Tag Archives: kids


This is the last stop in Switzerland.  Apparently I can’t count to 5 so I booked us in for 4 nights. Needless to say a day before check out we needed to find a room for one more night.  Booking.com to the rescue and this is how we ended up in this village.  Dating back […]

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Thun is a small city of about 45,000 residents.  The area of what is now Thun was inhabited since the Neolithic age mid 300 BC. Like most Europe and Switzerland it was conquered by Rome in 58BC.  In 1819 a Military School was founded in the city, which later developed into the main military school in […]

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Lausanne Cathedral

The construction of the  Cathedral of Notre Dame of Lausanne began as early as 1170 by an original unknown master mason. Twenty years later another master mason restarted construction until 1215. Finally a third engineer, Jean Cotereel, completed the majority of the existing cathedral including a porch, and two towers, one of which is the current […]

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The city is situated on the shores of Lake Geneva, 62 kilometres northeast of Geneva. Lausanne has a population  of 146,372, making it the fourth largest city in Switzerland. Lausanne is a focus of international sport, hosting the International Olympic Committee, which recognizes the city as the “Olympic Capital”. Since 1994 the Court of Arbitration for Sport and some 55 international sport associations […]

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Magdalena Hermitage

Directly overlooking the Lake Schiffenen is a carved out cave measuring 120 meters which was chiseled out in the rock by two hermits around 1700.  The floor, as it was recently discovered, is actually a fossilized sandstone dune from prehistoric times. The dwelling in the cliff was later expanded to its current size by the hermit Johann Dupré and his […]

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Fribourg Cathedral

The Gothic Cathedral of St. Nicholas in Fribourg  dominates the centre of the medieval town. The main church was started in 1283 and completed by 1430. The tower was completed in 1490. It is 76 metres tall and houses 11 bells.  Originally a parish church, in 1945 it became the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lausanne, Geneva […]

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Fribourg is located on both sides of the river Saane, and is an important economic, administrative and educational centre on the cultural border between German and French Switzerland. Fribourg also has one of the most prestigious universities in Switzerland.  Its Old City, is one of the best maintained in Switzerland. There is a very old funicular […]

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Milan dates back to 400BC.  Today Milan is the 2nd largest metropolitan city in Italy. The population of the city proper is 1.3 million, while its urban area with a population estimated to be about 5.5 million  is the 5th-largest in the EU. Milan is the main industrial and financial centre of Italy, it has the 3rd-largest […]

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Ciao Roma!

The only thing on the agenda for today was to take it easy and relax and eat less. Failed on all three accounts.  We stopped at Eataly, an old train station that has been converted to a 5 story Italian Shop with 18 or so restaurants.  The store has pretty much everything you can imagine […]

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Villa Borghese

Our schedule for today is very relaxed.  A nice stroll through the Borghese gardens towards the Spanish Steps and a bit of shopping.  The Borgheses were  a wool merchant family from  Sienna.  The head of the family, Marcantonio, moved to Rome in 1541 and this Sienese family rapidly gained access to the upper echelons of Roman […]

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Revisiting Rome

After the morning museum trip and an extensive siesta from the unyielding and relentless heat, we set out for a lap around Rome.  Last time we were here the Trevi Fountain was being renovated and cleaned, which apparently is done once every 50 years or so. There are over 2000 fountains in Rome but this one […]

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MAXXI – National Museum of the 21st Century Arts, is a national museum of contemporary art and architecture in Rome and is about 5 min walk from the gorgeous apartment we are staying in. The museum was built on the old and decommissioned military compound site.  This spectacular building was designed by Zaha Hadid who passed away this […]

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Villa Cimbrone

Imagine owning the entire mountain top of a peninsula on the Amalfi coast.  Small villa, pool and massive gardens.  Originally built in the 11th century the villa was rebuilt and reconstructed over the years passing from one family to the next.  The most extensive rebuilding and renovation was done at the start of the 20th […]

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Path of the Gods

We set out for a short walk, from the village of Agerola to Priano – it turned out to be about 8.5km.  Path of the Gods is one of the most famous and most spectacular trails in Italy with stunning view of the Amalfi coast and its towns, mainly Positano, Priano and Amalfi.  There are […]

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Divina Costiera

We are finally here… We are checked into Divina Costiera which is located in the Latter Mountains, 2 km outside Agerola.  We are really really hight up in the mountains, it is 10:44 and it is 26C and humid! It’s beautiful, despite the heat.                         […]

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Aix Cathedral

The cathedral is located on the route of the Roman road, the Via Aurelia. A fragment of a Roman wall and the columns of the baptistery seem to be the origin of the legend that the church was built on top of a Roman temple dedicated to Apollo.  According to the Christian tradition, the first […]

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Aix-en-Provence name comes from a Roman consul, Sixties Calvinus, who gave his name to Aquae Sextiae, “the Baths of Sixties,” a site of thermal springs in 123BC. Aix-en-Provence has about 140,000 residents and is generally considered a university town.  There are great many sights to see here.  The Cours Mirabeau is a wide thoroughfare, planted with […]

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More Paris

So another busy day in Paris. A bit of shopping, a lot of walking, a lots of snacking but generally relaxing.  Today we climbed 24 floors, mostly getting up to the Pantheon and walking up the hill  by Sorbonne, and walked about 23,600 steps which is about 13.6km.  Good workout!  

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The Sainte-Chapelle or “Holy Chapel”  was constructed to house Louis IX’s collection of relics of Christ, the crown of thorns, a piece of the cross and others.  At the time the king paid 135,00 livres for the relicts, which were put in an ornate silver chest that cost further 100,000 livres.  The entire chapel in 1238 […]

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Christmas Concert

Strathcona band was preforming a Christmas Concert today at the church downtown.  We have been to the junior high Christmas concert, but the high school kids are in a league of their own.  They are more refined and mature and quite sophisticated in their sound.  They played one very modern piece which was our favourite. […]

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Perhaps one of the things that Boris and Evelina missed the most about Edmonton was their cousins. The greatest thing in their minds is the fact that our family lives close to us.  On a beautiful fall day with the sun shining and leaves blowing in the wind they got on their bikes and went […]

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Thanksgiving is great.  Three days off, three days of eating and relaxing.  It is great to be home for this one.  While Christmas has its own charm, Thanksgiving is special.  It is time to take pause and reflect, time to be thankful and appreciative.  Time to spend with family, time to relax and appreciate everyone […]

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Main Square

The Markt (“Market Square”) of Bruges is located in the heart of the city and covers an area of about 1 hectare. Some historical highlights around the square include the 12th-century belfry and the Provincial Court (originally the Waterhall, which in 1787 was demolished and replaced by a classicist building that from 1850 served as […]

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On Bruges

Bruges is a relatively small city of about 120 thousand people, double that if you include the metropolitan area.  It is very beautiful and pristine.  It’s a vibrant and alive and obsessively clean and not as busy and commercial as Brussels, a perfect place to get a good taste of Belgium. Very few traces of human […]

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Continuing with our fun theme for the day after Tree Top Adventure we set off for Hydrangea Gardens. The gardens which are about 2ha in size claim to have the largest collection of hydrangeas from around the world, with hundreds of flowers and millions of blooms.  I am not sure if this qualified as fun […]

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This morning the kids asked what we are doing today?  Having fun was the reply and fun we were going to have.  In the old days you could either climb a tree or you did not, today they made that into a sport, which I think is a lot more fun. First stop for today is a Tree […]

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Etretat is a small town of about 1500 people located about 100 km from where we are staying.  Étretat is best known for its cliffs, including three natural arches and the pointed “needle”. These cliffs and the associated resort beach attracted artists including Eugène Boudin, Gustave Courbet and Claude Monet, and were featured prominently in […]

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