Filed under Travel

Do you caravanserai?

Do you caravanserai?

    We were on our way to the Zein-o-Din caravanserai for the night, the Iranian equivalent of a stagecoach inn, a place to rest, dine and break up the long trek through the desert. Unlike travellers traversing the Silk Road centuries ago, when the inn was built, we arrived by bus instead of by camel. But we did see a few of the shaggy long-legged beasts in … Continue reading

Jazzed in Yazd

Jazzed in Yazd

  We pulled into the large parking lot in front of Tehran’s imposing central station with more than an hour to spare before our evening train. Posters of ayatollahs Khomeini, (left), who died in 1989, and Khamenei looked down on us benevolently. Inside, chaos reigned as families began or ended their New Year journey in Tehran. So many women wore … Continue reading

Tehran for a day

Tehran for a day

  “So who had friends and family tell them not to come to Iran because it’s too dangerous?” our guide Mahdi asked. All 11 of us put up our hands. Yet in my years of travel in foreign countries, I’ve never felt safer or more welcome. Perhaps it was his time in the military during … Continue reading

Well Come to Iran

Well Come to Iran

After months of anticipation and fussing over what to pack, March 23 arrived. Off to Iran for a G Adventures tour. Air France made the first leg a delight with an upgrade to their luxurious business class, where foie gras and Daniel Boulud’s salmon with fennel, chickpeas and sumac awaited for dinner. After a movie or … Continue reading

Napa Sojourn

Napa Sojourn

Napa Valley residents can afford to be smug. The weather is gorgeous, you can live in a cottage with a rosemary hedge and a lemon tree out front, cycle past world-famous vineyards and sip fairy-tale pumpkin soup. An hour’s drive across the Golden Gate bridge from San Francisco, Napa is also the perfect place for a … Continue reading

Ciao Calabria!

Ciao Calabria!

January 2016 Green hills, blue water, bright sunshine and the occasional palm tree welcomed us to Calabria in late January. Reggio Calabria, where we landed, sits at the very toe of the Italian boot separated from Sicily by the Strait of Messina and surrounded by the Ionian and Tyrrhenian Seas. Apart from the millions of … Continue reading

My year of Elsewhere

My year of Elsewhere

Christmas Day, 2015 My year of Elsewhere began with a dinner party last December, where friends Helen and Ron invited me to spend a week at their rented condo in the colonial town of San Miguel de Allende. I arrived the first week of March, catching a ride at Mexico City’s airport for the four-hour … Continue reading

Explore Montreal markets

Explore Montreal markets

I love Montreal’s public markets. Especially if I’ve arrived by train, so I don’t have to worry about stuffing potentially smelly purchases into a carry-on bag. On this trip I visited three of the city’s most famous markets, Atwater, Maisonneuve and Jean-Talon. Even before you step inside the building, especially at Jean-Talon and Atwater, you … Continue reading

A table in Montreal

A table in Montreal

  Follow Rue Notre-Dame west to the end of your tourist map and you’ll come to one of Montreal’s hottest neighbourhoods, Saint-Henri, where new shops and restaurants are opening weekly. We began our tour at Lionel-Groulx metro station, a short walk from Atwater Market. In the early 1900s, St.-Henri was home to French Canadians and working class … Continue reading

Jambo from Africa!

Jambo from Africa!

Greetings from Zanzibar, an island (actually several) off the coast of Tanzania. I’m sitting on a table under a sea almond tree, its trunk wrapped in colored lights. If I reach to the left I can almost touch the sand. The Indian Ocean is maybe 30 feet away, the water black and quiet, though I … Continue reading