2014 in Review

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Looking back on it, 2014 has been an extremely busy year with a lot of activities, and a lot of travel. February started with a stay in Niagara Falls, a visit to Niagara-on-the-Lake (above), both as a background to spending a couple of hours at the Silverdale Gun Club in Grimsby where we learned how to shoot hand-guns. Definitely a high octane pastime!

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In March I ended up in Birmingham, UK on business. Which meant when i wasn’t doing business I didn’t waste time sleeping.

Then in May my wife and I took a trip to Mexico, and got some r&r on the gulf side. Very quiet area, lots of wildlife and lots of relaxation.

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I wasn’t back for long before I headed out on another business trip to Europe. Valencia Spain, Cologne Germany, Istanbul Turkey and Cardiff Wales, with stops in Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Dublin. Quite the experience!

The gold-clad dome of St. Mary's Cathedral
The gold-clad dome of St. Mary’s Cathedral
The Main Altarpiece in St. Mary's Cathedral
The Main Altarpiece in St. Mary’s Cathedral

Interior of the Cathedral in Valencia.

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Winding streets in Valencia.

Getting to Istanbul I had some time on my hands between meetings and next connections. A day was spent in the Grand Bazaar, a unique experience that takes you back in time.

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It was here I met Mahmout, who sold me a silk pashmina for my wife, made in the traditional Bursa fashion, Not something you will find in Canada.

Mahmout, Pashmina Seller, Grand Bazaar, Turkey

And of course, the dealing can only be finalized with the shared apple tea, signifying both parties are satisfied.

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But Istanbul is not just about shopping. The Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia, the Palace of Ataturk, the Topkapi Palace…there is so much to see that you need at least a couple of weeks to do it right.

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Then it was on to Cologne, which I found a beautiful place, especially the very civilized restaurant patios on the banks of the Rhine.

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Between trips we also took flying lessons in Toronto in a Russian flight simulator, where I learned that I should let someone else control the plane as my forte appears to be crashing. We also learned how to properly shoot long-bows, which was  lot of fun, but also brought a great feeling of achievement.

In September we headed to Cuba, where i had my first opportunity to explore Havana, a city full of culture and history.

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So it’s been quite a busy year, especially considering that when I wasn’t travelling and shooting I was averaging 60-hour weeks at work!

And 2015?  We’re still working on the plan, but archery will figure strongly, probably joining a club, as will travel. We’re still looking at Iceland in the spring, which should yield some spectacular images. And hopefully I will have time to update this blog more often.

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