I'm down in Istanbul for the weekend enjoying a bit of sun. The tourism numbers have really decreased in Istanbul, due to world events, so it's a great time to go and save a bit of money on an awesome trip!
From Bagan I went north by night bus to Kalaw and did a trek to Inlay lake. The lake is a great place to hang out for a day or two and explore the floating gardens on the lake.
After a few days hanging out in Inlay lake I headed north to Mandalay. To catch up with my friends that had headed on ahead I had to take a local bus and head for Kyuakme. I did manage to met up with them in Kyuakme where we spent the night. Kyuakme is a neat place to visit since almost no tourists stay there. We tried our hand at hitchhiking the next morning and easily caught a ride to Hsipaw.
Hsipaw was our starting point for some amazing hiking with Mitch Michael through tea plantations, rice farms, and the mountains.
Fields of peppers drying between Kyuakme and Inlay lake.
As a bit of a detour from my usual European travels I wandered through Asia for a couple of months this fall and winter. I wandered through Hong Kong, China (work trip), Thailand, and Myanmar.
Myanmar is a wonderful country that is changing really quickly and still hasn't seen nearly as much change due to tourism as Vietnam or Thailand. If you want to get a little off the beaten path I highly recommend it!
As I have so many pictures from Myanmar I figured I would break this into two posts. This first post is from my travels between Yangon and Bagan.
Inside Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon
Shwedagon Pagoda built between 6th and 10th century.
Kids playing inside Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon.
The "Circle Train" that circles Yangon, the locals use the time to prepare vegetables for market.
A very brave monk reading between two moving trains.
Waiting for sunrise sitting on a temple from the 12th century
First balloon of the morning over the thousands of temples in Bagan.
All of the balloons cruising over the thousands of temples.
Entrance to one of the larger temples in Bagan.
Sunrise on the second day in Bagan. It's hard not to take thousands of pictures with a view like that!
Sunset at one of our favorite temples.
The best way to explore around all of the temples, hitting up the dirt roads on electric bikes!
Well it's been ages since I've thrown up a blog post, but that doesn't mean I haven't been out traveling. It just mean's I've been lazy! Last year I ran up a total tally (without counting repeats) of 27 countries, and so far this year (2016) I've been in China, Hong Kong, Myanmar, Thailand, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, and Norway!
So without any more excuses here are some pictures from around the Bergen area!
If you're in the Bergen area you should definitely rent a car and explore the fjords both north and south of Bergen. Also a big thanks to my couch surfing buddy Bård for hosting me and my friends!
When I was down in Barcelona visiting friends, and doing some work at MWC, I managed to find a free weekend to head over to Andorra. We took the bus from Barcelona to Andorra la Vella, which is the capitol. I had hoped to rent a car and be able to explore but I forgot to bring my international drivers license, which Canadians require to rent a car in Spain.
The trip over was really beautiful going through the Pyrenees with all of the fantastic views. The capitol itself is a less beautiful downtown. It was a little bit like a huge duty free shop, with lots of perfume, cameras, watches, and similar things due to the low taxes in Andorra. If you go make sure you walk up and out of the downtown, to enjoy the great views, nice squares, small streets, and free tequila! (More on that soon)
Check out the pictures!
Crossing the border.
Downtown Andorra la Vella
Duty free style downtown.
Walking up the hill and away from the duty free stores.
A square with a great view!
Out enjoying the views of the Pyrenees.
Wandering up through a little trail.
Free chocolate tequila in our favorite Mexican restaurant in Andorra!
A couple of weeks ago I wandered down to Milan for a weekend. Milan is a lovely city for a weekend trip as it has beautiful sites, an awesome hostel, and free food every night!
The free food can be found at almost every bar in town during happy hour. If you buy a beer you get all the free food you can eat. It's a really fantastic system and a great reason to have an extra beer or two!
Duomo di Milano the Cathedral of Milan. This spectacular building took almost six centuries to build!
If you visit Duomo you should definitely go up on the roof! Just remember you have to buy the ticket in a different place on the other side of the building from the elevator and the stairs!
The view of the square in front of Duomo from on top of the Cathedral.
After a visit to the Cathedral (and the non-existent free walking tour) I headed over to the Castle with a couple of new friends.
Taking pictures of the Castle!
Inside the Milan Castle.
The front of the Castle
After wandering through the castle you should wander through the back of the castle and off to the Victory Arch. The walk through the park is great, and the Arch is really beautiful.