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Armchair travellers invited to see the world

Grannies à Gogo begins seventh season of Travelogues, where you are invited to explore Iran, Scotland, Argentina, Chile and Mongolia
The “gers” (yurts) of nomads and their iconic horses typify the wide open spaces of Mongolia. Richard Vest and Mary Stebbins share their seven-week adventure as they present “Mongolia: Land Without Fences” Travelogue for Grannies à Gogo Feb. 3.

Grannies à Gogo is about to present their fascinating 2017 season of four all-new destinations, their seventh season of these remarkable Travelogues. The first in the winter series focuses on Iran Jan 20.

The next looks at Chilé and Argentina Jan. 27. The third travelogue explores Mongolia Feb.3, and rounding out the winter series we travel to Scotland Feb.10. All the PowerPoint presentations are scheduled for 10 a.m. at the People Place, downstairs in room 006.

Sue Harnett initiates this series with “Iran: a Country of Fascinating Contradictions.” She initially wondered, “Iran why would one want go there?” She discovered what a diverse country Iran is, from empty desert areas to attractive tree-lined cities with intriguing squares and carpet markets. Iran has a fascinating ancient history as the cradle of civilization, juxtaposed with modern Iran where there are many layers to the society and as many misconceptions. What is the difference between Shias and Sunnis? And who are Zoroastrians?

“And I was most surprised by the confident well-educated young women who were happy to share their ideas for the future of Iran,” said Harnett.

In the second travelogue Marnie and Ted Melnyk present “Argentina and Chile Nature’s Art”, highlighting some of the spectacular scenery of these countries. The Melnyks explored from the Atacama Desert in the north to the Straits of Magellan at the southern tip of South America. They saw the famous Perito Moreno Glacier calving (collapsing) in Argentinian Patagonia. They will show us their sightings of Vicuna, the wild ancestor of alpacas in the high altitude deserts, and a Magellan penguin colony. Other highlights include their breathtaking boat trip at the foot of Iguazu Falls, hiking to the base of dazzling glaciers in Patagonia, and feasting their eyes on the world-class street art murals of Valparaiso.

The season’s third travelogue takes us to “Mongolia: Land Without Fences” with Mary Stebbins and Richard Vest. Green hills and wide valleys that stretch to distant blue mountains are ribboned with winding rivers and sand dunes this was the Mongolia that Richard and Mary discovered. For seven weeks they travelled from the busy sprawling capital of Ulaanbaatar to the vast, sparsely populated countryside, and found a land of boundless open space where a third of the population still live a nomadic life. They were invited to participate in Buddhist ceremonies, camped beside rivers, and bounced along seemingly impassable roads in four-wheel drive vehicles. They visited nomadic families, sleeping in gers (the nomads’ traditional yurts), and trekked on foot and by horse. The horse is greatly revered in Mongolia, like a national symbol.

Rounding out the winter morning Travelogue series is “Scotland: Taking the Low Road to the Highlands” seen through the photos and comments of Wayne Emde. He trekked the week-long West Highland Way, one of the more popular hiking trails in Scotland. Starting a little north of Glasgow, it winds 154 km to Fort William, and along the way he found steep hills, rocks, roots, midges, primitive lodgings, lashing rain, and some very helpful Scots. He wandered through some of Scotland’s history, from Rob Roy’s cave to battle sites, and found time to explore Glasgow and its surroundings, including Stirling Castle, the Wallace Tower, the Falkirk Whee, and some interesting pubs of course.

Join us as we travel to these four beguiling destinations! All presentations will be held at the People Place, 3402- 27th Ave., lower level, at 10 a.m. Admission is $5 at the door. All proceeds directly support bereaved African grandmothers raising their orphaned grandchildren. For more information about Grannies à Gogo: the Vernon - South Africa Connection go to or e-mail


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