Our Morocco trip was intense because my cousin Bettina who lives on the outskirts of Marrakech had put together a very ambitious program for the 6 of us which led us through a myriad of old casbahs (ancient, fortified clay burgs) off the main roads and to a different town almost every day. For the first 3 days we roomed in a luxurious riad (hotel) within the old town center of Marrakesh. It featured an enclosed court yard, a small swimming pool, spacious rooms decorated with local carpets and weavings and a lofty rooftop terrace overlooking the tiled, cluttered roofs of the old city. Naturally there was a minaret close by equipped with large speakers which blared forth 5 times a day, calling Adhan in zealous live broadcasts by a caller who desperately needed voice lessons.

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We’ve been In Volterra a week, just chilling out in our small, vaulted apartment within the 3000 year old fortified Etruscan hill town. We wander the narrow cobbled streets between old palaces, castles and towers, soaking up the medieval atmosphere while sipping the house wine in our favorite wine bar just up the alley. Our apartment is about 50 feet inside one of the original city gates.

Italians are social animals and there isn’t a wine bar or coffee shop which isn’t buzzing with loudly patrons. It’ fun and lively and the history on every corner is stimulating and brutal in it’s excesses of subsequent sackings, sieges and carnage at the hands of the Romans, Florentines, Lorenzo de Medici or the black death which wiped out an unprecedented 50% to 80% of the population around here.

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As soon as you arrive at the Zurich Airport you will be directed to a shuttle to the main terminal and during the short ride subjected to typical Swiss sounds like the alphorn, jodeling , cowbells and yes,  the muuhing of a cow. When you exit into the shopping centre like terminal you are immediately greeted by gigantic posters of watches worn by such local celebrities as Federer and Piccard.

The Swiss are known for their punctuality, their cleanliness, their  politeness and yes, they do have humour. If the train is a minute late then it’s due to a nuclear disaster or a major calamity of that order. The train is never late and it leaves exactly on the time posted. Large white clocks on every platform tell the exact time, synchronized with all the wristwatches of the passengers, who can be counted on to check their Omega’s, Rado’s or Tissot’s for possible time shifts the second the train pulls into the station.

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Sunshine Coast BC

Where is the Sunshine Coast ?

A 40 min ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver.

Ah yeah. It’s on the island ?

No it’s not. The Sunshine Coast is a 170km stretch of coastline on the Straight of Georgia along the mainland and the ferry goes to Langdale, which is across the Howe Sound. There is no road – as of yet !

And why is it called the Sunshine Coast ?

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