Page 2 of theadventuresofjonanddonna Travel Blog Posts

Birds spotted today: blue-crowned motmot, cinnamon hummingbirds, white-throated magpie-jay, more macaws, plus: geckos, an iguana, and howler monkeys! My day started off with some early visitors - Sam (head of the Ara Project) and two of his team members came knocking on my door first thing - glad I was already up and eating breakfast and not still in bed! I finished up getting ready to go and then drove over to the Ara site to get started. Spent my morning learning all about the history and inner workings of the project, and the afternoon looking at their record keeping. I was then able to join in on one of their daily tours, joining some tourists in learning about scarlet macaws, great green macaws, and the work of the Ara Project in helping these two bird ... read more

Birds seen today: boat-billed flycatcher, scarlet macaws, pelican, turquoise-browed motmot After a sleep-in, I unpacked into my new home. Saw my first bird of the day out my bedroom window, a boat-billed flycatcher (followed by some local chickens!). After a little stroll through the village, I decided to take a drive and started out at Punta Islita’s beach, where I waded in the Pacific. The heat is much more bearable when you have the water and the wind coming off the waves! The coast here is very dramatic - more mountainous and less beachy. As I walked along the beach, I heard the familiar parrot screech and looked up to see 3 scarlet macaws in the treetops. Loud rumbling thunder brought in some heavy rains, so I continued my drive back over the roads from the ... read more

Arrived in Toronto before midnight and spent 4-5 hours trying to sleep in the departures / ticketing area, while not falling too asleep to guard my suitcases! (Read: no real sleep!) Finally around 4:30am, I checked to see if I could re-check my suitcase and was glad to offload it :) After wasting a few more hours, my plane finally took off for Costa Rica around 9:00am. Very glad for my exit row seat and my neighbour who decided to sit elsewhere with her friends, leaving a middle empty seat. (Read: an entire 5 hour flight to sleep!) We touched down in San Jose around 12:00pm local time, and I will never tire of the view as you fly over and land in Costa Rica - mountains, jungles, green! The heat and humidity hit you nearly ... read more

North America » Canada » Alberta » Edmonton January 4th 2013

A couple of quick stops this morning to buy just a bit more chocolate before we leave and drop off the keys to the apartment before we made our way to the airport. After that, it was all about airplanes and airports! Found our souvenir magnet at the Zurich airport before boarding our Swiss Air flight to Chicago. Spent the entire flight wathcing movies and eating! They had some of the best food we've ever had on a flight, although one of our neighbours would beg to differ. He was whining so much about the chicken meatloaf that Jon was just about ready to spear the meat with his own fork and eat it for the guy just to shut him up! Got into the Chicago airport around 4:00 and killed our 4 hour layover between ... read more

Europe » Switzerland » North-East » Zürich January 3rd 2013

Another low-key day today. Our first stop was a bird sanctuary in Zurich. Turns out we must miss our buzzards at home, because we were fascinated watching and listening to all the different birds. They even had some toucans and mini-lorikeets! Very calming and relaxing for us :) After that we walked around the SihlCity mall where we were finally able to check out a "QualiPet" store, as we've been seeing signs throughout our travels for this store. Had some lunch at a gourmet cafe, very tasty. Then we just headed back to our apartment for some rest and to start packing our bags. Homeward bound tomorrow! Sorry, no pictures today, as the only thing Jon even took a picture of was the "Gallopino chips" we saw at the pet store. Horse meat as dog food ... read more

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Grindelwald January 2nd 2013

Today we decided to make the trip out to Grindelwald again and do some more toboganning, as it may be a while before we are back in Switzerland! We were able to get there earlier today than we did last week, and got in way more runs over the course of the day. Amazing what can be done when you don't lose your partner and you know how to do what you're supposed to be doing! Don't have any pictures to show for it, as we forgot the camera back at our apartment. We considered buying a helmet cam so everyone could get the full experience, but 600 bucks seemed a bit steep! Take our word for it that we are now seasoned tobogganers - we kept getting faster and faster, with more air on the ... read more

Europe » Switzerland » North-West » Berne January 1st 2013

After staying up for New Years and all the fireworks last night, we made it a late start today. Had some breakfast at the hotel and then had a quick driving tour of Bern, including the old town and the bear pits. Didn't get to see any bears...apparently it's time to hibernate :) Our drive back to Zurich took us through the town of Lucerne, but then we were glad to get back to our apartment and cook ourselves dinner for the first time in days. Early night as we are planning to go back to Grindelwald tomorrow for some more toboganning!... read more
Old town Bern
Old town Bern
At the bear pits

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Geneva December 31st 2012

We started our morning in France. After a late start after a few early mornings, we had brunch at a French restaurant called McDonalds and then returned to Switzerland, Geneva in particular. Our first stop was the CERN headquarters - Jon really wanted to see the large hadron super collider, but no tours available over the Christmas season, so he had to settle for a picture at their office while wearing a BAZINGA shirt. Up next, a small park with a flower clock and huge fountain. While we were there, we actually got distracted by all the birds on the shore of Lake Geneva as people were feeding them. I guess we miss our birds! :) Next we went to the headquarters of the UN, Palais des Nations. Unfortunately there were no tours available, so our ... read more
Jon at the CERN headquarters
Jet d'Eau
Donna at Jet d'Eau

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Zermatt December 30th 2012

So after a very pleasant buffet breakfast at our hotel, we were delivered to the train station and took off around 8.00 for our journey back to Zermatt on a regular train – no Glacier Express today! Our train ironically ended up taking us through Zurich on the way, so we waved at our apartment briefly, knowing our bed tonight was far from there! Arrived in Zermatt around 3.00 and promptly bought tickets for another train, this one ascending the mountain pass towards the Matterhorn. Seeing as we were so close, we wanted to see it, and we did! The train took us up to an elevation of approximately 10,000 feet. Spent a few minutes admiring the mountain, and then took another train back down to town. It was dark by the time we returned, so ... read more
The famous Matterhorn
Skiers near Matterhorn
The famous Matterhorn

Europe » Switzerland » South-East » St. Moritz December 29th 2012

We started off our day with a “buffet” breakfast that Sybil convinced us to purchase last night in our tired and weakened state. For a mere 15 francs, we will lay out a feast for you. OK, I know English is not your first language Sybil, but yogurt plus bread plus scrambled eggs does not equal a “buffet”. However, the money has been spent…moving on to our day! We took a train to Zermatt, 10 minutes away, where we had booked tickets on the Glacier Express, the “slowest moving express train in the world”, that takes you through spectacular mountain passes with unparalleled views. A few of the highlights include 291 bridges, 91 tunnels, and traveling over a viaduct! With a few minutes to spare, we peaked into a few shops and purchased some snacks from ... read more
Scenery on our train ride
Scenery on our train ride
Scenery on our train ride

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