Care and Creative Expressions: 500 Years for L’Hotel Dieu

Initially I wasn’t keen to visit a heritage hospital and convent in Beaune, France.  Like many folks, I associate hospitals with dull institutional places that ..do great work for people from birth to death. There is no North American equivalent like L’Hotel Dieu  —  very old and with past health care public service for 500…

Awestruck on La Rambla and Beyond: Barcelona, Spain.

Barcelona, Spain is like Vancouver, British Columbia  –millions of tourists pour into each city every year.  After four days, we still had not exhausted its rich treasure chest of sights and experiences.  Inevitably visitors end up crossing or on its main pedestrian street, La Rambla. It was my first time in Spain whereas for Jack,…

Are North American Cities Boring?

For some North Americans after a long European vacation trip, returning home is to the familiar and mundane  –especially  when home doesn’t have soaring, centuries old architectural monuments or lots of jaw-dropping art.  Or the North American just might be relieved:  thank goodness for space and wilderness.   As a Canadian, I don’t quite view Europe as prime destination to experience stunning,…

Reject Not at First Glance : Stained Glass Church Art

Two decades ago, I tossed out my 30-lb. stained glass artwork into the garbage a few years after I finished two stained glass art courses.  I dubbed the art piece, “Spring Thaw”. “Spring Thaw” was hoisted out into the garbage room,  because I thought it was unworthy of transporting 4,000 km. in moving  to Vancouver from Toronto.  Yes, it was…

Small and Suave: Dijon Lures with Charm and Wonder

If North American urbanites could have cosy, yet sophisticated and relaxed cities like Dijon, France, we would all be happier and healthier. Timeless, Relaxed Elegance Dijon is like a timeless elegant lady, yet sitting relaxed in a polished, antique chair. She wears a silk blouse with a pair of worn jeans and stylish deep red…

Cycling the Grands Crus Wine Route: France’s Burgundy Red Wine Region

It’s surreal to cycle through the world’s most prestigious, centuries-old region for producing fine,  expensive red wines and not stop for a tasting.  To atone for this, nearly every evening we often had excellent local red wine for low prices every dinner in this corner of France. Enroute Through World’s Cradle, Centuries and Prestige of Red Winemaking…

My European Food Trip Shock: Meat, Poached Eggs, Wine and Pastries

During our latest fall trip to Europe this year, I became much more a carnivore and red wine sipper. I had meat and red wine nearly every dinner for over two weeks.   Oh yes, we didn’t forget the pastries, especially in France and Germany. Normally, I only eat meat 3-4 times per month at home….