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.
On the icy surface of Lake Simcoe, I went fishing for adventure...
I've often thought that there is no better way to enjoy the splendor of the great outdoors and the beauty of the Canadian winter than from the warmth of a cozy window seat, with a latte and good book in hand. But a girl cannot live on caffeine and Jane Austen alone - sometimes you just need to get outside for a breath of fresh air. I'm sure that this is what was going through my head when I agreed to go ice fishing on rural Ontario's Lake Simcoe. This was going to be as anti-adventurous as it gets!
Hampton, Virginia's annual Blackbeard Festival would bring out the adventure in anyone!
I'm not a very adventurous girl and it's safe to say I don't go out of my way to hang out with a particularly adventurous crowd. Nope, it's safe and sedate all the way for me. The very opposite of what a swash buckling, grog swilling, plank walking pirate would do! So with the hopes of catching some of their infectious enthusiasm, I headed to Hampton, Virginia to participate in the annual Blackbeard Festival and become a pirate for the day.
Often just called the Hampton pirate festival, I think Blackbeard himself would be proud the city. Hampton is the ideal place to get into the spirit of things, as the region played host to the infamous pirate Blackbeard's final stand in 1718.
A trip to Varvakios is not for the faint of heart! But this is the best market in Athens - you don't want to miss it.
An old man is sprinkling salt on his cold, hard boiled eggs. A very large, very dead fish of unknown origin is staring at me with its milky, unfocused eyes. In fact, eyes are all around me - teeth, noses, tongues, and tails are too. A tiny plate of bread, olives, pickled hot peppers, and grilled meats are in front of me - strong foods, says the chef, as I need something to regain my strength. For I'm at the Varvakios, otherwise known as the Athens Meat Market, and I just caused a scene.
I was about to take on the "Canadian Everglades" by pedal power!
Almost one year ago, I summoned all of my courage and took the plunge into the wild and untamed world of kayaking on a small lake that was as smooth as glass. Battling such elements as, um, the theoretical threat of a rogue loon, I heroically pushed past my fear to conquer the world of water activities for the hammock-inclined. And my performance was so stellar that I even said I wouldn't refuse to try kayaking again. But little did I realize the kind of kayaking that exists in Norfolk County.
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.
I wasn't born to snowshoe... Turns out, I LOVE snowshoeing in Ontario!
Of all the words used to describe me, “keen outdoorswoman” is rarely employed. While I greatly appreciate nature, it is often in a relatively controlled and hygienic fashion. A stroll through a botanical garden, a gentle nature walk in a National Park, occasional car camping trips punctuated with wheels of Brie and flagons of wine. So when the idea of snow shoeing in the Ontario Highlands was proposed to me, the very idea seemed so athletic, so intrepid, so…. snow-y that my anti-adventurist nerves were tingling. And not in a good way.
There's nothing like seeing the sunrise over the ancient temples of Bagan in a hot air balloon.
I try to never lose track of how fortunate I am to travel and I always remind myself how lucky I am that my work as a travel writer introduces me to extraordinary locations, experiences, and people. Never has this been more in focus than during my hot air balloon ride over the spectacular ancient temples of Bagan, Myanmar. Without a doubt it stands alone as the most incredible, breathtaking travel experience of my life and I'm so happy to share my memories with you here.
Am I ready to tackle wild water sports?
It’s been 30 years since my first swimming lesson, and as I rose through the ranks of lessons, swim team, and lifeguard training, there was no place I loved so much as being in the water. I was so comfortable, in fact, that I never felt the least bit of desire to participate in any kind of watersport. Water polo, water skiing, canoeing – just the thought of it pushed my anti-adventure envelope too far.
Subsequently, it came as a bit of a surprise to hear myself agreeing to go kayaking in the middle of a camping trip to Algonquin Park. Influenced no doubt by the legendary images of paddling on the park’s famous lakes, I felt the pressure of history upon my shoulders, not wanting to miss out on a great Canadian tradition.
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