Visiting Morocco: Photos from Agadir and Marrakesh

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.

Agadir by day.
Agadir by Night.
The Chamber of Commerce.
The Chamber of Commerce.
A stop sign in Agadir.
The beach at Agadir with The Casbah in back. It reads: “”Fear God and honour the King.”
A major mosque in Agadir.

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.

Cafés at Jemaa el-Fnaa place
A man leaves Jemaa el-Fnaa place with dinner.
Koutoubia Mosque

Marrakesh is also famous for its souks, a maze of narrow streets and alleyways, filled with shops.

Inside the souks.
A colourful doorway inside the souks.
Entering the souk.
Olive stand
Another gate to the souk.
Artwork on sale.
Souvenirs.
More souvenirs.
At times the souk can become quite crowded.

 

 

Shoppers go about their business.
Marrakesh City Hall

 

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.

2017 Canadian Tulip Festival Photos

I’m volunteering the 2017 Canadian Tulip Festival in Ottawa. This year’s festival runs from May 12 – 22, 2017.

I’ll share some of my favourite photos here.

Taken by the Rideau Canal behind Lansdowne Park
This statue celebrates the Olympic Torch’s journey across Canada in anticipation of the 1988 Calgary games.
Support for the local hockey team
Tulips across the country
Inside Aberdeen Pavilion
Visitors to Aberdeen pavillion are invited to sign one of these large tulips
A close up of the Red Tulips
A bed of white tulips.
Red tulip in sunlight.
Families at Lansdowne Park.
The Aberdeen Pavilion – South Entrance

Brockville, Ontario: A Great Day Trip Destination

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.

Tait’s Fresh Start

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.

Resources

Quick Design Tip: Create Better Presentations by Using Canva and Unsplash

This article was first published on my LinkedIn profile. 

Improve the quality of your PowerPoint presentations by using Canva templates and enhancing them with images from Unsplash.com.

Canva’s Presentations library offers many free templates that you can use to build your presentation. They’re great to use because they combine good design with vibrant images.

Finding good images that relate to your presentation can sometimes be a challenge. A lot of stock photography is pretty bland.

That’s where Unsplash comes in.

Unsplash provides free, high-resolution images that you can use for whatever you like.

The website is searchable and categorizes images into different collections. This allows you to track down images related to the theme of your presentation.

Download your favourite images from Unsplash and then upload them into your Canva workspace. The drag and drop nature of Canva makes it easy to insert your images.

This method is faster and easier to use than traditional PowerPoint software. The finished product is also much more pleasing to the eye.

Make your next business presentation stand out by combining these two resources.

Berlin in Winter

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.

Alexanderplatz and the famous TV Tower on a foggy morning.
The East Side Gallery.
Tram stop at Frankfurter Tor
Witternbergplatz U-bahnhof
Panorama of Gendarmenmarkt
St. Mary’s Church / St. Marienkirche
Tempelhof U-bahn
Train arriving at Nollendorfplatz
Potsdamer Platz by night.
A rainy night at Brandenburger Gate

A Walk Through The Rockeries

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.

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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.

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Standing a few metres away from the fountain are these two impressive columns from Ottawa’s original Carnegie Library that was built in 1906.

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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.

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The club has its own custom built iron bridge. There is a plaque that reads “Dominion Bridge” on one of the supporting struts.

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The building is painted in Red, White and Black, the colours of Ottawa’s sports teams.

Be sure to follow me on Instagram: @jeremymaclaine.

If you or your business are looking for help with social media strategy or marketing to millennials, consider working with me.

Exploring McKay Lake and The Pond

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.

 Ottawa Magazine wrote about The Pond in 2013:

“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.

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Be sure to follow me on Instagram: @jeremymaclaine.

If you or your business are looking for help with social media strategy or marketing to millennials, consider working with me.

 

Beechwood Cemetery in the Fall

Ottawa’s Beechwood Cemetery is one of Canada’s most prestigious and historic cemeteries. Designated as a National Historic site, it is open to visitors, who can stroll through the meticulously maintained grounds. It is the final resting place for over 75,000 Canadians including many important figures in Ottawa’s development during its early years as Canada’s Capital. There are also sections dedicated to the RCMP and Canada’s Military. Former Prime Minister, Sir Robert Borden also lies at Beechwood.

During autumn, the leaves on the century old trees change colour, making for some wonderful scenery within the city. Walking through the cemetery and reading the plaques that chronicle the accomplishments of the people buried there is inspiring. The legacies left behind by those who now rest at Beechwood invites reflection on one’s own life.

Here are some of my favourite scenes from the cemetery.

The RCMP Cemetery
The RCMP Cemetery

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A Sherman Tank at the Military Cemetery
A Sherman Tank at the Military Cemetery

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Throughout the cemetery there are plaques like this one, highlighting important historical figures.
Throughout the cemetery there are plaques like this one, highlighting important historical figures.

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I also enjoyed seeing a memorial to the freedom fighters of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. Hungary is a country that I’ve spent a great deal of time in. I know a lot about its history and culture. Glad to see one of its most tragic moments is recognized here in Ottawa.

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Right now, the leaves on the trees are changing colours. Red, Orange and Yellow colours are found throughout the cemetery.

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