After visiting Hiroshima, one of the most devastated cities from WWII, we headed to Kanazawa, a city that managed to escape any damage during WWII. Kanazawa, a castle town founded in the late 1500s, also boasts escaping any significant damage from natural disasters and while it used to be a powerful and strategic city, it never fully industrialized. Consequently, it is one of the few Japanese cities where many of its buildings are still original and is home to many historical attractions such as restored residences and districts. Continue reading
The Netherlands far exceeded our expectations and is, according to Dan, his favourite country in Europe and the “only one he could live in.” The country is simultaneously modern and historical, while being extremely organized and efficient. And it’s not just one city; the whole country is like that. My only dislike of the infrastructure design would be the insane crosswalks throughout the country: crosswalks often consist of two or three portions crossing bike lanes (which are everywhere, not surprisingly, and mopeds are allowed to use them!!), tram lines, and car lanes. Continue reading
When I think of Italy, I am really thinking about wine and Italian food and maybe art, as an afterthought. I had three goals in Florence – find a good ‘vino sfuso’ (bulk wine) place, get a loaded panini and go to the Uffizi gallery. Continue reading
The founding of Rome is dated back to around 753 BC – the Colosseum was completed in 80 AD, almost 2000 years ago – and thus, it’s not a secret that many of Rome’s ancient and aging monuments are in desperate need of restoration. It appears that many high-end Italian fashion brands have stepped up to make that restoration possible. All at once. To name a couple, Fendi, one of the biggest names in Italian fashion, has donated approximately 2.10 million Euros to restore the 18th century Trevi Fountain in order to preserve this precious heritage; the first of five fountains they have pledged to restore. And Tod’s shoes founder Diego della Valle donated approximately 25 million Euros to help restore the Colosseum from its aging and deteriorating state. In addition, Renzo Russo, founder of clothing company Diesel, is providing $6.7 million to restore and clean the oldest bridge spanning Venice’s Grand Canal, the Rialto.
Our first major European city on our around-the-world trip was London – a classic choice. We spent four nights at an airbnb in East London near Bethnal Green Station. Walking to our apartment we felt a bit like we were in the rougher part of town but inside the place was great, and the price difficult to beat in London ($85 CAD/night for two people). Continue reading