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Author - Rob

Friday, October 18: Day 179 – Hanoi Hilton

Xin chào means hello. Cảm ơn means thank you. Tạm biệt means goodbye. In the north they don’t shake hands or hug. Arms are crossed with the head down. Greet the oldest person first to pay respect. Often there are five generations living in one house. Even if you are not on good terms, elders are respected. In the south because of the influence of Western...

Wednesday, October 16: Day 177 – Hanoi Food Tour

Minnie, our food guide, is 23 and is studying civil law. She was born in Hanoi but you are only considered native Hanoian if you are 5 generations born in Hanoi and that must come from both parents. We are joined by Michael who is originally from the USA but has just moved to Bangkok. Each street food vendor has a specialty. Minnie said that they really don’t...

Tuesday, October 15: Day 176 – Pandemonium

We left Amman, Jordan, yesterday and flew all night. Three flights with stops in Abu Dhabi (in the Middle East) and Bangkok. In the afternoon we arrived in Hanoi exhausted from lack of sleep. Our upcoming Vietnam tour arranged for a driver to pick us up at the airport and deliver us to our hotel. Along the way we saw interesting vehicles. After a 45-minute drive we...

Tuesday, October 8: Day 169 – Siq and You Shall Find

Today was a day of activity and adventure! Machaerus Traveling south from Amman, first we stopped at Machaerus which currently is called Mukawer. We hiked about 15 minutes to reach an old fortress on top of a hill. Now there are only some remains of the fortress including two columns that were rebuilt. The fortified palace overlooks the Dead Sea region and the...

Monday, July 29: Day 98 – This is the city: Kiev, Ukraine

Today we opted for a professional tour guide. Our hotel concierge scheduled her for us. Mariya speaks excellent English. She told us that she spent a year in Boston at age 15. We walked around the central area of Kiev for 3 hours. Kiev is the capital of Ukraine. About 3 million people live here. The city sits on both sides of and on several islands in the Dnieper...

Saturday, July 20: Day 89 – Wielizcka Salt Mine

This morning we visited the Wielizcka Salt Mine, a 30-minute bus ride from old town Kraków. Up to 9,000 tourists come here per day, over 1.7 million per year. The mine temperature is 57 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, but it was much warmer years ago before air started to be pumped in. Sodium chloride was formerly produced here from the upwelling brine and had been since...

Wednesday, June 26: Day 65 – Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death

It is a brutally hot day – high of 98 degrees – 20 to 30 degrees above normal across Europe. Forecasts say it will stay hot in Europe for 4 days then cool down. Our hotel room air conditioner is having trouble keeping up. We are taking two showers per day trying to stay cool. In the morning we rode the inner-city S train for 4 stops to the Berliner...

Saturday, June 22: Day 61 – Return to Neuschwanstein

46 years ago I visited Neuschwanstein Castle with my friend Mike. Neuschwanstein was built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria between 1869 and 1886 when he died suspiciously. He constructed the Romanesque Revival style castle on the top of a hill where the remains of two medieval castles existed so he could withdraw from public life. This is one of the castles that people...

Note about Videos in Our Blog Posts

Sometimes our blog posts include videos. For those of you who have signed up to get an email notification of a new post, we realize now that the videos don’t show up in the emails. To see the full post including any videos, please click on the URL at the bottom of each email, just above the word “Comment”. For example, videos in the post about June...

Friday, June 14: Day 53 – Top of Europe

This morning we set out for Jungfraujoch. They call it the top of Europe. We rode a train to Kleine Scheidegg and switched to a cog railway. All of the trains in this area are outside of the Eurail network, so we bought the Jungfrau Travel Pass. Then we purchased an additional discounted ticket for the cog railway. The weather is beautiful with many of the mountain...