New Zealand

February 12, 2005

Auckland, New Zealand - We have landed

Today we landed in Auckland around 12:00 after what was a 14 hour flight. After getting through customs without any incidents we found a city shuttle and were on the way to stay at our first ever hostel. Initially is was very strange to be driving on the left side of the road but that's the beauty... continue reading

February 25, 2005

Auckland - A short walk that turned into miles

Today we made our way into Auckland on foot to explore the city. What started out as a harmless idea ended up being somewhere close to 10 miles worth of huffing it. Nevertheless we ended up seeing a great deal of the city which included the harbor, a bird's eye view of the city from within the Sky... continue reading

February 26, 2005

Auckland to the Coromandel Peninsula - Look kids, it's Big Ben

Today is the day we got our first set of wheels. Craig was voted first driver and did a great job. It was very weird at first but I made sure I kept him on the left hand side of the road. Finally a country I can get on board with since left handed people are always being subjected to a right hand... continue reading

February 27, 2005

Coromandel to Fletcher's Bay - Fletcher's Bay

We hit the road early today in hopes that we could get in a hike around the peninsula. The drive was another excellent one and the views were spectacular. We couldn't find the hiking trail so we decided to continue to head up the road to Fletcher's Bay which was literally the end of the road. Onc... continue reading

February 28, 2005

Coromandel to Mt. Maunganui - Visiting friends!

On the road again. We woke up to our first rain since we arrived but it quickly let up. Today consisted of stopping through Hahei to see Cathedral Cove and Hot Beach. After we found Mt. Maunganui we walked around the Mount and checked out the beach scene before we got in touch with our friends JT... continue reading

March 1, 2005

Rotorua - Zorbing

Today we ZORB'd and it rocked. We took off from Mt. Maunganui and traveled to Rotorua so we can ZORB. For those of you who do not know what ZORBing is, it's where you get inside the middle of a big plastic ball and roll down the hill. Check out this picture to see what I mean. We decided... continue reading

March 2, 2005

Kaiate Falls and the Mount - Hiking and Kaiate Falls

Today we went to Kaiate Falls to do a quick hike. Kaiate Falls was only 20 minutes outside of Mt. Maunganui. It was nice little hike and we took some pictures of the Falls. Not getting enough exercise we decided to head back to Mt. Maunganui and hike up the Mount. We took the steep route and it was ... continue reading

March 3, 2005

Gisborne - Driving to Gisborne

We woke up early today and said goodbye to Andrea. JT left work too early for us so we said goodbye to him the night before. The entire day was spent driving from Mt. Maunganui to Gisborne where we plan to meet JT's uncle Mike.... continue reading

March 4, 2005

Te Karaka and Napier - Kia Ora & Happy Birthday Barb

This morning we looked around town so I could call Mom and wish her a happy birthday. Her birthday is the 3rd, but it was the 4th for us here in New Zealand. After finding a pay phone and talking to mum we headed to the beach to relax and read for a while. We are waiting for JT's uncle Mike to get o... continue reading

March 5, 2005

Napier & Hastings - Wine Tasting

On Saturday we decided to do a wine tasting tour and off we went by 10:00. Now some of the wineries open at 10 and others at 11. The first winery we hit we were the only people there and we definitely felt a bit zippy after we left. On to #2 which was great, they gave us the tour of the facilitie... continue reading

March 6, 2005

Napier - Burning off the wine tasting

After all of the indulgences we took part in on Saturday we decided Sunday would be an active day. We decided to walk into town and get a better feel of the Art Deco vibe and take in the ocean view for a bit. We also hiked up to Bluffs Lookout which turned out to be another fantastic view of the c... continue reading

March 7, 2005

Napier to Wellington - Driving down to Wellington

Today we left the Napier and Hastings area for Wellington. I was super psyched to find that most of the trip was straight highways so it seemed to go faster than the windy roads. We got into Wellington and immediately I realized what a busy city it was and the downtown was a little intimidating to... continue reading

March 8, 2005

Upper Hutt - Hiking in Rivendell

Woke up to a bright and shining day. We've been so lucky with the weather and have been in heaven with the mild days. We decided to take advantage of the weather and went into the Upper Hutt area to do some hikes. Our first hike was in the Rivendell area from the Lord of the Rings. The hike cons... continue reading

March 9, 2005

Wellington - Checking out the city

Hung around the city both days. Nothing too spectacular or noteworthly about either. We did go to the Te Papa Museum on the 9th which was a nice museum and free no less. On the 10th we toured the Botanic Gardens which was nice but most of the gardens weren't in season as it's going into their fal... continue reading

March 11, 2005

Wellington to Picton - Heading to the South Island

Up early to make our 9:30 ferry. We are on the way to Picton, NZ today. The ferry will take 3 hours and it's looking like a great day is forming... Well we are in the South Island now. The ferry ride was spectacular to say the least. Coming through the sound was amazing and having lush green mo... continue reading

March 12, 2005

Picton - Hiking the Queen Charlotte Track

Today was another day for a hike. We decided to go a part of the Queen Charlotte Track. At the beginning we decided we'd do about a 2-4 hour hike but we decided to make it closer to 6 hours. We started in Anakiwa and went to Mistletoe Bay. The views were spectacular of the Marlborough Sounds and... continue reading

March 13, 2005

Picton, NZ - My birthday spent at the police station

Today Craig and I had planned to drive from Picton to Nelson. We were all ready to go and just got done filling the car up with gas and getting ice for our cooler. On our way out of town we took one last picture of Picton and as I got into the car I noticed that the entire roof was collapsed. Now... continue reading

March 19, 2005

Queenstown - Bungy Jumping Today

Ahh today was a great day! We slept in 'til 9:15 and did our bungy jump by 11:00. We did our bungy jump just outside of Queenstown at the Kawarau bridge over the Kawarau River. Tina was lucky enough to go first and I could see the fear in her eyes as she began to walk to platform. As Tina was standi... continue reading

March 22, 2005

Christchurch - Our last day in New Zealand

Today is our last full day in New Zealand and it has consisted of checking out Christchurch and getting some souvenirs. Christchurch itself is a cool town with a lot of nice architecture and seems to have an artsy feel to it. Our hostel is in Sumner which is a surfing community which is low key an... continue reading

Australia

March 23, 2005

Melbourne - G'Day from Melbourne

We're currently in Melbourne and made it to Australia with no problems. We left NZ on Wednesday and we were in quite a mood after being told we wouldn't be refunded our money for the damage done to our rental car. The only way they would is if the police had caught the @#@!@ which they had no luck... continue reading

March 25, 2005

Melbourne - Touring the city

Today is Good Friday and we decided to check out the city and do some general sightseeing. What we didn't realize is that the city shuts down on Good Friday. It was like a ghost town, but we didn't have to fight the crowds. We found a great little Greek restaurant and got our tanks full and off w... continue reading

March 26, 2005

Melbourne to Eden - Hitting the road

The weather is great today in Melbourne. After two days of mid 50s and clouds it is in the 70s with sun! It's a fine day! We decided we've seen what we'd like in Melbourne and got our bus tickets squared away to head from Melbourne to Sydney. We'll be taking off to Eden tonight and will sleep on... continue reading

March 28, 2005

Eden - Our first Kangaroo sighting

We got into Eden on Sunday morning at 6:00 am after a 6 hour bus ride. We didn't get too much sleep but we saved on one night's accomodations. Every $ counts! While checking into our hotel the owner told us to watch for kangaroos across the street at the golf course. Just as she said that there ... continue reading

March 31, 2005

Batemans Bay to Wollongong - Heading up the east coast of Australia

After spending a couple of days in Batemans Bay we got into Wollongong today. Batemans Bay was a nice area to relax but was lacking in activities we could do on foot. Unfortunately most of the beaches could only be accessed by car and since we are traveling by bus this time we can't get to most of... continue reading

April 2, 2005

Wollongong to Sydney - We're in Sydney

Today we took the bus from Wollongong to Sydney. It was only 2 hour ride. Once we got off the bus in Sydney we headed directly to the harbor to take ferry to the town of Manly where we had reservations for the night. Luckily enough the ferry ride took us right by Harbor Bridge and the Sydney Opera H... continue reading

April 5, 2005

Sydney - Tour of Sydney

Today we toured Sydney on foot. We started our trip with a ferry ride from Manly to Sydney. Our first stop was the Chinese Friendship Garden. I think both sets of parents would enjoy this place. Next, we walked to Cockle Bay Wharf where we had our peanut butter sand... continue reading

April 9, 2005

Katoomba - Blue Mountains

Today we took a 2 hour train ride from Sydney to Katoomba which is located in the Blue Mountains. We got into town around 1:00 pm, checked into our hostel and headed directly to the Blue Mountains for a 2 hour hike. Later that night we had a BBQ with everyone at our hostel and met some g... continue reading

April 12, 2005

Byron Bay - 2 years and going strong

We are currently in Byron Bay after taking a 14 hour bus ride from Sydney. The bus ride was brutal with the stinky bum riding next to us. I got about 3 hours of sleep and about the same for Tina. We spent our first day here laying on the beach and spending some time body surfing. Today was our anniv... continue reading

April 16, 2005

Fraser Island - Worlds Largest Sand Island

Today we toured the Fraser Island which is the largest sand island in the world. To get on the island we traveled in a 4X4 bus. To get the bus to the island they had to load it on a barge. It only took 10 minutes for the barge to take us and the bus to the island from the mainland. The island does n... continue reading

April 18, 2005

Great Barrier Reef - Snorkeling

Today was another one of those great memorable days of our trip. We started the day by taking a boat ride through the Whitsundays' and stopping at Hamilton Island to pick up some more passengers for the trip to the Great Barrier Reef. The wind was at 15 to 20 knots so the crew suggested we take prev... continue reading

April 22, 2005

Cairns - Eco Rainforest Tour

Today we decided to get out of the city and do a Rainforest and Waterfall Tour. Initially we had wanted to do another snorkeling trip but the winds were too much for our boat so we decided to try some different. We started our day off by visiting a couple of small, historic towns which were built ... continue reading

April 25, 2005

Brisbane - Final thoughts on Australia

Goodbye Australia. Tomorrow is our last day in Australia. We've been here for 5 weeks and here are our thoughts on the country. Since we traveled by bus we were somewhat limited to what we were able to see but overall we thought Australia was pretty but life moves at a quicker pace here than in N... continue reading

Thailand

April 26, 2005

Bangkok - One Night in Bangkok

We landed in Bangkok at 5:00 am yesterday. It was so hot this early in the morning. We walked around Bangkok yesterday and sweated the entire time. We sweat more just walking around yesterday than we did on our 1/2 hour runs in Australia. The hostel we are staying is 600 baht ($15) a night with free... continue reading

April 27, 2005

Bangkok - Wat Tour

Today we toured around smog filled Bangkok. The pollution here is really bad and the city really smells. We started our tour today by taking the sky train to the Chao Phata river. Figuring out the train was a little adventure in itself since we had to get off one train and transfer to another one. W... continue reading

April 30, 2005

Bangkok to Chiang Mai - Take that United Airlines!

Today we took a hour long flight from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. The flight only cost us 3120 baht ($78) for the both of us. It was about half the rate to take a 10 hour train ride 2nd class. For $78 how could we not fly? We had enough long, uncomfortable bus rides in Australia. We landed in Chiang Mai ... continue reading

May 2, 2005

Chiang Mai - Did a tornado come through here?

The first few days here have been kind of lazy. The weather is little bit cooler here compared to Bangkok. The higher elevation helps, especially at night. We've been walking around town and checking out a few of the local markets. I bought a homemade crossbow for $3 on Sunday. The whole thing is ca... continue reading

May 3, 2005

Chiang Mai - 3 weeks in Chiang Mai

We woke up with no electricity this morning which also meant no shower. For some reason the shower in our room doesn't work without electricity. I guess it needs an electric pump or something. We checked out of our guest house this morning, not because they didn't have electricity, but because we ha... continue reading

May 4, 2005

Chiang Mai - Iron Chef Thailand

Today we tried our hand at a Thai cooking class. The class had 8 people registered which was the perfect number to get enough attention, but not too much. Our class consisted of Mark and Sally from England, Yost and Uffa from Holland and Heather and Ryan from NYC. The class... continue reading

May 8, 2005

Chiang Mai - The Black Crowes are back together

Yaroo has just informed the Black Crowes are back together again and touring the U.S. The rest of our trip is canceled and we are returning back to the states to follow the band. Ha, just kidding. We had tickets to see U2 in Rome, but since we decided to stay longer in SE Asia we won't be making tha... continue reading

May 10, 2005

Doi Pui - Tour de Thailand

Today we went for a mountain biking adventure on the Doi Pui mountain, which is the 3rd highest mountain peak in Thailand. After a quick 30 minute ride out of Chiang Mai we were given a basic lesson on mountain biking to ensure everyone was on the same page and then we tested out our bikes. My init... continue reading

May 13, 2005

Chiang Mai - International Mini-Golf Tour

The 2nd and 3rd round of the Cubicle Boycott International Mini-Golf Tour commenced today in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Tina came in to todays first round with her 1st place ranking after beating the crap out of Craig two months ago in Lake Tekapo, New Zealand. She easily won the New Zealand match by 30... continue reading

May 21, 2005

Chiang Mai - Thai Massage

Today we had a traditional Thai massage. Kate, the lady we met from Vail the night of the big storm, recommended a place to us. She is taking classes on traditional Thai massage and has been getting several herself throughout Chiang Mai, so we trusted her recommendation. I'm glad Tina and I were doi... continue reading

May 23, 2005

Chiang Mai - Thailand Part 1 Recap

After almost 1 month in Thailand we are moving on to Laos tomorrow morning. We've spent the month between Bangkok and Chiang Mai. As we mentioned earlier Bangkok was a very stimulating city. The heat, traffic, tourists and vendors made our time in the city very overwhelming to ones senses. We lo... continue reading

May 24, 2005

Chiang Mai to Huay Xai - Off to Laos

Today we woke up early, 8:00 am, this is early for us at these days. We've been having trouble falling asleep here in Chiang Mai. Sometimes not falling asleep until 3 or 4 in the morning. We got up early to catch a 10:00 am mini-bus to Laos, but first we wanted to mail a package home and get some br... continue reading

July 23, 2005

Koh Phangan - Full Moon Party

The party was wild. We were mostly spectators and not participants. At the end of the night, 5 am for us, we had to walk over bodies passed out on the beach. The party was still going strong and most people we talked to the next day didn't get home until 8 am. We started the night with a great BBQ a... continue reading

July 26, 2005

Koh Tao - Tina's first day of school

Tina is currently in her first PADI open water scuba diving class. It will take her four days to get her certification. I'm going to take a refresher course and maybe do one or two dives without her while she completes the course. After that, we will do a couple dives together and move to a more sec... continue reading

July 27, 2005

Koh Tao - Coconut Tossing

Tina is still taking her PADI classes, so I decided to do a hike by myself and take some pictures. I ended up at this nice secluded area and found a pile of old coconut shells lying around. I threw one off the cliff to hit the rocks below. I wanted to see if the coconut would crack open. It didn't, ... continue reading

August 3, 2005

Koh Tao - Holy Shark Sighting Batman!

Holy Shark Sighting Batman! Today was an up and down day that finished with a bang. I began the day by waking up at 7:45 am to the sun shining. I relaxed for a while on the deck of our bungalow looking out to the sea. This is going to be a great day for diving or so I thought. Tina woke up a half... continue reading

August 5, 2005

Bangkok - Travel update

Hi all, We just wanted to add a quick note regarding the next leg of our trip. We are flying to Athens tonight at 12:30 am and from Athens we plan to make our way to Turkey for about 11 days and then back to Greece. We meet our friend Dena Rae on August 24th and from there we'll take in a coupl... continue reading

Laos

May 25, 2005

Huay Xai to some Village - Amazing 48 hours - Part I

**Heads up-this travelogue is really long. So if you want to look busy at work copy it into a Word document and you'll get out of real work for about 30 minutes!!! We woke up at 7:15 AM to begin an amazing day. We started off with a quick breakfast at our guest house and were taken down to t... continue reading

May 26, 2005

Nam Tha - Amazing 48 hours Part II

The driver snored all night, the 20 year old rolled his legs on to mine at one point and roosters started their wakeup call at 4:15 AM. It started getting light at 5:00 AM and the village was slowly starting their day. It was a beautiful morning with the misty clouds hanging in the valley of the ri... continue reading

May 28, 2005

Luang Namtha to Muang Sing - Chinese Border

We took a sawngthaew from Luang Namtha to Muang Sing today. At the bus station we me a couple from France who recommended a placed called Adima 8 km outside of Muang Sing. They just came from there. During the sawngthaew ride we met a couple from the States, Jay and Emily. We also met a couple from ... continue reading

May 29, 2005

Muang Sing - Sizzle

We walked ten minutes away from guest house today with Roy and Ellen into a local village. All the adults were gone for some reason and we only saw children who begged for pens and candy as we walked by. The children would hold out there hands and say, "boo boo", which we think is Lao for candy. Too... continue reading

May 30, 2005

Muang Sing - Lazy Day

It rained off and on all day today plus we were not feeling well. We laid around all day reading and writing in our journals. We spent most of the day in our little mosquito net fort because the bugs were insane around in this area. ... continue reading

May 31, 2005

Muang Sing to Oudomxay - Luang Prabang today?

Today we hoped to make it to Luang Prabang. We started the day by waking up at 6:00 AM so the guest house could take us into to town at 7:00 AM. Their white board reads, Rides to Muang Sing at 7AM and 11AM 5000 Kip all other times 15,000 Kip. A few minutes before 7:00 we were waiting at the front de... continue reading

June 1, 2005

Oudomxay to Luang Prabang - Aonther scary bus ride

The 8:00 AM bus finally took off about 8:35 AM to Luang Prabang. The driver drove way too fast for these mountain roads. Our bus broke down five times. Here is me waiting while they fixed the bus the first time. We continually picked up and dropped off locals on the way. We even swerved to ei... continue reading

June 6, 2005

Vang Vieng - Spelunking

Today we decided to tour some of the countryside around Vang Vieng. As we discovered when we arrived the area surrounding the town is quite gorgeous and is surrounded by limestone cliffs and caves. After renting some bikes we rode outside the town to do some spelunking. After riding about 15kms w... continue reading

June 10, 2005

Vientiane - City Tour

Today the rain eased up so we decided to tour Vientiane's sites for the day. We started out walking to the Patuxai- Victory Monument which resembles Paris' Arc de Triomphe. The area was nicely landscaped and actually provided a nice place to sit and watch the traffic zip by us on both sides. From... continue reading

June 13, 2005

Phonsavan - Plain of Jars

We took our last long distance bus ride today to reach Phonsavan to tour the Plain of Jars. The 9 hour bus ride passed through some striking scenery but the music they were playing on board almost made us want to jump out. We tried to use our ear plugs and MP3 player to drown out the screeching to... continue reading

Vietnam

June 16, 2005

Hell - Laos to Vietnam border crossing

Warning-this travelogue may cause heart palpitations in our parents. Best read while sitting down or while consuming mass quantities of booze. Very long post.** Today we make the trip to cross the Laos/Vietnam border. Having decided on this border crossing at the beginning of our trip we felt t... continue reading

June 17, 2005

Quan Son - Getting out of dodge

After about 4 hours of interrupted sleep we woke up at 3:30 am to catch the first bus out of this sketchy town. There wasn't a single person up at this hour and since there were only a couple street lights in the whole town we both got ready with mild trepidation. As we descended the hotel stairs ... continue reading

June 18, 2005

Hanoi - Relaxing in Hanoi

Today we took it easy exploring the Old Quarter area of Hanoi. We walked several laps around Hoan Kiem Lake to get some exercise. We talked with several other Westerners who complained of all the scames they've experiecneced while spending time in Vietnam. We spent the night eating good ol' West... continue reading

June 19, 2005

Hanoi - Temple of Literature

Today we explored Hanoi some more which included a tour of the Temple of Literature. We also our train tickets for Sapa. ... continue reading

June 20, 2005

Hanoi to Sapa - Train ride to Sapa

Today we had to check out of our guest house in Hanoi by noon. As we checked out the guy decided to slap on a 10% tax on our bill. We knew this tax was going directly in his pocket, but we didn’t complain since we needed him to watch our bags all day. Our train to Sapa tonight didn’t leave until... continue reading

June 21, 2005

Sapa - Arrival to Sapa

Our train arrived in Lao Cai at 7:00 in the morning. The two guys in our cabin disappeared too quickly for us to even say goodbye. They booked a 3 day trekking tour and had transportation waiting for them. We still had to find transportation. After getting the runaround for twenty minutes we were on... continue reading

June 22, 2005

Sapa - Relaxing in Sapa

We spent the next couple days just relaxing and walking around this beautiful area. It rained almost everyday so we spent a lot of time watching really bad movies in our hotel room. On the 22nd, our last full day in Sapa, we decided to get out and walk to the top of lookout point. Here are a few pho... continue reading

June 24, 2005

Sapa to Hanoi - Hard Seat on the Train to Hanoi

Today we woke up early to catch the 9:00 am train back to Hanoi. The day trains didn’t include a soft sleeper initially so we bought the hard seat for the 10 hour trip back to Hanoi. We bordered and were the only Westerners on the train. As soon as we boarded the train attendants kept trying to se... continue reading

June 26, 2005

Halong Bay - Cruising the high seas

After hearing rave reviews of a boat tour to Halong Bay we decided to book a 3 day/2 night tour. We left Hanoi around 8:00 am and while we were picking up the others we saw our buddies Dan and Paul from our Sapa train ride getting into the van. We couldn't believe our eyes and were happy to see th... continue reading

June 30, 2005

Hoi An - Arriving in Hoi An

We arrived in Hoi An on the 30th after a 15 hour train ride. We accidental booked a hard sleeper but it truly wasn't that bad. The beds all come with comforters so we used that for extra padding and then just slept in our silk sheet set. The only annoyance were the locals who kept sitting outside... continue reading

July 1, 2005

Hoi An - Shopper's paradise

Today we were in heaven. As you may already know Hoi An is renowned for its tailors and they are everywhere. For pennies you can have an entire wardrobe made which is customized to fit your body. Craig and I were originally planning to get a couple of items made for the rest of our trip and a few... continue reading

July 2, 2005

Hoi An - More shopping

Today we got our first round of clothes back and we were pleased overall. There were only a few slight alterations that needed to be fixed but our suits and my wool coat turned out smashingly. We decided to order just a couple more things and would pick those up the next day. ... continue reading

July 3, 2005

Hoi An - Chillin at the beach

We started our day today meeting Danny outside our tailor shop so I could help him pick out a couple of shirt ideas for his 18 year old sister. What a nice guy. After deciding we headed over to Treat's for some lunch where Paul and Danny met us and chatted for a bit before making our way back to o... continue reading

July 4, 2005

Hoi An - Happy Fourth of July

Happy 4th everyone!!! Today we got our first and second round of clothes and headed off to meet Selena and Cory at their tailors. After trying a couple of tailors out each Selena and Cory found a great shop which had the best service and prices. As we watched Cory order shirt after shirt we decid... continue reading

July 6, 2005

Hoi An - Hells Angels Vietnam style

Today we all got together and rented some motorbikes to visit China Beach and the area around Danang. After checking on the progress of our clothes we all grabbed a motorbike and a quick lesson and were off on our way. I was a bit nervous driving a motorbike in the craziness of the city but felt p... continue reading

July 8, 2005

Nha Trang - Little Vegas

Today we arrived in Nha Trang and were amazed at the development here. Neon lights and karaoke bars were predominant. Usually this would put us off a bit but it was actually refreshing to be in an area with landscaped hotels and a nice beach and plenty of sidewalks in good enough condition to walk... continue reading

July 9, 2005

Nha Trang - Booze cruise

Today we woke up around 7:00 so we could grab a quick breakfast before the van picked us up to take us to our boat. We are finding that when they say 8:00 pickup they mean 7:45 so fortunately we didn't miss our ride. Similar to Halong Bay the boats played bumper cars to grab a spot along the dock ... continue reading

July 10, 2005

Mui Ne - Paradise found

Today we took a 4 hour bus ride from Nha Trang to Mui Ne. Upon entering the town the landscape got very dry and resembled Mexico in many ways. We noticed the sand dunes as well which are some of the areas main tourist sights. The bus driver found us a really nice bungalow right on the beach for $... continue reading

July 13, 2005

Mui Ne to Saigon - Leaving Mui Ne

Today we woke up around 9:00 am to the sounds of the waves crashing on the beach. Of course our last day here the sun decided to shine. We took off right away for a nice hour long walk down the beach collecting sea shells. After our walk we swam for about a half hour in front of our bungalow. After ... continue reading

July 14, 2005

Saigon - Saigon Tour

Today we did our small tour of Saigon. This included a trip to the American War Museum. First thing we did was call our parents about 9:00 am our time, 9:00 pm their time using an Internet phone. The last time Tina was able to talk to her parents was for only two minutes the day we left Australia. I... continue reading

Cambodia

July 15, 2005

Saigon to Phnom Penh - Saigon to Phnom Penh

We woke up around 7:45 am this morning to get our free breakfast from our guest house. After stuffing our food in our mouth as fast as we could to catch our 9:00 am bus we checked out of our guest house and headed to the tourist office. The lady at the tourist off told us to leave our bags there and... continue reading

July 16, 2005

Phnom Penh to Siem Reap - First Full Day in Cambodia

We woke up at 6:45 am this morning, had a quick breakfast and got on the 7:15 am bus to Siem Reap. The bus ride took six hours and was about the same quality of bus as the one we took from the border to Phnom Penh. The bus rides in SE Asia are starting to get really old. The traffic here is a free-f... continue reading

July 17, 2005

Siem Reap - Tour of Angkor Wat

We started today by having our tuk tuk driver pick us up from our guest house at 7:00 am. As entered the Angkor Temples we first had to buy our passes. The one day pass was $20 per person while the three day pass was $40 per person. We opted for the three day pass. We spent the entire day visiting s... continue reading

July 18, 2005

Siem Reap - Sunrise tour of Angkor Wat

We began our day today by waking up at 4:45 am to see the sunrise at Angkor Wat. Whose bright idea was this? Neither one of us are morning people. Definitely no shower today. A shot of deodorant, we threw on our clothes, cleaned the sleep out of our eyes and we out the door to meet our tuk tuk drive... continue reading

July 19, 2005

Siem Reap to Bangkok - Roller Coaster Ride

We checked out of our room at 8:30 AM and waited for our taxi driver to show. By 9 AM he was still not there and we began to wonder if he was going to show up. By 9:30 AM we went looking for him or another taxi driver. We returned to the location where found the driver the night before and started a... continue reading

Greece

August 6, 2005

Athens-Kalambaka - It's Greek to Me

We arrived in Athens this morning after a 9 hour flight from Bangkok. We left at 12:30 am so we were served dinner at 2:00 am. It reminded us of our college days where we'd eat after the bars closed at the local Perkins. Not good for the waistline. Once we arrived in Athens the entry process was... continue reading

August 7, 2005

Kalambaka - Meteora Monasteries

Today we woke up after one of the best nights rest we've had in a long time. The town of Kalambaka is so utterly quiet and peaceful we almost forgot what it was like waking up at 5:00 am to motorbike horns and roosters. We decided to get some laundry done and then head up to the monasteries. Ther... continue reading

August 24, 2005

Samos - Ferry from Turkey to Samos, Greece

Up early today to catch our ferry to Samos, Greece. There were a couple of girls staying at our guesthouse who were also heading that way so we grabbed a ride together to Kusadasi which is the main port for the Samos ferries. One of the girls happened to be from Omaha, Nebraska so that is the clos... continue reading

August 25, 2005

Naxos - Dena arrives and it's Christmas in August

Today we woke up as giddy as two kids on Christmas morning. We were planning on meeting Dena at the Naxos airport for her 1:30pm arrival and couldn't wait! Once we got up we got the room in order and went out to the reception area to make sure we could grab a ride w/ Rena to pick up Dena. The kid... continue reading

August 26, 2005

Naxos - First Full day with Furst

Today we decided to explore the town of Naxos with Dena. To begin our exploration we walked out to the airport to get the box of goodies Dena packed. The box made it day later than her original flight. To get to the airport we walked through town and along the beach where the wind surfers were out i... continue reading

August 27, 2005

Naxos - Head Stands

Today we really wanted to explore the island. We decided to find some trails and hike around for the day and hopefully end up on the beach. Our journey began on a similar route to yesterday but we continued along the beach continually looking for the trails on our map. The trails just never appeared... continue reading

August 28, 2005

Naxos - Dumb and Dumber

Today we decided to rent some mopeds and tour the island. After we got our bikes squared away we were off to see what the island had to offer. We drove through many small villages and the scenery was great. Water everywhere providing the best backdrop to the white washed houses and mountains that... continue reading

August 29, 2005

Naxos to Santorini - Beautiful Santorini

Since our ferry ride to Santorini was at noon today we decided to sleep in. Well Tina and I slept in. Dena woke up early and did some exploring on her own. After traveling for 6 months Tina and I may have become a little lazy and not taking advantage of every minute of every day. When Dena arrived b... continue reading

August 30, 2005

Santorini - Hiking to Oia

We moved into our new room at grandmas today which has an amazing sunset view from the caldera side of Santorini. Once we were settled we got our hiking clothes on and started the 16km round trip hike to Oia which is a nice town on the northern side of the caldera. As expected we passed by some am... continue reading

August 31, 2005

Santorini - Santorini-the island of fabulous views, expensive breakfasts and long and winding stairs

We woke up sore and a bit stiff today after our hike but Dena and I had agreed to run the Santorini stairs the night before and we kept good on our deal. Rubbing our eyes and getting our shoes on we were out the door by 7:30 am to hit the stairs. The town was pretty much dead at this hour so it wa... continue reading

September 1, 2005

Santorini to Athens - How far to Athens?

We caught the 10:00 am ferry to Athens today and thought the ferry was only going to be an 8 hour trip. Once we got on the ferry we were forced to go to the upper deck since we bought the cheapest tickets. We sat down right away and put the bags down. I told Dena and Tina to look for a better place ... continue reading

September 2, 2005

Athens - Touring the Acropolis

First things first-Happy Birthday Chad!!! After our cramped sleeping quarters the night before we decided to move to another pension for more space and a homier environment. We decided that The Marble House Pension fit the bill and we found our way via the metro to our new home for 3 nights. On... continue reading

September 3, 2005

Athens - The National Gardens and The Body Shop hunt

Day two in Athens and I was on a mission. I was jones'n for some girly products so we went on a wild goose chase to find a Body Shop store. Once we found the shopping area around the Parliament Dena noticed a girl with one of their sacks and she grabbed her and asked her where the store was. Nice... continue reading

September 4, 2005

Athens - That's a 6.4 from the US judge

Day 3 of our tour of Athens. Dena got up early today for a run and to check out the farmer's market which wasn't quite what she had in mind. It turned out to be more in line with a flea market so she only returned with a loaf of bread. Once I got out of bed I also went for a quick jog and passed ... continue reading

September 5, 2005

Athens - Last Day with Dena

Our lovely Marble House Pension could no longer handle us. Actually our room was already booked for today before we even checked in. Tina & Dena spent the morning searching for a new place to stay while I did some research on the internet. Dena and Tina came back with two choices and left it up to m... continue reading

September 6, 2005

Greece to Bulgaria to Romania - Riding the rails

On three hours of sleep we woke up this morning and helped Dena to the airport. It was hard to say goodbye but we know we'll see her again in about 3 months so that made it better. After we got back from the airport we took advantage of the hotel's yummy buffet breakfast and then took a quick 2 ho... continue reading

Turkey

August 10, 2005

Istanbul - 3 buses and 1 train

After 5 hours on 3 buses and 9 hours on a train we made it to Instanbul the morning of the 9th. We checked into our hotel for 8 euros a night or so we thought. We showered and were escorted to one of the many travel agencies here by one of the staff at the hotel. At the travel agency we had our firs... continue reading

August 11, 2005

Istanbul - Tourist day in Istanbul

We went to some of the tourist sights today which included the Blue Mosque and the Turkish and Islamic Arts Musuem. This was another full day of walking around. Today we also tried to get our bus ticket to our next stop Cappadocia. Several of the travel agency were quoting us a price of 41 liera, bu... continue reading

August 12, 2005

Istanbul - Turkish Travel Lesson 1: Rate quoted is per person

We woke up around 9 this morning to get ready for our 10 am checkout time. As we checked out the guy said 32 euros for the room. What, the room is suppose to be 8 euros a night for 2 nights. I explained to him we only stayed 2 nights, it should be only 16 euros. He wrote on a piece of paper. 8x2x... continue reading

August 13, 2005

Goreme - Fairy chimneys and Star Wars connection

Today we arrived in Goreme after an overnight bus ride from Istanbul. They played the movie Troy during the trip but unfortunately it was in Turkish so we weren't able to follow too closely. I don't think the dialogue was the reason most women went to see the movie anyway. Anyway...once we arrive... continue reading

August 14, 2005

Cappadocia - Underground city and Ihlara Gorge tour

Today is tour day. After much consideration and deliberation we decided to book a group tour which included the most popular sites of the area. We are finding along the way that we really aren't big tour people but after pricing out the transportation and entry fees to the sites we decided the tou... continue reading

August 16, 2005

Kas - Diving in Kas

Today we took a quick 4 hour bus ride from Goreme to Kas. Kas is a quaint coastal town and even with the tourists it has kept its small town charms. The first day we arrived we found a nice pension for 30 lira a night which included a nice balcony and roof top terrace overlooking the sea. We walk... continue reading

August 17, 2005

Kas to Fethiye - Weird Old Man

Today we took a 6 hour bus trip from Kas to Fethiye. We found a cheap pension with an amazing view over the bay and free breakfast included. After checking into our pension we decided to take a walk and check out the town. As we were walking down the street an older guy says, "Hello". We return the ... continue reading

August 18, 2005

Fethiye - Where's the beach?

Today was boring, but we got some exercise. An employee of our pension said we could walk to a beach just over the other side of town. We walked for 2 1/2 hours in the hot hot sun to a private beach where obviously they would not let us in. Bummed out, we turned around and about and hour back we dec... continue reading

August 19, 2005

Fethiye - Secluded Beach

Tina was reading the guest book to our pension and came across an entry where they drew a map of nice hike that supposedly led to a secluded beach. This is right up our alley. A good hike and finish it off with some swimming to cool off. After doing some more research we figured out we need to take ... continue reading

August 20, 2005

Fethiye to Selcuk - Fethiye to Selcuk

Today we took a nine hour bus ride from Fethiye to Selcuk. Once we arrived in Selcuk we checked into our guest house and took advantage of our free half hour of internet. Next we walked around town looking for a place to eat. We found a small restaurant with an array of local vegetarian dishes. One ... continue reading

August 22, 2005

Selcuk - Ephesus

Today we went to the ancient city of Ephesus. Our gracious hosts at ANZ Guesthouse gave us a free ride out to the city and back so that saved on transportation costs. We initially thought the site would be fairly low key but as we pulled up there were tons of tour buses parked in the lot. That is... continue reading

Romania

September 7, 2005

Sofia, Bulgaria to Bucharest - Can I see your reservation?

Got a good night's sleep and woke up to catch the next train from Sofia, Bulgaria to Bucharest. As we watched the world pass by our car window we noticed a disconcerning sight-dew on the grass. We both thought we might have wanted Dena to bring some warmer clothes then we did, but hoped it would b... continue reading

September 9, 2005

Bucharest - Touring Bucharest

We decided to stay a couple days in Bucharest to plan the rest of our time in Romania. Henri and Alis at Butterfly gave us some great tips and hints on places to visit in Romania as well as fellow travelers at the hostel. We have found word of mouth extremely valuable during our travels. While in ... continue reading

September 10, 2005

Sinaia - Saturday Night Live

We left Bucharest on the 12:00 Intercity train to Sinaia today. Note to travelers: the Intercity trains are the nicest and most expensive in Romania, however the other trains really aren't that bad but of course we just came from SE Asia so it's all relative. They even provide easy listening music... continue reading

September 11, 2005

Sinaia - Hike in Sinaia and the Peles castle

We woke up this morning with the intent of hiking a trail near the cable car to the top of the mountain. We began by heading to the a couple travel agencies looking for trail maps but didn't have any luck. We walked around the cable car area and didn't see any trails so we decided to check out the l... continue reading

September 12, 2005

Brasov - Hollywood in Romania

Today we arrived in Brasov after taking the slow train from Sinaia. We learned very quickly that the slow train is the cheapest, but is does stop at every village/town along the way and the trains are pretty old. The trains range from cheapest, personal, to most expensive, InterCity. After arrivi... continue reading

September 13, 2005

Bran - Dracula's Castle

Today was our official tourist trap day. Our Lonely Planet sang the praises of the famous Bran Castle, aka Dracula's Castle, as one of the sights no one should miss while visiting the area. The guidebook also noted that the bus station we would need was only 2km from the trains station. It turned... continue reading

September 14, 2005

Brasov to Sibiui - We do not take a trip; A TRIP TAKES US

Today was suppose to be a simple day. A four hour train ride from Brasov to Sibiu, find a place to stay, get some food and maybe look around the town a bit. Not the case. After checking out of our hostel at 11:00 am we jumped on the bus to the train station, we purchased our tickets and jumped on... continue reading

September 15, 2005

Sibiu - Personal tour of Sibiu

We woke up this morning feeling a little heavy from the fire water and beer. Maria made me eggs while Tina enjoyed some local cheese and tomatoes. Mike told us he had a friend who speaks English and a car who should be coming over anytime to take us around town. We cleaned up right away and soon aft... continue reading

September 16, 2005

Sighisoara - Dracula, werewolves and vampires

We arrived into Sighisoara early this morning and since we were going on little sleep we found the nearest hostel available and relaxed for a bit. The weather was a bit dreary but after a quick shower we ventured out to check out the town. we walked around the main squares and took in the nice vie... continue reading

September 17, 2005

Sighisoara - Bright sunshiny day

Woke up to a beautiful day and we took full advantage by touring the city and taking tons of pictures of the city's houses, pretty flowers and the local residents. Got another great show later on with the moon lighting up the town. ... continue reading

September 18, 2005

Sighisoara to Cluj-Napoca - The lessons we are learning

Today was a cold one. We quickly at the breakfast our hostel provided and went to purchase our train tickets to Cluj-Napoca. When we arrived in Cluj a couple hours later is was really chilly and were were ready to find our hostel. Unfortunately our LP (Lonely Planet) doesn't include a map of ever... continue reading

September 19, 2005

Cluj Napoca - Rain, rain go away

Woke up to the sound of rain and struggled to get out of bed. Evidently everyone else felt the same was as I was the first one up in the entire hostel. That will most likely be the one and only time I will accomplish such a feat. Since the weather didn't look to be going anywhere we layered up an... continue reading

September 20, 2005

Cluj to Budapest - Bus to Hungary

More rain. We were up early to catch our bus to Budapest. Our hostel told us the bus was a cheaper option over the train and together we saved about $30 taking the bus. During the trip we met a guy who was from Romania but is now working in London. He gave us a good education lesson on Romania a... continue reading

Hungary

September 21, 2005

Budapest - Tour day in Budapest

We toured most of the major tourist sites in Budapest today and being cheap we did it all on foot. This made for an eight hour day of walking around town. Our day started by walking through City Park where we saw the Vajdahunyad Castle and Heroes Square. Next, we headed to the Terror museum which wa... continue reading

September 22, 2005

Szentendre - Lovely day trip, ugly return

Today we took a daytrip north to the town of Szentendre. The town is about 45 minutes north of Budapest via commuter train. The town is set along the Danube River bend so once we got into town we enjoyed a picnic overlooking the river. Once we finished relaxing we walked around the town which had... continue reading

September 23, 2005

Budapest to Keszthely - Leaving Budapest

On the move today. Caterina was full today due to some pre bookings so instead of moving to yet another hostel we decided to catch the train southwest to our next destination. We've found that being flexible is a key component to long term travel and we try to talk to as many travelers as we can f... continue reading

September 24, 2005

Keszthely - Touring Keszthely

Woke up to a gorgeous fall day. We decided to start the day off with a run along the lake. The lake was filled with pretty sailboats and along the path were groups of fishermen trying to catch their dinner. After our run we quickly got our maps and camera together and headed out to see the sights... continue reading

September 26, 2005

Keszthely to Sopron - Hungarian Hospitality

With a 10:00 am checkout and a 4:20 pm bus to Sopron, we had to pack up our bags, but leave them at the pension. Days like this are always interesting. You have to find something to do without have a home base. We started the day by doing a little shopping. I bought a new sweater which I think I wil... continue reading

September 27, 2005

Sopron - Lazy rainy day

Today we we woke up early and went on a 1/2 hour run before the rain started coming down. The rest of the day we spent at our hostel reading.... continue reading

September 28, 2005

Sopron - Sopron tour

Today we toured around the town of Sopron which only took a few hours. This is a nice little town, but not a whole lot to see here. We did treat ourselves to a langoush in the evening which is a hungarian bread fried in oil and topped with cheese and sour cream. How can you go wrong with that.... continue reading

Austria

September 29, 2005

Sopron to Vienna - Music in Vienna

Today we took the 1.5 hour bus ride from Sopron, Hungary to Vienna, Austria. It still continued to rain today, but we decided a museum would be a good thing to do while it rained. We chose the Haus der musik museum. This was nice change of pace from the other museums we've been to in Europe. The mus... continue reading

September 30, 2005

Vienna - Somebody turn on the heat

Today it didn't rain, but it was really cold outside and inside. Our hostel doesn't have any heat and we heard they are usually shut down this time of year, but they've had such a demand that they've decided to stay open a little longer. How about taking the extra money from staying open longer and ... continue reading

October 1, 2005

Vienna - To the Opera for Craig's Birthday

I had a great birthday! The weather had cleared up and the sun was shining and it was considerably warmer. We checked out of our hostel early in the morning and we splurged a little on a pension where we had a private room and lots of space. Tina went around shopping during the day and I read my b... continue reading

Slovakia

October 2, 2005

Bratislava - On the road to Slovakia

Today we left Vienna for Bratislava, Slovakia. The border crossing was easy and went quickly but I was bummed as the guard just came on the bus, looked at our passports and got off. That meant we didn't get a Slovakia stamp entering the country but I'm hoping I can get one on the way out. Once we... continue reading

October 3, 2005

Bratislava - Touring Bratislava

Woke up to a cold and dreary day but we had decided to stay only a couple of nights in town so we went out to tour the town regardless. We had wanted to see the local hockey team play while we were here but they were playing out of town on Sunday and the next game wasn't until Friday. Since hockey... continue reading

October 4, 2005

Bratislava to Banska Stiavncia - How do you pronounce the name of this town?

Today we travevled by bus from Bratislava to Banska Stiavncia. Try saying the name of that town aloud. I still don't know how it's pronounced and somehow I got through to the lady at the bus depot that we wanted tickets to this town. In town we found the pension we were looking for, but no one was a... continue reading

October 6, 2005

Banska Stiavncia to Terchova - 3 buses

After 3 different buses we made it to Terchova where we found a nice pension from a couple who spoke absolutely no English. We're getting pretty good at using the calculator, hand gestures, and grunts for negotiating the prices for our rooms. Tina decided to go on a run while I decided to just walk ... continue reading

October 7, 2005

Terchova - The Perfect Hike

With an extended trip like this you can't visit each country at its optimal time, however we timed it perfectly for Slovakia. At least today was a perfect day for hiking in Slovakia. Not too hot, not too cold, just a warm sunny autumn day in the Mala Fatra Mountains. Our day began by walking an hour... continue reading

October 9, 2005

Stary' Smokovec - Hiking in the High Tatras

Today we woke up to a gorgeous day unfolding. We made a quick breakfast and got out the door by 8:00 as we were planning for an 8 hour hike. Since it was a Sunday it seemed as though the entire town had the same thoughts as the street was filled with hikers making their way to the narrow-gauge fun... continue reading

Poland

October 11, 2005

Zakopane - Catching some air

Our plans for the day were to enjoy a bit more of the town and then grab the 12:00 bus to Krakow. The temperature outside was a chilly 37 when we woke up so we dressed in layers and took to the streets. The night before we had stumbled upon a ski jump area so we headed back that way to grab a few p... continue reading

October 12, 2005

Krakow - Krakow Old Square

Today we did a small tour of Krakow which included a visit to the Cloth Hall Sukiennice, the Wawel castle, the Japanese art museum and just walking around the old square. Our stop at the 14th-Century Gothic building, the Cloth Market, was right in the middle of the square and this is where all the j... continue reading

October 13, 2005

Krakow - Another Rainy Autumn Day

Today was cold and drizzly, a perfect day to spend time in a museum. We decided to go back to the Japanese museum and visit the National Geographic photo exhibit. Well, the exhibit was a little disappointing. It only took us about 20 minutes to get through because they only had about 60 photos to l... continue reading

October 14, 2005

Auschwitz - Auschwitz

Today we visited the concentration camps in Auschwitz. The main feelings we had while walking around the camp were of horror and awe that any human could inflict so much pain and suffering on another. Everyone should visit this place once in their life just to see first hand how discrimination and... continue reading

October 15, 2005

Wroclaw - The Claw

We grabbed the 11:30 am train out of Krakow today to head to Wroclaw. This towns pronunciation was really throwing us off because it seems easy but it's really pronounced like Vrots wahf. We decided to just say it was "The Claw." Of course just to ourselves as the locals would think we were crazy... continue reading

October 16, 2005

Wroclaw - Oh the weather outside is frightful

Today is a chilly one. I have two shirts on, a thick wool sweater and my fleece and I'm still chilled to the bone. Fortunately we didn't have lots we wanted to see so we wouldn't be outside all day. To warm up we grabbed a cup of soup at a local restaurant in the square and are spending most of t... continue reading

Czech Republic

October 18, 2005

Olomouc - Country #14

We arrived in Olomouc (Ollo moats) last night and decided to take advantage of the hostel's cozy living room to read and have a relaxing night. We are staying at the Poets' Corner Hostel which is fabulous! Anyone heading this way should really stay here. The owners Greg and Francie take a lot of ... continue reading

October 19, 2005

Olomouc - Deep Tissue Massage

I was speaking with Francie, one of the owners of our hostel, last night after she returned from a deep tissue massage and found out it was really cheap to get a massage here. 300 Krown ($12) for a hour long massage. I've had a knot in my back that has been bothering for the last six months and I th... continue reading

October 20, 2005

Olomouc to Prague - Ceske Blues

Today we made the journey from Olomouc to Prague by train. The trip brought us into to town mid-afternoon. We checked into our hostel and settled in. We decided Prague has so much to offer that we should start seeing it right away. We found a recommend jazz club thinking there should be some live mu... continue reading

October 21, 2005

Prague - Touring Prague Day 1

Today was an all out touring day of Prague. We began the tour with a 45 minute walk into the town center. We walked around all day and also made the 45 minute walk back to our hostel. We spent time at the famous Charles Bridge, Wenceslas Square, and the National Theater. We did stop for lunch at the... continue reading

October 22, 2005

Prague - Touring Prague Day 2

We spent most of the day today walking around the grounds of the Prague castle. This is truly an amazing area up close and from afar. Among the amazing sites is the Gothic Cathedral of St Vitus which has some interesting and unusual statues perched on the side of the building. The cas... continue reading

October 23, 2005

Prague - Sparta Hockey

After many walks to the town center we took the metro in today. The purchase of a metro ticket on the weekends gives you 90 minutes of unlimited travel. We just wanted to pick up some postcards and maybe a couple souvenirs and get back to the hostel for a bite to eat and walk to the hockey arena for... continue reading

October 24, 2005

Cesky Krumlov - Wegetarianski

Today we said goodbye to Prague and headed south to Bohemian region. We took the bus to Tabor and then grabbed the next one to Cesky Krumlov. The bus ride proved to be relaxing and we drove past some gorgeous rolling hills splashed with color. The walk to our hostel, Krumlov House, only took 5 mi... continue reading

October 25, 2005

Cesky Krumlov - More of the town

Today was another general "tour the town" day. We headed to the tourist information center for the train schedules to Ljubljana to get that squared away and to grab a couple of postcards. After getting the "work" done for the day we headed back to the castle to check out the gardens which turned o... continue reading

October 26, 2005

Cesky Krumlov - Hiking to Klet

After a couple of relaxing days we decided to get a nice hike in today. Our hostel recommended a couple so we chose the 14km round trip hike to Klet which is the highest peak in the Blansky Forest. At first the hike isn't anything to rave about as you walk along the narrow road heading out of town... continue reading

October 27, 2005

Cesky Krumlov to Ljubljana - 1 bus, 2 beds, 3 trains and 3 countries

Today we woke up in Cesky Krumlov, Czech Repbublic and went to bed in Ljubljana, Slovenia. To get to Ljubljana, Slovenia we had to take a hour long bus ride to Cesky Budejovice. From Cesky Budejovice we took a train to Linz, Austria. In Linz we tried finding a cheap bus to Ljubljana or Salzburg but ... continue reading

Slovenia

October 28, 2005

Ljubljana - Meandering Around Ljubljana

Sleeping in until 9 am today we woke up, showered and went across the street to pick up some muesli and yogurt for breakfast. After breakfast the owner of our hostel drove us to the town center with a quick tour of the town. We spent the day just meandering around the town. We did visit the Ljubljan... continue reading

October 29, 2005

Ljubljana - A trip back through the years

We woke up on the wrong side of the bunk bed today. There was a group of 7 young travelers staying in the same side of the hostel as us who checked in last night. As Craig updated the website I read up on Slovenia and hit the hay pretty early. At 2:30am the entire hostel filled up with the groups... continue reading

October 31, 2005

Lake Bohinj - Ida the tour guide

This travelogue covers the period of 10/31-11/3. After spending a three nice days in Ljubljana we chose to head up to the Lake Bohinj area for a couple of days. There are two lakes in the area, one being Bohinj and the other Bled. We had read that Bohinj was a bit more relaxed and not as touris... continue reading

November 3, 2005

Lake Bohinj to Piran - No Direct routes in Slovenia

We left Lake Bohinj with the hopes of getting a direct bus or train to Piran. No luck. All transportation in Slovenia travels in and out of the capital Ljubljana. So we had to take a bus back to Ljubljana, a train to Koper and another bus to Piran. We arrived a night but were able to find a hostel r... continue reading

November 4, 2005

Piran - Škocjan Caves

Today we decided to partake in the Škocjan Caves, one of the star attractions for anyone visiting Slovenia. At least that's what our guide book said. After you've seen one hole in the ground could another one be much different? We began our journey by taking a bus near the caves. Since there ar... continue reading

November 6, 2005

Piran to Pula - Rain Rain Go Away

We’ve been really lucky on this trip as far as not having too many days of rain. However, today was not one of those lucky days. We woke up to it raining. Actually, it was raining at 3 am last night when I was up taking advantage of the free internet. I’m a junkie for the free internet. We check... continue reading

Bosnia-Hercegovina

November 16, 2005

Sarajevo - Busking

Sleeping is impossible when staying in the dorms. Once the first person gets up, others slowly begin to rise and within a half hour the entire room is up. This is how our rainy cold day in Sarajevo began. A short slightly warm shower and we were still not ready to begin a day of touring. We spent a... continue reading

November 17, 2005

Sarajevo - Touring Sarajevo in the Rain

Early morning risers, cold weather and the sound of rain was our alarm cock today. There is no way I'm using the dirty cold shower again today. Might as well enjoy breakfast in the filthy kitchen and chat with the others. This went on all morning as neither of us were motivated to go exploring in th... continue reading

November 18, 2005

Sarajevo to Mostar - Our First Snow

Bright light. "What's your email?" "C-A-M-B-E-L-L...@yahoo.com" "How do you spell Yahoo?" "Y-A-H double O" "Ah, I messed up. Can you repeat that?" And this went on for several minutes by two of our drunk dorm mates entering our room at 2:45 am waking up the entire room. They passed out soo... continue reading

November 19, 2005

Mostar - Mostar to Dubrovnik

We woke up early today so we could visit a museum we missed the day before. Our bus left town for Dubrovnik, Croatia at 10am and the museum opened at 9, or so we thought. We arrived at the museum minutes after 9 to find it not open. We soon realized it was Saturday and noticed the museum opens at... continue reading

Croatia

November 7, 2005

Pula - Tourning Pula

After a good nights sleep we woke up to a rainy day. Since we were only in town for 1 day we grabbed our raincoats and umbrella and headed into town. We took the long way to the Roman amphitheater to get a better view of what the city had to offer outside of the center. Once we arrived at the amp... continue reading

November 8, 2005

Pula to Rakovica - Cross your fingers

Blue skies have returned just in time for us to leave Pula and head to the Plitvice Lakes area. Since we are now in the low season we both weren't 100% sure we'd find transportation or accommodations around the park so we wanted to get an early start. The first part of our journey was a 4 hour bus... continue reading

November 9, 2005

Plitvice Lakes - What time is it?

Today we were planning on visiting the Plitvice Lakes National Park. The owner of our room gave us the local bus schedule so we decided to grab the 10:00 am bus so we'd have plenty of time to tour the park. I had set my alarm watch for 7:20 am but both of us wanted a bit more sleep so I reset it f... continue reading

November 10, 2005

Rakovica to Split - Hello Sunshine

With Tina's watch set correctly, we woke up at 7 am. We had a quick breakfast of bananas and corn flakes in yogurt before catching our 8 am bus to Zadar. The sign on the front of the bused read 'Zagreb to Split' and I told the bus attendant, 'Split', when we got on the bus, but for some reason we st... continue reading

November 11, 2005

Split - Split Tour

We began today with a 45 minute run through Marjan park. What a great place to run with the majestic view of the Adriatic Sea. After a shower and a quick bite to eat we went out exploring the town and the many narrow corridors of the Diocletian Palace. After seeing enough of the city we pulled up a ... continue reading

November 12, 2005

Split to Vis - We split Split

The weather in Split is fantastic! We woke up with the sun streaming through our window which is always a great sign. We made arrangements with the owner of our room to leave our bags in her storage unit until our ferry left at 2:30. With packing and breakfast out of the way we walked back to the... continue reading

November 13, 2005

Vis - Vis Vino

Where is the Advil? Cheap wine might be easy on the wallet but it leaves a deep impression in the head. It wasn't easy for either of us to get motivated today, but eventually we talked ourselves into getting outside. The island is pretty hilly so we weren't really looking forward to the hills but... continue reading

November 14, 2005

Vis - Dumb and Dumber 2

With a vino free night last night we were able to wake up fresh to start exploring the island today. The island is not very big so we thought we would explore it by renting some bicycles. However, that didn't happen as it seems the only place renting bikes is closed for the season. After a little se... continue reading

November 15, 2005

Vis to Sarajevo - One long day

Starting the morning off with a 7 am catamaran trip back to Split began our long day of traveling to Sarajevo today. It only took 1.5 hours to get to Split on the catamaran compared to the 2.5 our trip on the ferry, plus it was cheaper. In Split we walked directly to the bus station and caught the 9... continue reading

November 20, 2005

Dubrovnik - Old Dubrovnik Walls

We heard the wind howling through our windows as we woke up but it was a sunny day nevertheless. Our first stop, and main focus of the day was the old city walls. Last night we walked down to the old town and the walls looked spectacular all lit up so we were excited to see them during the day. A... continue reading

November 21, 2005

Dubrovnik - Just a little off the top

Today was a big day. We both got haircuts!! This was the third for Craig and my first since we began our trip. Both of us decided that we needed to bite the bullet and clean our hair up a bit. Time and the sun had taken its toll so we asked the owner of our room and she suggested a nearby salon.... continue reading

November 22, 2005

Dubrovnik - If the Boat is a Rockin'

One long day today. We had an overnight ferry to Italy booked that didn't leave until 11:00pm so we had a long day ahead of us. The wind was really strong and at around noon the clouds rolled in making for a very chilly afternoon. We stayed warm by hitting some souvenir shops and bookstores aroun... continue reading

Italy

November 24, 2005

The farm - Thankgiving Italian Style

Today we were due at the olive farm. We took a train to Grosseto and checked out the city before getting picked up by the owners friend Barbara. As we made our way through the Tuscan countryside my stomach had butterflies because I was so excited about the area and our upcoming experience on the f... continue reading

November 25, 2005

The olive farm - Week One on the farm

We know a lot of you are interested in hearing more about our time working on the farm so I'll try to give you a glimpse into our days. The farm is located just below the village of Giuncarico, located in the Tuscan countryside. Giuncarico has a population of around 300 people and is very charming... continue reading

December 1, 2005

The olive farm - Weeks Two and Three

Our second week on the farm began with us having the day off which we took advantage of and headed north to Sienna. We started our tour around the old city and quickly came up to Piazza Del Campo which was a great place to get our bearings and people watch. Since Christmas was on its way the entir... continue reading

December 14, 2005

The olive farm - All Good Things...

After three weeks we decided it was time to move on and start traveling again. With hesitation we packed up our room and made sure we grabbed our stuff which inevitably got strewn all over the house which began to feel like home. Uli grabbed two pretty bottles filled with olive oil for us and we s... continue reading

December 15, 2005

Florence - David looks cold

Today we toured Florence. The first stop was the Galleria dell Accademia to view Michelangelo's David. We worried that the line might be long but to our surprise we walked right in an within minutes were looking at David in his full glory and birthday suit. Up close he is much larger than we had ... continue reading

December 16, 2005

Florence - Uffizi Museum and shopping

Another long day of touring Florence. We visited the Uffizi museum which was again simple to get into as we had again heard the lines could be from 2-4 hours long at times. Although the gallery did have some spectacular paintings and sculptures we weren't really moved and didn't stay very long. T... continue reading

December 17, 2005

Florence to Venice - The streak has been broken

We arrived at the train station minutes after 9:00 to catch the 9:30 train to Venice. We decided to buy our tickets using a kiosk instead of the teller with the tickets in our hand we looked to find which platform our train would be taking off from, but we couldn't find our train displayed. We che... continue reading

December 18, 2005

Venice - Somewhat lost

After talking to several people about Venice they told us that we were guaranteed to get lost while visiting the town. With our quick tour last night we noticed how true this could be. So we decided not to take a map with us at all today. This was a great way to explore Venice. While everybody e... continue reading

December 19, 2005

Venice - Venice day two

Last night we looked over our map to see what places we missed on our map less journey yesterday to see what places we should visit today. With a mental image of the map we journeyed out again to see the rest of Venice; again without a map. With the weather being cold and seeing most of what we wa... continue reading

December 20, 2005

Venice to Rome - Train tips

After spending too much money traveling by train the last week we finally figured out the train system of Italy and took 3 different Regionale trains today. Venice to Bologna, Bologna to Florence, and Florence to Rome. We saved 25 euro by not taking the direct trains which are quicker but we have ... continue reading

December 21, 2005

rome - 10 months

We've hit our 10 month mark. To celebrate we grabbed a delicious slice of pizza. Since Rome has such a vast array of sights to see we tried to split them up to a manageable list each day. Today we visited the Roman Forum which was the commercial, political and religious center of ancient Rome. F... continue reading

December 22, 2005

Rome - Vatican City

After seeing many of the sties on the east side of the Tiber river yesterday we decided to crossed over to the west side today to see the Vatican City. Our walk cross town took us around an hour arriving in front of the Castel Sant´ Angelo at noon. We decided to have a small snack there and watched... continue reading

December 23, 2005

Naples - The Sistine Chapel and a culture shock

Our second trip to Vatican City today. Since we didn't' make the 12:20 pm cutoff for the Vatican museums yesterday we made sure we didn't make the same mistake today. This was the only sight were the crowds were a bit large but the line moved swiftly. We headed straight for the Sistine Chapel and... continue reading

December 24, 2005

Naples - Happy Birthday Dad

First off. Happy Birthday Dad. Today we visited the Naples Archaeological Museum which contained many artifacts from Pompeii and Herculaneum. Of the artifacts on display, the mosaics impressed us the most. The mosaic of Alexander the Great was so large and done with such detail.. It was hard to ... continue reading

December 25, 2005

Naples - Buon Natale!

Merry Christmas!! This was our first Christmas abroad and it was definitely different. The weather was sunny and in the low 60's, so no white Christmas this year. We also found the atmosphere in town much more alive then what we were used to. There were many museums open until 1pm so we walked u... continue reading

December 26, 2005

Naples - Pompeii

After seeing the artifacts from Pompeii at the Archaeological Museum and getting a brief history lesson from our mp3 audio guide we were ready to see the real thing. Today we visited the ancient ruins of Pompeii. Pompeii was first occupied in the 8th century BC. The Etruscans soon dominated the reg... continue reading

December 27, 2005

Rome - Back to Rome

Nothing much to write about today. After the train ride from Naples to Rome we checked into a hostel and hit the internet. Since we're in to the holiday season right now travel is expensive and booked pretty solid. We got lucky though and found a flight to Barcelona leaving tomorrow evening so we... continue reading

December 28, 2005

Rome to Barcelona - Arrivederci Italia

Today was a housekeeping day. We shipped what we think will be our last package home and then caught up on our travelogues a bit. On a side note; Rome is crazy with tourists right now, much more then last week. So note that travel before Christmas is much more ideal then the week between Christma... continue reading

Spain

December 29, 2005

Barcelona - Backpacker Blues

Since we got to our hostel at around 2 am last night we were pretty wiped. As we walked from the bus stop to the hostel on Las Ramblas there were guys selling cans of beer throughout the entire ped mall. We've had a lot of things offered to us while traveling but this one actually made a bit of se... continue reading

December 30, 2005

Barcelona - Olympic Stadium and Montjuic Park

We began our tour today in the Barri Gotic and La Ribera districts. Along the way we came upon the Basilica de Santa Maria del Mar so we popped our heads in. We were pleasantly surprised to find an orchestra practicing so we took a seat and enjoyed the music while taking in the Catalan Gothic arch... continue reading

December 31, 2005

Barcelona - Happy New Year!

Today started with a walk to the train station. We've read that booking your train travel 1 day ahead is vital in Spain so we though we'd get that done and see more of the city in the process. Compared to other European cities we've found Barcelona very walker friendly with its wide sidewalks and ... continue reading

January 1, 2006

Barcelona - New Years Resolution: Keep Traveling

Wow, where did 2005 go? It feels like we just started this trip, but our one year mark is approaching soon. We don't even have a clue as to the top headlines, movies, or songs for the year. Oh well, the headlines are just headlines, Netflix and the dollar theater will help us catch up on the movies,... continue reading

January 2, 2006

Granada - Ningún Sueño Ayer Por La Noche

As budget travelers we opted for the standard seats for our overnight train last night instead of a sleeper. As expected, we didn't get any sleep last night. The crying baby, the mother who kept putting her feet up on Tina's chair, and the obnoxious drunk kid didn't help with the impossible sleeping... continue reading

January 3, 2006

Granada - Alhambra

The main tourist attraction in Granada is the Alhambra and this was our destination today. The Alhambra is an area of outstanding Islamic art and architecture. The palace, patios and gardens are surrounded by its fortress set on a hill with spectacular views of the city below and the snowy peak Sier... continue reading

January 4, 2006

Ronda - El Tajo

The train ride to Ronda got us into town mid afternoon. We followed the Centro Ciudad signs hesitantly but made it to the town center in 10 minutes. We started looking for a room right away and I was hoping I could use my two new vocabulary words for the day, algo menos (anything less). I was able t... continue reading

January 5, 2006

Ronda - Día De Tres Reyes

First off: Happy Birthday Jason Our day began today with a visit to the Museo Taurino (bullfighting museum) which is inside the Plaza de Toros. The Plaza de Toros was built in 1785 and is considered the home of bullfighting. Ronda and Seville (soon to be visited by us) are Spain's two legendary b... continue reading

January 21, 2006

Seville - touring Seville

Tina felt sort of sick so we sat at the Plaza de Espana among the tiled fountains and canals and soaked up the sun. We continued to walk around the city taking in the Cathedral area and the Archives de las Indias which was free but limited. We continued walking along the Rio Guadalqu... continue reading

January 22, 2006

Seville - Flamenco and Tapas

We climbed the 33 flights in the cathedral for a fantastic view of the city. We also took advantage of a great day and walked along the river and watched kayakers and rowers sail by. Later we watched our first Flamenco show at the cultural center. It was a small venue so we had a... continue reading

January 23, 2006

Sevilla to Merida - When does the sunrise here?

Off to Merida today to visit the largest city in Roman Spain and the ruins that were left behind. As our bus pulled away at 8 am the sun still hadn´t risen and didn´t until close to 8:30. Needless to say that wouldn´t help my cause very much trying to get to work on time. The bus station was a... continue reading

January 24, 2006

Merida - The Roman Ruin Tour

We started our tour at the Roman Theater and Amphitheater on this brisk morning. The theater was built in 15 BC and the amphitheater followed 7 years later. Both were great to look at but we´ve visited others with greater detail and preservation. Our next stop was the Amphitheater... continue reading

February 3, 2006

Salamanca - Día Pausado

Today was a nice leisurely day walking through this university town. The town has some great architecture including two Cathedrals, the old one and the new one. The new one was built around 1780 right next to the old one which is unusual. Normally they would build the new cathedral right on top of t... continue reading

February 4, 2006

Salamanca-Avila - Rolling on to Avila

We made our way via the bus from Salamanca to Avila today. There was a definite nip in the air and it looked like snow was on the way. Since we were only in town for one day we took off early to see what the city had to offer. There were plenty of other tourists around town and we realized why on... continue reading

February 5, 2006

Avila-Segovia - Football madness

It's football madness today. Not only is it Super Bowl Sunday back home but there is also a big football, aka soccer, game in Segovia. We don't know anything about the teams but the team in red had a huge fan base which provided some cheap entertainment for us. As the morning light snow gave way ... continue reading

February 6, 2006

Segovia - Roman aqueducts

Today we woke up to a sunny, but brisk, morning. Since Segovia isn't that large of a city we decided to have a leisurely breakfast and then headed out to view the Roman aqueducts. Let me just tell you how amazing these aqueducts are up close and personal! I believe they are the largest and best p... continue reading

February 7, 2006

Madrid - Viva Madrid!!

We arrived in Madrid after a really quick bus ride from Segovia. A lot of people add Segovia as a day trip from Madrid because it's so easy to reach. After figuring out where we were dropped off at we jumped on the metro and made our way to the Plaza Mayor area. Since we had a hotel in mind we h... continue reading

February 8, 2006

Madrid - Thyssen Bornemisza Museum visit

Today we began our art tour. Madrid is known for its art museums so we were excited to see what they had to offer visitors. The top three are the Thyssen Bornemisza, El Prado and Reina Sofia. From our hotel it was a short 20 minute walk to the Thyssen museum. We decided to purchase the 3 museum p... continue reading

February 9, 2006

Madrid - El Prado museum

Day two of our three day museum tour. Today we started off by taking a walk in the Noviciado neighborhood and then back over to the Retiro park for a picnic lunch. The day was warm and sunny and we weren't going to pass that up inside a museum so we waited until late afternoon to visit the El Prad... continue reading

Morocco

January 6, 2006

Ronda to Tangier - Long Travel Day

We took the first train from Ronda to Algeciras today which left at 9:30am. As we walked to the station the city seem deserted We thought everyone might have a sugar hangover from last night, but in reality it was a holiday so people were home for the day. After a quick 2 hour train ride we arriv... continue reading

January 7, 2006

Casablanca - Meeting new friends

Started another long travel day with a 9am train to Casablanca. The train was packed so we had to stand near the bathroom and doorway for three out of the 5 hour ride. At least we were by the window so we could enjoy the views. To our right was the sea and on our left was farmland. The waves rol... continue reading

January 8, 2006

Casablanca - Generous Moroccan hosts

As planned we met Mohamed and Brahim at 10:30 this morning. The skies were nothing but blue and we were excited to see what the day would bring. After hopping on the local bus we made our way to Mohamed and Brahim's quarter where they lived and worked. They showed us around their neighborhood a b... continue reading

January 9, 2006

Casablanca - Hassan II Mosque

Today we visited the the third largest mosque in the world. The Hassan II Mosque which was built in 1984. We could only go inside with a tour, but we felt viewing the outside was enough for us. We were able to take a little peak inside by walking up to the entrance. We respected this as a place wors... continue reading

January 10, 2006

Casablanca to Essaouira - Another Stink'n Holiday

We woke up at 6:15 am today and walked to the bus station where we arrived at 7:00 am to catch the 7:30 am bus to Essaouira. No luck, the bus was full and the next available was not until 6:00 pm . Plan B, off to the train station. We made it to the train station by 7:30 am. A train to Marrakesh at ... continue reading

January 11, 2006

Essaouria - The Great Feast

Today is the Islamic Easter Holiday and the reason we had so much trouble traveling yesterday. The holiday is also referred to as the Great Feast because each family buys a whole lamb which they sacrifice to eat. The sacrifice is done by slitting the lamb's throat. The Muslims emphasize this is not ... continue reading

January 12, 2006

Essaouira - The waiting game

We made our way to the bus station to make the 9:30 am bus this morning. At 12:30 pm we took off. It took 3 hours for them to fill the bus to capacity and we tried to relax and not go completely berserk waiting. Based upon this experience I'd say train travel is the better choice in Morocco. The... continue reading

January 13, 2006

Agadir - Watch out for Jason

Hopefully everyone is safe and sound as it's Friday the 13th. We are in paradise right now and thought we'd rub it in. The weather is in the mid 70's and sunny. We haven't been this warm since Greece and don't want it to end. Since the weather is so fantastic we took advantage by relaxing by the... continue reading

January 14, 2006

Agadir - Bright sunshiny day

Another beautiful day!! I went for a run along the beach while Craig put together a picnic lunch for later. Back at the beach we enjoyed our picnic while watching the waves roll in. The wind started to pick up by mid afternoon so we walked to the bus station to buy our tickets to Marrakesh. Ever... continue reading

January 15, 2006

Agradir - One more day in Geriatrica

Today was just another relaxing day in Geriatrica, as Ronaldo put it. All the German and French retirees vacation down here in there RV's. We are definetley in the minority as far as age goes here. We woke up not so early today and enjoyed breakfast on our patio in shorts and a T-shirt. We spent mos... continue reading

January 16, 2006

Agadir to Marrakech - Off to Marrakech

Another long travel day. Our bus left on time but due to consistent rain we got into Marrakech about 1 1/2 hours later than we planned. We walked towards the medina and splurged on a room with a space heater. We're finding that most rooms don't have heat in Morocco and Spain and it's just too muc... continue reading

January 17, 2006

Marrakech - Lively Marrakech

The rain stopped today but it was still really brisk outside as we headed to the patio for the breakfast our hotel provided. The dining room was decked out with wall to wall cushioned benches and Berber rugs which made for a great environment. After finishing off our pancakes-our first in almost a... continue reading

January 18, 2006

Marrakech to Meknes - We have seats

Today was just a long travel day today and not much happened. We caught the 11:00 am train to Meknes and arrived in Meknes at 6:00 pm. Our butts hurt from sitting all day, but hey, at least we had seats this time. We actually picked a 3 star hotel to try negotiating with in town. The first place we ... continue reading

January 19, 2006

Meknes - Cheap Souvenirs

It was our last full day in Morocco today, so we made sure to finish our shopping for cheap souvenirs today. The morning was rainy and we had no desire to get out of bed, so we didn't. How are we ever going to have 8-5 jobs again? I don't think we will. Anyway, we finally got out the door some time ... continue reading

January 20, 2006

Meknes to Seville - 1 train, 1 ferry and 1 bus

First of all, Happy 90th birthday Grandma Annie We started the day today with hopes of making it to Cordoba, Spain but had our doubts. All our connections needed to be on time. Our journey began with a 7:45 am train from Meknes to Tangier. No problems here. The train was on time, but in Tangier t... continue reading

Portugal

January 25, 2006

Evora - Moving on to Portugal

The plan for today was to catch the Madrid to Lisbon bus which stopped in Evora, Portugal. Unfortunately there was only one bus a day and when we went to buy our tickets they told us the bus was full. Part of us thought this might happen but we were still surprised. We decided to take the next re... continue reading

January 26, 2006

Lisboa - Welcome to Lisboa

We started off the day with a nice breakfast provided by our pension which kept us full through the bus ride to Lisbon and then some. Since we took the express bus the ride only took us 2 hours which left the entire afternoon to explore Lisbon. The room we rented was in the heart of the Baixa dist... continue reading

January 27, 2006

Sintra - Daytrip to Sintra

Our plan for today was a visit to the hilltop town of Sintra. The town is about 45 minutes west of Lisbon via the train and was worth the trip. Pulling into the station we caught a glimpse of the Sintra Castle and Pena Palace perched above the town. A quick look around the lovely old town and we ... continue reading

January 28, 2006

Belem - Pasteis de nata=new addiction!!!

The rain stopped this morning and made way for a sunny, but windy day. We planned on spending the day in the Belem district. There was a nice walkway along the river so we could enjoy the walk amongst the locals. After a 2 hour walk we were ready for a snack and had a place in mind to ... continue reading

January 29, 2006

Lisbon - 50 year snowfall

We woke up to pouring rain which confirmed it would be a museum day today. One of the great things about Portugal is most of the museums are free on Sundays. Once the rain turned to a sprinkle we hit the streets to walk to the Museu Calauste Gulbenkian. We were caught in the a complete down pour on ... continue reading

January 30, 2006

Lisbon to Porto - Lisbon - Coimbra - Porto

In Lisbon we asked three separate people which town should we visit on our way to Porto. All three said Coimbra, so we decided we would stop for one night in Coimbra. We caught the 10 am train and arrived in Coimbra at noon. Our guide book didn't have a map of the town, but we found a billboard map ... continue reading

January 31, 2006

Porto - Porto Vinho

Tina wasn't feeling well today so we kept it simple today. We started off by touring the free wine museum which was very educational. We learned about the history and development of the port wines. After the museum, which didn't have any free samples, we strolled around the old port along the Douro ... continue reading

February 1, 2006

Porto - Porto Vinho II

After running errands, such as mailing postcards and buying bus tickets for tomorrow, we walked through the Palacio park which overlooks the Douro river. In the park there was a small castle which had two teenagers swapping spit. As we walked up on them they scattered away and the ... continue reading

February 2, 2006

Porto to Salamanca - Back to Spain Once Again

Today was just a long day on the bus, 6 1/2 hours total. The mountainous countryside of NE Portugal was beautiful. This changed into the flat plains and mucho toros as we arrived in Spain. One interesting moment in the day was during the boarder crossing. The border guard came on our bus and began c... continue reading

Ireland

February 11, 2006

Madrid to Dublin - Off to find our pot of gold

With a long day of traveling we landed in Dublin at 10:00 pm. At the airport Tina was given a warning by passport control about needing more pages in her passport soon. This is probably because the stamp for Ireland takes up a full page in your passport. Other than that we didn’t have any problem... continue reading

February 12, 2006

Dublin - Sláinte - Sruab

Today was your typical overcast day in Ireland and we hit the streets to check out the city, with the camera close by, of course. The journey took us through the grounds of Trinity College where I’ve never seen grass so green. We walked around taking pictures of all the colorful Dublin doors and f... continue reading

February 13, 2006

Dublin to Kilkenny - Time to Splurge

Today we took a 2 ½ hour bus ride to the town of Kilkenny. On our bus ride we met nice couple from Indiana. They were both 80 years old and their kids bought them a trip to Ireland for their 50th wedding anniversary. They were plowing through the country having a great ole’ time. For the last few... continue reading

February 14, 2006

Kilkenny - Valentine’s in Kilkenny

Today we visited the Kilkenny Castle and to our surprise almost everyone there from the States. This was quite unusual for us since we hadn’t been around too many Americans for the last 12 months. After the tour of the castle we walked around the outskirts of town and ended up at the Smithwicks br... continue reading

February 15, 2006

Kilkenny to Dublin - Back to Dublin

This morning we had a wonderful breakfast by Josephine and talked to a couple from England. They were intrigued by our trip and we talked most of the morning with them. We had to leave our wonderful B&B for our last day of travel back to Ireland. We thought it would be appropriate to spend our last ... continue reading

February 16, 2006

Dublin to Chicago - One Step Closer to Home

We woke up to our last hostel bed today and had our last hostel breakfast, which I might add is quite wonderful in Ireland. The traditional Irish breakfast can keep you full for an entire day. Next, we hopped on the double-decker bus to the airport and both of us started to get this sick feeling in ... continue reading

USA

February 17, 2006

Chicago - Clean Up You Bums

Today was the day to remove the backpacker look. We’ve been looking forward to this for a while. We both treated ourselves to a day at the spa. We both got haircuts, facials and a back massage, but we still felt grungy in our backpacker clothes. We headed to the mall where I bought a pair of jeans... continue reading

February 18, 2006

Chicago - Our Big Night Out

Tina, Dena and Becca spent had a girls day today shopping and going out to lunch while Erin and I sat around the house watching movies and catching up some more. Later in the night all of us went over to Becca and Mark’s where most of the group cooked an Italian dinner for all of us to eat. After ... continue reading

February 19, 2006

Chicago to Ames - Home Sweet Home

After the long night out we woke up later than anticipated, but we still got on the road a little after noon for the 5 ½ hour drive to Ames. Somehow I was elected to drive while Tina and Dena slept most of the way. When we crossed over the Mississippi into Iowa it really started to sink in that our... continue reading

February 20, 2006

Ames - Welcome back to the harsh reality

The first couple of weeks back we went into hermit mode. There were a couple reasons why. First and foremost we were still planning on surprising Craig's mom for her birthday party so we needed to keep a low profile. We were also ready just to relax for a while and enjoy a nice comfortable bed and... continue reading

March 4, 2006

Waterloo - Surprise Mom

While in Morocco we started planning a surprise 55th birthday party for my mom. The planning continued throughout our trip. I made calls back to the States from Spain and had the help of some family members. Thanks Jen, Dennis, Judy, Jason, Larry and Sue for helping us put this together. I couldn’... continue reading

March 5, 2006

Waterloo & Ames - Post trip blues

Remember the Backpacker Blues Craig sang when I had holes in every article of clothing I was wearing?? Well that just scratches the surface compared to how we are feeling now that we are back home. While we sat in various hostel rooms we envisioned making tons of trips to visit our friends thr... continue reading

May 18, 2006

Ames to Greensboro - Moving On

With the acceptance of my job and our trip to Mexico we didn’t have much time to visit the people we wanted to while in Iowa. We had hoped to make a trip out to Denver to see our friends that we miss there too, but the timing just didn’t work. On May 18th we packed up the car and a trailer f... continue reading

Mexico

May 5, 2006

Isle Mujures - We Need a Vacation After Traveling For a Year

Tina’s cousin Nick and his fiancée Angie decided to get married on the island Isle Mujeres in Mexico and without jobs yet how could we refuse? We rented a house for the week and enjoyed the company of Ron, Linda, Chad and Stephanie as our housemates. We had a great house right on the ocean with a... continue reading

Canada

December 31, 1969

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Hong Kong

August 31, 2007

Greensboro, NC - Leaving for Hong Kong on Sept. 15th, 2007

We will be taking off for a trip to Hong Kong on Sept. 15th, 2007 and the thought of it makes us all giddy! ... continue reading

September 15, 2007

Lantau - Arriving in Hong Kong

Why can't we be millionaires? That was our thought during our 15 hour flight to Hong Kong. To roll up to the airport, board a plane and be served mouthwatering meals and champagne would be the life. But alas, we are poor, coach class travelers. Sure we could fork out the money for first class bu... continue reading

September 16, 2007

Kowloon - Tina's first impressions of Kowloon

Since Craig was officially in Hong Kong for work I knew I'd be on my own for the first five days or so. When we arrived on Sunday we thought it would be best to clean up and get our internal clocks situated. So after a quick rest we showered and headed out to get an idea of the area. The place wa... continue reading

September 17, 2007

Kowloon - Breaking in the traveling legs again

Craig was anxious to get ready for work early so we both got up and chatted a bit about the plans for the day. My plan was to wander around the area, check out a few markets and get some exercise. My first stop was the Bird Garden which also served as my first experience with watch hawkers. A man ... continue reading

September 18, 2007

Kowloon - All I need is some food, a beer and this lamp

The agenda for today consisted of walking to the harbour and lunch at a recommended vegetarian restaurant. Instead of taking the easy, but frustrating, route of Nathan Road I decided to weave throughout the side streets which provided a better idea of everyday life in Kowloon. I quickly fell in lo... continue reading

September 19, 2007

Kowloon - Free museum day

All things considered from my foot fiasco yesterday I decided to take it easy today. Since most of the museums are free on Wednesday I thought it made perfect sense to check out the Hong Kong Museum of Art. The Chinese Antiquities Gallery on the third floor was decidedly my favorite collection and... continue reading

September 20, 2007

Kowloon - Crossing the harbour

I decided to give my plan of finding a good veggie restaurant another shot today. Our Fodor's guidebook mentioned the restaurant I wanted to eat at a few days earlier and they listed a completely different address so I thought I'd give that one a whirl this time around. Since I was familiar with t... continue reading

September 21, 2007

Kowloon - We've got visitors!

As many of you have probably figured out by now we love to travel and share our experiences with the ones we love. For part of this trip we were lucky enough to recruit some family along with us for the journey. Since I was so excited for their arrival I pretty much putzed around the markets of Ko... continue reading

Macau

December 31, 1969

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Nicaragua

December 31, 1969

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