When I visited Spain in 2011, I immediately fell in love with the country and knew I’d return. In Madrid, I encountered a couple who had just finished their second Camino de Santiago, this time from Portugal. At the time, I knew nothing about it and asked them enough questions to know this was something I’d have to do. On the flight home, I was decided: I will walk the Camino de Santiago in 2014. On paper, it’s a big year for me. I turn 40. And while 40 is the new 29, or some hot nonsense like that, it’s also a good time for me to go somewhere I really want to go, enjoy what comes my way and meet people from all over the world while I’m doing it.
Walking, eating and meeting. This is what I want to do in 2014. As the months tick by, I’ll provide updates with my progress, planning and preparation. At best, it will be one person’s definitive guide to fulfilling her dreams. If you find it helpful, have questions, or even better, want to offer advice, let me know in the comments! Buen camino!
My friend Lori and I are planning to do the Camino at the same time and have been pursuing our planning with great, shared enthusiasm. She’s also blogging her Camino prep, and we’ve created a hashtag - #caminotwits - to tag information in our Twitter conversations. Needless to say, it’s quickly becoming the theme of our adventure and a source of amusement among our friends.
If you enjoyed last week’s visit to the wine harvest in Tuscany, my wine adventures in Italy continue with my visit to the Cinque Terre. This part of the trip involves even more grapes and wine, with the added benefit of hiking straight uphill for many hours and kilometres. I joke because I love.
Hiking through the villages of the Cinque Terre has been something I’ve wanted to do for a couple of years. While I am definitely a walker, I wouldn’t call myself a “hiker.” When I found the dreamy sounding Cinque Terre Coastal Walk through G Adventures, I knew right away I found what I was looking for. “What could be more lovely than a leisurely walk among brightly-coloured villages next to the Mediterranean?” Ha!
My hometown of Halifax, Nova Scotia is a very, very old city. After thousands of years of settlement by the Mi’kmaq, and hundreds after European contact, the city has an enormous amount of history, and, if the stories are to be believed, an odd ghost or two hanging around.
I’ve been wanting to take a ghost tour of the city for some time. It combines the appeal of a walking tour with the opportunity to learn a little more about my hometown, and have some spooky fun along the way.
When the universe aligned the schedules of some friends and the weather gave us a balmy August evening, we set out for Halifax’s iconic Town Clock to experience the Halifax Ghost Walk. We met up with a large group of 25 intrepid souls, paid our tour leader (cash only!), and set out to meet the ghosts of Halifax.
Our tour was given by local musician Dusty Keleher, who combines storytelling with a nice, downhill stroll on a lovely summer evening. I won’t be spilling any of his stories here, mostly because it’s just not fair, but it also spoils the fun for future tour-goers.
We started on top of the city on the Halifax Citadel, with a sweeping view of the city below us and a quick history lesson about how the city was settled by Europeans, and life in the city during its early years.
There are common themes emerging with my Operation Hometown Travel adventures: discovery, a leisurely pace, and food. Last week, I was able to take a trip combining all of these elements, finally getting to eat at a restaurant I’ve wanted to go to for months, and having a fantastic evening stroll along the Dartmouth Waterfront.
I love public green spaces and being elevated – it’s a “being short” thing. Put those things together and it usually results in something that becomes a one of my favourite things, like the High Line in New York. I had equally high hopes for the Promenade Plantée.
The Promenade Plantée – or the Coulée Vert – is the older, more experienced French cousin of the High Line. Constructed on 4.5km of abandoned rail bed in Eastern Paris and opened to the public in the early 1990s, it’s now a pleasant, well-cultivated garden walk through the 12e arrondissement.