Thursday, October 23, 2014

Copenhagen

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We were very fortunate to be able to stay at houses our friends owned in several places, and Copenhagen was one of those.  We made friends with several of the people on the cruise we took in the Galapagos, and we’ve kept up with them by email and Facebook.  We met lots of amazing people along the way, and when you meet other people who enjoy travel as much as you do, and you’ve had shared experiences with them as well, these are people you want to hold on to.  For all the crap people talk about Facebook, it’s been one of the easiest ways for us to casually keep up with friends we met along the way on our trip.  While in Budapeşt Lana shared a photo of her gelato (big surprise) on Facebook.  Our friend Judith, who we met on our Galapagos cruise, commented to ask if we were planning to visit her hometown of Copenhagen.  When we said yes and told her when we’d be in town, she then offered to let us stay at her apartment, since hotels there are quite expensive.  We were thrilled, both just to see a friendly face, but also because as we quickly discovered, she was absolutely correct about the price of hotels. Money aisde, the notion of a stay in someone’s home and access to their kitchen was always a most attractive option.  We accepted immediately.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Denmark

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With our friend Nicole on her way back to the US, we were back to hunter-gatherer mode of finding a place to sleep each night, and deciding where to go.  We had a flight to Copenhagen, but no firm plans yet, and we only booked a hotel for our first night there one day in advance.  However, we were renting a car, and we knew we could be a lot more flexible with arrangements.  We felt right at home in Denmark as soon as we stepped off the plane.  One of our first sights in the airport was the folded paper lamp we have hanging in our dining room at home; here it was in a small gift shop on the concourse.  When we reached the luggage carousel, our bags were already there, side-by-side.  It was definitely one of our best airport experiences.

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Monday, October 6, 2014

Vienna

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We arrived in Vienna by train from Prague, not long after noon.  After locating the apartment we were renting together, we found a place to eat lunch, and encountered Berner-Würstel for the first—but certainly not the last—time.  Vas ist das?  It’s cheese-stuffed sausage, which is then wrapped in bacon.  It originates in Austria, and we kept coming back to it—it’s extremely tasty, if we even need to clarify that.  Cheese stuffed bacon wrapped sausages--how could it not?

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Packing your life up for a year


Packing all of your belongings up for being away for a year is surprisingly different from simply moving, where you pack up, move, and then immediately unpack again.  We expected it to be different, but our preconceptions were not very accurate.  We are both organized, list-making, plan-ahead people.  We’ve moved efficiently in the past, so we didn’t feel particularly challenged by the idea of packing everything up, and then moving back into our house again a year later.  While we didn’t fail spectacularly in any sense, it wasn’t as smooth as we’d hoped.  In hindsight, we found a number of things we wish we’d known to anticipate.  If you’re packing up for an extended period—whether for travel or not, we hope some of these realizations will help you.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Dresden

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We visited Dresden, Germany as a day trip from Prague.  The drive took just under two hours, and was very scenic; a portion of the drive was on the Autobahn, which wasn’t really any more exciting than any stretch of interstate highway between Montana and North Dakota, or Kansas and Colorado.   We parked blocks from the center of old town, in a parking lot that paved over some great building that had been bombed, but never rebuilt under Communist rule in East Germany.  The city center was full of gaping spaces that had been re-purposed as parking lots, or in some cases, simply fenced off pits.

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