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Costa Cruise from Genoa to Mauritius

Several months ago we did a cruise along the Norwegian fjords and up to Svalbard. On that cruise, one of the waiters was from Madagascar. We asked him tonnes of questions and our desire to visit Madagascar began to grow. Getting there is expensive though; especially as we started to look at flights to island hop including Seychelles, Reunion and Mauritius. These are...

Genoa, Nice, Monaco and Portofino

This will be a very short post. We are in Genoa, Italy (pronounced Gen-o-va in Italy). Getting here was a bit of an issue. We had a bus ticket from Munich. On the way to the bus station, the underground broke down and we were stuck for about 20 minutes. We ended up missing our bus… I am surprised this hasn’t happened more to us. We lost about 50 euros but I may get...

The Siege of Sarajevo

After Belgrade, we took a bus to Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. This was stop two in the Balkans and in the former Yugoslavia. It was also the one we were most excited about. Of our stops on this trip, Sarajevo is perhaps the most affected by war ‘in our lifetimes.’ I can remember the wars in Yugoslavia between 1991 and 1995 and I can remember the Olympics in...

Serbia – Starting to Understand the Wars

We left Budapest on September 9th by train headed to Serbia. We planned a first stop in Subotica, Serbia which is just across the border from Hungary. Literally, it is right across the border. The train stops inside the Hungarian border for border control. Several border control agents board the train with portable devices to check and stamp our passports. Then the...

Buda, Pest and the Danube

Let’s get this started properly. How do you pronounce Budapest? It is “Buda” and “Pesht.” It was once two separate cities, Buda and Pest, which were combined into one. The Danube essentially runs north-south through the city although it does zig-zag a bit. On the west side, Buda is a more hilly area. On the east side, Pest is quite flat. When the two cities were...

Maltese Days and Nights

After an exciting 19 days in Jordan, we spent a slower 9 days in Malta. Malta is a small island that lies about 80 km south of Sicily, Italy. It is east of Tunisia and north of Libya. It is the tenth smallest country in the world but fifth most densely populated. Its population is about 500,000 people. It is about 27 km long and 14.5 km wide. The country is actually...

19 Days in Jordan

Good morning from Aqaba, Jordan. Down at the south end of Jordan, Aqaba is a port town on the Red Sea. We are very close to Eilat, Israel and in fact directly across the bay is Israel. To the south about 26 kilometers is Saudi Arabia. This may be the closest we ever get to Saudi Arabia as they are not open to tourists… not at this point in time anyway. Maybe at some...

Krakow – Auschwitz, Salt Mines and Bike Rides

I am writing about our week in Krakow from Amman, Jordan. From Warsaw, we travelled by train to Krakow. It was about a three hour train ride. Nic loves trains much more than busses. I booked first class but it was extremely hot (no AC) on the train. We both had window seats facing each other but Nic had the breeze from the window and I had none. I survived...

Warsaw – A Tough History

We spent a week in Warsaw, Poland after taking a bus from Vilnius, Lithuania. The theme for the week was not just free walking tours, but was also free museums. An online search taught us that most museums had one day each week that was free. We are not big museum people but when it is free we are a little more willing to spend a bit of time in a museum. Polish beer...