Reading Time: 8 minutes We arrived in Catania and we left from Catania. On our way to Catania, we made a bit of a detour through some of the most depressing country side I have seen. Add to that the garbage and it makes you realise that Italy is not always that dream place we know from the images. In order not to bother with a car in a city where we were going to walk anyway, we dropped off the car at the Catania airport where we rented it, and took a bus in town to spend the two last days in Catania. [Read more…]
Reading Time: 8 minutes After visiting the north coast of Sicily, we crossed the island towards the next destination: the famous Valley of the Temples on the south shore. The route follows valleys and passes west of the Madonie mountains on highways that are often elevated on a series of pillars. It seems to be a bit of overkill and it definitely doesn’t improve the landscape; the concrete and construction companies must have had a field day, week, year, decade. Interestingly, some of the roads are in pretty bad shape but not much is really being done to repair roads. The road owner closes a lane [Read more…]
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…]
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…]
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…]
Reading Time: 3 minutes Mark Wagenbuur wrote about it already a while ago when the bridge was being constructed, but now the new Dafne Schippers bridge in the Netherlands is officially in use. The bridge crosses the important Amsterdam-Rijn canal, connecting Amsterdam’s harbours with its hinterland in Europe. The canal is a considerable barrier and with a growing number of people living across the canal, this bridge was needed as part of the bike route from Leidsche Rijn (I loosely call it a suburb) to Utrecht Centre. The Amsterdam Rijn canal is a 72 km waterway and opened only in 1952. The part north [Read more…]
Reading Time: 2 minutes Although it doesn’t rain that often when I want to bike, I do try to plan around a rain shower if possible when there is even a threat of rain. One of my best sources is the weather radar at the Environment Canada website. By estimating the speed of the incoming rain from the 7 images displayed, I can usually work around getting soaked. Rain sensors in the Netherlands are going to help getting you home dry. Rain sensors installed Netherlands’ cities installed rain sensors already a few years ago. When they detect rain, the computer adjusts traffic signals in [Read more…]
Reading Time: 2 minutes The Dutch try to use as few traffic signs as possible. The City of Leeuwarden found another 1000 to throw out.
Reading Time: 6 minutes Last week, we started cycling to Amsterdam north and checked out some great places. This week we continue the trip along the waterfront.
Reading Time: 6 minutes Amsterdam is more than canals and coffee shops. We are going to explore the highlights of Amsterdam North by bike. It is not what you expect…