Filed under Travel

Take the 1:45 to Yuma

Take the 1:45 to Yuma

I left green T.O. at 9 this morning and landed at 6 p.m. (3 p.m. Arizona time) in the desert. It feels like another planet … spiky brown hills rising in the distance out of what looks from the air like an ancient seabed, dry and cracked. We stepped off the plane into a wall … Continue reading

Croatia: the scent of truffles

Croatia: the scent of truffles

On our last full day in Croatia, we set off south from the hilltop  town of Buzet to the heart of Istria to hunt for truffles. Both black and prized white truffles are plentiful in the triangle between Pazin, Buje and Buzet, especially in the valley of the river Mirna and in the lush Motovun … Continue reading

Croatia: A taste of Hum

Croatia: A taste of Hum

Our second last day dawned grey with the promise of warm sun. Surely nothing could interfere with today’s 30- km bike ride. We arrived in Istria’s medieval town of Roc, with its flower boxes and thick limestone walls. Between the 12th and 20th century it was the centre of Croatian publishing, based on the Glagolitic … Continue reading

Croatia — the mountain not climbed

I’d been mentally preparing for this day for a month. Yes, you will climb Croatia’s highest mountain, where lunch awaited, and perhaps even make the “hard” climb to the top. After we left Zagreb, Mia learned that 10 cm of snow had fallen on the mountain three days before. This morning it was pouring rain … Continue reading

Waterlogged in Plitvice Lakes Park

Waterlogged in Plitvice Lakes Park

Orphan 3-yr old Today was a walk in the park, literally! We drove a short way to Plitvice Lakes National Park, the largest in Croatia at 284.82 square kilometres, for a three-hour stroll. Judging from the number of tour buses and the crowds from all over the world pouring through the gate, we were the … Continue reading

Croatian adventure Day 2

Croatian adventure Day 2

Breakfast at Zagreb’s Hotel Esplanade is a splendid affair. Every uniformed staff member in the dining room says hello amid a sea of white tablecloths under chandeliers. There’s sparkling wine and fresh-squeezed orange juice chilling at the buffet if you care to start the day with a mimosa. Out on the terrace on an unusually … Continue reading

Welcome to Zagreb

Welcome to Zagreb

Greetings from Zagreb, Croatia, first leg in this week’s Survivor-meets-Amazing-Race press trip. The first test was the night flight over. No more business class for me … it was back of the Air Canada bus with mystery beef, a lousy selection of movies we couldn’t hear through the earphones provided and a truly uncomfortable seat … Continue reading

Letters from Italia – Arrivederci

All of Agrate knows when I come to visit. I’m the stranger who sets the dogs barking when I walk by their gated homes. Most of the time I don’t even see them until there’s a sudden surge of furred energy toward the gate and the roar begins from some Doberman or mutt, lab or … Continue reading

Letters from Italia: On the road

We left first thing in the morning and set the Tom Tom for Borgo d’Ale, home of asparagus. At 130 km an hour and hardly any traffic, we arrived in 35 minutes via the autostrada. The 5-euro toll was a bargain Toronto should consider. We passed perfect rows of fruit trees and grapes, perhaps table … Continue reading