Alberta: Calgary Stampede

THE TRIO of steer and two horses explode out of the box at a hard gallop, throwing dust as they chase across the dirt arena. In an instant, the first cowboy has lassoed the steer’s head, then keeps tension on the rope so it is presented in proper position for his partner to lasso theContinue reading “Alberta: Calgary Stampede”

Washington DC: Monumental City

“Once the Vietnam Memorial was on the Mall, all the other veteran groups wondered why they did not have theirs as well. If they had not been built we might think of the Mall in very different terms than as a place where we dump all our national war memorials.”

Arlington, Virginia: Past glories

THERE is nothing like Arlington in Britain, a national cemetery for all who have died in the service of their country. London has St Paul’s and Westminster Abbey, with their grand memorials, and the great graveyards of endless war dead in Flanders, Changi and Normandy. But Arlington is all those, and more.

Wyoming: Pony Express

IN MAY 1860, ‘Pony Bob’ Haslam was riding the Pony Express east from Friday’s Station on the California-Nevada state line (where the resort of Lake Tahoe is today) to Buckland’s Station, 75 miles away in Nevada. At Buckland’s his relief refused to ride because of Indian trouble, so Haslam carried on to Smith’s Creek –Continue reading “Wyoming: Pony Express”

Calgary: The Stampede

THE four teams of horses – four thoroughbreds in each team – charge past, the light wagons they are pulling wheel to wheel as they come around the final bend and gallop, nostrils foaming, for the finish line. The drivers lash the reins, straining every muscle to bring their passion to their teams. Behind, another 16Continue reading “Calgary: The Stampede”

Greenland: Real life… and certain death

‘ONCE your plane takes off again, you’re stuck here until Monday,’ says Susanna, the guide who meets me on Friday morning. ‘There are no more flights in or out.’ Welcome to one of the most remote spots on Earth, where the January temperature averages a bracing -27ºC (-16ºF). Kangerlussuaq in Greenland is the former USContinue reading “Greenland: Real life… and certain death”

Canada: The Rockies theme

‘ALL A-B-O-A-R-D.’ Who of us has not wanted to climb aboard a big North American train as the guard calls out that iconic warning? OK, there’s no tearful blonde waving on the platform, only the Rocky Mountaineer office staff lined up to send us off from Vancouver (a nice touch, though). But we’re going onContinue reading “Canada: The Rockies theme”

Vancouver: Birthplace of Green

LIKE all of us, I’ve indulged in those ‘What’s your favourite city/holiday destination?’ conversations. I used to know the answers. Now, having been to Vancouver, I’m less sure. Before I went, this Canadian West Coast city didn’t figure on my radar; having been there, it’s shot straight to the top of my favourite cities. SoContinue reading “Vancouver: Birthplace of Green”