All posts filed under: North America

Montreal Rediscovered

For our latest visit to Montreal, we decided to pick up a guidebook from the library. Even though I lived in Montreal for fifteen years having a guide drew my attention to things that I’ve walked past many times but accepted as part of the city backdrop. We started our walk in China Town where a friendly local suggested Lobster Cantonese for dinner at Beijing Restaurant. The Plateau is my favourite place in the city. I love the eclectic feel of the neighbourhood. Little sidewalk cafés, green spaces everywhere, art in the park and graffiti of gigantic proportions.    We stopped at Wilensky’s for a quick-lunch. This place has been around since 1932 and the interior remains unchanged. I was impressed by the speed with which the bologna sandwiches and soda drinks appeared before us. After lunch we walked west on Avenue des Pins and admired the mansions on Redpath Crescent. We stopped to rest in parks along the way. Once we got to the other side of the mountain, we set to explore Westmount. Some of …

Back to the County

We returned to Prince Edward County to visit a few wineries in the area. The county is one my favourite day trips from Ottawa. Our first stop was in Wellington to have lunch at the Tall Poppy Café. The town is quaint with small shops and 200-year-old buildings on the shore of Lake Ontario. Next we stopped at Rosehall Run winery for a few samples. We continued to Casa Dea Estates Winery and tried a beautiful white wine made from Melon de Bourgogne. This winery has an Italian restaurant and a patio overlooking the estate. It also offers visitors games of chess and pétanque. My favorite winery was Chadsey’s. The property is beautiful and it’s currently for sale. They only offered white and rose wines and an unexpected sparkling rose.    On our way back we stopped in Bloomfield for some much-needed ice cream.   

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.   

Visit to a Cabane à Sucre

Spring is here and it’s a good time to visit a cabane à sucre (sugar shack). Sugar shacks are family owned operations of maple syrup producers. A bunch of us headed to the Temple Sugar Bush in Lanark, Ontario for brunch and a walk on the property’s nature trail. A typical sugar shack meal includes buttermilk pancakes, sausages and maple baked beans.    Sap is collected by tapping maple trees and having it drip into hanging buckets. It looks like a clear fluid that it’s then boiled into maple syrup. The process is green and environmentally sustainable. The result simply delicious:).