Page 3 of Laura421 Travel Blog Posts


Europe » Sweden » Stockholm County » Stockholm July 17th 2018

Stockholm is lovely. An archipelago of fourteen islands, it is a gorgeous city full of wonderful things to do. We had only one day to explore Sweden's capital city, our last day of this trip. Yesterday afternoon as soon as we arrived at our outlier hotel, Bill and I along with two of our adventurous friends spent time at the front desk figuring out the best way to get into the city. The four of us had wanted to take one of the free walking tours of the Old Town part of Stockholm, Gamla Stan, the original city center, and this tour met at 5:30PM so we hoped we could get there in time. From our hotel it was not a clear run into the city; we had to walk several minutes, then take a bus ... read more

Europe » Norway » Eastern Norway » Lillehammer July 15th 2018

At the point that Bill and I were about to leave this Cosmos tour of Scandinavia, I thought it was only fair that we should talk with our program director to let her know about our dissatisfaction with the lack of information and the non-centrally located hotels offered on this trip. This was not a comfortable thing for me to do. She obviously knew about the hotel locations (and may have picked them herself), but seemed surprised when I mentioned that we had expected frequent commentaries during the bus rides; she said she thought no one was interested since no one was asking questions. We were sitting in the back of the bus, so it wasn't possible for her to hear us at all, but I felt it was up to her as the program director ... read more

Europe » Norway » Western Norway » Bergen July 13th 2018

All in all we spent five nights in Norway, travelling from one side of the country to the other and then back again further north. Our first stop was in Oslo, and then we had part of a morning's respite north of the Telemark area where we had a much too short visit to the Vemork Museum, learning about heavy water and the history of the plant that was blown up in WWII. This is an amazing museum; our young guide, Simon, was an exceptional teacher. Most of our group wanted to spend more time here as those who knew about this plant were fascinated by the information offered, and those of us who hadn't known about heavy water wanted to learn more. But on this tour there was never enough time; we always had to ... read more

Europe » Norway » Southern Norway July 11th 2018

Even though the seeds of desire to travel had been planted in me at a very young age, I wasn't able to start exploring on my own until I was a teenager. This was in the 1960s, a tumultuous time that matched and reflected the internal torments and changes happening within. At the end of weeks of summer camp before heading home, telling my parents I was staying with new friends for awhile (somewhat true), I would go hitchhiking with another adventurous young person and over the years ultimately travelling to many parts of North America in this economic and exciting way. It was relatively safe to hitchhike back then. We Baby Boomers have always been catered to simply because of our numbers; we are an enormous percentage of the population, so it was fairly common ... read more

Europe » Denmark July 8th 2018

Since I was nine years old I have wanted to travel to Norway and other foreign countries. In my 4th grade geography book I got lost in several captivating photos of Norway, and dearly wanted to go and live there myself. Mountains, and snow, fiords and lakes everywhere, smiling tall people with long white-blond hair wearing beautiful knitted wool sweaters, it all captured my imagination and wouldn't let go. I also wanted to see the tulips in Amsterdam, and bike along the canals there, flying by ancient windmills and seeing Dutch families living in windmills and wearing their white cornered hats and wooden shoes. It was such an exciting and exotic world to see, but I was stuck in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with only my feet and streetcars to take me anywhere, if I was even allowed ... read more


The shuttle from our B&B in Montego Bay met us at the airport (where our bus from Kingston had let us off), deposited us at our hotel, and promptly disappeared. Once we were ensconced we wanted to go exploring, and we needed food and water. Learning that the beach/town shuttle only ran twice each day, and that we had missed the last run, we wondered how we were to get into town, given that everyone said it was too far to walk. The lovely woman at the front desk spoke with another employee who was finishing her work for the day, and asked her if she would show us where to catch a taxi into town. Andrea was willing, and the three of us walked down the hill and waited until the right taxi came by. ... read more


Yesterday was the solstice. In about two weeks Maine will start to lose minutes of daylight, declining over an hour by the end of July, losing almost two hours from peak daylight by the end of August. It's a very quick, steep decline in northern New England, a fast slide from long, easy, warm summer days towards our bitterly cold, snow-filled, very long lasting winters. Here in the Caribbean the daylight doesn't change much with the seasons, and it is no surprise that it is consistently hot in summer. But in Jamaica AC is everywhere, making life much more comfortable, although, as in the US, it is frequently turned on much too cold! I like what I've seen of Jamaica so far, but I am tired of waiting for and riding in city busses. In the ... read more


There is a breeze coming through the gate doors now, lessening the oppressive heat that stays in this casa much of the day. There is no connected air conditioning here, which was an unwelcome surprise, not at all what this B&B had advertised. There are ceiling fans in most of the rooms, allowing for restless sleeping, plus the fans - especially if you are directly beneath one - make the heat almost tolerable. We sweat so much, which is actually good for releasing toxins, but we need to drink tons of water to replenish fluids that are continually lost. Since I've been here in Santo Domingo I drink at least twice as much as I do at home, and still I'm probably dehydrated. Our poor kidneys are overworked! My youngest daughter Laila and I had planned ... read more

North America » United States » Maine May 15th 2018

It rained a few nights ago, and when I took my early morning walk I saw that there were hundreds, probably thousands, of worms looking as if they were either dead or gasping their last breaths, spread out like litter all over our dirt road. While I thought that the rain had flooded the worms' passageways to and from their homes just underneath the surface of the road causing them to flee or be killed, scientists theorize that this is not true. Worms surface for migration purposes; it is easier for them to move when things are wet. Also they do not drown as humans would; they can stay submerged for days without any negative consequences. Yet another theory is that in hearing rain, worms flee because rain sounds like mole vibrations, and moles love to ... read more

Middle East » Israel April 26th 2018

Outside my window, not too far away, I can see the Dead Sea. It is a beautiful sight! I've floated in it twice, although after the first time most of us said one experience was enough. But yesterday Zvi offered a mud bath before bathing in this gorgeous lowest point on earth, so it was impossible to refuse, even though I have never - even as a child - enjoyed playing in mud. This would be a unique experience! Six of us appeared at the appointed time and walked down to the sea. Our outfits would have been remarkable in any other place: two were dressed as many other tourists chose to do, in bathrobes supplied by the spa; three wore their regular clothes, and I wore a towel over my swimsuit. I had received a ... read more




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