- Published: 09 January 2013
|Harbour: The harbour at Nice is frequented by many luxurious yachts, often owned by the rich and famous.|
by Steven Tuck. Photos by Terry Tuck
Although we usually take just day trips from our beautiful “Mas” (our rented, private house) in the quaint town of L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue (in Provence, France), this trip we decided to explore some of the French Riviera, and get a hotel for a few days “holiday” away.
The autoroute is mostly 3 lanes and although the speed posted is 130 km/hr a lot of the way, be prepared to have headlights flashed at you from behind if you’re driving in the passing lanes, as the traffic moves very well, and most do speeds considerably higher! The scenery is breath taking with everything from deep valleys to high mountain ranges.
Nice is just half an hour from Monaco and less than an hour from the Italian border. The area known as the Alpes-Maritimes, is the southwestern most province of France. The Alps plunge into the blue Mediterranean here. It’s just an hour by car from ski slopes to beaches! The area boasts 320 days of sunshine annually.
With weather like that it is no wonder Nice has the largest Orthodox Cathedral in Western Europe. This is where the Czars built their Church to attend while escaping the Russian winters. St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral opened in 1912, thanks to the generosity of Tsar Nicholas II. It is only open to the public certain days and times.
We had been attracted to the area not only for its beautiful beaches and coastline, but also the cultural side, particularly the artistic community. This was the home of many of the great names in both past and modern painters.
- Published: 17 December 2012
by Habeeb Salloum
Tidbits of food from the simple to the complex served with all types of drinks are a pillar in Spanish and Middle Eastern cuisines.
Called tapas in Spain and mazas in the Middle East, these finger foods form the basis of gathering before a meal for a drink and the sampling of endless appetizers as to a prelude to the meal.
An enormous variety of tapas and mazas, from plain foods to sophisticated dishes, are served in the homes or public eating places throughout these lands. At times, people forgo the meal after nibbling on these appetizers that may range from a few dishes to, perhaps, as many as a hundred. Visitors who become accustomed to these appetizers usually always include them when planning their invitation feasts.
On the other hand, tapas can be served, at any hour, as a repast by themselves. Often when I travel to Spain or the Middle East I pass up the main meal and dine only on these tidbits of succulence. Any type of food from pickled fish, shrimps in garlic, meatballs, olives, cooked meats, to a dozen different vegetable dishes can be found on a usual appetizer table.
For the lovers of fine food, the following dishes touch only on the fringes of that delicious world of appetizers.
- Published: 10 October 2012
|The roads around “The Dentelles” are lined by some of the finest wine producers in the southern Rhone Valley.|
By Steven Tuck
There is something delightful staying in a vacation spot for a week or two or perhaps even more. Personally, I enjoy unpacking once; putting things into drawers or closets; stuff into the bathroom; and basically living as if in my own home.
We found the perfect spot in La Gardiole, a 4-bedroom, 4-bathroom private home in L’Isles-Sur-La-Sorgue. Actually we didn’t find this house, close friends did, and we acted on their very sound recommendation. In fact, booking over the internet, sending a deposit through the bank system to unknown people might be risky, but when others have had a good experience, without any problems, then it sure reduces the fear of dealing with strangers.
We flew to Marseilles, rented a car, and drove the hour up the toll highway and turned off near Avignon. On our first visit friends from England had arrived and met the caretakers two days before and we had dinner waiting for us when they opened the door to welcome us.
The location is perfect for day trips to Avignon (home to Popes at one point in history), to Chateauneuf-du-Pape (famous for wines as is the whole nearby region known as Cotes-du-Rhone), to picturesque Gordes, Roussillon, the 13th century Abbey du Senanque, and oh, so many other wonderful places!
- Published: 15 November 2012
|Graduating from the Breakthrough program, these young moms are headed for a successful, happy life, just like the one The Salvation Army in Kelowna hopes to offer those entering their latest breakout program. The church is conducting a pilot program for families coping with mental health and addictions issues, and the underpinnings of the work come all the way from Australia|
There’s a relaxed feel to Major Ron Cartmell that comes from knowing one is doing good in the world…
By Jennifer Smith
Stationed in one of three Kelowna offices, just off the Trans Canada Highway, Cartmell is only about two kilometres from the sand-licked shores of the beaches that make the area a favourite vacation hot spot.
He is currently building a different sort of paradise for those who need a helping hand. His team is about to pilot an Australian program that could make Kelowna a demonstration model nationwide, perhaps even the world over, for dealing with families and addictions.
“We don’t judge success by how many people we’ve helped,” he says as he starts to explain the new program. “Success is when someone doesn’t have to ask us for help anymore.
“We aim to create interdependency, to find healthy community… so families and children can find a brighter future.”
From The Salvation Army’s thrift stores to its after school and sports programming, the goal of this church is to offer assistance - no strings attached - and hope people on the receiving end can eventually find their own autonomy with a healthier lifestyle.
For those in the life skills bootcamp for young, single mothers—Breakthrough as it’s known—this might mean a better life for the next generation. For those benefitting from their legal services, Christmas hampers or food assistance, it might inspire a desire to pay-it-forward and join in doing good deeds.
Yet, if there’s one area where this simple philosophy often falters, it’s in dealing with addictions and families, according to Cartmell.
- Published: 10 September 2012
If you’re a guy who enjoys a jolt of Joe in the morning and who would rather give up driving than coffee, there might be some good news on the horizon.
Men who drink coffee on a regular basis appear to have a lower risk of developing a lethal form of prostate cancer, according to a new Harvard School of Public Health study
An unexpected part of the findings was that the lowered risk was the same regardless of whether the subjects drank regular or decaffeinated coffee.
“Few studies have specifically studied the association of coffee intake and the risk of lethal prostate cancer, the form of the disease that is the most critical to prevent,” said senior author Lorelei Mucci, HSPH associate professor of epidemiology. “Our study is the largest to date to examine whether coffee could lower the risk of lethal prostate cancer.”