San Juan, Puerto Rico

San Juan, officially the municipality of San Juan Bautista and also known under the name of the walled city, is the capital of Puerto Rico, free state associated with the United States. Christophe Colomb discovered the island in 1493. Old San Juan is located on a small island La Isleta which closes the bay, we found in its eastern part, the Puerta de Tierra district where stood the fortifications razed to the ground by the Americans who protected the city in terms of its access by land via bridges crossing a small arm of the sea. Through this small arm of the sea you can reach a bigger island San Juan which is separated from the rest of Puerto Rico by a natural channel. On the north side of the island we find El Condado district that extends eastward through the tourist district of Isla Verde in the municipality of Carolina. In the south of El Condado we find the neighborhood of Santurce. The South of the island is the old commune of Rio Piedras which is now attached to the city and we also find the district of Hato Rey (business district of San Juan). Old San Juan, seven blocks area, is an area perfectly preserved with Spanish colonial architecture and a walk through time with its narrow streets, its fortresses of the 16th century in special El Morro (6 floors, 46 m above the sea). You will find trend bistros, shops of famous designers, art galleries, churches and colonial town houses with balconies ornated with iron.

Tips

From December to April, it is the tourist season, so prices are increased and it is difficult to find a hotel. From May to December, hurricane season, it is the best season to avoid tourists. It is very rare that a hurricane affect the island but on the other hand, you may have a lot of rain. What is appropriate is to check the weather forecast before you make your reservation.
Public transport on the island is not good and it doesn’t desert all points where you’ll like to go so the most suitable thing is to rent a car, it’s not expensive and you will be more comfortable and stress-free.
If you want to get one of the best views of Old San Juan, go to the Gallery Inn, six related houses that combine to create a quirky maze with stair tiles, open patios and gardens. There’s a Wine Deck which is the highest point of the city.
For those who like Latin music and late nights, and that noise does not bother, Da House (a hotel located in an old Franciscan Monastery) is the favourite spot for salsa dancing and the influence of the Caribbean jazz.
During the day, try the good dishes in the Old San Juan while you walk. At night, head to the quarter animated SOFO (to the South of Fortaleza Street) for music and dance. The animation is guaranteed; they love to party.

 

Christmas and traditions Market, Longueuil, Quebec

The Christmas and traditions Market in Longueuil is in its 12th edition. Like every year, it will be at St. Mark Park on St. Charles Street in Old Longueuil. The market makes us remember a small village of yesteryear, where many exhibitors booths, seem small illuminated houses. Here you will find producers and artisans from all over the province. It is an ideal place to visit with friends or family to buy your gifts for Christmas Eve. There are several activities such as the Small train of the North, workshops for children, the sale of Christmas trees, singing, music, dance, humor, and more. Of course Santa Claus is present to receive your children who will love to talk to him while you take photos. An appointment not to be missed, go in large numbers !!!

Tips

The market takes place from November, 30th  to December, 22nd 2018. It is open from Thursday to Sunday.  To know about the schedule,  go to their web site.
The Old Longueuil joins this event so enjoy for a little walk around the market, to have something in a restaurant or cafe. The houses are also embellished.
You can go to Longueuil metro station and take a bus from there (there are 4 lines) or walk twenty minutes as the park is 1.7 km from the metro station.

The Casse-Noisette Market, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

The Casse-Noisette (Nutcracker) Market is a Christmas market philanthropic in Montreal on the ground floor of the Convention Center Galleries. This event was created in 2010 by Les Grands Ballets in favor of the Nutcracker Fund for Children. You will find many exhibitors who were selected for their rarity, quality and originality of their products and each exhibitor will give 10% of its sales to the Nutcracker Fund for Children Grands Ballets. These funds are used to help children from disadvantaged backgrounds to attend a performance of the ballet and also to participate in educational workshops. The funds are also used to restore the costumes and scenery of the show. This lets around 2,800 children to participate.

Tips

The event takes place from November 29th to December 9th 2018 and it opens at 11:00.
You can reach the place by subway; go down at the Place d’Armes metro station (orange line) or by bus; lines 55 or 129.
Go with your family and friends, it’s for a good cause and the admission is free.