Cindy Bigras: For the Love of Travel
One of the things we notice most about Cindy Bigras' stories is her love for the destinations and her love of travel.
While she serves as GoNOMAD's expert on all things Italian, she shows the same enthusiasm for Sweden or Austria or Virginia, or wherever else she decides to go.
Cindy grew up in Vermont and received a B.S. from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
She studied and worked in Florence, Italy, for three years. It was there that her love for all things Italian was born. She returns there as often as possible, and keeps her language skills sharp by watching Italian television daily.
Cindy is a stickler for detail and helps keep the stories on GoNOMAD free of errors and typos.
He was born in Jerusalem, but ask any Sardinian and you’ll learn that today, nearly 2000 years after his death, Saint Efisio is the most revered, celebrated and loved saint on the island. He is their saint.
He was beheaded by the Romans in 303 A.D., and in 1656 was implored to protect the island’s residents from the plague ravaging all of Europe. He complied, and Sardinians honor him the first four days of May with the Festa of Saint Efisio held in the island’s capital of Cagliari.
Considered both a religious and a folk festival, the day begins with a mass in the church of Saint Efisio where the saint is said to have been imprisoned and tortured.
Following the mass, at noon sharp, bells toll as the saint’s statue leaves the church to join more than three thousand participants from every part of Sardinia gathered to march through Cagliari... Read more
"The Amalfi coast" -- just hearing those three words conjures up images of beautiful but expensive and crowded southern Italy. However, I recently discovered that it is more affordable than the image and exceptionally beautiful.
English, Irish, German, and a few fellow Americans, all eager to relax and absorb the experiences that come only from foreign travel.
Arriving at the Naples Airport , called Capodichino, it's about an hour ride into Sorrento on the Curreri bus. The bus stops directly in front of the airport and a schedule of their six daily departures is posted... Read more
Despite what you may have heard, Sweden in December is not a land of 24-hour darkness; Santa Lucia brings light to all of Scandinavia each year on December 13, and so begins the Christmas season. Gingersnaps and saffron buns are the day’s traditional complement to the morning coffee.
The train lurching to a halt woke me in the early morning hours. I pulled aside the window shade to reveal my first magnificent view of the Alps. These were not like the Green Mountains of Vermont where I had grown up... These were majestic, snow-covered peaks and steep vertical drops all within reach, five feet outside the train window.
It was many years before I saw the Alps again. Twenty five years later, in September 2004, I boarded an Austrian Airways plane for a hiking vacation in Innsbruck and Salzburg, with the view of those Alps etched in my memory. The Austrian Alps were now the destination, the focus, and the place where I would hike and bike and experience the outdoors at high altitudes and breathtaking vistas... Read more
The Northern What? My friend had proposed a weekend getaway to Virginia's Northern Neck… an area I had never heard of. Little did I know that I was in for a treat! It was the end of summer in New England, but in Virginia, it was still as warm as July.
Imagine lush, flat green fields stretching to the horizon; narrow roads winding around tall trees, and in any direction you choose, a bay or cove or inlet. They're called creeks in the NN and are wider than many rivers.
Putumayo’s latest CD, Italia, was released in May, 2009. Featuring Italian singer-songwriters, this music at times transports you to hilltop villages, other times to smoky cabaret settings in postwar Italy.
Folk music inspired by Latin rhythm, swing, and Celtic tradition, it is the vocals that take center stage in this musical storytelling.
As an easterner more experienced with New York’s canyons than those of the West, I am in some ways unprepared for this visit. I’ve come here specifically for the rodeo, yet I know very little about it, except for bull riding, which I’ve seen on TV.
So I join the “Behind the Chutes Tour” at the entrance to the rodeo grounds. Chutes are the pens from which animals are released for their events.This is a great opportunity to see things up close.
The open-air arena’s ground is dirt, the air is dry and the sun is hot. I will own a cowboy hat within an hour, and my sensitive skin will appreciate that the super wide brim protects my entire face and neck. I always wondered why cowboy hats looked like that. Now I know.
Part sport, part skill, all entertainment, the rodeo evolved from cattle herding in the West. Today’s first event, bull riding, is one of the most exciting. Read more
Doubtful Sound is so isolated that it’s necessary to take a 45-minute boat trip across beautiful Manapouri Lake and then at West Arm board a small van for the 45 minute trip over Wilmot Pass, straight through the rainforest. The scenery is spectacular, flora and birdlife abundant.
The driver, John, who turned out to be our captain, stopped a few times to show us staggering views of the sound from the winding road. He also talked about the lush vegetartion of beech trees and lichen to name a few.
The Seafinn, a two deck, 60-foot steel boat, was waiting when we arrived at Deep Cove. It has several cabins which comfortably sleep couples and also some twin bunks. The private cabins are designed for sleeping, not socializing. That happens above in the lounge, dining area, and two viewing decks. There is a full kitchenette and two bathrooms on deck. You won’t find electrical outlets, wifi, or cell phone service. Ah, pure bliss. Read more
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