In March 2018, I spent a week visiting Glasgow, Scotland. This was my first visit to Scotland. I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would.
What surprised me the most was how similar the architecture in Glasgow is to what is found in some of Canada’s older cities that I have visited. There are great similarities in architecture of Glasgow with cites like Kingston, Brockville, Saint John and even Montreal.
In December of 2017, I was able to book a flight from Berlin, Germany to Agadir Morocco. The total cost of the flight was $44. I knew nothing about Agadir and only a bit about Morocco, but it was a deal that I just couldn’t pass up.
Agadir is a port city that is also a popular resort destination. In 1960, an earthquake flattened the entire city. This means that there are no ancient sites to be seen here. Everything is modern and concrete.
After almost a week in Agadir, I traveled by bus to Marrakesh, one of the most exotic places I have ever visited.
At the heart of Marrakesh is Jemaa el-Fnaa place. A hub of activity, filled with shops, cafés and snake charmers.
Marrakesh is also famous for its souks, a maze of narrow streets and alleyways, filled with shops.
A word on safety. The locals I spoke to told me that foreigners are not in danger. The King of Morocco has made ambitious targets to grow the country’s tourism industry. As a result, the police take any kind of crime against tourists very seriously. I walked around residential neighbourhoods, very late at night, in both Agadir and Marrakesh and nobody even approached me or hassled me. I never felt that I was in any kind of danger.
Brockville, Ontario is fast becoming one of my favourite day trip locations.
Located about an hour’s drive south of Ottawa, the “City of the 1000 Islands” lies on the Northern shore of the Saint Lawrence River, opposite Upstate New York.
A revitalized historic downtown district anchors the city’s tourist industry. There are locally-owned shops, pubs and eateries lining King Street, the downtown core’s main thoroughfare.
This past weekend I stopped in at Tait’s Fresh Start for coffee and a snack. The atmosphere inside the store is friendly and there is open WiFi.
Blockhouse Island, the city’s most southern point, is a popular spot year-round. It’s a great place to watch the big boats pass by along the shipping lanes of the Saint Lawrence river. The marina is home to tall ships, a major tourist attraction.
Consider visiting Brockville’s historic downtown if you are looking to explore a new city in Eastern Ontario. I plan to make a few more visits through the warm summer months. The city has planned many events to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday.
I was able to spend a few days of layover time in Berlin Germany during late January and early February. The weather was cold and snowy, but I still was able to capture some good shots during my short time in the city.
Since returning from Europe, I’ve been spending time exploring my new neighbourhood on foot. I’ve already checked our McKay Lake and Beechwood Cemetery. This week, I took a walk though The Rockeries, a section of Rockcliffe Park, before descending down to the shores of the Ottawa River at the New Edinburgh Club.
The park is home to Soper’s fountain, a piece of Parisian art that was purchased in 1912. Warren Soper was a wealthy entrepreneur in Ottawa who opened the city’s first telephone exchange.
Standing a few metres away from the fountain are these two impressive columns from Ottawa’s original Carnegie Library that was built in 1906.
After passing the columns, you can head downhill and cross the Rockcliffe Parkway. Along the shore of the Ottawa River is the old New Edinburgh club that dates back to the 1920s.
The club has its own custom built iron bridge. There is a plaque that reads “Dominion Bridge” on one of the supporting struts.
The building is painted in Red, White and Black, the colours of Ottawa’s sports teams.
One of the best things about living in Ottawa is the easy access to nature.
After years of living in Ottawa’s downtown core, I now make my home in the Beechwood Village section of the city, which straddles the neighbourhoods of Vanier, New Edinburgh and Rockcliffe Park Village. There is a lot of green space around here. Maybe most impressive is McKay Lake and The Pond, part of the Caldwell-Carver Conservation Area.
“In the 1950s, as young families began to move into new housing in nearby Manor Park, The Pond turned into the neighbourhood swimming hole. The Pond, just 170 metres in length, belongs to everyone in Ottawa and is open at given hours for public swimming. Indeed, most of the people who swim there come from outside the neighbourhood. Nevertheless, local people have a special passion for their little lake, and they work hard to keep it safe and healthy.”
Local residents are allowed to swim here between 7am and 2pm. Now that fall has arrived, there aren’t many swimmers around, but the colours of autumn are on the trees. There are paths lining the shore around both bodies of water. I took a walk around the lake today, here are some of my favourite photos.