Author Archives: crystalburney

Exploring Atlantis

The lost city of Atlantis may be the stuff of legends, but in Nassau, Bahamas, you can spend a day (or more) exploring their incredible Atlantis!

While staying there definitely looks like a fun option, if, like us, you find yourself staying at one of the neighbouring resorts, there are still lots of ways to enjoy Atlantis.

You can book day passes for various adventures in Atlantis, including the waterpark Aquaventure and Dolphin Cay. But there are other options to explore.

Atlantis Marina

You can wander through the shops and the marina at any time and eat at the restaurants found there. The Casino is also open to all if gambling is more your style. Through the Casino, you’ll find The Dig.

This beautiful aquarium features hundreds of sea creatures from tiny seahorses to huge grouper, lobsters to clownfish and gorgeous rays swimming around the mysterious ‘Lost City’ ruins. Day passes are required for non-guests, but if you go in the evening, you can wander around for free and enjoy all these amazing sea creatures.

I loved it so much, we went back a second evening and wandered around above ground, gazing down into the open air tanks and watching the fish and rays swimming below.

We also found the Hibiscus Lagoon filled with green sea turtles and Predator Lagoon, home to Hammerhead sharks, Caribbean Reef sharks, Barracuda and Smalltooth Sawfish swimming around the tunnel as you walk through.

Whether you want to go all out and participate in all Atlantis has to offer or simply wander around, it’s definitely a must-see spot in Nassau, Bahamas!

If, like me, you find watch fish swimming to be very relaxing, then enjoy a few clips I took while exploring Atlantis!

Watching the fish and rays swim around the ruins at The Dig
Exploring Hibiscus & Predator Lagoons
Categories: Blog, Caribbean, Photo, Video, Where in the World | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Birthday in Bahamas

To me, birthdays are best spent on the beach, and this year was no exception. It’s been a month now since I celebrated my 35th birthday in Nassau, Bahamas. Even though it’s so close, it’s an island I had never been to, and I thoroughly enjoyed spending a few days relaxing in the warm sunshine (a big difference from freezing cold Ontario), heading into downtown Nassau, and exploring parts of Atlantis – which just happened to be located next door to our resort! (More on that in a later post).

From Paradise Island, you have a few options for heading across to Nassau. You can take a taxi, a ferry boat or walk across the huge bridge. Since we’d been enjoying the buffets, we opted for the walk into town, enjoying the sights along the way. As Nassau is a busy cruise ship port, there are tons of shops and restaurants located in the downtown core. As avid craft beer drinkers, we found Pirate Republic Brewing Company down near the docks and stopped in to enjoy a birthday flight!

After wandering around all afternoon, we took the ferry boat back, with a very entertaining skipper pointing out sights and giving us some history along the way. 

With so much to do on the various islands of the Bahamas (over 700 islands!) we only scratched the surface, but it was sure a great place to turn another year older! CHEERS!

*Paradise Island Ferry leaves approx every 30 mins. $4 one way or $8 return. On the Paradise Island side it leaves from the docks near the bridge. On the Nassau side it leaves right from the downtown docks.

Categories: Blog, Caribbean, Where in the World | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Valentine’s Day in Kenya

Its now been 11 years since I celebrated Valentine’s Day in Kenya, but it’s certainly a day I will NEVER forget. Click here to read the full story!

Categories: Africa, Blog, Where in the World | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Airport walls

Such a perfect quote to be found in the lounge area of an airport!

YHM airport- Hamilton, ON Canada

Categories: Photo, Quotes | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

35

Turning a year older used to really stress me out. I always felt that with each passing year I was running out of time to accomplish everything I wanted to. While I still feel this way at times and have no idea how so many years have already passed by, I’m realizing that each passing year is a gift and a chance for more adventures.
And besides, how can you be bummed with you are celebrating your birthday on the beach!
So…35 here we go!

Categories: Caribbean, Photo | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy New Year!


Wishing you all a Happy New Year and a 2019 full of travel adventures!

Categories: Blog, Quotes | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Strolling around historic central Lima

While in Lima, we took a free walking tour to explore the Historic Centre of the city. In 1988, this beautiful old part of Lima was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its originality and high concentration of historic monuments constructed during the time the Spanish were present here.

Despite damage caused by several earthquakes over the past century, it’s a great place to see some of Peru’s gorgeous colonial architecture.

Plaza de Armas, Lima’s colourful main square, was considered the foundation for the “City of Kings” in 1535 when it was founded by Spanish conqueror Francisco Pizarro. This public square is also where Peru was declared a Republic in 1821.

fullsizeoutput_1ca2The Government Palace (Palacio de Gobierno) is located at one end of the square. Every day at noon, you can go and watch the Changing of the Guards, an hour of music and marching (and high kicks!) displayed behind the palace gates. This is where the Peruvian president resides.

It certainly is a beautiful spot to wander around. Below are a few of my favourite sights!

Categories: Blog, Photo, South America, Where in the World | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Swimming with the Sea Lions

Jumping into freezing, smelly water isn’t something I generally enjoy doing, but that’s exactly what this excursion was…and I LOVED it!!

While travelling in Peru, we opted for a unique excursion in Lima – swimming with sea lions!

Map of the IslandsWe headed to the marina in Callao to meet up with our tour before setting out into the Pacific Ocean. Our guide pointed out the smaller islands we passed en route, as well as different wildlife including pelicans and Humboldt penguins! It was a rough ride out, but as we rounded the bend to Palomino Island, you could already hear the sea lions. There were hundreds of them. They began jumping off the rocks to follow the boat, splashing and barking away. They were ready to play!Sea Lions

We got our wetsuits on and one by one jumped into the chilly water and swam out to them. The curious sea lions would come very close, sometimes even touching your toes, before swimming away again. We spent 20 minutes in the water swimming with them all around us. What an incredible experience!!

 

More Info

  • Went with Mar Adentro Excursiones 
  • Wetsuits are provided
  • Bring a camera that can go in the water, towel and warm clothes for the boat ride back…you’ll be cold!
  • Hotel pickup is included  (be sure to book that option)
Categories: Blog, South America, Video, Where in the World | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spooky places to spend your Halloween

Halloween is my favourite time of year. I love all the decorations and costumes and how everything seems just a little spookier as the leaves change colour and the carved pumpkins glow.

It’s also a great time to explore some of the world’s creepier destinations.

Here are a few of my favourite spooky spots to check out this time of year:

The Catacombs of Paris.

Exploring the Catacombs of Paris

Exploring the Catacombs of Paris.

“The City of Love” has a darker side waiting 20m below the city streets. Here, in the underground ossuaries lie the remains of more than six million people. The bones are laid in a small part of a tunnel network built to consolidate Paris’ ancient stone mines.

During the late 1700s, many of the city’s cemeteries had reached capacity. Some, including the Saints-Innocents (Cemetery of the Innocents) had gone beyond capacity. Here, people were buried in mass graves, piled one on top of the other until it became a source of infection for those nearby. In late 1785, the Council of the State closed the cemetery and decided to remove its contents.

Millions of bones

Millions of bones found in the underground ossuary of Paris

This transfer began in 1786 after the blessing and consecration of the site and continued until 1788. The moving of remains took place at nightfall, where a procession of priests sang the service for the dead along the route taken by the carts loaded with bones and covered by a black veil. Until 1814, this site received the remains from all the cemeteries of Paris.

Nowadays, the 2kms of bone-filled tunnels is a perfect place to spend a couple of hours on Halloween!

 

Wat Rong Khun, Thailand

Koi fish

Koi fish swimming in the pond surrounding What Rong Khun

Better known as the “White Temple,” Wat Rong Khun is one of the most famous temples in Thailand. Located in Chiang Rai, this temple looks like something out of a fairy tale… until you get a closer look.

There are demons and villains popping out of the ground and hanging from trees all around the temple. To enter the main chapel, you cross a narrow bridge over a pool of hands and faces reaching up, trying to claw their way back to the surface, representing suffering souls in Hell.

And they sure are creepy to walk across!

 

Walt Disney World, Orlando

Mickey Halloween Lanterns

Mickey Halloween Lanterns

While it may be known as the happiest place on earth, Disney World turns into a spooky night out with Mickey’s Not- So-Scary Halloween Party.

Jack and Sally

Jack and Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas with Mary Poppins and Bert!

It may not be as creepy as some of the other spots on this list, but with all the Halloween decor, characters like Jack and Sally out for photos and special shows like the “Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular” and the “Boo-to-You” Parade, it’s definitely a fun night out. Plus, it’s the one time of year that as an adult you can dress up as your favourite character at the park – and you get to trick or treat along the way, no matter how old you are!

Disney is truly a place where you never have to grow up, and that makes celebrating Halloween there even more fun!

 

And then, of course, there is Salem, Massachusetts

Salem is widely known as the site of the witchcraft trials of 1692, and the history and stories surrounding the hysteria of the witchcraft trials is found everywhere here, from museums to historical re-enactments to haunted walking tours.

During the month of October, this small town of 40,000 doubles in size as Halloween enthusiasts make their way here to explore the haunting history

You can visit the memorial dedicated to the 19 innocent people who were killed during the witch trials and you can also check out some of the film locations of my favourite fictional witches, The Sanderson Sisters from “Hocus Pocus ” 

Allison's Mansion from Hocus Pocus

Allison’s Mansion from Hocus Pocus

Salem has something for everyone and should definitely be on your Halloween travel list!

Zombie Prom

All dressed up for Zombie Prom in Salem

Next on my list of places to visit for Halloween are New Orleans, and of course, Transylvania!

What’s on your spooky travel list?

Categories: Asia, Blog, Europe, North America, Photo, Where in the World | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trying Cuy in Peru

One of Peru’s most famous dishes is not exactly a conventional one – at least not by North American standards. Here, though, Cuy (guinea pig) has been a staple in the Andean diet for around 5,000 years. Long before they were considered cute fluffy pets, they were raised in the Andes for food.

While gourmet chefs have spruced up the original recipes and are now adding their own flare to the dish, Cuy is generally roasted whole, with the head, teeth, ears, and other parts left intact. They are doused in salt and garlic to crisp up the skin. You can find them being sold as “street meat” on sticks in areas surrounding the Sacred Valley, but many restaurants in Cusco and a few in Lima also serve the dish. For Peruvians, Cuy is a dish served on special occasions, not part of the everyday menu anymore. But with the influx of tourists over the last decade, many restaurants keep Cuy on the menu for those curious travellers to taste. It’s generally one of the most expensive items on the menu, costing anywhere from 40-70 soles ($15-28 USD).fullsizeoutput_1be0

I like trying local dishes while travelling, but this one was harder than most. Growing up, I had pet guinea pigs named Fuzz and Magic, and seeing the little face still intact on this Cuy dish definitely made me feel guilty for taking a bite. If you can get your head around it and forget what you are eating, the crispy skin tastes a lot like fried chicken.

I certainly won’t be making this dish a regular, but if you are in Peru, it’s definitely a must-try!

Categories: Blog, Photo, South America, Video, Where in the World | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.