Page 8 of MaRs BaRs Travel Blog Posts

North America » Canada » British Columbia » Vancouver August 5th 2016

Friday, August 5th, 2016 Day 3: Vancouver, British Columbia: Finding a friend, glamorous gardens, and fresh fish! Today, Renata and I are incredibly excited to meet our friend Stephanie in downtown, Vancouver. It has been over 15 years since we've last seen each other. To get to Vancouver from our accommodation in Surrey, we needed to drive 10-minute to Surrey Central station plus take a 45 min train ride. Our accommodation was definitely not in an ideal location! We met Steph for lunch at a sushi restaurant in the mall near her workplace. We decided to eat outside, which was probably not a good idea because we were swarmed by bees. It's so weird! There is a bee shortage in Toronto but it seemed like there were more than enough bees to annoy us in Vancouver. ... read more
VanDusen Gardens
VanDusen Gardens
VanDusen Gardens

North America » Canada » British Columbia » Surrey August 4th 2016

Thursday, August 4th, 2016 Day 2: Surrey, British Columbia - The bow making fiasco! As part of the extended family of the groom, my family was given various tasks associated with the wedding. My younger brother, Brennan, was a groomsman, my sister, Renata, a reader and I, the pew bow designer. Months before the wedding it was decided that my Aunt would get all the supplies and all I would have to do is make the pew bows. My Aunt could not find the coral ribbon required for the bows so she bought orange ribbon instead, thinking it would suffice. I assumed that Petrina, the bride knew about the dilemma and approved the orange ribbon my Aunt selected. As the wedding day approached my sister sent her a picture of an example bow that I made. ... read more

North America » Canada » British Columbia » Vancouver » YVR August 3rd 2016

Day 1: Toronto, Ontario to Vancouver, British Columbia- The Adventure begins! The day has final arrived. After a year of planning my cousin, Ryan and his fiancé, Petrina, are getting married! My whole family is flying to Vancouver to celebrate the upcoming nuptials. Following the wedding, my family and a few relatives are heading on a weeklong cruise to the land of the midnight sun, Alaska. I can't wait! We arrived in Vancouver late Wednesday evening and took a taxi to our AirBnB accommodation in Surrey, BC. Although incredibly spacious, our accommodation was inconveniently located. Therefore, tomorrow, my family is going to rent a car to take us around.... read more

North America » Canada » Ontario » Toronto November 10th 2015

When researching about Spain and Barcelona in particular I was a little worried about the amount of pickpocketing that occurs in the city. I heard stories from people that I know getting pickpocketed while on business and vacation in Barcelona. However, I did not feel unsafe during my whole time in the city. As long as you keep your personal belonging in front of you, you won’t have any problems. My favourite part of the trip was the part where my sister and I planned together. It was not that I did not enjoy the Contiki trip. But by traveling on our own we saw a lot more of the cities and were closer to the city center. So here are the top 5 things that I enjoyed about Contiki 1. Meeting fellow travellers 2. The ... read more

North America » Canada » Ontario » Toronto November 9th 2015

Today, was an interesting and chaotic travel day as we head back home to Toronto. Early in the morning we took the train from Atocha Station to the Madrid Airport. However, when we reached the airport, we did not realize our flight Terminal was located a fair distance away from the airport train station. We had to take an airport transfer bus that took almost 20 minutes to get to our terminal. It even had to take the highway to get there. We were starting to freak out a bit but we did leave 3 hours early to account for unexpected challenges. We finally arrived at the right terminal where we proceeded to the long queue to check in our luggage. When our luggage was checked in we found out that Renata was randomly chosen to ... read more

Europe » Spain » District of Madrid » Madrid November 8th 2015

I have to admit that I did very limited research into Cuenca before the start of our trip. I only knew that it was a beautiful little town known for its picturesque Hanging Houses. So when we arrived in Cuenca, I was caught off guard when the train dropped us off literally in the middle of nowhere. I had no idea that the train station was so far away from the city center. We had to take a cab into the city center, costing us around 15 euro. At this point we were running low on funds and only had enough money for the cab ride back to the train station. In the city center we were unable to locate an ATM machines. However, we contemplated about withdrawing more money because we didn’t want to pay ... read more

Europe » Spain » District of Madrid » Madrid November 7th 2015

Today marked the official end of our Contiki tour to Spain, Morocco and Portugal. We said goodbye to our fellow travelers at breakfast as Renata and I set off for our Segovia and Avila tour with Julia Travel. We arrived at the Julia Travel agency only to discover that the agency had moved to another location in Madrid. Luckily, we found two Julia Travel representatives whom connected us to our bus going to Segovia and Avila. We arrived in Avila first, known for its amazing castle-like walls surrounding the city. We visited the basilica of San Vicente where the interior houses a beautiful altarpiece and tomb. We also visited the convent and museum of Teresa de Jesus. It is here where you can find many relics including the room where St. Teresa slept and the finger ... read more

Europe » Spain » District of Madrid » Madrid November 6th 2015

The next morning we said goodbye to Lisbon as we headed off to Madrid. We reached our hotel in Madrid in the late afternoon. We had our final sit down optional dinner with the group at a restaurant in the main square. Then it was off to the various clubs around Madrid. We partied on into the night as we said goodbye to a great group of people and new friends.... read more

Europe » Portugal » Lisbon & Tagus Valley » Lisbon November 5th 2015

Today the group headed out to the Belem district of Lisbon. Our first stop was the Belem Tower. Rising out of the Tagus River, the Belem Tower is one of the greatest symbols of Portugal’s Age of Discovery. Apparently there is a statue of a rhinoceros coming out of the Belem tower, commemorating the Rhinoceros given as a gift to the King of Portugal. The rhinoceros was used for entertainment and when the King got bored with it he tried to ship it to Pope Leo X as a gift. Unfortunately, the ship carrying the rhinoceros sunk off the coast of northern Italy. The rhinoceros and crew died in the wreckage. After the Belem tower, we headed over to the nearby Discoveries Monument. The monument romanticizes the Portuguese exploration movement. On either side of the ramp ... read more
Day 2, Lisbon 2
Day 2, Lisbon 3
Day 2, Lisbon 6

Europe » Portugal » Lisboa » Almada November 4th 2015

After breakfast we headed out on our bus ride to Lisbon, Portugal. We stopped at a pretty little Portuguese port town on our way to Lisbon, recommended by our bus driver, Mario. After a little walk around the town and a quick lunch it was time to head back on the bus. We reached Lisbon in early afternoon. It was too early for us to check into our hotel, so went to see the Christ the King statue. The Christ the King statue was inspired by the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janerio, Brazil. It was erected to express gratitude because the Portuguese were spared the effects of World War II. You can apparently climb to the top of the statue to get a great view of Lisbon city. However, we decided to stay ... read more
Day 1, Lisbon 3
Day 1, Lisbon 4
Day 1, Lisbon 5

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