.All Trips / Central Canada / Manitoba / North America

Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site, Manitoba

02 b-Lower Fort Garry

I’ve visited many interesting and historic places in my life, and hope to see many more.  Lower Fort Garry was the very first of these and, in a way, may have stimulated my desire to see and visit unusual destinations.  As a boy we traveled here by school bus for field trips, learning of the fort’s history and seeing actors in period costumes telling us about the lives they lead in the 19th century.  It was a hard life — much work, long bitterly cold winters, warm to hot summers filled with millions of mosquitoes.  Not at all pleasant.

Lower Fort Garry was built as a Hudson’s Bay Company post in what was then Rupert’s Land (now is Manitoba).  Fort Garry …

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.All Trips / Argentina / South America

The Parana Delta and El Tigre, Argentina

03 El Tigre, Argentina 2014  (5)

El Tigre is situated an hour’s train ride from Buenos Aires, a trip that will cost you less than US$1 (departs from the Retiro station — linea Mitro).  You can also get there by taking a cab (more expensive but faster).  We enjoyed the slower train journey and were treated to an interesting assortment of vendors, panhandlers, and train performers all plying their business.  Trains sure are a great place to people watch.

We visited El Tigre as a day trip but I wished we’d stayed overnight so we could have explored the islands around it.  The region is green and lush and built astride a river which was flooded when we visited (the Parana River is prone to flooding).   El …

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.All Trips / Alberta / Central Canada / North America

Signs of Banff

04 Signs of Banff

Banff is the premier resort town of the Canadian Rocky Mountains.  Nestled on the leeward side of the Continental Divide, it became a popular tourist destination in the early 20th century when the Canadian Pacific Railroad first laid tracks and built tourist resorts in and around Banff.

Today’s Banff is much larger than the Banff I remember visiting as a boy a half century ago.  It still has great historic alpine charm and is in a magnificent natural setting, but during the summer the place is crowded with tourists –mostly Asian tourists  (Japanese especially) but with lots of Europeans (Germans mostly).  People who live in Alberta value and respect their visitors but tend to avoid the Banff townsite during the summer …

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.All Trips / Europe / Food / Spain

Barcelona’s Santa Catarina Market

13 Santa Caterina Market, Barcelona

Situated in the El Born region of Barcelona, close to the Picasso Museum, Santa Caterina is one of the finest markets in Barcelona.  Built on the ruins of an old monastery, the market opened in 1848.  The market was constructed on the former site of the convent of Santa Caterina (from which it derived its name).  It has served its working class neighborhood for more than 150 years.

Santa Caterina market has recently undergone modernization and extensive renovation, completed in 2005 (while preserving the old walls of the market).  This is most evident in its brightly colored wavy Modernista roof, which consists of 325,000 ceramic pieces in dozens of colors intended to be coordinated with the produce sold under it.  The …

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.All Trips / Argentina / Chile / South America

Patagonian Roadtrip: El Chalten to Torres Del Paine

01-El-Chalten

It’s hard for many people from the “Old World” to envision the vast people-less places of the Americas, especially the closer one travels to the poles.  It’s equally empty in northern North America (Alaska, the Yukon and Northwest Territories) as it is in southern South America (Patagonia).

There are stretches of road in these remote areas regions where you might not encounter a petro station for hundreds of kilometers (don’t worry, signs will warn you in advance so you’d need to be a fool to run out of gas).  No towns, often not even a rancher, to be found as far as the eye can see.

When visiting Patagonia, we made a rather long drive from Argentinian Patagonia to Chilean Patagonia.  A …

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.All Trips / Asia / Car Culture / India

Vintage & Classic Royal Car Collection, Udaipur

1946-MG-TC-Covertible-5

Lovely Udaipur, the City of Lakes, is said to be one of the romantic destinations in the world.   The city has long been under the rule of a royal family, the House of Mewar, the world’s longest serving dynasty.  Visiting the City Palace, historic home of the family (and where they still live) is a highlight of a visit to Udaipur.  If, like me, you enjoy classic cars, a chance to see the Royal car collection is an opportunity not to be missed.

After finishing with our visit to and lunch at the City Palace, several of us headed to the Vintage and Classic Car Collection which opened to the public in 2000.  All the vehicles on display — just under two dozen …

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.All Trips / Hawaii / North America

Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Oahu

27 Royal Hawaiian, Waikiki 10-2014

The Royal Hawaiian Hotel was one of the first hotels located on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, on the island of Oahu.  The hotel’s beach offers wonderful views of Waikiki and Diamond Head, the island’s extinct, iconic volcanic crater.  It is one of the few ‘older’ places in a city that has exploded with new devlopment in the past half century.

The Royal Hawaiian is known for its bright pink color, hence the nickname, “The Pink Palace of the Pacific”.  Its design has a Moorish influence and the complex sits on 15 acres of land, most of which is a beautiful tropical garden.  The hotel has 400 rooms, each with a balcony, and was built to accommodate the growing number of wealthy American …

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.All Trips / Eastern Canada / Food / North America / Ontario

Ottawa’s Fabulous Byward Market

08-13 Byward Market 09-2016

As many of you know, I am great fans of visiting markets during my travels.  Besides the beautiful assortment of food and goods, markets are a wonderful place to watch people and relax with coffee and a tasty fresh snack.   On a cold winter’s day, it’s often good to see the fresh bounty of summer (or in the case of our visit, fall).

Byward Market is a well known and long established market in Canada’s national capital, Ottawa.  The market was begun in 1826 by John By, who gained fame as builder of the Rideau Canal.  Mr. By laid out the street plan of the market, creating extra wide streets to facilitate the market as a gathering place for the area’s …

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