All posts by Christina

For World Footprints: The Saanich Peninsula – A Family Farm Haven on Vancouver Island

When I arrive at Healing Farm, I have an overwhelming sense that I’ve come home. This 18-acre organic farm on Vancouver Island’s Saanich Peninsula is everything I love about this part of the world, where I grew up. There are fruit trees and blackberry vines and even 85 maples, that ultimate symbol of Canada, tapped each year for syrup. But what really gets me is the smell of the western red cedar, hemlock, and Sitka spruce.

I moved from Vancouver to Amsterdam six months ago, and walking into the forest that takes up half the farm’s land, standing under the 400-year old trees, I find myself almost paralyzed with nostalgia. Amsterdam has trees, of course, but not these towering sentries — and very few evergreens…

Read the rest at World Footprints

For Time Out Amsterdam: The 12 best cafés in Amsterdam

First things first: If you want coffee or a light meal in Amsterdam, a coffeeshop is not what you’re looking for. (Despite the name, those serve cannabis, not caffeine.) You want a koffiehuis or café. You’ll have your pick of spaces from classic to modern, and from understated to grand. No matter which style you choose, keep in mind that Amsterdam’s centuries-old café and restaurant culture is meant to be savoured – so settle in with a good book or one of the board games you’ll almost certainly find for guests to use.

Try ordering a koffie verkeerd – a ‘wrong coffee’ that’s the local latte equivalent – or a fresh mint or ginger tea. There are no free refills in this town, but at the very best cafés in Amsterdam your hot drink of choice may well come with a small cookie, and you’re welcome to linger as long as you like. And frankly, with those canalside views, we couldn’t think of anything better.

Read the rest at TimeOut.com

For Time Out: The 12 best art galleries and museums in Amsterdam

If you’re only here for a short stay but want to catch the best of Amsterdam’s art scene, head straight for Museumplein. The city’s largest square is home to four museums showcasing more Dutch Masters than you can probably handle – plus a healthy dose of modern and contemporary art.

If you’ve got more time, however, you’ll appreciate the chance to discover art across all the city’s coolest neighbourhoods, from Russian treasures to movie posters to digital deep dives into the city’s past. Many of the best Amsterdam gallery and museum buildings are as fascinating as the art they contain, whether centuries old or cutting-edge examples of contemporary design. Where else can you catch a video art installation in a 15th-century church, then hop on a ferry to a film museum that looks like it belongs in a Bond movie?

Read the rest at TimeOut.com

For Time Out: The 12 best bars in Amsterdam

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Visitors to Amsterdam have been exploring its thriving bar ‘scene’ since the 1600s, when sailors dropped by for one last shot of jenever before heading out to sea. Some of the bars they frequented are still around, serving the local juniper-based spirit in tulip-shaped glasses so full you’ll need to lower your head to the bar to take your first sip.

But there’s an ultra-cool, ultra-modern side to some of the best bars in Amsterdam, too. Upmarket lounges, world-class cocktail bars and cutting-edge craft breweries have transformed the Dutch capital’s drinks offering in recent years. And in summer, nothing beats sitting out on the terraces, where tourists and locals alike while away impossibly long evenings over biertjes (little beers) and bitterballen (a classic Dutch deep-fried bar snack).

Read the rest at TimeOut Amsterdam 

For Make Change: Ethical Travelers Are Obsessed With This Amsterdam Neighborhood

It’s no secret that Amsterdam has an over-tourism problem. Dam Square is thick with tourists and pickpockets, and the Red Light District (properly known as De Wallen) has become an adult Disneyland where stag parties run wild.

But all is not lost for visitors to Amsterdam. In the city’s outlying neighborhoods, there’s plenty to experience away from the central crowds…

Read the rest at Make Change 

 

For the Vancouver Courier: Lions and gorillas and chimps – Oh my!

gorillas by Christina Newberry

It’s 6 a.m. at Kyambura Gorge Lodge, just outside of Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park, and I can hear singing. Not being a morning person, I’ve declined a wake-up call, but I can just make out the melodic voice of Peace, the lodge’s personal butler, as she delivers fresh, local coffee to my neighbour.

We’re up early to head into the north section of the park for a lion safari…

Read the rest in the Vancouver Courier .