Roma

Flashback to eight years ago this week: Beautiful Rome, the first destination of our 3-week trip to Italy and France. We hope to return to Europe within the next few years–the UK this time–and I can hardly wait.

The Colosseum was only a few minutes from our hotel. Notice the workers upon the ledge!

A little verse I wrote in Rome:

Roma

The click on terracotta tile
a welcoming staccato beat
quick-sure heels on cobblestone
we join the rhythm on the street.

Mellifluous foreign banter
fill sidewalk cafes and bars
laughter tinkling, glasses clinking
under the Italian stars.

Heady scent of sweet ambrosia
lips stained red with deep dark wine
swarthy locals’ smiling faces
lovers with their arms entwined.

Tastes and smells are all around us
food and drink beyond compare
warm night air drapes on our shoulders
sated, sleepy, not a care.

Street musicians serenade us
as we stroll our way back home
memories to last a lifetime
summer nights in downtown Rome.

***

Travellers:
What has been your best-loved destination?

Sun Catching

vintage cat suncatcher

I found this vintage sun catcher last year at the Karma Kafe here in Newtown.  Naturally,
I had to add her to my cat collection. Notice the tiny moon on her left.

Another vintage sun catcher -yours truly 🙂 – is going on vacation in the sunny south.  I’m overdue for a break from screens, blogging, and social media, so I’ll see you in a couple of weeks!

Comments are closed

Blogger Bouquet #54

I recently discovered Wandering Canadians travel and adventure blog and am now a follower.

Who are the Wandering Canadians?

“We’re a couple of Canadians who enjoy hiking, camping, cross-country skiing, diving, and spending as much time outdoors as we can. We hope our stories can help as you plan for your adventures. Thanks for reading.” –L & K

I was thrilled to come across their post from July where they describe their 10-day trip to the island portion of my own province, Newfoundland and Labrador.

The photography is stunning too. But please don’t take my word for it, click on the highlighted post below and see for yourself.

Newfoundland

Comments are closed here but you can leave a comment on the blogger’s page.

Have a beautiful weekend, everyone!

A Tourist’s Delight: “Dear Old Signal Hill”

Wikipedia photo

Sometimes we sit lamenting as memory traces back
The old familiar landmarks that we miss from off our track.
They’ve built the railway stations where our feet were wont to skate,
They motor over footpaths where our lovers used to wait.
But there’s one left still – dear old Signal Hill.*

I’ve always loved Signal Hill. That’s probably why I incorporated into a couple of scenes in my debut novel, Calmer Girls.

Overlooking St. John’s Harbour and the Atlantic Ocean, it is the capital city’s most popular tourist attraction.

I take the time every summer to pay a visit, and this past July was no exception. Here are a few shots from that gorgeously sunny and breezy day – then again, as any tourist can attest, it’s always quite breezy atop this hill!

Cabot Tower
The iconic Cabot Tower – jenniferkellandperry.com

In the distant past, Signal Hill has been the setting for victorious battle, the location for Marconi’s monumental establishment of wireless telegraph communication, and a signalling station for approaching ships.

Today it is a National Historic Site under Parks Canada.

The best thing I like about Signal Hill?
The views, of course!

View from Signal Hill
jenniferkellandperry.com

If you look closely at some of my pics, you can see the trail around the hill.

This is not a hiking trail for the faint of heart.

jenniferkellandperry.com
jenniferkellandperry.com
jenniferkellandperry.com
jenniferkellandperry.com

Thanks for taking a look at my throwback to July and one of the best-loved sites my province has to offer.

*Poem by Lydia Chancey, Book of Newfoundland, 1937

Happy Maisie

Our Maisie

One of the best things about a vacation?
Coming home to a face like this.

Both kitties were overjoyed at our return,
as if we were gone for a month!

One small cat changes coming home to an empty house to coming home.”
– Pam Brown, Australian poet

Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge: Happy

Hieroglyphs

Part of the Ancient Egypt Exhibit at the Louvre

Sunday Snap: Heiroglyphs

I know you’re a smart guy, Paul, but you can’t read that. Stop pretending. 😉

Photo first published here: Scenes From France – Part Two: Paris

4 Things You Have To Do When Visiting Montreal

Montreal is one of the true gems of Canada, an incredible fusion of historical authenticity, cosmopolitanism and sheer beauty.

If you’re planning a trip to this wonderful city, there are plenty of ways to make the most of it. While any trip to Montreal (click the link to check out photos from one of my visits there) is bound to be unforgettable, there are certain highlights that you may want to add to your list. Here are just four:

Trek Up Mount Royal

 Image: Wikimedia

Mount Royal is probably the first place you should head to when you arrive in Montreal. The gorgeous views you’ll get of the city will instantly make that hassle with the electronic travel authorisation system worth it. It’s a lovely, scenic walk (or bus ride) to the top, and once you reach the Belvedere Observatory, you’ll be captivated by the beauty of your vantage point. It’s also a great spot for an impressive selfie! If you’re an early bird, try to catch the sunrise from the top of Mount Royal. Seeing the sun creep up over the horizon and spill its rays through the skyscrapers is a magical experience.

Try the Food

Montreal is a true foodie’s city, partly due to the French colonists’ influence. The culinary classics of Montreal may be a little greasy for some traveller’s tastes, but don’t knock it until you try it. Poutine is a trademark of the city, and while it may not be all that appetizing to look at, after just one bite you’ll probably understand why it’s become such a local staple. You also should try a four-inch thick smoked meat sandwich, a specialty of many diners and cafés scattered throughout Montreal. A lot of guidebooks will recommend Schwartz’s, but the locals may tell you otherwise.

Visit a Market

Markets are one of the best ways for visitors to meet the locals and get a taste for the city’s culture. You’ll also want to try a variety of fresh and delicious fruits and vegetables, especially if you’re there in the summer when pretty much everything’s in season. If you’ve never tried locally grown Quebec strawberries, then this needs to go on your bucket list immediately. Try to save a fair chunk of your souvenir money for a market, to look for local delicacies such as ice wines and ciders or preserves. Just like anywhere in Canada, you’ll also find countless maple-flavoured products.

See the Basilique Notre-Dame

Whatever your spiritual leanings, the Basilique Notre-Dame is one church that you need to see when you’re visiting Montreal. The Basilique Notre-Dame (Or Notre-Dame Basilica, to Anglo-Canadians) is one of the most breathtaking cathedrals in the world, and one of the few in North America that doesn’t pale in comparison to the ones in Europe. Have a wander around, and spend a while marvelling at the rustic gothic facades, the giant organ, and its beautiful chapel.

These are just a few suggestions to make your visit to Montreal a fun and interesting one. I hope I am lucky enough to return again one day to enjoy this beautiful city’s culture.

Have you ever visited Montreal?

Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK

Newcastle upon Tyne is quite unlike any other place in the world. It is a city where old meets new – the historic architecture melds with the technological advancements of the 21st century in a striking way.”

88655_m

Take a look at this top destination in the United Kingdom:

Source: Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK

Blogger Bouquet #44

I’ve been visiting Elisa Ruland’s beautiful travel blog for a few years now, and I am always amazed by her breathtaking photography, her enjoyable narratives and her knowledge of historical destinations. Love her tagline too: “All you need is love…and travel.”

From Elisa’s About page:

I am a mother, wife, daughter, sister and friend from Atlanta, Georgia, doing my best to live in the moment. A passionate Francophil, I love to travel, I adore the ocean and am weirdly fascinated by maps. I’ve been told many times that I walk too fast.”

I chose to highlight this recent post of hers because of the photos, the info, and because I just might visit there next year, if all goes well.

Day Trip to Canterbury

Comments are closed here but you can leave a comment on the blogger’s page.

Have an inspiring weekend, everyone!

Guest Post: EuroTrip Planner – When to Go and What to See

With my eye on a trip to England next year, I am sharing a guest post by lifestyle blogger, Marie Nieves, who gives some practical advice on planning a European adventure.

I am also welcoming other guest posts on the topic, primarily about travel to the United Kingdom and nearby countries. Please send your guest post ideas to: jennifer@jenniferkellandperry.com.

Take it away, Marie!

EuroTrip Planner: When to Go and What to See

 Europe, Source

Having a tour through Europe is always a great idea. However, if you would like to explore Europe, there are a number of things to consider beforehand. First of all, you should know that regardless of how long your trip lasts, it will not be enough to see everything you want. What you need is to make a plan of your trip in a way that you can make the most of the time you have. Doing this is often difficult as you need to be realistic, but at the same time trying to meet all the expectations regarding the trip. I’m here to help you do that!

When?

There are three main traveling seasons in Europe. They are called high, low and shoulder seasons. The first one is from June until August, the second one is November to April, and the Shoulder seasons are April to June, and September to November. Choose the season depending on your preferences since it will have a major effect on your trip. If you can stand the heat, the high season is great for you. However, if you prefer traveling when temperatures are lower, some other seasons may work better in your case.

Packing

Since you’ll be visiting many countries, and therefore changing locations frequently, I advise you not to bring a lot of luggage. This may or may not be possible depending on how long you’re staying, but try to bring only your essentials. You need money, passport, phone, camera and something to wear. Don’t stock up on anything since you’ll be able to buy things along the way.

Metro, Source

Accommodation

This can be tricky. Perhaps you can choose a country which will be your base and then have excursions from there. For example, you can choose England as a base. If you’d like to stay in a hotel, Tavistock House has great reviews. You can also choose the Oceanic Hotel in Falmouth or the Grasmere Hotel. On the other hand, if you prefer to save a few bucks, there are great offers for shared accommodation in England. One suggestion would be to book a hotel at your primary location in advance and find accommodation for your excursions on the go. Keep track of offers before and during your trip to get the best price for a stay in other countries, as well as to keep your routing options open.

Excursions

Depending on how you structure your trip, you will set the time for exploring England and other countries. It’s all about maximizing your performance during the time given. That is why enticing canal cruises in England are a convenient way to see several different cities such as London, Reading, Windsor and Oxford.  You will surely enjoy cruising along the River Thames and admiring the scenery you pass by. As far as other countries are concerned, the good thing is that it’s really easy to travel by plane from England to any European country. The connections are excellent, so you can go anywhere you want.

River Thames, Source

If this is your first trip to Europe, I recommend sticking with just a few countries. For instance, visit France, Italy and Germany from England. See the capitals and all the main places in these countries. Try the local cuisine, walk down the streets and breathe the air and atmosphere of each city you visit. Give yourself enough time to really experience every country. It’s better to stick with just a few of them rather than try to visit as many as possible and end up confused and exhausted. European trips should be done this way, in stages. Every time you visit, you’ll have a completely different experience!

About the author

Marie Nieves is a lifestyle blogger who loves unusual trips, gadgets and creative ideas. On her travels, she likes to read poetry and prose and to surf the Internet. Her favourite writer is Tracy Chevalier and she always carries one of her books in her bag. Most of her free time at home she spends walking her Labrador Retriever named Max. She is an avid lover of photography who loves to talk about her experiences. You can find Marie on Facebook or follow her on Twitter and Pinterest.