Month: May 2015

Travel Favorites

When I first started traveling I had no idea what to pack. I packed things that were impractical and a lot of times I found myself with nothing to wear and with lots of pieces of jewellery and accessories that I didn’t need but took up a lot of space in my suitcase. I used to travel with a large suitcase but nowadays I only travel with a carry-on and a small backpack even on trips of 10 to 14 days. Over the years I fine-tuned my packing skills to match the travel experiences I want to pursue. The time I spend packing has been reduced to 30 minutes because of go to items that always make it into my bag. These are some of the items that have been tried and tested over the years to meet my needs for comfort and versatility. 1. Military Jacket. This is a lighter version of a military jacket because it’s made from a blend of linen and cotton. It packs nicely and I don’t have to worry about it getting wrinkled because …

Perfect Spring Day in Ottawa

It’s about time I write a post about Ottawa, the place where I live now. Ottawa is great in the spring with lots of green spaces, great festivals and plenty of spots for outdoor activities. I decided to do a walking tour of the Byward Market and New Edinburgh and document my itinerary for anyone who may happen to be in the area and is looking for something to do. The walk is about 6.6 km and may take anywhere from three to five hours depending on your pace. Ottawa has some great museums and some are in walking distance from city centre. I started my walk at the National War Memorial, corner of Rideau and Elgin St. I walked over to the Rideau Canal and took this shot of the Rideau locks right next to the Parliament building.    I took the stairs down to the Rideau locks by Chateau Laurier. I have done this route many times but first time visitors can spend some time walking along the Ottawa river and visiting the …

Tulip Festival

Every spring Ottawa celebrates the Canadian Tulip Festival. Patches of tulips spring all over the city and crowds rush to admire and immortalize family, friends and pets with the flowers. To someone from the Netherlands this may be an underwhelming experience but for Canadians it’s a celebration of the long-awaited spring. I didn’t get a chance to enjoy the festival in previous years but this year I went for a walk around Ottawa and stopped to smell the tulips. These are some of the pictures I took around Dows Lake and Major’s Hill Park.   

Sighișoara Citadel

Here are some pictures from our second stop in Transilvania, the city of Sighișoara. The citadel is about two and a half hours by train from Brașov. This is the birth place of Vlad the Impaler.    The citadel was built on top of a hill in the 12th century by Saxon craftsmen and merchants and it is still inhabited today. Our hotel was inside the citadel but we walked around the city below and bought provisions for a picnic. I made David try Romanian salami (Salam de Sibiu) and cașcaval,  a Romania yellow hard cheese. I was excited to eat these again because growing up they were somewhat of a luxury.    We stayed in a hotel resembling an old inn with an old fresco, low ceilings and a brick cellar that hosts large parties. The man at the reception gave us a tour and told us stories of ghosts which haunt the hotel staff when they wander in the basement at night.