Marseille

Make way for… hens hens hens! 🐔

For my gal pal Liv’s hen-do (‘bachelorette party’ for Yankees), we flew down to the Marseille for a quick 36-hour visit. Around 30 of those hours were spent drinking rosé, signing karaoke, dancing, and sleeping. But here’s what I managed to see of Marseille in the little time we had there.

Marseille is France’s biggest port city. This 2000-year old city has had a bit of a bad reputation it’s trying to overcome. Over the last few years, it has reinvested itself as a gritty, stylish getaway for sunseekers on a budget. Marseille’s renaissance has produced some excellent restaurants, bars and even coffee shops. Continue reading

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Mykonos

You’ve probably seen photos of Mykonos before this. So you already know that it’s a stunning island with white-washed streets and dramatic windmills surrounded by impressive blue waters. It’s one of the most popular islands in Greece, simply because it’s one of the most beautiful. While Santorini is dramatic, Mykonos is dreamy.

Mykonos Little Venice Mykonos Mykonos MykonosGetting from Santorini to Mykonos was a bit of a challenge adventure because of a two-day ferry strike, which we knew nothing about until we were already in Santorini. Determined to not let union laws hinder our holiday plans, we recruited some fellow travellers and hired a private speed boat to take us to Mykonos.

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Dubrovnik

Croatia has been on the top of my bucket list for a couple of years now. So, it’s fair to say that I went to Dubrovnik with high expectations. I’d been warned that it was touristy and crowded. But once you’ve been to Dubrovnik, you’ll understand that its popularity is well-earned.

Long story short: Dubrovnik is beautiful, charming and unique, and everyone should go once.

Dubrovnik Dubrovnik DubrovnikCat and I went to Dubrovnik for four days on our annual getaway (last year we went to Istanbul). We’re both active tourists, but we also love to just relax. Dubrovnik is perfect for both those holiday goals. Continue reading

God Jul: Christmas spirit in Scandinavia

Living in Canada, this is what I used to associate Christmas with: vacation pay, boxing day, Home Alone marathons, and postcards from friends. If you haven’t been raised celebrating Christmas, it’s pretty easy to escape the holiday fever in Toronto (except when I worked in retail and Christmas carols were even playing in my nightmares).

God JulBut, not in Scandinavia. You can try to be the Grinch, but the Christmas spirit will make its way into your home and heart.

Denmark kicks off the God Jul celebrations with J-day on the first weekend of November by launching the annual Christmas beer. It’s a strong brew that’s modelled on a luxury beer. I am not surprised to see that the launch of a beer is a national event in Denmark – bars are brimming, trucks are distributing free beer and swag on the busy streets, and everyone is having a jolly good time to get the mood for God Jul.

Soon after the that, the Christmas lights start popping up and just last weekend, Aarhus’s official Christmas tree made its debut outside of City Hall.

Here’s how my friends and I have been getting in the festive spirit over the last month: Continue reading