Page 4 of bsktcase Travel Blog Posts


Europe » Poland » Pomerania » Gdansk August 28th 2010

The unthinkable has happened - I'm too tired to blog. AGAIN. I know, right? WTF is up with wearing self out on the actual vacation instead of saving some energy for the Internet?? Fortunately for my loyal readers, the neighbors in this guest house just got in and are a bit noisy... Friday night, arrived in Gdańsk, Poland, after about an hour's delay leaving Reykjavík on Iceland Express. (No one could have predicted that a product called "IE" might have quality and reliability problems...) As many of you had already heard me relate many times, Iceland Express flight 267 direct from Reykjavík to Gdańsk operates only on Fridays. In the summer. Of which August 27 was the very last instance for all of 2010. So many ways to go horribly wrong! I may perhaps regale everyone ... read more
Witamy w Gdańsku!
Beautiful wet waterfront
Magical meteorological Merrells

Europe » Iceland » Southwest » Grindavík August 27th 2010

Just got back from a 3-hour soak at Bláa lónið, the Blue Lagoon in Iceland. It's a big natural pool full of geothermally heated water, silica and minerals, algae, and all sorts of things that are supposed to be very good for you. It's also full of tourists, and old European dudes in Speedos. I'm not convinced either one of those is as good for you. Thanks to my early Icelandair flight from Seattle to Reykjavík, I caught Reykjavík Excursions' first bus from Keflavík Airport, arriving at the Blue Lagoon just at opening time, 9 AM. We had secure storage for our luggage and I opted to rent a swimsuit (€5 or €7 or something) rather than deal with soggy swimwear for the rest of the day's travel. It fit! They give out snazzy plastic wristbands ... read more
Arrival
The Blue Lagoon

North America » United States » Washington » Burien August 26th 2010

I've been using TripIt.com to organize specific travel plans, and a Google Docs spreadsheet to track details and compare options, but neither one of them works well at all as a trip-sharing platform to let other people know the obvious basic questions: where am I going, for how long, and why? Without further ado: Seattle, Washington - depart Aug 26 IcelandAir flight FI680 from Seattle to Reykjavik, 7 hours Reykjavík, Ísland- Aug 27* English name: Reykjavík, Iceland * Language: Icelandic * Time zone: GMT (UTC +0) * Average temperature on these dates: 55F... read more

North America » United States » Washington » Burien July 22nd 2010

... and perhaps more importantly, I got back from the Embassy of Belarus in Washington, DC: my passport, with the visa securely affixed therein.... read more

North America » United States » Washington » Burien July 9th 2010

I like to plan. I'm a planner. So I'm the proud owner of one round-trip airline ticket, six one-way airline tickets, one (soon to be two, I hope) travel entry/exit visas, one pre-paid hotel room, seven hotel reservations, and one pre-paid transport/tour. It's pretty much all done, but I don't get to go for another two months. I pretty much just get to sit here and admire my spreadsheet. It's color-coded! Are we there yet?... read more

Europe » Austria » Vienna » Vienna April 4th 2009

We now resume this travel blog after a ridiculous blogging hiatus that there was no good reason for. Welcome back! Pretend it's April in Vienna.... Today we spent an inordinate amount of our day sitting in the hot (!) sun waiting for the High Speed Catamaran To, it turns out, Nowhere. Where we were trying to go, and perhaps this was our first problem, was the city of Bratislava, capital of Slovakia, just down the Danube River (yes, that one) from Vienna. Why Bratislava? Rick Steves has this to say: "Conveniently located Bratislava — the capital of Slovakia, on the Danube between Vienna and Budapest... read more
Breakfast of Champions
Dixieland Band
Votivkirche

Europe » Austria » Salzburg » Salzburg April 3rd 2009

... tired old Sound of Music jokes when talking about Salzburg? Actually, much credit goes to Greg for "going native" and appreciating Salzburg in the proper European manner: as the first home of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. At the end of our trip, he even commented that were it not for Mozart, tourists might not visit Salzburg at all! Meanwhile I'm humming "Edelweiss" (hint: not a traditional Austrian tune) and trying to remember where-all the von Trapp children danced during the "Do Re Mi" montage. OK, I only did that a little bit. :) ÖBB offers a high-speed direct route, under three hours from Wien (Vienna) to Budapest, Hungary on their RailJet line. We seriously considered making a day trip there, but ultimately decided that such a large cit... read more
Frühstück
Mozarts Geburtshaus
Feh!

Europe » Austria » Vienna » Vienna April 2nd 2009

As Germanophiles know, the German language often builds words by mushing together several small words into one big long word. Students of German are frequently advised to tackle intimidatingly long German words by looking for smaller pieces that might themselves be words the student can recognize. For this reason, I found it very curious that the German word for cemetery is "Friedhof", because I am all-too-well acquainted with a Bahnhof, which means train station, and all its many variations (Hauptbahnhof, U-Bahnhof, Busbahnhof, Flughafenbahnhof, and so on). I couldn't figure out what a cemetery would have in common with a train station to make them both "-hof", so I looked it up. It turns out Hof means "yard" or "court", so a train station is a "rail-yard", and hey, we have those in English too. And Greg ... read more
Great Composers
Greg and Schönberg
Soviet WWII section

Europe » Austria » Vienna » Vienna April 1st 2009

It snowed back in Seattle today. Online in the afternoon, I witnessed a flood of Tweets/Facebook stati from home proclaiming it "Mother Nature's April Fool's Joke" (all by people who don't know each other). Here, our 1. April was utterly free of Aprilscherze (April Fool's Jokes), even from my pun-loving sweetheart, for which I blame residual jet lag. :) We set out this morning to visit Greg's #1 destination, the Haus der Musik interactive museum. It's very much like Seattle's Pacific Science Center but devoted to sound and music. I was surprised when Greg rated it so highly, because it seemed more like a hands-on learning center and more for kids, which is great and all but is not something to which grown-ups necessarily want to devote precious Vienna time. The first few floors of the ... read more
Mozartstühle
Beethoven's hearing
Sammiches!

Europe » Austria » Vienna » Vienna March 31st 2009

Grüße aus Wien! (Greetings from Vienna!) Reason #1 to take fewer, longer trips to Europe: 15+ hours of travel, mostly in coach class. (This is of special concern if you are a fat American and don't fit well in coach seats.) Miserable. We were in really rough shape upon arrival in Wien (Vienna). Fortunately for us, two nice things happened as soon as we got here. First, a delightful gentleman (who looked and sounded a lot like a professor) saw us studying our map inside the U-Bahn (subway) station and offered to take us with him to the Universität Wien (University of Vienna), then marched up to a Polizei (police) van to ask them in German for directions to exactly the street beyond the Universität where our Pension is located. (We didn't bother to tell him ... read more
Beethoven schlief hier
Rathaus bei Dunkelwerden




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