Page 3 of Fort Fun Granola Boy Travel Blog Posts

Europe » Denmark » Region Hovedstaden » Copenhagen July 13th 2009

So...Copenhagen has quickly risen in the ranks to one of my favourite places! First, the train from Munich to Hamburg took most of the day, and the German announcer was greatly apologetic that the train was running 3 minutes late. Such is German punctuality...but, considering I had only 5 minutes to make my train from Hamburg to Copenhagen, much appreciated. What no one told me when I booked the train, of course, is that the train boards a ferry for the final leg between Germany and Denmark. So we all got out and shuffled into the ferry, where they were more than happy to sell us the usual Duty-Free tripe. Hey, if the Scotch was actually any cheaper than back home, then of course I'd buy some...but it's not. I sat with a group of 10 ... read more
Train At Sea
Girl in Downtown Copenhagen
Copenhagen From Observatory

Europe » Denmark » Region Hovedstaden » Copenhagen July 12th 2009

Internet of sorts...though still paying by the minute, sadly...the router gods have yet to smile upon the rest of the world with abundant free wi-fi. Go USA! :-) The last few days have been an absolute blur. The 7th I spent the day exploring Istanbul, then took the sleeper train overnight to Bucharest, Romania, passing thru Bulgaria. I shared the room with a Denver-ite, of all people, though he hadn't lived there in some time. The train was vintage Soviet sleeper, hardly the standard of comfort. We were awoke at 3 am when we pulled into the Turkish/Bulgarian we all unloaded the train, bleary eyed, only to find that there was no one in the immigration office. This didn't seem to concern our train staff too much...they had plenty of whiskey and cigs, so they ... read more
Istanbul Cathedral
Don't let this happen to you
Istanbul waterfront

Europe » Hungary » Central Hungary » Budapest July 10th 2009

This will be another quick one... I'm facing my 3rd night in a sleeper train - which is saving me money on hostels, but I'm slowly crossing the border from smelly and oily to really quite rancid. I may be forced to use the train shower...shudder with me now. The train from Istanbul to Bucharest was pretty ghetto and hot, but definitely way better than toughing it out in a hard seat for 20 hours. I'll have to save my stories for another time, but hilarity ensues when the train staff speak Russian...only. My 1 year of Russian didn't quite prepare me for that. Last night was the train from Bucharest to Budapest - I was lucky to have the cabin to myself, and it was an amazing sunset ride up through the Transylvanian Alps. Then, ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul July 7th 2009

Ah, the internet! Glorious, unhindered access allows me to once again report on traveling, drug dealers, incidents, and iPhones. Read on. Getting to Syria was fairly straightforward. I was able to return the rental to its home without so much as a scrape, sorry but I'm kind of proud about this fact. The staffer from the car rental "shack" on the side of the motorway (who shall go nameless to protect the guilty, helpful and otherwise) offered to take me straight to Abdali bus station in Amman. Now, I had grown pretty suspicious of anyone offering anything in Jordan because I usu. found a hefty "tip" to be expected, but in this case I laid my suspicions to rest and figured, why not. Turns out, this guy actually lived in New Jersey for something like 8 ... read more
By the Nat'l Museum
Mosiac in Greek
Souq, Damascus

Middle East » Syria » North » Aleppo July 6th 2009

I've got so much to say about Syria...but precious few moments here at the ol' internet cafe (so far, I think, the only one I've found in Aleppo...). I'll be uploading pics, but it may take a few days before I'm not paying by the minute and trying to make travel plans at the same time. It appears *leaving* Syria is a bit more complicated than entering. Syria is inexplicably chaotic and friendly. You seemingly take your life into your hands every time you step on (or, more usually, off) a sidewalk or, God forbid, try to cross a street. And do I have some stories about scamming taxi drivers for you! Like they say, always leave 'em wanting more. Salaam alaykum. ps - Facebook is "blocked" in Syria. So it goes.... read more

Middle East » Jordan » North » Jerash July 2nd 2009

So this will be my last night in Jordan! Tomorrow I head north to Damascus. Yesterday Joe, Steph and I made the 3-hour trek up from Wadi Musa into the heart of the beast - Amman. I have to say, we did pretty freakin' spectacular navigating all the way through town into the very centre. We even found a parking spot straight away. I'm pretty proud. I was sad to say goodbye to Joe and Steph and the awesome conversations we had. Getting out of Amman was hardly straightforward, which begs a brief description of what Jordanian "driving" really consists of: First, if you're used to street names and such thing here. In fact, you'll be driving along, and suddenly the road will "split"'s up to you to pick left or right...or up the hill. ... read more
View from Mt Nebo
Columns at Jerash

Middle East » Jordan » South » Petra July 1st 2009

And now...Petra. I started out early for a morning run yesterday. Folks don't seem to open up shop very early around here, so I figured a 6 am run would be a little less uncomfortable. I ran up the steep hill from Wadi Musa into a neighbourhood, very quiet and no traffic. Key. On my way back down the hill I met a friendly guy working on his car and an older guy waiting on a corner, presumably for a bus. As I passed he yelled out "Yes! Quickly!" Fun guy. Then the early start @ Petra. The descent from the Outer Siq was nice, most of the touts hadn't gotten to work yet. It's about a 2k walk to the Treasury, which can't help but be impressive. One thing I noticed coming into the Treasury, ... read more
How not to dress in Jordan
Nabatean High Place
Petra from the High Place

Middle East » Jordan » West » Madaba June 30th 2009

Wow, so much to write. Internet has been a little spotty - deal. Bethany, Nathan, McKenzie, and Rachel took me to the bus station in Fang, for the 3-hour van ride to Chiang Rai. I already miss them - crap. I sat next to a monk on the ride down, and he knew English fairly well. He even negotiated me a kickin' fare for a tuk-tuk back to the airport! Steve's travel hint for today: when your new monk friend negotiates your fare, you win. The flight to BKK was uneventful - I ended up spending a little more than I normally would to get a decent hotel right near the airport. It even had a fitness center - spot on. As I planned my Jordan itinerary on the flight to Abu Dhabi, I began to ... read more
This looks important...(?)
Jesus Baptism Site
Sitting on the Job

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Mae Salong June 26th 2009

The past few days we've spent with Billy and Kelly of Ambassadors In Sport, going from school to school teaching soccer skills, teaching about God, and generally having a riotous good time with our young Thai friends. Soccer joins the nations together in a common bond, more than anything else I've seen. Today was spent up in the Chinese tea village of Mae Salong. I rode in the back of the pickup up some intense mountain scenery and bordering hilltribes. Tomorrow will be a relaxing morning before the insanity - a 4 hour van ride back to Chiang Mai, an hour flight to BKK, then the day after I catch my flight for Amman, Jordan! Which begs the I really know what I'm about to get myself into? I'm not sure how long it will ... read more
Terraced Farming

Asia » Laos June 24th 2009

Yesterday (Tuesday) Nathan, Rachel and I set out for Burma. I'm starting to gain a real appreciation for the miracle that is 7-11. They're like the Thai Starbucks - absolutely viral. I got myself a tasty ice cream bar on the way. Over lunch we met up with Billy and Kelly, who work with a sports ministry here in Thailand. Bethany and Nathan's ministry is working a lot with Billy to get some futbol into the schools, and of course to include teaching about morality and God in the process. Crossed into Burma, where you could buy...cigarettes!!! Wow! I had no idea such delights were available. I am supposing, of course, that the sarcasm is noted. So after leaving this glorified shopping mall, we headed back to Thailand where we came to Mae Sai. A small ... read more
Merchant in Burma
Don't Touch the Bear
Speedboat to Laos

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