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What it’s Like to Stay in the Luxurious Fairmont Amman

Since its opening in the fall of 2017, the Fairmont Amman has set the bar for luxury hotels in Amman, Jordan. Its prestigious location in the 5th Circle of Amman, ensures its a convenient 30 minute drive from the Queen Alia International Airport.  From the moment you step out of your car at the entrance, the five star hotel experience begins. As you walk to the check-in desk through a magnificent lobby replete with stunning…

A Day Trip from Amman to the Azraq Wetland Preserve

“There’s nothing there” some told us. “Just flat desert.” However, after having our fill of culture for a week we wanted to get a little taste of Wild Jordan and were not to be deterred from visiting the AZRAQ WETLAND PRESERVE. We had not seen very many bird species in the previous week and quite frankly I was feeling a little demanding about getting some birding in. As a bonus, there was a UNESCO site…

The Centennial Ridge – Mount Allan Hike in Kananaskis Country

If you're looking for a long out and back day hike in Kananaskis Country then the Centennial Ridge trail up to Mount Allan should fit the bill. If you want to turn it into an epic day, make it a one-way hike and descend to Dead Man's Flats from Mount Allan but you'll need a car shuttle to do that. Finding the Trailhead(s) for either end of the Centennial Ridge Hike If you do the…

10 Fun Things to do in Calgary

Calgary, still referred to by some as Cowtown is a fun, dynamic city with a young demographic. Even with the oil slowdown it's got an energy to it that I love. There's always lots going on in the city especially in the summer when the Calgary Stampede and the Calgary Folk Music Festival come to town. I think these 10 fun things to do in Calgary are perfect for locals and visitors alike. The Calgary…

The Highlights of a Week Long Bike Trip in Jordan

Jordan, a safe and peace-loving country is often referred to as the Switzerland of the Middle East. While it's surrounded by noisy neighbours including Iraq, Syria, Saudia Arabia, Israel and the West Bank, don't let that deter you from visiting. Over the 10 days I was in the country I never felt unsafe for a second. You can expect to be greeted by a warm Welcome to Jordan almost every time you meet someone -…

What’s it’s Like to Hike the Full Tour du Mont Blanc

Completely updated in April 2019. The Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) is one of the top long distance hikes in Europe, and in fact the world. It delivers superlative, pristine mountain scenery day after day for over a week. The hiker's Tour of Mont Blanc is a 168 kilometre loop around the base of Mount Blanc, the highest peak in western Europe at 4810 metres (15,782 feet). Most hikers start just outside of Chamonix, France…

Why You Should do the Hike to the Petra Monastery

The hike to the Petra Monastery was the highlight of my day in the rose-coloured city of Petra. The Monastery, called Ad Deir in Arabic, is half-carved, half-built out of rock. It was completed sometime in the 1st century by the Nabateans, a group of nomadic Arab people. The Monastery's impressive facade measures approximately 45 metres high by 50 metres wide. While it resembles the Treasury, the most famous of the many impressive sights in…

Getting Naked in Japan: The Addictive Japanese Onsen Experience

If you're okay with getting naked in public then you'll love the Japanese onsen experience. It's very addictive. In short order you'll find a way to carve out the minimum 30 minutes you need to visit an onsen. But many or even most westerners are going to have to get over their aversion to getting naked in public, myself included. What is a Japanese onsen? A Japanese onsen is basically a public-style bath that uses…

What it’s Really Like to Visit the Dead Sea in Jordan

So, we cycled to the Dead Sea in Jordan the other day. Now doesn’t that sound casually epic, especially for people that live in Calgary, Alberta, nine times zones away from Jordan? We stopped in at Mount Nebo for a great overview of the rift valley and our salty destination. And then enjoyed a thrilling 1,400 metre (4,600 feet) descent on bikes to the lowest elevation on the earth’s surface. Not something we do every…

An Overnight Stay in a Wadi Rum Camp in Jordan

I've been angling to get to Jordan for well over a decade. The country has been on my radar since I first read Desert Queen: The Extraordinary Life of Gertrude Bell: Adventurer, Advisor to Kings, Ally of Lawrence of Arabia. Instagram provided further fodder - with lots of drool-worthy photos over the past few years. My wish to visit Jordan finally came to true in March 2019. John and I spent a week cycling the…

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