Category Archives: Travel

Film: Farewell

During this trip to Croatia we visited many new-to-us places and concluded with some old favourites.

DSC02523
In traditional Croatian restaurants they don’t bother bringing you the menu, you get a “Sta cete?” (what will you have?) as if you know what they serve – which you do – this. Lovely lunch at Mirni kut, Severin na Kupi

Gorski Kotar has been my favourite for the longest time, but usually we just buzz through it on our way to the coast. This year we made Begovo Razdolje our base for four days. The hills were the perfect place to hide form the massive heat wave. We ate wild strawberries for breakfast and rode up and down twisty logging roads. We climbed up to Bjelolasica and Samarske Stjene. We climbed down to source of Kupa and visited Lokvarka Cave.

DSC02563
Someone is not a fan of hiking… But not me! Bjelolasica is gorgeous and full of wild roses.
20190627_113135-EFFECTS
Spot all three boys and grandpa. Also the red and white trail blaze.
20190628_143317
Samarske stijene was kind of a surprise as the route was not marked and up until we got to the peak and read the sign, we were not sure where the trail was leading. Dida thought we were climbing Bijele Stijene and I was hoping to take to boys to Ratkovo skloniste. In any case, this was the first time to Samarske Stijene peak for all of us so a win anyway.
DSC02578
While we were in Croatia there was a major heat wave. The source of Kupa is always at 7 degrees. Best air-conditioning ever.
20190629_113823
Caves also could not care less about heat wave. Or feeble attempts to take photographs. Markus was scared and almost did not go into the cave but in the end, it was his favourite of the trip.

For the coastal part of our vacation, we went to Tribunj. In Tribunj we swam, climbed rocks, caught sea creatures and walked a lot. We took a trip to NP Kornati and to Krka falls.

20190702_144105
From balcony to beach….
DSC02674
In my days the donkey was real.
20190705_112025
I was glad to see the best things did not change. I could spend days exploring the rocks.

Zagreb is always fun. Markus was excited about climbing the Lotrscak tower, but did not want to go all the way up. Next time… Trevor enjoyed the density of the city and argued that Kanata would be more efficient if people lived in apartment buildings. Owen enjoyed a game of chess at the 80’s museum.

20190712_175428
Angry armoured owls.
20190713_124047
A very patient lion.
20190715_171017
I can’t play chess with Owen any more, he always wins.
DSC02892
A hike on Sljeme was a great way to finish the trip.

Film: Yesterday

We went on some pretty neat trips this summer so let’s start with May and our visit to Connecticut. Nona has been wanting to take us to Groton for a while and we finally managed to get out there.

P1250924

We spent a lot of time at the Mystic Seaport Museum. Trevor found his inner sailor.

P1250911

At the beach Owen found the most crabs.

P1260006

After the dark wooden interior of the whaling ship, Nautilus, the first nuclear submarine was quite a contrast. Markus was scared to go below deck at first but the interest kept him going.

P1260028

And, of course, the aquarium.

P1260087

What an amazing trip!

Is Nature the one with the bugs in it?

Our three camping trips in four weekends adventure concluded with a wonderful outing to Algonquin park, but let’s start from the beginning.

Camp Fishy

IMG_3767

Sometime in early June the boys convinced me to take them to the outdoor megastore and buy them fishing rods. So I did. Then they quickly concluded that we have to go fishing. We decided to go to Gatineau Park and check out the campsite next to the yurt we stayed at this winter so we can compare and contrast. Because our primary purpose was to fish, Markus called it Camp Fishy.

IMG_3768

Our secondary purpose was to see the Lusk cavern. We checked out the cave from the outside as the water was really high so I was not comfortable going in there with Markus. We might come by later on in the season when there is less water and we are better equipped to waddle through it. We managed to avoid rain (it rained while we were sleeping) and added a short canoe ride. I enjoyed the camp ground by Lac Philippe but because it was rainy the fully forested sites were a little cold and very full of mosquitos. It would be a great location during the summer heat.

IMG_20170618_093342
We finished the trip with a brunch in Wakefield

Beaverbrook Camping

IMG_3798

Our neighbours put together a group camping trip to Long Sault. This is the second year we’ve joined and we had tons of fun. After some hemming and hawing we decided to brave the weather and head out to camp late Friday night. We arrived at 11PM and were only the third of six families that were going to arrive that day.

Beaverbrook camping is great for letting the kids run around with their friends and the adults chat and relax. Like last year, we visited the bird sanctuary with enough kids (eleven) no birds were to be found.

2017-06-24 - DSCF0040 - Kolbah
(Thanks Dan for the photo!)

We also visited the Upper Canada Village ’cause it is there!
IMG_20170624_155908

There was a pretty hilarious thunderstorm on Saturday afternoon which reminded us of the pitfalls of setting up the tent in the middle of the night. I was taking a nap during the storm and relived of the ’90s waterbed craze.
IMG_3820

We had a lovely pot-luck and a huge campfire in the evening. I am not sure about exact numbers but I think there was about eighty people in our group.

On Sunday morning we enjoyed a leisurely ride along the Long Sault Parkway.
IMG_3821

Elite Beaverbrook Camping

IMG_20170707_170456

Car camping is all well and good, but nothing beats Dan’s backcountry trips. By now, Owen had broken his arm and had to sit this one out. We are assured that Chris and he had fun. Trev, Markus and I headed out to the Algonquin Park to join three other families. We picked up our three seater canoe at Achray and paddled from the Grand Lake to the far end of Stratton lake where our site was.

IMG_20170708_172214

Eight kids, of which mine were the oldest in the group, made for a busy picture.

IMG_20170708_172522

The visit to the High Falls was definitely a highlight. The water was too high for us to feel comfortable going down the slide, so we left that to the twenty-somethings who always seem in abundance on this spot. We found a nice pool to splash in. Despite the high water and this being relatively early in the season, the water was much warmer than last time.

IMG_20170708_172512

The trip back was made somewhat challenging by the wind. This was the first time I was steering the canoe the whole trip. Trevor did a fair share of paddling and I was pretty impressed with his stamina. I was also very happy to have such awesome friends who made canoeing with kids, which would otherwise be stressful, so much fun.

Blog reflection: Sandra Juto

Sandra takes long walks and beautiful photos. There are a lot of blogs out there with beautiful photos but I find these to be particularly good at capturing the beauty in everyday objects. 

I am at a loss to do a proper blog reflection here as I rarely take photos because my experience of an image is rarely matched in a capture I make. This makes me reluctant to stop and take the camera out when I see something beautiful because I don’t want to distract my attention only to not even get a good photo of whatever I was enjoying. Fortunately, Chris is the family photographer so we have a record of beautiful long walks. Here is a series from our hikes from Crikvenica to Drivenik and from Drivenik to the nearest peak a few days later.

IMG_2352
Crikva!

IMG_2391
From the first hill above Crikvenica you can see Island Krk and Cres behind it.

IMG_2381
Looking towards the interior.

IMG_2397
I have never seen cyclamen in the wild.

IMG_2399
Descending toward Tribalj in the dusk.

IMG_2427
Drivenik Tower seen from the house we were staying at.

IMG_2450
Climbing to the nearest peak. Brushes were exactly Owen’s height – he did not appreciate it.

IMG_2455
Trevor’s favourite rock face.

IMG_2482
View from the top.

IMG_2478
Same but towards the interior.

IMG_2481
Yay us!

IMG_2483
Velebit in the distance.