I always wanted to do one of the Adventurists crazy expeditions. The idea of driving across Europe to Mongolia or driving across India in a rickshaw just sounds like a big ball of fun. We did something similar in India in 2011 by rail, and being a part of a big rally like that is my sort of travel. But now they’ve turned it up a notch… check it out.
On the Fjærland Fjord, Mundal Hotel is celebrating its 120th anniversary this year. This family-owned hotel has creaking stairs, a great turret bed room, a library, a billiards room, a music room, deep leather chairs by the fireplace – and books; not just in the library but everywhere. Wherever you go in Fjærland, you’ll find books; indoors and outdoors, along the streets, in barns and in boat sheds. Four kilometres of second-hand and antiquarian books are for sale, mostly on a trust system: take the book you fancy and put money in the tin.
I’m in Pyramiden, once a showcase of the Soviet Union, a perfect mining community, set between mountains, glaciers and fjords in the Svalbard archipelago. Today, it’s an Arctic ghost town! The decision to abandon the settlement was sudden, its implementation even more so. The inhabitants were given just hours to pack their bags and leave. Remnants of that hasty departure are visible everywhere.
Every Thursday, Ashley and Jason Bartner organizes pizza night at their agriturismo. And it doesn’t hurt to have a chef in charge, a chef with years of experience working at top notch restaurants in New York and San Francisco.
Jason believes in the slow food movement, in cooking with the seasons and keeping it simple. You won’t find pizzas with everything here. Instead, each pizza has just a few ingredients, all fresh from the local meat and cheese market and from the garden.
Situated right outside Luxor, Karnak Temple is the largest ancient religious site in the world. An impressive avenue of ram-headed sphinxes connects it with Luxor Temple. Karnak is a place of records: everything here seems to be the biggest and tallest. Its scale defies description. The first pylon (gate) alone is 42 metres high (like a 14-storey building) and 118 metres wide. Ancient Egypt must have been in awe of its builders.
Barentsburg, you say? Where on earth… ? The Svalbard archipelago has four settlements of significant size, one of them is Russian. Norway has sovereignty over the archipelago, but the Treaty of Svalbard ensures all parties equal access to scientific and economic activities in the islands. Barentsburg is Russia’s last remaining settlement in the Arctic.
We’re not too demanding. Before heading to state #49, we wanted Alaska to deliver in only three key areas: incredible camping, beautiful hiking and glaciers galore.
Did we ever get it.
Before getting all fancy schmancy on a cruise ship, we had one more camping adventure in Alaska – in Denali National Park.
Reveling in both a gigantic cup of coffee and a blazing fast Internet connection, I am perfectly content. I am overwhelmed with gratitude as I scan the photos we’ve snapped so far. To be able to see and experience all of this – we’re lucky guys.
The only problem is… I’m irritated that others don’t see it that way.
Mong Kok in Hong Kong is a densely packed area of gritty tenement buildings, bustling markets, hotels rented by the hour and Chinese medicine pharmacies alongside spangly electronics shops selling the latest gear. It’s a place where Hong Kongers live, work and shop. The crowds are intense, the traffic frenetic, but it feels alive and vibrant. Take a look at these photos to learn more.
Kyoto has a long history of shojin ryori, the vegetarian cuisine that the Zen Buddhist monks eat in temples in Japan. A cooking class is a great way to learn more about these fascinating dishes which feature many unusual ingredients.
Two sets of couples we know have been robbed in and around Managua over the past 2-3 weeks. Normally I give a location the benefit of the doubt but this is just getting absurd. I want to make sure that you know what to look out for when you are traveling through Nicaragua.
We’ve left the isolated forest service cabin and are no longer living in fear of an unwelcome bear encounter. Also, we’ve had the last of our astronaut food, so we’re happy guys (although the three berry cobbler was surprisingly good).
Before we get to the more splashed out part of this journey, we have a couple more hardcore(ish) adventures planned.
I have been to the Running of the Bulls, but now that I have been to the Running of the Donkeys… I think my travel life is almost complete. At least when it comes to animals and racing. This was from a festival on a small island in Croatia and it was such a weird and fun day. I hope you enjoy the post and the many odd photographs.
Beth of Beers and Beans is one of my favorite travel photographers and she has taken the time to put her years of wisdom behind the camera and in front of the computer editing screen to doing an eBook with some of her best tips. This post is my review of this amazing eBook and from my title… you can tell that I love it.
Our Alaska blog-novella continues… When we last wrote, we were heading up the stairs to our remote forest service cabin. We were not so excited to find out whether or not a grizzly was hanging out behind our cabin’s outhouse.
Jodi Ettenberg from legalnomads.com left behind a successful career as a lawyer to eat her way around the world. Her round the world trip never stopped and over three years later she is still going. In this interview she discusses her love of Burma, challenges of long term travel and the best food in SE Asia.
Eating is an important part of experiencing Hong Kong and although items like pig’s blood, chicken’s feet and shark fin often feature on menus, with a little planning vegetarians can eat well too. This guide shares the best place to find vegetarian dim sum in Hong Kong and other tasty eats.
There we were, at the beginning of the (first) trailhead that would take us to our dream destination. A remote lakeside cabin.
Since our last post was all doom and gloom, we wanted to let you know that we remodeled our plans and found some hiking-friendly weather. We made our way down to Wrangall-St. Elias National Park.
“Really? You’re kidding me. Just what we need. God dammit!”
Overhearing the flight attendant talking to the captain, we knew it wasn’t good news. She tried her best to recover and inject a friendly bounce into her re-packaged delivery for passengers.
World Humanitarian Day is this Friday. The theme – People Helping People – has us thinking about what we can do to help ease the torment in the Horn of Africa. The devastation seems overwhelming, almost insurmountable. What good can two guys in Seattle do? It’s discouraging.
And then we remember the power of a simple action and what happened a couple months back.
Nora is quickly becoming one of my favorite people on the planet. When some others dropped out of the Ultimate Train Challenge, she stepped right in and has become a stalwart in the planning stages. Her answers to the Lucky 13 questions highlight her sense of humor and show how interesting she is. Can’t wait to meet her in a few weeks.
Lebanon is a tiny country that shocks you in many ways. Multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, sights packed into everywhere in this tiny place. And one of the biggest surprises while I was there… really good wine. I got to taste a number of different wines from places in the Bekaa Valley when I was there and here is the story from one of them.
We’re on an adventure streak.
We’re off to Alaska, and we gonna tear it up.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about going to Spanish school in Xela, Guatemala. I had a lot riding on this, more than most. Aside from the obvious advantages of being able to communicate with people in one of the more commonly spoken languages, I would also be able to join the conversations with Erica’s family at gatherings- which is super important to me.