Page 4 of zofka Travel Blog Posts

North America » United States » Washington » Seattle August 3rd 2011

I have arrived in the US and though my first meeting with Americans was the unpleasantness of the land border crossing from Vancouver to Seattle, my general impression is that Americans share the hospitality of their Northern neighbours. Seattle is most commonly known to be the home of McDreamy, Starbucks (463 in greater Seattle metropolitan area) and a celebrated 90's chick-flick starring Ryan and Hanks. But it is also home to 1700 homeless people on any given night. Downtown Seattle which in the daytime is jam-packed with American and Asian tourists becomes a ghost town by night time, where the corners fills with homeless men and women. A truck stops. On the side it reads 'Seattle's Union Gospel Mission – Men's Shelter – Search and Rescue Van'. Two people get out and turns to the elderly ... read more
waiting for the train that never comes
The Old Saloon
Let's tango

North America » Canada » British Columbia » Vancouver July 31st 2011

In the evening Vancouver's Granville St lights up with neon signs. There are many but apparently not as many as there used to be. Before neon lights were considered to represent brothels, bars and bad neighbourhoods, Vancouver could boast as the city with the most neon lights in the world, except from Shanghai - 19.000 in total in the mid 1950's. But as neon signs went out of favour, more and more businesses tore them down and in the 1960's a Vancouver bylaw made it illegal to put up any new neon lights. This bylaw was in force until 2003 when Vancouver was awarded the 2010 Winter Olympics. At this point in time Granville Street among others had gone from being the pulse of the city to a wasteland of dodgy shops, bars and clubs. For ... read more
colourful Vancouver
Welcome to the land of neon
Faces of the Pride

North America » Canada » British Columbia » Vancouver July 29th 2011

Welcome to Vancouver This city can boast of 120 Starbucks, reaching 300 within the entire metropolitan area. According to trustworthy sources there are only 2 Second Cups. Instead of Second Cup Vancouver's Canadian competition here is Blenz. And then off course there are the unavoidable and ever popular Tim Hortons. Also, as a little piece of useless information, the Starbucks at Waterfront Station was the first Starbucks outside of the US. source: Jessica from It seems that once again I have come to a city that is wholly and completely different from what I imagined. I had an idea that Vancouver was just a downtown of tall glass skyscrapers. And well it is. But it is so much more. With only 120 years worth of history, Vancouver has a surprisingly rich and quirky history ... read more
Food vendor at Granville St
Gassy Jack
Gastown houses

North America » Canada » Alberta » Edmonton July 25th 2011

It is my last day in Edmonton before I head out on a one month trip from Vancouver, cross the US, to Toronto. But before I leave the capital of Alberta, I will write one last blog about some of the many things that Edmonton has to offer. Edmonton is not a beautiful city. It is way too spread out and unless you have a car, living here would be a hell. However, in between the more or less disastrous skyscrapers and thousands of dog-trucks, Edmonton has a certain charm. Most of this comes from the people living here. As I have said before, people in Edmonton, Alberta and Canada seem so welcoming, chit-chatting and easy-going. Half the experience of Canada, I would argue would be in meeting the hospitality of the Canadians. But there are ... read more
Farmer's Market
local piece of art
Rainbow Edmonton

North America » Canada » Alberta » Calgary July 9th 2011

Thanks to long running soaps such as Dynasty and Dallas, I hold quite strong prejudices against the idea of a Western 'getting-rich-quickly' oil city. I never thought that I would take a liking to a place which is all about cattle and oil and intimidating skyscrapers. In my imagination, all that happens in such places are continuous dialogues between rich people who like to cheat and scam each other while they fumble around in intrigues about their weird family relations and discussing who-is-betraying-who. So imagine my surprise when we arrived at Calgary, Alberta in the midst of the most important event of the year; the Calgary Stampede. Though the city is full of intimidating skyscrapers and cowboys and oil-dynasties, it has a friendly feel to it with lots of different areas to explore. Unlike Edmonton, downtown ... read more
My new Coboy hat

North America » Canada » Alberta » Bragg Creek July 8th 2011

Ever since arriving in Alberta, I have wanted to get a feel of the wild West. I dreamed of meeting the small town prairie feeling. I found it today! We began the day saying goodbye to our pretty little campsite at Bow Valley before heading South into cattle country. Our plan was to visit Bar-U Ranch, which is a Canadian historical site displaying the life of actual cowboys. But having a bit of a drive ahead of us, we began the day driving towards Bragg Creek. Bragg Creek I can't say much about this town, since we only stopped at the shopping centre. However, I really liked what I saw. The place was build with a very Western touch and has escaped the building boom thus far. There were no warehouse buildings and no cheap fast ... read more
I love Alberta Beef
At Bar U Ranch
Bar U Ranch horse

North America » Canada » Alberta » Banff National Park July 7th 2011

After a few days in Edmonton and as my boyfriend got four days off work, we decided to make a trip South into cattle country and the Rockies. The planning was extremely hectic and after having stopped at several Canadian Tire stores to find a two-bed tent, I was surprised when we actually drove out of Edmonton. Leaving Edmonton we took hwy 2 in the direction of Calgary, enjoying how the scenery changed from flat prairie to hills and laughing about how no mountains were visible in Mountain View Country (though I expect it to be because of the weather). On the way we stopped at Gasoline Alley south of Red Deer to get gas and an iced cap. Gasoline Alley is a lane which runs parallel to the highway for a long stretch midway between ... read more
Picture from Gasoline Alley
Bow River
View of the Rockies

North America » Canada » Alberta » Edmonton July 3rd 2011

Canada Day I arrived on the 30th and after going to bed early, I woke up fresh early in the morning of July 1. I was jetlaged, 8 hours ahead of Edmonton, and pulling my boyfriend out of bed I jumped around eager to jumpstart my first day in Canada, and my first ever Canada Day. Unlike any other day in Canada, the 1st of July is a day of celebration and joy, cultural and family-oriented events, music and play. It is regarded as Canada's birthday! Starting the day, we took the bus downtown. Placing ourselves at the secluded seats at the end of the bus, we happened upon a somewhat desperate man. Not long after we had taken our seats did he engage us in conversation, telling us of what a terrible night he had ... read more
Pancake eating Canadians
Cree dancing
Feeling Canadian

North America » Canada » Alberta » Edmonton July 3rd 2011

Information from Starbucks in Edmonton = 44 Second Cup in Edmonton = 41 Tim Hortons in Edmonton = 45 Welcome to the continent of chain stores, heavy trucks and endless raffles! Welcome to North America, more precisely the city of Edmonton (population 782439), capital of Alberta. Not many people can boast that their first overseas adventure began in Edmonton. I dare say, not many tourists can boast to have visited this city, as it is not a major tourist attraction and is overshadowed by cities such as Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, and even Calgary. Though I shouldn't mention Calgary in a blog about Edmonton, seeing as they are ardent rivals. My plan is to stay in Edmonton for an entire month, while getting to know the life in Edmonton, something which has proven a bit ... read more
me and a dog-truck
Holiness in the neighbourhood
wuf wuf

Europe » Russia » Northwest » Saint Petersburg July 24th 2009

There are some cities in the world which one has to visit at least once in a life time. One of them is the majestic city of Saint Petersburg A bit of history The city was founded on May 27, 1703 by Peter the First, tsar of Russia, who is more known as Peter the Great. Named after its founder Peter the Great, the city lies at the back of the Finnish Gulf, where Orthodox Russia meets the Protestant Scandinavia and the Catholic Baltic. Peter the Great Prior to the rule of Peter the Great, Russia had been expanding towards Asia and had throughout the 16th and 17th centuries brought under its realm of power the mayor parts of the Siberian plains. But with the coming of Peter's reign and in particular after his Tour d'Europe ... read more
lada in sight
Russian artist at work

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