Every Italian home has a coffee maker. And so did our AirBnB locations.

Travelling in Sicily: part 3 – Castelbuono, Madonie & Cefalú

May 28, 2017 Hansonthebike 3

Reading Time: 7 minutes After a good night sleep at our second AirBnB location, we spent some time checking out Castelbuono. This town doesn’t get the attention it deserves as it is a nice base for some hiking in the Madonie mountains as well as a location to soak up some of the interior of Sicily. Yet another place with a long history, it is one of the places that is lively enough to spend a few days. It has a lovely old square, a number of tiny groceries stores, restaurants, butchers and bakeries, but unlike for example Cefalú, it isn’t much focussed on [Read more…]

The tiny Fiat 500 is still all over the place in Sicily

Travelling in Sicily: part 2 – Museo Archeologico, Villa Romana del Casale & Morgantina

May 25, 2017 Hansonthebike 3

Reading Time: 5 minutes   Ragusa’s museum After five days in Sicily’s Ragusa, it was time to move on. But not before we checked out a tiny path running through a ravine near the old town. The path itself is not very well used but we found it on OpenStreetMaps. It also is not long and it passes some more caves and former graves. Youth was hanging out there and we had a little chat with some of the kids. While the path continues further we went up and emerged at the top near the Archeological museum. The museum is worth a visit, but very old fashioned [Read more…]

View on Old Ragusa, or Ragusa Ibla

Travelling in Sicily: part 1 – the south east World Heritage sites

May 23, 2017 Hansonthebike 4

Reading Time: 9 minutes Karen and I prefer to go on holidays outside the high season. Why not when nothing ties you to the school holidays? Our preferred month is April, when Ottawa tends to be pretty dreadful, with temperatures around the freezing point, rainy, windy, some wet snow and this year even flooding. But the choices are limited. Yes we could go to Chili or South Africa, but the less we can fly, the better. Plus, I’d like to see my family in the Netherlands once a year, so the options (I am not complaining) are limited to Southern Europe, particularly Southern Spain, [Read more…]

The Mackenzie bike lane seen from north towards south in front of hte US Embassy

Bike Lane at US Embassy Open 2/2: Photos

May 19, 2017 Hansonthebike 7

Reading Time: 5 minutes As you read in the previous post earlier today, the Mackenzie bike lane was opened today. The stretch in front of the embassy was an eye sore after a lane was blocked off by concrete barriers. Mayor Watson called it something else, but I forgot what he called the barriers. (Update, Mathieu Fleury wrote they are called Jersey barriers) The mayor mentioned former ambassador Bruce Heyman and thanked him for his initiative. Dr. Kristmanson said a few words, mentioning the closing of the ceremonial boulevard this Sunday morning for Bike Sunday (“The first time ever that the boulevard is closed [Read more…]

Doug went out and did the measurements. The bike gives you an idea of the size. This photo looks south bound.

Bike Lane at US Embassy Open 1/2: Concrete Barriers Removed

May 19, 2017 Hansonthebike 4

Reading Time: 4 minutes Today, the bi-directional bike lane on Mackenzie Ave in front of the US Embassy will officially open. It is probably the safest one in the world, with bollards anchored in two meters of underground concrete. Why is that? To protect the embassy. Soon after the attacks on 9/11 the American embassy in Ottawa became even more fortified as it already was. On the west side of the embassy in the Byward market, Clarence street was slightly reconfigured so that truck bombers couldn’t drive straight into the embassy. The road got a wave built in, to stop high speed attacks; an [Read more…]