Travel Tales

burritowagon_icon_sml_jpg Biking Beyond the Bend: Holland & Belgium

Email Sent Upon Trip Return in November 2009

I know this may sound a little crazy (and repetitive), but we are back from another trip abroad, funded, in part, by a work obligation that – just our luck – happened to be in Holland. And as all work trips must, by our nature, be extended to include a personal holiday, our travels took us to Belgium as well. So for those with little better to do on this grey Sunday (i.e., you live in Seattle and can’t stomach another dismal Seahawks game), read on for a recap of our latest travels … (Read More …)

burritowagon_icon_sml_jpg Wandering Beyond the Bend: Iceland

Email Sent Upon Trip Return in August 2009

We are back from Iceland. Yes, Iceland. Land of fire and ice and sheep in the middle of the road. Icelanders do not slow down for these sheep (or “sheeps”, as they call them, which we found to be quite endearing). In fact, they barely even swerve. It’s no wonder lamb is a mainstay of the Icelandic diet. Why Iceland and not a European bike tour this year? Well, it was my idea that given the poor economy, we should stick closer to home for our big vacation. I was adamant – “No Europe!” – saying instead, “let’s bike tour the Oregon Coast”. But darn those marketers with their continual coverage of the new Icelandair route direct from Seattle to Reykjavik and their glossy advertisements of majestic mountains, hobbit valleys, and pudgy little puffins … how could we resist? Now we are kronur-poor (kinda like being mortgage-poor) but better for the experience, as the landscapes we witnessed there compared with nowhere else on Earth. A distant, fledgling planet in a far off galaxy perhaps, but Earth, at least as we have experienced it? Not so much. And how cool was that? (Read More …)

Prague Old Townburritowagon_icon_sml_jpg Wandering Beyond the Bend: Berlin & Prague

Email Sent on 17 March 2009

Greetings from Prague, our final destination after a week on the rails and trails of eastern Germany. It’s been quite the unique travel experience here behind the former Iron Curtain, which, on a few days, has been more like a shower curtain, what with the drizzly, rainy skies. Just a little taste of home for us, I guess.  Despite our separate flights into Europe, we gratefully landed in Berlin not far apart. (Read More …)

Gina Speed Racerburritowagon_icon_sml_jpg Biking Beyond the Bend: Switzerland

Email Sent on 3 July 2008

We are here in Lausanne on beautiful Lake Geneva, having pedaled halfway across Switzerland in the past 5 days.  (It is amazing how much energy one derives from twice daily doses of chocolate croissants.)  The trip has been outstanding thus far, starting with the sweetest words one could hear from a gate agent just before boarding a 9 hour flight … “Shhh, don’t tell anyone, but I have upgraded you to Business Class.”  Sweet!!!  Comfortably tucked into our pods with fully reclining beds, we passed the hours dining and dozing before arriving in London.  The dreaded Terminal 5 was actually quite lovely.  In fact, my bicycle enjoyed it so much it chose to stay behind until the next flight.  (Read More …)

burritowagon_icon_sml_jpg Wandering Beyond the Bend: Switzerland

Email Sent on 09 March 2008

Thought we’d send a little travel update, as we seem to have some time on our hands, sitting here stuck in London, with no confirmed flight out to Zurich. Funny how we’re stuck in London when we were never supposed to be here. Having practically given us a ticket to Switzerland, American Airlines has continued to give us exactly what we paid for – very little. If they would have held our JFK flight for 10 more minutes, to compensate for the 4 holding patterns they’d placed us in en-route from Seattle, we’d be in Zurich right now. The flights out are oversold so we’re on standby for the next 2 departures. If those fall through, Gina is convinced we can navigate the Chunnel over to the mainland. I, on the other hand, am not, if the route through is as long and circuitous as it was on the Heathrow transfer bus from Terminal 3 to Terminal 4. Never have I seen such a cluster at an airport. (Read More …)

Hiking to Montepulcianoburritowagon_icon_sml_jpg Biking Beyond the Bend: Tuscany, Italy

Email Sent on 23 September 2007

We have pedaled our way (safely) from Lucca to Siena … about 120+ miles of hard, strenuous hills and crazy Italian drivers. It is a good thing that the liters of house wine are so cheap here. We have even contemplated taking up smoking, but that just seems wrong when bike touring. We started in Rome, where we first pushed through the jetlag to put our bikes back together and then through the massive crowds to see the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, and Spanish Steps. The noise and bustle of Rome is stupefying. It truly is a miracle worthy of an investigation by the Vatican to make is safely across the street here. The drivers stop for nothing – not pedestrians, not cyclists, and most certainly not red lights. (Read More …)

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