Sunday, June 24, 2007

Around the World in 28 Days: France & Monaco

And, just like that! We were in France on the final stop of our globe circling journey before heading back to the USA. We dined at sidewalk cafes in view of incredible landmarks, said 'bon jour!' to everyone we encountered, drank delicious wine ... and explored as much as we possibly could!




































When we headed down to the Mediterranean, we made a quick trip to Monaco since it was only a 15 minute bus ride from where we were staying.
This sign made us laugh so hard!















The last stop .... Villefranche-sur-Mer and oh how wonderful!



Coffee at a sidewalk cafe was a delicious part of our day, as was swimming in the Mediterranean ... jelly fish tendrils wrapping around my arm was not such a great part.

We went on a great hike up the hill to this spectacular view point ... we'd failed to check the weather though and got stranded without shelter in one heck of a down pour!  Jason found a small shelter for us ... it wasn't until after we'd gotten inside and huddled on the floor that we noticed that it smelled like a cat box!  But, we didn't care, we were just happy to be out of the rain :) 



























And then .... we flew back to San Francisco.  What an amazing trip!!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Around the World in 28 Days: England

I don't think I can properly express just HOW happy we were to be in London and out of India!!! We walked around the city so so happy to be on somewhat familiar soil.  Every garden, tree and flower was so beautiful! 




















Jason was especially tickled by the huge number of men wearing pink shirts in London -- he even found a shirtmaker with the name Thomas Pink! 
 










We only had 2 1/2 days in England, but we tried to make the most of it, seeing as many sites as possible (or should I say, making out in as many places as possible!)

























In beautiful Oxford ...
 
 

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Around the World in 28 Days: India

Our next stop was to India to spend a week and visit the cities of the Golden Triangle -- Delhi, Agra & Jaipur.  The main thing we were interested in seeing was of course the Taj Mahal.

Unfortunately, our plans here went greatly awry ... riots had closed highways between the cities we planned to visit and no transportation was running.  Travelers were stranded.  When we arrived at 10 pm on Friday night into the utter chaos of Delhi's airport, we found that the guest house we'd reserved and reconfirmed only days earlier no longer had room for us and decided not to come get us at the airport.  A pair of young taxi drivers managed to find us a guest house for the evening and a travel agent "helped" us from there, recommending a trip to Kashmir!  Being completely uneducated about the area, we agreed to go. 

We got a city tour of Delhi before we left ... it was only 114 degrees!
 


The Indian Gate in the distance.
















And then .... we were off to Kashmir.  We started getting the idea that this might have been a bad decision after our 5th round of security at the airport and Jason having to go out onto the tarmac to ID our bags before they were put on the plane.  But, (perhaps stupidly) we continued on. 

In Kashmir, we were scheduled to stay on a houseboat on Dal Lake near Srinagar for the remainder of the week ... we traveled by shikara boat to our accomodations.









Along the way, we passed all kinds of shops, even other shikaras made their way to each house boat selling fruit and other incidentals. 



Our houseboat in the distance on the right ... not exactly deluxe.  And our view from the front porch, where we spent most of our days.  We went into Srinagar one day and got such a sinister feeling from most the locals we encountered, we stayed put after that.   Ironically, we got food poisoned by the cooking at the houseboat and they declined to provide toilet paper once we ran out.  Nice!
 









Gorgeous sunset over the valley ... with the mournfully beautiful call the worship echoing off the hills all around us, it was quite an experience.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Around the World in 28 Days: Thailand

Next stop on our journey was Thailand where we stayed in beautiful Phuket for five blissful days enjoying the sea, sand & sun and then headed to Bangkok for two nights.

This is more the picture of what a honeymoon should look like :)


















We went on a great day tour, to the "famous" Maya Beach, swallow caves, monkey island and several other stops for awesome snorkeling! 




























We observed one of the most interesting creatures one day when we awoke from a nap on the beach and found ourselves surrounded by designs made up of tiny, tiny balls of sand.  It took us a while to find the creator of these designs, it was so tiny!  Can you find it in these pictures?









Our last fruity drink before leaving for Bangkok.

In Bangkok, temples are everywhere and they have the most interesting facades.

 




Another Buddha ... the "largest" reclining Buddha.  It was massive!