The Colca Canyon is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in the United States, and a must-see for any visitor to Southern Peru. There isn’t a ton of detailed information in the guidebooks about how to get to the Colca Canyon or actually do the hike. Tours can be booked in Arequipa, which is 160 km southeast of the canyon, but if you’re a) On a budget, b) Don’t want to spend your whole tour waking up super early for a bus, or c) Want to do the hike without a guide, I have some tips for you!
Nestled in southern Peru amongst canyons and volcanoes, Arequipa is Peru’s second largest city and a must-see destination if you’re visiting Peru. It’s best to dedicate one to two days to this often-called “White City” before you embark deeper into canyon country, such as a trek into the Colca Canyon (many of these treks can be booked directly from Arequipa as well). Here are some of the places that make for great exploring in Arequipa.
Calpe is a small town on the Mediterranean coast of Spain, in the Alicante province near Valencia. It’s most remembered for the Penyal d’Ifach, the northern counterpart to the south’s rock of Gibraltar. This photo was taken as I ascended the Penyal d’Ifach, looking down at the resort and ocean below. The rock is also a protected bird sanctuary, and so the prevalence of birds in nesting season made it impossible to get a picture without a bird in the shot (or, alternatively, dive-bombing me and my tripod). Of course, I was too much of a scaredy-cat to ascend the entire rock, but I was quite content with this view of clear blue skies and even bluer waters.
On our brewery-inspired Denver adventure, we took a day trip to Boulder, Colorado to get a taste of the Rocky Mountains in the American mid-west (and a taste of more beer too, of course). The Flatirons are a symbol of Boulder and a staple in Chautauqua Park. Chautauqua was an adult education movement that began in New York, highly popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Chautauqua, according to Theodore Roosevelt, was the “most American thing in America.” While the Flatiron mountains are not as high or grand as the mountains I’m used to in the Albertan rockies, they have a unique shape and character. Whereas the trees at home were bare, these mountains were embraced by autumn leaves at even October’s end. We hiked around for a bit, enjoying the warmth before we decided that beer was calling.
The streetcars and hills of Libson are filled with great character, and the old castles and monasteries make for great sights, but if you go nowhere else in Lisbon – you will not regret a trip to my favourite bookstore.
As explained by my previous post about Denver’s Craft Breweries and the reason behind our mini-break to the American mid-west, we were in Colorado for a few days at the end of October largely to visit some craft breweries. A desire to see the Flat Irons mountains and to experience the hippie vibes I’d heard about, we decided to hop on a bus for a day trip into Boulder, about 45 minutes from downtown Denver by bus. We began the day walking around the Chautauqua Park and the gorgeous leaf-lined streets filled with beautiful houses, and then made our way to try a few different breweries and tap houses. Again, we couldn’t possibly visit all of them, so here’s where we checked out and my corresponding reviews. Boulder Beer Company When I was looking at Boulder Breweries, none of them really seemed to be near the downtown area – they were all far out in more industrial areas and required a good 20 minute bus plus 12 minute walk to get to. Boulder Beer, which claims to be …
After my partner and I made a spontaneous decision to fly down to Denver on Airmiles for a few days to see Sufjan Stevens in concert, we had to think of how else to spend our time to make the most of a mini-break. We were going on the cheap so we didn’t plan on renting a car, and given it was the end of October, we weren’t sure if the weather would be conducive to any serious mountain hiking. I did a bit of poking around on the Internet, and realized the ultimate thing we could do to spend our time (and money): drink craft beer. My parents travel for wineries all the time, so why not travel for beer?
Our first day in Madrid was spent walking to the Palacio Real and its corresponding gardens. Street musicians played in the corridors of the hedges while young couples leaned against each other as they traced their fingers in fountains. The palace itself is the Spanish version of Versailles – minus the crowds. In the photo, you see the Palacio Real and the Palace Gardens, with the spire of the nearby Catedral de la Almudena in the background. We found ourselves falling asleep in the shadow of trees after we sat down to rest our legs, the sounds of Pachelbel on violin singing us into our nap.
In honour of Remembrance Day this week, this is a photo I took at the Tyne Cot Cemetery in Belgium, near Flanders Fields. Visiting memorials for World War I in France and Belgium gave me an entirely new perspective on war. It is one thing to be sending your soldiers away to fight in another country; it is completely different to be the country whose soil is being fought upon. The maintenance and upkeep of Tyne Cot was incredible. As we wandered through the rows and rows of graves, a man sat, re-etching fading names into stone to preserve the epitaphs. Many tombs were unnamed. Many were Canadian. That my brain cannot comprehend that a war was fought on a field just to the right of Tyne Cot shows how important the sacrifice of those soldiers was – that I’ve never even come close to experiencing that horror is evidence of the privilege bestowed on myself and my generation because they fought for my freedom. I visited many World War I sites and felt the …
The Templo de Debod was originally located in southern Egypt, with construction dating back to the second century. It is now located in the Parque del Oeste, gifted to Spain by Egypt in 1968 when its existence was threatened by the Aswan High Dam and its corresponding reservoir. It was a sign of gratitude for Spain’s efforts in saving and relocating the temples of Abu Simbel. The Temple of Debod is one of the few Egyptian works that can be seen outside of Egypt, and the only thing of its kind of Spain. I am fascinated as the way in which this history was preserved – threatened by demolition in its own country, which is already home to so much of the world’s pre-modern history, and given to another country in order to save it. How can we save all the history in the world? Is UNESCO the only guarantor of a building’s safety? What about the historical buildings and artifacts being lost as civil war wages on in Syria? I come from a city which has preserved so …