Tuesday, September 14, 2010

5 - Paris Strike - Part Deux 2010

Written by Karen
Eiffel Tower
We arrived in Paris on a Sunday afternoon under warm, blue skies, but the Parisians were a bit cranky.  Maybe because it was hot, or maybe it was all of the talk about the strike.  Strike?  What strike?  Well, it came as a surprise to us that during the months of July and August, everyone is away on holiday and doesn’t want to think about politics.  But, come September, voila...let the games begin. 

Dispatch from Adam - 2010

Oui apologize for the inconvenience...
Yes, there have been a few.  France is quite an interesting place.  If you should stop by a brasserie for a little something to eat anywhere in Paris, they seem to be able to handle that fairly well.  We have not even found the surly waiter.  But waiting?  We have found that.  Get in one line to get your number in line.  Then keep an eye on the monitor that displays what number is coming up; not next, but more like several events beyond next.  Then, after an eternity, you are declared next.  “Everything looks good”, the lady with control of the computer says, but all you have to do now is to find the line at the train station to do what might have been easier accomplished at the train office downtown, especially since you have already waited in a line.  Maybe the presence of lines in a train office are somehow more appropriate, since tracks are lines that should not cross.  People got angry in there, since some lines were obviously crossed.  I think that is why they call them train lines.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

3 - Impressions of Amsterdam - 2010

Written by Karen
Dutch Clogs
It takes a few days, once you begin any journey, to work out the kinks and to become acclimated to your new circumstances.  We are on our third full day of our journey, and I think we are close to that stage of becoming acclimated.  This blog entry will be a brief synopsis looking backwards. If you’re interested...I will be updating this blog whenever I can, and I’ll try and keep it interesting!
Amsterdam is a very enjoyable city; it has a compact human-scale feeling to it.  No really high skyscrapers.  Someone told us that the height limit in Amsterdam was four stories. Even with 12 foot ceilings, the skyline is pretty flat, so you never feel like you are in the shadows of a huge building.  Which is really nice if you walk the city.  We spend most of our time perusing neighborhoods, canal streets and exploring the city by foot.  We also visited the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh museum and participated in the Heineken experience tour.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

2 - So...why Europe and why now? 2010

Written by Karen
Lac d'Annecy, France
So... we decided to go backpacking through Europe a few months ago.  I scheduled a 3-week vacation in September - one of the shoulder months that we try and plan our travels around.  There are less crowds; usually good weather; and, better travel deals.  We bandied about several different destinations, but instead of the typical 7 – 10 days that usually defined our vacations, we decided that this year we would go for a longer period of time.  Why?  Different and the usual reasons.  But, for me, the biggest reason was that after Adam had his emergency quadruple heart bypass surgery at the young age of 50 last Thanksgiving, due to genetics, the ripe knowledge of life being short could no longer be ignored, but had to be plucked and savored.  If not now, when? 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

1 - Countdown to our upcoming European backpacking adventure - 2010

Written by Karen
Our Packs
We start this blog with an upcoming European backpacking adventure:  21 days; a 21-country Eurail Pass; and, daypacks. Yes, daypacks and a goal to carry less than 20 pounds, in total for the 21-day trip.