Luang Prabang

19 11 2009
Luang Prabang fruit market

Luang Prabang fruit market

We took a long bus ride from Vang Vieng up to Luang Prabang, through some great mountain scenery along a long and winding road. Luang Prabang is further north in Laos on the Mekong River, and was once the capital of Laos. The city has a great mix of Lao temples and French Indochinese villa-style architecture. There is a large street market with excellent food and handicrafts. On the first day we arrived the weather was very hot, but the remaining days were cold and rainy. Read the rest of this entry »

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Hoi An

19 10 2009
Hoi An

Hoi An

We made it to the unique town of Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage town with old architecture that was not bombed during Vietnam’s turbulent past.  The other great thing is that as a UNESCO designated town, the local government has restricted vehicle access in the historic quarter.  The result is a very nice town that has become a mecca for tourists coming to visit the town and the many tailors that thrive on the steady stream of tourists. Read the rest of this entry »





Birthday in Bangkok

8 08 2009
B-day dinner

B-day dinner

Alexa’s birthday came up while we were in Bangkok, so we treated ourselves to two nights in nice hotel and a fancy birthday dinner at a trendy restaurant called Basil. We had a delicious appetizer plate with many different types of well-prepared food. We also moved to the Sukhumvit area of Bangkok, which is in the modern city center. Read the rest of this entry »





Food and Culture in Poland

7 06 2009
Apple cake, cheese cake, and bread

Apple cake, cheese cake, and bread

We have enjoyed our short time in Poland.  At our hostel in Krakow, we met a entertaining group of high school graduates from Warsaw who had just finished their matriculation exams (tests that determine their college futures).   They spoke great English and we had a good time talking with them, and sampling some Polish vodka.  They clued us in to some great food to try and invited us out to a night club. Read the rest of this entry »





Orava Castle

18 05 2009
Orava Castle

Orava Castle

We took a day trip up to see the Orava Castle, on the border with Poland.  It is on a very tall rock and is one of the most impressive restored castles we have seen.  The tour was pretty good, and involves many stairs up to the top of the rock.  It is built on this massive stone spine and was never conquered, seemingly because it is on such a high cliff. Read the rest of this entry »





Žilina

17 05 2009
Strecno castle in the rain

Strečno castle in the rain

We have been using Žilina as a base to explore some of the castles and ruins in the area before heading into the Mala Fatra mountains.  It rained while we went to Strečno Castle, but we’ll get more views once the weather clears up and we go hiking on the other side of the river. Strečno Castle has an impressive location up on a steep cliff overlooking the Váh River. From the castle, we could see the ridges through the rain that we hope to hike up to see the Mala Fatra park, further to the north.  Of course, we hope to do this with some nicer weather.

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Trenčín

10 05 2009
Trencin castle

Trencin castle

We headed up the Vah River valley from the capital of Bratislava to the city of Trenčín.  We stayed at a nice campground that is on a island in the river and close to the train station and downtown, with showers, a kitchen, bathrooms, etc.  From our campsite we have a great view of the castle on the hill, which is lit up at night. Read the rest of this entry »