolling green hills and excellent beaches and seascapes, with bountiful shellfish, a gentle pace and a lively music scene.
Fodors.com Link to Story
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5 places to look for Harry Potter in Edinburgh

We wandered the same cobblestone streets, dark winding passages and graveyard paths here as J.K. Rowling did in the company of professional guide Ross Tillbrook to find links to the magical world of a boy wizard. Here are five. Victoria Street: Slip down the narrow Fisher’s Close off the Royal Mile to a second-floor terrace for the best view of the colourful, curved 19th-century street.
Toronto Star/thestar.com Link to Story
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Follow in Harry Potter’s tracks to explore the magic of England and Scotland

To take a trip back 20 years with Harry Potter, be open to magic and board a train. After all, a delayed train to London is where writer J.K. Rowling dreamed up the story of a boy wizard that led to Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in 1997. It’s fitting trains are involved in tracking Rowling’s inspirations for seven Harry Potter books and the eight films made from them, taking us to London, Oxford, Edinburgh and the Scottish Highlands to mark the book’s anniversary.
Toronto Star/thestar.com Link to Story
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A prison café is the highlight of modern-day Cartagena

There’s more than bread and water on this prison menu. At Cafe Interno, staffed by some of the 140 inmates in the San Diego women’s penitentiary next door, grilled catch of the day with “farm vegetables” grown in the jail’s garden are served with a side of social justice. The sign on the wall outside reads “second chances” in Spanish, with an arrow pointing to an open cell door.
Toronto Star/thestar.com Link to Story
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Stunning views, exotic food, laid-back attitude await you in Oahu

Ken Hirata’s Hawaiian holiday came with a side of inspiration: the native bright purple sweet potatoes would be ideal for producing shochu, the clear liquor that outsells sake in Japan. He went home to Australia, quit his job in finance and returned to his birthplace of Japan, spending three years training under a traditional shochu “master,” who streamlined the 10-year apprenticeship period for Hirata, who was nearing 40.
Toronto Star/thestar.com Link to Story
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8 Totally Weird Restaurants in Amsterdam

The Dutch have a saying: “Just act normal, that’s already crazy enough.” It’s true of unusual places to eat in this historic city, where the urge to be different comes without pretense. Crazy-different is good, especially when it comes to food. Is peanut butter your jam? Meet the world’s first store dedicated only to PB.
Fodors.com Link to Story
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Enjoy sports, food and party bike tours in the ‘new’ Detroit

Detroit has always been a sports city, but with the opening of the impressive 20,000-seat Little Caesars Arena, now everything is in one place. The new downtown home of the Detroit Red Wings and the Detroit Pistons (also a concert and event venue) is just a few blocks from the Tigers’ Comerica Park and the Lions’ Ford Field, creating a downtown sports hub.
Toronto Star/thestar.com Link to Story
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Cool and Unusual Things to do on Your Netherlands Vacation

Go north from Amsterdam, curious traveller, even just across the river IJ (pronounced “eye”) by free ferry from Centraal Station to uncover fun and offbeat experiences to set you apart from other Netherlands visitors. You might be the only Canadian to drop by in weeks, or months, at some of these places.
Canadian Traveller Link to Story
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How to spend two days in Abu Dhabi

There were nervous grins in the back seat of the powerful land cruiser when guide Faizal Mohamed posed the question, expertly nudging our vehicle to the crest of a dune in the Al Khatim Desert. A brief pause and we were skidding down the steep slope, shrieking with laughter. The 4x4 roller coaster ride was part of a desert safari about a 45-minute drive and a world away from ultra-modern downtown Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates.
Toronto Star/thestar.com Link to Story

About

Linda Barnard

A freelance travel writer for Toronto Star, Fodor's , American Way in-flight magazine, TravelPulse Canada, Canadian Traveller, PlanetWare, food writer for Edible Toronto and film writer for the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, Movie Entertainment Magazine and others, I have more than three decades of experience in deadline-driven digital and print journalism. I'm the former movie writer and a staff film critic at the Toronto Star and a National Newspaper Awards winner (Arts & Entertainment) and winner Best International Travel Story, SATW Canadian Chapter. I have extensive experience as a restaurant critic and food, wine and cocktail writer.
My creative content clients include Telefilm Canada, The Globe and Mail and Star Metro Media.
I write eloquent speeches, craft well-written targeted content and can provide media training.