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Holland

ST. MAARTEN/ST. MARTIN – Fine, flavoured rum. Sweet-smelling local soaps. And a dreamy beach resort with one of the best massages I’ve ever had. I had the good luck to spend roughly 24 hours in St. Maarten (and an hour or so on the French side, St. Martin) following my Caribbean cruise with Sea Dream Yacht Club. And found a lot to like. We started our day (my wife was with me, which is always great) in Marigot on the French side, where we strolled through the waterfront markets and bought some trinkets to take . home. It feels a ... continue reading →

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Year after year, Europe tops the charts of travellers from around the world. It seems we just can’t get enough of classic European cities such as London and Paris, not to mention Amsterdam, Barcelona, Rome, Zurich, Berlin and many others. With that in mind, the folks at TD Canada and Aeroplan and I are holding a Twitter chat about Europe on Wednesday, April 29 at 1 p.m. EST. Be sure to tune in (I’m at @jimbyerstravel on Twitter) and look for the #TDAeroplan hashtag. I’ll be chiming in with what I hope are useful tips and advice about using your ... continue reading →

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The other day I talked about my favourite Canadian destinations and travel bits for 2014. Here are some thoughts (okay, a LOT of thoughts) about the U.S. and a couple Caribbean and European spots I visited during the year. Most surprising U.S. destination: Apalachicola, Florida. A super-relaxed, fun town in a quiet section of the Florida panhandle with just the right mix of old-time charm and trendy, new shops. A very good brewpub, too. Most wonderful host: The delightful Anthony Hunte of Hunte’s Gardens in Barbados. A lovely man, great conversationalist and incredible gardener. His garden is always the highlight ... continue reading →

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BANFF NATIONAL PARK, ALBERTA – I’m standing in a pretty mountain bowl at Sunshine Meadows with small hills all around dotted with white and yellow flowers. The sky is that famous shade of Alberta blue and the deep grey hills are patchy with winter’s leftover snow. Our guide, Thalia Christou with White Mountain Adventures, points out the yellow Alpine Butter Cups and the western anemones, which look like yellow and white crocuses but grow interesting, fuzzy bits to stay warm. They look like they’ve grown hair in summer, causing Christou to refer to them as “hippie hair flowers.” We spot ... continue reading →

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AMSTERDAM – Sometimes it’s good to listen to the tourism folks. Okay, it’s almost ALWAYS good to listen to the tourism folks. In this case, I have to give credit to the lovely Henny Groenendijk, who represents Visit Holland . I’d been promising to go for years, but somehow never got around to it. This time, I made Holland the focus of my trip to Europe. I’ve written in the past few days about surprising Rotterdam and about my great bike ride in Holland. But I want to give Henny a special shout-out for booking me a room at the ... continue reading →

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