Medieval Festival comes to Upper Canada Village

On the sprawling field behind a quaint village on the banks of the St. Lawrence, a wooden lance shatters into a dozen pieces, sending a knight flying off his horse and onto the grass below.  The spectators groan in sympathy.

This past weekend, the Medieval Festival set up camp at the far end of Upper Canada Village. It was an odd clash of time periods to be sure, but definitely a summer experience not to miss. I’ve always loved coming to this beautifully recreated 1800s village,...

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Five Senses for Travel: Touch

Chrissi Beach near Crete, Greece

Imagine yourself on a beach. But before you go too far with daydreaming about beach volleyball and margaritas, ask yourself this first — what’s the sand like?

Is it that fine golden sand that packs hard under your feet when wet, making it easy to jog alongside the water? Or is it pebbled and impossible to walk on? Maybe it’s grainy and loose like the black volcanic sands of Santorini, which heats up to scalding hot levels in the sun.

One of my favourite swimming holes was...

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Five Senses for Travel: Sound

A music band on the streets of Paris, France.

Travel has a soundtrack built into it. A composition of sounds that plays in the background of the scenery you pass through. Whether it's the sound of waves crashing on a shoreline,  soft cooing from pigeons, the creaking of tall trees in the wind, the incomprehensible cacophony of a busy cafe, or something even more tangible, like music coming from a busker on a street corner. Background noise may not always have the melody of a beautiful song, it might even be closer to silence than...

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Five Senses for Travel: Taste

Saturday market in Edinburgh, Scotland

I didn’t start out writing this on an empty stomach, but I might just get a snack now that it’s done. Let’s talk food.

My stomach has short term memory issues — I’m hungry a lot. So when I travel, food becomes an integral part of the experience for me. Finding a good place to eat, sampling the local cuisine, checking out the seasonal markets, these are all as much an important part of my travels as a nice museum or an ancient ruin.

Travel is a multi-sensory...

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Five Senses for Travel: Scent

Summer, Ukraine, Europe

Travel is often referred to as sight-seeing. But if that was all there was to it, travelling would be like flipping through a virtual reality guide book. Yes, there’s a picture of Golden Gate Bridge. Ooh la la, the picturesque Montmartre. Look at those Alps, aren’t they grand?

Travel should be an experience of all the senses. It’s not just about seeing a place, but hearing the noisy clamour of a city like London or the soft quiet of the countryside in Scotland. It’s about...

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