A short visit creates warm memories at Hagia Sofia in Trabzon, Turkey's city on the Black Sea.
Huge bowls of molten cheese, homemade bread slathered with butter and honey, and a side of graffiti dating back to the 1200's -it's just an ordinary morning in Trabzon! My visit may have been short on time but it was long in experiences. I visited one of the most intriguing buildings in the country - Hagia Sofia Trabzon -and of course I just had to start with a meal in the sunny courtyard next door. Is there any better way to get acquainted with a city than by enjoying a great meal ?
A large city on Turkey's Black Sea coast, Trabzon once occupied a pivotal spot on the ancient Silk Road before morphing into a modern day melting pot of cultures. It's long been a gateway destination to Iran and the Caucasus and has significant geo-political importance. But for my part I was simply eager to get to know the county beyond Istanbul and expand on my knowledge of Turkish history and cuisine. And for that, Trabzon was the perfect host.
What could be better than cycling by canals and cobblestones?
There is perhaps no image of Europe more romantic and relaxing than that of a gentle bike trip across charming, cobblestone streets. Unless you're an anti-adventurist, that is! Your inner chicken will be cringing with every turn, fretting the buses, the cars, even your fellow cyclists. But Amsterdam is a cycling dream, even for those of us who are entirely less adventurous in their travel style. Here's how to survive and thrive while biking in Amsterdam.
I picked up a few 'outrageous' lessons in local food when I traveled to Southwest Ontario.
It's not everyday you're invited to a food fight, especially one that takes place in a barn that's over 130 years old! But West Lorne, Ontario, is anything but your usual destination. The community manages to walk the fine line between preserving the past and focusing on heritage while still moving forward with a modern style and focus. And their location in the heart of southwest Ontario's farmlands means that local food is at the heart of all that they do - including the odd food fight!
The local food movement may just be the biggest culinary trend in the world, but there's still a lot to learn about what it really means. And West Lorne was ready to teach me some crucial lessons.
Culture and community come together in one of Canada's most colourful festivals.
Where would you go if you wanted a spicy travel destination? I'm guessing London, Ontario isn't on your list, and it wasn't on mine either at first. But London has a large Mexican and Latin American community, whose culture, traditions, talents, and delicious flavors come together each year for Fiesta London, an amazing event. So if you're looking to spice up your travels, look no further! I think you'd love the experience as much as I did. Here's what made my Fiesta experience so memorable.
Here's what's making July a happy month for me.
Discovering a new writer and an old inspiration
It's hard to imagine a person who embodies the virtues and attributes of being a Canadian quite like Terry Fox. Fox became a renowned athlete and cancer awareness activist after his devastating loss of a leg to bone cancer. He set an audacious goal to first run across Canada, and then to raise one dollar for every person in the country. With a prosthetic limb that was never designed for the rigors of long distance running, Fox set out on a "Marathon of Hope", running an average of 26 miles a day as he made his way across Canada.
At the Museum of History's special exhibition on Fox's life, we learned so much about his struggles on and off the road. How in the early days he was splashed and nearly run off the road by trucks. How he struggled with his new celebrity status as the run gained momentum. And his secret worries about his health. It was a story I thought I knew well, but what I hadn't realized was that Fox was a prolific writer, taking solace in his diary. At the end of brutally exhausting days that combined running and public appearances, he would chronicle his experiences in his diary, sometimes writing pages at a time.
Terry Fox was always an inspiration to me but to see him in this new light, as a writer, makes me admire him even more.
This amazing Michigan town is deserving of so much more than just a quick visit!
Thousands of tour buses roll into Frankenmuth, Michigan every year - and for good reason. This charming town is packed with history and community spirit. Frankenmuth's German heritage is soaked into every business in town and their Oktoberfest has the distinction of being the only one in the world to operate with an official blessing from the original Oktoberfest in Munich.
But with so many visitors and so many tour buses in a town that thrives on a single theme, well, sometimes the suggested itineraries can be a bit repetitive. There is SO much more to Frankenmuth than meets the eye and I hope you'll take the opportunity to visit some of my favourite spots.
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