The Niagara escarpment dips down into rolling vineyards and finally into Lake Ontario – a “bench shape” that is both beautiful to look at and fundamental to the growing conditions that allow Beamsville to produce great wines. With eight wineries in walking distance and a scattering of wineries not too much further away, wine connoisseurs and travellers will have a wealth of diversions here for day trips or a holiday weekend. The Beamsville Bench wine tour route is connected to the Bruce Trail, Canada's oldest and longest hiking trail, which runs along Niagara's escarpment, an official UNESCO biosphere reserve. It is amazing how many people end up at a restaurant or winery in Niagara's wine country, having never heard of it before they saw the ...
If we believe what the Basque people of Spain say about themselves being the oldest ethnic group in Europe, then perhaps their famous pintxos (also: pinchos) are the grandfather of the Spanish tapas that we all know and love. Either way, the País Vasco knows how to put together tiny foods with enormous appeal. The best place to enjoy pintxos is, without a doubt, San Sebastian—more specifically the Parte Vieja of San Sebastian: the old quarter east of the Playa de la Concha. The best time to enjoy pintxos (pronounced “peen-chose”) is in the evening before dinner when “donostiarras” (the locals) do their “txikiteo” (the Basque version of a pub crawl). Txikiteo (pronounced “cheeky-tay-oh”) involves moving from place to place, having a couple of ...
The reserved and resistant find it hard not to be swept up by the beat. Even the rhythmically inept, are unable to resist clapping along. And, just as the dancer and singer lock into a stare so intense you think one of them might explode, you yourself become helpless to take your eyes off of the stage. Flamenco dance, born in Spain, is at its best in Andalusia's capitol – Sevilla. The earliest records of flamenco dance are from as recent as the 1800s, but there is evidence that suggests this tradition goes back quite a bit further. Flamenco traditionally consists of three parts, toque – playing the guitar, cante – singing, and baile – the dancing. The percussion in the flamenco music comes from ...
When traveling in Belgium, you can't just ask for "a beer", doing so will only produce a lager of some sort that can be found practically anywhere in the world. Belgium is home to many unique beers including abbey beer, lambic beer, and trappist beer, who derive their distinct taste from ancient brewing traditions. It is said that you can taste a Belgian beer everyday for a year, and still leave some brews untouched. With such deep history and selection, the best way to learn about Belgian beer is the equivalent of a pub crawl through Brussels, Bruges and Antwerp. To taste a new and exciting beer in Belgium you can go pretty much anywhere. Even convenience stores have hundreds of different kinds. A great ...
When you enter Portugal, you enter a country unlike any other. In some ways, travelling to Lisbon is like travelling through time. There are a number of ways you can sense its history. You see it in the monuments and buildings. You taste it in all the dishes you eat. And it is most certainly part of the sounds you hear in a Portuguese fado house. Fado can only be traced to the early 19th century, but many Portuguese would assume it goes back much further in Portuguese history. It is often associated with the Portuguese word “saudade,” which is a word for nostalgia or longing. It is certainly mournful in sound. Many tourists or travellers would associate fado with the Spanish flamenco, and there ...
The white cliffs of Dover have been as important in literature as they have been in history. Significant in the Napoleonic wars and World War II, they have represented England's last line of defence in poetry and literature. In Matthew Arnold's poem, Dover Beach, it's the tide ebbing away from the cliffs that have the significance in terms of a loss of faith. The cliffs of Dover also symbolize England itself, for which Rudyard Kipling is so homesick in his poem “the Broken Men.” Regardless of the symbolic value of the white cliffs of Dover, it happens to be a great place to while away an afternoon. With the Dover castle as a backdrop, you can feel nature take over as you explore the interesting ...
London is a city of overwhelming options. There is so much to see and do that you could spend a year here and not even scratch the surface of its possibilities. From the busy, colourful markets, to the crazy, nighttime party scene and everything in between, it can be difficult to make up your mind about how to allocate your time when you're visiting London, England. A Thames river cruise is a great way to catch a glimpse of many of the main attractions and perhaps whet your appetite for a more in depth look at some of the other things you can see and do in the city. The tour guides are one of the selling features of a cruise on the River ...
The most common way to experience the Trevi Fountain in Rome is with your back to it. It is said that anyone who turns around and throws a penny (or a centesimo) into the fountain are sure to return to Rome one day. Although the Trevi Fountain's Baroque charm can't be appreciated from this angle, it does allow you to take in the whirlwind of activity that is constantly happening around the famous basin. Surrounded by gelato vendors, budding romances, and gladiators posing with tourists, the Trevi Fountain is a jewel of water and stone nestled into the Palazzo Poli. Trevi Fountain history recounts the construction of a simple basin in 1453 to mark the end of the aqueduct, Aqua Virgo, which had been used ...
Bordeaux, France is a land of greatness. It is a place where wine makers go to become distinguished, and where visitors go to quench their thirst at charming countryside chateaux. Sheltered by forests and warmed by the gulf stream, Bordeaux city has a great deal of architecture and history to discover beyond its vineyards. A visit to Bordeaux would not be complete without sampling some of its amazing wines, whether it be a heavy, red Médoc or a sweet, golden Sauternes. Great wine is readily available at every turn in Bordeaux. Restaurants have amazing, local-only wine lists and at the grocery store there are entire aisles dedicated to Rosé, whites and reds. For a little more of an education, however, wineries or vignobles are not ...
Champagne region, specifically Épernay, France is beautiful. A pleasant break from Paris, you can see for miles around, without having your view obscured by a myriad buildings. The main draw, of course, is the Champagne. Drinking Champagne in Épernay is simply something one must do when in France. France is the birthplace of Champagne and Benedictine monk Dom Perignon. Quoted as saying “Come quickly, I'm drinking stars!,” when he first tasted Champagne, Dom Perignon is immortalized in the prestigious cuvée of Moët and Chandon for his advancements to the Champagne making process. Épernay rivals Reims as the center for Champagne production in France. Travelers looking to taste stars and learn the origins of this drink synonymous with celebration and luxury, need only drive an hour ...
Canterbury was once a pilgrimage stop on the way from London to Rome. When Thomas Becket was murdered at Canterbury Cathedral in AD 1170 by knights of King Henry II, Canterbury became a pilgrimage site in its own right. With Canterbury just a quick train ride from London, you can be transported back in time, in little more than an hour, to a town with a slower pace, more space, and a higher proportion of old buildings. The Cathedral is located within the old city walls. Narrow, winding pedestrian streets lead to Canterbury Cathedral, with lots of great cafes and shops along the way. A bronze sculpture of Christ in the Archway leading to the gardens makes for a stunning first impression. Wandering through Canterbury ...
Have you ever wished you could swim on glacier without getting cold? Well, it looks like the solution is quite simple: Pamukkale, meaning cotton castle in Turkish, bears a striking resemblance to ice and snow, but doesn't melt in the hot Turkish sun. These travertine terraces have been formed by waters that have been heated by volcanic activity, saturated with calcium and then flow down the face of a cliff. The calcium hardens and forms the UNESCO World Heritage site that many travelers enjoy today. Pamukkale is located in South West Turkey, about 200km north of resort town Ölüdeniz on the Aegean Sea, and about 200km west of Selçuk. It takes a little effort to get to Pamukkale, but it is well worth a stop ...
Traverse a Time of Tranquility at Stonehenge
Battle Back to the Era of Ancient Rome When You Visit the Colosseum
Punting and the River Cam
Journey Behind the Falls at Niagara Falls
Time for the Big Chimes of Big Ben, London
Transcend Time in the Medieval Outpost of Bruges
Chilling with Chaucer at Canterbury Cathedral, England
See all of Paris from the Sacred Sacre Coeur Basilica
Go Gothic Visiting the Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris
Hiking the Cinque Terre Trail, Italy
Surround Yourself in Renaissance Charm at the Duomo in Old Town Florence
Ponder the Paranormal at the Edinburgh Vaults
Dally in the Dreamland of Barcelona’s Park Guell
Cardiff Castle: A Museful Mingled Masterpiece
Discover Super-natural Stanley Park, Vancouver
Drinking Stars in Épernay, France's Champagne Region
Scout out Caves and Clarets in Bordeaux
Aim High on the London Eye
Going for a Wander on the White Cliffs Of Dover
Savour Lisbon's Musical Flavour of Fado
Scout out the Perfect Beer in Belgium
Stomp to the Rhythm of Flamenco in Sevilla
Pintxos Crawl through San Sebastian in the Basque Country
Wine Tasting off the Beaten Path on the Beamsville Bench
Journey Back in Time to the Lost City of the Incas, Machu Picchu
See the Game of Life Unfold During the Great Wildebeest Migration
Hunt for Viking Gold Behind Skogafoss Waterfall in Iceland
Drink The World's Best Beer at Munich's Oktoberfest
Picture A Fairytale City in Tallinn's Old Town
Soak in Healing Waters at Budapest's Thermal Baths
The Headline-Grabbing Power of Iceland's Erupting Eyjafjallajökull Volcano