“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.
Early this year, we decided to – from time to time – highlight some of our most spectacular past journeys under an “Awesome Adventures” heading. To qualify, the journey has to be the best of the best. So far, we’ve only gotten around to sharing details from our visit to Antarctica. Today, there’s a new Awesome Adventure to share.
We try to travel with no regrets but I have a regret. We spent 3 months in Mexico and I never made it to a futbol game. I watched almost every one of Mexico’s games on TV, showing my support, with all the other distractions (especially in Mexico City) it just didn’t happen. This was a mistake that I refused to make twice.
Here’s a round up of our experiences putting Expedia, Priceline, Travelticker and Voyage Prive to the test over the last several month. The links will take you to our Snapshots of each property.
We’re settled back in Seattle after our adventure in Glacier National Park.
The camping and hiking were incredible, but those elements weren’t the best part. Our time in the wilderness turned out to be an avalanche of inspiration and life lessons that allowed us to clear out the gunk in our heads and more easily lean into the power of intuition.
Pauline Frommer comes from the first family of travel. Daughter of Arthur, she has carved out her own niche in the travel world, with her radio show, guidebooks, and website presence. Come check out her interview and learn more about this travel icon.
Most long-distance transport in Egypt seems to be in convoy, often with more than 100 busses, one after the other. So is our journey from Hurghada to Luxor. We break twice during the four hours. As we drive through the Red Sea Mountains, darkness descends. The driver doesn’t switch the headlamps on …
At 78 degrees N – a mere 12 degrees from the North Pole – Longyearbyen is as far north as I’ve ever been. Svalbard is more commonly referred to as Spitsbergen in English. Spitsbergen is in fact the name of the largest island in the group, but Svalbard is the name of the entire archipelago. Svalbard is rugged, absurdly beautiful and has more polar bears than humans. This is Arctic wild country.
Where can you find a man poking his head up through a hole in the street, a paparazzi photographer peeking around a corner, a Napoleonic soldier on a bench in the old town, and a beloved local 20th century personality? In Bratislava, that’s where.
What first springs to mind when you hear the name Kiev? Capital of the Ukraine? You’re right, of course. Some might think of Chernobyl 1986, one of the worst nuclear disasters in history. If you’re into pop culture, Kiev was venue of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2005. Politics? Perhaps the Orange Revolution of 2004 comes to mind?
We hiked every single day that we were in Glacier. Side note: Strenuous hikes pair very well with camping because they knock you on your ass and, therefore, make sleeping in a tent seem almost comfortable. See we have an ulterior motive for embarking on these monster hikes.
Oyggjarvegur, the old mountain road from Torshavn, the tiny capital of the Faroes, towards the northern islands, is spectacular. But then, nothing less is to be expected in the world’s best island-destination. In places, there are no barriers between us and a 1000-foot drop into the chilling waters of the North Atlantic fjord. We edge slowly towards the deliciously dizzying chasm.
Skopje isn’t what leaps to mind when you think of European cities, is it? It’s probably among the lesser known capitals, perhaps best known for being the birthplace of Mother Theresa. So what can you see and do in Macedonia’s little capital? Here are my notes, from a lazy April Saturday night and a long Sunday morning. Skopje’s Stone Bridge is a major landmark. On one side of the bridge is the modern Macedonia Square, on the other is the old bazaar and Ottoman Skopje.
Taking the train from Hamburg to Copenhagen, I assumed the train would go over a bridge when crossing the Baltic Sea. To my surprise, the train actually goes into a ferry at the port in Germany, and then exits the ferry once it arrives in Denmark. During the scenic ride we saw off-shore wind farms, soaring seagulls and sparkling blue waters.
I was in Vancouver for the last few games of the Stanley Cup (Hockey) finals this year and it was interesting, to say the least. Vancouver is one of my favorite towns in the world with some of the best people around, but a few crazy idiots really cast a lot of shame down on this great town that night.
A great visit to Glacier National Park will also include a jaunt up to Glacier’s sister park, Waterton – just across the border in Canada.
Having skipped spending any real time in Waterton over the last few years, we were happy to include a couple of days there in this year’s itinerary.
There is little doubt that one of the most iconic festivals anywhere in the world is the famous San Fermin festival. Never heard of it? OK, let’s put it this way — it is where the running with the bulls happens in Pamplona, Spain. Now, I bet you are all ears. I went a few weeks ago and this is that story, plus some great photos.
You know from our last post that we had a huge day earlier in the week here in Glacier. It started with an incredible hike, turned into a sad story and then – after walking into a bear and her cub – ended with a lot of whiskey.
The island of Grenada is one of my favorites in the Caribbean. It is at the bottom of the Windward Islands and doesn’t get nearly the love of its more famous neighbors. So, I did up a little “5 Reasons to Visit Grenada” and hope you like it and give it a chance.
I am really excited that the Ultimate Train Challenge has found an excellent charity to partner up with for the September travel blogger challenge. We have been honored to have been joined by the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation to raise funds for a charity near and dear to their hearts: Da Nang Association of Agent Orange Victims. We will be funneling charity money to those still affected by Agent Orange in Vietnam. Come read about it… and donate if you can. Thanks!
Convinced that we’ve just lived one of the most memorable days of our lives, we’re both in a haze. A few minutes ago – on our way to clean up in a lake – we were surprised by a black bear and her cub. Frolicking in the short grass as the beating sun was just beginning to relent, the two of them nearly made stroke victims out of both of us.