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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Sea Gods and Blazing Athens

Cape Sounion, Greece

Athens was on fire when I visited it for the first time. I remember sitting on Mars Hill and watching the horizon grow thick with smoky haze. It had been one of the hottest summers on record and on TV the news cycled through stories of raging forest fires and unbearable heat waves.

We were on our way home after a vacation on the lovely island of Santorini and Athens was our layover. The capital of Greece hadn’t impressed me much at first glance. After having gotten used to the...

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Cretan Character in the Landscape

Plakias Crete

When we first arrived in Crete we rented a car, a tiny manual with an engine that could either go up a hill or provide you with air conditioning but not both at the same time. I had some of my first driving and stalling experiences on that car. The nice thing about learning how to shift gears when driving in Crete is that nobody will care or honk their horn if you stall at a stop sign. They will simply drive around you. People aren’t really in a hurry to get anywhere, except maybe to...

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Climbing Volcanoes and Diving into Hot Springs

Trail on Therasia

Our bus turns a sharp corner and as I look out the window I can see over the plummeting cliff side and into the Mediterranean Sea below. This steep twisted road descends down into the Santorini harbour from where we are meant to set off on a tour of the caldera. A dormant volcano rests at the center of the caldera and serves as a sort of pilgrimage site for curious tourists.

Santorini curves around two smaller islands, Nea Kameni and Palea Kameni, which were formed over centuries by...

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Silver Linings on Rainy Days

Storm over Aspy Bay on Cape Breton Island

Sometimes plans fall through. You might have your heart set on a beautiful stroll through the park but just as you step out the door the sky opens up and lets loose a torrential downpour. And yet, getting a little wet is not necessarily a bad thing as I’ve discovered during my travels through the Maritimes.

When we arrived in Nova Scotia, the first thing my family and I wanted to see was Cape Breton Island. Having heard so much about the beautiful Cabot...

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