Dance on an Empty Highway: Part 2

At each stop on this trip, the state of the washrooms deteriorates at an inversely proportionate rate as the scenery grows more spectacular.

“What’s wrong?”

Claudia has suddenly sat up at the edge of the bed.

“I have to go to the bathroom and I’m too scared to go out there by myself.”

That makes two of us. Continue reading “Dance on an Empty Highway: Part 2”

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Frugal Travel for the Over-40 Crowd

Why over 40?

I don’t know. It’s just a random age.

Frugal travel is, of course, for everyone so inclined. I figure that young people are already all over this idea so I’m putting it out there for those of us over (or way over) 40. Continue reading “Frugal Travel for the Over-40 Crowd”

Solo Travel For Women

Do you hesitate – or refuse – to travel alone? Think  it may not be safe? Worried you’ll be bored?

As an older solo female traveller, this is what I’ve done to cure solo travel apprehension.

Why Go Alone?

On my last few trips to Europe and the U.K., I traveled on my own, and as every solo traveler knows, there are advantages to this type of vacation: Continue reading “Solo Travel For Women”

Barcelona – A Disappointment

To my surprise, Barcelona disappointed me in ways I hadn’t expected. To quote Samuel Johnson, I needed to learn to “regulate imagination by reality”, and see things as they really are. Here you can find out what not to expect.

Determined Optimist

I had so looked forward to visiting Barcelona. I read about the architecture, I loved the operatic history of the city, the cultural riches.

I knew it would be a trip to remember. The only thing that worried me was dreading the return home after my visit there. I envisaged chaining myself to a Gaudí lamppost in Plaça Reial, with a “hell no, I won’t go” placard around my neck.

I didn’t have to worry. One by one my cherished illusions were ripped to shreds, and all the positive thinking in the world couldn’t change the reality of the city I tried so hard to like. Continue reading “Barcelona – A Disappointment”

My Dream Shatters – Barcelona’s Liceu Opera House

My knees crack against the seat’s armrest.

Without so much as an “excuse me”, “permiso” or even the Catalan equivalent of “get the hell out of my way”, a woman shoves past me and into her seat next to mine. Since I have an aisle seat, I’m first in the line of fire, with no other bodies next to me to cushion the blows and give fair warning of impending injuries. Continue reading “My Dream Shatters – Barcelona’s Liceu Opera House”

Red-Tailed Hawk

Setting: city, close to downtown. A large park three blocks away, rail depot beyond it, and the St. Lawrence River past that (more or less a kilometre from the house).

Saturday afternoon, April 1st, around 5p.m. this fellow shows up on my fence:

We get the usual robins, blue jays, finches, sparrows, chickadees; a hummingbird comes by a few times near the end of summer. Woodpeckers are also around.

Peregrine falcons hunt squirrels in the park a few blocks away.

But I’m pretty sure my visitor is a juvenile red-tailed hawk. This was a first for me.

From what I’ve been able to research, the colors are too pale for a peregrine.

I know these are not the clearest photos. They were taken with my phone, through a window.

A week later he was back. He caught a pigeon for breakfast.

I guess supper is easier to find in the city.