Second morning in Lima found us asking the street vendors for some change near the Ricardo Palma station in Miraflores, where we had to take the Metropolitan bus to Lima district. Taking another public transportation was out of discussion, as we couldn’t manage to deal with the chaotic system of private (mini)buses. Since this was The Palm Sunday, grabbing a cab was also out of discussion because Arequipa Ave is closed as every other Sunday, which left us to the only rapid and easy solution to take the Metro, a rapid bus that runs from Barranco district up to Lima district in North. Purchasing a card for a ride would double the cost of it, but the need of more change was more of an issue, since we had to have the exact amount of money for the vending machine located at the entrance of the platform. Since no street vendor was willing to spare their change, we decided to ask a local to swipe their prepaid card and let us enter one by one. Offering an extra sol, and using the international sign language, we kindly asked a lady with her son to help us enter the gate while showing her the 6 soles for both of us. Glad we could resolve so easy the issue of getting in, we headed to the front of the bus to have a full view of the route. In about half an hour we arrived in Lima district, not before acknowledging the fact that we would never dare to drive a car in Lima, after watching the drivers’ attitude and recklessness on the streets.
Eager for a getaway, I was very happy when my dear friend O. invited us over, in the city where she’s been living for a while: Pembroke. Five hours from Toronto didn’t seem too long when the landscape we passed by was amazing, especially after we got off the main Highway 401. Nestled on the shores of the highlands of Ottawa River, the little and cozy city of Pembroke was first settled in 1828, due to the developing logging industry, as the first settlers found a rich region of white and red pines.
The winter might not be over yet in Ontario, but the last couple of days have been sunny, letting us hope the spring is around of corner. Canadians are pretty much used with harsh weather, but this winter especially was generous in snow, freezing rain, ice pellets, etc. But that is over, and who wants to remember tough moments, when the birds are out, chirping, and calling out for spring time?
I was overjoyed this morning when I could hear the birds in the whole neighbourhood, even though the snow sits generously on the sides of the street, waiting for higher temperatures to melt away. I couldn’t see the birds, but I could hear them singing on different voices from different directions. Pure bliss! Continue reading →
The month of December is coming to an end, and so is 2018. I’m not the type of person who usually makes a list of accomplishments, but I was thinking it would be nice to have a post with my best photos of the year. Then I realized that I have not made any posts this year with one of my favourite hobbies: bird watching. Observing the birds – these little and colourful creatures, gave me great joy this summer: I started noticing how much quicker a movement is in the air rather than on the ground, more than I did in the past. I started learning a lot from just observing them and seeing how they take care of their chicks, or how they feed themselves.
This summer I spent some time up north, around Lake Buckhorn again. Sometimes catching some fish, sometimes catching a good time, but definitely catching some pictures and wonderful memories.
In case someone is wondering if five days were enough to visit these two cities Vienna and Budapest, the answer is not, 5 days is way too little to visit them, but I think it is enough get a glimpse of a great heritage of Austro-Hungarian Empire. You can read here the first part of this post. Today I will continue, and talk a bit about food, Danube River and churches.
Once sisters of the one of the greatest powers of the world, Austro-Hungarian Empire, both Austria and Hungary have now been separated for the last 100 years. Years that took each of them on different paths, even though sometimes they were intertwined. Part of European Union and part of UNESCO Heritage, Vienna and Budapest are 2 centerpieces of Europe that justify their fame, no need for an introduction.
Vienna, known as a capital of music welcomed us in a waltz pace, as all the airport hallways resounded with Mozart tunes. A hot August morning was beckoning to us after we picked up our luggage and Vienna Pass, which made us wonder how hot a day can be in the middle of Europe, which we found out later on, after visiting Budapest as well, but this is another story.
A city with so many architectural styles, Vienna’s roots lie in early Celtic and Roman settlements. Now it is known as one of the most developed cities in Europe, being selected one of the most livable cities in the world. From the abundance of baroque style buildings in city centre (which was designed in 2001 UNESCO World Heritage Site) to some of the most interesting, colourful, or bizarre buildings, Vienna hasn’t faltered to offer us unique views.
In order to protect the cityscape, high-rise projects are totally excluded in certain zones. In Vienna there are about 100 buildings higher than 40 m, reason the city maintains the old historical charm, the panoramic viewpoints, and existing lookouts.
After 2 days of walking in a sunny and hot Budapest, the time has come, finally. Time to rest our legs, to enjoy the cold drinks and the exceptional views of the Danube shore. Time to have a cruise on the Danube River to see the glowing Budapest.
Canadians love outdoors. At least half of them, who can’t wait to get their outdoor belongings every weekend and scatter to various destinations.
Our excitement actually started when we began making plans to have a road trip around Lake Huron, one of the five Great Lakes in North America.
Part of the UNESCO heritage, Niagara Escarpment goes through Tobermory. The escarpment that runs from New York through Ontario (Canada), Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois is mostly famous for the cliff where Niagara River plunges at Niagara Falls. But today I will talk about Tobermory, located right between Huron Lake and Georgian Bay, and which is the most northerly town in the Bruce Peninsula. Continue reading →