Alesund, Norway

Dances With Kittiwakes: An Encounter With The Coolest of the Gulls

A visit with the kittiwakes of Ålesund, Norway. Any travel guidebook will tell you that a visit to beautiful Ålesund is all about the architecture. And I suppose they’re right; it is quite something. This town on the outer Norwegian coast has a legitimate claim to fame in its buildings: in 1904, most of Ålesund burned to the ground. Fortunately for the townspeople, Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany […]

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Farmhouse, Flam, Norway

Fleeting Flashes of Flåm

Flåm, the village at the head of the fjords   Imagine living in a town of 500, and getting over 500,000 visitors on your doorstep every year. That’s life in the Norwegian fjords, and we got our first sampling of that strange dynamic in the pastoral village of Flåm (rhymes with Tom) in the Sognefjord region of western Norway. Flåm lies at the head of […]

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buekorps boy marching

On Parade with the Buekorps of Bergen

A spring Sunday morning in Bergen, Norway wouldn’t be the same without the boisterous boys (and girls) of the buekorps, keeping tradition alive… and themselves out of trouble. It rains a lot in Bergen, Norway. I mean a lot. Three days out of four, in fact. And while this isn’t what you’d call a small town—it’s actually Norway’s second-largest—the last thing a concerned parent needs […]

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Blue morning glory

Walking Buenos Aires: Beautiful Birds and Barrios

Nature and culture in one of South America’s great cities, Buenos Aires I am a very enthusiastic walker. I take tremendous joy in getting around at my own speed, under my own power, on my own terms. And I consider myself doubly blessed to have found someone to share my travels with, who shares not only my passion for perambulation, but my lengthy inseam, too. We […]

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An Inuvik Adventure

In which your intrepid blogger nearly freezes to death in a ditch not a stone’s throw from Inuvik. This week, I am in Inuvik in the Northwest Territories, and it is glorious. All my life I have dreamed of seeing Canada’s north. A few weeks ago, an opportunity to travel here as part of my day job presented itself and I jumped on it. No […]

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Cold Hands, Warm Heart: One Day In Yellowknife

As a seasoned traveler, I’m often asked if I’ve spent time north of 60. I proudly reply to the affirmative, and then change the subject. My deep dark secret? Never in Canada. Never further north than Peace River in our proud land, I’m ashamed to say. So while I have had the privilege of frolicking under the midnight sun in Norway, it wasn’t until about […]

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It’s Time for the Birds and the Bees in Stanley Park

This post originally appeared on Miss604 on behalf of Stanley Park Ecology Society. Ah, Valentine’s Day: the first rite of spring, when our fancy turns to thoughts of courtship and romance. In Stanley Park, we’ll be celebrating the occasion with a special guided walk with historian extraordinaire Jolene Cummings. She’ll help us explore the park’s history as a gathering place for lovers through the years. […]

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A Foggy Sunday Morning in Vancouver

This morning, we awoke to the sounds of foghorns. Vancouver, BC is generally not a foggy city—certainly not compared to a town like San Francisco—but we’ve had our share this winter. I enjoy the fog and the intimacy it brings. Traffic is quieter, the wind is still and the air has a tactile, three-dimensional quality that I enjoy. And as I lay there waking up, […]

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The Moods of Coal Harbour

Vancouver’s Coal Harbour is one of my favourite spots to watch the seasons change. Late this afternoon, I was walking towards Stanley Park for a meeting at the Stanley Park Ecology Society, where I volunteer. (You should support them—they do kickass work.) Anyway, walking out of downtown into the park is always a pleasure. You leave the noise of Georgia Street behind and feel the stress […]

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Hollandse Appeltaart- Dutch Apple Pie Recipe

Here’s my take on the Netherlands’ wonderful thick, cake-like traditional apple pie. It’s easy as een-twee-dree. First, purists beware: I made two innovations here. I added cinnamon to the crust, which you may choose not to do, and I used candied citrus peel instead of fresh lemon zest and raisins. See my notes in the recipe. You’ll need a six-inch springform pan. If you want […]

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