June 30, 2014

Postcards from Italy

Next weekend I’m leaving for a two week holiday in Italy with my daughter. This will be her first visit to this beautiful country and I’m so excited to share the experience with her: sampling numerous flavours of gelato; enjoying an evening passeggiatta; and participating in a centuries-old festival. Some of these places we’ll discover for the first time together. Others I’ve visited before.

The Colosseum, Rome

June 26, 2014

My Bucket List: Living the High Life in Monte Carlo

The tiny principality of Monaco has more millionaires per capita than anywhere else in the world. So naturally you’ll find the flashy sports cars, luxury hotels and super yachts to keep them amused. While planning my last visit to the French Riviera I couldn’t resist sampling a little bit of the high life myself by adding two once-in-a-lifetime splurges to my bucket list: a ride in a Ferrari sports car and dinner at a Michelin star restaurant.

Principality of Monaco

June 16, 2014

Fields in Bloom

Last week I posted about some of the more unusual flowering plants I’ve come across in my travels through Europe. Today I want to share some photos of entire fields in bloom. These photos were taken through the window of a moving bus or train, like this field of rapeseed (or canola) while driving through England in May. The sight reminded me of Sting's song, Fields of Gold. The song is actually about fields of barley but I think the sentiment fits.

Field of Rapeseed, or Canola, in England

June 12, 2014

My Bucket List: Tower of Notre-Dame

Notre-Dame Cathedral is one of the major sights in Paris. It's listed as part of the 'Paris, Banks of the Seine' UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to Victor Hugo’s fictional hunchback, Quasimodo. It’s also a great example of gothic architecture with its flying buttresses, ribbed vaulting and pointed arches. When I discovered I could climb to the top of the cathedral’s tower, I added the experience to my bucket list. And this experience put both my stamina and my knees to the test.

Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris

June 09, 2014

Mystery Flowers

While travelling in Europe I enjoy photographing beautiful flowers, especially the exotic varieties I don't see here at home in Canada. And often I don't know what they're called. I satisfy my curiosity by researching online and I think I've come up with the proper name for the following plants. I hope you'll correct me if I'm wrong.

Bougainvillea on Cap Ferrat, France

June 05, 2014

My Bucket List: French Riviera

Sunny skies. Azure waters. Champagne and super yachts. And then there’s Agent 007 and an American actress who became a real-life royal princess. Is there any place more glamorous than the French Riviera? I think not. A small taste of France's Azure Coast, the Côte d’Azur, is well deserving of a place on my bucket list and I’ve been fortunate to visit there twice.

Villefranche Bay

June 02, 2014

3 Perks of the Paris Museum Pass

If you're planning a visit to the city of Paris you'll probably want to go to the Louvre to see Leonardo Da Vinci's masterpiece, the Mona Lisa, or the Musée d'Orsay for its collection of Van Gogh paintings. Or perhaps the 13th century stained glass windows of Sainte-Chapelle are on your agenda. You can pay as you go for admission to these sites but if you're planning to see a number of attractions, you may want to consider purchasing the Paris Museum Pass.

Entrance to the Musée d'Orsay, Paris