What the bleep is glamping?!

I’ve been seeing it everywhere lately, this ‘glamorous camping’. And by everywhere, that means on Pinterest. I can’t quite wrap my head around the concept, and why this is becoming/is so popular.

Here is my version of glamorous camping:

Glamorous! I even have my Kobo awaiting me on the picnic table!

Not so glamorous – after a wind storm. Bye bye tent.

Anyway, I don’t think my version of glamorous camping is the same version that everyone is talking about. Research time!

This luxury camper in the Highlands of Scotland has a shower, TV, microwave, kettle, fridge AND an electric heater AND is 200 metres from pubs and a grocery store. Don’t worry though, you have to rough it a bit – there is NO cutlery provided. Phew!

At least I can see a picnic table in this photo. Some of the next glamping experience do not have this camping staple at all! Shame, shame.

Wow – check out this one in Martis, Italy. There are tiny Christmas lights all over the ‘Emperor Bell Tent’.

Please read what this site provides for a wonderful glamping experience:

“No sleeping bags, hard floors, or ‘roughing it’ we provide everything you need for your glamping holiday.

Leave your cares behind and unwind. We provide everything,  just bring your heart and soul and romance. Honeymoon couples will be spoilt upon request!

Each Emperor tent has a separate private gas heated shower, vanity basin and eco toilet facility, you also have a private terrace with garden furniture and a little Cool Pool.”

WHAT?! Shouldn’t your private little terrace there be the edge of a cliff, situated along a valley with a meandering stream, speckled with grazing ___________ (bison, deer, antelope, bear….ANY wildlife).

This place has breakfast service, PRIVATE showers, a fridge and a freezer, even CUTLERY! Wow. Way to be closer to nature!

On Mafia Island off the coast of Tanzania – your very own private island awaits your glamping experience. It starts off describing the bar and restaurant areas encourage guests to walk around barefoot, then walk out to your private beach, and later have a nice cool shower in the solar powered facilities.

And hey – while you are at it, go to the spa for a nice massage to help you relax just a bit more…

Finally, near Queenstown, New Zealand, I could take a helicopter into a very remote area (could I at least hike in there?! Is that too much to ask?!).

Here’s what’s in store in this glacial valley:

“Guests are hosted under canvas in luxuriously furnished tented suites complete with wall to wall sheepskin carpet, king beds, private deck set with its own hot tub, full en-suite with double vanity and endless hot showers.

On-site facilities include the ‘Mountain Kitchen’ with its well stocked library, dining room, living area, open fires, first class chef and on-site private guides.”

A LIBRARY?!?! A FIRST CLASS CHEF?! SHEEPSKIN CARPET!?!? Why is the word CAMPING even PART of this style of traveling?! This isn’t a type of glamourous camping, it’s a type of luxurious travel in very expensive but unique rooms with full amenities and beyond. I can’t even use the word ‘rustic’ for most of these examples.

Do I sound cynical? If I do, it’s because I am fighting very hard right now not to click on the reservation button on one of these options. Groan.

More glamping locations:

The Red Snowshoe in Slocan Valley, British Columbia – Canada

Forest Tree Houses, South Carolina – U.S.A.

Le Camp – South Western France

Surfing Beach – Santa Maria, Greece

Mmm I could do this one – are there sand flies?

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Travel Blogs I Love

If you have a moment, please check out a few of my favorite travel blogs. They are very good at distracting you from your daily work:

I Backpack Canada

Pat Bean’s Blog

Near Afar

50 Year Project

Ontario Travel Blog

Home in Greece

Traveldestinationbucketlist

Alex’s Journey

Enjoy the distractions!

Savory Saturday – Going Greek

I am still daydreaming about Greece from my post yesterday…so much so, that I need a little taste of this gorgeous country to satisfy my craving.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Yes – I should be writing about some St. Patty’s Day recipe, but I have been overwhelmed with so many neat GREEN ideas, that I can’t pick a favorite one to try.

So here…go Greek:

Youvesti

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Youvetsi (yoo-VEH-tsee) is a traditional Greek stew that can be made with beef or lamb. The meat is cooked in a rich tomato sauce together with orzo pasta and finished with a heap of grated Kefalotyri cheese on top.

If you don’t happen to have a covered ceramic baker, don’t worry. The dish can also be made in a traditional Dutch oven.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: 6 – 8 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 lbs. beef or lamb, cut into 2-inch chunks (see note)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (separated)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced finely
  • 1 large leek (cleaned, trimmed and cut in half)
  • 1 large carrot, cut into thirds
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 – 4 whole allspice berries
  • 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 lb. orzo pasta
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Grated Kefalotyri cheese or Pecorino Romano

Preparation:

Note: The best cuts of beef and lamb to use for this dish are the cheaper cuts like chuck or shoulder.

In a heavy, oven safe Dutch oven, heat ¼ cup olive oil. Season the meat lightly with salt and pepper and cook over medium high heat until nicely browned, about 7 to 10 minutes.

Remove the browned meat from the pot and set aside on a platter. Add the remaining ¼ cup olive oil. Saute the onions until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about one minute. Add the leek, carrot, and the wine to the pot and scrape up any bits that may have stuck to the bottom.

Add the allspice berries, crushed tomatoes, sugar, and a quart of water to the pot. Let it come to a boil and then lower the heat to medium low. Simmer uncovered for 5 – 10 minutes.

Return the meat to the pot (with juices) cover, and simmer over medium low heat for about an hour or until the meat is very tender.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Remove the leek and carrot from the sauce and transfer the meat and sauce to a covered ceramic baker or continue using the Dutch oven.

Stir in the uncooked orzo pasta and add about 1/2 cup more water if needed. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cover and place in the oven. Cook an additional 45 minutes to an hour stirring the contents occasionally to prevent sticking.

Remove from the oven, remove the allspice berries and top with grated cheese. Cover and allow the dish to rest for 15 – 20 minutes before serving.

Fantasy Friday – Galivanting in Greece

What better daydream than embarking on a walking tour around Greece?

As part of the ‘European Long Distance Walking Paths’, Greece boasts an E6 and an E4 route.

I like the sounds of both, but seeing that the E4 route ends up on the island of Crete, I think I will opt to dream about this one.

The description from Visit Greece:

E4 Walking path

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This begins from the Pyrinaia Mountain Range and reaches Greece via former Yugoslavia. The Greek section of the E4 bisects Northern and Central Greece, the Peloponnese, arrives in Gythio and continues onto the island of Crete.

The hiker or mountain climber thus has the opportunity to enjoy the whole extent of Greece’s landscapes and the riches of nature. The highest elevation of the total route is the Olympo Skolio peak (2,911 m).

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The ideal period for hiking along the Ε4 Walking Path is from May 15th to the beginning of October, because some villages along the route are inaccessible during winter, which therefore limits the places where a hiker can stay overnight. Frequently the opening of new forest roads confuses the hiker-sightseer.

The climate is Mediterranean, very dry in summer with high temperature variations between day and night. Snow will be encountered along the route from November to June. The route to the southern section of the Walking Path (the Peloponnese and Crete) is more “walkable” than the northern section, as the hiker can walk here throughout the year since the climate is milder.

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Wikipedia

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