For the Christmas/New Year holiday season, R — my wife and travel companion — and I flew to Reykjavik for a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see our favourite band, Sigur Ros, and some of their closest artsy friends party it up at the first Norður og Niður, North and Down (“Straight to Hell”) festival. In the process, we hoped to enjoy a little winter wonderland, chase the aurora, and field test our iPhone Xs as travel cameras.
So late in December, we winged it from a balmy and blue-skied Tokyo, north, north, north, above frozen Russia and Scandinavia, almost to the Arctic Circle and Santa Claus country.
See the rest of the post at Reykjavik@Christmas

Winter Sunset over Sweden @ 36,000 feet

the iPhone X as in-flight camera

IMG_0776I shot this series of “skyscape” pictures over Sweden on a recent SAS flight from Tokyo to Copenhagen. I recently received an iPhone X — my first smartphone! — as a Christmas present, and I’ve been eager to play with the camera in particular.

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Reykjavik Kills Me

Exploring Iceland’s capital city in summer


In late June, I swung a three-night stopover en route from Tokyo to Toronto. As R and I already planned a self-drive adventure further afield in July, I would explore Reykjavik instead, drifting around town with a camera in hand and nowhere to be, nothing to do for 72 hours…

Continue to read Reykjavik Kills Me…

Adventures on The Bruce Peninsula, Georgian Bay Ontario

A triptych of essays set in — or on the road to — Ontario’s “sweetwater sea”


Part One: Day-Tripping Flowerpot Island, the Bruce Trail, The Grotto, and Overhanging Point on southern Ontario’s Bruce Peninsula

The Bruce Peninsula in southern Ontario separates the cooler waters of Georgian Bay from the rest of Lake Huron’s “sweetwater sea,” and makes of the Bay an unofficial, sixth Great Lake. It’s the kind of iconic Canadian landscape that drove artists such as Arthur Lismer and the other Group of Seven painters wild.

The rugged, 100-kilometre finger of pine-studded shale and limestone, set amidst the granite and precambrian rock of Shield country, points northward from the rolling hills of southwest Ontario’s farm country, all head-high corn and sulphur-bright canola, through Boreal Shield country and towns with names like Kapuskaping. North north north, to Moosonee and the wetland plains of Hudson Bay and, somewhere way up there, the beluga-backed Arctic Ocean…

Continue reading Adventures on The Bruce Peninsula, Georgian Bay Ontario

Iceland: Emotional Landscapes


I have visited Iceland twice now, in late spring two years ago and again this year at the height of summer. I blogged before, during, and after my travels, including such random trip planning resources as inspirational music videos and good reading. Now Im work on a landscape photo essay about this summer’s trip. Meantime, check out my trip reoprts and travel resources at Iceland: Emotional Landscapes

Toronto Kills Me: Summer 2017


Candid travel photographs in the cold and the rain from my – ongoing – summer trip to Toronto, Ontario, a.k.a. (among others) CondoToronto – and rightfully so! Toronto often gets knocked for being an ersatz city, lacking any real sense of place. That “There is no there there,” as Gertrude Stein once said of Oakland. In this photo essay I go looking for T.O.’s genius loci – and find it there, among the historic brick buildings and glass-and-steel skyscrapers.

Iberia Photos on Exit Booted

To kick off a new photo gallery project, the eponymous Exit Booted (but now on, I’ve uploaded sets of photos from the summers I spent in Spain and Portugal in the mid-2000’s.

I’ll add more sets from my world travels as I continue to work my way through my photo library. Next stop: Siem Reap and the Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia. But first, back to Iberia 2004/2005




“Suggested Writer” on


Cool beans! Not exactly sure how to take this – ‘though the expression “with a grain of salt” jumps to mind – but apparently I have earned “suggested writer” status in the Travel section on

I’m genuinely flattered, and it makes me want to sit down and write more essays and stories and publish them online, though to be honest I’m not sure what, exactly, it means to be a suggested writer. Is it a decision made by a cabal of wise gnomes at, or is it some less-personal, more automated process, an algorithmic accretion of views/reads/recommends?

In either case, I’ll put aside the salt for a moment, as well as the self-deprecating humour, and take the credit gracefully and gratefully.

Meantime, please check out my presence on, including the self publications Big Sushi, Little Fishes 2.0, about my adventures in Japan, and Exit Booted 2.0,, in Toronto and the rest of the world.

Lake of Two Rivers, Algonquin Provincial Park

Killarney Lodge cabin and Canoe; Lake of Two Rivers, Algonquin P

Algonquin Provincial Park lies roughly halfway between Toronto and Ottawa, in southcentral Ontario. It is Shield country, a piece of Canada’s iconic north.Back at the turn of the last century, this part of the country drew members of the Group of Seven painting troupe,  a.k.a. The Algonquin School, to its deep pine and maple forests, moose-haunted spruce bogs, and glacier-scraped lakes. Check out permanent collections of the Art Gallery of Ontario, the McMichael Collection, or the National Gallery in Ottawa to see what I mean… 

Those paintings and, later, explorations of those forests and lakes by foot and canoe, inspired in me what has become a life-long love of nature and the outdoors. What started as a Boy Scout handbook of adventure, with just enough danger to keep a young man with an over-active imagination interested (the occasional bear attack; the murder of a famous painter), has matured into what has become today something almost… spiritual.

In any case, these days the park’s natural environment still inspires painters and photographers, including yours truly (see my Algonquin photo gallery at 500px).

Today, despite living in the world’s largest city, I continue to seek out time in nature  to reconnect with the grace, beauty, and adventure which I found first in those paintings and later in the real thing, Canada Wild, red and tooth and claw. My travels have taken me to the Canadian Rockies, the Japanese and European Alps, the elf-painted wastelands of Iceland. Still, I return to Ontario every summer to re-connect with friends and family, so when my partner R. was ready to experience some Canadian wilderness, Algonquin was one of the first places I brought her.

This was not her first trip to the Great Outdoors – she has accompanied me on many of the trips noted above. Still, she is more comfortable in a cabin than tent, so when we decided to visit Algonquin I arranged a stay at Killarney Lodge on the shore of Lake of Two Rivers in the southern part of the Park, along the Highway 60 corridor. From here we hiked highland trails, canoed the interior lakes (though we didn’t attempt any of Algonquin’s notorious portages), and cycled along an old rail bed through bear meadows.

These days, I have to admit, Algonquin feels a little more comfortable and a little less wilderness than it did when I was a young man – though thoughts of trips into the remote backcountry still set my wanderlust a-tremble. Even so, the busy Highway 60 corridor still provides a memorable first taste of that bog-N Nature which got me out of doors all those years ago…

Angkor Wat

Pictures from a trip to Angkor Wat, and the nearby city of Siem Reap plus The Cambodia Landmine Museum and Relief Center in the spring of 2007. Check out the full gallery of pictures at 500px.