DebBran

Debra and Dana

DebBran

Dana and I are now retired and plan to travel over the next few years. Stay tuned.



Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Lanarkshire » Glasgow September 5th 2019

The locals claim that May is the driest month in Scotland. Well August/September must be when the Sottish monsoons arrive as our 4 days on the West Coast and the Isle of Skye were quite wet. When in Gairloch, we managed to hike up Beinn Eighe (pronunced Ben A) which was a good work out. At an elevation of appx 750 meters, we started to show our age!! Beautiful scenery at the top and lots of fresh water streams rolling down the mountains. Gairloch, for a small town, has a very interesting museum that provided a great deal of information of past life in the community. We also had a nice dinner at Badachro Inn which looks over a remote harbour about 1/2 hour drive outside of town. Off to the Isle of Skye for a ... read more
Portree, Isle of Skye
Glenfinnian
Doesn’t seem to fit

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Moray » Grantown-on-Spey September 2nd 2019

We’re off to Grantown on Spey in Moray with our first stop at Scone Palace (actually pronounce Scoon for reasons unknown) which is the home of the Earl of Mansfield and was the original location of the “stone of destiny”, on which numerous early Scottish Kings were crowned including Robert the Bruce. The Palace and grounds are beautifully maintained and contain many pieces of antique furniture from centuries ago. After a brief stop at Pitlochry to view the Salmon ladders at the power station, we rushed off to catch a sheep dog demonstration late in the afternoon. This was an amazing performance!! The trainer had 6 dogs each with their own set of commands and under full control of their master. Hearing what appeared to be the slightest of sounds, the dogs maneuvered the sheep with ... read more
Walkers Shortbread factory outlet
Elgin Cathedral
The Biblical Garden

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Fife » Saint Andrews August 27th 2019

Sunday was such a good weather day for golf we headed to St. Andrews, the birthplace of the game. We finished the Old Course(there are 7 courses in St. Andrews and 41 in the Fife area) in about 1 1/2 hours. It would have taken longer had we actually played! The course is closed on Sunday and they allow the public to walk around the course. We walked every hole and stopped at Swilken Bridge on the 18th fairway for some photo-ops. On the 15th fairway a friendly local, who was walking his dogs, stopped for a nice chat! As a local resident, he pays 350 pound sterling/annually for his membership which is almost the price tourists pay for one round! St Andrews is a very historic town, one of the oldest in Scotland. University of ... read more
Inside Stirling Castle
Falkirk Wheel
Creative flower pots in school yard

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh August 23rd 2019

After landing at 6:30 am and before settling into our apartment in Edinburgh, we strike out on the “hop on, hop off” bus for an overview of the city. There are 3 routes available and it’s best to buy a pass that also includes entrance fees to the Royal Yacht Brittania, Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Castle. Edinburgh is a city of appx 500,000 people and there has been a number of festivals in August including the “fringe festival” which is one of the largest gatherings (primarily performing arts, especially comedy) in Europe. So it is estimate another 1/2 million people converge on the city. Needless to say, parts of Edinburgh was “jammed” with people. Walking around made touring Times Square in New York seem like a walk in the country. There are over 5,000 performances spread ... read more
Caption at Peoples Museum
Fringe Festival Promotional Icon
30 year anniversary dinner

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh August 19th 2019

We leave sunny and warm Niagara on the Lake today for a 3 week trip to Scotland. It will be a touring trip without golf, although we will stop in St. Andrews. The current plan is a week stay in and around Edinburgh and a self driving tour through Spey, Inverness, Western Highlands, Isle of Sky, and Glasgow. This is our first time in Scotland and we’re looking forward to the experience A friend and neighbour, Doug Gibson, who immigrated from Scotland a few years ago and still has the accent, has been giving us some language training and other advice. He loaned us a book, “How the Scots Invented the Modern World” by Arthur Herman. It is highly recommended for those interested in Scottish history. It’s amazing how influential tiny Scotland has been over the ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Noosa Heads March 23rd 2019

This will be our last Blog before returning home on April 1st (no fooling). Our niece Victoria and her daughter Olivia have been with us for the past 3 weeks returning home on March 21st. They took a side trip to Sydney for a few days which they really enjoyed. While they were in Noosa Heads there was a surfing competition with competitors from around the world. One unusual event was dog surfing which was quite entertaining and included numerous breeds such as an English Bull Dog. At least in this area, there appears to be a greater level of home services available. Our car, which is included in the house rental. is serviced and maintained by a mechanic who makes house calls. The same is true of the golf cart. There is even a “doggie ... read more
Mother and daughter
Doggie wash!!
Dog Surfing

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Noosa Heads February 10th 2019

Outside our house in Noosa Springs there is an abundance of birds, some of which provide a melodic symphony of songs in the morning (around 5:30 am) and in the evening at sunset. One species in particular has a very unique sound. The Kookaburra sounds like a tree full of laughing monkies! If you go to Wikipedia ( website attached) you can hear the sound. Australia has such a broad array of birds that are unique, colourful and interesting so it’s understandable the attraction by amateur birders and professional ornithologists. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kookaburra Also in the ponds around the golf course there is a family of Black Swans. These are a rare species (i.e therefore the meaning of a Black Swan event). At the Dragon Fire Golf Course in Carlisle (just north of Burlington, Ontario), they imported a ... read more
Sunset at Avacado Sunset B&B
Entrance to Surfers Paradise Beech on the Gold Coast
Sand sculpture entry of Karen Fralich a Canadian

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Noosa Heads January 15th 2019

The weather in the last 2 weeks has been ideal, highs of 26C and lows of 23C. Some days are a little hot with the humidity but much more temperate than other parts of Australia (particularly South East) that are experiencing extreme heat. We’ve had quite a few rounds of golf and Debra’s had 3 productive lessons which has improved her game resulting in personal best scores. Her language on the course is certainly changing with the improvement!!! Although the golf course is very challenging, it’s in excellent shape and very enjoyable to play (although the 68 sand bunkers and narrow fairways with lots of water can be troublesome). For those golfers, the blue tees are 5915 metres (appx 6500 yards), slope is 126 and par rating 71. So a fairly difficult course!! We’ve spent some ... read more
Mephisto German Tank
Picture of Famous Photographer
Unique Art Display

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Noosa Heads January 9th 2019

We return to Australia for the 2019 ”winter getaway” and to the same house in Noosa Heads that we rented in 2017. Noosa Heads is on the Sunshine Coast about 1 1/2 hours drive north of Brisbane. Our last stay at the Noosa Springs Golf Community was very enjoyable and included in our rental is full access to the championship golf course, fitness membership and the use of 3 pools. The facilities suits our lifestyle and we look forward getting full use of them. The flight on Dec 31st to Brisbane was through Vancouver as opposed to a route taken through Hong Kong in 2017. Total travel time was about 25 hours, which is less than the previous flight to “down under”, but still a bit challenging. With the time zone change, we actually arrived on ... read more
Interesting cloud formation at sunrise
One of 3 pools in our community.


For the next week we stayed at a beautiful Villa about 45 minutes from Avignon that we shared with 4 other couples/friends from Canada. The Provence area is one of the most scenic and beautiful parts of France and our group took full advantage of many interesting sites the area had to offer. On a couple of nights, we enjoyed private gourmet meals prepared for us at the Villa by local expert Chefs. Needless to say the meal, enhanced by the wine of the region, the country setting of the Villa and being able to share the experince with good friends, were all the ingredients of magical evenings. The facility was fully equipped, therefore, it also gave everyone time to socialize while preparing a few meals on our own. Most of our group have scattered upon ... read more
Dinner at the Villa with our friends
Archaeological site at Glanum
Palais de Popes Avignon




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