Susan’s Notes

Acropolis - Our mid-day visit to the Acropolis was warm and crowded, but definitely worth the time and effort. The Parthenon was impressive despite the scaffolding for renovations. We almost skipped the nearby Acropolis museum and I am glad we invested an hour or two touring the museum exhibits. The top floor of the museum is a to-scale layout of the Parthenon with the saved wall reliefs and architectural parts and pieces from the east and west pediments placed where they were found in the temple. Warm sun, pool, and beaches - We called our visit to Greece a vacation from our year-long ...
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These are a few of my favorite things . . . . . . . . Steep, rocky mountains partially covered with snow Green valleys in the high mountains dotted with traditional Swiss houses - If we lived in Switzerland our house would be of traditional style with red shutters and many window boxes. Numerous waterfalls - Lauderbrunnen is nestled in a valley of 72 waterfalls. Many spring flowers, especially pink tulips, red geraniums, and yellow buttercups. Gondola and cog-wheel train rides - These were fun ways to see the landscape up close and from above, move from town to town, or just ride ...
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Eiffel Tower -- This really is a huge, eye-catching structure. We visited it during the day and night, but only went up to the observations decks during a sunny hour where we viewed the city. The nighttime lighting is impressive, especially when the lights flash on and off once per hour. Pedestrian malls - France is a great place to wonder around the cobblestone streets, look in store windows, eat ice cream at a sidewalk café, and appreciate the many colorful flower beds and pots. Stained glass windows in cathedrals and churches - We visited many cathedrals and churches to see ...
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Colors of Fez -- The city, especially the Medina area, is filled with colorful things to see (and buy!) Embroidery, woven fabrics of silk or wool, leather slippers and jackets, porcelain and pottery, spices, and tiles. Landscape -- Morocco is not just kilometers of red, sandy desert. We saw many acres of green pastures and pine or cedar forests with snow. Cooking Class -- Eryn and I took the all-day Moroccan cooking class at Café Clock, just a one minute walk from where we stayed for three weeks in the Medina. We had a wonderful time getting acquainted with our ...
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Reaching the summit and then the base of Huayna Picchu at Machu Picchu -- This was quite the hike! In the picture Huayna Picchu is the tall steep peek in the background. The trail includes over a thousand stone steps, steel cables in spots for assistance, and at the summit one wooden ladder to climb. And I did the whole thing, even with a cast on my arm. Doing the hike wasn't necessarily fun, but finishing it was great. Visiting my brother in Arequipa -- Richard researches earthquakes in Peru and it was fun to learn more about his project. And he was ...
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Colors in Valparaiso -- This town is saturated with color, which I love. We hiked colorful stairs up the hillside neighborhoods, admired vivid murals along walkways, and observed many blue/red/yellow/green/pink/purple houses from lookout points. Eating Ice Cream in a Plaza - We especially enjoyed this pastime in Valparaiso and San Pedro de Atacama. The ice cream was usually yummy and watching the many locals and tourists was never dull. On the weekends the plaza we frequented most in Valparaiso had a fair atmosphere - street jugglers, face painting, roller bladers, trinkets for sale, popcorn, and cotton candy. And an abundance ...
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Buenos Aires - Central District -- The main or government section of town is very interesting because of the fountains, ironwork on balconies of old and new buildings, political posters or signs, and many dog walkers since a major part of the population lives in apartment buildings. One dog walker we observed had 12 dogs on leashes. San Telmo area of Buenos Aires -- This is the area where we stayed and is the oldest neighborhood. I loved the cobblestone streets, outdoor restaurants, and smaller plazas. Ice Cream -- Argentinian ice cream is delicious and we made sure we had some ...
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Three days ago I added another accessory to my wardrobe for the next six weeks -- a cast on my right arm from the palm of my hand to four inches above my elbow. Since I am typing with just my left hand, the summary below gives the highlights. *Steep, enjoyable hike up part of a mountain in the Andes to a lookout and rest spot *Impressed by many flowering lupines plus beautiful views of the town of El Bolson, Lago (lake) Puelo, and snow-capped mountain peaks across the valley *On hike down I slipped on loose gravel and sand. Put ...
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Wild Wadi Waterpark—This park has many fun rides, even for a non-daredevil mom like me. A new experience was riding inner tubes on the water slides that propel you uphill between the downhill slides. You do not have to get out of the water and carry your tube up flights of stairs. Tall buildings with very unique shapes and features–One high-rise apartment building looks like it has been twisted to give a spiral effect and the base of the building rotates once in 24 hours so each apartment has an ocean view for part of a day. Dubai has many ...
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That’s the first or second question people ask us when they learn we are travelling throughout the world for 12 months. And some of you asked that question too before we left home. If you want to know more, here are the details: I did not subscribe to or purchase a specific curriculum program for our 7th grader and our 8th grader. Rather I looked at the specific learning outcomes their teachers would cover if they were at their brick and mortar school. Then I found materials that covered the educational outcomes. For all subjects except math, they have the ...
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Observations Life after Apartheid – Some South Africans are still figuring out how to deal with prejudices and past injustices from Apartheid. We spoke with several white individuals in the central part of the country who told us about areas considered unsafe to visit because “there are so many black people living there.” And others told us about white people losing farms that had been in their families for many generations because the government wanted to give their land to black families to make up for racial inequalities in the past. Both of these perspectives were sad to hear. Pannekoek ...
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Challenges Getting enough sleep while in Etosha National Park - The best times to view the animals are at sunrise, sunset, and late in the evening at the lighted waterholes in the rest camps.  So we got up very early and went to bed very late and tried to nap in the afternoon during the heat of the day. Credit Card Fraud – We learned the hard way not to let our credit cards out of our sight when paying for goods and services. When we were in Swakopmund a store or restaurant employee apparently took a photo of our ...
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Eighty-five per cent of the country is the Kalahari Desert so the land and air is very dry for most of the year. That was a bit of shock for our skin, having just spent several weeks on the Australian coast. Botswana is the setting for the films The God’s Must Be Crazy I and II. If you have seen one or both of them you have an idea of the type of climate and terrain we experienced. Many places of business, including shops and hotels, display a picture of the president, Ian Khama. I don’t ever recall seeing a ...
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Challenges Like the US, Australia is a large country. We had to prioritize what parts of the country to see and how to minimize travel time and costs between those locations. We hope to return to Australia some day to see and experience more. Prices for everything are high compared to the US, and especially higher than India, where we had just been. I guess you could say we experienced sticker shock the first few days because of the huge difference between Indian prices and Australia prices after converting both to US dollars. So our challenge was to find fun ...
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Foods new to us: Anzac biscuits – This is crisp oatmeal and coconut cookie was sent by women to solders in the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) during World War I because the ingredients do not spoil quickly. And the general population quickly discovered this tasty treat. Lamington – This is a favorite sweet of Australians and our family. It consists of sponge cake (regular or orange flavor) dipped in chocolate and then covered with flaked coconut. Eryn and I want to find a recipe for this when we get home so we can make some of this ...
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1 thought on “Susan’s Notes

  1. How are things? Enjoy the bike ride? Take any pictures of Laos?
    J

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