Waterton National Park: Hiking

Carefully easing open a small gap in my sleeping bag I glanced left and right from the cozy shadows. A flash of fur! Snapping the hole shut I giggled as rapid snuffling worked it’s way up and down the lining of my sleeping bag searching for openings. Whenever one was discovered a cold, black nose came wiggling through until I sealed the hole. Getting warm from all the exercise I popped my torso free and braced for the onslaught of puppy excitement. A bundle of fur and energy instantly flew into my lap where it squirmed in my headlock. Xena grinned up at my face before springing free and continuing her ricocheting race around the tent. Continue reading “Waterton National Park: Hiking”

Stonehaven Fireball Swingers: Hogmanay

Wobbling slightly on tiptoes I lifted my head as high as possible to take in the sight before me. The street stretched wide ahead and narrowed to my left. On the walls of stout harbour homes a glow grew in strength and height. It slid across the white walls, heralding the arrival of the Stovehaven Fireball Swingers. Continue reading “Stonehaven Fireball Swingers: Hogmanay”

Dogsledding in Bjorkliden: Video

When all the dogs were tied in place and we’d been settled into our positions on the sled I braced myself for the leaping take-off. I was ready to go flying across the snow, to speed across the lake like a goddess on the rampage.
Bump. Trottrotrottrot. My roller coaster was a kiddie ride? My speed demon a bicycle? Right ok, this is good too.
I leaned back and took in the scenery. The lake stretched out for miles. With the sun flaring across the ice it looked like another world. Maybe like Enceladus, one of Saturn’s moons… Except conveniently habitable. Continue reading “Dogsledding in Bjorkliden: Video”

German Christmas

I once caught a tree thiiisssss big. It had the most vibrant needle dress, a dashing set of crowning branches and the cutest little stature I’d ever seen. It was positively adorable dressed in all its Christmas balls and bells… Say, why do we decorate evergreens anyway? Continue reading “German Christmas”

Edinburgh Torch Procession: Hogmanay

The sweet fragrance of wax wafted through the air, mingling with the smoke as it drifted up into the faded yellow sky. Everywhere pinpricks of light cut through the black: distant city lights, the delicate specks of fairy lights and the dazzling dances of flames flickering from 8,000 torches. The streets were on fire. Continue reading “Edinburgh Torch Procession: Hogmanay”

How To Visit Seville Without Melting

The heat hammered the pavement, slamming against our skin from both directions. Leaning forward in my seat I stretched my hand toward our tiny sidewalk table and the glorious beer it bore. The small glass was slick from the moisture gathering on its sides. I clutched it tightly. I’m typically not a huge fan of beer, but I’m quickly learning the drink is a godly reprieve from my advanced melting-into-a-puddle condition. I’m telling you, heat is kryptonite to us Canadians.

Here’s how I toured the city. Comfortably.  Continue reading “How To Visit Seville Without Melting”

10 Things I Have Learned About Spain And Spaniards

The murmur from the streets slipped into the house as J and I stepped out under the stars. The soft orange light from the street lamps failed to mask the night sky completely. Under the glow the streets were awash with activity. Neatly dressed women glided by behind baby-carriages. Their laughter mingled with the boisterous discussions sounding out from the tables scattered about the main street. Savory food hissed on grills every few meters.

El Rompido glimpsed during the day looked like a ghost town—but as the cool air of the night began to settle in everyone spilled out of their homes and the village was reborn.  Without fail I was amazed by the transformation of this small seaside village each and every evening. Continue reading “10 Things I Have Learned About Spain And Spaniards”

Tenerife: Visiting The Foot of Teide

As we climbed higher the vegetation began to scatter. The land was slowly balding. Rocks jutted from the ground around scraggly shrubs. As the road curved I realized we would be piercing the crown of rock. Mount Teide had loomed in our discussions of places to visit for weeks, but my partner’s parents had wanted to wait for the veil of calima to dissipate.

This was finally it! I’d be travelling into my first volcano crater in moments! My heart began to flutter as fast as the screeching wind ripping past the car.

Then the wall swallowed us up and spit us out into the devil’s arena.

Continue reading “Tenerife: Visiting The Foot of Teide”

Tenerife: Masca, Los Gigantes, La Laguna

When it comes to describing the pristine landscapes of foreign hotspots one can’t help but use the same words as a vacation pamphlet: sun, nature, peaceful, vast, monumental and exotic. These words brimmed over the valley walls surrounding the village of Masca and my lips ached to whisper them. I swallowed and looked harder.

Precarious. Stubborn. A stronghold. I saw a landlocked ship among the geo-waves. Hidden among the giant crests, a green ark rested for eternity, carrying a small clutch of humanity and gardens. At its prow, an imposing figure proclaimed the direction to the sea. Is this the ribbed turtle that carries the world upon its back?

Continue reading “Tenerife: Masca, Los Gigantes, La Laguna”