Of all the Hielo Continental Sur‘s 49 glaciers the park’s tourist star is Perito Moreno. It’s located within Parque Nacional Los Glaciares established to preserve a vast region of Patagonia’s unique Austral Andes eco system. It’s accessible in the south from El Calefate – a town with all amenities on Lago Argentino – and in the north from El Chaltan – Argentina’s trekking center.
Read why Perito Moreno is a Patrimony of Humanity…and why what you hear is startling.
Yet tranquility reigned on these soft days of late August showers that alternated with brilliant sunshine. Everyone on the streets – punctuated by bright red, deep blue or even burnt orange painted houses – settled into the rhythms of the photo perfect port town with the distinct sounds of seagulls and a charming child-size waterfront amusement park.
Kinsale was founded in the early 1300s by the Plantagenet dynasty of England. Based on the success of Celtic Mediterranean sea routes, for the next 500 years Kinsale would become the wine distribution center for Europe generating vast fortunes….
…and attention as it was fought over for centuries with the very independence of Ireland in balance. Read why
The legend of Irish ‘pirate queen’ Grace O’Malley – Ó Máille Clan chieftain – is in the history books, yet as important as that was it would be passing down her entrepreneurial pluck and the aristocratic titles and privileges conferred on succeeding generations that would perpetuate Grace O’Malley’s family into the 21st century.
Adding to this allure is the photogenic village of Westport and elegant Westport House creations of enlightened 18th century concepts in estate planning.
So morphing Westport House estate during the 1960s into a family-oriented tourist attraction made perfect entrepreneurial sense.
Lest one think St. Petersburg is an example of the old joke that Florida is ‘God’s little waiting room,’ the attendees at September’s Grand Tasting were well under the age of this seasoned culinary journalist. St. Petersburg is attracting residents from a vibrant cross-section of educated world citizens that thrive on the arts, sun, beach, boating and fine food. An explosion of fascinating venues more than satisfies all of these eclectic tastes.
With a rapidly recovering economy after the 2008 downturn, St. Petersburg, Florida has established itself as an art and restaurant destination on the Gulf of Mexico coast. Fourteen restaurants and eight wineries are featured in…
Both the Museum of Fine Arts and the Morean Arts Center are masters at engaging the imagination of visitors whether through first century Roman iridescent glass or discovering the best cupcake artist in St. Petersburg.
Just like fine art, culinary creations can reach artistic heights. The Morean Arts Center has sponsored the Annual Great St. Pete Cupcake Contest for the past five years. It’s an opportunity for the city’s baking artists to be judged by both professionals and the general public. You can read about the region’s burgeoning art scene at…
Perhaps poutine is an apt example of a half-century of culinary evolution in Quebec City. Invented in the 1950s, this fast-food combination of French fries topped with fresh cheese curds and smothered in beef gravy became virtually the Quebec national dish and for years the butt of jokes in other parts of Canada – that is until the 21st century. In recent years poutine has changed under the talented hands of imaginative chefs and has migrated to major North American food centers from Philadelphia to Vancouver. From cafes to fine dining restaurants, additions from smoked bison to wild mushrooms and even foie gras now grace hand cut fries, squeaky organic cheese curds and lighter herb flavored gravies.
That same evolution in cuisine under both the talents of seasoned chefs and a new generation brought up on the media’s internationalization of tastes are transforming Quebec City into a sought after dining destination. Yet traditions remain; they’re simply being tweaked. The same incomparable food products Quebec agriculture has always produced now take center of the plate as the following nine city restaurants so admirably prove.
Only a few restaurants in Quito still serve cuy (roasted guinea pig) anymore, and it has become an exotic food. Although still common in remote village cuisines, even in urban Ecuador the sides would include potatoes, corn and grains in a variety of forms.
Giant shrimp do not belong in the central Andes of Ecuador, but they do on the long Pacific coast. Modern transportation provides the means today to easily market foods within geographic regions.
Quinoa, potatoes and corn are but three of a copious number of food stuffs indigenous to the Central Andes. Spanish conquest in the 16th century spread both these and many other agricultural products worldwide and introduced pigs and beef to South America. Today highways allow Ecuador’s Amazon River and Pacific Ocean fish and seafood to be served fresh in Quito at 9,000 feet elevation.
In a recent trip to Quito I explored seven restaurants that firmly base their menus on traditional cuisine yet take a liberal hand their reinterpretation for the 21st century plate.
I’ve not posted on Travel with Pen and Palate since May. After many years in Philadelphia a permanent move to a warm climate was the order from my very intelligent wife. After all why not?
As a travel writer my only requirement is an internet connection. I’m not a stranger to living in a warm climate. I spent nine years at the start of my career in Puerto Rico. I love traveling to warm climates, and on the USA mainland Florida is our tropics.
No doubt selling a house, packing up three decades of art and antiques and moving to St. Petersburg, FL, does disrupt a writing and traveling schedule. I’ve had to turn down several great press trip invitations including El Salvador and Italy because my wife somehow thinks I should be involved in house hunting…yes, we moved without first knowing where we were going to live. Of course we had no way of knowing our house would sell in 6 days…but that’s all part of adventure.
Adventure for me as a culinary and culture travel writer is focusing on what makes a destination exciting for those who already call it home. A tourist can always find the best beach, the newest luxury hotel or today’s trendy restaurant by simply spending time on social media.
But will they discover the best cupcake? Will they think that discovery will be found in an art museum that features the glass work of Dale Chihuly? Or that an effusive city booster will be a Scot immigrant of 20 years who’s your server in a terrific cafe? I’ve discovered that and much more in my first three weeks in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Want to know about the cupcake…and Picasso’s lover…and a city that’s become a cultural mecca…with good beaches?
Since the start of history gold has been connected to the divine and the boundaries of people, state and heaven have intertwined in myriad and mysterious patterns. In post conquest 16th century Quito (Ecuador), An A-list of priests, monks and nuns from four of the Church’s most influential religious orders provided the patronage for a celebrated era of artistic expression.
Sumptuous interior decorations, intricate carvings and golden altars express prominent Moorish geometrical figures, Italian Renaissance style and European baroque architecture. In the 1970s UNESCO dubbed it “Quito Baroque” in their 1978 designation of Quito as a World Heritage Site.
Just click the link to see many more photos and read the article…
At least 4,000 varieties of potatoes grow in the Andean Highlands that encompass territory stretching from northern Argentina through Ecuador. An important food staple for all pre-Columbian Andean cultures, the Incas created chunu – dehydrated potatoes that could be stored for up to a decade.
Read how a vegetable becomes a national icon and follow a simple recipe for an Ecuador national dish: