Laura421's Guestbook

12th April 2019

Laura, I really enjoy reading your blog of all your adventures. I had no idea on our Russian tour that you were such an avid traveller. I look forward to reading about your new adventure
11th April 2019

Interesting that our group did not take the trains. Maybe to keep costs down & we did not see an observatory. In our book it mentions going there, but perhaps there was a conflict. No one mentioned missing it & I noticed it once we were home. Looks like we saw nearly the same. Wonderful trip & tomorrow I do my slide show on Middle Asia. Just booked a trip to Sicily yesterday.
11th April 2019

Really enjoying these posts, Laura!
These posts are really interesting! You are exploring places I never even dreamt of going. Yes, the info, about camel caravans is kind of a downer, but it's better to know the truth! We missed you in Candide, by the way. It turned out well -- lots of fun. Keep the blogs coming!
11th April 2019

Really enjoy your travel blogs.
We went on an OAT trip that was supposed to go to Lisbon, Portimiao, Gibralter, Tangier, Seville, Cordoba, etc. by small ship. After visiting Portugal which was great, we boarded a small ship and the winds blew up and as a result we missed many of the ports of call on the itinerary due to rough seas. Bummer.
10th April 2019

We did not take the train. Interesting!
9th April 2019

Hi Laura
Thanks Laura for the lovely write up. Great to hear on your travels again. Which tour Co u went with?? Me n my sistwr were thinking of the Balkan countries
7th April 2019

What fun that you are on the Silk Road. Peggy and I did a similar trip with Stanford a couple of years ago. Our most recent trip was to Papua New Guinea a month ago. It got cut short when Peggy slipped in a sweet potato field and broke her ankle. She has had surgery and needs another 4 weeks of no weight bearing-- so very inconvenient. Best, Willis
7th April 2019

The Treasure of a Banana
Nice blog! I have found that no Matter where I travel, people seem to go out of their way to make me welcome. Especially in Africa the people were generous with gifts. They shared what little they have. It is a shame that some people do not appreciate what they have and do not even share their Excesses.
7th April 2019

Liked the blog. I'll look forward to reliving the trip through your future entries.
7th April 2019

Hi Laura, We went with OAT on a tour of Turkmenistan & Uzbekistan. I'm doing a slide show Friday of our trip and it was one of the most interesting travel experiences we've had. I guess our visit to a village speaking to the mayor was most impactful. She was articulate & spoke of how it takes the entire village to make sure all are healthy in body & mind. Our guide called Ashgabat Las Vegas on steroids. So glad we went before many tourists have found it. Just went to Dubai & were wowed by so much work to make the UAE a tourist destination. Keep sending your Blogs. Barbara
6th February 2019

Hi Laura, Just returned from Dubai & Abu Dhabi & we were pleasantly surprised at the continued mass building they're still experiencing. We also enjoyed Guatemala with OAT & I hiked to the top of all the pyramids at Tikal. Dave only did 1 as he's uncomfortable with heights. Thanks for keeping us informed with your travels. We're heading to Iceland with our kids in June & in July our family week in Hawaii & finally 3 months in BC, Canada where we camp for the summer. We're getting older as Dave's 82 & I'm 79 so we're aware our travel time is becoming more limited. We still can do 5 mi. running around during the day on our own, so we're trying to make the best of it. Where's your next adventure? Dave said 2020 we'll do Sicily with OAT. We did Dubai with SmarTours & not even comparable with OAT. Always enjoy your Blogs. Barb
11th October 2018

Laura, On our visit to Lithuania I met the cantor's wife at the main Jewish synagogue. If you have a spare moment would you stop & give her my regards. She impacted me so much & I cried in her arms. She could tell you the story of her husband's struggle to survive as a child. I, too, have family from the area, mainly Belarus. Barbara.
9th October 2018

I felt the tension as you went through passport control in Russia.
8th October 2018

Wonderful Description
This is great Laura. You really hit it right on with your decription. Russia is a place I wanted to visit all my life and I was thrilled to be there and surprised and happy at how clean and safe it was. It was such a wonderful experience made even better by Malcolm and ohr 45 new friends. We were so lucky to have such a wonderful group and such fantastic guides and if course Makcolm and Arturs. The train was definitely a highlight for us as well. Take care.
8th October 2018

Enjoyed the entry to St. Petersburg!
Laura -- Really enjoying these travel blogs! Keep them coming!
8th October 2018

We were just there
Same experience as you with Swan Lake. But there was an orchestra of mandolins that was EXCELLENT! Are you with Road Scholar or another group?
8th October 2018

St. Petersburg Unveiled
Hello dear Eve, This time I took a chance and went with Trafalgar (through Grand European Travel, GET) as they were the only company I could find that travelled to Finland, Moscow, and Belarus along with St. Petersburg and the Baltic States. I'm so glad I did as it was an excellent tour! I hope all is well with you both.
5th October 2018

Russia & Fourteen Islands
We are finally home after a very unusual summer. We had the bear appear 4 different times with his last after we used a bear banger (the noise always scares them). We had an enormous amount of smoke from the over 1,000 fires in the provence (BC in Canada), and a ban on any campfire. We have been coming to Fir Lake (an hour from Williams Lake (7 hours north of Vancouver) for 15 years with about the same 10 couples returning yearly, It was like a family with pot lucks & card games nightly. Several have died (one being only 69), several very sick, others just couldn't make it. (7 made it off & on over the summer & our kids always come for a week & Dave's brother came for a week.) Earlier we went to Uzbekistan & Turkmenistan in Central Asia for 2 weeks. It was truly a surprise & we loved every minute in this undiscovered area. It was clean & the people so very nice. The architecture was amazing with large beautiful byzantine buildings. Genghis Khan settled here and the people have Asian appearances. . We are trying to get settled, but it's difficult being away since May. I'm continuing to digitize my slides (12,000 down & the same to go). Our 28 yr. old grandson decided to go after his masters & will be living with us as we're only 5 miles from Arizona State U. I'm trying to make room for him in our spare room (which I store everything I am working on). Always interested in your Blogs & we've done Russia twice & could go many times more.
From Blog: Fourteen Islands
3rd August 2018

Just now we’re in Canada. Have had several unfortunate bear encounters (just scared me). One tried to enter our trailer at 6:00 am through our front window. We have tinted glass on our window by our bed and it looked like a giant hole. He tried to bang on the window to break in. I grabbed our horn (for scaring him) and he just jumped down from the tongue of our trailer and meandered off. The next time several days later he attacked Dave’s pontoon boat while we were sleeping and it sunk on just one side and he went in the water. He bit the boat and half of it deflated. Dave patched it and is fishing again. Enjoyed your blog, as usual. We always do Free Tour s by Foot. Well worth it!
From Blog: Fourteen Islands
29th July 2018

Scandinavia and the missing umlaut
It’s unusual to find well-written blogs without pictures – but it was the words ‘Lillehammer’ and ‘Cosmos’ that caught my eye, rather than photos, which compelled me to read your recent missives. Many moons ago, I spent more than 35 years in the UK holiday industry. I organised many group skiing tours to Lillehammer and have visited beautiful Norway on many occasions. Cosmos was well-known as an inexpensive tour operator owned by the wealthy Mantegazza family in Switzerland. I didn’t realise the company was still in existence. I now know that, having been sold at one stage and the Cosmos name being discontinued, the family later bought the name back and are once again operating ‘If it’s Tuesday, this must be…’ tours. Now that you’ve given the tour director a deserved kick in the backside, I’m sure you’ll continue to enjoy your Scandinavian tour. Oh, and you might find an umlaut hidden on your computer. Compose your blog in a word-processing program and pressing Ctrl + Shift + : (colon) together, releasing those keys and typing a letter ‘o’ should give you an umlaut – and you too could then enjoy lördagsgodis!* Keep smiling! *You'd then have to copy and paste your text into your blog as it doesn't seem possible to compose the special symbols while in the TravelBlog editor.
29th July 2018

Danke, Mike!
27th July 2018

Tour groups
My sister and I are looking to do the Scandavian countries next year. Want to go on a tour. Interested in seeing how RS was. Any other suggestions would be appreciated.
26th July 2018

I loved reading this blog entry especially the part about the man that you and Bill talked with. The U.S. could do so much more to provide and care for its citizens. Norway is a good example of what can be done to "promote the general welfare." Hugh and I will be traveling to Norway in November in search of the Aurora Borealis. It is through Road Scholar. Your tales of traveling with Cosmos make me appreciate RS even more.
26th July 2018

I had the same experience with Globus.
I used it because Grand circle does a cruise experience with stops. I thought I wanted more land time. Our guide was horrible. We also spent around $1000 for optionals that should have been included. I called Grand Circle/OAT when I got home and told them I had made a huge mistake and would never do it again.
26th July 2018

Wonderful writing as always!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Copenhagen and Cosmos! Your writing is, as always, fantastic!

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