2015 was another great year of travel for me. I drove or flew more than 60,000km, visiting 12 cities in six countries, excluding Canada.
Accommodation-wise, I stayed in fewer hotels – just seven, with the rest of my lodging coming off Airbnbs, cottages and friend’s houses.
Just like in 2014, my travel started right in January, to Sydney, Nova Scotia. It was a work-related trip but as it is always, there is always time to enjoy a new city. My initial plan to return directly to Toronto had to be changed to include a day’s stay in Halifax.
Throughout the year, I made a number of trips along this route, sometimes just to Sydney and on other times to Halifax as well. I am not going to delve too much into these trips, except for the next one.
Yes, this was an epic summer journey, at least for me. We flew from Toronto to Moncton and after staying there for two nights, drove to Charlottetown in Prince Edward Island (PEI). I drove through the Confederation Bridge and it was a special moment for me as I have rarely driven outside of Ontario. Besides, the Confederation Bridge is such an important icon of Canada.
PEI in beautiful, with some lovely beaches, rolling hills and a relaxed atmosphere. While the region is known for its seafood and potatoes, one can safely say that the single important icon that has made PEI a world-known place is Lucy Maud Montgomery’s epic novel, Anne of Green Gables, which is based out of the island-province. Naturally, a visit to the area where the book was based is a must.
The house where the fictitious Anne lived and the surrounding area are intentionally frozen in that period of time. It is one of the most memorable books I have read in my life, and as I went through the house I felt as if was living in that time period.
From Charlottetown we drove to Sydney, Nova Scotia, but it was a short stay – just one night. And then another long drive through the Cabot Trail where we had rented a cottage for a few nights.
The Cabot Trail
The Cabot Trail is unique in its beauty. It is a loop, and on one side of the road are the rolling hills while on the other steep drops that often end up in the breathtaking turquois sea. The roads are windy and they go up and down, and with fog often enveloping the roads driving can become a hazard at times. The experts say that if you are scared of the steep drops, then drive clockwise because that keeps you in the ‘inside’ of the road.
From Cabot Trail, we drove to Halifax where we stayed another couple of days. Halifax is not new to me, but this time I got the chance to visit the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21. This is a historic building hosting memories of those who came to Canada from Europe between late twenties and early seventies of last century. One can get a glimpse of how they travelled, how they were welcomed and what they brought with them. One of the poignant ‘memorabilia’ at the museum are the food items that were confiscated from the immigrants because they were not allowed to bring them into Canada. These included salami, sausages and even olive oil.
From Halifax it was back to Moncton and then to Toronto.
This trip was taken earlier, in March. It was a three-day trip. This was my second trip to the Sin City, and the highlight of this one was a half-day trip to the downtown Freemont Street. This area is often overlooked but has some great entertainment, particularly during the evenings (My Vegas Report).
I have not been to Austria in a long time, so it was time to go see my old friends. From Vienna, I took the train to a small village, Gollrad, in the southern Styrian province.
Then it was back to Vienna where I indulged in some of my favourites – enjoy a great Viennese schnitzel, taste the great beers and, of course, have a Doner Kebab (at one am!)
PART 2 – Germany-Norway & Hong Kong-Vietnam