Where in the world is the real X-Men and Luthor Mansion?

Where in the world is this castle?

Where can you find the Hatley Castle, which you might recognize as Xavier Institute/Professor X’s mansion in X-Men films, or the Luthor Mansion in the hit TV show Smallville?

Clue: It is where you can have the classic afternoon tea at the iconic The Empress. It is also home to the second oldest Chinatown in North America – dimsum, anyone?

Answer is below, after the jump.

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Munich’s B&B: Beers & BMWs

Ah, what is there to talk about Munich – the land of BMW and Oktoberfest – other than their prized car and ‘liquid gold’, beer?

Text and Photos by Jennifer Ellson

Bavarian weissbier, or wheat beer

Bird's eye view of the BMW museumThe city of München, Munich’s native name, is known for two things: B&Bs, and not of the bed & breakfast variety. If you didn’t know that BMW stands for Bayerische Motoren Werke, or Bavarian Motor Works, well, now you do! Yes, my fast and furious friend, BMW is headquartered in Bavaria’s capital city. In fact, ‘Beemer’ even has an eye-popping museum with hundreds of sexy, sometimes topless cars (and in the summer, topless women as well at the park just across the building!) Enough ‘Bimmer’ motorcycles are also on display to make the Hells Angels say ‘hallelujah!’

Beemers on display at the museumBut this blogzine is not called ‘CarTrips’, or ‘BikeTrips’, is it? So let’s talk about the other thing Bavarians are just as serious about: their beer, of course!

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Where in the world is this tower?

Where in the world is this tower?

Where in the world is this pretty red tower — a founding member of the World Federation of Great Towers, along with the Eiffel Tower and others?

Clue: it is the home of the famous annual rodeo festival, the ‘Stampede’, and host to the 1988 Winter Olympics. Located in Alberta, the city is also famous for its world-class steaks.

Answer is below, after the jump.

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The king of crabs

Next time you order the world famous Singapore chilli and pepper crab, be sure to ask for the Alaskan king crab, if available.

Text and Photo by Jennifer Ellson

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Most restaurants serve the famous Singapore pepper or chilli crab dish using Sri Lankan crab (also called scylla or mud crab), which is actually pretty good. But many foodies have declared the  tastiest crab to be Alaskan king crab, probably named because it is the biggest crab in the world and the most dangerous to catch.

And there is a catch, indeed: crustaceans of this variety tend to be very pricey. Expect to pay some US$20/lb. for this seafood — and a single crab usually weighs between 8-12 lbs.!

Alaskan… Singaporean… Sri Lankan… Now who would’ve thunk that racial profiling applies to crabs too?

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All rights reserved (Jennifer Ellson)

Montreal, c’est magnifique!

It’s very easy to fall in love with Montreal. The city has a certain je-ne-sais-quoi charm to it. Its joie-de-vivre is contagious and ooh-la-la captivating.

Text by Jennifer Ellson I Photos by Amorvida Muyrong & Tourisme Montréal
 
(Originally published in Food & Travel Singapore)

Montreal’s natural beauty is a sure turn on for both locals and visitors. Some call it la belle ville, the beautiful metropolis, while others describe it as the Paris of North America. It is not surprising that this Canadian city, in the province of Quebec, has been compared over and over to the illustrious French capital. But what sets Montreal apart from the famous European city is its culinary landscape. Montreal gastronomy, from home-cooked to highfalutin, is as varied, genuine and endearing as the city itself.

Indeed, Montreal’s heart and soul can be found in its cuisine, influenced by the multinational fabric of its immigrant communities. It is not only renowned for its exceptional French-Canadian fare refined by generations of Québécois, but also for the Italian, Greek, Portuguese, Jewish, Middle Eastern and Asian cookery that have contributed to the making up of Montreal’s delicatessens.

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The other side of Cebu Island, Philippines

You probably know the glitzy side with its swanky beaches and immaculate golf courses. Now, meet the other side of this Philippine island with its stunning views of coconut groves, corn plantations and private beach coves.

Text by Jennifer Ellson I Photos by Amorvida Muyrong
(Originally published in the Maple Leaf Times)  

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I caught the travel bug early on – the strain that makes one go to off-the-beaten-path destinations. Whether it be Poipet, Cambodia, or Samut Prakarn in Thailand, I’ll surely find a way to go there and discover the unexplored.

So why the Island of Cebu in the Philippines, you ask, when it probably ties with Boracay Island as the most popular destination in the archipelago? The answer lies on the other side of the island. A good hour and a half away from the hustles of Cebu City is the charming town of Sogod,  on the north-eastern coast of the province. Locals say only the ‘travel pros’ stay at this clandestine destination, while the amateurs stay at the integrated resorts in Cebu City.

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Alaskan dungeness crab at the Pike Place Market in Seattle, WA, USA

Alaskan dungeness crab at the Pike Place Market in Seattle, WA, USA

To whet your appetite, here’s some dungeness crab for you — probably the most abundant crab you will find in the western part of the US/Canada. This photo was taken at the Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington.

Tune in for more food porn and travel anecdotes! Keep checking this site, as it will get updated regularly with food & travel facts and trivias!

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Safe travels!

Photo by Jennifer Ellson
jennifer@foodtrips.ca