Alexander Waring

alex waring

Alexander Waring

Hello there!

Thanks for reading my blog. I started it in 2010 to keep a record of my travels, to let people know how I'm going, and also to keep me sane at times while I'm on the road!

I have written up my 28 most recent journeys so far, and have no plans at all to stop travelling just yet.

93 countries down, 102 more to go - watch this space!


Dear All Yay! I have arrived in San Francisco! One of America’s greatest and most famous cities – and here I am in it! The contrast with Los Angeles could not be greater, and instantly I think I prefer SF. It feels much more like the kind of city that I know, with walkable streets and friendly faces, rather than the impersonal and hulking great urban, concrete sprawl of LA which doesn’t really seem to have much character to my mind. And while SF seems to get all the bad press regarding crime, it feels much safer here than in LA. In the latter, there were people sleeping on the Metro and spending their day laid down on the seats as the trains went back and forth. I even saw a young lady with a baby ... read more
View from the Coit Tower
Filbert Street
17-Mile Drive

North America » United States » California » Monterey April 2nd 2024

Dear All Oh my goodness, what an absolutely incredible couple of days I've just had on this amazing California Road Trip. It's been filled with stunning scenery and captivating wildlife. Just when I thought this trip couldn't get any better, it pulled out another stunner on me! Last I wrote, I was just about to leave lovely Santa Barbara. I had another exciting day of driving ahead of me, with a couple of stops scheduled on my way to my next destination, Monterey. First up, and not far from Santa Barbara, I drove past the Vandenberg Space Force Base. This was for my brother (Hi Patrick if you're reading this!), who's a big fan of SpaceX and Elon Musk. Apparently, on that very evening, they were sending another rocket up into space, from this very space ... read more
Elephant Seal
Harbour Seal Mum and Pup, Nursing
Hearst Castle

Dear All Wow! How lovely to be on the Californian coast again, and in a relaxed and friendly place! While it was definitely cool being in Santa Monica and Venice Beach back in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara is like a chilled version of them. Pacific coast and beach, with a calm and genteel atmosphere - lovely! And it is also such a contrast to my three days up in the spectacular, snowy and chilly Sierra Nevada! My Road Trip has certainly taken a different turn, and I'm really enjoying it! Saturday was certainly a long drive from Yosemite to Santa Barbara, driving down first from the high Sierra Nevada mountain range, across the Central Californian Valley through Fresno and nearly back to Bakersfield again, and then up and over the Santa Ynez Mountains which run parallel ... read more
Santa Barbara County Courthouse
Palm Trees

Dear All Yay! Greetings from Yosemite National Park! This is probably the place on this trip that I've been most excited about visiting. There is something special I think in simply saying its name, as well as it being one of the world's first national parks. My visit has also come after my interest in Scottish explorer Join Muir, his rather eccentric way of looking at nature during a time when other men were seeking to subdue it, and as a result his influence on the creation of such special parks afforded national protection all over the world. Thank you Mr Muir! After my morning in snowy Kings Canyon National Park on Thursday, I drove onwards and northwards to the Park's more famous neighbour and cousin, the Yosemite National Park. On the way I passed through ... read more
Yosemite Valley
Arch Rock
Me, El Capitan

Dear All Wahey! My California Road Trip 2024 has officially begun! On a Wednesday morning, I said goodbye to my cosy Lawndale motel and picked up a hire car near LAX Airport - a black Nissan SUV. I faced the dreaded LA freeway system, and found that despite a bit of slower moving traffic, it wasn't all that bad. After around 30 minutes of urban sprawl, driving north through Hollywood and Burbank, the surrounding landscape turned to curvaceous and sparsely vegetated mountains, as the highway passed through Angeles National Park. While I loved the places I visited in LA, the city as a whole wasn't my favourite, and I was glad to be leaving. I think it was a combination of unfriendly people and massive urban concrete sprawl that just didn't do it for me, and ... read more
Me, General Sherman Tree
Local Deer

North America » United States » California » Los Angeles March 26th 2024

Dear All After a great start in Hollywood, I enjoyed my second day exploring more of Los Angeles. As mentioned in my previous, there is quite a lot to see in this big city, so I had to narrow my sightseeing down. I focused on seeing the places which are etched into my mind, and make me think of Los Angeles. The kinds of places that I'd seen on film or TV, but wanted to see for myself that they existed. One of these places I decided to explore on this second day, and that was Santa Monica! It was in my mind for its beach and pier, for its setting for the iconic 90s TV series that I grew up with, Baywatch, and for the Sheryl Crow lyrics: "until the sun comes up over Santa ... read more
Amity Island Jaws Set
Downtown LA

North America » United States » California » Los Angeles March 24th 2024

Dear All Yay! California, here I am! I write at the beginning of another two-week adventure through one of my favourite countries - the US of A! This trip was actually four years in the planning, as along with South Africa last summer, this one was also delayed from four years ago due to the world having gone crazy at the time. For my first US trip after that time, I wanted to go to the closest US place to the UK as I could, just in case, and thus I did New England over Easter 2022. And last year I just had to visit my TB friends Merry Jo and Dave for a wonderful time in Florida over Easter 2023. So this year, Easter 2024, I began California! The flight over was good, if a ... read more
Los Angeles
Grauman's Chinese Theatre
Me, Hollywood Boulevard

Europe » Portugal » Lisboa February 14th 2024

Dear All Yay! After four days of travelling through Portugal, I had arrived in its capital city - Lisbon! I always find it interesting to travel in a country first before getting to know its major city. I've actually done this on my four most recent trips: South Africa, Croatia, Albania, and now Portugal. It's as if the whole trip is building up to this crescendo. While I did like Lisbon, I actually preferred the rest of the country. Porto, Coimbra and Fátima were all quintessentially Portuguese, while Lisbon seemed more international and cosmopolitan. Don't get me wrong, I also like international and cosmopolitan, but the main reason I visit a country is to find out about the country itself. I think this was done best for me in the non-capital areas of Portugal. Still, my ... read more
Lisbon Tram
Elevador de Santa Justa
Me, Torre de Belém

Europe » Portugal » Central » Fátima February 12th 2024

Dear All Praise the Lord! What an absolutely wonderful day I had today! I spent it on a Pilgrimage in Fátima, one of Catholicism's holiest sites in the world and visited by around five million pilgrims each year. On this day in February, I was one of them. As I believe I mentioned in my last blog, my arrival in Fátima the evening before was just ethereal. The sun was setting and darkness encroaching, as a thick drizzly fog had also settled in this high plateau, bringing a kind of hushed peace to the place. The atmosphere felt instantly spiritual, as I made my way to my accommodation a short walk away from the bus station through the back alleys of this special town. I had booked myself into a Convent, the Sisters of the Church, ... read more
Crown of the Virgin of Fátima
Jacinta and Francisco's House
Me, Francisco and Jacinta's House

Europe » Portugal » Central » Coimbra February 11th 2024

Dear All I had a lovely day of explorations today, and feel so happy to be on the road again. In the morning, I bade farewell to my comfortable lodging in Póvoa de Varzim, realising what a great find it was. While Porto was busy and quite touristy, this place to the north of the city was Portuguese and authentic. I could really practise my Portuguese there, which I'd been learning for a few months already before my visit. Being a Spanish speaker, Portuguese is really quite easy to read. It is speaking and listening to it which isn't easy, they speak so fast and really "eat their words", as they say in Spanish, so it's difficult to catch what's being said. I'm enjoying the challenge though! I took the Porto Metro for the last time ... read more
Paço das Escolas
Old St Clare Monastery

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