Much Matcha Green Tea Desserts: Japan and Seoul, South Korea

Maybe we were a tad crazy during our two week trip, in Japan and Seoul:  it was almost a matcha tea dessert every day.   Yea  –in addition to sipping sometimes a lovely cup of medium to high grade matcha or at least green tea.  There is a sublime difference. Birthplace and Hub of Japan’s Centuries…

Different Flavours for Different Farmers’ Markets: Canada and Abroad

It’s de rigour for us to check out the local farmers’ market whenever we travel and visit a town, city or country. Squeezing in Happy Time– Local and Abroad In past blog posts, I’ve enjoyed showcasing a few in Toronto, Vancouver, Freiburg (Germany) and Hilo (Hawai’i)  –wonderful local foods, sometimes crafts and ambience which puts…

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,…

Bike Touring : Some Life Tips

To kickstart the new year with you, here’s an infographic I’ve hammered out. Below the infographic starts off with predictable advice from two cyclists bumping along roads and pathways over the past 25 years.  Humbling lessons learned from kilometres dragging our butts and gear at home and beyond.  Lessons for any life journey –liberating, difficult…

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,…

Flickers of Chance: Wild Creature Sights

Throughout Cyclewrite, I’ve featured magnificent deer, elk, bighorn sheep, eagles and blue herons. Most  photo gems taken by myself and Jack, were simply random opportunities where each of us did not plan to stalk the creatures. Serendipitous Benefits and Outdoor Activities Over the years, serendiptous wildlife sightings are just another benefit of spending lots of…

Canadian Camping Newbie @32 Years

My first time camping in a tent on the ground was when I was 32 years old.  I just started to know my partner who had been on numerous camping trips himself. That seminal, first camping time was during a bike trip outside of Toronto.  It meant cycling with our gear, sleeping bag for  over…

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….

Easy-Peasy or Daunting: Getting to Local Art and Attractions by Bike, Foot, Transit

A long while ago, I was  volunteer blogger for Tourism Vancouver’s blog, Inside Vancouver.  My special self-chosen niche, was flogging outdoor Vancouver attractions, reachable by bike, foot or transit. So I zoomed into fabulous outdoor art, parks and scenic vistas.  Metro Vancouver is abundant with an array of  jaw-dropping scenery, galleries and historic sites clustered…

This Traveller Loves to Come Home Too

That’s me –after several weeks abroad and enjoying every day, immersed in a foreign country and language environment,  I love to come home too. To my own bed, quiet at home and diverse choice of food. Not Get Too Lost I’m not exactly your tourist,  clutching tightly onto my pillow from home or I’m peering…

Living Best as City Mouse

Even though Cycle Write blog is peppered with wilderness photos and near poetic odes about Nature, at heart, I live best as a City Mouse.  An urban life person. Sure I’d love to claim that I revel in cabin or at least home living in the unlit forest.  There is an implicit suggestion, that liking…

That Train in My Canadian Cycling Horizon

Every few weeks when I’m cycling, a major train pops up on the horizon with dinging bell, 1 or 2  red locomotive engines, pulling a serpentine string of cargo train loads and tanks.  The train is either the Canadian National Railway or the Canadian Pacific Railway. Like any cyclist, I just hope the frickin’ train is…

Canadian Contrasts or Ignorance: 3 Cities, 3 Solitudes

It’s harder than it appears:  distillating facts and personal musings on the major cities where I’ve lived, worked and cycled so far.  Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary are big and jostle for world stage, as Canada’s world-class city. Several sword points to note: Vancouver in my infographic, refers to  City of Vancouver.  Not 20 other suburban cities around which…