Today we’re going to take a little trip… I’ve selected stories from 7 different spots across the globe and put together a ’round the world jaunt just for you. So sit back, fasten your seat belt, and get ready to depart!
After taking my first trip to Colombia at the end of last year, I perk up now whenever I hear something about Colombia, and I’ve been itching to share this video since I stumbled on it… If you’ve heard of Portland’s Stumptown Coffee, you know that they take their coffee pretty seriously. I had no idea how seriously. This is a great video about their trip to Colombia to source their coffee. It reminds me so much of driving in the mountains around Medellin and makes me wish I’d taken time to visit a coffee finca (farm) while I was there.
#2 – We will continue MUCH further south past Ecuador and Peru, down the long coast of Chile, past the southernmost city in the world, (Ushuaia, Argentina), and across the turbulent Drake Passage to Antarctica. Dr. Edward Atkinson in his Antarctic Lab (via the Art of Manliness Trunk)
Check out this amazing photo of the Royal naval surgeon and Antarctic explorer from the National Geographic archives and follow the Wikipedia links to read about the Terra Nova Expedition from 1910 to 1913.
#3 – Next, we head back to warmer climates and across the Atlantic Ocean to the southeastern edge of Europe, in the Balkans. we’ll stop in the country that’s bordered by Montenegro, Kosovo, and Macedonia. Stumped? It’s Albania, of course. Riding a mini bus in Albania, by Lauren Quinn (via Matador Network)
Here’s a short excerpt:
“On a map, Gjirokaster is only 230km from Tirana. In any other European country, you’d walk to the train station at the center of town, sip an espresso while you waited for your train, hand a grumpy conductor your ticket, and gently rock your way back to the capital in a couple of hours … But this is Albania. And it’s not just the abandoned bunkers and minaret towers that make the country so utterly unlike the rest of Eastern or Western Europe. It’s the only European country without a functional rail system. And the buses don’t do a rousing job of making up for it. Fifty years of dictatorship and a civil war left infrastructure woefully dilapidated. Roads have begun to be repaired, but the things that ride on them have yet to improve.”
Good to know. When heading to Albania, try to rent a car … somewhere? Anywhere.
#4 – Heading east from Albania across the Mediterranean Sea, past divided Cyprus, across Syria and the Kurdish regions of Iraq, we’ll stop in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Traveling to Iran as Americans: All You Need to Know (by Uncornered Market)
I’ve been following Dan and Audrey’s adventures recently as they traveled through Iran. I was hugely curious about their trip and what Iran is really like outside of all the stereotypes and mass media reports. This post answers a lot of practical questions about traveling to Iran as an American. Is it legal? Can you travel on your own in Iran? How do you get a visa since there’s no Iranian embassy in the US? Can you use an ATM or your credit card in Iran?
“Iranian banks are also subject to international sanctions. So although Iran is full of banks and ATM machines, you won’t be able to get money out at any of them with your ATM card. So cash is the name of the game.”
#5 – Our next stop is over the mountains of Afghanistan and Pakistan on the subcontinent of India, in the eighth largest metropolis in the world, Dehli. Indian Maharaja’s daring act of anti-colonial dissent (by BBC News Asia)
Dehli is preparing to celebrate 100 years as the capital of India, and apparently the recent discovery of a “lost written diary by an Anglo-Irish aristocrat” named Lilah Wingfield has reminded the world of a forgotten act of defiance at the Dehli Durbar of 1911.
“Each Indian ruler or “native prince” was expected to perform proper obeisance to the King-Emperor by bowing three times before him, then backing away without turning. The maharajah not only ignored royal etiquette by turning his back on the king and queen after formally introducing himself but compounded his perceived insolence by reportedly “laughing disrespectfully” as he departed from their presence.”
#6 – From India, we’ll wander only slightly further east… We’re staying in south Asia and heading to the highly visited, travel blogger favorite of Thailand. The Hilarious and Strange Thai-Cambodian Border (by Christine Gilbert on AlmostFearless.com)
I’ve been a pretty regular reader of Christine’s blog for a while now. I enjoy seeing how she and her husband travel the world with their two year old son Cole, but what really keeps me coming back is her sarcastic sense of humor and honesty about long term travel and the places they visit. Check out the full story to avoid a long standing scam on your next border crossing from Thailand to Cambodia.
Here’s a short excerpt:
“It’s like some kind of compartmentalization that you achieve, especially in Southeast Asia, where you learn to not take these kinds of things personally, and maybe you think, “well that’s a scam for tourists who don’t know better, not for me”. You still have to do business with the people who initially try to rip you off. So you get used to it. It’s like their opening bid. Can I rip you off? No? Okay, what else can I do for you?”
I had to show the picture below because it’s so beautiful, and here’s the description Evan gave this pin: Horsetail Fall is a small, ephemeral waterfall that flows over the eastern edge of El Capitan in Yosemite Valley. For two weeks in February, the setting sun striking the waterfall creates a deep orange glow that resembles Yosemite’s historic “Firefall.”
The post above from todayandtomorrow.net also includes as short video as well.
Clearly, we left large swaths of the world untouched on this trip, but I hope you agree that these seven spots provided some pretty interesting stories, and I hope you enjoyed the trip!
Photo: from Curious Expeditions on Flickr