How to spend a day in the Gateway to the Mediterranean.
Waters shifting from azure and turquoise to sky blue and cerulean will lap against golden and tan shores as your ferry pulls up to Gibraltar. Beyond the sea, your eyes will be greeted by the shining metropolis of sand and rust buildings climbing up white and green cliffs to the peninsula’s crowning monument — the Rock.
Continue reading “What to Do in Gibraltar”
An offbeat glimpse of the city’s oldest market place.
To describe the Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne, Australia, as “sprawling” is an understatement. At a whopping seven-hectares, this iconic landmark is the largest open-air market in the Southern Hemisphere — and it does not disappoint.
Continue reading “Streetscapes: Queen Victoria Market”
A local organization is fighting for one of the ocean’s very precious creatures.
Bali’s beaches are, in a word, beautiful. Stretches of white sand hug gently rolling waves where children splash playfully. Colourful boats bob amicably as the tide gently rolls in and out. Closely bordering the beach are restaurants and hotels packed shoulder-to-shoulder as far as the eye can see. Every so often, the sands peppered with beach towels and recliners are broken up by a circle of posts surrounded with blue plastic cordoning off a portion of the beach.
These informal blockades are protecting a very important part of Bali’s ecosystem — its sea turtles.
Continue reading “Saving Bali’s Sea Turtles”
Dear Neighbours Café;
If one didn’t know you were a coffee shop, it would be difficult to distinguish what exactly was hidden behind your two exterior walls covered in street art. Indeed, when I first walked through your welcoming glass doors I had no idea the role you would play in my life.
Continue reading “A Postcard to: Neighbours Café”
A trek through the mountains leads to learning about local life.
By the time my husband, Alejandro, and I woke up from our early morning nap — after taking the overnight train from Hanoi to Sa Pa — it was late afternoon and we didn’t have enough time to experience any of the local tours that would take us through the valley.
Continue reading “Waking Up in Sa Pa, Part II”
An overnight train’s last stop is the first look at Lào Cai Province’s glorious mountain range.
I woke up to the sound of knocking. Fumbling for my glasses, I struggle to sit-up in the already too low bed. It is still dark, but a small woman has slid open the train’s cabin door and seems to be asking a question.
My mind is lingering in the space between dreams and reality and I am not fully grasping the situation. It dawns on me slowly. We must be almost there. The woman is looking around the cabin expectantly, repeating question. What was it?
Continue reading “Waking Up in Sa Pa, Part I”
Feeling at home while roaming the capital city’s streets.
If I was told I had to pack-up my Canadian life and move to Hanoi tomorrow, I wouldn’t even bother to fold my clothes. Rather, they’d be shoved unceremoniously into the closest suitcase on-hand. Continue reading “Streetscapes: Hanoi”
Not all who wander are lost; but losing your way in this city may just be one of the best experiences.
Music pounded through the streets, shaking the restaurants stockpiled in Hanoi’s Old Quarter. It was dark when my fiancé and I arrived to the city, and the night was already alive. Revellers drank in nearby bars, spilling out onto the streets and restaurant employees smiled with beguiling faces while enthusiastically waving menus in our direction.
Continue reading “Get Lost in Hanoi”
Hội An’s economic climb and fall as an affluent sea port froze its architecture in time.
It’s easy to imagine Hội An as it would have been in the 16th century. As a bustling stop along the Silk Road — known then as Hai Pho, or, “seaside town” — the city’s winding streets bedecked with colourful lanterns would have been filled with travellers from across the seven seas.
Continue reading “Built on the Business of Boats”
As the sunshine fades and rain takes its place, St. Kilda beach transforms from a mass of sunbathers to lone wanderers.
There is something lonely but beautiful about St. Kilda beach in the rain. During lazy summer days sunshine warms the expansive beach — the sand soon covered by partially naked bodies trying to soak up the sun’s piercing rays. The boardwalk fills with locals and tourists heading to one of the ocean-side patios, meandering out to visit the resident penguins making their home in the cove at the end of St. Kilda Pier, or settling in to catch the sunset.
Continue reading “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head”