You really cannot go wrong visiting The Azores. Aside from these top recommendations, the Azores is one of the most genial, pastoral, relaxing, beautiful countries we have ever visited. The closest to it might be New Zealand. Here are just a few tips for getting the most out of your adventure in the little known Azores Islands. DRESS: If you go to the Azores in our North American winter, dress for fall, not for summer. Although it is a warm winter compared to ours, with temperatures ranging from 14-18 C, you will look completely out of place in … More… →
In The Azores, the terrain consists mostly of rolling green hills with vegetation that was an odd cross between desert cacti and tropical fern – an unusual mixture. But most of all, I was enthralled that my favourite flower, Hydrangea was literally growing everywhere! Hydrangea flowers create a magical highway lined on both sides with purple and blue flowers, like something out of the Wizard of Oz. How awesome is this! The Hydrangea bushes kissed the entire edges of rivers and lakes, flowers dancing in the water reflections. Terceira is often called the Lilac Island … More… →
Some people find history fascinating; others find it completely boring. I used to be the latter, finding all those dates absolutely meaningless (stop scowling). Random dates and events seemed like completely useless knowledge. I wanted to know what was happening today! Not 500 years ago. In high school, I hated history. Memorizing lists of pointless dates was excruciatingly dull, and I barely scraped through Grade 9, 10, and 11 History courses with marks like 51% and 53%. Then in Grade 12, the principal, Mr. Warick taught Grade 12 History. All he did was wander around the front … More… →
This post is a photo journal of a variety of random “along the road” photos we took on our travels through Belize. Sometimes it’s the unintentional photos that tell the best stories. We hope it gives you an authentic feel for the real Belize. Little girl on Caye Caulker… Animals near or on highways… Old men on bicycles, motorbikes and tricycles… School children… Animals in bars and other odd places… “Hey bartender, I’ll have another Scotch, straight-up.” Unusual buildings… Amusing signs… Unusual Bars… this one was called Cheers. Talk about … More… →
The Kerry Peninsula (aka Ring of Kerry) is the next peninsula after the Beara Peninsula driving from Southeast to Southwest in Ireland. Although it is likely beautiful, it is the most touristy of the 3 rings, so horror of horrors, we skipped it. We heard that the Ring of Beara and the Ring of Dingle were even more amazing and much less touristy than the Ring of Kerry. We`re not saying that we don`t recommend the Ring of Kerry, but given time restrictions, choose the Dingle Peninsula as a first choice. Of course we always avoid the most touristy places wherever … More… →
The Beara Peninsula is untouched and has very few tourists. It has some of the most remarkable and unusual scenery. Starting at Glengarriff, and driving around the entire peninsula to Kenmare, we saw some astounding terrain. This is a photo journal. School children in Beara Peninsula`s small towns generally wear uniforms. We loved these charming moss-covered cottages. Dunboy Castle near Castletownbere had an interesting history. The Dunboy castle grounds were covered thickly with greenery. The scenery on the Beara Peninsula was quite dramatic and constantly changing. Can you believe these pretty … More… →
Happily touring around Ireland enjoying the lush richness of every shade of green imaginable, from lime green to kelly green to deep sage green, we could hardly believe how beautiful it was. Our B&B was lovely, but with icy cold bedrooms, as most are. The outside day time temperature in winter in Ireland is crisp with an average between 5 and 15 degrees C. Electricity is very expensive in Europe, so many people heat only the center of their homes, and reluctantly turn on the heat in the bedrooms only if urgently requested (begged), despite the fact … More… →
Cabra Castle was elegant. A 19th Century castle, set deep in the hills of Cavan County, it was stately and refined. While Ballynahinch Castle had felt more authentic with the hunters going out for the early morning hunt all decked out in somewhat traditional hunting attire: short pants, knee-high socks and rubber boots, a white shirt and tie, a sporty wool plaid jacket and a woolen newsboy cap, rifle tucked under the arm; Cabra was fit for a Queen, and King of course. The entrance to the castle was long, and as the castle came into view, it felt like … More… →
What a thrill it was going to be to actually stay in a real castle! We were excited. After spending a few days in Limerick and driving out to see the Cliffs of Moher, we were on our way to our first castle – Ballynahinch Castle. We drove down quiet roads winding through the countryside towards Galway, passing by small towns, green fields with endless stone fences, driving right by impressive castles, and crossing bridges over creeks and rivers. The scenery was always engaging and quaint. There was even a flooded road… where we had dutifully followed … More… →
The first thing you need to know if you’re driving around Ireland is that there are no traffic lights. That’s right, no traffic lights. Instead, there are 50 million roundabouts. On arrival the ten or more roundabouts just to get out of Shannon airport caused us great anxiety. As a Canadian, driving on the left side was plenty enough challenge, but to make any attempt to understand the rules of a roundabout at the same time was well nigh impossible! Is there one lane or two, sometimes it’s clearly marked; other times it is not. Do you use … More… →
Even if it was raining all the time in Ireland, we loved it. I’m sure you’re wondering how anyone could love rain, but just wait a minute; there is some real evidence of the beauty of the Emerald Isle. After spending a few days in Limerick, we drove the 100 km to the coast to see the famed Cliffs of Moher. The Cliffs of Moher in the rain are so beautiful… especially in the rain. This is the lookout tower, O’Brien’s Tower, at 214 meters or 700 feet above sea level, built of local stone by Cornelius … More… →
“Now why in God’s creation would you take yourself ever go to Ireland if yer didn’t havta? The weather is bloody miserable! For God’s sake, it rains all the frickin’ time. Are you daft man? And the wind’ll go right through ya… give yer head a wee shake.” T’s solidly Irish friend said, just before we left. “The people in Ireland go away for the winter themselves!” he exclaimed. We laughed. Our philosophy is that rain is better than snow, and 15 degrees above zero is better than 20 degrees below zero. And T had a vested interest in Ireland … More… →
It was only by accident that we heard about the Mangrove Tour. We were swimming in a cenote at some Mayan Ruins in the Yucatan, Mexico, when a woman was telling other people about this amazing tour that no one knows about because it originates in a little village far from the madding crowds. We were immediately intrigued and joined the conversation. Where, how much, and when we asked. A few weeks later, along with my visiting cousin, H, we set out to find this tour. We found the little village of San Crisanto just fifteen minutes up … More… →
While I screamed and hollered and swore at my computer with the new hard drive that would not load emails from the external drive back-up, T went merrily off to the Merida Zoo. He has been into long walks lately, so he walked. It was a long walk on a hot day. At the zoo, he was pleasantly surprised to see that the animals were well taken care of and had plenty of room to move around. Only the wild cats – tigers, lions, and panthers were pacing back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, and … More… →
The real highlight of our day to the Uxmal Ruins was discovering the Chocolate Museum just opposite the Ruins. The place was absolutely fascinating. What incredible insights to the Mayan culture! Who knew that they used chocolate beans as currency at one point in time? You could buy a rabbit for 10 cocoa beans, while a slave in good health would cost 100 cocoa beans. The trade routes in Central America… The museum was in the thick jungle and among the cocoa bean plants were little palapas (thatched roof huts) joined by a walking path. Inside … More… →
We were lucky to have a friend who had a friend in Montevideo, Uruguay, and he was enthusiastic about meeting us. Montevideo, Uruguay, is just across the water from Buenos Aires, Argentina, so with a 3 hour Buquebus ferry ride across the very wide Rio de la Plata, which opens into the Atlantic Ocean, we arrived. We met a lively woman from England on the ferry who helped us call our friend in Montevideo. We took a taxi to his house and there we met his wife and son. They were a sweet and kind elderly couple … More… →
If you would like to travel cheaper, save money and have fewer travel issues, these tips for Europe will help: 1. Forget super-expensive Western Europe (England, France, Switzerland, Germany, Italy). It’s hard to enjoy travel when you are aghast at the costs of everything. 2. Focus on cheaper Central Eastern Europe: Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, and Croatia with a quick 2 day side trip to Venice, a must-see in Europe. 3. Croatia and Slovenia are both as beautiful as France at a quarter of the costs for food and accommodation, and has an amazing coastline with hundreds of islands, as … More… →
Join us in exploring the world! Each year we travel further and further off the beaten path to little known places. Cure for Boredom: Curiosity Cure for Curiosity: Travel As a writer, counsellor, teacher, immigration officer, corrections worker, probation officer, parole officer, teacher of deaf adults, teacher of the criminally insane, counsellor to new immigrants, mother, wife, daughter, sister, and friend, I have a non-stop curiosity about people and places in every part of the world. What about you? Are you curious about other places in the world? Do you long to travel to that one exotic place … More… →
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