German Christmas Markets

When I think of Germany, several things come to mind: castles, forests, beer (not my thing, but they are definitely known for it!), and CHRISTMAS MARKETS.

If I were to travel to Germany, I would want to go sometime around the end of November to the middle-end of December, because you can see the castles AND check out the world-famous Christmas Markets.

Nuremberg Christmas Market. Image from www.telegraph.co.uk

I checked out two top-ten/eleven Christmas Market lists, and BOTH list Nuremberg’s Market as number one.

Not only does this Market run from the end of November to Christmas Eve, but it’s one of the oldest Markets in Germany, originating sometime in the early 17th Century. They only allow handcrafted goods (something of which I highly approve!) and there is a parade of the Christkind child at the opening ceremony.

It feels like there is a Market for every style and in every city. You could take a cruise along the Rhine and stop in cities along the way to visit lesser known Markets, you could take a train between the big cities and go to the bigger Markets, or you could take a guided tour specifically geared towards seeing multiple Markets.

Here is a list of the dates for all the Christmas Markets in Germany. I was astonished by the number.

I’m getting excited about the Holidays. Are you?


Are you interested in travelling to Germany this Holiday season? You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel. jennifer.desmarais@orleanstravel.ca

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Uley Long Barrow

Happy Halloween!

In honour of this spooky holiday, I would like to introduce you to the Uley Long Barrow.

Barrow means a mound placed over a grave/tomb, in case you were wondering.

Image of the Uley Long Barrow in Uley, Gloucestershire, England. From www.altasobscura.com

Numerous skeletons have been discovered within it over the years, and there is evidence of disturbances over the centuries. But considering the barrow is thought to be at least five THOUSAND (not hundred) years old, I guess that makes sense.

Uley is located in England, near Gloucestershire in the Cotswolds, just north of Bristol and Bath and south-west of Stratford-on-Avon.

And guess what? You can go right inside it! (Be prepared to be squished and get very dirty!)

Read more here!


Are you interested in travelling to South-Western England? You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel. jennifer.desmarais@orleanstravel.ca

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Game of Thrones Legacy Project

Game of Thrones fans might already be experiencing withdrawal, as the final season is set to be aired in 2019. The end of Westeros? Well, not completely.

The Game of Thrones Legacy Project has been officially announced! (You don’t know how hard it was to find the official press release. SO many articles citing it without actually linking to it!)

As early as 2019 (potentially), you’ll be able to visit Winterfell, Castle Black, and Kings Landing in person, not just through your TV screen. Northern Ireland will be the host of these locations, along with Linen Mill Studios, and will be preserving them for years to come.

Game of Thrones set in Northern Ireland. Image from tourismni.com

As if Northern Ireland wasn’t already a great place to visit, now there’s a fandom element to it? Sign me up.


Are you interested in travelling to Northern Ireland? You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel. jennifer.desmarais@orleanstravel.ca

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Disney Cruise Line 2020

Starting tomorrow, Disney Cruise Line is accepting bookings for early 2020!

There are new itineraries, including departures from New Orleans in Louisiana, visits in Puerto Rico, and a Hawaiian Island cruise! There will, of course, continue to be cruises departing from Florida and California.

Image from disneytravelagents.ca (not available to non-agents, sorry!)

Are you interested in travelling on a Disney Cruise? You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel. jennifer.desmarais@orleanstravel.ca

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Guest post: 5 James Bond Travel Destinations

This is a guest post. All content, images, and links were supplied by a contributor. This was not written by JenEric Designs nor are any links endorsed or verified by us. It is however a very interesting post with fun facts.

Enjoy!


According to Hollywood, spies travel the world like no other. Not only do they get to go to all kinds of exotic destinations, from tropical beaches to non-existent moon bases, but they tend to do so dressed sharply, without needing to pay for much, while sipping cocktails and rendezvousing with gorgeous members of the opposite sex. Not a bad lifestyle, but then that’s why it’s fantasy (I think – if any of you are globetrotting spies and find the cinematic experiences to be accurate, drop a line in the comments).

At any rate, no fictional character enjoys spy-style travel quite like James Bond. The MI-6 agent otherwise known as 007 has been all over the world and has looked impossibly suave doing it, all resulting in the fact that plenty of Bond fans would love to follow the spy’s footsteps. Lo and behold, I’ve put together a guide for how to do so, or at least a list of some of the best Bond-related destinations to consider visiting.

Enjoy, and don’t forget to pack your best jet pack and laser watch!

1. Khao Phing Kan, Thailand

Would you buy it if I told you there were a place called James Bond Island? Well, it’s not official, so perhaps you’d be right not to. But Khao Phing Kan (and its sister island Ko Khao Phing Kan) in the Andaman Sea off the coast of Thailand are actually loosely known by that name. That’s because they appeared in The Man With The Golden Gun, and hosted an iconic beach duel between Bond and his nemesis Francisco Scaramanga. Evidently, the islands’ original names are rarely used by the locals, which in a way makes this the Bond tourism destination. As you might imagine it’s become a bit of a hot spot, but it’s not as if it’s teeming with commercial development. You’re still in for a remote, beautiful Thailand beach escape.

2. Istanbul, Turkey

As far as major cities are concerned, Istanbul may be the quintessential Bond location, so long as we aren’t counting London. In a way this makes perfect sense. The city famously sits between two continents and has historically been an important crossroads – which suits a series that famously treks all over the world and involves all kinds of different cultures. Bond showed up in the city in Skyfall (Daniel Craig), The World Is Not Enough (Pierce Brosnan), and From Russia With Love (Sean Connery), and left a veritable guidebook of landmarks for fans to follow. There’s the Hagia Sophia, the Grand Bazaar, and the Basilica Cistern for instance. However, don’t miss out on more general Istanbul attractions while you’re there. This is a fascinating city full of awesome things to see and do. Additionally, make sure to try the local tea (sometimes offered as a friendly gesture) and the lamb preparation known as kofte.

3. Bahamas

The Bahamas are most closely associated with recent Bond films, given that Daniel Craig spent time there in Casino Royale However, speaking more broadly, Bond has frequented the Caribbean, and you can soak up lots of that classic atmosphere at this island nation. Another perk here is that it’s one Bond destination where you can enjoy one of his favorite activities (and one that’s all over Casino Royale) in casino gaming. This is becoming less of a tourist draw around the globe, with online and mobile gaming taking over. Says one Canadian guide to the topic, gambling on mobile devices have been steadily rising with each passing year, which can make it less necessary in person. But would Bond play poker on a mobile phone? I don’t really think so, but stacking chips at a beachside casino in the Bahamas is different, and can make you feel quite a bit like 007.

4. Lake Como, Italy

Lake Como has a whole lot going for it. Yes, it’s beautiful enough to have been invented as a utopia in a fantasy novel. Yes, George Clooney summers there. But most importantly for any self-respecting Bond nerd (I’m certainly in that club), this is where Craig’s Bond wound up at the end of Casino Royale. Remember when he wakes up with Vesper watching over him on a balcony straight out of your imagination of what Heaven must look like? That’s a villa (Villa La Gaeta) right on the edge of Lake Como. It’s not exactly memorable for any Bond-like action, but if you get the chance to relax anywhere close to this you might be able to replicate a rare moment of peace and serenity from our favorite double-o.

5. Hong Kong

Roger Moore actually shot in Hong Kong, though the character of Bond has appeared there multiple times (in You Only Live Twice, The Man With The Golden Gun, and Die Another Day). And truth be told, the city hasn’t produced many of the most memorable scenes of 007 lore. Nevertheless, this same lore gives you a good excuse to check the city out, and it happens to be a popular favorite tourist destination in the world for a lot of regular travelers. I will say this: Pierce Brosnan’s escape from boat captivity straight into Victoria Harbor does give you some excellent glimpses of the city at night, which is enough to make you want to visit. Just don’t jump into the water like he did!


Are you interested in travelling like James Bond? You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel. jennifer.desmarais@orleanstravel.ca

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Recommendation Wednesday: Disney Food Blog

Do you love Disney? Do you love food? Have I got the blog for you!

Disney Food Blog

Menus, festivals, food news, and guides to the food at Disney World and Disneyland in California.

Image from Disney Food Blog.

Are you interested in travelling to Disney? They are currently taking bookings until Dec 31, 2019! You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel. jennifer.desmarais@orleanstravel.ca

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Detroit Public Library

At first glance, the Detroit Public Library looks that same as any library in any other city. The website for it certainly doesn’t give any indication of uniqueness (despite being a great website – very easy to navigate).

But the Main branch is so much more than just a library!

Detroit Public Library Main Branch. Image from detroitpubliclibrary.org

Take a look at this:


Are you interested in travelling to Detroit? You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel. jennifer.desmarais@orleanstravel.ca

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It – Canadian film locations

As I was looking for something to write about this week, I decided to type “new film locations” into Google and see what popped up. And, well, this was kinda interesting.

The movie ‘It’ premiered in 2017, and although it is set in Derry, Maine (based off of Bangor, Maine), filming did not take place there. Instead, they filmed in Toronto’s Riverdale area (mostly at the Cranfield House at 450 Pape Ave), and Oshawa and Port Hope for exterior shots.

The film crew setting up a location in Port Hope. Image from inquisitr.com.
The facade of the house. Built in Oshawa. Torn down after filming ended. Image from onset-hollywood.com.

I can’t imagine how I would feel walking around in the same locations as a horror movie…and I have friends in that area!

However, if YOU are interested in following in Pennywise’s footsteps, here are the filming locations: ‘It’ filming locations


Are you interested in touring Ontario? You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel. jennifer.desmarais@orleanstravel.ca

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Writing Excuses workshop at Sea

Yesterday, a writer’s cruise was brought to my attention. And wow, did it ever get my attention!

The Writing Excuses Workshop and Retreat 2018! (scroll past the ticket info to get to the event details)

Take a look at the incredible instructors and the amazing seminars being offered!

I have met a couple of these instructors at Can-Con in Ottawa and I was incredibly shy and quiet around them very impressed by them. To have the opportunity to have a one-on-one session with even one of these instructors – where you can cover anything from a critique, worldbuilding, pitching practice (no, not baseball!), or simply get general writing advice – is worth it’s weight in gold.

The seminars themselves are extremely comprehensive and include writing exercises and Q&A time with the professor as well as instructional time.

The cruise allows for a guest to accompany their writer, with a nice discount. Children aged 12-17 can also attend seminars with parental guidance.

Please bear in mind that the prices listed are in USD but they include things like WiFi, gratuities, and transfers to/from the Houston WX hotel, all things that are not normally included in cruise pricing.

There are only a few tickets to the conference left! What are you waiting for?

The Liberty of the Seas from Royal Caribbean. Image from Wikipedia.

Are you interested in cruising? You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel. jennifer.desmarais@orleanstravel.ca

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PEI and Anne

One of my favourite books, both when I was growing up and now that I’m older, is Anne of Green Gables (and the rest of the series). Did you know that they found a bunch of Montgomery’s writings recently and published them?

Needless to say, I have wanted to visit PEI for a very long time, to walk in Anne’s footsteps. The tourism PEI website was incredibly helpful in planning a 3-day itinerary. I’ll only include a bit of it here – you should go to the website to check it out.

Cavendish, PEI. Image from www.welcomepei.com.

Day one – Cavendish, Avonlea, and New London. Visit Anne’s beginnings, with Green Gables Heritage Place, the town where Anne lived, and where Montgomery grew up.

Day two – Green Gables Museum, a carriage ride, Bideford, and Lower Bedeque Schoolhouse.

Day three – Charlottetown for the musicals. Yes, there are two. Personally, I would stay an extra day just so I can see both. Anne of Green Gables – The Musical plays at the Confederation Centre of the Arts, has matinees on Wednesday and evening shows on Mon, Tues (except Sept 18), and Sat, until September 22. After that, the dates and times change and are not on the website. Anne & Gilbert plays at the Guild, and plays during the summer on every day except Saturday in a matinee or evening show, and in September/October on every day but Monday and select Sundays. Please note, the Guild does not allow children under the age of 4.


Are you interested in travelling to PEI? You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel. jennifer.desmarais@orleanstravel.ca

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