August 11, 2014

Lisbon’s Palacio Belmonte Fit for Royalty

Lisbon’s Palacio Belmonte Fit for Royalty

There are only 10 keys to the rooms at Palácio Belmonte yet every key opens the door to the palace. Not everyone will fit the glass slipper, but no one will sleep with a pea in his or her bed. “We find three types of people:  those who see, those who don’t see and those who want to be seen. If you belong to the first group you will love Palácio Belmonte, if to the second Belmonte might open your eyes, but if you belong to the third, you will feel much happier at the Ritz!” Source: Palácio Belmonte website Having made an investment of 26 million Euros in reconstruction and devoted innumerable man-hours to this passion project the owners Frederic Coustols and his wife Maria are justified in their preference for appreciative guests at Palácio Belmonte. (more…)

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August 4, 2014

Affordable Volunteer Travel with Global Help Swap

Affordable Volunteer Travel with Global Help Swap

Nutmeg met Paul and Karen in a beer hall, well maybe more like a beer Mecca, Dublin’s Guinness Storehouse – shaped like a beer glass the museum-archives-retail shop-restaurants eventually lead to draft taps in the sky at the aptly named Gravity Bar. Even if you do not like beer you must see the city views from this sky lounge. (more…)

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July 28, 2014

Test Your Limits on Mount Norquay’s Via Ferrata

Test Your Limits on Mount Norquay’s Via Ferrata

Your Canadian Rockies hiking guide is dog-eared from multi-year use and too many days in a backpack. Yet a primal fear of heights has kept you away from rock climbing. Mount Norquay has the answer this summer. Via ferrata! (more…)

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July 21, 2014

Rodney’s Oyster House Soon to be Shucking Calgary

Rodney’s Oyster House Soon to be Shucking Calgary

According to three-time Canadian Oyster Shucking Champion Rodney T. Clark “I thought oyster shucking was going to be the easy part!” Timing for the grand opening of the Rodney’s Oyster House in Toronto in December 1987 may have been slightly dubious, barely six weeks after the stock market crash on October 19, 1987. However, according to the man himself it was not the bottom falling out of the equity market that caused consternation, but rather the fact that the day Rodney’s Oyster House opened on Adelaide Street was the same day the Canadian Ban On Shellfish began. What could have been a bad omen did not seem to matter – Hogtown was hungry for oysters and lots of them. (more…)

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July 14, 2014

Disoriented Pavilion Turning Lisbon Upside Down

Disoriented Pavilion Turning Lisbon Upside Down

Camila Cañeque is a Spanish-born contemporary artist her latest project Disoriented Pavilion is a blossoming street art exhibition that can be found in a derelict urban site in Lisbon. Camila’s Disoriented Pavilion has taken an empty plot of land adjacent to Palácio Belmonte in Portugal’s capital and filled it with a riot of colour. Old dilapidated walls are now covered with thousands of plastic flowers. (more…)

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July 7, 2014

Art and Flowers in Canada’s Top Garden Jardins de Metis

Art and Flowers in Canada’s Top Garden Jardins de Metis

Elsie Reford would anxiously await the arrival of her seed package orders during Montreal’s dreary winter months. These precious parcels would arrive with the promise of future exotic plants from around the globe. Elsie would store the packets until spring when she and her husband Robert Wilson Reford would head to their home on Quebec’s remote Gaspé Peninsula. (more…)

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June 30, 2014

Provence’s Purple Fields of Essential Lavender Oil

Provence’s Purple Fields of Essential Lavender Oil

If you had to conjure up a mental picture of Provence – what would it be? Thanks to talented photographers who have turned their best shots into postcards, books and Internet sites, one of the most iconic images of Provence is the deep purple undulating rows of lavender plants. (more…)

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June 23, 2014

5 Surprising Things About Portugal

5 Surprising Things About Portugal

Nutmeg has wanted to visit Portugal since the 1970s. At that time, her parents spent their holiday venturing along the rugged Atlantic coastline and small roads in a Volkswagen (VW) van, sharing the driving and vinho verde (young wine) with some Canadian friends. It was their photos of sunny surf swept shorelines and red-checkered tablecloths that stuck Portugal firmly on Nutmeg’s travel bucket list. (more…)

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June 16, 2014

Historical English Market in Cork Ireland

Historical English Market in Cork Ireland

Regular G&N readers know Nutmeg cannot resist a market and certainly not if it involves coffee, lunch or both. That is exactly what a couple hours at the English Market in Cork served up. The name may seem a bit odd in the heart of Ireland, but it was the Protestant or “English” corporation, which controlled Cork at the time that created the market. The English Market first opened to the public on August 1st, 1788 predating the election of the first US president. (more…)

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June 9, 2014

Olivier Bourillon and The Rodeo Cowboys of Provence

Olivier Bourillon and The Rodeo Cowboys of Provence

Most readers already know that Ginger is a devoted rodeo fan and Calgary Stampede volunteer. In the last few years, he has embraced Provencal equine traditions surrounding brawny white horses and feisty midnight-black bulls. Ginger can explain the rules of a Course Camarguaise, and he has been to ferrades (branding events). In the process, he has taken hundreds of photos of bulls running in the streets during the annual Fêtes de Village in August. However, his heart remains saddled to traditional rodeo. (more…)

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