Regal Eagles – Or Why bird watching isn’t just for grandmas

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Americas, British Columbia, Canada, Worldwide Vacation

Eagle at Harrison River

Eagle at Harrison River

It’s interesting how age and experience changes what we want from our travels. But whether you’re 18 or 80 surely the point of travel is to try something new, and revel in the revelations it brings.

If you’d asked me just a few years ago if bird watching was on my must do list I’d have to be honest and say my natural reaction wasn’t all that positive; a perception of Bill Oddie, Sunday teatime TV shows and dorkily-clad older folks sporting binoculars and sitting quietly clutching an illustrated book of bird species. As crazy as it seems to me now, it just didn’t inspire me.

But two years ago the wonderful winged element of my South African safari changed that completely, meaning I jumped at the chance to spend a day surrounded by thousands of bald eagles in Harrison, BC.

Here’s why that day cemented my desire to be a committed twitcher….

5 European Cities That Are Famous For Finance

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Continents, England, France, Worldwide Vacation

London

We all know London is one of the world’s most famous business and banking hubs, but luckily for us Londoners it’s well-known that our city has more to offer than moolah; tourists flock here for the food, fashion, culture and coolness that comes with a being a financial capital.

But across Europe certain cities’ reputations are overshadowed by their big banking and corporate connotations – here are 5 cities which are worth depositing yourself in, despite their somewhat dry reputations…

Snow, Sculptures & Sunshine At Winnipeg’s Festival du Voyageur

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Americas, Art & Culture, Canada, Continents, Manitoba, Photo Journeys

Festival du Voyageur

A very cool tattoo, quite literally, at Festival du Voyageur

‘Winnipegans just get on with it!’ I’m told as I travel with a group of fellow writers to Winnipeg’s famous February festival, Festival du Voyageur, in temperatures of -20. And that’s practically a heat wave for the Manitoban winter.

At that moment we overtake a committed cyclist; we’re all bundled up in our woollens despite being inside a car but the bike trundles its snowy path alongside us, proving that the people of the Manitoban capital really do have a Nike slogan-style attitude to life, whatever the weather…

Breaking The Ice – My Day Skating On Winnipeg’s Frozen River

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Americas, Canada, Manitoba, Opinion, Worldwide Vacation

trail

Historically my ice skating prowess has only ever extended to a couple of childhood trips to an ice rink;-quite an exotic destination in London I can tell you.

My main memory involves a teacher proclaiming we must be careful where we put our hands while lacing up lest we lose a finger to a passing rogue skate. Ouch.

So when it was clear that I was going to be spending some time in Canada I decided that I better learn how to spend some of that time on ice, without clutching onto the edges of the rink or wobbling uncontrollably in fear.

If travelling is all about adapting, what better way to adapt to Canada than to get comfortable using metal blades as a legitimate means of transportation?

And for the first time in my life I did just that on Winnipeg’s frozen river trail

Why I Love Turin – Italy’s Underdog Artistic City

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Art & Culture, Continents, Europe, Italy

Turin's Mole Antonelliana Building

Recently I was asked by travel company Inghams to write a few paragraphs explaining why Italy is one of my favourite countries in the world. I set about describing my love for Bella Italia – for the Riviera and the beaches, the Mediterranean culture and the unparalleled cuisine, but I realised in doing so that the one thing that pulls me back to Italy time and time again is its underdog cities – yes I love Rome and Florence, but give me unsung urban heroes like Genoa and Turin and I’m truly happy….

Discovering The Vancouver Flea Market

Written by Jaillan Yehia. Posted in Americas, British Columbia, Canada, Continents, Photo Journeys, Shopping, Vancouver

Vancouver Flea Market

Vancouver Flea Market

One of my favourite things to do in a new city is poke around at a flea market for nik-naks to bring home, especially in places where the cost of living is high; in Asia and Africa shopping is cheap and souvenirs are easy to pick up anywhere. Here in Vancouver and in European cities too it’s easier to find a bargain at a flea market, and it can be a lot of fun and far more rewarding than buying a mass produced piece.