Archive for the ‘travel journal’ Category
The flight to Fiji aboard Fiji Airways was a relatively quick 10 hour jaunt across the Pacific Ocean from Los Angeles. We landed at Nadi (pronounced Nandi) around 5 a.m. when it was still dark out. As we de-planed, the sun began to rise, and I began to adjust to the warm, tropical humidity seeping in all around me. All of us bleary eyed travelers were greeted by a welcome trio dressed in tropical shirts and leis, strumming their guitars and singing cheerfully while shouting “Bula!” (hello in Fijian) in between songs.
Greek food is the best food in the world. On the Greek islands, everything is absolutely fresh, and you can taste this freshness. Literally everywhere I ate in Greece was a momentous culinary experience, and each time I thought the food couldn’t get any better—it did. One of the most memorable restaurants I visited was Dionysos in Atlantis Restaurant on the island of Santorini. Here are a few quick snapshots from my first meal there…
Looking for something fun and freaky to do on Halloween in San Francisco? Get your science geek on at the California Academy of Science’s annual Halloween bash “Creatures of the NightLife.” You can wander among the reptiles in the rainforest, watch butterflies flap all around you under the glass domes, and stroll through the deep blue waters of the aquarium among costumed revelers as DJs spin tunes. Enjoy monster cocktails or take in a show in the planetarium.
Travelers who visit Argentina will be faced with a hard choice: which jaw-dropping landscapes to visit. With a vast amount of land to cover, (Argentina is the 8th largest country in the world) and no quick way to get between regions besides a limited number of flights or the alternative, extremely long bus rides, your mind will soon be overflowing with choices. There are luscious tropical rain forests in the northeast, with the spectacular Iguazu Falls on the border with Brazil. There are the deserts and red rock formations in the northwest. In the middle of the country are the pampas (plains), sizzling cities, and Argentine wine country. Then there is the mysterious windswept terrain of the southern regions: Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego.
This is it—I’ve reached MONTH 11, yes eleven—in a full year of around the world travel. How can I even begin to describe the adventures? While I write about some of my favorite experiences in bite sized chunks, it’s only the tip of the iceberg. Attempting to share everything I saw and did—now that’s proving to be quite a challenge. My mind is filled with so many impressions and facts…I’m looking forward to spending some time reflecting on everything, and of course delving into the huge photo library we’ve compiled over this journey—roughly 65,000 photos so far!
But first comes Fiji, a place I’ve always dreamed of going, and appropriately, the final destination is this giant adventure. It’s been one year, 4 continents, 27 countries, and over 200 cities—and what a year it’s been!
We’re taking a short hiatus while we soak up some sun and sand, but stay tuned for more adventures soon!
Buenos Aires is an exciting city. For starters, it’s home to the sultry tango. Its buildings seem to have been splashed with all colors of the rainbow and turned into open canvases for some of the world’s best graffiti art. There’s a whisper of European flavor to the city, with strong Italian and Spanish roots that have produced great things, among them top notch helado. Plus the city is packed with steakhouses and everywhere you turn are steaming empanadas. Here you can watch a tango show in the park over cold cervezas, shop in street markets for hidden gems, stay out till dawn in the city’s many hopping nightclubs, and just wander about enjoying the relaxed vibe.
St. Gallen, tucked away in Switzerland’s northwestern corner, turned out to be a culinary slice of heaven. This city has it all—classic and modern architecture, a vast historical legacy, a focus on fashion, UNESCO world heritage sights and an emphasis on good food.
Monastery Haute Cuisine
Hands down, the most unique meal in town is the St. Gallus haute cuisine dining experience at Gaststuben zum Schlössli, a restored castle in the heart of St. Gallen’s old town with themed dining rooms.
Most people have heard of Zurich, the Matterhorn or Geneva. But St. Gallen? The name generally draws blank stares. Yet Switzerland’s northeastern capital is charming, foodie focused, relaxed, and blissfully tourist free.
I rode the train from Lucerne to St. Gallen, which turned out to be an incredibly scenic journey. It cut through green expanses of fertile valleys filled with grazing cows below big fluffy clouds in a brilliant blue sky, all surrounded by mountain peaks crowned with snow. Crossing rivers and curving past multiple lakes, this has got to be one of the best ways to see Switzerland, especially since traveling from one end of the country to the other doesn’t usually take more than a few hours.
Somehow the days just keep getting better. This morning I opened the windows to find a spectacular sunshine-filled view of Lake Lucerne, a welcome surprise after a few stormy days, and the perfect weather for an ascent up Mount Rigi, a must-see highlight to any trip through Switzerland. The peak of Mt. Rigi is visible from Lucerne’s city center on a clear day, easily recognizable by its pointed control tower antennae in the distance.
Lucerne, located in central Switzerland at the foot of the Swiss Alps, is simply stunning. From the minute I stepped off the train and caught a glimpse of Lake Lucerne, reflecting snow capped peaks in its swan-filled waters—the city perched at its edge—I was smitten.