Thursday, January 26, 2012

My 5 Favorite Cities

As you can probably tell by now. I enjoy to remember and reminisce. About all of the great places I have enjoyed to visit, during my travels. This is almost as good as thinking about and enjoying the great places. I will still visit in my future.

This post is dedicated to my personal favorite 5 cities. That have been a part of my adventurous life. Through my travel experiences. I have rated these cities based on; physical beauty, personality, charisma, and livability. I will list the cities in alphabetical order. So there will be no preference. All of these cites are excellent places to visit, and also to live life.

Before I begin. The number 5 is really too small a number for this post. As I will be forced to leave out great cities like; Valletta, Malta, Bruges, Belgium, St. Mallo, France, Geneva, Switzerland, Amsterdam, The Hague, and Maastridt located in the Netherlands. But nothing in life is usually very easy. When it comes to completing a task. So here go's. I now present to the people who enjoy and love to travel. My five all time favorite cities.

1. Bath, United Kingdom

A visit to this classic and historic city was a part of my tour of England in 1998. I can remember quite visibly of getting off of the train. Walking out of the train station and just standing there, frozen in time. Not believing what my eyes were now viewing. I had to pinch myself. To make sure I was not a part of some elaborate dream.
It was not a dream! I had been delivered back into British history. To explore and enjoy a city full of splendid architecture and charm. That is truly unparalleled on our planet.
Bath was made a city in the year 1590 by the reigning monarch Queen Elizabeth 1. The city of Bath, England is located 97 from London. The city of Bath was made a world heritage site in 1987.
The city gets it's name from the Roman Bath that is still located in the city. The "Bath" is the only natural hot springs that is found in the United Kingdom.
I had a great time. Exploring the endless history and historic buildings that make the city of Bath so special.
Also the Avon river runs through Bath, and the city features beautiful green landscapes in and surrounding Bath.
Most of the buildings located in the city of Bath are made of a honey colored Bath Stone. Which adds to the visual beauty of this amazing city.
The city of Bath. should be on your itinerary when you are visiting the United Kingdom. It is one of the great cities located on our planet.

2. Burlington, Vermont U.S.A.

I could not complete this post without involving "The Green Mountain State" of Vermont. I have enjoyed a lot of happy time. Visiting and living in this great place. So there only major city has to be added to the greatest and most beautiful cities. I have ever had the pleasure to visit.
The city of Burlington, Vermont only has a population of 42,000 people. However the greater Burlington area comes in at 208,000 people. Making it roughly 1/3 of Vermont's total population.
I have visited this beautiful and dynamic city on all of my 6 trips to Vermont. Since I began traveling to the Green Mountain State in the fall of 2007.
The city of Burlington is located on the east shore of Lake Champlain. This is one of the major contributors for making this city so special. For Lake Champlain is one of the most picturesque lakes located in North America. The great vistas Lake Champlain provides and the Adirondack Mountains off in the distance. Will always put your mind at ease. Also Burlington offers a very nice pedestrian only. European style shopping district. A lot of choice for eating and shopping can be found in downtown Burlington. Also "City Market" is located in downtown Burlington. Which is the best organic supermarket I have ever shopped in.
Biking is one of my favorite outdoor activities. Which is a true pleasure in Burlington. As the "Burlington Bike Way" hugs the shores of Lake Champlain for miles. This will truly make you feel happy. That you are located in the State of Vermont, and nowhere else!

3. Lucerne, Switzerland

During the year 1986. This year represented my first major escape into our world. The European country of Switzerland was my destination. This culturally diverse and beautifully scenic country. Will always be a very special part of my life. The city of Lucerne was my favorite city located in the Swiss Confederation. Lots of stiff competition here. As the cities of Geneva, Z├╝rich, Basle, and Bern. Rate as some of the most impressive cities located in our world. However the city of Lucerne will always be my favorite city located within the country of Switzerland. The physical beauty of this city cannot be matched! As the city of Lucerne is located in the central part of Switzerland on the north shore of the Lake Lucerne. Two mountains stand vigil over this classic city. Mt. Pilatus to the west, and Mt. Rigi to the east. The Reuss River flows through the heart of Lucerne. Adding to the visual joy of being in this dream city.
The city of Lucerne is full of all kind of historic treasure of all shapes and descriptions. The highlight and fitting symbol of the city. Is the 14th century chapel bridge. Which made a lasting great impression on me. The city of Lucerne has a population of 76,200. A visit to the city of Lucerne. The history, hospitality and beauty that is your constant companion. Will make your memories there memorable!

4. Portland, Oregon U.S.A.

Great friends Christine and Allan. Gave me great advise! To travel to the Pacific Northwest region of North America. Remember the philosophy. Always follow great advise. When you are given it. Christine and Al. Told me "to visit Washington State and the state of Oregon, and I would love it there". I followed there great advise in 2009, and received my first taste of what the pacific northwest region has to offer. The trip was great! Also during that trip. I enjoyed my first taste of the "City of Roses" Portland, Oregon! I was blown away! For Portland is truly. The greenest city located in North America. And also offers lots of history and charisma!
The symbols of this great city. Are the 8 bridges crossing the Willamette River. The two most famous and rarest of Portland's Bridges is the Hawthorne Bridge born in 1910. The Hawthorne Bridge is the oldest surviving vertical lift bridge in the United States. Also rare is the "Steel Bridge" created in 1913. Is the only double vertical lift bridge still in operation in the world. Also the beautiful green of Oregon. Is also a major part of there largest and most populated city. Portland is a safe and enjoyable city to stroll around or to bike. As Portland is also the most cyclist friendly city in North America. Another great advantage of being located in Portland. Is the fact that you are located very close the scenic and beautiful Columbia River Gorge and the beautiful ocean coast of Oregon. Also other great day trips around the state are not that far away!

5. York, United Kingdom

My last part of this post is also a treasure. Located in our urban world. That honor goes to the medieval city of York. Which lies in the northeast part of England. I did enjoy the privilege of visiting this great city. Also during my 1998 trip to England. It also proved to be a very special experience during my time spent traveling.
I still enjoy the great memory after arriving and receiving my directions on how to find my accommodation in York. "The Copper's Lodge". My walk would take me for 3 to 4 KM along the main street of York, which is named Fishergate. The farther I walked along Fishergate. The farther I walked away from the reality of real life. Certainly that is the biggest joy of travel to me. That your senses are naturally stimulated by your surroundings. To transport you to a real place of joy and comfort.
The city of York's beginnings go back to Romans times and the year 71AD. A medieval Roman wall can still be found surrounding the city in the year 2012. There is lots of history of this the city. That can still be found in York today. The people of York have done a great job to protect there past. For the future of humanity to continue to enjoy. The city of York also offers a lot of lush beauty within those Roman Walls. Also The River Ouse runs through the city and adds to the relaxed atmosphere.
One last note. Some good advise for fellow travelers. When visiting the city of York. Please dine at the Mason Arms Pub. Try the Steak Pie and Chips. Not the Steak and Kidney Pie. Also try the John Smith's Ale. The Mason Arms is located at 6 Fishergate.

The pictures om this post; From the top, the first 9 pictures are from Bath, the next 5 are from Burlington, Vermont, the next group of 8 photos are from Lucerne, Portland is represented in the next 4 pictures, and the final 4 photos were taken in York, England.

My Barbados Experience

Being back at home. I can now reflex and talk about my experience traveling to the island country of Barbados.
Anytime you get the privilege to enjoy time off work. And to travel to an exotic place. This translates into real quality time! The time to let down. The time to have fun. The time to relax and to enjoy the experience of living in a new society. These advantages are all positive. Also the great people you get to meet away from home. Is is truly a great part of travel. Which means if you would of stayed at home. These great people that you have now met. Would not be a part of your life.

Right from the top I have to thank fellow Canadian Ramiro. Friend and fellow traveler who I met on this adventure. You were a big help to me on this trip Ramiro. Thanks for all of your help and support. Renting the car and driving all over Barbados was lots of fun. I hope we get to do all again. In days lying ahead in the future.

A big thanks to the friendly Canadian Airlines West Jet. You make flying fun. Also give people that are not wealthy the chance to fly away and enjoy a great holiday.

My T21 vntage IBM laptop computer. My $26 investment has paid major dividends. Thanks for keeping me on-line. So I could keep in communication with home. Also giving me the chance to post all my mew memories on the Travel Wolfe blog.

To the people of Barbados. Thanks for making fell welcome in your island home. Barbados is a great place to enjoy Caribbean Culture and living life in the tropics.

Also I have to thank my mom and dad for anyways being supportive and great parents. Also to my brother John was holding things together while I was away.

As much as I enjoyed this trip. I have to admit that I am not really a hot weather person. I will always be a moderate. I can only take so much heat. For when I am on holidays. I enjoy to active and explore the countries and places I visit. Hiking and biking will always be fun activities for me. I found it totally unsafe to bike in Barbados. Due to the poor condition of the roads. Also the roads are very narrow with no soft shoulders or even sidewalks in most cases.

Just in case I win a share of the $50 million Lotto Max Lottery tonight. I will not be buying a permanent residence in Barbados. I would find a place less crowded. With a more temperament climate. My exotic home locations would be; State of Vermont, State of Oregon, San Juan Islands (Washington State), city of York U,K, Isle of Man, or Alderney (Channel Islands) U.K.

Of note. Two of my 3 new tech additions were a success. As a part of the gear I brought along on my trip to Barbados. The state of the art ultra lightweight suitcase. Was excellent! I took everything I wanted to take. The suitcase weighted in at 37 pounds going and 39 coming home. The JVC camcorder worked well. But on the tour I was on. The battery died after only shouting about 40 minutes of video. There is a disadvantage of not having replaceable batteries. Compared to a built in rechargeable battery.
The Kodak waterproof camera was a major failure. For some reason I couldn't transfer the pictures taken on it to my computer. Then the first time I attempted to take some underwater pictures the camera failed. The camera was sent back to Kodak today for repair or to be replaced under warranty.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

And The Sun Sets!

Today was my final day of Barbados Adventure 2012. A lot of things went right for this trip to happen. I will be doing a final post on my arrival back home.
The day was really uneventful. But it did begin with one final great morning spent on Settler's Beach.
I had a Roti for my lunch today. Which I found to be disappointing. As I have enjoyed way better Roti in the greater Toronto area. Then I walked from Payne's Bay to Fitt's Village. Enjoyed my fresh water shower to remove the salt. I dried myself off. Then I was off again to visit Bridgetown.
This time I didn't get much done on my final trip the Barbados Capital City. The Parliament Building Museum was closed today. So I missed out on seeing that. Then I did find the historic Jewish synagogue. I took some pictures of that in and outside the building. There is also a museum at the synagogue. That was opened today. However I was not carrying enough cash for the $25 BD entrance fee. Also they didn't accept credit cards.
I then considered to try and do the Mount Gay Rum tour. However the bus departure times were not convenient for me to get there. So I scraped that idea.
I then just enjoyed a leisurely walk back to the Chinese Restaurant. Located close to the main bus station. Where Ramiro and I had eaten. On my first day of this holiday.

In is time now to get myself ready for my return flight back home. To resume my normal life. I am glad and grateful I came to Barbados. Hoping this change of latitude will improve my attitude. To take on my normal life again.

Monday, January 23, 2012

A Bus Stop Named Heidi!

When you follow my path. And come to visit the island of Barbados. All you have to do. To find my favorite beach located on the west coast. Is to find the bus stop, named Heidi! You are reading this post correct! I know what you must be thinking. But you are wrong! I haven't just over indulged enjoying my favorite alcoholic beverage. In fact so far today. I have been the perfect teetotaler. That may change very soon however. I have just finished my dinner. I very well may. Enjoy a shot of Grand Marnier for my desert!

The facts are. That all of the bus stops located here on the island of Barbados. Are named after ladies. So after you have arrived in Holetown. The second stop on the way of out town will be Hedi. Get off the bus. Walk down the access path to Settler's Beach, and enjoy!
Also don't forget to give Heidi my best regards!

Explore Bridgetown

I have made it to the second last day of this adventure. The last 2 days will be spent in two places. My favorite beach in the morning. Then I will sail down to the Barbados capital, by bus. To enjoy the sights and sounds of Bridgetown. And to spend some time in the Barbados Sun!

My plans did not take any skids. Then went perfectly. The day was enjoyed!
After a filling breakfast. I went to visit Settler's Beach. Every experience has been enjoy to the max. On my favorite stretch of sand. Located on the west coast of Barbados. I also met again. The friendly fellow traveler from Montreal. After enjoying some friendly conversation with Rosaire. It was time to take the plunge back into the Caribbean Sea!

When I was finished with the beach. I headed south back to Fitts Village for my lunch. Fitts Village offers washrooms and a outdoor freshwater shower. So I took advantage of that and washed all the salt off of me and my cloths. I have been wearing synthetic shirts and shorts during this trip. Which dry quickly in 85 degree weather, and being out in the Bajan Sun.

There is a good restaurant located in the Jordan's Supermarket plaza. Again the food was very good and cheap. I enjoyed; a piece of roasted chicken, rice, mixed vegetables, and salad. The cost $16 BD or $8 U.S.D. Then is was down to Bridgetown!

My walking tour was very good and enjoyed. I wish I could of been on a guided walking tour. I tried to make that happen. But no luck arranging that. I walked through the very busy shopping district. I enjoyed some soft served soy ice-cream. I had banana ripple flavor and it was very good!

Then I found the historic Parliament building. There is a museum located there. But I opted to do the museum tomorrow. Also I hope to pay my respects to my Jewish Heritage. There is a historic synagogue that is worth visiting. That is located in downtown Bridgetown.

My tour lead me into Queens Park. Which is spacious and well decorated with all types of rare and exotic trees. The prized tree located in the park. Is the Baobab Tree which is over 1000 years old. This species is native to Africa. It is believed that a seed floated through the ocean to finally wash up onto Barbados. Where the tree has lived and enjoyed it's life living on this exotic island. This tree is 90 feet high, and has a width of over 80 feet. The fruit that this tree produces and is very high in antioxidants and vitamin C. No wonder this tree is called to "The Tree of Life".

From there I made it to Independence Square. Where I took more time to relax, and to reflex on what a great vacation I have enjoyed visiting Barbados. Located in this square is a great statue of Errol Barrow. The late and great leader of Barbados. Who gained full independence for Barbados from England in 1966. Sadly great statesmen and leaders are just a part of history now. The leaders of today are more interested in reaching celebrity status. And answering to and fulfilling the will of major corporations. Rather then trying to lead there fellow citizens into a better and more stable society.

I then walked across the historic swing bridge. Then along the boardwalk located along the little harbor in the downtown area. Then I meandered back to the main bus station. Then bused back to Fitts Village to get ready for my final day of this trip.