Page 8 of rrruss Travel Blog Posts

Asia » Thailand January 14th 2017

It was raining when we left Chiang Mai. It rained heavily throughout the near four hour bus ride to Chiang Rai. It then rained almost non-stop during our 2 day stay, not that we let it affect our enjoyment. Indeed, we loved it there so much that we are considering returning for a longer stay in years to come. First though, the bus. It wasnt too bad, although still not nothing compared to the VIP buses we have seen. What was remarkable was the way we bought our tickets. When you visit the Green Bus website look for the English option then select your route. In Chiang Rai you need to select Terminal 1 as, despite the bus stopping there, Terminal 2 produces no bookable option. Make sure you put something in the comments box otherwise ... read more

Asia » Thailand January 10th 2017

Sat at the bus station in Sukhothai, we breathed a sigh of relief as the rickety old bus pulled away without us on board. We had paid extra for the first class option with air conditioning and a toilet. When it eventually arrived 20 minutes late, we were horrified to discover the toilet was out of order and the air conditioning was set to arctic levels! The seven hour journey to Chiang Mai wasn't so bad though as there were several comfort stops along the way. On arrival we were herded into small red cattle trucks, one of which took us close to our hotel. The Rita Hotel turned out to be a great place to stay if you excuse the drunken backpackers who returned at 2.30am with loud music blaring out. They were asked to ... read more

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Sukhothai January 5th 2017

It took seven hours on the bus to get from Bangkok to Sukhothai. In reality it wasnt a bad journey but we were quite pleased to get there. At the bus staton all the foreigners were squeezed onto a local bus rather like a mini cattle truck. Luckily our hotel was the first stop and soon we were freshening up in our room ready to investigate the nightlife! We were staying in New Sukhothaui, some 11km from the ruins of the ancient capital. It is by no means a large town, nor is there really a lot to do within the town itself. To get to our hotel we had to walk through the market and thankfully the pungent smell from the fish sellers didn't drift too far down the road. There are a handful of ... read more

Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok January 3rd 2017

Sukumvit hasn't changed much in the past few years but there do seem to be a few more bars, restaurants and convenience stores than we remember. We have certainly enjoyed being back in Asia from a culinary perspective and the relaxed feel to the place has suited us down to the ground. We saw in the New Year with our friends Nat and Ian, and their young daughter, Orla. It had been over 5 years since we had last seen Nat when we were working in Tunisia. Orla wasn't even a glint in her eyes back then! Ian is working in Bangkok for a while and by sheer coincidence they were staying just 4 streets away from our hotel. It was a subdued celebration with fireworks banned presumably out of respect for the mourning period which ... read more
No! This is wrong!
Crispy crunchy crickets
Fast boat along the river

Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok January 3rd 2017

With no work lined up in January or February we have taken the opportunity to return to South East Asia for a bit of travelling. There will be some familiar places on this trip, but most of it will be new for us. We're quite excited really! KLM announced a few months ago that they were going to start flying from Alicante to Amsterdam, from where connections are available to the rest of the world. That meant we could get to Bangkok with just one change instead of the two changes we have to make if we fly with Qatar. The promotional prices to launch the route were unmissable so here we are back in Bangkok. The seats were nowhere near as comfortable as Qatar and the Boeing 777 was full so we had to endure ... read more

Europe » Poland » Pomerania » Gdansk May 6th 2016

Go to Gdansk - NOW! You won't regret it!! We certainly didn't. I have to admit though, I couldn't imagine what there could be to see and do there, because my judgement was clouded by 1980s newsreels of shipyards, striking dockers and Lech Wałęsa. It turned out to be a beautiful place with a fascinating history. We stayed at Hostel 22 which isn't too long a taxi journey from the bus or train stations. It is a lovely hotel, and not really a hostel despite the name. There are two slight negative points though. The murals on the walls of the bedrooms may give you nightmares! Ours was decorated with a picture of a fish market but I kept thinking the man in it was about to slap me in the face with a wet fish! ... read more
War Memorial
Riverside Gdansk
The stuff of nightmares!

Europe » Poland » Kuyavian-Pomeranian » Torun May 4th 2016

We took the train from Warsaw's rather grand Central station to Torun, a journey of just over two and a half hours. Torun was a place I had never heard of and so we were surprised when our friends put it on the agenda. It was about halfway between Warsaw and our next destination, Gdansk, and we are so pleased that this decision had been made for us. What a fantastic city to visit. I'd like to say there were fewer tourists but I can't. It was a public holiday in Poland and the place was packed with Polish tourists. Oh well, you can never win! A taxi took us over the River Vistual and dropped us right outside the Hotel Spirchz, just inside the old city gates. What a great choice of hotel this was. ... read more
The Magic Fountains
Old city gate

Europe » Poland » Masovia » Warsaw May 2nd 2016

It's probably 16 or 17 years since we last visited Warsaw so we had expected a lot of changes. I think the biggest change was the infrastructure and getting around the city is now incredibly easy. The other noticeable change is the language skills, especially in English, which the citizens of the Polish capital have acquired. We flew in to Warsaw's Modlin Airport which is the best part of an hour out of the city, but the transfer on the Modlin Bus was comfortable and cheap, and the wifi was amazing! if you fly with Ryanair, they are planning on relocating to Chopin Airport later this year, which is apparently a little easier to get to. The bus drops you off right outside the Palace of Culture and Science. This old Soviet skyscraper looks like something ... read more
Palace of Culture and Science
Moody shot of the old town at night
The Museum of Neon

North America » United States » New Mexico » Ruidoso May 25th 2015

Our base in New Mexico was Ruidoso, a small town in the Sierra Blanca mountains. From there we had some great days out, but there was also quite a lot for us to explore within easy reach of Liz and Steve's cabin. The cabin itself was wonderful. It's one of life's pleasures to soak in a hot tub on the terrace, sipping a cold bottle of beer while watching the hummingbirds come and go! We found the town of Ruidoso quite charming. It's full of lovely little shops selling all sorts of tempting gifts. Wooden carvings are prolific and feature bears, eagles and aliens. There are some great art and furniture stores too. It's just a shame that we didn't have enough room to bring the things back that we would have bought. Still, we're not ... read more
"Inn of the Mountain Gods" Casino
Native American Art
Even the woodpeckers like hummingbird nectar

It's not often that we find ourselves in the right place at the right time on our travels. It's quite normal for us to miss some event that we would have gone to by just a day or two. So, imagine our surprised when our timing turned out to be perfect for the opening weekend of horse racing at Ruidoso Downs. Off we went back to New Mexico dreaming of making a fortune as winner after winner came in. Sadly, that really was just a dream! The reality was that in the opening five races we had won the grand total of ZERO. Still, the view was nice as the racecourse is beautifully located with a backdrop of pine covered mountains. The beer was pretty good too, and we even succumbed to some new baseball caps ... read more
Quarter mile dash
Race card

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