The Five

The Five Vacations

I’ve had the tremendous luck to have seen a lot of the country I live in: Canada.

However, the extent of my travels outside of the country have been limited.

In 1992 and ’93, I traveled to Detroit with my dad’s hockey teams. In 2001, I visited Connecticut and New York. I had the luxury of ascending the World Trade Center six weeks before witnessing it pancake down into oblivion.

In 2003, I hit the sunny shores of Barbados. In 2013, I ventured across the border again to Seattle, Wash. My wife and I had a fun time with old friends as we entered a Walmart and for the first time noticed the sale of guns at a department store.

Most of my traveling has been within my beautiful country. I’ve been as far east as St. John’s, Newfoundland and as far west as Tofino, B.C. It feels good to get out and see something new, but I’m always happy to get home. I also can’t travel far due to my underlying immune condition. I’d love to see Mount Kilimanjaro and South Africa, but some places don’t let you visit unless you get the proper inoculations.

Any travel plans are far off in the future. Limited cash. Limited time. Speaking of that, whenever I do travel, I always hit up a location with a haunted past or critter of dubious distinction: Victoria, B.C. I visited Cadboro Bay and stayed in the haunted Gatsby Inn (now Pendray Inn).

5. Place: Romania
Sights: Poenari Castle, Hoia Baciu Forest, Bran Castle, Hunedoara Castle, Scărişoara Cave, Prislop Monastery and the Danube.
What: The culture, the literary references in Bram Stoker’s works and the geography
History: Dacian history, Ottoman Empire (attempted) invasions, Vlad Tepes and Transylvania’s vassalage to the Turks.
4. Place: Cusco, Peru
Sights: Nazca Lines, Machu Picchu, Coricancha, Moray, Sacsayhuaman and Tipon
What: The archaeology, the landscapes, the river dolphins and the spectacled bears.
History: Inca, Inca, Inca.
3. Place: Bavaria
Sights: Linderhof Palace, Neuschwanstein Castle, Hohenschwangau Castle, Zugspitze, Englischer Garden, Munich Residenz and Rothaus Glockenspiel.
What: The history, the architecture, and my roots
History: Frankish overlords, Carolingian period, Count Welf, Wittelsbach dynasty and the Weimar Republic.
2. Place: California coast (San Diego, L.A., S.F.)
Sights: El Coronado, San Diego Harbor, Whaley House, Bogart’s star on the Walk of Fame, Hollywood, Dodger Stadium, La Brea Tar Pits, Haight-Ashbury, Alcatraz, Presidio and the Golden Gate Bridge
What: Trolleys, the waves, the music, tequila, the movies
History: Earthquakes, the Summer of Love, Old Hollywood,
1. Place: Prague, Czech Republic
Sights: Charles Bridge, Dancing House, Faust House, Prague Castle, Sedlec Ossuary, Houska Castle and Old New Synagogue.
What: The language, the art, the architecture, the Bohemian subculture, the Moravian subculture.
History: The Habsburgs, Austro-Hungarian Empire, Prague Spring and the Velvet Revolution.

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