Roger Sutherland

Whirl Traveller

Roger Sutherland

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.

I did my first blog when we visited Europe for the second time in 2012, entitled Europe Potpourri. Had I known that I would have enjoyed blogging as much as I do, I would have started doing it earlier and included our first trip to Europe and Morocco and most certainly Australia, New Zealand and China. I believe that since then I may have improved my blogging a little and I hope that you enjoy what I share with you this time around.

For the time being I have placed most of my blogs in the archives and have left the one on my beautiful island St. Lucia and a few others for your enjoyment.

Jeanette and I love to travel and usually before a vacation is well underway, we are busy making broad plans for the next, God willing.

"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 » Canada » Alberta » Calgary April 27th 2015

While at a recent Sunday brunch with good friends, most of whom are well traveled and knowledgeable especially about Europe, the subject of suitcases inevitably came up with someone and that has triggered this blog entry. Even before that get together, others have shared their travel experiences concerning suitcases with us. Not to stray too far from "home" I have had the past personal experience of hauling one heavy suitcase after heavy suitcase, loaded with shopping from the US on our way back to St. Lucia at a time when we lived there. Basically, living in St. Lucia some years ago we found that availability of certain items seemed to have been a constant issue so whenever we traveled to the US in particular which was fairly regularly, we did most of our shopping there. So ... read more

North America » Canada » Alberta » Calgary January 11th 2015

I really don't believe that we are actually doing this but here we go again. Having only just returned last July from a wonderful seven week trip to Europe, once again, Jeanette and I sat down to planning our fourth trip to the continent which, God willing, we plan to undertake this summer, departing Calgary on June 4. Jeanette has led the process this time and spent considerable time researching and formulating the ideas. Of course I help too, but frankly, she has done most of it. We had originally planned on spending two months in two distinctly different parts of Spain but we in the end could not put exactly what we wanted together so decided on this seven week trip which will take us to Central Europe mostly, with visits to Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, ... read more

Europe » Belgium July 18th 2014

I know, I know! I did say that my last blog on this trip was from the French Riviera but it truly would be remiss of me not to at least share just a few of the many pictures from Brussels, Ghent and Bruges in low lying Belgium and let them, as difficult as it is, convey the essence of that quietly captivating country, known worldwide mostly for the major role Brussels plays in the European Union. The magnificent architecture, the canals and the well patronized rail network; the famous chocolates, the waffle and the weekend outdoor market where people enjoyed champagne breakfasts amongst shoppers scurrying for fresh vegetables, cheeses and other necessities for daily living encapsulated a typical European atmosphere and lifestyle - here they work to live! And that they do very well. We ... read more
One of the many canals in Ghent.
Having fun in Ghent.

If you like my blog I would appreciate your leaving a comment at the end please. It helps widen readership and also serves as motivation for me. For the others on this European trip, simply scroll to them. This will most likely be my last blog while still traveling on this trip. The last leg takes us to Belgium and we may drive to Germany but I think that I will wind down this blogging activity and completely relax as we prepare to return to life in Calgary towards the end of July. Leaving Genoa for France initially presented somewhat of a stressful start for us. Everyone knows that the only sensible and comfortable way to travel across Europe by train is First Class and that has nothing whatever to do with prestige. Particularly if you ... read more
A view from the long veranda of our apartment in Roquebrune Cap Martin.
From our veranda.
Looking upwards from the beach below.

Europe » Italy » Liguria » Cinque Terre July 2nd 2014

If you like my blog, please leave a comment in the appropriate section. Thanks. I have to credit Rick Steeves for letting the Cinque Terre capture my imagination, especially the village of Vernazza. Once I saw the picture of this quaint village, I wanted to pack my bags. And that is what we eventually did. As we boarded our Turkish Airlines plane in Istanbul for Genoa, I was not to know that some surprises awaited us. Everyone I had met before who had visited the area, raved about it. We first had to decide where to base ourselves and finally decided on the the town of La Spezia, located south of the Cinque Terre but giving us both train and sea access to the five villages. Once in La Spezia, we headed off to find ... read more
On the train.
The street in La Spezia where we stayed.
Near our apartment.

Middle East » Turkey » Mediterranean June 30th 2014

From the moment you step off the plane in Istanbul, you notice immediately that this vibrant city is all about business and making money. Thanks to the over 30 million of us who now visit Turkey in a year, especially this burgeoning metropolis of Istanbul, coping with such crowds, in my opinion, is a huge challenge that has the potential to derail some of the pleasure, especially when visiting the major sites of interest. That having being said, it was certainly very much worth the time we spent there, lodged as we were, in the heart of the city and walking distance to everything that we wanted to see and do. Our hotel, and full credit to Jeanette who changed to it from the one that I initially found, was excellent. The owners were excellent hosts. ... read more
Grand Bazaar Main Street.
The main thoroughfares had no shortage of vendors.
From the sea to the pot to the mouth - all fresh fish.

Europe » Greece » Pelopennese June 25th 2014

"Running naked in Greece!" Don't be alarmed at the title of this blog because it really happened. However, you will have to read on to find out later in this section what that was all about. Jeanette was in for a big surprise. But really, where do I start and how do I describe our journey through the Peleponnese to do justice to the experience? It is impossible to do, so while the enormous amount of fascinating historical information is extremely valuable and certainly educational, I will refrain from attempting to emphasize that too much where possible for fear of omission, error and of course, boring you to death. One idea is to Google an area or specific item if you are interested in more detail. I can assure you that it was an incredible experience. ... read more
Disembarking our luxury coach in Corinth.
The incredible theatre in great Epidauraus
Front row seats were for the royalty and were the only ones to have back rests.

Europe » Greece » South Aegean June 20th 2014

Cruising the Aegean and stopping at the islands and ports that we did was nothing short of a spectacular revelation for me. Linguistically, it is almost impossible to adequately capture the essence of this area so my comments for each will tend to be brief for the most part. However, I start with an entreaty to visit this part of the world yourselves if you haven't already done so. Hopefully my pictures will serve as sufficient enticement for you. Mykonos A playground for the rich and famous following Aristotle Onasis' "discovery" of its summer vacation uniqueness. Walking through its narrow pedestrianized streets filled with cafes, restaurants and shops was a sensory delight. Homes here cost Euro 400,000 per sq. metre so I had to quickly change my mind about buying. Ha! Ha! Kusadasi (Turkey) For reasons ... read more
Jeanette has just disembarked at Mykonos
Mykonos with Little Venice in the background.
A typical little cafe on Mykonos

Europe June 14th 2014

Everyone of the major cities that we have visited around the world have each had something unique and special about them to create great memories for us. Without taking anything away from any of them, there is only one word that I can use to describe Athens from atop Lycabettus Hill as we emerged from the tunneled funicular and walked through the restaurant perched precariously at the top- breathtaking! Breathtaking because the 360 degree panoramic view of the city was as spectacular as I have ever seen.bWe used both Jeanette's research and the advice of a couple New Zealanders we met over lunch earlier, that we should go in time for sunset. We walked from the excellent Amalia Hotel where we are staying (which is at the centre of Athens near both Syntagma Square and the ... read more
An evening view of the Acropolis from Lycabettus Hill
Athens from atop Lycabettus Hill
Acropolis in the distance from Lycabettus Hill

Europe » Greece » Attica » Marathon June 10th 2014

After crossing nine time zones from Calgary, Alberta, here we are finally in Greece for one week of relaxation on Marathon Beach before starting the planned tour of this ancient country. After picking up our rental car at Athens airport and following the directions given, we headed off to the resort, or so we thought. First of all, we landed earlier than planned which gave me my first opportunity to use my new international phone to call Kosmos Car Rental. Anyway, the employee brought the car to us and he said that I should follow the sign to Marathon. I recall bypassing a sign which said "Marathon Avenue" without realizing that that was the one I needed and sure enough Jeanette eventually picked up that we were headed in the opposite direction. A quick retrace to ... read more
The Bay of Marathon where the fleet sent by King Darius 1 landed its army to battle the Greeks in 490 BC.
One of several homes that line Marathon Beach near our resort.
One of several restaurants on the beach, Isidora's is famous for her cuisine.

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