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EAT LIKE AN ITALIAN SAVE BIG IN EUROPE Travel. Discover. Connect.

TITANIC UNTOLD: 100 YEARS OF HISTORY

ALL EYES ON

LONDON SPRING 2012 VOLUME 1 ISSUE 1

THE SUMMER OLYMPIC GAMES BRING THE WORLD TO THE UK

WANDERLUST?

Win A Trip to Frankfurt with Condor Airlines! SEE PAGE 17 FOR DETAILS


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Eight unique dining experiences in Halifax!

Entertaining, cultural and healthy experiences for all taste buds and all occasions! 5190 Morris St. Halifax

425.7711

1477 Lwr. Water St. Halifax Waterfront

644 Portland St. Dartmouth

422.1600

1873 Granville St. Halifax

446.4700

444.4688

5543 Young St. Hydrostone, Halifax

407.7700

5537 Young St. Hydrostone, Halifax

431.5543

540 Southgate Dr. Bedford

40 SUSHI (407.8744)

540 Southgate Dr. Bedford

407.0077

www.HamachiHouse.com Best Japanese Dining Experience Consumers Choice Awards, Hamachi House 2010 & 2011

Best Steakhouse Halifax’s Best Sushi Halifax’s Small Consumers Choice The Coast Business of The Year Awards, Hamachi Reader Survey Halifax Chamber of Steakhouse 2010 2004 to 2011 Commerce, Gold 2009, Bronze 2008

Best Cold Food / Sushi Savour Food & Wine Festival 2005 to 2012

Favourite Overall Food Faces Magazine 2010 & 2011

Favourite Steak Faces Magazine Hamachi Steakhouse 2010

Best Sushi Faces Magazine Hamachi House 2012

The East Coast’s Freshest Sushi Enroute Magazine


OWNED & MANAGED BY CROMBIE REIT


there’s an easier way Visit our conveniently located retail store on the main level of Halifax Stanfield International Airport and choose from an impressive array of fine seafood. Already cleared security? Simply drop by the Clearwater Seafoods kiosk near Gate 20 to place an order. We’ll pack your order for travel and deliver it to you within half an hour.

fresh seafood packed to travel

www.clearwater.ca Halifax Stanfield International Airport: 902-873-4509 | 757 Bedford Highway, Bedford, NS: 902-443-0333 Toll Free: 1-877-567-1117 | Shop online: www.clearwater.ca


TABLE OF CONTENTS

COVER

24 London calling Canada has passed the torch to Britain and now it’s London’s turn to host the world. Vanity Fair UK writer BRIDGET ARSENAULT describes London’s facelift with a sneak peek of what’s to come. Old meets new in London: get an insider’s perspective on how to make the most of this time-travelling city.

Table of Contents DEPARTMENTS 6

Editor’s letter

7

Where in the world

8

Destinations

14 Digitools

56

16 Globetrotters 18 Issues 20 Carry on 22 Business Travel 58 In-flight Entertainment 64 Q&A with an Olympian

ATLANTIC CANADA 44 Explore the outdoors Iceberg hunting, whale watching and lighthouse hopping BY CANDICE WALSH

47 Halifax insider An insider’s glimpse into the town’s culinary sphere BY LAURA OAKLEY

52 Daytrips Nova Scotia’s wine country BY LAURA OAKLEY

AT THE AIRPORT 53 At your service Chickenburger serves up a taste of the good ol’ days 54 On the map The airport in two dimensions 56 Window seat This dog protects your airport BY JARED HOCHMAN

57 Flight path Connecting Halifax to the world

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PHOTOGRAPHY: CHRISTINA COPP

Wherever you need to be getting there from Halifax is easy. Halifax is connected to major hubs the world over. For your quickest route out of YHZ, look before you book at

FlyHalifax.com!

r u t o a y e d t iF n ou r 50

FEATURES 30

Taste of Italy Viva spaghetti! Let your palate guide you

35

Budget travel Live big, spend little: Our free guide tells you how BY SARA SAMSON

38

Tourist in training On your feet: Soak in twice as many sights in half the time

Canadian, eh? A conversation on Canadian culture BY LEILANA GRAHAM-LAIDLAW

Excuse my French Etiquette 101 for the land of la politesse

36

42

50

Titanic uncovered Nova Scotia’s link to the marine tragedy BY NIKO BELL

BY SARAH PLOWMAN SPRING 2012 5


EDITOR’S LETTER

SPRING 2012 VOLUME 1 NUMBER 1

Travel. Discover. Connect.

EDITOR

Sarah Plowman ART DIRECTOR

Ron McDougall, HM Design PRODUCTION MANAGER

Megan Blanchard CONTRIBUTORS

Bridget Arsenault, Niko Bell, Dean Bouchard, Christina Copp, Hilary Creamer, Mark Cwajna, Charlene Davis, Leilani Graham-Laidlaw, Ryan Hemsworth, Jared Hochman, Laura Oakley, Tom Peters, Cliff Romig, Sara Samson, Adam Scotti, Andrew Walker, Candice Walsh, John Williams 

The Edinburgh Castle offers a spectacular panoramic view of both the old and new in Scotland’s largest city.

D

EAR Readers, Travel gives us wings. Whether it’s a staycation in Nova Scotia’s wine country or a jet-setting vaycay to London, England, trips shake up our everyday complacencies and stretch our boundaries in ways we couldn’t have imagined. Nova Scotia was once thought of as an isolated province but this myth couldn’t be further from the truth. With 42 non-stop flights available from Halifax Stanfield International Airport, its tarmac is your launch pad to the world. As an avid traveller and the editor of this new magazine I want to communicate to our readers how feasible it is to travel, to connect, to discover—in other words, to Soar. For our premiere issue we’re taking you to Europe. All eyes are on London as this global city gets a facelift for the Summer Olympics. Vanity Fair contributor Bridget Arsenault guides us through the city where old meets new, tipping her hat to its hottest spots (see London calls, pg. 24). Hands get messy while cooking Italia-style in a small Italian village unspoiled by tourism, and it tastes delicious (see Viva Spaghetti, pg. 30. Warning: do not read on an empty stomach). Between the covers you’ll discover not

only first-rate destinations that are easily accessible from Halifax Stanfield, such as Chicago, Reykjavik, Frankfurt and London, but also mustsee spots in this region and tips on how to ease your travel experience. So, what is Soar? Soar is the travel-savvy insider who knows how to outmanoeuvre lineups (see Nexus, pg. 18). Soar is always discovering new places, whether it’s a chic hotel halfway around the world, or a new eatery in Halifax (see Halifax insider, pg. 47). Soar is in touch with new travel trends and how they affect you. Soar is saving you time so you can make the most out of your trip, whether it’s for business or leisure (see Tourist in training, pg. 36). Travelling connects us. It creates a bond between people who at first glance seem worlds apart and strengthens the friendship between those who go together. Leaving the nest leads to discovery, expanding our understanding of the world around us—and ourselves. Travel is a pivotal part of personal development, no matter the age. I encourage you to use this magazine as your how-to guide to travel, connect and discover—in other words, to Soar.

SARAH PLOWMAN EDITOR 6 SOAR

PROOFREADER

Brad Milligan EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD

Judith Cabrita, Peter Spurway, Jerry Staples, Karen Sinclair, Robert Sime EDITOR IN CHIEF, SOAR MEDIA INC.

David Holt PRESIDENT, SOAR MEDIA INC.

Max Brennan MANAGER, NEW MEDIA

Chris Surette CONTROLLER

Jennifer Garvey PRINTING

Dollco Printing HOW TO REACH US

Soar Media Inc. PO Box 392 Station M Dartmouth, NS B2Y 3Y5 Tel: (902) 463-0516 www.soarhalifax.com info@soarmedia.ca Toll Free: 1-877-710-0516 Fax: (902) 463-8005 Soar Media is not responsible for the return of unsolicited manuscripts. All contents are the property of Soar Media Inc. and cannot be reproduced in any form without written consent. The publisher reserves the right to refuse any advertising and bears no responsibility for advertisers’ messages. ISSN# 1929-1086 © 2012 Soar Media Inc. Please recycle this magazine.


WHERE IN THE WORLD? Our planet is full of strange attractions: Travellers delight in rare finds; some stuff is obscure even to locals.

PHOTOGRAPHY: ŠISTOCKPHOTO.COM/MARIDAV

Bite-size massage Tickle your fancy with a fish foot massage. Inch-sized fish nibble at your toes and eat away the dead skin for a pedi you won’t forget. Kerri Clarke of Halifax took the plunge in Cambodia: “I was a little confused about the whole concept of fish nibbling at your feet, but it turns out they really do like to eat the dead skin. I laughed in hysterics for the first minute, but then you actually get used to it and it feels kind of cool.�

4HE,OCAL *OIN5S

Brewski bath Plunge into your after-hours drink. The beer bath—warm murky mineral water pumped with active beer yeast, hops and crushed herbs—is an alternative spa option in the Czech Republic, Germany and Austria. It’s supposed to have a curative effect on complexion and hair and relieve muscle tension. Chodovar.cz or +420 374 617 100 If Pilsner’s your favourite brew, soak yourself in a tub full of it at Starkenburg Castle Brewery in Austria.

BIG NUMBERS: DECODING THE BOEING 747

5.5

274

An average international flight uses about 5.5 tons of food supplies and more than 50,000 in-flight service items.

A 747-400 plane holds 274 kilometres of wiring. This plane also has eight kilometres of tubing.

43

240,370

A 747-400 wing weighs more than 43 tons. That number is more than 30 times the weight of the first Boeing airplane, the 1916 B & W.

A Boeing 747-400ER can carry more than 240,370 litres of fuel, making possible long flights between Los Angeles, CA and Melbourne, Australia.

SOURCE: BOEING.COM SPRING 2012 7


REYKJAVIK

PHOTOGRAPHY: GUGLIELMO CAVALIERI/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

Reykjavik’s northerly position means sunshine at midnight during summer. It’s no surprise this town knows how to party

DESTINATIONS

Northern sights

O

N the island of Iceland sheep outnumber people, geothermal energy keeps you cozy-warm and the Northern Lights paint a kaleidoscope of colours in the sky. Reykjavik, the world’s most northerly capital, is home to only about 120,000 people but its charm, close connection to nature and surprisingly lively nightlife make it a popular destination. Less than three hours off of the plane and with only a few fitful hours of slumber, I was atop Pila, a member of the unique Icelandic breed of horses, meandering through a lava field. A peace settled over me as I soaked in the outline of ancient volcanoes in the distance and the stark contrast of deep black lava rock, rich green moss, and red and orange brush. Eager to make the most of our time, my travelling companion and I headed straight from our horseback riding adventure to explore the city of Reykjavik. In a four-hour self-directed walking tour we took in an aerial view of the city, visited the harbour, talked to strangers and learned about Iceland’s history and art.

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GETTING THERE A quick flight from Halifax with Icelandair makes longweekend jaunts easy. Flights leave four times weekly in the summer season, beginning June 7. Get two for the price of one: Icelandair allows passengers to stopover for up to 7 nights when travelling to or from London. Hotels, tours, etc. are at the traveller’s expense.

HN

FROM HALIFAX

J

O

HOURS

4.5

Day two we awoke before dawn for a 10-hour tour. Gullfoss waterfall, fed by a glacier, is full of twists and cliffs. The river rushes by, turns a bend, drops, then rushes onward again. The Great Geysir is a lesson in the joys of anticipation. The water bubbles and wavers, teasing and tantalizing until finally an eruption that could be missed by a turn of the head bursts to the sky. After eating bread baked from the heat of the earth, we walked along the ridges where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates separate by centimetres each year. Day three we stopped off at the Blue Lagoon on the way to the airport. I was hesitant, thinking it’d be too commercialized, but the natural beauty shone through. We swam in milky blue water, the temperature naturally oscillating from lukewarm to scalding and that perfect place in between. Gazing at the mist floating across the water and the lava rock surrounding me I lay back, a silica mud mask on my face, and truly relaxed. What a taste of Iceland!

WI LL I AM S

BY CHARLENE DAVIS

TOG PHO

Y: PH RA

THERE SHE BLOWS:

Strokkur, the second most famous geysir in Iceland, erupts every eight minutes—throwing a column of water and steam to a height of 20 metres. Here, the bubble is about to blow.

BLAST-OFF: This spaceship-resembling building is actually a church. Hallgrimskirkja’s bell tower, accessible by elevator, is the best view of Reykyavik.


PHOTOGRAPHY: S.BORISOVI/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

By day, the city is buzzing with busy people; at night its jagged skyscrapers illuminate the river Main, both scenes reflective of its nickname, Mainhattan.

FRANKFURT

Building German perfectionism

FROM HALIFAX

F

RANKFURT is the gateway to Europe and a financial powerhouse. Renowned for world fairs and conventions, the city boasts the continent’s third largest airport, a museum scene that rivals Berlin’s, and a booming shopping district. By day, the city is buzzing with busy people; at night its jagged skyscrapers illuminate the river Main, both scenes reflective of its nickname, Mainhattan. WHAT TO DO Stroll along the riverbank to escape the rush and choose from several world-class museums to visit: The German Architecture Museum, perhaps, or the Film Museum, the Jewish Museum or Städel Art Museum. Wander over to Romerberg Square to people watch or sneak away to a beer garden in Sachsenhausen. Architectural aficionados will delight in Frankfurt’s clash between tradition and modernity. While the

WHAT TO EAT Apple wine (Apfelwein), beef with green sauce (Grüne Soße), hand cheese (Handkäs), and a pretzel from street vendors. HOW TO GET THERE Condor provides non-stop service from Halifax Stanfield to Frankfurt Airport up to three times a week during the summer season (May 1st until October 27th).

1

FRANKFURT INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT Frankfurt Airport is Germany’s largest and the third busiest airport in Europe. More than 56.4 million passengers passed through Frankfurt Airport in 2011. It serves more than 275 destinations in 111 different countries. Frankfurt offers 70 shops in case you have some time to spend. Discover the airport in one of the 45-minute sightseeing tours.

PHOTOGRAPHY: LAZ AR MIHAI-BOGDAN /SHUTTERSTOCK.C OM

HOURS

6

business district is built upward with glass, and the Museum of Modern Art, dubbed “piece of cake,” is modern art itself, the old town is charmed with half wooden frame houses characteristic to Germany. One of Frankfurt’s most famous sons, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, was born in Frankfurt. Like much of Frankfurt, his home was destroyed in World War II but has been rebuilt now and serves as a Museum. Classical music fans will love the Summer Opera Festival on June 20–29 at the Old Opera House 1 , an opulent building rebuilt after the war. If your kids are with you, or if you just love animals, head to the zoo, which is home to more than 4,500 animals including lions and tigers.

SPRING 2012 9


1

PHOTOGRAPHY: MARK CWAJNA

DESTINATIONS

CHICAGO HOURS

3

FROM HALIFAX

A city second to none

breathe and grant the pedestrians below a vantage point to the colossal architecture above without kinking their necks. This big multicultural city on the lake loves its music, food and sports.

WHAT TO DO Chicago is a city for everyone. Cleaner than most would expect, parks are outdoor attractions HICAGO’S skyline exudes New York’s themselves. Stroll along the 18-mile lakefront trail, ambition while its people are as friendly as or picnic in Millennium or Grant Park. The iconic small-town Midwesterners. The canals, dyed Bean 1 and Crown Fountain 2 are a must. green every St. Paddy’s Day, give the city room to If you have youngsters in tow, head to Museum Campus to gawk at treasures such as Sue, a 67-millionyear-old skeleton of the world’s largest and best-preserved T-Rex at the Field Museum of Natural History. Or check out the Shedd Acquarium for the 26-foot anaconda or dolphin show. Water taxi to Navy Pier for some cotton candy and MAGNIFICENT MILE: Michigan Ave. is the best shopping district. a Ferris wheel ride.

CHEESE PLEASE: Chicago

is famous for its deepdish pizza. Don’t go home without trying it.

PHOTOGRAPHY: SARAH PLOWMAN

C

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O’HARE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT If you have some time to kill, walk through the tunnel connecting concourses B and C in Terminal 2. Neon blues, yellows, reds and greens illuminate the passageway throwing you back to your days at Disney’s Space Mountain. Also check out the Brachiosaurus Dinosaur in the B concourse of terminal 1, or the fighter airplane exhibit, a replica of the WWII F3F-4 fighter plane flown by Edward “Butch” O’Hare in terminal 2.


HOW TO GET THERE With United Airlines’ daily direct flight from Halifax Stanfield to Chicago O’Hare, it’s a quick nap or in-flight film and you’re there.

PHOTOGRAPHY: SARAH PLOWMAN

WHAT TO EAT Deep-dish and Chicago style pizza; Italian hot beef sandwiches; hot dogs; paczki, pierogees, and other Polish foods.

PHOTOGRAPHY: SAR AH

No place sounds like Chicago. The vibrant music scene includes Chicago blues and jazz. Festivals such as the Blues Music Festival from June 8–12 and the Jazz festival on Labour Day weekend draw huge crowds. Feel the city’s vibe every day at the House of Blues, Kingston Mines or the Green Mill 3 . 2 Second City is the improv comedy stage that spawned a troop of SNL bigwigs, such as Tina Fey, Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert. It’s sidesplitting, but not a cheap night out. If you’re frugal but still seek comedy, get tickets to Improv Olympics located in Wrigleyville for $5. Drop by the Chicago Cubs’ Wrigley Field on the way. Indeed, if you’re a sports fan, Chicago is heaven. With the champion Bulls, Bears, Blackhawks, Fire and an inner city baseball rivalry between the Cubs and the White Sox, sports are always a topic of conversation.

PLOWMAN

PHOTOGRAPHY: MARK CWAJNA

3

BATTER UP: Wrigley Field has played host to

the Chicago Cubs for 97 years.

1595 Bedford Highway, Bedford (902) 835-5099

www.sunnysidemall.ca

SPRING 2012 11


CAPTURE

Sleep with the devil: Sisters Pillar, Iceland BY JOHN WILLIAMS

N

EAR a line of cliffs west of Klaustur (short for Kirckjubaejarklaustur) on the Ring Road in Southeast Iceland, legend says this prominent rocky pinnacle marks the spot where two nuns were burned at the stake and buried for sleeping with the devil. The local name for this crag is Systrastapi (Sister’s Pillar), but to many it looks like a giant tooth. The background terrain shows an ancient lava field and the rise of the Skafta River.

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SPRING 2012 13

PHOTOGRAPHY: JOHN WILLIAMS


5

DIGITOOLS

TOP

travel apps Make travel easier with these techie tips BY SARAH PLOWMAN

GATEGURU (FREE)

Layovers will never be boring again. Bid farewell to wandering aimlessly in airports and let Gateguru escort you through hundreds of hubs, including Halifax Stanfield. Use this app to find restaurants and shops, washrooms, or ATMs. Track your flight while browsing and read reviews before dining to land the best service every time. COMPATIBLE WITH iPHONE, iPOD TOUCH AND iPAD. REQUIRES IOS 4.0 OR LATER.

COMPASS ($0.99)

Marco Polo had one; you should too. Adventurers can guarantee they’re paddling away from the waterfall and business travellers can decipher directions such as, “head south on Michigan Ave. four blocks and turn right.” The latter sounds simple until you realise you don’t know which way is south. Clearly the classic compass is still a useful navigation tool. COMPATIBLE WITH iPHONE 3GS, iPHONE 4, iPHONE 4S AND iPAD. REQUIRES iOS 4.1 OR LATER.

Register

Today! ONLINE:

runforthe

cure.com PHONE:

866.273.2223 Heather’s mother is a breast cancer survivor. She runs for her mother. These are her shoes. Join her!

JOIN

US ON

SEP 30th

Local Sponsors

www.cbcf.org 1-866-273-2223 14 SOAR


TRIPADVISOR CITY GUIDES (FREE)

ADVENTURES IN TASTE (FREE)

Be a tourist incognito. Swap your cumbersome maps, guidebooks, hotel address and personal tour guide for this app and pickpockets may not target you. Take an impromptu selfguided tour at your convenience, choose restaurants and hotels based on reviews and prices, and find your way with an interactive map—all without denting your data plan. Once a city’s info is downloaded, no Internet is required.

Wine connoisseurs and foodies can now venture through Nova Scotia’s rich culinary flavours with a few finger taps. This app is new and still growing. It lacks some key restaurants vital to Halifax foodosphere (for that info, get urbanspoon), but provides the best information on chic restos and wineries outside the big city, which other apps oft forget. It’s free, so have a taste.

COMPATIBLE WITH iPHONE 3GS, iPHONE 4, iPHONE 4S, iPOD TOUCH (3RD GENERATION), iPOD TOUCH (4TH GENERATION) AND iPAD iOS 4.0 OR LATER.

COMPATIBLE WITH iPHONE, iPOD TOUCH AND iPAD. REQUIRES iOS 3.1.3 OR LATER.

DORA THE EXPLORER ($1.99 OR $2.49 PER EPISODE)

Ever wish a crying baby would shut up? Let Dora take care of that for you. Next time a boisterous baby is on your flight, take one for the team and donate your smartphone. A few episodes of Dora the Explorer will transform the little devil into an angel, award you the quiet time to catch some zzz’s or prep for a meeting, and likely entice a fellow passenger to thank you with a beer when you land.

SPRING 2012 15


GLOBETROTTERS

Barcelona Bound

The Scrimshaw family take off from Halifax Stanfield.

BY SARAH PLOWMAN

16 SOAR

PHOTOGRAPHY: ADAM SCOTTI

W

E caught up with Brent, Lorraine and MacKenzie Scrimshaw moments before they checked in at Halifax Stanfield. Off to Barcelona, Spain for a two-week Mediterranean Cruise, these jet setters were happy to say adios to the cold Canadian climate and looked forward to soaking up the rays and getting some welldeserved R & R. Hailing from Moncton, New Brunswick, the Scrimshaw family chose to depart from Halifax. Do they have any travel tips? “Be locked, loaded and ready to go the night before,” Brent said. He calls his wife “the master” when it comes to preparing for a trip. “Pack light,” MacKenzie said, glancing sideways at her luggage. She might not have followed her own advice. Have a great trip, guys.


Wanderlust? Enter to win a trip to Germany!

Condor Airlines and Soar Halifax are giving you and a guest a chance

practicing your German! “Hallo! Guten Morgen! Uber!”

ENTER @ SOARHALIFAX.COM


ISSUES

©ISTOCKPHOTO.COM/YMGERMAN

The fast or the furious

Skate through security: Put the NEXUS card in your pocket and never wait again. BY SARAH PLOWMAN

J

OHN DOE is a frequent flyer who knows a thing or two about travel. He’s meticulously organized, always gives himself an hour to get through security, and checks in online 24 hours before his flight. John sounds like the kind of guy who travels with ease, with no I-may-miss-my-flight panic and no problems clearing security. But for whatever odd reason John couldn’t pick the speediest line if his life depended on it, and since travelling requires as much queuing as waiting for a girl’s bathroom stall at a Justin Bieber concert, this quirk can slow him down. Whenever he waits to drop off his bags pre-security, he stands behind the family of four with overweight bags who end up opening their luggage to rearrange clothes four times to avoid getting dinged with an extra-weight fee. At pre-boarding security, he stands behind a woman who doesn’t know the difference between her Polaroid camera and her laptop, a man who chose the day he flies to wear his metal-embroidered underwear and a college student who didn’t realise that

oops, a bottle of wine—whether half empty or half full—is indeed a liquid and cannot be brought through security. But since February, all of this anxiety has subsided for Mr. Doe. That’s when eight airports across Canada, including Halifax Stanfield, made way for screening lines designated for NEXUS card users. Say sayonara to idling lines and step into the fast lane. With a NEXUS card and a domestic or U.S. boarding pass in your hand (as well as some other international boarding passes), you can outmanoeuvre slow-moving lanes at pre-boarding security clearance and step into a designated NEXUS line. There, you’ll be standing behind frequent flyers who know to take off their coat, move their laptop from their bag into the bin, and place liquids and gels in a Ziploc bag. The Nexus card will also save time clearing customs. When returning to Canada from anywhere in the world, it’ll take only a few moments to clear customs. You’ll bypass the regular line and use an automated self-serve kiosk, which scans your irises and spits out a card for you to pass onto the

NEXUS is a joint program offered between the Canada Border Services Agency and the U.S. Customs and Border protection program to expedite the border clearance process for preapproved travellers on land, air and marine crossings.

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Customs officer, and be on your way. It’s just one more perk that makes a $50 membership, which lasts five years—well worth it. But what is this magic NEXUS card and how do you get one? NEXUS is a joint program offered between the Canada Border Services Agency and the U.S. Customs and Border protection program to expedite the border clearance process for pre-approved travellers on land, air and marine crossings. The program has been around since 2002, with more than 400,000 members as of 2012, but has been enhanced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and President Obama’s bi-lateral announcement of December 2011. Membership to NEXUS isn’t just for the VIP or frequent flyers; anyone can register as long as you qualify. To be eligible you have to be a permanent resident of Canada or the U.S. and have continuously lived in one or both of the countries for the past three years; your record must be clear of any serious convictions for which you have not been pardoned; and you must never have violated any agricultural, customs or immigration laws. Registration is done online or via post. Online can take as few as 25 minutes if you have all your documents in order (see note on what to have ready) but it’ll take a few weeks for your application to be approved, because both the Canadian and U.S. authorities must scrutinize your file.


If your application is approved, you’ll be invited to book an interview at a NEXUS Enrolment Centre (usually at an airport) where you’ll speak with both Canadian and U.S. officials. If you pass the interview, your photo, fingerprints, and an image of your irises will be taken and you’ll be given the card. Officials will teach you how to use the NEXUS card and have a few test trials with the iris-scanning kiosk, which takes some getting used to. Your card will be active within 24 hours. Then, as with John Doe, you can enjoy life in the fast lane.

Fill in the blanks Have this information with you when you apply or renew your membership to expedite the process: PROOF OF CITIZENSHIP One of the following: valid passport, birth certificate, Canadian citizenship certificate (with photo) or card Certificate of Indian status.

www.atlanticfabrics.com 114 Woodlawn Rd

Greenwood Mall

2304 Hwy. 325 Oakhill

980 East River Rd

PROOF OF RESIDENCE One of the following: valid driver’s license, other provincial identification card, other federal identification card. EMPLOYER INFORMATION Name, address and phone numbers for all employers you’ve worked for in the past five years. TRAVEL HISTORY A list of all of the countries you’ve visited in the past five years. PERSONAL ADDRESS INFORMATION A list of all the addresses where you’ve lived in the past 5 years. OTHER DOCUMENTS » A valid credit card to pay the nonrefundable processing fee of $50 U.S. » Car registration information (not mandatory). » Your NEXUS card number (if renewing membership). SPRING 2012 19


CARRY ON

His picks: weekend essentials RYAN HEMSWORTH is a Halifax musician and journalist who’s accustomed

to weekend trips—fly in Friday, fly out Sunday. To ease and enhance the travel experience, he vouches for these eight must-have items.

BELKIN MESSENGER BAG MSRP: $49.99

A little birdy told us Belkin is moving away from luggage, but their messenger bag will undoubtedly live on. Designated slots for your laptop and documents make organization easy. Throw it over your shoulder to catch that flight and slip it under your seat on the plane.

SENNHEISER PXC 250-II HEADPHONES MSRP: $260

No matter where you’re going, music can be your friend and saviour. Don’t waste money on a name, Sennheiser makes the Cadillac of headphones when it comes to quality and noise canceling. Bring these to block out that crying baby or coughing man two rows back. 20 SOAR

ALLEN EDMONDS CEDAR SHOE TREES MSRP: 29.99

No matter where you stuff extra shoes in your bag, they’re going to get crushed. Slip these cedarscented trees inside your shoes to maintain a nice shape and smell. Protect your shoes and they’ll protect you.

RED ROSE® CANADIAN BREAKFAST PEKOE TEA MSRP: $5.89

This is for instant comfort, no matter where you land. Canadian Breakfast is one of the mildest teas that Red Rose offers, and who knew a drink could taste like Sunday afternoon at home. Ziploc a few teabags and toss them in with your shave kit, or a more sanitary spot.


APPLE IPHONE 4S / WALLPAPER CITY GUIDE MSRP: $649 / MSRP: $4.99

The iPhone makes it so your itinerary, reservations and contact list can sit in the palm of your hand. But all too often we end up wandering aimlessly in a new exciting city. This is where Phaidon’s new app (Wallpaper* City Guides) for the iPhone comes into play. The app offers a great selection for museums, restaurants, shopping and tons of spots you’d easily overlook.

NIXON SPENCER WATCH MSRP: $275

The option for dual time has never looked so handsome. Nixon, typically aimed at skate and surf culture, stepped out of its comfort zone and created a watch with class; one you can strap on to transcend any outfit.

H&M BLAZER MSRP: $69.95

Simplicity is and always will be underrated, from the Paris runway to the Vegas strip. H&M has finally perfected the affordable blazer. Light enough to sit in and remain comfortable, and cheap enough that you can lose it and buy another.

MOLESKINE RULED POCKET NOTEBOOK MSRP: 11.95

You can’t knock the convenience of a notebook. How you use it is up to you, but thoughts always flow a bit easier when you write them out. Laptop batteries die, notebooks last forever. SPRING 2012 21


BUSINESS TRAVEL

Navy seal of travel After 500 business flights, this frequent flyer shares his observations on the little things that add up to make a better trip. BY TOM PETERS

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ATRICK BOHAN’S professional life is all about ships and marine cargo. That’s why he spends so much time on planes. Sound a little confusing? It isn’t really. The 40-year-old Bohan is manager of business development for the Port Authority in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Staying connected with port customers and third-party logistics providers takes him far and wide. With the authority for the past 12 years, Bohan logs about 15 air trips a year, mainly in Canada but also to the U.S. and occasionally to Europe. Before that, he travelled to Central and South America and the Caribbean as regional trade manager for the Irving-owned Kent Line. Over the past 17 years he estimates he’s been on about 500 flights, maybe more. Over the years, this savvy traveller “has learned things, some the hard way,” which have made his trips more enjoyable. “A long time ago I figured out to always choose an aisle seat so you don’t get hemmed in, so you can take a short walk—and even for getting off the plane,” he says. “It is much easier to get your stuff from the overhead bin and be on your way.” Travelling alone can be lonely at times, but it can also offer unexpected rewards. “When you travel alone, sometimes people will ask you to trade seats because they may want to sit next to a family member or friend,” he says. “I always say ‘yes’ because it seems to make people happy and they are grateful. One time a person came to the back of the plane and asked to trade seats and I said sure. He was in first class, so I found this was a good policy.”

With the tightening of security regulations in the past several years, Bohan has found it has become more important to give yourself extra time going to the airport and for checking in for your flight. “Over the years I have seen traffic, weather, long lineups, computer system crashes and all sorts of things that have caused delays,” he says. “Having an extra half hour or so helps keep things on schedule.” When scheduling flights, allowing additional time between connecting flights is crucial: “A delay can pop out of nowhere and you can lose 45 minutes into thin air it seems.” He has had his share of interesting connections: “This goes back several years but I once connected with my flight and changed planes on the runway. I got off one small plane and they said, ‘There is your connecting flight over there,’ so I walked over and got on it. That was in 1995 or ’96 before all the heavy security. It was a lot different back then.” Travelling to certain destinations on a regular basis can create relationships with restaurants and hotels. Bohan spends a lot of time in Toronto, where he gravitates to the Olio Mediterranean Grill, part of the Sheraton Hotel complex on Dixon Road. “They have great pizza and everything I’ve tried on their menu over the years I have liked,” he says. “I like staying at the Sheraton because they let me keep a shaving kit there. It means I can travel lighter. Sometimes if I only have a carry on I don’t have liquids or gels. My essentials are at the hotel. You find a hotel that works for you because it is located close to where your customers are and hotel staff see you as a repeat customer. It is a lot friendlier and you don’t feel like a stranger.”


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PHOTOGRAPHY: ADAM SCOTTI

WITH ALL THE YEARS FLYING, WHAT DOES HE STILL LIKE ABOUT TRAVEL? “It is a chance to see how things are different elsewhere and you meet some interesting people you wouldn’t meet otherwise,� he says. “I met Pat Gillick, former general manager of the Toronto Blue Jays, and hockey legend Gordie Howe. That was kind of cool.� PATRICK BOHAN

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SPRING 2012 23


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“We have a fantastic opportunity to showcase the energy, creativity and buzz which emanates from our capital” LORD SEBASTIAN COE LONDON OLYMPIC PARK: The London Olympic Stadium

will host 206 events including the opening and closing ceremonies. Capacity: 88,000 24 SOAR


HOURS

6

FROM HALIFAX

London calls As the Summer Olympic Games attract elite athletes, their entourages, thousands of media and millions of hungry, thirsty and culture-starved tourists, London’s East End shows off her new look. BY BRIDGET ARSENAULT

PHOTOGRAPHY: ANDREW WALKER

L

IKE the grand old dame she is, the ancient city of London is getting a facelift before stepping out into the global spotlight of the 2012 Olympics. The new London is the Broadway musical version of the city. High-octane, with chorus lines and jazz bands. The first city to host the Olympic Games three times—in 1908 and 1948, and now in 2012—London is again shining its proverbial silverware. With the rainbow of newly planted flowers peeking up around the Thames, the fine tuning of transportation links, and ta-da cycle paths added, it’s a see-yourreflection-in-the-glass-style polish. Particularly for London’s East End, now home to the Olympic Stadium, which has never been the city’s swan. Known better as the area most pulverized by bombs during World War II and the home of Jack the Ripper—not for the faint-hearted, visitors can now take a walking tour highlighting his path of carnage—the East End was in need of a deep clean. With an estimated 450,000 staying visitors and a forecasted 5.5 million tourists per day during the games, revitalization is exactly what the area and city needed.

We have brought a generation’s worth of investment and regeneration in just a few years,” says Lord Sebastian Coe, chair of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. “World class sporting facilities, new housing, a new urban park, the new Westfield development and improved transport links have combined to create almost a brand new community in the area. I’m proud that the Games have been the catalyst for this.” Few cities can boast its level of history and accomplishments: The houses of parliament, home to British government for over 200 years; the tolling of Big Ben; Admiral Nelson perched nobly at Trafalgar Square; the carnelian guards of Buckingham Palace, so poised they look like figurines. This is history cubed, not squared. It’s particularly poignant then that this summer will also mark Elizabeth II’s 60 years of reign, with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee marked on June 2–5. The Olympic Games follow on July 27–August 12, with the Paralympic Games on Aug 29–September 9. “The Olympic Games and Paralympic Games are the world’s greatest international sporting events SPRING 2012 25


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ALL EYES ON LONDON:

PHOTOGRAPHY: MAX ORENSTEIN

In 2011 it was Will & Kate’s wedding, this year it’s the Olympics. Septuagenarian Terry Hutt camped out for the big day last year, we’ll see if sports fans are as dedicated.

Hyde Park will play host to the triathlon and swimming competitions. It’s the largest park in central London, covering over 350 acres of land, known for also hosting some of the best concerts in London.

If salads could win beauty contests, Ottolenghi would be Miss World.

and London is probably the world’s greatest international city,” says Lord Coe, a double Olympic gold medalist and one of the greatest middle distance runners of all time. “We have a fantastic opportunity to showcase the energy, creativity and buzz which emanates from our capital and showcase the best of British to the world. So to be able to combine the two is a huge opportunity for us.” HOW TO GO Air Canada currently flies to London from Halifax Stanfield four times weekly; as of October 29, this service will be daily. Once at Heathrow you can hop on the underground into central London (leave yourself about an hour) or the pricier Heathrow Express, and start your cab or underground journey from the more centrally located Paddington Station. Beginning May 9, Air Transat also flies once a week this summer to London’s other huge hub, Gatwick. From Gatwick, jump on the Southern train 26 SOAR

to Victoria (these are jam packed at rush hour), or the more expensive but expedient non-stop Gatwick Express train to Victoria. When you have a spare moment on the Internet, use London’s transport website where you can plugin your start and end points and voila the fastest route appears. NEED TO KNOW Sure, it’s the motherland of English-speaking and yes, we’ve pinched a remarkable number of their place names, but it is still a foreign city, and more than 4,600km from Halifax. Hope the gods above are cooperating, because be it January or July, London can be met with a heavy grey sky and yes, rain. If you’re one of the lucky ones with a golden ticket, the quickest way out to the games is not a black cab or a classic double-decker, but the Jubilee line on the underground. But double check your destination is indeed the Olympic Park at Stratford, not to be confused with Shakespeare’s hometown Stratford-upon-Avon, as Hyde Park, Earls Court, the Mall, Wembley Stadium, among many others, will all play host to various sporting events.


PHOTOGRAPHY: INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE

PHOTOGRAPHY: ANDREW WALKER

No tickets needed for the bike races; let the city be your grandstand. Become acquainted with London as you hop from spot-to-spot to see who’s in the lead.

THE MOTHER TONGUE Canadians and Brits spell most words the same, but speak differently. Don’t get your knickers in a knot; follow our guide: » Get a cab, not a taxi to the games. » Put your parcels in the boot, not the trunk. WHERE TO STAY Finding a great hotel is easier today than ever before. TripAdvisor can tell you whether the morning’s toast is cooked to perfection, the pillows plushed and plumped, and was George at the front desk in top form or full of frowns? Everything not published in the glossy promotional brochure is simply a click away. Also, scour Visit Britain, the UK’s largest directory of hotels. WHERE TO EAT London is no longer the land of warm beer and eggs on, well, everything. If salads could win beauty contests, Ottolenghi would be Miss World. Try the Islington location; it’s a great way to get to an area you may have otherwise overlooked—brimming with boutiques and quirky concessions. For dinner try Soho’s Duck Soup; the menu changes so frequently, they simply pass you a handscribbled sheet that looks like your to-do list. If you can’t get in (like many Soho haunts they don’t take reservations), Cay Tre next door, serving Vietnamese fare, is equally superb albeit entirely different. For pizza try Pizza East, crisp and fragrant and perfectly located for the Olympics, as is Shoreditch’s

» Stand in a queue not a line. » Watch the runners fly by in their trainers, not their sneakers. » Keep your counterfoil, not ticket stub, to get back into the stadium. » Cool down with an ice lolly, not a popsicle. » Ride the lift, not the elevator, to your hotel room. » Check your diary, not your calendar/schedule, to see plan for the day. » Visit your friend at her flat, not her apartment. » “You alright?” means: How are you? Not a concerned plea. » When nature calls, ask for directions to the lou, not the bathroom. » On cool nights wear your jumper, not your sweater.

Beach Blanket Babylon, satisfying for dinner or just drinks--the original in Notting Hill is worth a visit too. Providores serves the most tantalizing tapas this side of Spain. Ply yourself with margaritas and guacamole at Crazy Homies, where you’ll also feel the cool nudge of Notting Hill. And the Punch Bowl pub is a great way to tick a number of quintessentially British boxes: fish and chips, check; British ale, SPRING 2012 27


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check; and a meander through iconic Mayfair, check. As for food on the go, London has great markets: Shepherd Market, Spitalfields, Burrough Market (find time to stop for a coffee at Monmouth) and Camden Market; or just grab a faithful sandwich and crisps (we’re in England now) from Pret-a-Manger, Eat or Marks & Spencer. WHAT TO SEE London has pupated into a cultural haven, with over 1,000 events planned for the coming months. All museums and galleries in London are free, except for special exhibits. Spend a sunny afternoon strolling the South Bank, pick up lunch from one of the many kiosks and then wander into the Tate Modern. Close the day with an aperitif at the rooftop bar—it’s the kind of view you’d find on a postcard. Theatre in London is fantastic. Trawl lastminute.com before your trip and you’ll find some discounts for the razzle-dazzle shows. If you’re looking for something more Camus than can-can, try the Donmar Warehouse or the National Theatre. And of the most thought-provoking, innovative shows in town, look no further than the Royal Court. Arrive early and take a stroll down trendy King’s Road; who knows, you might spot the luminescent Duchess of Cambridge, known to frequent the area.

FIND OUT MORE… London’s transport website tfl.gov.uk Trip Advisor tripadvisor.com Visit Britain visitbritain.com Ottolenghi ottolenghi.co.uk Cay Tre caytresoho.co.uk Pizza try Pizza East pizzaeast.com Shoreditch’s Beach Blanket Babylon beachblanket.co.uk/shoreditch Providores theprovidores.co.uk Crazy Homies crazyhomies.com Punch Bowl punchbowllondon.com Liberty London liberty.co.uk Selfridges selfridges.com Westfield Stratford westfield.com/stratfordcity

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Music to the ears, literally, for classic splendor there’s the BBC Proms (July 13–September 8) or for music of a different kind, visit the World Shakespeare Festival (April 23–September 9). For satisfying beat not Beethoven, look into the Love Box Music Festival (June 15–17) or the Wireless Festival in Hyde Park (July 7–8). WHERE TO SHOP Liberty London is like Mills Brothers on steroids. And Selfridges may feel a little like home—it is owned by Canadian-born Galen Weston. Westfield Stratford is truly a one-stop. This mall means business. For the opposite shopping experience, try the opulent Seven Dials area in Covent Garden, lined with distinctly British brands. For vintage, look no further than Brick Lane. London is a grand old dame of a city, with so much packed into its streets and buildings that you could visit a thousand times over and each trip would be unique. It’s not a city that shouts, it doesn’t have to—and it’s far too polite. Rather, London calls. MIND THE GAP! London Bobby exits the subway station. Come night time, Piccadilly Circus (behind him) will light up like a corner of Times Square.


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Viva spaghetti Ah, Italy—a land famous for its food. Let your palate navigate you through bowls of spaghetti, mounds of pizza and generous glasses of wine. BY SARAH PLOWMAN

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W

HEN Bev and Peter Mason read their credit card information over the phone to Michael of Culture Discovery Vacations, they were taking a giant leap of faith. To celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary, the couple wanted to go to Italy for a culinary vacation. They dreamed of cooking classes, tasting vintage Italian wine and avoiding the hordes of summer tourists. Michael and his wife Paola’s familyrun company seemed exactly what the couple was looking for. Its well-designed and elaborate website boasted an enticing thought: “Be the only tourist in the restaurant.” The couple tried to book their package through a travel agent but the agent had never worked with this company before. She refused. The Masons crossed their fingers and booked the trip for mid July anyway. When the couple met three Australian women in Rome who were also waiting for the Culture Discovery bus at the Hilton airport hotel, they thought, “At least we weren’t the only ones.” But there was no hoax. The Culture Discovery bus showed up on schedule and drove them to the little

PHOTOGRA

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town recognizable from the Internet. About an hour Northeast from Rome, nestled atop a hill at the nexus of the Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio borders, sits Soriano nel Cimino. Overlooked by a castle built in the 13th century, Soriano is a quaint medieval town with winding, narrow, cobblestone streets that snake down the hill past the castle walls and into the valley. The houses are authentically Italian, many built into the mountain they stand on. Some are pink, yellow, white; many have inviting arch doorways. The people who inhabit them are also authentically Italian. To the Mason’s delight, the town is unspoiled by tourism. No postcard shops, no snow globes for sale. The Soriano people live as Italians do: Women shop for fresh fruits and vegetables as young people help their elders across the Piazza, local bakers create decadent pastries while butchers cut fresh prosciutto by hand. After lugging their bags up the hill from the Piazza (Bev suggests bringing a bag on wheels), the couple was greeted at their villa with an assortment of vegetables, meats, gorgeous cuts of bread and a bottle of the region’s wine. Hundreds of years ago their villa served as the Pope’s bakery; now, it’s a space where old meets new—its stonewalls make it seem from another time, but its Internet connection


The Soriano people live as Italians do: Women shop for fresh fruits and vegetables as young people help their

SORIANO NEL CIMINO, ITALY

elders across the Piazza, local bakers create decadent pastries while butchers

PHOTOGRAPHY: BEV & PETER MASON

cut fresh prosciutto by hand.

While food was the theme of the trip, the group spent their days outside the kitchen touring the countryside.

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brings you back to the 21st century. A few hours later, with the castle glowing in the backdrop, the couple met the other 14 members of the group at an open-air restaurant patio to indulge on a multi-course meal, setting the tone for the rest of the week. Not too far from the restaurant, the weeklong Jazz festival lit up the town’s Piazza. It was a scene from a movie. Pizza. Gelato. Wine. Homemade pastas. Fresh tomatoes. Virgin olive oil. Smelly cheeses. Hungry yet? Food would be the theme of their stay, and cook, eat and drink they would. Cooking classes took place four days that week at Michael and Paola’s villa. Like sculpting or speaking Italian, the Masons learned that Italian cooking requires technique, passion and using your hands. Traditional Italian recipes, all passed down through generations of Paola’s family, were prepared en familia. “Their philosophy is: This isn’t a tour group here,” says Bev. “These are people who are friends and family. Everybody calls you by your first name.” Half of the group’s 14 members were American, inspiring Michael and Paola to develop a competition to motivate their guests and keep a friendly banter going: America vs. the world cooking challenge. The first class the group made bruschetta with sausage and stracchino, homemade fettuccine bolognaise, and Tuscan roasted chicken with potatoes and tiramisu. The last class they made gargantuan pizzas, both savoury and sweet, cooked on an outdoor wood-burning oven. In between they made limoncello, gelato, biscotti; spaghetti alla carbonara; panzanella, risotto and rochetta salad. On days they didn’t cook themselves, they were welcomed into Italian homes for dinner, visited familyowned private wineries, or dined at local restaurants where they were indeed “the only tourists in the restaurant.” Learning to cook Italia-style didn’t translate into hours of arduous labour. Yes, preparing the elaborate four course meals did take hours. Skinning hazelnuts for the biscotti alone required the tedious job of rubbing the nuts between two tablecloths.

For more information culturediscovery.com 32 SOAR

But cooking was fun. It was a hands-on experience unlike any cooking classes the couple had taken before. Generous glasses of wine were available to quench your thirst on request. It was casual with a sort of whistle-while-you-work attitude. Literally. People sang and sometimes danced while preparing their meal. You could chop or cook as much or as little as you wanted. There was an option to go to the morning market with Paola to buy fresh ingredients if you wished. But you didn’t have to do anything. You were on vacation. Each meal was prepared as if the participants were a family working together toward a common goal: Create a mind-bending meal to impress the judges. Then, award your appetite. Perfecto! The constant interaction encouraged friendship making. The Masons are still in touch with the Australian women they met in Rome, as well as a British woman; both of whom Bev and Peter say they’d contact if they ever went to England or Australia. While food was the theme of the trip, the group spent their days outside the kitchen touring the countryside. Some sights were historical: A prince’s castle tour by the prince himself; Europe’s tallest and the world’s oldest man-made waterfall; naturally preserved mummies; a 13th century Papal Palace. Other sights tantalized the taste buds: wineries and wine cellars, olive mills where they produced fresh, 100 per cent virgin olive oil. Hungry again? Soriano was an experience of a lifetime. “So many times since we’ve been back we’ve said we’ve never laughed as much as that trip,” says Bev. Many people were sad to say goodbye to one another after their seven days. Bev and Peter plan on going back to Italy for another Discover Soriano adventure, but not for the same week. There’s a Chestnut festival in the fall, or perhaps they’ll venture back for the olive harvest. And finally, the suspense is making me hungry: Who won the cooking challenge? Let’s just say Bev went home with a souvenir, the Americans didn’t. It’s tall, white and chefs wear it on their heads in the kitchen. As we feel about hockey, Canadians love beating Americans.


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Live big spend little

A European adventure can feel out of reach on a small budget.

Penny-pinchers pay attention. If you think a trip to Europe is financially too far-fetched, think again. Canadians’ purchasing power has increased since the onset of the Euro-Crisis, making Euro-travel more affordable today than in a long time.

BY SARA SAMSON

TRANSPORTATION Scour websites like cheapoair.com or kayak.com, or ask your travel agent for low-cost flights. Flexibility and off-season travel saves. Eurorail passes make in-transit sightseeing easy without putting a dent in your budget. Passes must be purchased beforehand and are only available to North American citizens. Cut your train costs in half with rideshares. Intrepid travellers wishing to connect with locals should log on to Covoiturage and Mitfahrgelegenheit, websites that facilitate carpooling. It’s e-hitchhiking, but people pitch in for gas. Europe’s budget airlines’ fees undercut their Canadian counterparts with jaw-dropping deals; two popular ones are Ryanair and EasyJet. Snag flights for a few dollars but be sure to read the fine print. There is a fee for everything. STAYING THERE Hostels help you meet people and save (the more people per room, the lower the cost). If you want privacy and a snore-free room to guarantee you’ll catch some zzz’s, opt for a private room. It’s more expensive but likely cheaper than a budget hotel. If you’re feeling adventurous, check out couchsurfing.com, which offers free, secure homestays to travellers in hundreds of countries. Most cities in Europe have pensiones— family-owned guest houses similar to bed and breakfasts and a quieter alternative to hostels. Visit hostelworld.com for a list of accommodations and to read reviews from fellow travellers.

FOOD Go to nileguide.com to choose where to eat (sort by cost) before you start your day. This way you won’t splurge for a not-so-good sandwich at the café across the street from the Notre Dame, which is obviously a tourist trap. If your accommodations don’t offer complimentary breakfast, check out bakeries, markets and grocery stores for authentic cuisine. Some hostels have kitchens where you can cook your own food. ENTERTAINMENT History buffs and architectural aficionados should try Sandeman tours, an excellent walking tour that’s FREE and available in 12 different European metropolises. It’s win-win: You only pay the guide in tips, so it’s cheap and you’re guaranteed a good guide. Only a phenomenal guide could survive on tips alone. Churches and museums are also a great way to soak in the culture. Church admission is often free and museums have weekly deals; look online for schedules. If you want souvenirs, wander around local markets and barter. Even better, take pictures yourself and frame, mount or blow them up when you get home. Europe is possible within any frugal budget. Plan ahead to decide what your priorities are and where you want to spend or save—but don’t let a light wallet be a burden. SARA IS A FREELANCE JOURNALIST IN HALIFAX, CURRENTLY DREAMING UP HER NEXT BIG ADVENTURE.

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Tourist in training Sightrunning allows the intrepid traveller to see twice as much in half the time. BY SARAH PLOWMAN

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DRAGON’S DEN: Casa

Batlló is a breathtakingly beautiful modernist house built by Antoni Gaudi. Some say it looks like a dragon.

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UNNING while on vacation seems like an oxymoron. It’s normally reserved for those frantic moments when your plane is minutes from departure and you’re still not onboard. But I couldn’t refute my guide’s directions. I’d signed up for this. “Now we’ll be running without stopping for a while,” said Robin Florax, my tour guide. We had already zigzagged through most of old Barcelona, passing street vendors setting up their stalls for the day on La Rambla; stepping inside the 14th century Cathedral of Santa Maria del Mar for a glimpse of the inspiration behind Idelfonso Falcones’ novel Cathedral of the Sea; jogging by street cleaners sweeping up the leftovers of someone’s 5 a.m. party—and halting for a few minutes to study Antonio Gaudi’s architectural landmarks from his early days. Finally, we made our way to the Parc de La Ciutadella to snap a few photos of me standing triumphantly in front of the extraordinary landmark inspired by Rome’s Trevi fountain. The serene scene that Monday morning was a sharp contrast to Sunday afternoon when the park had been peppered with people: Old folks playing pingpong and bocci ball; college kids drinking beer and picnicking on the grass; and members of a multi-generational family sporting an FC Barcelona shirt, all kicking around a soccer ball. This morning it was crisp and calm, great for hearing my guide. “We’re headed for la Sangrada

de Familia,” Robin said, keeping me on track, “It’s Gaudi’s masterpiece here in Barcelona.” Off we went. I was sightrunning, exploring Barcelona stride by stride with a personal trainer who’s also a tour guide, jogging slowly enough to appreciate the sights and ask questions, but fast enough to cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time. Gaining knowledge while shedding last night’s gelato, I was a tourist in training. Sightrunning, or city running, is a new trend that began in New York in 2007. Like many innovations, it began by accident. Chiropractor Michael Gazaleh was practicing at a local gym when a visiting client asked to be taken on a run around the city. Gazelah ran with the client for two consecutive days, pointing out landmarks along the way; a few days later NYC Run was formed. The idea has been making strides around the world ever since. According to globalrunningtours.com, a website that tracks sightrunning companies, there are 96 companies in 70 different cities worldwide, including six here in Canada: Vancouver, Whistler, Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal and Québec City. It’s an activity perfect for active tourists, but Florax says his most popular clientele are business travellers. Business travelling can often mean flying from one boardroom to the next, watching Powerpoint presentations, exchanging business cards and shuttling between office and hotel. But beyond the glass windows of the boardroom lies an electric city waiting to be discovered. Sightrunning is the perfect first step. Business people especially love to save time, says Florax, and sightrunning allows you to get a feel for a city in only two hours. As founder and owner of Running Tours Barcelona, Florax says he first read about the concept


The Sagrada Familia has been under construction for 130 years and it’s still incomplete; nevertheless, it was the most magnificent church I’ve ever seen.

on a flight. He’s an avid runner who speaks English, German and Spanish, so starting up his own company in Barcelona a few years ago was a no brainer. But even now, after the idea has picked up speed elsewhere, his biggest hurdle is still getting the word out. “A lot of people still don’t know that this exists but are always excited when they learn about it,” he says, “They like to combine their hobby, running, with this new experience.” With a passion for history and a knack for running marathons, he’s designed routes that weave his clients through both Barcelona’s barrios and history. It’s up close and personal and felt more like I had a friend as a guide than a stranger. We jogged 10km, which took about ninety minutes, and he took me places unreachable by a bus tour, covering topics from the Spanish Civil War to Gaudi’s life and architecture, the political rift between Spain and Catalonia, and the 1992 Olympics, all while showing me the best of Barcelona and training me for a half-marathon. He had me soaking in the sights and facts while sweating out salts.

When we finally arrived at Cathedral of Santa Maria del Mar, Florax pointed out symbols in the architecture I hadn’t noticed a few days earlier. After running 8km, we stopped for 15 minutes to admire the details and intricacies that Florax knew well. Gaudi’s masterpiece was even more beautiful that morning. Running Tours Barcelona offers several different routes for all levels and group sizes. I ran the modernism route. Other options include Old town, hill Montjuic, the seaside route, early bird, Barcelona XL and Barcelona night tour. Whether you’re a tourist, a business traveller, a competitive runner in training or a leisurely jogger, Florax says anyone can do it. “I always have cases when someone says it’s too hot and wants to rest a bit. No problem,” he says, “Fun is the first part of this run and the workout is a nice benefit. “ Florax, who has a record marathon time of 3:15 always accommodates his client’s pace. He says he never ran with anyone who’s faster than him, but if you’re up for the challenge, head to Barcelona. There’s a great beach where you can get some R & R afterwards.

Information about sightrunning in Barcelona runningtoursbarcelona.com For other options worldwide globalrunningtours.com SPRING 2012 37


Excuse my French A guide through France’s paradoxical politesse. BY SARAH PLOWMAN

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VIVE LE CAFÉ: Once the incubator of

the revolution, still the best place to grab a drink and people watch. Just make sure you sit at the right table. 38 SOAR

unfortunate before it’s swept up. My advice: Enjoy the sightseeing but you’ve been forewarned; don’t hold your head high for too long. Always watch where you step.

À MANGER/À LA CARTE Speaking of doggy bags, in France it’s unacceptable to ask to take food home from a restaurant. They’ll do it for children if you request it, but it’s frowned upon. As the Mecca of gastronomy and the origin of the Michelin rating system, food must be appreciated—eating is a sensory experience. Hence, the French dine for hours and expect you to eat what you order. Wine, served to accentuate the flavour of the food, is as ubiquitous on lunch and dinner tables as cigarette-smoking skinny people strolling on the Champs Élysées. While ketchup— also frowned upon—is as rare as a MERDE! poorly dressed child (French kids Tourists beware: Puppy poo is as are the cutest). prolific on the sidewalks of France Plan your day around eating as UGG boots on a college cambecause lunch is served only from pus. Perhaps because the French noon to 2 p.m. Don’t expect to are famous for street performance shop between noon and 2 p.m. their pups just want to be part of either, as most shopkeepers are the hoopla. Old-lady dog-ownalso eating. If you’re parched ers, especially, leave minefields but not hungry, sit at a table sans of booby traps for unsuspecting napkins, otherwise the waiter may passersby; a paradoxical vertell you off for sitting in the wrong sion of French, this is laissez faire part of the patio. If ever you need instead of obsessive-compulsive. KEEP YOUR HEAD Pet-owners’ inaction is illegal DOWN!: Free doggy the waiter’s attention, call him garçon (meaning boy). It may sound but the pooper-scooper bylaw is bags don’t prevent poop from landing demeaning, but it’s just the job seldom enforced. Instead, armies on the promenade title. And when ordering meats, of broom-toting street-cleaners you must know that in France meats are sweep up the piles of litter and doggy doo undercooked compared to North America. each day. Paris alone employs 4,950 people If you want a bloody steak ask for bleu; for to keep its streets clean, but that doesn’t medium rare ask for saignant; for medium ask guarantee you won’t cross paths with the PHOTOGRAPHY: SARAH PLOWMAN

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AVIGATING one’s way through French etiquette requires poise. As a people whose history dates back centuries before the revolution of 1789, their cultural sophistication puts them a notch above us North American parevenus. The French probably think they invented civilization, and in many ways they did. If you’re lucky enough to attend a classical concert in Paris and then debrief later over wine and a multi-course meal, it’s an experience you will remember forever. But even if their customs are refined, French politesse can wane in bizarre circumstances. Whether you’re walking through the streets of Paris or standing in line at Monoprix to buy a baguette, use this guide to smooth out the cultural kinks.


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for à point; for well done ask for bien cuit. Tipping is not required at most restaurants unless the waiter went out of his or her way: If they have to clean up something you spilled or if you’re dining with a party of 12. Scan the receipt for the words “service inclus,” meaning service included. If it is, keep your Euros for your next glass of wine. PARLEZ-VOUS ANGLAIS? Just because you speak English doesn’t mean everyone else does. If you need to ask someone for directions or an explanation of the menu, always ask a person in French if they speak English. Otherwise, even if they do speak English they’ll pretend they don’t. Some tourists take that as rude but if you think about it, who is actually the rude one here? BISOUS AMONG FRIENDS In a land with so much romance it’s no shock the French greet one another with kisses. La bise, two brief kisses on alternating cheeks, is exchanged when saying hello and goodbye to friends and family, or to someone introduced by friends or family. It takes some getting used to and can be an awkward moment for any foreigner. How do you go in for it? Do you actually make lip-tocheek contact? What if you miss your target and smack lips? All fair concerns. La bise is done mostly in social settings. Think of it as a replacement for a handshake as well as a hug. In most regions of France you kiss first on the left and then on the right; however, in Provence you kiss three times (once on the left, then the right, then back to the left), and in Nantes it’s four. Don’t fear you have to pucker up. Often I merely brushed cheeks with the person

rather than kissing them. If you’re weary, let the French person make the first move. APRÈS VOUS (AFTER YOU) The French can’t queue. When a bus pulls up or your flight number is called, don’t expect an orderly fashioned single-file conduit to the doors. Expect a crowded bottleneck. You may need to throw an elbow or two, but do it inconspicuously. If there’s a lineup of 40 for a bus that seats only 30, you’ll have to let out your aggressive instincts or you won’t get on. PERSONAL SPACE When you visit France you have to remember Canada’s population is half that of France and yet we have 15 times as much land. That translates into less personal real estate so expect your personal bubble to be popped again and again. When dining out, you may share the same table with strangers. In a grocery line there’ll be someone breathing down your neck. On the sidewalk, expect to rub shoulders with oncoming strollers if you don’t want to end up road kill. France is indeed a land of paradoxes. People kiss to say hello and goodbye, but dispense with the synthetic smiles that make North Americans feel comfortable. Dinners are feasts of bread, cheese and wine, and yet everyone is stick thin. And finally, the shopkeeper whose window display is impeccable could care less about leaving her dog’s doo on the sidewalk. To thrive in France, you must learn to balance la politesse with the more mundane realities of daily life. It’s a skill it has taken the French hundreds of years to perfect, so don’t be surprised if it takes you a few days to master the basics. Bon voyage. SPRING 2012 39


CAPTURE

Before the storm: Change Island, Newfoundland

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IGHT breaks through ominous storm clouds over saltbox houses on Change Island. Many of Newfoundland’s coves maintain the look and feel of typical 19th century fishing villages.

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PHOTOGRAPHY: JOHN WILLIAMS


CANADA

Canadian, eh? Near and far, our culture travels well. We should appreciate it more. But then we wouldn’t be Canadian. BY LEILANI GRAHAMLAIDLAW

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S a Canadian, whenever I travel it’s fascinating to see people’s first reactions to my nationality, after they’ve confirmed that, no, I’m not an American with a maple leaf on my bag, posing as a Canadian. For example, we were in the Marjorelle Gardens in Marrakech last winter and ran into a few well-heeled locals. The reaction to our nationality? “Oh, I LOVE Celine Dion!” “Neeeeear, Faaaaaar, where-EVER you are!” You get the idea. It was loud. And it happened pretty frequently. So is Celine Dion the epitome of Canadian culture, at least to outsiders? I hope not. No offence if you’re a fan, but what else comes to mind? Beavers, moose, hockey, maple syrup—maybe Sarah McLachlan. Is that the extent of our contribution to world culture? It depends on your perspective. Whether you’re a Canadian travelling abroad or returning to Canada, culture shock can challenge some of your core assumptions. One of the biggest assumptions we make as Canadians—and so do those marketing to us—is that

we’re just the little sister of the United States: Smaller market, same culture, an easy sell. We buy into this too, and you don’t have to be a CanLit fan or a hockey enthusiast to see how selfdefeating and silly this stance is. Especially to outsiders, there’s definitely a kind of Canadian chic—the proof is most obvious in capital-f Fashion. Colette, the ultimate Parisian purveyor of cool, ran a Canadien capsule collection in 2010, complete with Douglas Coupland branded skirts and bikes, Sorel boots and Canada Goose dog sledding parkas. I’d never seen so many hiking boots stomping the streets of Paris. Suddenly there were outdoor outfitters in the middle of the city—and I’m betting few of those pristine Canada Goose jackets were ever dampened by Arctic snow. Being a few cycles behind here, the Canada Goose parka has just started to saturate the streets of Canada. Over-saturate, almost. They’ve become so trendy that at least two of the boutiques I spoke with have had trouble keeping them in stock. Après comes Lululemon, darling of the business world. According to a friend, every yummy mummy in London makes sure to stock up whenever they hop


the pond to North America. There’s no physical shop in the UK, but they know cool when they see it. The Vancouverbased company has translated their cachet into massive financial returns. (Hint: they’re traded as LLL on the TSX.) Outside of fashion, the debate always seems to centre around Canadian content, pride in our uniqueness—and how to deal with the reality of living next door to the American cultural machine that envelopes the entire globe. Do you favour more arts funding? How many brilliant Canadian authors such as Michael Ondaatje, Eden Robinson, Vincent Lam, or Joy Kogawa should be a part of school curriculum? More Canadian content on the radio? And then, there’s always the question of whether this is actually an issue.

Yes, Canada is built on a huge tapestry of immigrants and our culture is mixed and occasionally dysfunctional, but we’re all the richer for it. We’re a little uncertain and often a little too polite about trumpeting our cultural achievements. We need to stop apologizing and start owning our accomplishments—except that this too is part of our culture. So the next time someone professes their love of Celine Dion to me, I’ll have other things to talk about because we are so much more. Now excuse me while I go pull on my Lululemon pants, throw on a parka and tromp out into the snow with Ashley MacIsaac in my ears. I’ve got to go play hockey, then head home to fry up some back bacon.

Whether you’re a Canadian travelling abroad or returning to Canada, culture shock can challenge some of your core assumptions. SPRING 2012 43


ATLANTIC with Candice Walsh CANADA

Newfoundland Dangerous encounters: Getting close to enormous long-distance voyageurs.

Almost 90% of the iceberg is below water.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOHN WILLIAMS

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VERY year, giant mountains of ice make their way down through Iceberg Alley to the shores of Newfoundland, where iceberg traffic becomes bumper to bumper. These 10,000-year-old beauties have come a long way, most from the glaciers of Western Greenland, some from the Canadian Arctic. Tabular, blocky, and pinnacle are just some of their shapes, each one as unique as a snowflake. Colours and patterns vary. Some are painted with the blue streaks and striations of pure ice; others show black layers of trapped volcanic dust. Newfoundlanders never tire of the sight. Every berg is quiet and mysterious, like the secrets of its journey. Each immediately commands respect. Newfoundlanders find all sorts of fun uses for iceberg water, including beer, vodka, and gin.

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WHEN The iceberg season in Newfoundland can be unpredictable. Optimal viewing times stretch from May to June, but can begin as early as April. Last year’s incredibly successful iceberg season

lasted until the fall, and more than 60 bergs were counted off the coast of Twillingate in September. Check out IcebergFinder.com for updates. WHERE The Iceberg Capital of the World might be the place to start. Twillingate in Central Newfoundland proudly owns this title, and their iceberg season never disappoints. On the east coast, head to Witless Bay, Bonavista, or La Scie. Sometimes you can see bergs from St. John’s. On the Northern Peninsula, St. Anthony is a good place to start. HOW Boats are the best way to see bergs, so hop on board with your friendly tour guides at Iceberg Quest. If the timing is right, hike the trails around Signal Hill in St. John’s for stunning views. Finally, rent a kayak and circumnavigate an iceberg for the ultimate experience.


New Brunswick Grand Manan like a painting. PHOTOGRAPHY BY CLIFF ROMIG

On Grand Manan, the fresh ocean air and sweeping views are unlimited—regardless of your budget.

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RAND MANAN has been an island getaway since French explorer Samuel de Champlain sheltered there during a March storm in the early 1600s, and it still harbours the Atlantic vibes characteristic of life on the water. As it’s the largest island in the Bay of Fundy, some exploration should be at the top of your list. GET OUTDOORS Embark on a kayaking tour around the Fundy coastline where you can spot North Atlantic right whales, sharks, seals, countless sea birds, and watch the highest tides in the world roll in and out. Choose from a day trip or a multi-day journey, and enjoy sunsets from your comfortable seat on the water. Hike the Heritage Trails and Footpaths, or check out the famous 150-year-old

Swallowtail lighthouse, the second most photographed lighthouse in Canada. INDOORS: SARDINES AND CRAFTS Did you know Grand Manan has a Sardine Museum and Herring Hall of Fame? A New Yorker named Michael Zimmer opened the museum to pay tribute to Grand Manan heritage from a time when smoked herring was a major part of the economy. Swing by the Farmers’ Market where local artisans showcase their crafts, jewellery, paintings, knitted goods, and more. GETTING THERE From St. Andrews, NB, drive 30 kilometres on Highway 1 to Blacks Harbour where you’ll find the ferry terminal. Passenger and vehicle traffic work on a first-come firstserve basis. Crossings take approximately 1.5 hours.

Traditional fishing boats paint quaint harbours bright.

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Prince Edward Island

The warm glow of a lighthouse is a symbol of refuge and home for Prince Edward Islanders. Despite the province’s small size, there are still 45 lighthouses in operation—seven of them open to the public.

PHOTOGRAPHY: TOURISM PEI / BARRETT & MACKAY

ATLANTIC CANADA WITH CANDICE WALSH

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PHOTOGRAPHY: TOURISM PEI / JOHN SYLVESTER

PHOTOGRAPHY: TOURISM PEI

1 West Point: Built in 1875; the gable-roof is an example of the second generation style lighthouses on the island.

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Wood Islands: This lighthouse started guiding schooners through the Northumberland Strait in 1876, as well as fishing boats around Wood Islands. It has an attached six-room, two-storey space for the keeper and his or her family. 2

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3 Cape Bear: Home to one of seven original Marconi Wireless Stations established in the early 1900s, this lighthouse was the first to hear the distress signal from the Titanic as it sank off the coast of Newfoundland.

Point Prim: Built in 1846, the lighthouse is the oldest on the island and one of the few lighthouses in Canada to have been built from brick. It’s now furbished with wooden shingles, but the brick may be viewed from inside. 4

Panmure Head: Having one of the first fog alarms in the province, the lighthouse has safely guided schooners, steamers and fishing boats home for over 100 years. 5

East Point: Located on the most eastern point of the island, the lighthouse itself has relocated several times due to coastline erosion and other environmental factors. Today the structure houses crafts and an interpretive centre. 6

Victoria Rangelight: Manning one of the province’s busiest seaports, this is the only rangelight which houses two different lights. To see a collection of photographs showcasing the history of the lighthouse, go to the Victoria Seaport Museum. CANDICE WALSH IS A TRAVEL WRITER BASED IN ST. JOHN’S, NEWFOUNDLAND. FOLLOW HER TRAVELS AT CANDICEDOESTHEWORLD.COM


HALIFAX insider

In the heart of a city that’s already pumping with energy, the Public Gardens gives Halifax Home to ducks, swans, and well-kept flora, a walk through its paths is a delight no matter your age or the weather.

PHOTOGRAPHY: DEAN BOUCHARD

an oasis of serenity amidst the commotion.

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HALIFAX INSIDER

Out on the town AFFORDABILITY RATING

Uncover the gems kept secret with food blogger Laura Oakley (@halifood).

$ Is this for real? $$ Cheap enough to become a regular. $$$ @#! it—we’re on vacation.

Locals know

Ol’ faithful

What’s hot now

Two if by Sea Cafe $

Chives Canadian Bistro $$$

Boneheads BBQ $$

1869 UPPER WATER STREET (HALIFAX) 66 OCHTERLONEY STREET (DARTMOUTH)

1537 BARRINGTON STREET (DOWNTOWN)

1014 BARRINGTON STREET (SOUTH END)

Known for three things: Perilously delicious croissants, unabashedly talented baristas and dragging Haligonians to the Dartmouth side. Take the ferry from Halifax to their original shop in Dartmouth, or enamour your taste buds with a meal-sized croissant at the newly opened Historic Properties location. Check out the savoury croissant of the week, or stick with classic almond. Don’t eat beforehand!

Ten years later, Chives continues to be a fixture in the culinary sphere of downtown Halifax. While the locally influenced, seasonal menu is ever-changing, their famous buttermilk biscuits (served with molasses) are a staple with every meal. Perfect for those looking for a more creative spin on Nova Scotia cuisine, the restaurant itself sits inside a heritage property, offering both character and comfort. Be prepared to drop some cash on a well-worth-it meal.

Pull up your boot straps ‘cause this kick of flavour may knock your socks off. New to Halifax, Boneheads nabs southern-style BBQ and mixes it with local ingredients. They continue to rack up local and national attention (check them out on the Food Network this spring). Their cheeky humour and humble menu entertain you while you eat. Try the melt-in-your-mouth Beef Brisket sandwich (or a full plate if you’re feeling ambitious) and the Mac Daddy n’ Cheese, but save room for Peanut Butter Pie. Wash it all down with the local brew of the day. One trip, and you’ll be another name on a long list of BBQ addicts.

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Happenings around Halifax... Halifax Comedy Fest (April 25–28) For a laugh-out-loud time, look no further. Halifax becomes a comic minefield with a variety of hilarious shows at several different venues. Check the web for ticket info. halifaxcomedyfest.ca

Fun Family Games That Make You Think! We have the widest assortment of quality family, strategy, war,

Saltscapes Expo (April 27–29) is back for its eighth year. Browse for artisan crafts, sample local wines and food, and explore East Coast culture at more than 400 booths. saltscapes.com

mind and fun games. We are your source for genuine amusement. Let the games begin!

Cirque de Soleil (May 2–6) Be awe-inspired watching people do everything your folks told you not to. Halifax hosts the world’s best circus entertainers for the third time. Prepare to be razzle-dazzled. Caution: Don’t try this at home. ticketatlantic.com Scotiabank Blue Nose Marathon (May 18–20) Run or walk, there’s an event for everyone. Streets shut down for running traffic. If you don’t want the marathon to cramp your style, head outside the city for the morning. If you are running/walking, plan a brewery tour for the next day; it’s the perfect post-workout carb intake. bluenosemarathon.com Neptune Theatre (April 10–May 27) La Cage aux Folles is a hilarious musical inspired by Harvey Fierstien’s novel “La Cage,” the story from which movie director Mike Nichol’s big-hit The Birdcage was born. (April 24–May 6) Tempting Providence is an inspiring story of a British nurse known as the “Florence Nightingale of the North” who came to Newfoundland in the 1920s to help perform audacious medical procedures. neptunetheatre.com

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ANAGRAMS Relaxing Warm climate Hotel suite Explore Fine dining

Getting away First class Attractions Romantic Plan a trip

“Not all those who wander are lost.” – J. R. R. TOLKIEN

HALIFAX, NS. SPRING 2012 49


HALIFAX INSIDER

Titanic uncovered “Titanic passengers safe; being towed to Halifax.” The great ship was considered unsinkable until she hit an iceberg in the fog on her maiden voyage. Halifax played a key role in the aftermath. BY NIKO BELL

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HAT was the message someone thought tapped through the wireless on the night of April 15, 1912. The Halifax Morning Chronicle, as well as newspapers in Boston and New York, dutifully reported that the 2,228 passengers aboard the Titanic were on their way to Canada. Intercolonial Railway immediately prepared rail cars to ship the travellers smoothly on to New York. But no such cars would ever run. That night, as Titanic was sinking into the icy water of the Atlantic, the Baltic had radioed, “Are all Titanic passengers safe?” At the same moment, the Asian sent out a message to say it was towing the tanker Deutschland to Halifax. The two radio signals were muddled, and the resulting message fooled the world. Instead of welcoming in a boatload of grateful travellers, Halifax would find itself at the centre of a historic tragedy. The steamship Carpathia was first on the scene of the wreck, where sailors pulled 705 survivors from Titanic’s lifeboats. The grisly task of recovering bodies from the water was left to the Halifax office of White Star Line, the owners of Titanic. Two Halifax cable-laying and cable repair ships, Mackay-Bennett and Minia , spent more than a

week searching for victims. The bodies of first class passengers were treated to embalming and coffins. Second and third class passengers got burlap sacks, and the bodies of crew members were simply stacked on ice. Among the dead was Halifax businessman George Wright, as well as John Jacob Astor—perhaps the richest man in the world. The journal of one Halifax sailor on Mackay-Bennett tells of a body with a bag of diamonds hung around the neck, and another with $10,000 in cash (worth $230,000 today). Mackay-Bennett, first of the “death ships,” arrived at the Halifax naval dockyard with 190 bodies onboard. The deck was stacked high with coffins. Haligonians hung black bunting from the eaves and pictures of the Titanic in shop windows. A cavalcade of 30 horse-drawn hearses carried the bodies up North Street toward the Mayflower Curling Rink, which had been transformed into a makeshift morgue. It was not until May 10 that the last bodies were buried or shipped away. The task took 40 embalmers from across the Maritimes to complete. Frank Newell, who travelled from Yarmouth to help, had the ill fortune to discover his own uncle among the bodies—he had no idea that Arthur Newell had been onboard. Frank promptly fainted from shock.


Commemorating Titanic One hundred years after the sinking of Titanic, 2012 is a year to rediscover the connection between the “unsinkable” ship and Halifax. Here are some ways to take you back to 1912.

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1 Gravestone of the unknown child, Fairview Cemetery, Halifax. 2 Wooden deckchair on display at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.

MARITIME MUSEUM OF THE ATLANTIC The museum has a permanent display on Titanic including a rare wireless transcript, pictures, and woodwork from Titanic’s grand staircase. From April 12 to November 4 there will be an exhibit on cable ships, including Mackay-Bennet and Minia , which recovered bodies of the Titanic dead. From April 3 to July 2 there will also be a photographic display, featuring all 150 grave markers of the Titanic victims.

3 Days after the tragedy Halifax’s dockyard was scattered with coffins. 4

TITANIC CEMETERIES One hundred and fifty of the Titanic’s victims are buried in Halifax. Their graves are a testament to the unique stories of the disaster. Among them is Sidney Leslie Goodwin, the symbolic “unknown child of the Titanic,” who was only identified through DNA testing in 2007. Also buried is James Dawson, an Irish crewman whose grave is often adorned with flowers because of his (mistaken) association with Leonardo DiCaprio’s character in the film Titanic . The Fairview cemetery—the largest—is in the north end of Halifax. The Baron de Hirsch and Mount Olivet cemeteries are also nearby.

Titanic leaving South Hampton on April 10.

TITANIC DINNER THEATRE April 3–26, Cunard Centre, tickets $60-$100 Titanic: The Fated Voyage is a three act play, accompanied by music, and dinner as it might have been served aboard the Titanic. The play is produced by White Rose Entertainment. Box office: 855-436-0029.

COURTESY: NS ARC HIVES

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THE FIVE FISHERMEN This popular upscale restaurant on Argyle Street in Halifax’s bar district was once the site of Snow’s Funeral Home. Millionaire JJ Astor’s body was taken here for preparation before it was shipped back to New York on his private rail car. Enjoy your meal! TITANIC DIVE OF THE CENTURY This trip is not for the claustrophobic or shallow-pocketed. Go down, down, down 12,500 feet into the depths of the icy North Atlantic and gawk at Titanic as she sleeps on the seabed. It’s all part of a two week cruise happening in July. Total cost: $60,000. deepoceanexpeditions.com AND MORE TO COME: Nova Scotia will be rolling out more Titanic events as April approaches. Check these websites for the latest details: » www.titanic.gov.ns.ca » www.titanic100.ca » www.museum.gov.ns.ca

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HALIFAX INSIDER

Get outta town! PHOTOGRAPHY: SARAH PLOWMAN

PHOTOGRAPHY: V. J. MATTHEW/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

Just 45 minutes to Nova Scotia’s wine country.

PHOTOGRAPH Y: SARAH PLOWM

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BSOLUTELY worth the 45-minute trek out of Halifax, the Annapolis Valley Evangeline Trail winds you through fruitful verdant hills laden with succulent grapes, apples, honey and cheeses—a trip for your taste buds indeed. Try a cellar-door wine tasting at Luckett Vineyards or Domaine de Grand Pré, just outside the university town of Wolfville. Undecided on a farmers’ market? Swing by Noggins Corner, Elderkin’s, or Thursday morning markets in the Acadia University SUB. Keep driving a few kilometres past Wolfville to Port Williams for a bite and a micro-brewed beer at the Port Pub. Don’t dodge dessert: sample cheese and gelato at the Fox Hill Cheese House. In autumn, pull over at one of many U-Picks and rustle yourself a ten-pound bag of the valley’s famous apples.

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Enjoying the scenic route? Explore more of wine country. Drive deeper into the Valley and discover l’Acadie Vineyards in Gaspereau, a winery specialized in sparkling organic products. On the way back to Halifax, stop at Just Us! Coffee House and Roastery for a pick-me-up and the coffee museum or a chocolate workshop. For a Canadian kick, order the maple and bacon macchiato. Grab your joe to go, or mosey next door to venture into Tangled Garden’s outdoor labyrinth; indoors, browse among homemade jams, jellies, liquors and salsas. GETTING THERE Get on highway 101 and follow the signs to Windsor (Evangeline Trail). Drive 70 km from downtown Halifax and take the Grand Pre/ Wolfville exit.

1 Annapolis Valley’s microclimate makes growing grapes this far north possible. 2 A barista at Just Us! serves an unlikely Canadian mélange of flavours: maple & bacon macchiato. 3 Take a break from eating with a history lesson. Annapolis Valley was the epicenter of the turbulent Expulsion of the Acadians in 1755. Visit the historical landmark Grand Pré to learn more about the Acadian people and Evangeline, the fictional character from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem.


PHOTOGRAPHY: ADAM SCOTTI

at the AIRPORT

Those were the days N

The iconic Chickenburger brings a classic Nova Scotia taste to busy air travellers. BY SARAH PLOWMAN

O matter where you go in life, never forget where you came from. Words to live by. If you take a moment to appreciate the character of Halifax Stanfield before rushing through security, the airport is impossible to forget. Friendly volunteers in Nova Scotia tartan assist you, a disco-speckled lobster poses for last minute photos; and now, the Chickenburger staff grill fresh beef patties to give you one last taste of Nova Scotia. The Chickenburger is one of Halifax Stanfield’s newest undertakings and it’s a tasty one to say the least. Travellers and airport employees alike can now bite into the good ol’ days without stepping into a time machine or driving to Bedford. “It’s become a part of our heritage,” Mickey MacDonald says of the restaurant his company Micco Group bought in 2007. “Some people think when they come to Halifax they need to stop off at the Chickenburger to make it official they’re here.” The new Halifax Stanfield location captures the feel of its original restaurant. Green and white checkered tiles, vintage photographs, and the infamous fluorescent sign of a chicken furnish the joint with nostalgia and colour. All that’s missing is a jukebox. The menu dates back to 1940, when Bernice and Jack Innes started the restaurant as a drive-up canteen. The recipes may be retro, but the classic taste is still in demand.

“There is no secret. We don’t add anything to the product, we don’t take anything away,” says Colin MacDonald, president of the Chickenburger, “It’s what a hamburger should taste like—and that’s what makes it so good.” The chickenburger consists of fresh cuts of chicken wrapped up in a hot-steamed bun. Eat it plain or douse it in your choice of homemade cranberry sauce, mayonnaise or relish. The regular burger is just as famous: A lean ground beef patty served with grilled onions, ketchup, mustard, relish or mayo. Wash it all down with a thick, smooth, chocolaty milkshake. Ask for more pumps of flavour to make it extra potent. The iconic diner is bringing people to the airport just to eat. Families from Enfield are driving their families in on the weekend for a bite. “The airport is becoming more of a destination,” says Peter Spurway, Vice President of Corporate Communications with the Halifax International Airport Authority. It’s also giving hungry travellers passing through Halifax Stanfield a sense of place. “We want the folks who are visiting here for the first, second or third time—when they land here—to instantly get that feeling of Nova Scotia and Halifax,” says Spurway. The Chickenburger achieves this, with a side order of fries. SPRING 2012 53


Tim Hortons

Spirit of the Maritimes Hudson News

Aero Mart

Hudson News

54 SOAR Brisket

Booster Juice

Starbucks

Starbucks

Hudson News

Art Port

Clearwater

Beaches

Halifax Market

Lunenburg Craftsmen

Chicken Burger

Hudson News

Roots Travel Atlantic Sweet & Leisure Shoppe

HDS Relay Books Nova Scotia Store Everything Under $20

Maritime Ale House

Burger King

Tim Hortons

Kids Works

Legends Tech on Tim the Go Hortons Nova Scotia

Massage Centre

AT THE AIRPORT


SPRING 2012 55


AT THE AIRPORT

Partners contra crime Are you a dog lover? If so, can you imagine spending part of your work day playing with man’s best friend? Could there be a better job in the world?

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currently in training. Soar Halifax talked with Cst. Veniot to find out what it’s been like to work with Phalen every day as a partner in police work.

OT if you ask Constable Brian Veniot of the RCMP. Cst. Veniot is permanently stationed at Halifax Stanfield International Airport as the handler for the RCMP’s service dog. An RCMP officer for 24 years, Cst. Veniot has been at Halifax Stanfield since 2005, working with Phalen, a German Shepherd trained in explosive detection. Phalen is entering his eighth and final year protecting Halifax Stanfield. When he retires, he’ll make way for Doc, an 11-month-old Shepherd

HOW DID YOU AND PHALEN MEET? Your first time at the training centre [in Innisfail, Alberta] you arrive and there could be 20 dogs in the kennel. The instructor then tells you, “Behind door number three is your new partner.” You spend the first two weeks bonding with the dog and then it’s off to training. HOW DO YOU TRAIN THE DOG? The big thing is our dogs have to want to please you. Our dogs are all trained on a reward system and we don’t use food. Like you and I, the dogs have different personalities. They like different types of toys and games. We get them very interested in their toy, so when it comes to looking for explosives, we have them trained in the mindset of “if you do what I tell you to do, we’re going to play a game.” We train the dog to search for scents rather than specific explosives. We also constantly train the dogs, having them search for pre-placed explosives on a regular basis. I tease patrons, telling them it’s pre-flight entertainment. People love watching the dogs work.

BY JARED HOCHMAN

56 SOAR

PHOTOGRAPHY: ADAM SCOTTI

Keep your eyes peeled for Phalen, Doc and Cst. Veniot at Halifax Stanfield. The dogs usually work an eight-hour shift each day, but this crimestopping team is always on-call.

HAVE YOU EVER FOUND ANY REAL EXPLOSIVES THAT WERE NOT NOT PLACED BY YOU? Not once in our tenure. While it may seem boring, we’ve found thousands of explosives by training him. We’ve had lots of calls for precautionary reasons and, well, no news is good news! WHY IS PHALEN RETIRING? Eight years is a general time for when the dogs start to slow down or show fatigue. In my guy’s case, it’s not that he is losing his work ethic; he still wants to work very hard, but the wear and tear on him is showing. He had a good resumé, protecting the Prime Minister, The Queen, Bill Clinton and most recently the Prince and Princess visiting Prince Edward Island. Once he retires, he’ll just become the family pet!


SPRING 2012 57

Calgary

Edmonton

Halifax

Moncton

Year-round service

Winter service

Summer service

Bermuda

Boston New York City Newark

Philadelphia Washington D.C.

Toronto Hamilton Detroit

Orlando Tampa St. Petersburg Ft. Lauderdale Nassau Varadero Cayo Coco Santa Clara Turks and Caicos Cancun Holguin Puerto Plata Samana Punta Cana Montego Bay

Atlanta

Chicago

Gander Ottawa Charlottetown St. John's Montreal St. Pierre Fredericton Sydney Saint John

Deer Lake

Goose Bay London (Heathrow) London (Gatwick)

Frankfurt

With 42 non-stop destinations Halifax Stanfield is your gateway to the world

Reykjavik


IN-FLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT

Puzzles BY MYLES MELLOR

CROSSWORD 1

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ACROSS 1 Halifax hill 5 Takes a plane 8 Scenic region on Nova Scotia’s Bluenose Coast (2 words) 11 Trendy 13 Indian province 15 Shore bird 18 “Endless Love” and “I Got You, Babe,” e.g. 19 French city on the Rhine 23 Italian “but” 25 Norwegian winter sports city 28 City where El Prado is 29 Bond opponent, Dr ___ 30 Halifax’s famous fort 32 Agreed 34 Whiskey 35 On the beach 36 Rising sharply like cliffs

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ANAGRAMS Each of the phrases and words below are mixed up letters of a travel or vacation related word or phrase. Axel grin Metric law am Silhouettes Repel ox Ending in if

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Natty age wig List scarfs Tristan coat Am citron Plant pair

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5 8 4 58 SOAR

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DOWN 1 Takes a watery vacation 2 Highest point 3 Types of canoe 4 Put down 5 Looked out on 6 Clearly visible (2 words) 7 Like an ave. 9 Breakfast item 10 Lass 12 Compass point 14 Malta, for example 16 Go by ___ 17 Where the Rhone and the Saône meet 20 Golf starting location 21 Summer month, abbr. 22 Arrives at a destination 24 Great shopping street in Halifax 25 Some have to be checked 26 Places to stay 27 Helmsman’s heading 31 Earth, prefix 33 Taste 34 Memo start

SOLUTIONS CAN BE FOUND ON PAGE 47


IF YOU’RE TOO BUSY TO RUN You’re too busy.

May 18-20, 2012 · BlueNoseMarathon.com


IN-FLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT

Books to travel by BY SARAH PLOWMAN

What’s your favourite travel book? Email our editor at splowman@soarmedia.ca and your suggestion could be in our next issue.

Boomerang by Michael Lewis

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F financial disaster tourism is your interest, Boomerang is a must-read. American journalist Michael Lewis hops the pond to Iceland, Greece and Ireland in search of explanations. Colourful storytelling about the insiders who led these countries’ economies into collapse presents the Euro-crisis in an unusually entertaining way and sheds light on each culture’s nuances that inadvertently sent the world into financial turmoil.

The Paris Wife by Hadley Richardson

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EMINGWAY. The Roaring Twenties. Bohemian Paris. Paula McLean’s second novel, The Paris Wife, has all the ingredients of a delicious read. The Paris Wife chronicles Ernest Hemingway’s first marriage through the eyes of his wife, the thoroughly traditional Hadley Richardson, as she struggles with her new life in a foreign city. Like a good café, the conversation is always stimulating, there’s always a new and interesting character to become acquainted with, and the view from the window is spectacular. – HILARY CREAMER

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MAGINE sitting on the set of a movie as the scene unfolds around you. Reading Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons inside Vatican City, or The Da Vinci Code inside the Louvre, captures this surreal experience. Extensively researched descriptions of Rome and Paris in these historical novels transcend the pages and bridges fact and fiction in an enlightening way. You’ll learn more through Brown’s fiction than any walking tour you can find.

PHOTOGRAPHY: JOHN WILLIAMS

Angels and Demons or The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

Neither Here nor There by Bill Bryson

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ETRACING the backpacking trip of his 20-some-year-old self, humourist Bill Bryson crosses Europe, but not without flagging every national quirk about the country in his path. The French can’t queue; German pedestrians never cross on red lights; Serbians drive like madmen. Hark back to the hippie days of travelling and view contemporary Europe through Bryson’s lens—it’s a funny world.

Unquenchable by Natalie MacLean

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RAPE varieties, fancy labels, food pairing—as with a vintage bottle, becoming a wine connoisseur takes time. Whether you’re enjoying a glass of red at home or Riesling in Germany, garnish your next postprandial drink with Natalie MacLean’s gastronomic travelogue. From Europe to Australia, North America to Africa, her tipsy quest for the world’s best bargain wines explains why expensive doesn’t always translate into better. Revealing, educational and outrageously funny, this book is bound to save you a buck without compromising your savoir faire.

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Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman

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fabulous first novel dedicated “to the traveller,” makes Pigeon English a natural book to take on your journey. Eleven-year-old Harri, recently arrived in London from Ghana, has a great sense of curiousity and exuberance for everything. As he desperately tries to fit in, he paints 3 stripes on his plain white sneakers to make them look like Adidas. Nominated for the 2011 Man Booker Prize, Pigeon English will captivate you for your entire journey.

Carolyn’s

Pick

CAROLYN IS THE AREA MANAGER AT RELAY BOOKS IN HALIFAX STANFIELD.

SPRING 2012 61


CAPTURE

62 SOAR


Inspired by the Cosmos: Cusco, Peru

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PHOTOGRAPHY: JOHN WILLIAMS

HE ancient Incas lived by three basic principles: Do not lie, do not steal and do not be lazy. In the 15th century, these South American Indians built the mystical city of Machu Picchu. The structures were inspired by the Cosmos and some say the Sacred Valley of Urubamba mirrors the Milky Way. To this day, some Peruvians still follow the rituals and style of their ancestors.

SPRING 2012 63


Q&A

Game on Olympic athletes are some of Canada’s best exports. Nova Scotia’s own Danielle Dube is no exception. BY SARAH PLOWMAN

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ANADIANS heart our Olympians. And when you’re a smart, friendly, worldly yet girl-next-door type like 24-year-old Danielle Dube, you’re as good as gold. Soar Halifax talked travel with Dube, a first-time Olympic qualifier from Glenn Harbour, Nova Scotia, just days after she made the cut.

Who’s the most interesting person you’ve sat next to on a plane? He made animal food. He was an animal nutritionist and so for a while we chatted about his animal food business. I probably almost got sponsored by some sort of animal food. We talked all about the amount of meat you’re supposed to put in cat food and all of the nutrition stuff. It was crazy. When you travel, what kind of gear do you have to bring with you and how does that work? How do you get your boat there? The kind of boat I sail—it’s a laser radial—is a one-design class, which means you sail the boat basically the way you buy it from the manufacturer. All of the equipment is standard and it makes it easy for you to charter boats. But I actually own a boat I keep in Kiel, Germany. Anytime I have a European event, I go over and only bring my sail and my wetsuits, maybe some spare parts and lines. Do you ever have any trouble travelling with a sail? Actually, I usually have a bit of trouble with my tiller extension. It’s a long stick made of carbon and so because it’s kind of fragile. I keep it in a pipe and it

64 SOAR

always gets a lot of weird looks at the airport—a special screening. People wonder if I’m bringing firearms on board. Favourite place to train? Lake Garda in Italy. You’re London-bound. What are you looking forward to most? The opening ceremonies. When I didn’t qualify for the 2008 Olympics I saw all the sailors on TV. That was a really cool moment and looked so exciting. My event starts on the 29th and the ceremonies are on the 27th so it’s a little tight because we’re sailing in Weymouth and the ceremonies are in London. But I guess if you’re going to the Olympics you have to get the whole experience. I wouldn’t miss out on that. When you’re in London and you’re finished competing, are there any attractions you’d like to see? I used to be a synchronized swimmer so I’m really excited to go and watch that. From what I hear, if you go to the games you get a free pass to all the events so I’m just going to totally be a tourist when I’m there and probably tour London as well—see Big Ben and all of those things I’ve never seen. KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR DANIELLE AT HALIFAX STANFIELD IN JULY AS SHE TAKES OFF TO THE GAMES. SHE’LL LIKELY BE DONNING A CANADIAN UNIFORM AND COULD BE HOLDING UP YOUR SECURITY LINE WITH HER TILLER EXTENSION. BEST OF LUCK, DANIELLE.


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*Freight, PDI and applicable taxes are extra. See Audi Halifax for details. See dealer for details.


Spring 2012