NJMar

NJMar

NJMar

I love to travel and to read other people's blogs of their trips and I've discovered that I enjoy writing about my travels. It helps me to remember what I've seen and done, as much as I enjoy sharing my travels with others. I've traveled internationally to India, Costa Rica, Iceland, Germany, Poland, Israel, London, Rhodes, South Africa, Amsterdam, Brussels, Italy, India, Peru, Spain and Portugal. (oh, and I spent a day in Zurich waiting for a flight!) In the US I've been up and down the East Coast and California, and places in Washington, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Ohio, Illinois, New Mexico, Louisiana and Texas (and probably some more states I can't remember at the moment.)



Europe » France » Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur July 23rd 2023

We took an Uber to the Gere Lyon train station in Paris to catch an 11:15 train to Nice. It was, of course, delayed. When it was finally called, there was a crowded mad dash to get to the track and into the train. The trip should have been 5+ hours but it was over 7. At one point there was a long delay because another train had hit an animal on the track??.At first we kept busy with sleeping and doing things on our tablets or phones but it dragged on. The highlight was the great picnic lunch we had brought along. And the French countryside was pretty. When we got closer to our destination the views of the beautiful blue water of the French Riviera helped. We arrived in Nice and eventually got the ... read more
Cap Ferrat
Street in old Town Cagnes Sur Mer

Europe » France » Île-de-France July 21st 2023

Taking a break from talking about what I've seen and done to what I've eaten. With great cheeses and bread, how can you go wrong? Best meal so far...Pain Vin Fromage...a fondue restaurant in the Marias neighborhood : a beautiful cellar like setting with 2 different fondues, bread and potatoes...it was delicious and Kir Royal to wash it down. It was an adventure getting there with clogged roads that caused our Uber driver to tell us to get out and walk, while the others were traveling without wifi to get there. Fortunately the restaurant seated us even though we were an hour late and the meal was totally worth it. Tea in Cafe Lavierve was pretty yummy too. It was in an article in the New York Times '36 Hours in Paris' so Roberta wanted to ... read more
Notre Dame at night
On the boat...our last night in Paris
It sparkles! (The tower, not me!)

Europe » France » Île-de-France July 21st 2023

We've been busy these past 2 days in Paris taking the metro, ubering and of course walking a lot. We've had delicious meals and snacks and a few drinks. Paris is a beautiful city, with very crowded streets and roads. People we've met, especially asked questions of, were very friendly. Cafes seem always busy and people are sitting in them taking their time and enjoying. Terry and I had a plan for our time. While we wanted to relax and take it slow, the draw of things that Rick Steves said we should see, was strong. We had museum reservations each morning. On Wednesday it was the Orsay where we had a date with Rick and the Impressionists. It was beautiful...just seeing the highlights we spent a couple of hours with Monet, Renoir, and Van Gogh. ... read more
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My friend Venus.

Europe » France » Île-de-France July 19th 2023

On a pretty last minute spontaneous decision I'm traveling to Paris and Nice with Terry, Roberta, Cheryl, and Naomi. Terry was feeling the need to take a trip this summer and as long as we found a good deal, I was in. After some time looking at Nova Scotia, we heard about the wild fires and couldn't find a good deal, somehow traveling to Paris became an option. Thanks to Travel zoo, which we'll never use again, and Terry's persistent negotiating skills we got the deal we were looking for. 8 days, really 6, air fare hotels and train all for $2000. Terry and I were never in France and the others had but liked the idea of taking the trip together. France was never high on my travel list but seeing the Eiffel Tower and ... read more
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Our first foray onto the Metro
The vinicular to the Sacre Couer

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos January 25th 2023

This is my last post for this trip. I've been home for 2 days. It was a long and tiring journey home. We left the Carina at 8 in the morning on Tuesday and got back home at 10 am on Wednesday...a dinghy ride to the pier, public bus to the airport, flight to Quayaquil, another one to Quito, 5 hours in a hotel by the airport with Alfredo and the group, back out to the airport at 9 in the evening, a 5 hour flight to Atlanta, a confusing transfer...which gate B17 or A12??, and then the last flight to Newark. It's exhausting to even type it all. I'm determined to finish this blog to cover the last few days of this trip...mostly for my own memory sake. I promised to say something about snorkeling ... read more
Coral
Boobies!
Just hanging out on the dinghy in the middle of the Pacific Ocean

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos January 24th 2023

I'm back on the grid after 5+ days in the Enchanted Islands without internet. I've been taking notes each day but so that this blog actually gets done I'll put them all together into one or two posts. It may be long but I promise lots of beautiful pictures! How to describe this experience...magical, fun, amazing views of volcanos and blue waters, delicious, mostly healthy food, friendly, helpful crew and very knowledgeable and passionate guide, and most of all the giant tortoises, sea lions, sea turtles, dolphins, iguanas, lizards, colorful fish, boobies and so many other birds. By charter bus, plane, local shuttle, and dinghy ride we traveled from Quito to the Galapagos and boarded the Carina, that was our home for the 7 days at sea. Juana was our leader and naturalist. I had a ... read more
This guy met us at the airport.
Out on the dinghy/panga
The Carina...our home for 7 days

South America » Ecuador January 16th 2023

I got behind on blog posts. Sorry! I'm sure you've been sitting on the edge of your seat wondering what we've been up to. This will be a quick summary of the last 3 days as we are leaving for the airport to go to the Galapagos in a few minutes. As the title says we left the rain forest 3 days ago and have been in Quito. It was sad to leave the Amazon. I would rather have been there longer. No bird sounds to be heard around here. We've been sightseeing around the city each day. After landing we went to the Museo Etnohistorico de Artesanias del Ecuador for lunch and a tour. It was a beautiful place with exhibits on the shamens and indigenous communities. Many of us were having a hard time ... read more
Popcorn a typical appetizer and dropped into soup. This potato and cheese soup served at the museum where we had lunch.
Music of indigenous peoples in the museum
Diablo Uma street performer

South America » Chile January 14th 2023

OAT tours always have a cultural immersive experience as part of the tour. Today we visited and had a home hosted lunch with an indigenous Kichwa family and spoke to 2 teachers and met students at 2 different schools along the Napo River. I do love this part of the trip, getting to see how people live their day to day lives. We got around by motorized canoe and walking through the forest to get to the community. One thing that was confirmed for me: Teachers are wonderful giving caring people no matter the language or culture they're teaching. One teacher, Carlos, we met had just 9 students in a one room schoolhouse on the side of the river. The families of these students have no money or way to get their kids to other larger ... read more
View of the river from the open door of the classroom.
Lunch!
Our host demonstrating wrapping fish in banana leaves

South America » Ecuador January 13th 2023

This is a magical place. By plane, school bus and motorized boat we traveled from Quito to Coca and then to Yarina Ecolodge on the Madura River. This river connects with the Nopa River and both go into the Amazon. Before boarding the boat we walked into Coca to the market. Grubs were being sold on the street, a staple of the local diet. No takers from our group but I hear they're delicious. Medicinal herbs and mixtures are sold there by women who are learning to be shamens. Alfredo showed us cures for arthritis, covid kidney stones, and asthma from trees and plants in the Amazon. We ran through a rainstorm to the boat which took us to the lodge. Luckily the boat had drop down plastic sides. The rain stopped as we got close ... read more
A drenched crew on their way to the rainforest
Entry to the lodge
Dock at Coca

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito January 11th 2023

Our tour group gathered in the morning with our guide Alfredo. We are only 9 people, all women except for 1 man. . Introductions were made. Everyone has travelled a lot, and had interesting careers. Of course all are retired. Alfredo has lots of experience and seems very friendly and enthusiastic. He did a short orientation, went over plans, and answered questions. Then we set out for the middle of the world..the Inti Nan Museum, which sits on the equator. Along the way Alfredo talked about the political history of Ecuador, especially in the last 40 years, from El loco to the present. Lots of soap opera drama with leaders who steal millions of dollars and still get reelected. The Inti Nan Museum was a place to take the mandatory picture standing on the 00 00 ... read more
Learning how the ancient people's used sun dials
Our tour group outside the Inti Nan Museum.
Quinoa cakes brunch at the Agave Spirit Museum.




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