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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A DIFFERENT DESTINATION, A WARM MULTICULTURAL ENVIROMENT A GREEN CITY FULL OF ART AND STYLE ALL THIS IS TORONTO IN 7 GREAT SIGHTS FROM WHERE'S PABLO GREAT BLOG


Da Vintage Code, one of the many Kensington Market shops. 
Kensington is the centre of Toronto's bohemian scene. Its narrow streets bustle with immigrants, punks, and yuppies. Stores include surplus shops, coffee houses, small restaurants and record stores. Defintely a must see in Toronto.


You should plan to visit Toronto!

Toronto is the most populous city in Canada, the fifth most populous city in North America and the provincial capital of Ontario.

With Pablo of www.wherespablo.com , a curious guy, as he defined himself, and certainly a great blogger with the true spirit or the traveller we discover this beautiful and multicultural city in Canada thanks to his great photos published here.



Why to visit Toronto?

In one sentence: Toronto is one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse cities in the world. More than 80 ethnic communities are represented, over half of the city's residents were born outside Canada.

Some facts?

Toronto hosts fantastic ethnic festivals throughout the year, it has dozens of radio stations that broadcast in at òeast 20 languages and at least two multicultural television channels. 

To give you the idea: the City of Toronto officially deals in 16 different languages, while the public transit agency Toronto Transit Commission offers a help line in 70 languages. 

Pablo's great photos are able in 7 sights to show the many sides of such a different and multicultural city. Enjoy Pablo's pictures: I think they are great because looking at them you can almost feel what wonderful mosaic of cultures and styles Toronto is today.



What to see in Toronto:

"Graffiti Alley"
Rush Lane, universally known as "Graffiti Lane" is a great collection of street art pieces. Situated between the main thoroughfares of Queen Street and Richmond, is unique because it offers a wonderful place for artists to express their creativity and there you can almost feel the modernity and the fertility of Toronto's cultural enviroment.


China Town
China Town in Toronto is maybe one of the best example of the city's multiculturality. Toronto possesses 6 different Chinatown. 

The Chinese district is one of the largest of the entire American Continent. It stretches along Spadina Avenue and Dundas Street and it is especially crowded on weekend days. 

For more multicultural example's you should visit the mazing Koreatown and the picturesque Toronto's Little Italy quarter, Little India, on Gerrard Street between Greenwood and Coxwell with its vibrant South Asian community and the Portuguese Village

CN Tower
The Cn Tower is certainly one of the most iconic symbols of Toronto. Situated in the downtown, the central district of Toronto, that is the financial heart of the nation. Along Bay Street you can see the modern buildings where are located the major banking institutions of the country.

The second tallest free standing structure in North America, at over 500 metres tall. CN Tower has a glass elevator to the top. The views are wonderful! And you can also dine at the revolving restaurant, which offers spectacular views at sunset.

St. Lawrence Market
St. Lawrence Market is with Kensington Market (see cover photo above) one of two major markets in Toronto and it was awarded the title of the world's best food market by National Geographic in April 2012.

Steam Whistle Brewing
What to do and see in Toronto? 

Toronto has a lot to offer.

From its wonderful parks (Edwards Gardens and the Toronto Botanical Gardens) to its amazing Museums (The Art Gallery of Ontario, the largest art gallery in Canada, exhibits from the world's largest collection of Henry Moore sculptures to Ruben's The Massacre of the Innocents). From the modern downtown to the beaches and the islands of the Lake Ontario you will need time to enjoy the best of the city.

The Steam Whistle Brewing is a great attraction. The brewery was previously the home of a Canadian Pacific Railway steam locomotive repair facility, and operated as such until May 13, 1988. Today you can visit the brewery producing a premium pilsner lager using, they say, only four natural ingredients: spring water from Caledon, Ontario, hops from Germany, two-row barley and yeast.

Trompe l'oeil painting

Hope you enjoyed our photographic tour of Toronto with Pablo's photos. We promise we will soon explore more of Toronto. But now we want to say a great thanks to Pablo.  

We will follow you on your travels with your unique passion and interest on your great blog "Where's Pablo?". Take care and all the best Pablo!


Want to visit more World Capitals?

VISIT MORE WORLD CAPITALS IN 7 SIGHTS ON www.edwhatamidoinghere.blogspot.com:








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Sunday, July 28, 2013

CINQUE TERRE - LOOKING FOR SOME AMAZING TREKKING IN ITALY? CINQUE TERRE IS YOUR PLACE!

Manarola - One of the most inspiring of Cinque Terre Villages

Why Cinqueterre are so special?

Rio Maggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso are the "Cinque Terre", translated literally from the Italian "The Five Lands". 

Cinqueterre are five fishermen villages in the Italian region of Liguria, near the town of La Spezia. Cinque Terre are a spectacular and unique sight and an unmissable place to visit if you are planning your travel in Italy.

Each village, with its own unique character and shape, is a wonderful little jewel, rightly part of the Unesco's World Heritage. The villages are perfectly preserved and they look exactly as they were more than a century ago. Because of their position, they are also away from traffic and, apart maybe in summer, when tourists are coming in large groups, during the rest of the year they are quiet, relaxing and very inspiring.

The Giant at Monterosso - Cinque Terre




Where are the Cinque Terre?

Cinque Terre are now one of the most interesting National Parks in Italy. It is situated in the region of Liguria in the North West of the Country, along the sea, little more than 200kms away from France ad the Cote Azure.





10 tips for your visit to Cinque Terre

I. How long to stay in Cinqueterre area?

Plan to stay not less than 4 nights in the area of Cinque Terre and make sure you visit all the five villages.

Here all the information you need on the Cinque Terre Way.


II. When to visit the Cinqueterre? 

Avoid the heat of the summer: perfect months for visiting Cinque Terre are April, May, June, September, October


III. What's the best way to visit Cinqueterre?

Don't plan to visit the Cinque Terre by car, use the train instead. Car parking is expensive and driving in little narrow roads is not such a relaxing experience. The train connect all the 5 villages and it is cheap, frequent and reliable.


IV. What is the best walk you can do in the Cinqueterre?

Even if you are not a walker don't miss the section of the path from Rio Maggiore to Manarola called "Via dell'Amore". It is easy, flat, short, scenic and... romantic!

Here all the information you need on the Cinque Terre Way.


V. What is the unmissable dish of the area?

Try real pasta with pesto in one of the many restaurants as Liguria is  the region of Pesto! Also lots of fresh fish to enjoy in restaurant to buy at the market.

Fishermen's houses in the little, cobbled streets of Manarola - Cinque Terre


VI. Where to stay in Cinqueterre?

If you are on a budget look for accommodation away from the 5 main villages, look for B&Bs in one of the many villages just above the Cinque Terre, most of them are connected by public mini van, cheap and reliable. (We are currently working on a list of reliable B&Bs / Hotels to add to this post).




The map of the walks as published by The Consorzio of Cinqueterre (click on the map to enlarge it)





VII. Where else to go in the area of Cinqueterre?

Allow enough time for a day trip to the romantic village of Porto Venere (only an hour away) and a visit to Florence (three hours away) or Pisa we will add soon other possible destinations in the area (there are really many: Lucca, Viareggio, Lerici...).



VIII. How to save money visiting Cinqueterre?

Ask at the Tourist Office for a saving ticket for entering to the paths (yes, during most of the year you need a ticket to walk the paths connecting the five villages... but it is not too expensive), possibly including a saving train ticket.

Corniglia at Sunrise - Cinque Terre
IX. Is Cinqueterre good for trekking?

It is not good. It is great!

Apart for the paths connecting the 5 villages there are many more wonderful and scenic paths in the area, they are free, quiet but certainly very beautiful. If you like treekking plan to stay in the area at least a week and walk some of the paths above the cliffs, they will offer you a very different prospective of Cinque Terre.


X. What else I can do there?

Enjoy the sea! Monterosso has a beautiful sandy beach and nearby Porto Venere has a beautiful beach and long promenade too! Relax there in between your walks, talk wityh people, drink capuccinos, have good dinner and a nice glass of local white wine of the "Golfo dei Poeti" (Poets' Gulf)!  

Evening in Rio Maggiore - Fishermen's boat are back! - Cinque Terre

Manarola in a cold winter night - Cinque Terre

We hope you find this post useful! As said, soon we will add also a list of reliable accommodation and restaurants in the area. 










And finally... Have you ever heard about "The Scottish Cinque Terre"?

It probably looks like a long shot but have a look at this post... Do this place in Scotland really look like  "The Scottish Cinque Terre" ?


What are the other special places I should absolutely visit in Italy?

If you are planning to visit Cinqueterre and you want to extend your trip to other places here are some ideas for visiting surrounding areas in Tuscany and Liguria: Read about more destinations to plan your travel in Italy.

Read also:








Thursday, July 25, 2013

THE COTSWOLD WAY #PROJECT - 2st SECTION WALKING FROM BROADWAY TO WINCHCOMBE + VIDEO

The Old Lantern in Stanton on the way from Broadway to Winchcombe


What is this post about?

This post is about a great walk in England, for lovers of trekking, walking or just the English countryside.

We divided the Cotswold Way, one of the most beautiful long walks in England and United Kingdom, in sections and for each section we offer you some useful info to plan your walk and a short video of the walk.

This is section number 2 - from Broadway to Winchcombe.



What is the Cotswold Way?

The Cotswold Way is a wonderful walk in the heart of England, in the beautiful area of the Cotswold Hills near Bath.

You can click here to read more about the Cotswold Way.



How is the walk from Broadway to Winchcombe and what is to see along the walk?


Our Cotswold Way project continues with the second section of the walk from Broadway to Winchcombe.

If you haven't read, read first section 1:  clicking here.

Here the second section of the Cotswold way. 

From Broadway the Cotswold Way starts behind the church, climbing the hills above the town and offering beautiful views of the green valley. Then the way pass through the beautiful village of Stanton, that although very little, is extremely beautiful. The old lantern in the centre of the common is maybe one of the highlights of Stanton, with its church and graveyard.

After a mile, or maybe even less, you are at Stanway, another beautiful Cotswold's village with the rich Jacobean House next to the church, with its elegant gate, unfortunately closed during most of the year. Next stop along the path, that for then seems already long enough, is Hailes. Here the remains of the Old Abbey, at the end of a steep descend through the wood, offer a scenic stop for resting and give the chance to admire the beautiful arches of the abbey. 
Then finally the path enters Winchcombe.

video
(Click "Full Screen" on the right bottom corner of the video above to enlarge the video)


What is so special about Winchcombe?

Most of the villages along the Cotswold Way are very quiet and beautiful but Winchcombe has something special to offer. Its old houses are made of a darker shade of stone if compared from the one of Broadway and Chipping Campden but they are particularly picturesque.
The main attraction in Winchcombe is certainly Sudeley Castle that deserve a visit and we will visit it next week, stay with us!


Where I can read more about Sudeley Castle?

Read our post dedicated to Sudeley castle: click here.


The typical landscape of the Cotswold


The beautiful village of Winchcombe with its beautiful cottages

Walking Distance: 9,5 miles
Difficulty: Medium
My advice: Plan your itinerary so to have 2 nights in Winchcombe and visit Sudeley Castle the following day.
















What is the following post of the Cotswold Way project?



Next post is Sudeley Castle





What is the previous section of the Cotswold Way?

CLICK HERE to go to the 1ST SECTION: Chipping Campden to Broadway




What are the other recommended posts of the day?


  

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

How to make great Galettes Bretonnes!


After having discovered the Camembert roti au miel our travel in the French traditional cusine continues with Blandine and Olivier from Laurenan, discovering this time how to make the great Galettes Bretonnes!

The Galettes Brettones around the world are sometimes known and famous as Crepes, but here we discovered how to make them properly: and they are really super tasty!

Here is what to do.

Start with mixing buckwheat  (Fagopyrum esculentum) and a little bit water, so to make a hard dough.




Work the dough more and more with your hands, till he gets quite hard and then keep working on the dough for longer.




Add some water and keep steering the dough till it become liquid, adding a bit of sea salt, then leave it to rest for around two hours.



After having left the dough rest for two hours, heat up a flat pan and start pouring a little of the liquid dough on the pan.


It should make a very thin crepe.

Then add what you like, for example: egg, ham, cheese, onions, or whatever else you like and close the crepe, or you can make it seet with chocolate powder or honey, or apples compote or whatever else you like.



Fold the crepe...


... and enjoy it!


This post would have been not possible without Blandine and Olivier Le Cloirec from Laurenan who prepared wonderful crepes with a lot of passion!  

Want to read more posts about French Cusine? Read Camembert roti au miel and La peche à pied

Want to read more about traditional Brittany? Read Menhir, ghosts, mysteries and great countryside...

Planning to travel in France? Read our page Visit France for more posts and destinations.

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

ANGKOR - ARE YOU TRAVELLING IN THAILAND? ADD TO YOUR ITINERARY A TRIP TO ANGKOR - CAMBODIA

The demon guarding the moat outside the walled city - Angkor
Angkor, also known as Angkor Wat from the name of its most famous temple, is the biggest and most interesting archeological site in Cambodia. It is the best preserved architectural complex of the Khmer Age and of the Khmer culture. It is situated near the Cambodian town of Siem Reap, two hours away from the Thai border.

After visiting Ayutthaya, Chiang Mai amazing temples and the beautiful island of Kho Tao in Thailand we thought was time to visit Angkor. If you are visiting Thailand you should absolutely plan at least four days to visit Angkor.
Angkor is distant only 10 hours from Bangkok by train or bus or an hour and a half away by plane with a daily flight Bangkok - Siem Reap.


You will be amazed by the size and the beauty of this complex of temples and imperial buildings, once the capital of the Khmer Empire.

When you visit Angkor you visit the largest preindustrial city in the world, with an elaborate system of infrastructure connecting an urban sprawl of at least 1,000 square kilometres that you can still visit today. Surrounded by the jungle and by large rice fields Angkor is an archeological area with around 1000 buildings including temples and ruins.
Female figures in the South-West corner pavillion of Angkor Wat


Every temple has wonderful decorations, statues and sculptures.

Historical Angkor was more than a site for religious art and architecture. It was the site of vast cities that served all the needs of the Khmer people. Aside from a few old bridges, however, all of the remaining monuments are religious edifices. In Angkorian times, all non-religious buildings, including the residence of the king himself, were constructed of perishable materials, such as wood, "because only the gods had a right to residences made of stone."

Life in Cambodia - Tuk Tuk driver resting in front of a mountain of art! - Angkor

Indigenous religious cults a royal cult of personality, identifying the king with the deity, Hinduism, especially Shaivism, but also Vaishnavism, the form of Hinduism focussed on the worship of Vishnu and Buddhism, in both its Mahayana and Theravada varieties are represented.

Here some practical info you need to bear in mind before to visit Angkor:

1) It is impossible to see Angkor (and not even just Angkor Wat) in one day, so buy the three day ticket pass and save money.

2) It is impossible to visit Angkor walking so either you hire a tuk-tuk or you rent a motorbike or a bike (although with the bike it will be very tiring as the temples are quite far away one from the other!)

3) Only hire an official guide. If you hire a tuk-tuk contract the price before to start your tour, tuk-tuk drivers can ask extortionate rates!

4) Bring with you plenty of water as it will be incredibly hot! On the site many drinks are sold, but most of them well after the "best using before" date! Same is true for food unfortunately.

The 54 demons holding the tail of the multiheaded snake on the cause way towards the walled city, Angkor

5) Angkor is only an archeological area, there is no accommodation there. Base yourself in the nearest town: Siem Reap, possibly in the area of the night market that it is very interesting to visit after dinner!

6) Although the most famous temple is Angkor Wat, there are many more interesting temples to be seen  at Angkor: don't miss at least Bayon and the walled city and Bateay Den!

7) Try to buy a book about the Archeological Area of Angkor and particularly a map before to visit, it is worthwhile and it will help you to understand more.

Giants in the palace - Angkor

8) Don't rush but take time to visit the most important temples, they are so full of details that a quick visit will not be enough to enjoy them.

9) When you visit Angkor don't forget when these temples have been built (around the year 1000) and be impressed of the refinery of their details!

10) Keep in mind that most of the statues were originally painted and try to imagine how even more impressive the statues and the temples should have looked at the time with their original colours on (I tried, working on the photos, to show you how the statues should have looked with their original colours: see for example the picture above of the Female figures in the South-West corner pavillion of Angkor Wat to have an idea!).

11) Don't believe in all the stories you hear about crossing the border from Thailand to Cambodia. Buy your visa through internet on the official website of the cambodian governement and you will not have any problem. Don't trust anyone who want to sell you any kind of visa!

12) And finally be adventurous and go off the beaten track! Visit also Koh Ker.
Koh Ker is the modern name for an important city of the Khmer empire. It is situated about two and half hours away from Siem Reap. It is not yet as famous as Angkor and only basic visitors facilities are now being built. This makes of Koh Ker a very interesting and adventurous destination for anyone who would like to experience lonely temples in a much more quiet enviroment. We publish below the teaser of a great project from Akasa Studio, raising raise awareness about this wonderful monument and seeking support for their feature documentary they are going to produce. We think this video is wonderful!




Hope you enjoyed this post and photos and you will enjoy visit Angkor. 
Read below for more great destinations in Asia or use the index on the right column of this page!

Angkor Wat in its amazing magnificence! - Angkor, Siem Reap - Cambodia


The City Walls gates protected by the divinities - Angkor

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EXPLORE MORE OF ASIA ON www.edwhatamidoinghere.blogspot.com :

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