Scenery Sunday :- Cruising on Lake Lucerne

After my visit to Mt Rigi, I took a scenic cruise on Lake Lucerne. The rain clouds began moving in over the lake. The wind in my hair. It was a relaxing and enjoyable end to a perfect day of exploration.

I boarded the paddle wheel boat at Vitznau and on the way to Lucerne, Switzerland, there was many beautiful landscapes to enjoy and countless lake front homes. Some lake front homes are humble while others make a clear statement of the owner`s status in society.

The paddle wheel cruise served 2 main purposes; one as a touristic cruise along Lake Lucerne, the other purpose was to help local residents move from one town to another. Though I believe we all enjoyed the beautiful views on the way to our destination. Continue reading

Travel Thought Thursday :- Overcoming the Fear of Water

When someone thinks of 4 days 3 nights cruise in the Mediterranean off the coast of Turkey, most conjure up dreamy thoughts.

Crisp blue waters, so clear that you can see the small fish skidding past the bottom of the boat. The amazing clear skies at night, lite up by the moon and the million stars in the sky. The sound of waves as the boat cruise along as you lounge on the deck with fellow travelers. Plunging into the deep blue sea for a leisure swim.

Full stop.

Swimming. Open waters. Bottomless. Float – Sink.

When I am a person who recently overcome a fear of water, facing open water is a challenge. If I overthink the situation, I will NOT be amongst the deep blue sea. I would stay on the boat the whole time. Regardless of the peer pressure or self pressure to join the masses!

BLue cruise boat in Turkey

Home for 4 days and 3 nights on the Mediterranean off the coast of Turkey

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Galapagos Islands – In search of Charles Darwin’s footprints

During my visit to Bolivia in 2007, I spoke to other travelers who had visited other countries in South America – with a tour or on their own. My fascination with Latin America grew and grew – by the time I was returning to North America, I decided that Peru and Ecuador will highlight my spring of 2008.

My life at work was getting more and more stressful and challenging, what with tight deadlines and we were under staffed, as usual. The days of working long hours on the Atlantis resort in Dubai was behind me but other projects in Dubai and Morocco were stretching me thin. I was burning out – again.

With the little down time I had, I did what little research I could about Peru and Galapagos. In the end, I gave up on the logistics and signed up for 2 tours that would take care of everything for me. All I had to do, aside from forking over my savings, was book my international flights and some extra days of hotel stays. Continue reading

Why visit Antarctica?! Reason No.5

Iceberg straight ahead! ~ The most defining moment on the Titanic, made famous on the big screen by the characters portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.

When snow fell on Antarctica many, many years ago, they formed glacial ice made of fresh water. This is also the reason why Antarctica has the largest reserve of freshwater in the world!!

As the glacial move toward the sea and break off – an iceberg is born! Continue reading

Why visit Antarctica?! Reason No.3

Typically when someone mentions Polar expeditions, the word COLD / FREEZING COLD would pop up in conversation. As recent as August 2010, the temperature in Antarctica hit am all time low of -94.7C (-135.8F). However, with the recent Polar vortex dipping South along the Eastern seaboard in North America, Antarctica seems like a winter escape!

As those in the Southern Hemisphere enjoy Summer, expedition tours to Antarctica are in full swing – sometimes visiting Falkland islands and South Georgia islands along the way. The travel season to this region starts in early November and continue until March with departures typically from Ushuaia, Argentina and Invercargill, New Zealand. Continue reading

Why visit Antarctica?! Reason No.2

Waiting with my Antarctic friends for our zodiac to take us cruising and hope to find some wildlife

Waiting with my Antarctic friends for our zodiac to take us cruising and hope to find some wildlife.

Travel to Antarctica is governed and regulated by the International Association Antarctica Tour Operators, IAATO. What was started by 7 private tour operators in 1991, the IAATO now has more than 100 members. It is stipulated that no more than 100 people from each visiting vessel can step foot on the continent at one time. This is why the travelers on the big, huge cruise ships will only cruise by and not be able to make land fall.

On my trip to the Antarctica in January 2013, I was on a ship with 183 other travelers and 92 crew members. Each day, my fellow travelers and I would be separated into 2 groups. One group would step onto the continent while the other goes zodiac cruising. After a designated amount of time, we would switch adventures. Continue reading