Friday, July 30, 2010

Favourite Travel Photos: Olomouc, Czech Republic

The Holy Trinity Column (UNESCO site) and Town Hall

Thursday, July 29, 2010

International Beer of the Week: Bintang

Country: Indonesia

Best Enjoyed: - Kuta Beach, Bali.                      
                         - While exploring Asia’s greatest nightlife in Jakarta

Eat, Pray, Drink Bintang.


A trip to Indonesia wouldn’t be complete without trying their famous local brew: Bir Bintang. Synonymous with sunsets on the beach in Bali and the incredible nightlife of Jakarta, Bintang is a national icon and has been so for over 70 years. Bintang means “Star” in Bahasa Indonesia and Bir Bintang is a true star of the Indonesian beer industry.

Bir Bintang is brewed today by Multi Bintang Indonesia (MBI) a Heineken subsidiary (the bottle and label are reminiscent of a Heineken bottle) and was established out of Indonesia’s Dutch colonial history.

Originally established in 1929 as NV Nederlandsch-Indische Bierbrouwerijen it was not until 1936 that Heineken became a major shareholder. In 1949, following Indonesian independence, the brewery was renamed 'Heineken's Indonesian Brewery Company'. In 1981 the company went public and it became known as PT Multi Bintang Indonesia Tbk (MBI).

Sold mostly in 620 ml bottles, known to most backpackers as “big bintang,” Bir Bintang is Indonesia's leading beer brand, selling more than 1 million hectoliters a year. Bintang is made of selected malt, hops and water and processed with high quality standards, supported by Heineken International. Bintang is labelled as a pilsner type lager beer, bir putih in local term with 4.8% v/v alcohol content.

If you happen to pout the beer from its large green bottle it will produce a small amount of white head on a pale yellow body. While the brewer claims this beer as a pilsner the taste is more akin to a light lager. When you first put the glass (or bottle) to your mouth there is some fizzy carbonation which dies relatively quickly. The typical flavours of hop and malt tones are present with a weak undertone of citrus. It is sweet upfront, which turns to a grainy flavor with little hop characteristics in the finish.

An slightly below average beer when compared with major European brands but an enjoyable part or the whole Indonesian experience. It is highly refreshing on a hot night out in Kuta, Bali or on the humid city streets of Jakarta.

Pro! (cheers)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Favourite Travel Photos: Melbourne

Taken on Christmas Eve at St. Kilda, Melbourne

Vang Vieng: Laos' Backpacker Mecca


Laos is a stunning country inhabited by amazing people. With its breathtaking scenery and colonial history a stay in Laos is an essential addition to any South East Asia travel itinerary. The sleepy capital of Vientiane and the World heritage site of Luang Prabang are both well worth a visit but what will leave the most lasting impression is sure to be the backpacker debauchery that takes place in Vang Vieng.

About 6-8 hours from Luang Prabang and around 3-4 hours from Vientiane, Vang Vieng once was a mere midway point for backpackers travelling between the two popular towns. Today Vang Vieng is a legendary backpacker destination on its own. Surrounded by gorgeous limestone karst mountains Vang Vieng gained its fame as the town to go to for tubing on the Nam Song River. Vang Vieng today is mainly a backpacker town. The main street is littered with guest houses, bars, restaurants, internet cafes and tourist agencies. So how should you spend a day in Vang Vieng you ask?

Your first day in Vang Vieng, roll out of bed around 11 and head straight for Sakura bar. Sakura in the village center stands out with style and also has a projector and a pool table. Sakura provides some nice food to and decently priced drinks to start the day off right! Around 12:30ish it is time to head to the mighty Nam Song River. There are two shops in town that rent tubes and provide transportation to the first tubing bar (did I forget to mention the river is lined with bars?). The first bar is one of the best, so make sure you get to it before everyone moves along down the river.

When you roll up in your tuk tuk you will be impressed. The bars along the river feature pounding music, cheap drinks, and rides, ya that’s right, rides! Now I don’t mean your typical western carnival rides or anything, but these are good. The first bar showcases a massive trapeze swing that launches wannabe daredevils 50 feet into the air before dropping into the refreshing rapids. Further downriver you’ll find several more trapezes of varying heights, jumping platforms, flying foxes and massive slides. If these rides don’t sound dangerous enough already, wait until the drinks start flowing.

Most of the bars along the way have free Lao Lao (cheap Lao liquor) and sell Beer Lao for a reasonable price but the most enjoyable drink on offer is the famous Lao Mojito. Served in a bucket, this sugary blend of mint and Lao Lao is hangover waiting to happen, but damn is it good.

Several bars and several buckets later you are likely to find yourself at one of the bars featuring a mud wrestling pit or perhaps you’ll meet Mr. Lao Lao who is always happy to pour Lao whiskey directly down your throat. All in all a day in Vang Vieng means a wonderful time for most!
This slide is very fast and painful

That being said, keep in mind that tubing in Vang Vieng and the activities associated with it can be very dangerous (several people die every year, and nearly everyone leaves with an injury). Be Careful and do not get too drunk! In addition, it gets dark pretty early due to the steep surrounding mountains; make sure to get a tuk tuk at the first metal bridge if you don’t plan on tubing the entire way back to town (the bars get pretty sparse along the way).


Have Fun!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Recipe: Pad Thai at Home!

Pad Thai is the ultimate Thai dish and my personal favourite. Now you can make this Khoasan classic at home and relive the memories of drunken noodle binges at 5 am.


      1   egg


   4teaspoons      fish sauce       
3clovesgarlic, minced
1/2teaspoon   ground dried chili pepper


ground pepper
1
shallot, minced
2tablespoonsugar
2tablespoontamarind paste
1/2packageThai rice noodles
2tablespoonvegetable oil
1/2-1/4 lbshrimp
2 tablespoons     peanuts
1-1/3cupbean sprouts
















  • Soak the dry noodles in lukewarm water while preparing the other ingredients, for 5-10 minutes. 
  • Rinse the bean sprouts and save half for serving fresh.  Mince shallot and garlic together.
  • Use a wok. If you do not have a wok, any big pot will do. Heat it up on high heat and pour oil in the wok. 
  • Fry the peanuts until toasted and remove them from the wok. Add shallot, garlic and tofu and stir them until they start to brown. 
  • The noodles should be flexible but not expanded at this point. Drain the noodles and add to the wok. Stir quickly to keep things from sticking. 
  • Add tamarind, sugar, fish sauce, and chili pepper. Stir. 
  • The heat should remain high. If your wok is not hot enough, you will see a lot of juice in the wok at this point. Turn up the heat, if it is the case. 
  • Make room for the egg by pushing all noodles to the side of the wok. Crack the egg onto the wok and scramble it until it is almost all cooked. 
  • Fold the egg into the noodles. Add shrimp and stir. Add bean sprouts, chives. Stir a few more times. The noodles should be soft and very tangled. 
  • Pour onto the serving plate and sprinkle with peanuts. 
As always, in Thailand, condiments such as sugar, chili pepper, vinegar and fish sauce should accompany the dish so as it cn be flavoured to personal taste.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Pros and Cons of Travelling Alone

I have been on a total of three backpacking trips so far, twice Europe and once Southeast Asia.  My first trip in Europe I spent the entire six weeks with a good friend of mine with whom i remain to be friends with to this day. The second Euro-trip I took was following a semester abroad in Germany and I travelled for the first two weeks of backpacking with friends from school and the remainder alone.  On my most recent backpacking trip to Asia I began with a long time friend but after nearly two months travelling together I needed to get away and travel on my own for the following two and a half months.  Overall I've had great experiences travelling both with friends and alone and while I have come to prefer solo travel it is not without it's drawbacks. 



The Pros

1. Complete Independence
The feeling of absolute independence is for me unbeatable, and the main  reason I tend towards solo travel.  Just knowing that nobody you know, has any idea exactly where you are and what you are up to at that moment is completely liberating.

2. Meet more people
I found that it is always easier to meet people when travelling alone.  Possibly purely out of necessity, solo-travel will result in meeting more friends and even coming out of your shell a bit (if you are a shyer type). Travelling with your friends from home gives you the excuse to remain introverted which can seriously hamper your travel experience. 

3. Flexibility
I love having the ability to live by my schedule.  Travelling solo means you can wake up one morning and think "I don't really feel like taking the 15 hour bus today," and then you just don't or maybe you decide to take a 10 hour train in the completely opposite direction of what you had originally planned based on a suggestion  of one of your new found friends. 

4. No conflicts
Travelling with a friend, you are likely to have bad days when you are not getting along and don't even want to see the other person. It's not that you dislike your travel mate, or that anything is wrong with them, it's just that spending that much time together can begin to take its toll. When you are travelling alone you are unlikely to ever face these conflicts, and if you ever tire of a person at your hostel, you can pick up your pack and move on. 



The Cons

1. Some lonely days
I personally enjoy being alone a lot (makes me sound really cool, I know) but even I find the long haul buses and trains can be trying.  I also found it can be hard to meet people when you are not in a good hostel or if the town you are in doesn't have a backpacker hostel or hangout.

2. More expensive
When there is an abundance of Hostel's with dorm rooms(as in Europe) this isn't much of an issue.  In Asia, however, many towns have only guest houses and  the cost of splitting a double room is much cheaper that a single room (which is often just a double room with only you in it).

3. Lots of self taken pictures...
I could put together an entire album of photos of me taken with an outstretched right arm.   None of these photos are particularly good or frame-able and I can't help but think that I would have many better pictures of myself if I had been travelling with a friend.  As a result I did learn how to master the self-timer-shot though (pro?)

Personally I will always prefer to travel alone but I understand that it is not for everyone.  If you are going travelling for the first time start with a friend but have the mutual understanding that at some point in the trup you may go your separate ways.

Travel Quotes of the Week

"Half the fun of the travel is the esthetic of lostness."  Ray Bradbury

"The chief reason for drinking is the desire to behave in a certain way, and to be able to blame it on alcohol."  Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Travel Photos: Absolut Ice Bar London

This is just a picture of my drink at the Absolut Ice Bar in London the UK's only permanent bar made of ice and is kept at minus 5 degrees all year round. Everything inside is made out of crystal clear ice harvested especially from the frozen Torne River in Jukkasjarvi, Northern Sweden.

Friday, July 23, 2010

International Beer of the Week: Birra Moretti

Country: Italy

Best Enjoyed: Alongside an Italian dish at a rustic trattoria.

Consumption of beer in Italy, though a growing trend, is not as widespread as in its European neighbours. Italian culture has always had a historical preference for wine. Nonetheless Italy does have it's share of large breweries. The most widely known internationally is Peroni but another beer that its also available outside of europe, is the slightly lesser known Birra Moretti.
Birra Moretti was founded in Udine in 1859 by Luigi Moretti and In 1996 the company was acquired by Heineken International.


What originally convinced me to buy this beer over the more internationally known Peroni was it's intriguing label. The label displays a very Italian looking man raising a mug of beer to his mouth.  After consulting the Birra Moretti website I discovered that the moustached man has an unusual history:

"In 1942, Birra Moretti had already been a popular drink all over Friuli for over 80 years. One day, Commander Lao Menazzi Moretti saw a pleasant-looking old man with a moustache sitting at a little table in the Boschetti di Tricesimo inn. He was just the kind of character Moretti had been looking for to represent the qualities and character of his beer: wholesome, traditional and authentic. Commander Moretti didn’t let him get away. He went up to him and asked the man if he could photograph him and also asked him what he would like in return. "Cal mi dedi di bevi, mi baste" – answered the man in Friuli dialect, which means "Get me a drink, that’ll do."'

Birra Moretti's flagship beer is a European lager that has remained almost unchanged since it was introduced in over 150 years ago in 1859. Its alcohol content is 4.6% alcohol by volume.

When poured from the bottle the beer is clear straw-yellow in colour. Produces a frothywhite head that settles into a creamy white lace.  The beer smells of sweet grains and mildly of grassy hops
The taste is somewhat sweet and a little bready with some grain husk flavours and a very slight metalic taste.  Finishes with an ever so little hop taste.

While not something I will be rushing out to get at my local liquor store, this is a nice beer for a hot Italian summer afternoon to to accompany an Italian dish at a one of Rome's many trattorias.

Salute!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Snake Whiskey Anyone?

As a friend and I we're playing pool in a small bar called "Nam Bar" in Hoi-An, Vietnam we began to befriend the bartender. We were the only patrons that night so the bartender, named Moon, was happy to let us play whatever music we liked and gave us lots of great local information about the town.  At one point he asked us if we wanted to try some "Snake whiskey." I was immediately intrigued as i love to try local food and drinks, no matter how much they differ from Western norms.  He took us to the back room of the bar where there was a large jar of anonymous animal parts with some liquid, which I presumed to be whiskey.  Moon explained to us how they made it themselves in house from ingredients purchased from a traditional Chinese medicine shop and how the liquid had many health benefits for which he takes at least a shot a day.  Moon then prescribed my friend and me a shot,  I was happy to accept, my friend...declined the offer (how rude).  When poured, the shot contained no obvious animal extremities a appeared only as a yellowish liquid.  Down the hatch......uggh!  Not the best tasting liquor I have had, perhaps one of the worst, but if the what Moon tells me about the health benefits is true, I'll take it over Buckley's any day. 

snake whiskey

Monday, July 19, 2010

What I learned travelling

"8. There is pretty good beer everywhere in the world, but it is always better when refrigerated."

Great article from an experienced traveller about what lessons he has learned over 25 years of travel.

What I learned travelling

Inspiration


To get away from one's working environment is, in a sense, to get away from one's self; and this is often the chief advantage of travel and change.  ~Charles Horton Cooley


If drinking is interfering with your work, you're probably a heavy drinker.  If work is interfering with your drinking, you're probably an alcoholic.  ~Author Unknown

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Favourite travel Photos: Hong Kong

I took this photo in Hong Kong.  The spirals are burning incense.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Do it Yourself Thai Buckets for the Full Moon Party!!



Headed to the lovely Island of Koh Pha Ngan to attend the world famous Full Moon Party? Well I have a tip that will get you drunk for the absolute cheapest, and avoid the risks of having a potentially untrustworthy individual mix your drink.

Chances are, you will arrive on the Island of Koh Pha Ngan in the town of Thong Sala.  Thong Sala is the biggest town on the island, and worth checking out. Before you immediately leave Thong Sala make a stop at the Tesco-Lotus. The liquor here is much cheaper than anywhere in Haad Rin (the host town of the Party).  Pick up a bottle (or however many you think you will need) of Sangsom or Mehkong Whisky, whatever is cheapest (I found a 750 ml bottle for 85 Baht).  Now all you need is a bucket, available at any little store in Haad Rin, and a little bit of mixer.  I used Pepsi max and thai red bull but making your own bucket gives you the freedom to make whatever you want.  The whole setup will cost you just over 100 baht and you will have more than enough booze for 2 buckets!  Bucket in Haad Rin go for minimum 120 baht.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

International Beer of the Week: Black Panther

60% of the time it works every time

Country:  Cambodia

Best Enjoyed:  While relaxing after a long day of exploring the temples of Angkor. 

"Yep, it's made with bits of real panther, so you know it's good."  Ok, thats enough of the Anchorman quotes and no, unfortunately the beer is not made with bits of real panther.  Black Panther is however, in my opinion, Cambodia's best contribution to the world of beer.  I love a good stout and I was surprised to find this style in Cambodia after being limited to the typical Asian lagers for the prior two months.  

Black Panther Stout is brewed by Cambrew, the second largest brewer in Cambodia and a subsidiary of Carlsberg.  Cambrew started out as Angkor Brewery situated in Cambodia's main port city Sihanoukville. The Brewery was commissioned by the Cambodian Government in the early 1960s and built by a French contractor with technical assistance from France. "Angkor" and "Bayon" beers were produced for a few years until operation was disrupted when civil war broke out in the early 1970s. Cambrew Ltd assumed control of the brewery in 1991 and after nine months of refurbishment, Angkor Brewery recommenced production in 1992. Carlsberg, one of the largest brewing groups in the world, acquired 50% of the shares in 2006. Launched in 2000, Black Panther Stout has won several awards including a Silver at the
Monde Selection 2009. 

Stouts are fairly uncommon in Southeast Asia; as a result of the ever present heat and humidity refreshingness and drinkability take top priority. I was apprehensive when it cam to having my first Southeast Asian stout, but what a great discovery!  Black Panther Stout tastes as a stout should, which is wonderful.  All the usual flavour suspects are present (chocolate, coffee, and roasted grains) and although slightly over carbonated it is very drinkable.  Miles from the greatest stout I have tasted, with regards to both flavour and distance, it is a major standout from the typical Asian lager. So drink up, and take a needed break from the Chang, Angkor and Singha.


Soum op oh! (cheers)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A little Hanoi'ed

As I stepped onto the busiest intersection in the Old town I felt the surge of brashness provided by the beers I had consumed earlier in the night. The moment of certainty quickly subsided as a family of four whizzed directly behind me on a tiny scooter. I maintained my pace, one foot after the other, as I soon found myself engulfed in a sea of motorcycles. Eyes straight ahead, I pressed onward eventually emerging on the other side, half-surprised that I had survived the venture. The riders did what they seemingly always do in Vietnam and continued straight through the intersection swerving to narrowly avoid pedestrians and other riders.

One step at a time...

A common experience in Hanoi, Vietnam and luckily it only takes a few crossings to gain the confidence to tackle any street in country. The added rush of a risky crossing only adds made the night out more exciting.

Nightlife in Hanoi caters to the masses. Whether you are looking for a quiet lakeside beer, a rambunctious sampling of the local draft while sitting on children's chairs, or the unique experience of fresh snake blood and bile shots, Hanoi has it all.

Most nights for me started out at the Hostel, enjoying a few of the locals brews: Halida or Bia Ha'noi. Both beers are decent but buying overpriced beers from a hostel can lead to an expensive night. Most backpackers and travellers eventually make their way over to what has come to be known as "the Bia Hoi Corner," a sight to be seen. Found at the intersection of Ta Hien St. and Luong Ngoc Quyen St., hundreds of westerners sit atop tiny plastic chairs sprawling into the intersection from all four corners. What brings them here? Bia Hoi. Bia Hoi is beer brewed daily and each bar gets a fresh batch delivered every day in plastic jugs. It is a very light(3% alcohol) refreshing lager and is extremely cheap, 15 cents a glass if I remember correctly.

Once you've had your fill of Bia Hoi (if trying to get drunk, you will be very full), Head to one of the Old quarter's many bars. I usually ended up at a place called Dragonfly which provided Jenga making for fun drinking games.



On my final night in Hanoi, a floating club called Solace was recommended to me by a girl working at one of the bia hoi "bars." Solace is a hot cramped barge nightclub floating on the Red River. I had a great time at this bar, despite the terrible reviews I have since read. The bar has its fair share of prostitutes and lady-boys but they are avoidable. I guess what I liked most about this bar was that it was like nothing I could find at home.
A dirty but good time.

A regret I have of my time in Hanoi was that I never made it to the highly recommended Apocalypse Now. This is widely known to be the most popular nightclub in Hanoi, so if you are thee it is probably worth checking out.

If you are looking for a slightly more adventurous drinking experience, snake village is a must. Certainly to be avoided by for vegetarians or animal advocates, the nearby village of Le Mat provides an exciting drinking adventure. It’s about 10-15 minutes from Old Quarters on the back of a motorcycle-taxi, and any taxi driver will be able to take you there, drop you off, and pick you up a couple of hours later. I, myself did a tour run by the hostel I was staying at. The tour was obviously overpriced but most importantly it allowed me to meet a bunch of fellow travels and share the unforgettable experience with them. Le Mat is home to an assortment of restaurants all serving entirely snake meat, thats right, snake. Eating snake meat is traditional in northern Vietnam and is an activity for 'Manly men.' In traditional Vietnamese medicine drinking the blood of snakes (particularly the cobra) is believed to increase sexual virility.

The snake eating experience is as follows. The waiters will bring you a live snake that, depending on your desire, they will allow you to kill. The waiters will assist you in preparing shot of snake blood and bile(and if you are lucky the snake's heart) mixed with local spirits. The taste is almost entirely that of the very rough spirits. Once the shots are taken the snakes are brought back to the kitchen to be prepared. While waiting for your meal you will be served snake whisky and Beer. Then comes the food! The snake dishes I had were phenomenal. I was truly amazed with how delicious everything was. I think it was mostly down to the great blend of spices that they used which could've made any food taste great.
Delicious

This is a big year for Hanoi as October 2010 will officially mark 1000 years of the establishment of the city. So plan your trip, prepare yourself for an awesome time and always be confiedent while crossing the street.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Favourite Travel Photos: Sarajevo, Bosnia


This is a photo I took of the Sebilj, a wooden fountain in the centre of Baščaršija square built in 1753.

Quotes of the Week

"No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow." Lin Yutang

"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." Ernest Hemingway

Thursday, July 8, 2010

International beer of the Week: Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier


Country: Deutschland (Germany)

Best Enjoyed: At a Biergarten in Munich. Riverside on the Rhine. While “grillen” in a park.

Weihenstephaner weissbier is my all time favorite beer. From the oldest brewery in the world comes an exquisite example of a German Hefeweizen that cements the value of experience. Weihenstephan Abbey was a Benedictine monastery founded in the 9th century in the town of the same name, Bavaria. Licensed as a brewery in 1040, Weihenstephan brewery has been producing beer for nearly 1000 years. Though no longer an active monastery the brewery is not solely a commercial brewery; since 1923 the brewery has operated as the official Bavarian State Brewery and it doubles as a learning center for aspiring brewmasters at the Technical University of Munich.

If you’re are a fan of wheat beer, then this is a must try. If you are not a fan of wheat beer, sort it out! Wheat beer rich and tasty with a mild sweetness and nothing is more refreshing on a hot day (especially not watery Mexican beer). For the uninformed, wheat beer is a special type of ale brewed using wheat in combination with or in place of barley. Weissbeer translates literally to white beer, referring to the color of the resulting product. Hefe is the german word for yeast and it implies that the beer is unfiltered resulting in it’s cloudy appearance.

This particular weissebeer offers aromas of banana, lemon zest. The taste is wheaty beginning, with a sweet banana flavor and a hint of cloves. Hands-down it is the best beer I have ever had, smooth the whole way down. I am admittedly a big fan of wheat beers and this is the best of them. So do yourself a favor and head to the nearest Biergarten, Kneipe, Lokal (or whatever you want to call it) and order a refreshing Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier.

Prost!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

It's the worst hotel in the world and proud of it

The Hans Brinker Hotel in Amsterdam is one classy joint. I stayed there for one night in 2006 out of necessity and was rewarded with some vicious bed bug bites in the morning. The Hans Brinker uses a unique marketing scheme highlighting the limitations and drawbacks of the establishment. Ironically, I didn't think it all that bad, in fact for a budget hostel it had an awesome bar with a happy hour and big screens to watch the football on (world-cup 2006 was ongoing). I like to think the bedbugs I encountered were likely no entirely common (my travel mate had no bites) and as such I would recommend Hans Brinker, assuming you know what you're in for.


It's the worst hotel in the world and proud of it

Whats the worst hostel/hotel you've stayed at?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

My Packing Tips

Apart from the Standard Big Backpack here are a few items I found useful.

•Vacuum packing bags. Now I know a lot of backpackers are highly opposed to these because of the noise they make during early morning packing sessions but I have found them highly useful. Not only do they compartmentalize and compress clothing but they also keep everything dry in the event of an unfortunate tumble off a boat or rainstorm. But please be considerate and pack the night before if you are departing early from a dorm room.

•Plug converters; grounded plugs if you plan on bringing the laptop, but you won’t need grounded converters if u don’t have any 3 pronged plugs.

•A good light waterproof jacket is also a good idea, plus a very compact umbrella. I spent a whole day walking around in the rain once looking for a store that sold decent (but cheap) umbrellas.

•Bag locks and lots of them. Bring enough for every zipper on your bag plus a couple extra, they are easy to misplace and it’s always useful to have extra locks.

•Comfortable (yet stylish) shoes (Blisters are a bitch)

•Multiple money cards. I usually bring 2 different credit cards and 2 different interact cards, kept in different places at all times. If you lose one (or two) not the end of the world.

•Sleep Mask and Earplugs: Personally I like it really dark when sleeping, not always an option on buses/trains/rickshaws.

•A small sewing kit. Backpacks and clothes occasionally tear and its nice to be able to fix stuff on the fly (even if only temporarily).

•A reliable bottle opener. Many countries allow public drinking and it can be hard to find a bottle opener in front of any convenience store.

•International calling card. To keep mommy updated.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Quotes of the Week:

I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move. ~Robert Louis Stevenson

I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day. ~Frank Sinatra

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Brussels boasts chocolate, beer and festivals for every taste

Belgium is a great drinking destination with an enormous variety of beers. One could spend days sitting in a pub trying to sample as many varieties as possible.

Brussels boasts chocolate, beer and festivals for every taste

Friday, July 2, 2010

Munich airport is a destination all its own

Munich airport is a destination all its own
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