Grand Voyages, Great Adventures
By suggestion of TigerLilly, who's been doing some traveling of her own lately: a place to talk about one's travel adventures (in the physical world!). Great road trips, the time you got a gig crewing on a yacht, your years in the Peace Corps, the time you walked the Great Wall... You get the idea!
Doc Holiday said as he looked down at his feet, and then promptly died.
Yes TigerLilly, at least "we" can find humor in life which, according to my personal observations, is one blessing not shared by those making it such. Very enjoyabe story and I'll attempt to imagine an attuned conclusion, for both you and your kids. Keep us posted.
The Dude Abides!
The woman was somewhat shocked to discover that the most cost-effective route between Sevilla and Frankfurt was via Palma de Mallorca. Not Barcelona, not Madrid, but Palma. "Oh well," she said to herself while fighting through Air Berlin's complicated, yet user-friendly online booking system, "have never been to Mallorca, so can at least see it from the air".
As was a short weekend trip, the woman only had one small duffel bag with her. She had to check it though, due to strict flight regulations against carrying on such things as toothpaste. (we all know how dangerous a strong, anti-cavity substance can be), so she checked said bag in Sevilla, via Palma, ending up in Frankfurt. Bag was an ancient, brown sport duffel bag, with a whopping 4 kilos.
Flight itself between Sevilla and Palma was uneventful. The woman had a wonderful view of Palma from the air, and all was good. Was a small problem in the Palma airport with a drunken, annoying Argentinian shouting about having 10,000 euros in his sock, who was very annoyingly and persistantly attached to the woman. Unfortunately he was also on the same plane, but is another story.
So the woman finally landed in Frankfurt, in the middle of the night, and was waiting at the baggage belt with her new friend from the plane, who helped her shake the annoying Argentinian. She waited and waited, but her bag did not come. She was very annoyed, because the bag not only contained the dangerous toothpaste, but solution for her contact lenses, AND the brand-new soccer shoes that were a birthday gift for her daughter, from the woman's new boss in Spain. The very first brand-new pair of soccer shoes the woman's daughter had ever owned, so was precious cargo indeed!
The woman found out the next day that her bag had made a journey from Palma, not to Frankfurt, but to Copenhagen. The day after that the woman learned that the proper Danish airline employees seemed incapable of dealing with the matter of this missing brown bag, and were refusing ALL communication with the baggage authorities in Frankfurt. Needless to say, the woman's daughter was asking her every 5 minutes when the bag is coming, and her son was asking too, as he was anxiously awaiting the tin of Spanish octopus salad that was also in the bag.
Is the 3rd day, and bag is still missing. Stay tuned for further adventures of this small brown bag and its solitary trip to Copenhagen, eluding the Danish baggage handlers.
Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone, you will still exist, but you have ceased to live.
Looking at extending this journey in a few more days if I can organize a couple of little things first! More to come most likely... ;)
Are you kind?
Too many epic journeys to mention...
Here's the latest, just got in off the road and feeling it!
Just finished a big tour around Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Belarus and Russia!
The route which I improvised along the way with the help of a few books and advice from fellow travelers upon the road was: Hamburg>Quedlinburg(sweet!)>Wernigerode(beautiful!)>
Naumberg>Weimar>Erfurt(fantastic-w/ a bridge with houses and shops on both sides so that u can't even see the river!)>Gotha>Mittelbau-Dora>Fulda>Kassel>Marburg(nice!)>
Frankfurt(crappy!)>Hamburg>Stettin>Warsaw(I like!)>Vilnius(nice!)>Kaunas(not so touristy and interesting!)>Klaipeda>Nida>Liepaja>Ventspils>Kap Kolka>Riga(Russian mafia strip-joints)>Turaida>Cesis>Valka(crappiest Communist style hotel ever!)>Tartu(primo!)>some little villages in south east Estonia whose names I forget which were lovely>Lake Piepsi>Tallinn(my fav. baltic city!!!)>Haapsaalu>Kuresaare>Parnu>Riga>Vilnius>Minsk(strange place-had fun!!)>Brest(nice time had!!)>Grodno(pretty but small!)>Vilnius>Kaliningrad(Russian crap housing blocks that make the ghettos in the USA look stylie but folks there keep their self respect still!!)>Warsaw>Berlin(more museums and art galleries then u can shake a stick at!)>Hamburg!!! Did gigs in Tallinn, Minsk and Brest and just roamed around the rest meeting far out folks! Crazy to play gigs in a dictatorship! I'll post some vids from that on youtube later this week.
Not getting arrested for playing freedom music in Belarus, even after doing a medley on the street in front of the Presidents Palace and having it videoed.
Hitching a ride on a boat to cross a river I didn't see on the map in rural Estonia and not missing the bus I was trying to catch.
Having a Belarus soldier help me out taking me around Brest even letting me wear his army hat for a photo op in front of T-34 tanks at a war memorial.
Finding out there really are good folks out there, everywhere, who are "on to IT"!
Are you kind?
The wife and I honeymooned in the Riviera Maya!!! All Inclusive resort at Dreams Tulum. Treated like royalty and the beaches are as white and as soft as can be. Highly recomend this journey!!!
Good job CC Joe! I should've guessed that you might be the one to bring that entry up. In these paranoid times one thinks they know the score when they "see" things but little do any of us "know". CIA could easily stand for, Culinary Institute of America or Curiously Intuitive Adult(s). My son attempted to attend the university of the former in NY (we couldn't afford the tuition) while I would love to start a real assemblage of the latter. I have no real interest in foreign politics, have never been paid a cent for anything I've ever cooked and care little for our domestic spying program, albeit run by NSA not CIA, truth be known (but the satellite photo thing is something I hadn't thought of, frankly). I am glad no foreign spammers have begun clogging up our site with crap postings, links to porn and such (I can find my own porn, thank you very much). Sorry, I have a bit of Andy Kaufman in my personality (and he's tryin' to get out!). Anyone ever see, "Man on the Moon"? (sorry, wrong thread).
Viva la Revolution!
you gotta pacify my old lady since it was her 'puter; not mine. no permanent damage, apparently, but there is a distinct odor.
that said, green tea is healthy, and it keeps me strong, so she forgives you.
thanks for the welcome back, always nice to be 'home' I am here, kind of part time for the next few weeks, but with a bit of luck, I may get techno access to start up the game show again in a few weeks.
bowling is incredibly popular in China I am told by Chinese friends, by the by.
back in 1990 did they have the satellite photo technology to take pictures of license plates from space like they do these days? if so, there may be some really emBARE-ASSing pics of us floating around the CIA offices...
I should have said it is not visible with the "naked" eye from space. (ouch- that was a terrible pun)
"fucking feds!" Tony Soprano
I knew that crap about being seen from space was bullshit! I hear they have some bowling alleys at The Wall that can be heard from space, though! Bowling is the biggest tourist draw for China, in fact. I don't know this first hand ;-) I've only been to the Great Bowl of China which is over on Radford over by the In N Out Burger. Those are "grate" burgers!
Hey great to "see" you again, CC Joe. Hope the green tea wasn't too much for your 'puter.
Fuck it Dude, let's go bowlin'...
Nixon was definatley dosed when he went to the Wall -- what was it he kept muttering? "it is indeed a Great Wall... it is indeed a Great Wall... it is indeed a Great Wall..."
(shameless paraphrase from Doonesbury circa 1975)
The Great Wall is accessable from Beijing in 3 or 4 typical tourist drop off spots, but Badaling is the most common - where Nixon went. It was re-built in many places for tourists since during the Mao era a lot of local folks just kind of picked up the stones and carted them off to build their own 'little walls'
The thing to do, is take a really cheap Chinese tour bus up to the Wall, OK, you will NOT have a tour guide who speaks English, and you will not have any idea of where you are at any given moment or where you are going, but you will have an experience, and you will get to Badaling after a while and after stops at plenty of schlocky tourist sites on the way. We got into the habbit of having the driver of the bus write down what time we would leave so as not to get left behind. (key advice - please take note!)
OK, the real advice, Go early! Even going eraly, there will be literally thousands and thousands of people there.
And now the ULTIMATE advice; Wherever you arrive at the wall, if the crowd turns left to go to the Wall, please turn right.
You will eventually get to some guarded gates or stairs leading up to the wall. The gorgon at the gate is not evil, and being westerners you will usually be allowed to access the Wall at these less than well-known spots. This means, (we went up to the wall 3 or 4 times back around 1990, and again around 2000) you will be on a semi-private area of the Wall overlooking the valley accross which you will see the throngs of tourists. On one occassion, the soldier stood up, kind of gestured with his rifle that we should go back; we smiled, I took out my camera (a big rig in those days) and he immediately got into a pose. I went to shake his hand, slipped him a US $ or 2, and he let us up.
Other times, we simply found some broken down stairs and made our way up onto secluded areas. We packed a picnic lunch and essentially had miles of the wall to ourselves to enjoy. Hiking about 20 or 30 minutes in reverse of the crowd, in the opposite direction away from the parking lots, we found our way. From pictures or videos, you can not fathom how long that fucker is. Like a snake winding through the mountains, it stretches farther than the eye can see. And NO, it is not visible from "space" like the urban legends of NASA might suggest, but it is a really, really cool place.
Who else here can say that they got laid on the Grate Wall of China?!