A Thousand Island Dressing-Down

Thousand Islands are literally a thousand islands at the top of Lake Ontario at the start of the St Lawrence River. It is meant to be a pretty part of the world, and also the place where Thousand Island salad dressing was invented! Unfortunately we had a dressing-down of another variety, but more of that later.

gananoque-marina

Our trip started off promisingly, as we caught the sunset from a beautiful sandy beach Presquile Provincial Park, accompanied only by a few Canada Geese (are they just called “Geese” there? 🙂 ) Continue reading

24 Hours in Breathtaking Niagara Falls

No matter how many times you have been to Niagara Falls, it still takes your breath away. As we walked towards the falls, I caught a glimpse of the falls and gasped at its majesty – then I realised that I was looking at the smaller falls – let alone the bigger falls upstream!

horseshoe-falls

I could stand there for hours and watch the thunderous power of the water and the beautiful rainbows that form in the mist. Continue reading

The Travel Photos that I’m Most Proud Of

My photos are mixed – there are some floor shots, while i’m working out how to use a camera, and some in the dark while I haven’t managed to put flash on.  But sometimes the stars align and my photos come out well and I’m proud of them! So here is a showcase of some of the photos I like best (this is subjective – you might think they’re rubbish! 🙂 )

Continue reading

My Top 5… Rural Idylls

Spending time in the countryside can be rejuvenating and an escape from the rat race. Here are my top 5 rural places to unwind and enjoy the natural beauty….

Number 1: Switzerland

Switzerland has rolling valleys of the greenest of grass, grazed by doe-eyed cows with bells round their necks, in front of snow-capped mountains. Continue reading

Trapped Under a Snowmobile, Finland

Snowmobiling is a practical method of travel for locals in Nordic Countries. We wanted to try it, and found out that the options were either (1) rent your own, or (2) go on a guided tour. The price difference wasn’t that big so we chose the latter for safety reasons – I would be nervous to drive a snowmobile over a frozen lake without a guide, as how do you really know it’s safe? Plus if anything happened, it would be good to have a guide with us. As it happened, this is one of the best decisions we have ever made!

Frozen trees

The morning dawned bright and sunny. We were breathalysed before we were allowed to hire a snowmobile. We also had a demonstration on how it worked, and a safety talk. We were told that if we rolled the machine over, Continue reading

A Wildlife Stake out in Yellowstone

Yellowstone is the first national park in the world. It got national park status in 1872, in case anyone is wondering. Yes that’s right, I paid attention!!  But it’s probably thanks to that that wildlife is so abundant – no hunters!

Bison 1

When I saw my first Bison up close it was a special moment. Part fear – is he going to smash up my car? But mostly awe – he was a majestic creature and had a really muscular body and a surprisingly woolly face! Continue reading

A Hike comes before a Fall at the Grand Prismatic Spring

The lovely couple we met over breakfast in Gardiner gave us some good advice. They said they had been coming here for 20 years but only just found the hike above the Grand Prismatic Spring, and they said that was even more stunning than walking up to it on the boardwalk. They were right!

Grand Prismatic Spring view

The Grand Prismatic Spring is a stunningly beautiful multicoloured spring in Yellowstone National Park. the lovely colours are caused by a combination of minerals and thermophilic bacteria (bacteria that like heat) so at different temperatures attract different types of bacteria.

We “hiked” (aka. walked) up from the Fairy Falls trailhead to the hill at the back of the Grand Prismatic Spring. It wasn’t the easiest of hikes; at one point the people in front started walking back towards us, and we realised a bison was on the path coming towards us! Continue reading

Paint Pots of Bubbling Mud

The boardwalk around Fountain Paint Pots was almost an afterthought; a quick stop on our last day. It isn’t one of the “top sights” in Yellowstone, but what it does have is panoramic views across the plains. So if you’re after a photo of herds of bison in the background, with a geyser in the foreground, this could be a good call.

Silex Spring

One of the main attractions of the Fountain Paint Pots at Yellowstone is the massive bubbling mud pools, Continue reading

What’s the Story Morning Glory?

We power-walked down to Morning Glory Pool in between waiting for Grand Geyser, and it was worth the walk!

Morning Glory Pool

This is possibly the most beautiful feature in the whole park. It gets its colour from bacteria which love heat, but different bacteria like different temperatures, so you can tell the temperature of the water from the colour of the bacteria that grows there. I mean, obv I can’t tell, but if you knew what you were doing, you could tell. Continue reading

What’s Old and Faithful and full of Hot Air?

If you want to see Geysers, this is The place to come! From being greeted by Old Faithful as you arrive, to the various geysers erupting at various times, this is a thrilling place to visit and can keep you entertained all day!

Castle Geyser

Old Faithful (photo below) is the best-known geyser, as it faithfully erupts roughly every 90 minutes (although the forecast depends on how long the last eruption was – but they publish the forecast at the visitors centre).  Continue reading