August 3, 2016 - 5:57 pm No Comments

Split is a good sized resort town filled with yachts and cruise ships, surrounded by mountains that make it look a bit like Tucson. A faint sulfur smell from nearby, naturally occurring sources, fills the city.

On our first night in Split, the group of us went to a booming outdoor nightclub near the beach. I’ve gotten much of the group drinking rum and cokes. Gabo and I bonded with some great conversation about the life of a G Adventures CEO and about how one of his best friends is Fredy, the CEO I had for a previous Rome to Madrid G Adventures trip that I took last year. When we discovered that my favorite restaurant in the world, La Cabrera in Buenos Aires, was also his favorite restaurant, we knew we would be friends forever. Then one of the girls knocked over a glass, cracking it and badly cutting Gabo’s hand.

Hat Trick Nightclub in Split Read the rest of this entry »

The Pools & Ponds & Lakes & Streams & Waterfalls of Plitvice

August 3, 2016 - 2:24 pm 1 Comment

We got to Plitvice Lakes National Park in late afternoon, with enough time to hike through about half the park. The skies were cloudy, which made this particular hike a lot more tolerable than they have been.

Scenery is beautiful. Lakes and waterfalls everywhere.

Jeff & Gabo in Plitvice Read the rest of this entry »

Two Days in Zagreb

August 1, 2016 - 10:27 am 2 Comments

Spent a couple of days touring around Zagreb (ZAH-gdib) on my own. With its old world architecture and cobblestone and cafe culture, Zagreb could be almost any other city in Europe. It bears similarities to Budapest and Prague and Vienna. But from a tourist perspective, it doesn’t really seem like there’s a whole lot to do there. I was able to comfortably hit all the highlights in a day and a half.

The Zagreb Cathedral had scaffolding on it, of course. Is it a requirement for all my photo stops to be covered in scaffolding?

Zagreb Cathedral Read the rest of this entry »

Flight of the Midnight Sun

July 29, 2016 - 10:58 pm 1 Comment

First flight of the day was a 13-minute hop from Nanaimo to Vancouver. One of the things I miss most when I’m out of the country is a good cheeseburger, so I have a tradition of eating the biggest, juiciest, tastiest burger before heading overseas. That plan was thwarted by the lack of selection in Vancouver Airport’s Terminal D. I settled for a greasy mess of a burger and an even greasier mess of poutine from Canadian fast food chain A&W.

My second flight was delayed because of a problem with the PA system, despite the fact that they used the PA system to keep us updated on the problem. We left about an hour late.

Out the window to my left, I saw the majestic and snowy Canadian Rockies.

Canadian Rockies from the Air Read the rest of this entry »

Family Time in Parksville

July 28, 2016 - 4:17 pm 1 Comment

Got dropped at the gas station in Parksville and was met with hugs from my mom and sister. After a week of solo travel, it was great be with family again.

Parksville is a small town nestled between mountains and rocky beaches. It’s filled with deer, black bunnies, and old people. We’d spend the days seeing the local sights: an international sand castle competition, Little Mountain, Horne Lake, Qualicum Falls, and Rathtrevor Beach, which is the most massive beach I have ever seen when the tide is out. It’s a half-mile walk to the water’s edge.

Sand Castle Competition Read the rest of this entry »

Butchart Gardens & Victoria

July 22, 2016 - 5:30 pm 1 Comment

So it’s actually a bit of a hassle getting from Vancouver to Victoria. You’d think there would be convenient departures from Vancouver, but it takes almost two hours of trains and buses just to get to the ferry terminal south of the city. Then another hour and a half on the ferry itself.

The boat is enormous, pretty much the size of a cruise ship, only a bit more industrial-looking. The ride is slow and smooth and rumbles with a vibration that feels kind of nice if you’re sitting in the right part of the boat.

Sunrise on the Strait of Georgia Read the rest of this entry »

Vancouver on Foot

July 22, 2016 - 2:20 am No Comments

After zipping by the Canadian border that all the suckers in cars had to stop at, my train finally ended its journey at Vancouver’s Pacific Central Station. There’s no Uber in Vancouver, and oddly, there were no taxis waiting at the train station, so I began the long, hilly walk through the city with suitcase in tow to my hostel.

I immediately set out to explore the city. First, Granville Island Public Market, a 45-second ferry ride from downtown Vancouver. My favorite merchant was the Broom Company shop, where the Schweiger sisters make fancy, creative-looking brooms. As she used a machine to wind a new broom, one of the sisters told me that broom corn is the name of the plant harvested for its bristles. I also learned that broom bristles were traditionally “round” and unfinished, but it was in the 1850’s that it became fashionable to neatly trim them to make a flat edge.

Making a Broom Read the rest of this entry »

Seattle is Cool!

July 20, 2016 - 11:33 am 2 Comments

After checking into my Seattle hostel, I set out to explore the city. Compared to Portland, this is a proper city. And with the beautiful weather, friendly people, scenic skyline, I got a great vibe from Seattle from the very beginning.

I walked around a bunch, hitting the famous Pike Place Market a few times. It’s a crowded collection of outdoor stalls and indoor shops filled with art, photography, fish, produce, flowers, and lots of other great stuff. Kind if a neat place, if not a little claustrophobic with all of the tourists cramming through there.

Pike Place Market Read the rest of this entry »

The Train from Portland to Seattle

July 17, 2016 - 1:48 pm No Comments

Woke up early this morning and made one more attempt to hit Voodoo Doughnut, but again found the line around the block. At 7am. Crazy.

Keep Portland Weird Read the rest of this entry »

A Gorge, a Mountain, and Some Roses

July 17, 2016 - 1:11 am No Comments

So at night, all of the shuttered storefronts transform into bars with live music and booming nightclubs. Portland’s social youth get dressed up and pour onto the streets. And the ruckus doesn’t scare away the homeless people. They hang out and watch or go to sleep right there on the sidewalk in front of the club.

At 1am, I visited Voodoo Doughnut and found the line around the block. Are the doughnuts really that good?

Voodoo Doughnut Read the rest of this entry »