Roger Sutherland, Whirl Traveller

Whirl Traveller

Roger Sutherland, Whirl Traveller

My name is Roger and I am originally from the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia but now live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. My wife Jeanette and I have travelled to all the continents with the exception of Antartica but nevertheless have many other countries and areas still to experience in the future.

My first blog (see below) is entitled Europe Potpourri and was done while vacationing in Europe in 2012. To enjoy it, I suggest reading it in sequence by starting with the earliest blog then ending with my final one on this extraordinary two month vacation in Europe. By the way, if you want to hear beautiful church bells ringing in a medieval setting, it is located in blog #13. I recorded it in St. Cyprien, France.

Since Europe Potpourri I have written a few more, one on Saint Lucia, Calgary and on Virginia, USA.

Please also note that I could not effectively blog for the first half of the Europe vacation (England, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland) and only got down to it after we had left Paris when we were on our own. (I did manage to include some pictures from that earlier portion) The first part of the vacation was on a luxury coach tour through the aforementioned countries for 18 days which we did accompanied by my brother and his wife. After spending time in Paris together they took the bullet train to London while we picked up our rental car in Paris and struck out on our own, visiting France and Spain. On the way back to Calgary we spent time in wonderful Amsterdam.

Since then I have also visited Saint Lucia, Trinidad, Cuba, Florida, Kelowna, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Maryland, Virginia and Montana as well as a return trip to Saint Lucia in December 2013.

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain

By the way, I welcome comments.

North America » United States » Virginia » Williamsburg September 5th 2013

I buried myself momentarily in the deep and fascinating history of America's beginning when the new world revolted against the old and bitter conflict ended England's rule over her colony and the United States elected its great general, George Washington as its first President. America's heart and soul are truly buried right here in Virginia and the environs, for here raged the most wrenching of discords between peoples with divergent ideas for building a new country. Some years later the Civil War then took its unrelenting toll on families, friendships, businesses and tore apart one entrenched lifestyle and sought to replace it with another. Contrary to popular thought, that devastating war was not only over slavery but first and foremost over who would control the country. Slavery was the central part of an economic system that ... read more
Re-enacted militia
Militia manouvering gun
18 century Re-enactment

North America » Canada » Alberta » Calgary July 10th 2013

Undoubtedly one of the finest cities anywhere in the world to live, Calgary is a multi-dimensional, multi-cultural, modern metropolis with very deep roots in the early homesteading of the west. Calgary is the heart of the corporate oil and gas industry and one of the most important financial centres in the country. It's economy is diversified and dynamic, attracting immigrants from elsewhere in Canada and around the world as it seeks to satisfy the growing demand for a wide range of skilled labour. Lying in southern Alberta about an hour east of the magnificent and mostly snow capped Rocky Mountains, it presents a panorama of orghanized urban sprawl as you observe its length and breath from the air during daylight hours. At night, that same impression is transformed into a spectacle of twinkling lights causing me ... read more
Where is her Western garb?
Flapjack production line
Ready to serve

To say that Saint Lucia, the Helen of the West is "simply beautiful" is an enormous under statement. Saint Lucia's beauty encompasses not only its awesome terrain, lush green lansdcapes and the spectacular World Heritage Pitons but the wide variety of scenery from north to south and east to west. I will attempt through my blog to give a sense of what the island is and what its people are like. Enjoy it and you are most welcome to contact me or comment as you like. I was privileged to have been born on this jewel of the Caribbean which changed hands between Great Britain and France in earlier centuries fourteen times, before been finally ceded to Britain. Because of its strategic importance in the extended European conflict for the New World, it conjures up images ... read more
Stunning Reduit Beach
Incredibly tranquil Reduit

Europe » Netherlands » North Holland » Amsterdam July 19th 2012

After several weeks on the continent, this evening is our last OF THIS TRIP as we relax before checking out tomorrow and flying back home to Calgary on KLM. First a word about KLM. We thoroughly enjoyed using them especially not having to change planes in Toronto. Our flight in the morning takes us directly to Calgary. We had a full final day today. We visited the Church of Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of seafarers then took a canal cruise which was wonderful because the weather cleared up beautifully, the day having started with a little rain and wind. Amsterdam was most impressive and comprises ninety islands joined by canals, bridges and roads. It is actually nearly twenty feet below sea level and water levels are controlled. It reminded us of Venice in many respects ... read more
Saint Nicholas Church
Canal boat dock

Europe » Netherlands » North Holland » Amsterdam July 18th 2012

We are quickly coming to the end of a great and varied vacation and we chose Amsterdam for our final leg before heading back to Calgary. So today, after a wonderful breakfast here at the hotel we took the tram down to Amsterdam Central rail station and boarded the train to visit our friends in The Hague. We had purchased our tickets the day before but reached too late to catch the 9.19 am train but since our friend told us to take the 15A we jumped on the 9.27 from that platform. Once we were underway an announcement came on to say that everyone must purchase a supplementary ticket on board as that train was a high speed one. We were somewhat confused as there did not appear to be anyone to collect so we ... read more
South African exhibition of art
Outdoor exhibition

Europe » Netherlands » North Holland » Amsterdam July 17th 2012

Here we are in Amsterdam this evening. Schiphol Airport is a beehive of commercial activity. The more one walks it the more one runs across shops and restaurants of all kinds. Having picked up our tour tickets for Thursday's events and the shuttle tickets to get to our hotel, we headed off to get settled in. Our hotel is modest, came well recommended and ideally suited for what we needed, especially its location (we thoroughly check all reviews before deciding on any accommodation). We learnt that it is owned by a Turkish family and we were greeted with Cappucino then found our room on the second floor overlooking a garden at the back. With wifi set up we telephoned a friend in The Hague to confirm that we will be visiting herself and husband in the ... read more
Moeders unique atmosphere
Amsterdam at night

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona July 14th 2012

Well, we are finally here in the city of Barcelona, reputed to be one of the most beautiful in Europe. We only arrived this evening but from the little that I have seen so far, I can fully appreciate why it has that reputation. Driving on the wide tree-lined lanes and through its many expansive traffic circles provided, at least for me, furtive glimpses of the capital, Madrid. Anyway, more later on the city after we get to know it better. First, how we got here. We left our resort in Alfaz del Pi at about 7 am this morning and headed north. I had limited sleep the night before but nevertheless was rearing to take on the almost five hour drive instead of adopting our alternative plan which was to have taken the train. I ... read more
A stop in Tarragona
Barcelona from our deck
The unfinished Familia Sagrada

Europe » Spain » Valencian Community » Alfaz del Pi July 13th 2012

Yes, I know that I am in Spain right now and loving it, as usual but I have such a soft spot for Honfleur in France that I had to show more pictures of it. I downloaded Jeanette's photographs and as expected found that many of hers were far better than mine so this file will have pictures exclusively of Honfleur, all from her camera. In the morning we will say an early "asta la vista" to L'Alfax del Pi and drive up to Barcelona via Valencia and wherever else my lovely wife chooses to. After another great lunch we did an early check out of the resort and lay by the pool in the blazing hot sun. I am here blogging after a cool shower while Gee continues to bake in the sun. Enjoy Honfleur ... read more
Yachts moored at Honfleur
My restaurant in Honfleur
Honfleur & me

Europe » Spain » Valencian Community » Alfaz del Pi July 13th 2012

Last evening, thanks to Jeanette who suggested the event, we had a wonderful time at the Benidorm Palace, about ten minutes south of our resort. She had read excellent reviews about this dinner/theatre and it was her preference over the jousting event, also held nearby. As usual, parking seemed to have been waiting just for us as we picked up the last space immediately in front of the building saving us a walk to the car park on the other side. We waited in the large lobby with other well dressed patrons and were soon ushered to our table located about three sets back facing the centre of the stage. We could not have been better positioned. When our five course dinner started, we chose red wine for the evening. My pate was excellent and so ... read more
Inside the resort
The lower pool area
Preparing lunch

Europe » Spain » Valencian Community » Alfaz del Pi July 11th 2012

It's a hot afternoon today and we spent a few hours high up in the mountains about an hour away from L'Alfax del Pi earlier. We first had a great breakfast on the deck then headed for Castell del Guadalest, an ancient Moorish fortress lodged at the top of a very steep mountain. It was certainly worth the winding and precipitous drive through La Nuco to get there. It is hard to comprehend how this and other similar structures were constructed but I can imagine the sweat and tears of slave labour which made these strongholds, nesessary as they then were, for the protection of their occupants. The views were also stunning as we looked down on an emerald green lake below rimmed by jagged stark and bare terrain, hiding within their midsts, precious stones like ... read more
View from Guadalest
Sipping freshly squeezed orange juice

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