Updated in 2021!
Every time I've had a great sandwich while travelling, I remember every detail. Like the cranberry and Brie on herb bread that I devoured in Bath, England. Or the sliced chicken donair on white baguette with seasoned cabbage and onion in Istanbul - a delight after hours of walking. And the hot, fluffy bread pockets at Paris' Cosi, a cross between pita and focaccia. And there's my absolute favourite: some kind of chicken salad with tomatoes done in a panini press in Lilongwe. I wasn't sure the suspect mayonnaise wouldn't kill me, but it was heaven after months of fish and rice.
Sandwiches are really the perfect food, for travelling and at home. They're quick, easy, affordable, filling, and (if you're lucky!) absolutely delicious! I'm happy to share several of Ottawa's best sandwich shops. These are the places I'm constantly popping into and always urging visitors to try out. Whether you're a local, a backpacker, or a business traveler, I think you'll find something on this list you'll love.
It's time to sound off on snoring
The first thing my father said about me after I was born was that my ears looked "interesting". Gee, thanks! Fortunately, my otolaryngologist disagrees and tells me my ears are both perfectly healthy and utterly unremarkable in appearance. But sometimes I wonder if my 'interesting' ears aren't hearing just a little too acutely, as it seems impossible to drown out the sounds around me and get some decent sleep when I travel.
I've slept in some mighty interesting locations and situations, all in the name of value travel, from 5 star resorts to the filth covered floor of the Nairobi airport. But some recent trips have been less than restful and I'm noticing that where I'm sleeping is less important than what I'm hearing.
In London, my favourite hostel became a nightmare when a dorm-mate snored so loudly she actually drowned out the police sirens coming from nearby Kings' Cross. On an overnight trip from Singapore to Sydney, the most luxurious flight of my life was almost ruined by a man who snored so loudly that his buzz saw cacophony boomed through my foam ear plugs, which I had covered with noise cancelling headphones, which were in turn playing loud music. I'm not exactly proud of this, but I may have, um, oh so gently kicked the man in the head. And still he snored on.
So how's a girl to find a good night's sleep in a noisy world?
Harry Cohen was a hardworking Canadian immigrant....
Harry Cohen lived a spirited, but rather ordinary life as a Jewish Canadian immigrant in 1930’s Montreal, doing his best to get by and teach his children the value of hard work. He traveled the back roads connecting Ottawa and Montreal and knew them like the back of his hand. As a poultry re-seller, he made the rounds for fresh chickens from the rural farmers to resell in Montreal’s Jean Talon Market. His legacy should have been one of farming or real estate or perhaps industry but instead Harry Cohen has the tragic distinction of being the only Canadian killed by the Nazis in the Holocaust.
In 1939, Cohen travelled back to Poland to help settle family business affairs. While there, he suffered the horrific bad luck of being stuck in the wrong place at the wrong time as Poland was invaded by Germany. His exact fate remains clouded in mystery, but he is assumed to have died at Auschwitz. Against all odds, his prayer shawl survived and found its way back to Canada, to Harry Cohen’s son, and to its permanent home at the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre.
There's a lot of old stories in the Old Port
A night out on the town is always a treat when I'm in Montreal, but when faced with a solo visit I had to admit I was a bit stumped on what I should do to pass the time. I decided to bring one of my favourite autumn activities into summer and head out on a ghost walk with Fantomes Montreal.
Our tour guide, Madeline, was certainly in a festive, "spirited" mood. Dressed up in period costume, she brought centuries old decedents back to life with her animated storytelling. Our evening began outside the Museum of Archaeology, on the exact site of where the city of Montreal was founded over 350 years ago. As you can imagine, with so many centuries of history, Montreal has racked up quite a few murders and mishaps and Madeline was keen to share many gruesome details of torture and torment in New France.
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