Welcome to Tórshavn and The Faroe Islands

Tórshavn and the Could-I-Live-Here Index Every so often I find myself in a place I never dreamt I’d visit. These unpremeditated travels are among the most interesting in my life: it’s one thing to travel to a storied place like Berlin with high expectations; it’s quite another to wash up on the shores of the Faroe Islands (figuratively speaking) with no prejudices whatsoever. Well, few […]

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girl eating

Paris and the Ethics of Street Photography

Sometimes people ask me what kind of photographer I am. “The talented kind ” I want to reply, but somehow I don’t think that’s what they are asking. I have been a wildlife photographer, a scenic photographer, a travel photographer, a portrait photographer and, for a short time, a wedding photographer. (I actually love wedding photography; it’s the weddings themselves that wear you down.) Nothing […]

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miroir d'eau

Bastille Day in Bordeaux

It’s not a holiday until somebody storms the local square. July 14 is Bastille Day in France. It’s a national holiday—the national holiday, in fact, commemorating the storming of the Bastille and the start of the French Revolution. We are visiting the Bordeaux region, staying in a fantastic stone cottage in the small village of St-Gervais (thank you Air BnB.) We wanted to see how […]

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Sculpture, Oslo

Oslo, Sunday Morning

What to do on a quiet Sunday morning in Oslo? Revel in stunning public art, for starters. I’d been looking forward to seeing Oslo for some time. My travels in Norway had been exclusively by cruise ship, and the capital figures on very few itineraries. Norway is all about the gorgeous fjords for most travellers; if you want beautiful cities, you take a Baltic cruise […]

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Stavanger Morning

This bustling oil town has managed to keep its unique Norwegian charm, thanks to one architect’s vision. In my recent travels to Nova Scotia, I pulled into the beautiful small town of Yarmouth to find that a big old brick church had just been reduced to a pile of rubble. The dust was still settling, literally, and some of the townspeople were enraged. They’d laboured […]

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Goats and Glaciers: Gorgeous Geiranger Fjord

This world heritage site in western Norway just may be the most beautiful fjord in the world. The first time I cruised around Norway as a ship’s naturalist, I was asked to get on the ship’s PA system and give a narration about the fjords. Great! So up to the bridge I went, only to discover that there, um, weren’t any fjords out there. It […]

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Meet The Piping Plover

This little charmer is way too cute to lose. Sometimes it’s hard to muster a lot of concern about endangered species. I know that’s not a nice thing to say. They are all important: each blade of grass, each jumping insect is part of an endlessly complex network of living things, and we humans who sit at the top of the food web depend on […]

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Fishing in the Whiteshell: The Perfect Canadian Getaway

I’ve spent a fair bit of time crossing this country from one end to the other, and I’ve come to realize that to really understand this nation, there are a few experiences that every Canadian should have at least once. Every Canadian should be in Ottawa for Canada Day, for example. Everyone should drink Caribou at the Carnaval de Quebec in the dead of winter. […]

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Livin' Easy rose

This Ain’t Your Grandmother’s Rose Garden

Stanley Park’s rose garden is an ecological laboratory, and the experiment seems to be working. A wise man once said that art lies in the concealment of art. I’m pretty sure he was talking about painting, but he might have been describing the world of rose gardening. Take the Stanley Park rose garden, for example. 3000-odd plants fill a beautifully landscaped space in the heart of the […]

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