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Old Jan 2nd 2014, 05:30 PM
voiceoftheshires voiceoftheshires is offline
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Default Where do you recommend

Where in your country would you recommend that I visit?
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Old Jan 2nd 2014, 06:49 PM
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Default Re: Where do you recommend

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Originally Posted by voiceoftheshires View Post
Where in your country would you recommend that I visit?
Now that's an excellent question!

I'm American-British-Canadian, but I live in Canada so that's my 'official' country. Its also a big place so this is a big post!

In Canada, I'd certainly recommend visiting Newfoundland - in the summer of course because fall/winter/spring in Newfie is freakin' winter. The island is absolutely beautiful, filled with the cutest little fishing towns you ever did see and the people are extremely warm, friendly and welcoming to tourists (and they talk so darn funny!). Lots of seafood too.

Prince Edward Island (aka PEI) is hugely popular with tourists - though I'm not much of a fan. The island is very small, very flat and is little more than a giant sand-bar in the Atlantic. It is very quaint and laidback. Time moves a bit slower in PEI than elsewhere in North America. It is also a great place to visit if you are a seafood lover.

I'd also recommend visiting Quebec City, though that isn't nearly so popular with European types as it is with North Americans. Quebec City is quite simply the oldest city in North America and probably one of the only walled cities. It is also probably the most "European" like place in all of North America.

Ontario has only a couple of natural attractions and one big city. If you like cities, then Toronto is worth visiting. If you don't care for city-life, then skip Toronto because it is just a miniature version New York City (with the same cut-throat fast pace for everything and rude pedestrians). One of the highlights of Toronto is our international/cosmopolitan restaurants. We have large immigrant communities from just about every corner of the globe and as such, you can eat fairly authentic foods from all over the world.

Other than Toronto, there is Niagara Falls, which is quite impressive, worth visiting to see it, but after a day or two, there's not much there other than seeing the falls (lots of cheesy tourist stuff here - like Ripley's Museum and Madame Traussaud Wax Museum, etc).

I'd certainly recommend Muskoka/Haliburton region, which is just two hours drive north of Toronto (my favorite place in this country). This is arguably one of the most beautiful places in Canada - filled with endless miles of big granite rocks, countless lakes and billions of pine trees - this is where "Group of Seven" paintings come from. This is the kind of place people rent a lakeside cabin in the summer time. Lots of fishing, hunting and watersport.

Moving west, there ain't nothing in Canada between Toronto and the Rocky Mountains except a whole lot of land. The Rocky Mountains are well worth seeing. The trip via car or train from Calgary to Vancouver (or Vancouver to Calgary) is truly spectacular vistas of huge mountains, valleys and unspoilt natural beauty.

And then there is the "wet-coast", which is very beautiful place, sandwiched between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Unfortunately, the weather here is rather like the south-east of England - damp and foggy on a semi-permanent basis.

One highlight of any west-coast trip must be to see some of the giant Redwood trees in the coast rain forest. These things can grow to 400 feet tall and hundreds of years old. They are MASSIVE trees - many times larger than any tree you have ever seen (we're talking tree trunks that are 30 feet / 10m in diameter).

That's pretty much it for the "highlights" of visiting Canada. Unfortunately, Canada is too freakin' big to see any more than a tiny sliver of the place. Heck, I remember driving up to Muskoka with some visitors from England a few years back and they were totally freaked out and amazed at the sheer size and scale of this country - they had never seen so many miles of trees without any sign of people, villages or houses. As far as I was concerned, I hadn't shown them anything - but just the sight of all those trees really freaked them out because they'd never seen anything like it.
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Old Jan 2nd 2014, 07:35 PM
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Default Re: Where do you recommend

Depends... do you like affordable prices, nationally recognized food, an excellent arts and culture scene, and not too much pesky tourism all with a side of post industrial urban decay?

Cleveland is definitely your destination.
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Old Jan 2nd 2014, 09:01 PM
Tom Palven Tom Palven is offline
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Default Re: Where do you recommend

Wikipedia says that Saint Augustine, Florida, settled by the Spanish in 1565 is the "Oldest continuously-inhabited European-established settlement in the US." I guess Veracruz, Mexico, 1519, is the oldest in North America. Quebec City was established in 1535, but then abandoned and not continuously-inhabited until 1608. Getting off topic, but somebody has to keep Michael in line.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of..._of_foundation
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Old Jan 2nd 2014, 09:12 PM
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Default Re: Where do you recommend

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Originally Posted by voiceoftheshires View Post
Where in your country would you recommend that I visit?
That would depend entirely upon what you're interested in; nature, culture, old cities vs. modern cities, etc. etc.
Having said that, I live in Belgium so you can pretty much visit the whole thing in a fortnight
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Old Jan 2nd 2014, 10:17 PM
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Default Re: Where do you recommend

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Originally Posted by Dominick View Post
That would depend entirely upon what you're interested in; nature, culture, old cities vs. modern cities, etc. etc.
Having said that, I live in Belgium so you can pretty much visit the whole thing in a fortnight
Two weeks to do Belgium? At that rate you'd need a lifetime for Canada or USA.

(Btw, I think this is one of the biggest psychological differences between western Europeans and North Americans - our perspectives about local travel distances)

I should think one could cover a good part of Belgium in under a week since there is no travel time involved - the whole country is practically one city with suburbs.

Unless one is expected to tour every museum, art gallery and old church in every town, in which case, I suspect one might need a month or more just to do Belgium.

Speaking of which, I personally have found that the biggest factor in doing a 'good tour' of any given place is not determined by the length of stay, or one's budget, but whether or not you have a good local guide or not. If you have an old friend or family or even just an aquaintance living where you want to visit, that makes for the absolute best in getting to see the place well. Picking places worthy of visiting from a purely 'visitor' perspective is really hit-and-miss. Some are well worth visiting, others can be boring, tedious or a waste of money. I'd also add that second or third visits to the same place really help to gain a good perspective on that place in a way that one visit just doesn't do it.
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Old Jan 2nd 2014, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Dominick View Post
That would depend entirely upon what you're interested in; nature, culture, old cities vs. modern cities, etc. etc.
Having said that, I live in Belgium so you can pretty much visit the whole thing in a fortnight


I've always wondered why we don't use the expression "half-moon" for a fortnight?

It seems so logical, natural and relevant.
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Old Jan 2nd 2014, 10:31 PM
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Default Re: Where do you recommend

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Originally Posted by Donkey View Post
Depends... do you like affordable prices, nationally recognized food, an excellent arts and culture scene, and not too much pesky tourism all with a side of post industrial urban decay?

Cleveland is definitely your destination.
Next time I'm driving down through the US, I do plan to make a point of visiting Cleveland - based on your recommendation.

I don't mind a bit of urban blight - I've been to Detroit and Buffalo, as well as good old Hamilton and east end Montreal. I've also been to Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield and east-end London just to keep perspective on the issue. Britain has some really nasty 'council estates'. Seems like every big city that's at least a hundred plus years old has some old industrial districts (and neighboring housing) that is ugly as shit. So far the worst place in the USA I've seen was North Philadelphia (Germantown) back in the late-1980's when the crack epidemic was rolling through. That was bad - looked like a war-zone. Detroit by comparison is creepy because it is so empty. The slums in Germantown 'war-zone' were filled with people.

Here in Toronto, we've bulldozed most of the old factories and gentrified our old working class neighborhoods, but that stuff used to be here too.
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Old Jan 3rd 2014, 03:19 AM
voiceoftheshires voiceoftheshires is offline
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Default Re: Where do you recommend

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Originally Posted by Michael View Post
Now that's an excellent question!

I'm American-British-Canadian, but I live in Canada so that's my 'official' country. Its also a big place so this is a big post!

In Canada, I'd certainly recommend visiting Newfoundland - in the summer of course because fall/winter/spring in Newfie is freakin' winter. The island is absolutely beautiful, filled with the cutest little fishing towns you ever did see and the people are extremely warm, friendly and welcoming to tourists (and they talk so darn funny!). Lots of seafood too.

Prince Edward Island (aka PEI) is hugely popular with tourists - though I'm not much of a fan. The island is very small, very flat and is little more than a giant sand-bar in the Atlantic. It is very quaint and laidback. Time moves a bit slower in PEI than elsewhere in North America. It is also a great place to visit if you are a seafood lover.

I'd also recommend visiting Quebec City, though that isn't nearly so popular with European types as it is with North Americans. Quebec City is quite simply the oldest city in North America and probably one of the only walled cities. It is also probably the most "European" like place in all of North America.

Ontario has only a couple of natural attractions and one big city. If you like cities, then Toronto is worth visiting. If you don't care for city-life, then skip Toronto because it is just a miniature version New York City (with the same cut-throat fast pace for everything and rude pedestrians). One of the highlights of Toronto is our international/cosmopolitan restaurants. We have large immigrant communities from just about every corner of the globe and as such, you can eat fairly authentic foods from all over the world.

Other than Toronto, there is Niagara Falls, which is quite impressive, worth visiting to see it, but after a day or two, there's not much there other than seeing the falls (lots of cheesy tourist stuff here - like Ripley's Museum and Madame Traussaud Wax Museum, etc).

I'd certainly recommend Muskoka/Haliburton region, which is just two hours drive north of Toronto (my favorite place in this country). This is arguably one of the most beautiful places in Canada - filled with endless miles of big granite rocks, countless lakes and billions of pine trees - this is where "Group of Seven" paintings come from. This is the kind of place people rent a lakeside cabin in the summer time. Lots of fishing, hunting and watersport.

Moving west, there ain't nothing in Canada between Toronto and the Rocky Mountains except a whole lot of land. The Rocky Mountains are well worth seeing. The trip via car or train from Calgary to Vancouver (or Vancouver to Calgary) is truly spectacular vistas of huge mountains, valleys and unspoilt natural beauty.

And then there is the "wet-coast", which is very beautiful place, sandwiched between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Unfortunately, the weather here is rather like the south-east of England - damp and foggy on a semi-permanent basis.

One highlight of any west-coast trip must be to see some of the giant Redwood trees in the coast rain forest. These things can grow to 400 feet tall and hundreds of years old. They are MASSIVE trees - many times larger than any tree you have ever seen (we're talking tree trunks that are 30 feet / 10m in diameter).

That's pretty much it for the "highlights" of visiting Canada. Unfortunately, Canada is too freakin' big to see any more than a tiny sliver of the place. Heck, I remember driving up to Muskoka with some visitors from England a few years back and they were totally freaked out and amazed at the sheer size and scale of this country - they had never seen so many miles of trees without any sign of people, villages or houses. As far as I was concerned, I hadn't shown them anything - but just the sight of all those trees really freaked them out because they'd never seen anything like it.
I would like to see the redwoods and mountains, I care nothing for cities. South east of UK, by the way, is the least damp and foggy part
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Old Jan 3rd 2014, 03:20 AM
voiceoftheshires voiceoftheshires is offline
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Default Re: Where do you recommend

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donkey View Post
Depends... do you like affordable prices, nationally recognized food, an excellent arts and culture scene, and not too much pesky tourism all with a side of post industrial urban decay?

Cleveland is definitely your destination.
Doesn't appeal to me, I am afraid
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