ActiveTravels | get up & go!  
 subscribe to ActiveTravels
 Subscribe by RSS By RSS Feed or Email
 
Follow ActiveTravels on Twitter Like ActiveTravels on Facebook View the ActiveTravels YouTube channel
 
ActiveTravels - Travel Agents You Can Trust
   
     
 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Kiteboarding the Madeleine Islands

In the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the dozen or so Madeleine Islands are unlike any other destination in Quebec—green hillsides, long stretches of beach, red cliffs, and the brightly painted houses of its inhabitants. Once there, you can explore the islands by horseback or bike, try deep-sea fishing, scuba diving, sea kayaking, or the latest craze, kiteboarding. Home of the Kiteboarding World Cup in 2006, the Madeleine’s strong, prevailing winds are ideally suited to a sport that uses a kite to propel you along the water. Give it a go at the first kiteboarding school in Canada, Aerosport, with more than 10 years of experience under their belt. 
 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 04/22/11 at 01:00 PM
Miscellaneous Sports • (0) CommentsPermalink Bookmark and Share


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Biking in Calgary

With a mind-boggling 286 miles of bike trails, Calgary lays claim to the most extensive biking network on the continent. If you want to see the city sites, stick to the Bow River Corridor. This popular 12-mile (one-way) route passes the Calgary Zoo, Fort Calgary, built to stop Americans from trading whisky with Blackfoot, Chinatown, and Prince’s Island Park. The island is a popular venue for outdoor concerts and Shakespeare in the Park in the summer months. It’s also home to the top-tier River Café, featuring regional food for lunch and dinner like rainbow trout or an Alberta sirloin steak. Work off your meal on the Douglas Fir Hiking Trail in nearby Lawry Park. The shaded fir forest hides many vibrant wildlflowers in the summer months, like violet and dogwood.  Before you turn around at Edworthy Park, think about going on an exhilarating guided raft ride down the river. Bikers and joggers who want to get away from it all can visit Fish Creek Provincial Park in the southern part of Calgary, the only national park found in a metro area in Canada. 
 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 04/20/11 at 01:00 PM
Biking • (0) CommentsPermalink Bookmark and Share


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Backpacking the Fundy Footpath in New Brunswick

One of my favorite Canadian adventures was an assignment I had for Backpacker magazine and later, The Boston Globe, to backpack the Long Range Traverse in Newfoundland’s Gros Morne National Park. Led by Bob Hicks, owner of Gros Morne Adventures, the 4-day trek took us to spine-tingling vistas of landlocked fjords and atop snowcapped peaks where the caribou and moose far outnumber other backpackers. An equally impressive backpacking excursion is along one of the last stretches of wilderness on the Atlantic Seaboard in New Brunswick. Overlooking the Bay of Fundy, the Fundy Footpath is a moderate to strenuous 24-mile trek that crosses a river, skirts the beach, and goes up and down a dozen or so ravines, rewarding backpackers with breathtaking views of the rugged shoreline. Camping at primitive sites, moose, caribou, and bald eagle are common sightings. 
 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 04/19/11 at 01:00 PM
Hiking • (0) CommentsPermalink Bookmark and Share


Monday, April 18, 2011

Chasing Icebergs in Newfoundland

Some of us chase after the morning train to get to work. The more indulgent will chase down that shot of bourbon with a pint of Guinness. And the truly intrepid? They follow Ed English as he chases icebergs. Come May, it’s not unusual for villages on the east coast of Newfoundland to wake up to a mountain of electric blue ice the size of a 15-story building.  The icebergs calve from the glaciers of western Greenland and begin a slow 1900-mile journey south with the Labrador Current on a route dubbed Iceberg Alley. English, co-owner of Explore Newfoundland, takes sea kayakers up to Quirpoon Island, the northernmost point of Newfoundland, to get as close as possible to the huge crystalline structures before they float away. An added bonus are the pods of humpback, minke, and occasional beluga whales who feed in Iceberg Alley as they make their way north. 
 



Posted by Steve Jermanok on 04/18/11 at 01:00 PM
Sea Kayaking • (0) CommentsPermalink Bookmark and Share


Friday, April 15, 2011

ActiveTravels.com Named One of the Top 125 Travel Blogs in the World

I was happy to hear this week that ActiveTravels.com was named one of the top 125 travel blogs in the world by the premiere adventure outfitter, Austin-Lehman Adventures. Not only that, but Austin-Lehman is offering two lucky readers from one of the nominated travel blogs a chance to win a trip for two on one of their glamorous getaways. Simply give them your name, email address, and mention ActiveTravels.com as your travel blog of choice. Thanks again for sticking with me these past several years! My brother just purchased a new HD video camera that’s perfect for video blogging, so I plan to talk to you directly in the upcoming months. I also promise to update my Facebook fan page and add more content to Go Play!, your one-stop resource to the great outdoors. Have a great weekend and do something active! I’ll be back next week with Canadian adventures.
 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 04/15/11 at 01:00 PM
Announcements • (2) CommentsPermalink Bookmark and Share


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Where to Stay in New England

If you’re planning to spend a weekend in New England this summer or fall, check out the New England Inns and Resorts Association (NEIRA) website. The group is comprised of 250 inns and hotels in the region. They recently came out with a bucket list, where the price of a room includes a nearby activity. For example at Inn by the Sea, one of my favorite hotels in Maine, you can haul in lobster with a working Maine fisherman and dine on your catch that evening. Another favorite, Liberty Hill Farm, in bucolic Rochester, Vermont, will let you milk the cows, stack the hay and ride a tractor like a real farmer. Rabbit Hill Inn is offering zipline tours, White Mountain Hotel features rock climbing with the International Mountain Climbing School, and Glynn House Inn is giving you the chance to go hot air ballooning in the morning, complete with champagne. That’s the only way to fly.
 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 04/14/11 at 01:00 PM
Lodging • (0) CommentsPermalink Bookmark and Share


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Healthy Parks Healthy People US

Last week in San Francisco, the National Park Service brought together more than 100 leaders in health care and the environment to host a forum called Healthy Parks Healthy People US. America is following a successful Australian initiative to promote the positive connection between the health of the natural world and the health of humans. By introducing more people to America’s state and national parks, the National Park Service hopes to instill a healthier lifestyle that leads to reduced health care costs. The NPS is expanding First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move program to create Let’s Move Outside Junior Rangers and is also introducing other health-conscious programs like Food for the Parks and my favorite title, No Child Left Inside. Any program that helps reconnect people with nature is a winner in my eyes, whether it’s for physical or mental health reasons or simply the chance to be lost in a stunning locale.
 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 04/13/11 at 01:00 PM
Health • (0) CommentsPermalink Bookmark and Share


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Whitewater Rafting Explorer, Richard Bangs, Leads a Trip to Bosnia

Sobek Expeditions, founded by Richard Bangs and John Yost in 1973, almost single handedly put the sport of whitewater rafting on the map. They were the first outfitter to descend Chile’s Bio Bio River and Zimbabwe’s Zambezi River, now considered classics.  In 1991, Sobek merged with Mountain Travel to form one of the premier adventure companies in the world. Yet, Bang, author of Rivergods, a collection of essays on thirteen first descents, refuses to rest on his laurels. He always seems to put together one kick-ass trip each summer and this year is no different. Joining forces with George Wendt, owner of O.A.R.S., Bangs is returning to Bosnia, which he calls the last great authentic place.

In his own words: “The Bosnia we know from images of the war—the bombed and bullet-ridden buildings, the scars from the 1,200-day siege of Sarajevo—has kept from view a Bosnia we don’t know, a place where nature has been bighearted with its gifts. The country hosts one of the two greatest tracks of primeval forests in Europe, unmatched biodiversity, daunting mountain faces yet to be climbed, deep gorges yet to be traversed, wild rivers with water so pure you can cup your hand to drink, some of the highest concentrations of wildlife, and perhaps the last highland tribes of semi-nomadic people on the continent. In many ways, Bosnia today has what the rest of the world has lost. We rafted there last summer—and what we discovered was a stitch of river stretches so unspoiled, so stunning, so exquisite and exciting, that we could not resist returning.” The date is August 25-September 1, 2011, and the price is $2990 per person. Call Carrie at 800-346-6277, ext. 4786 to reserve a space.
 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 04/12/11 at 01:00 PM
White Water Rafting • (0) CommentsPermalink Bookmark and Share


Monday, April 11, 2011

The Big New York Sandwich Book

I’ve always cherished a good sandwich, from the grilled extra sharp cheddar cheese sandwiches I used to make in my college dorm room at 2 am to a pastrami and rye at Katz’s Deli for lunch. Lately, however, the sandwich has moved out of the midday slot and arrived on dinner menus, a nod to a daring chef’s innovative prowess. New York food writers, Sara Reistad-Long and Jean Tang, have reined in this trend and created a muffaletta of a cookbook, The Big New York Sandwich Book. Culling recipes from the city’s top chefs, Reistad-Long and Tang present such tantalizing fare as a “tartiflette” grilled cheese sandwich created by the Big Cheese himself, Artisanal Fromagerie’s Terrance Brennan. Brennan uses my favorite French cheese, Reblochon, slices of apple-smoked bacon, Yukon gold potatoes, and country bread to design a sandwich that’s not too hard to make, but will blow away my family at dinner time. Chicken of the sea? Throw it back in the water, especially after trying Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s hot and crispy tuna sandwich, served with fresh tuna dipped in extra virgin olive oil on crustless white bread. Daniel Boulud chimes in with his version of a croque monsieur, complete with his recipe of béchamel sauce. My perfect picnic award goes to the Tuscan pear, cheese, and prosciutto panini given to us by Cesare Casella, proprietor of Salumeria Rosi on the Upper West Side. I have a feeling I’ll be devouring this tasty combo sometime this spring next to a bed of tulips.
 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 04/11/11 at 01:00 PM
Food • (0) CommentsPermalink Bookmark and Share


Friday, April 01, 2011

Gamirasu Cave Hotel in Cappadocia, Turkey

    “Urgup?  You stop in Urgup?” I asked the bus driver slowly in English as I pointed to our ticket.
    “Yes, Urgup.  Coming.  Coming,” the man replied as he continued driving like a maniac. Something was seriously wrong. We had passed Goreme about an hour ago and, according to my trusty guidebook, Goreme is only five miles from Urgup in the heart of Turkey’s intriguing Cappadocia region. 
    “Urgup, we’re going to Urgup!” my wife repeated loudly, approaching the point of hysteria. The driver nodded in agreement and grinned.
    We eventually arrived in Urgup seven hours later, in the middle of the night. A pack of wild dogs howled as they followed us to our inn. There was nothing wrong with my guidebook. In a rush, the driver had sped past Urgup to the next city. He didn’t speak our language, we didn’t speak his. Insanely frustrated, we arrived at the bus station, only to learn that the bus back to Urgup didn’t leave for another five hours.
    When we awoke the following morning in our Urgup hotel room, the strange scenery surrounding us seemed more bizarre than the previous evening’s events. We were inside a 1,000-year-old Byzantine monastic retreat carved out of a cave, now an 18-room hotel called Gamirasu. When Mount Erciyes poured lava over this region thousands of years ago, the volcanic ash formed a surreal, lunar-like landscape consisting of cone-shaped monoliths and layers of soft volcanic rock called “tufa.” Early Christians found the pervious terrain ideal for escaping persecution by Romans and Arabs. When wet, the tufa could be easily carved like soap to make caves out of the pinnacles as well as underground cities descending hundreds of feet below the surface.
    The first Christians came to the valleys of Cappadocia in the 4th century, led by St. Basil. They formed communities within the caves building living areas, bakeries, and workshops. The people of Cappadocia continue to live in these caves. The rooms are cooled by volcanic rock, which helps protect the 8th-century frescoes seen on the hotel walls.

I'm off to New York on Monday, back on April 11th. Have a great week!
 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 04/01/11 at 01:00 PM
Lodging • (1) CommentsPermalink Bookmark and Share


Page 154 of 182 pages « First  <  152 153 154 155 156 >  Last »

 

 
 
 

about us
photo of Steve Jermanok
Longtime Boston Globe travel writer, Steve Jermanok, dishes out his favorite travel locales and provides topical travel information that comes across his desk.

ActiveTravels.com is an Austin-Lehman Adventure's Top 125 Best Travel Blog Semi-Finalist

Adventure Travel Trade Association

 

tags