My first introduction to baklava came through my husband’s family. He is half Armenian and his wonderful grandmother cooked the most amazing food. She was a true gourmet and since her passing many years ago, I’ve missed our Armenian feasts more than I can say. In her repertoire was baklava, a world famous, very sweet dessert made up of layers of filo dough, baked then drenched in special syrups usually made from honey. Her baklava was perfection. The dessert itself has been around for millennia though there is some dispute as to where it originated. The Greeks have a claim as do the Turks. But there is even a theory it had its origins in the Mongol Empire. Despite the debate, there can be no doubt baklava is a fine dessert that has been enjoyed throughout the Middle East and Mediterranean for a long, long time.
With 5000 miles of coastline and over 1400 islands, Denmark is a land surrounded by water. As part of the Jutland peninsula shared with Germany, Denmark enjoys cool summers and mild winters. The charming capital of Copenhagen is a well-known tourist destination and an excellent starting point for visiting a part of the world that has been inhabited for over 14,000 years.
With a number of interesting churches decorated with frescoes, the romantic thatched cottage at Liselund, several popular beach resorts, museums, charming villages and the majestic White Cliffs of Møn, the island has many attractions. People have lived on the island of Mon for ten thousand years and have been grazing cattle here for the past six thousand. A UNESCO biosphere reserve, Møn Island has many beauties to explore.
With the world’s oldest surviving amusement park, Copenhagen is an enchanting city of delights. This amusement park, called Dyrehavsbakken, was first built in 1583 and is one of many charming sights waiting to be discovered, along with beautiful parks, botanical gardens, the resting place of Hans Christian Andersen, the palace of Denmark’s Royal family, and Tivoli Gardens, the world’s second oldest amusement park. Check out the first video and see for yourself some of the charm and beauty that is Copenhagen.
If you’re a fossil hunter, Nova Scotia might be the place to visit. It is known for fossils as old as 250 million years. If you have a more ‘enjoy the day’ approach, Nova Scotia is laden with natural beauties and adventures to take like tidal bore rafting, canoeing, hiking and biking. Halifax, the capital, has a boardwalk almost two miles long full of shops, all kinds of tour boats, museums and restaurants. If you’re an explorer, Nova Scotia has 3800 islands just waiting for you.
As the capital of the Canadian Province of Nova Scotia, Halifax is a major financial center for the Atlantic region of Canada. Halifax Harbour is a major port. Both the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Coast Guard have major installations along different parts of the Halifax coastline. With mild weather in summer and winter, friendly people, good food, plenty of parks, places of historic interest and museums, Halifax has a lot of tourist appeal.
Considered a rare breed, the Nova Scotia duck toller retriever is an active, friendly and highly intelligent hunting dog. Bred to lure ducks to within gunshot range, these dogs employ all kinds of antics in the water or at the water’s edge to pique duck and geese curiosity. The word ‘toller’ refers to this specific activity. Tollers make great pets whether in the country or the city as long as they are kept active.
The French Quarter of New Orleans, the largest city in Louisiana, is known as the birthplace of jazz. For centuries, Louisiana has been a true melting pot of cultures from African, to French Acadian (Cajun), to Haitian, to European. This beautiful state is also home to the largest number of Native American tribes in the U.S. Native Americans have lived in Louisiana for millennia, long before the arrival of the Europeans.
The world contains many fascinating and unique places. One of these is bayou country in the Gulf region of the southern United States, especially those bayous found in Louisiana and Texas. With both brackish and freshwater bayous, these wetlands are home to a variety of fish, shellfish, shrimp, alligators, crocodiles, herons, frogs, snakes and a host of other species. Choctaw Indians have lived in the Louisiana Bayou country for centuries. The French-speaking Acadians, also known as Cajuns, emigrated to Louisiana during the 17th century. The bayou regions are some of the United States’s biggest melting pots.
Prepare to be fascinated. With an ancient appearance including intricate scales, sharp carnivoran teeth, and clawed, webbed feet, it’s no surprise that alligators have been around for at least 37 million years. Even their mating rituals are like none other. During the mating season of late spring, male alligators will bellow and release low frequency sounds in the water that cause their entire bodies to vibrate. This vibration creates a ‘water dance’ on the surface of the water just above the alligator’s upper back. You can see this phenomenon in the first video below, a BBC production.