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Australia/New Zealand/PAC

We lost Prince and Glenn Frey of The Eagles and Leonard Cohen. And a certain Twitter-loving business guy of mixed intelligence got elected president of the U.S. But there were some great things for me in the year in travel, including a yodelling shop owner, a sex-crazed marsupial and a chance meeting with the son of one of the fabled Marx Brothers. So here are my annual Jimmy Awards for travel, this time with an eye on the off-kilter, weird and just a little bit strange. Best Rum-Punch-Drinking-Monkey: This fellow (of course, it may have been a lady monkey) at ... continue reading →

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I spent a great deal of time in Canada and the U.S. in 2016. I also had visits to several Caribbean Islands, including small spots like Mayreau on a Sea Dream Yacht Club cruise and larger islands such as the Dominican Republic, Anguilla, Barbados and St. Martin. I had week-long visits to both Australia and New Zealand. And I managed time in Portugal, England, Italy, Germany and several other countries on my Viking River cruise. Here are my Jimmy Awards for top travel spots of 2016 outside Canada and the U.S. Best Beach Surprise: Playa Rincon, Dominican Republic. Reached via ... continue reading →

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I wrote yesterday that it was a great day to book a flight. Then came news of more great travel deals this morning. On top of what I mentioned yesterday (see below for details), I got a note this morning to say that SATA/Azores Airlines is offering 25% off all flights from Canada to Portugal as a Boxing Day special. The airlines’ web site says the deal is for any route between Canada and Portugal operated by Azores Airlines and SATA Air Açores but does not include interlines/codeshares with other carriers. The sale runs from now until Jan. 4, 2017, ... continue reading →

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As if mountains and Mounties and our 150th birthday party next year weren’t enough, now the world has another reason to visit Canada. A survey from Booking.com finds that Australia is the only country in the world with a reputation for friendlier and ­­­happier locals than Canada. Respondents in the survey were asked to name the planet’s cheeriest and most relaxed locals. Australia came first with mentions by 35 % of respondents, followed by Canada (33), Italy (29), Spain (25), the U.S. (24), Thailand (20), Japan (20), France (20), New Zealand (20) and Brazil (19). The survey of travellers around ... continue reading →

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I was in Budapest recently. It’s a city I had heard a lot about and it was quite nice. That being said, if I never went again it wouldn’t bother me. I also was just in Sydney (Australia, not Nova Scotia). I’ve been a few times now. And I never went again I’d be really pissed. Maybe it’s the water and the sailboats gliding under the Harbour Bridge. Maybe it’s the beaches and the small, rocky coves you pass on the way to Manly Beach. Maybe it’s partly my memories of a four-week stint there covering the Olympics for the ... continue reading →

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