Richard P. Johns

Smooth Operator

Richard P. Johns



'Tempus Fugit' - Time Flies and Anyone travelling knows that time passes much to quickly. I have started adding blogs for our Central and Eastern Europe trip from May 2018. Its great to have an easy way to stay in touch with everyone and show off some photos.

My travels so far include Europe, North America, Central America, South America, The Caribbean, South East Asia, China, Japan, Iceland, Australia and New Zealand. Feel free to ask questions if you're going to any of these places.

I am eyeing up the north coast of South America for our next trip but have to wait for vacation time to accumulate.

All the best on your travels!



South America » Argentina » Buenos Aires » Buenos Aires December 8th 2019

Dear Friends and Family, After travelling 28 hours from door to door, Ann, Riley and I arrive in Buenos Aires, Argentina. We stopped in Toronto to change planes and then in Santiago just to walk in a big circle and get back on the same plane. We used Uber to get from the airport to the Airbnb and found it to be really reliable and cheap to get around in Argentina and later Chile. We were staying in the Palermo district that boasts lots of coffee shops, restaurants and grocery shops. For my birthday, we did a big walking tour of Buenos Aires. We started in the Caminito at the colourful buildings and market stalls. We walked north to La Bombonera (home to the Boca Juniors), the playground at the Parque Flora Native, San Telmo, Plaza ... read more
Caminito, BA
Exercising near Puerto Madero, BA
Casa Rosada, BA

Antarctica » Antarctica » South Shetland Islands December 2nd 2019

Dear Friends and Family, I hope this update finds you all well. Due to the recent self isolation policy for Covid-19, I have had time to finish my travel blog. I hope this reminds you of better times. Stay safe. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ My journey to Antarctica began with a family vacation to South America. I left my family to relax in the hot weather of Buenos Aires, and caught a plane down to Ushuaia. All went smoothly and I checked into my hotel the day before my Antarctica Expedition with Quark Adventures. This gave me plenty of time to head to the Tierra Del Fuego National Park for hiking. A local mini-van dropped me at one end of the park in Zaratiegui Bay. From there I was told it’s a four hour trek along the coast, past ... read more
Tierra del Fuego
Coastal Walk at Tierra del Fuego
Richard at the bottom of South America

North America » Canada » Alberta » Drumheller May 26th 2019

Riley, Ann and I took a long weekend trip to Calgary and Drumheller. We started at the Calgary Zoo which has a wonderful collection of animals. They also have a fun section with dinosaurs that you bump into along the trail. Riley's favourite animals were the penguins. We rented a car and drove to Drumheller to visit the town, the Tyrrell Museum and the Hoodoos. Riley's favourite dinosaurs were the Pterodactyls and the Tyrannosaurus Rex. We got to hike into the badlands and along the Hoodoo Trail. We also crossed the Star Mine suspension bridge before another visit to the museum. Lots to do on a quick trip.... read more
Riley makes a friend
Riley changed his name to Joey
Penguins

North America » United States » California » Los Angeles » Anaheim January 23rd 2019

Riley and Richard take off on a boys only trip to the Happiest Place on Earth! We had five days to live it up and let Mum relax. We went to California Adventure for two days, Disneyland for one and everyday in the hotel pool. Our first stop was Cars land where Riley saw Lightening McQueen, Mater and Red. His first ride was the Cars land race that scared him off rides for a bit. We also saw Woody, Cap, the Black Panther and Spidey. We saw the Guardians of the Galaxy in a dance off party. We met with Goofy, Mickey, Donald and Groot. The next day we entered Disneyland. Riley was brave and tried the Indiana Jones ride. But his favourite ride was 'It's a Small World'. Riley took photos with Snow White, Cinderella ... read more
Riley on the plane on the way to Disneyland
First stop at the Disney Store
Up

Europe » Italy » Veneto » Venice May 4th 2018

Our first interesting stop in Italy was at the fortress town of Palmanova, a nine pointed star shaped fortress. While its larger design can only be seen from an aerial view, the huge fortifications and moats are pretty impressive from the ground. We arrived during the middle of a marathon, so after we walked into the centre of town, we mingled with the runners and walkers following the trails around the fortifications. Our next stop was a beach day at Bibione beach on the Mediterranean Sea. Riley got the chance to play in the sand with his cars and build sand castles. We all walked out to the end of the pier for lunch. We left in the early afternoon which allowed us to arrive in Venice early. We got one of the last parking spots ... read more
Aerial view of the star shaped fortress at Palmanova
Pier at Bibione beach
Arriving in Venice, Monte Dei Paschi Di Siena

Europe » Slovenia » Istria » Piran April 28th 2018

We had arrived in Zagreb late so managed to find the main square and have some cheese sticks, truffle pasta and gnocchi before passing out. Early to bed, early to rise. I managed to sneak out before 6am and get a good look at the city. I was pleasantly surprised as I had not heard too much about Zagreb. The early morning light was great for photos. I walked a series of parks: Park Zrinjevac, Park Josipa Jurja Strossmayera, Park Ledeni, over to the Botanical Gardens, and back via the Mimara, the National Theatre and the Museum of Arts and Crafts. I waked to the elevated town along the Strossmayerovo šetališteto to see St. Mark’s Church, then back past Zagreb Cathedral. While Ann got coffee, Riley and I took a short drive to the Zagreb Mirogoj ... read more
Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb
Mirogoj Cemetery, Zagreb
The pathway at the Plitvice Lakes waterfalls

Europe » Hungary » Central Hungary » Budapest April 24th 2018

We left Munich early and arrived in Salzburg in the morning. We parked near Schloss Mirabell and made our own tour of the filming locations from the Sound of Music. Everywhere you go, you are reminded that this is Salzburg’s favourite movie. Film locations include the winged Pegasus statue, the grumpy gnomes, the Mozart bridge, the Felsenreitschule Riding School and Salzburg Marionette Theater. Of course, we visited them all over the course of the day. Riley really liked the playground at Mirabell Park that had a pyramid that reached over 40 feet with a big slide at the top. We crossed over the Salzach River into the old town and had lunch in a cozy outdoor courtyard. I moved the car to a parking lot located inside a mountain and went off to visit the Horse ... read more
Re-enacting the Sound of Music at the Entrance to Mirabell Palace
Makartsteg Bridge (with love locks)
View of Salzburg from Hohensalzburg Fortress

Europe » Liechtenstein » Vaduz April 20th 2018

The Johns Family are off on holiday to Central and Eastern Europe. We caught a cheap flight from Seattle, USA and rented a car in Zurich, Switzerland to take us on a loop through Europe. The best thing about the car is we could get outside the cities and explore areas that are not as accessible. We arrived in Zurich at 6:30am so had a bonus day to visit some unplanned stops including the city of Bern that overlooks the Aare River and the walled medieval town of Murten. We found our hotel in Interlaken and stayed on the highest floor with a view out over the mountains. We went for a hike to the Unspunnen Castle ruins and found a nice tail back along the ridge. The next day we drove into the Lauterbrunnen valley, ... read more
Medieval Murten, Switzerland
Our Hotel in Interlaken, Switzerland
Ann at the Unspunnen Castle ruins

North America » United States » Florida » Orlando » Disney World October 13th 2017

We are back! Ann, Riley and I returned from a fabulous vacation in the Caribbean and at Walt Disney World. I’ve included a couple tips for Walt Disney World at the bottom of this blog as we found them very helpful for avoiding long lines, saving money and generally feeling more efficient. We flew down on a Friday and had a full day Saturday to get acclimatised before heading to the Port Canaveral cruise terminal on Sunday. We had purchased a 5-day (for the price of 4 days) Disney World pass. Instead of trying to squeeze all 5 days at the end of our trip, we decided to use one before we cruised. We slept in after our midnight arrival then took an Uber car to Disney World Hollywood Studios. We had read that it was ... read more
Good times on the cruise ship
Largest cruise ship on the ocean
Ann and Riley in Haiti

Europe » Ireland » County Galway » Galway March 12th 2017

Dear friends and family, Our jaunt over the Atlantic Ocean took us to the edges of the island of Ireland, then to visit family in Altrincham and finally to the Temple Bar district of Dublin. We wasted no time by picking up our car from the airport at 9am and heading south to Powerscourt House and the Powerscourt Waterfall. We took the road to Sally’s Gap so I could revisit Guinness Lake where Carl and I had ventured over 10 years ago. We were not expecting the snowfall that turned many cars around, but we powered on. We came back down from the Wicklow Mountains into the monastic retreat at Glendalough where we walked past the lower lake to the upper lake (in the rain). We stayed in Kilkenny the first night and had a brief ... read more
Powerscourt cherubs
Glendalough in the distance
Hore Abbey




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