Sunday, September 7, 2014

Tehran, Iran – Day 1 – Qeytariyeh and Tajrish


North of Tehran buffered by the Alborz Mountains. 
A long day of travel and lots of joy tears later, I found myself, with my parents, in Tehran, Iran.  My head hit the pillow and I was out cold until the morning. Besides being overjoyed at being able to see my parents after so many months away, I was thrilled to be back in Iran for a second time. My first trip, with my family, was during Dec – Jan of 2005-2006 for three weeks. That trip was pre-blog, so I’ve never written about it much besides a few photo essays. I’ll just quickly say that that trip remains in my top three best all time trips so far.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

My First Tropical Island - Koh Rong Island, Cambodia



For someone who travels as much as I do, it might seem strange that I had never been to a tropical island. But that was exactly the case until several months ago. I finally visited my first tropical island, Koh Rong Island, off the coast of Cambodia.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Bali Eco Cycle Tour


While in Bali, I had the great pleasure of taking the Bali Eco Cycle Tour. It was recommended by a friend and it was an excellent recommendation. It showed the side of Bali I was looking for, the culture and the countryside. It was a full day tour that was balanced in a way that you never felt bored or rushed.
We were picked up in a van between 7:30 and 8:00 am. (I was picked up at a random supermarket that I was told was close to where I was staying, it wasn't and I got chased by a very scary dog on the way. I uttered a scream I didn't now I had in me, as it chased me up a hill on the outskirts of Ubud.)  By the end of pickups we had a group of 9 people, plus our guide Argus or Augus, I’m not really sure which one it actually was. We learned through the day that Argus was a funny man, a jokester. He was subtle about it and for a second you thought he was telling you a real fact about Balinese culture when in fact it was a joke. It made for a very entertaining day. As with all tours, the guide makes all the difference in the end.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

That time I drank "Poo" coffee in Bali.

Roasting the coffee by hand. 
When I was in Vietnam I started hearing about “poo coffee.” It is supposed to be a high end type of coffee that is essentially a non digested coffee bean that an animal eventually expels.  That’s right. The animal eats the beans, passes them, they are collected, cleaned many times, and then roasted by hand. I’m not kidding. It is nicknamed, poo coffee. There are a few different types of animals that are used for this purpose because the conditions in their body do not digest the actual bean. The digestive conditions are supposed to do something to treat the bean in a way that can’t happen anywhere else. Clearly I think this is a gimmick to charge more for coffee, but I decided to suspend my disbelief for a while.

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Introverts Guide to the British Museum


The Great Court. 
I’ve visited London numerous times. Each time, I stay in a different neighborhood, which allows me to explore the city one corner at a time. This method is clearly flawed. It means you miss out on some of the other great things in the city if you focus on just one neighborhood. The only way this works is if you know you are going to be a regular visitor. I've made a lot more trips to London than I would have ever originally imagined. However, one big spot has always escaped me, The British Museum  This is rather odd since I used to have a minor obsession with the Rosetta Stone. Honestly, the first two trips I didn’t even know it was IN the British Museum, so, my bad.
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