Prague has been a political, cultural, educational and economic centre of central Europe for many centuries. It was the capital of the Kingdom of Bohemia, the Holy Roman Empire, Czechoslovakia and now the Czech Republic. For that reason it is home to a number of historic sites and monuments. The historical centre in Prague with all its charm, beauty, and cobblestoned streets has been included as an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Brno is the second largest city in the Czech Republic and is the capital of the state of Moravia. It contains a number of historic sites, monuments, and attractions. As an added bonus, located a bit north of the city lies the Moravian Karst, which encompasses just over a thousand caverns and gorges. There are five caves located in the karst that are open to the public and are easily accessible by car from the city centre. Given that the train from Budapest to Prague passes through Brno, it seemed quite fitting to make a detour here for a couple of days.
Budapest: the tale of three cities named Buda, Pest, and Óbuda. Buda is quite hilly, lies on the western bank of the Danube, and features many of Budapest’s medieval structures and monuments, including Castle Hill and Buda Castle. Pest is predominantly flat, consists of the eastern part of the city across the river, and features attractions such as the Hungarian Parliament Building and Heroes’ Square. Óbuda lies north of Buda and isn’t really home to any of the popular tourist attractions, so it’s often forgotten about. Together these three cities united in 1873 to form Budapest, which is now the capital of Hungary.
Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia. It is considered one of the smaller capitals in Europe, so it is therefore quite easy to explore the historic old town by foot. And in a single day. With its close approximation to Vienna (it's only a 45 minute bus ride away), it makes for a perfect day trip. And the perfect way to start our two-week adventure in Europe.
We had such an amazing experience in Iceland back in June 2015 when we came for 20 days. So much so that I couldn't pass at the opportunity to stopover in Iceland on the way to the Netherlands with two of my friends. This time there was no midnight sun. And we were only here for four days. But we did manage to cover a lot of ground. We drove all the way up the southern coast to the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and back again. And we managed to catch a glimpse of the rare Northern Lights. All in all, the stopover in Iceland (in low season) was worth it.
We flew into Calgary at the end of August to embark on a twelve-day road trip across six national parks: Glacier in Montana; Waterton, Banff and Jasper in Alberta; and Yoho and Kootney in British Columbia. Yoho And Kootenay are nestled right beside Banff and Jasper in eastern British Columbia and together these four national parks, along with three nearby provincial parks, form the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site.
As the largest of the New England states, Maine offers a wide variety of hiking opportunities and options through diverse terrain. We initially planned a four-day backpacking excursion along the Grafton Notch Loop. While the distance itself was not particularly daunting (60km over four days), one thing we (foolishly) did not factor in was the substantial change in elevation. Being located in the White Mountains (key word being mountains) should have tipped us off. Needless to say, we had to re-examine our (not-so) well-thought-out plans.
Bon Echo Provincial Park is located in southeastern Ontario and is situated along several lakes, including Mazinaw Lake - the seventh deepest lake in the province. For years we've been saying we'd like to visit Bon Echo, in large part because it's located close by K's family cabin. So this year we finally made it happen. While there are just over 500 car camping sites to choose from in this provincial park, we booked one of the 25 coveted canoe-in campsites located in the backcountry on Joe Perry Lake.
Even though Newfoundland is a part of Canada, with its charming and friendly culture and a more relaxed pace of life, you can't help but feel like you are in an entirely different country. They even have their own time zone (an hour and a half ahead of Eastern Standard Time). Sure, the weather is predictably unpredictable and there are wind warnings on the regular, but the scenery out on The Rock is hauntingly breathtaking.
Cape Cod (often referred to as just “The Cape”) is a hooked-shaped peninsula off the eastern coast of Massachusetts. Jutting out into the Atlantic ocean, with its abundance of pristine sandy beaches, it’s no surprise that thousands of locals and tourists alike flock here every summer in an effort to beat the heat. With a heat advisory on the forecast for the weekend coupled with the fact that high-season was not quite in full-swing, the timing was just right to visit the Cape.