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August 2013

Here’s another time when I didn’t have much in the way of a blog, so I’m instead linking to my story that appeared in the Toronto Star’s travel section.  

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SAN FRANCISCO – For years I’ve been getting nudges from the San  Francisco tourism folks to check out the Mission district. It had gone from something akin to derelict to a trendy, fun area and was  well worth investigating, I was told. Even our former mayor, David Miller,  mentioned it in passing one day when we chatted about his travels. I finally got around it on a recent visit, and had a great time. Mind  you, it was one of those postcard-perfect spring days in the city; about 18 or  19 Celsius with hardly a whisper of wind and the ... continue reading →

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BANGKOK – Being on the 32nd floor of a hotel overlooking the Chao Phraya river in this city is a pretty cool place to watch a thunderstorm. Kinda ruined my shot at dining outdoors at the luscious-looking Thai restaurant here (see photo of the  seating area by the river) at the Peninsula Hotel, but I’ll try tomorrow for a drink anyway. It’s my first visit to Thailand and, naturally, first to Bangkok. So far, so good. I had fabulous and spicy Tom Yum Goong soup at the outdoor café here overlooking the river, as well as a dish of minced ... continue reading →

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NOTE: THESE POSTS WERE FILED TO MY TORONTO STAR BLOG IN DECEMBER 2010. AIX-EN-PROVENCE, FRANCE  – Walking into town from my hotel it didn’t look like much. But once I got past the garish kiddie rides that have taken over the main square here for Christmas (they did the same thing in Paris at the Bastille, which is another matter entirely) I was suddenly in a charming, ancient city. Aix was founded by the Romans back in 122 B.C. after a convincing military victory over local Ligurian tribes, and it’s filled with lovely squares and limestone buildings in various Provencal shades of ... continue reading →

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Here are two blogs from various visits to Hong Kong, one of the world’s great cities. HONG KONG – This is a huge, bustling, wild and teeming city. No doubt about that. But one of the things I love about Hong Kong is that you can get away from it all far easier than in many cities. There’s Victoria Peak, of course, where you can walk for a couple miles amid hanging vines and towering trees and gaze down at not only the buildings of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon but also vast ravines and wide open stretches of ocean ... continue reading →

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