Bill Gumpenberger


Bill Gumpenberger

Wander lust has always been with us but life was always getting in the way! For the past several years, life has slowed down and we've
been able to fulfill our dream - traveling to different countries, learning about their culture, and seeing, first hand the wonders of the world.

Europe » Croatia » Dalmatia » Dubrovnik May 20th 2013

Arriving in Dubrovnik was an adventure to say the least. The baggage handlers in Athens Greece went on strike so our plane was delayed 4 hours and our plane was re-routed and stopped in Zagreb then on to Dubrovnik. We arrived at 1 AM instead of 7PM, the good news was that the B&B we had arranged to stay in was not surprised and had been following the flight details on line and were at the airport to greet us. Their home was high on the hill above the old walled city and the next morning we were greeted with a picture perfect postcard of the old city. However the walk down was enjoyable thru the neighborhood and small alleyways to the city, where we sampled the local produce markets. The main attraction here is the ... read more
Dubrovnik Mkts
Mostar Brigde
Hvar with fort on hill

Europe » Greece » Pelopennese » Nafplion May 20th 2013

Athens city of history and birth of civilization. We had heard so many stories about Athens and Greece--dirty, unfriendly, broke no services crime demonstrations work stoppages. Well none of that was true during our visit to this historic and ancient city. The graffiti is bad and you notice it from the time the train leaves the airport on your trip into the center of the city. However the airport is efficient clean and easy to navigate and we had no problem locating the train platforms, we did have help from very friendly local Athenians. Upon arriving at Symntagna square we then hailed a local yellow cab to complete our journey to our hotel. Our first night we ventured a few blocks from the hotel and found a great Italian restaurant and of course the ever present ... read more
Acropolis from Ancient Agoura
Long ballastrade of museum ancient agoura
Museums of Ancient Agoura

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague » Old Town October 11th 2012

Prior to retiring, we made ourselves a promise, if a last minute travel deal came our way we would take advantage and jump on it!. We put our every day life on hold and organized a trip based on this last minute deal to Eastern Europe - specifically the cities of Warsaw & Krakow in Poland, Prague and Czecky Krumlov in the Czech Republic, Vienna, Austria and Budapest, Hungary. This part of the world has always been on our list. The air flight deal we found was to Warsaw so on August 28th we scheduled our trip leaving Portland on September 13th and returning October 4th. We began researching hotels and quickly learned that the month of September is convention month in Poland and The Czech Republic so we did not always get our first request. ... read more
Old Warsaw main square
Cloth house in main square of Krakow
Cathederal of Wawel Castle Krakow Poland

Asia » India » Uttar Pradesh » Agra February 26th 2012

India a country of many contrasts and much history. It is a country that is a shock to your senses and at times polar opposites, poverty/wealth - filth/spotless - drab/colorful - quiet/loud - caring/ruthless. We arrived in New Delhi after a 14 hour flight from Chicago, which was not as bad as you might think and Air India was very accommodating and it helped that the plane had 100 empty seats so we could spread out and get some sleep. Our first experience with Delhi traffic was an eye opening experience and you instantly knew you never wanted to drive any motorized vehicle in this country. The roads are crammed with every imaginable variety of transportation from 4 legged to 2 wheels. It is survival of the fittest and the biggest vehicle always has the right ... read more
Tilting Bus in Delhi Traffic
India Gate in Delhi

Africa » South Africa » Gauteng » Johannesburg » Soweto May 3rd 2011

Leaving New York’s JFK airport on Tuesday May 3rd was the beginning of an adventure we have not done before. A 14 hour flight to Johannesburg South Africa and then a 2 hour flight to Cape Town where we met the rest of our Smart Tour travelers. We are in high hopes of seeing the big 5 animals in Kruger, Hluhluwe Imozozo, and Chobie National Parks while visiting the countries South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe. Our first days were uneventful unless you consider that on the 2nd day we overslept and missed the bus for Table Mountain and the tour of the Southern Cape. After a hurried breakfast and a cab ride, and circular tram we found our group at the top of 3,100ft Table Mountain with a view of the cape and the city. One ... read more
2 New York how far
3 Table Mtn 1
4  Cape of Good Hope

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London September 3rd 2010

Thanks to friends in Verrado, Peter and Helen O'Grady we are doing a house exchange since they will be in Arizona while we are in the UK. There home is in the Northumberland area in the village of Shotley Bridge. The funny thing is we sold our home in Vancouver and have nothing to exchange with at this time. However next summer the Pearl District in Portland, Oregon will be our home and Peter and Helen can enjoy the city as well as the majestic beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Started with 4 days in London and then added an extra day to take in morre of the sights of this magnificent city and enjoyed two plays, Les Miserable and Billy Elliott. Missed a ride on The Eye since we never got a pure blue sky ... read more
Edinbourgh 1
ir21 Hiking on the Dingle Pennisula

Panama the last Central American country we visited, and we were not sure about what to do or see other than than the Canal of course. Without it Panama may still be part of Columbia. The French went broke building it due to a bad design and yellow fever. The main French stockholder obtained power of attorney from the 12 main families in Panama and made a deal with the USA to complete the project. As expected America and the Frenchman were the winners and the Panamanians realized it after the fact. The canal is something to see ships carrying 4,400 containers squeeze into a lock with 2 feet on either side is something you don’t forget. The thing you have to realize is that Gatun Lake in the center of the isthmus makes the canal ... read more

Our final Costa Rica stop is the OSA Peninsula where we spent a week at the Iguana Lodge on the Golfo Dolce, a tropical fiord. Who knew there were tropical fiords. We always thought they were only in Scandinavian countries. I am sure a fiord, by any other name, does not have accommodations like Iguana Lodge. Lauren and Toby, owners of Iguana, were great hosts and have created a new high water mark for the hospitality industry. They were friendly and professional and complimented by the wonderful staff they employed: Giovanni, Vladimir, Sydner, Maxine, Andre, Marti an a few others. We stayed in one of their casitas, a screened tree house 12 feet off the ground surrounded by the tropical foliage of the Osa. Waking up to the screeching Macaw and howler monkeys with the pounding ... read more
Iquana Lodge
Scarlet Maccaw
Green Parrot

Central America Caribbean » Costa Rica January 31st 2010

“Pura Vida” the good life is Costa Rica’s mantra. So we took them at their word and our first stop was the Pura Vida Spa and Yoga retreat in Alajuela. We enjoyed three days of relaxation, massages, yoga, vegetarian food, with the occasional piece of chicken or fish for the lesser of the species. We enjoyed our time from our glass walled room with the lights of San Jose and the rolling hills of coffee plantations and forest. After driving five hours we found ourselves on the Pacific in Samara, a layed back, surfer, expat, tourist town with the warm waves of the Pacific lapping at the beach. We awoke each morning to a sunrise and an hour walk on the beach, and our days were spent in the little town or sitting under a pallapa ... read more
Pura Vida Resort Grounds
Bird of Paradise
Hammocks and fountain at Pura Vida

We are on our 2010 adventure, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. Currently December 29, 2010 sitting in Terminal 3 Phoenix Sky Harbor airport waiting to board the flight to Miami and then on to Managua, Nicaragua. Six weeks of sun warmth and adventure. Warm waters of the Blue Caribean and waves on the Pacific, zip lining and of course the jungle of the Osa Pennisula in Costa Rica. The final stop the big ditch (Panama Canal). New Years Eve found us in Granada and a French restaurant enjoying the festivities. Fireworks were loud and numerous, no shortage in this country. Volcano’s in Nicaragua are like Starbucks in Seattle, one on every street corner. So we toured Masaya volcano with its smokey caldron and great views of the area. Also a visit to the colorful Masaya native ... read more
Hotel Colonial Pool
Masaya Volcano crater
Cross over Masaya Volcano

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