Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Perce' Rock Experience


The stunning vistas of the Gaspe region of Quebec is most often characterized by the massive limestone arch of Perce' rock. Rising from the Gulf of St. Lawrence, it looks like a giant, prehistoric fossil, floating in the waves. Perce' rock ,which translates from French to "pierced rock," is part of Bonaventure Island so you can only view it close up by boat. At 289 feet high and 300 feet wide, it's a striking sight. Some locals say that the rock resembles a horse feeding and looking from a distance, I can see that. Although the rock is a beloved landmark for Gaspe, there are all sorts of sad legends attached to it. Various lovers, sailors and Iroquois chiefs supposedly died at the location and there is a melancholy vibe that floats around Perce' rock. To me, that wistful air just adds to the memorable beauty of the Perce' rock experience.


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Next Stop: Whale Watching and Mountain Climbing in the Gaspe Peninsula


This week, I'm off to the storied natural beauty of the Gaspe Penninsula. The peninsula hugs the south shore of the St. Lawrence River in Quebec and is noted for it's maritime history and stunning landscapes. I'll be exploring most of the region on a press trip hosted by Quebec Tourism and I'm excited about experiencing whale watching off Bonaventure Island and hiking the Chic-Chocs Mountains, shown above.  Catching glimpses of moose, caribou and lynx are also on my itinerary so please stay tuned for upcoming posts!



Thursday, July 4, 2013

Jalisco's Blue Agave


Mexico may be famous for tequila but it's the striking blue agave plant that really deserves all of the recognition. The state of Jalisco, in Western Mexico, is where tequila was first developed from the blue agave plant and it's the only place in Mexico where tequila can be produced. Traveling through the area, an intense blue cloud covers the places where blue agave plantations blanket the landscape.During pre-colonial times, the Aztecs discovered that the plant harbors honey when lighting struck and burnt the plants. They also discovered a thick,white foam that would eventually be distilled to create tequila. Agave nectar has recently become a popular sweetener but tequila has claimed fans for several centuries. Jalisco produces more than 80% of all blue agave and I loved gazing at the elegant plants although the prickly points helped me realize that they are much better to look at than touch!