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This Strange Land

July 29, 2009 – Day 216 – Kunming, China

So we tried to go to the Bird & Flower Market but could not get to it. Then we tried to find a large outdoor outlet store but could not get to it. What is the trouble, you might ask? The trouble is that all maps in China are, hmm, how to put it—WRONG!

Entrance to the city park

Entrance to the city park


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Meeting Zagreb

July 3, 2009 – Day 190 – Zagreb, Croatia

Wow, Croatian food is not normally a top world cuisine but the pastries here are just out of this world! Definitely stop in at one of the many bakeries and feast on some of the delicious goodies they offer. Our favorites tend to be the blackberry, cherry and chocolate ones. My mouth is watering just imagining them!

Traditional Dancers not dancing

Traditional Dancers not dancing

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Old Dubrovnik

June 25, 2009 – Day 182 – Dubrovnik, Croatia

Feeling well rested and happy to have found such a great place to stay, we woke up early and walked back into the old town, about 20 minutes from our apartment. We easily found a cheap bakery for breakfast and enjoyed our pastries in the courtyard just outside the city walls looking down at the clear turquoise water below.

The blue sea

The blue sea

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The Istanbul tourist track

June 16, 2009 – Day 173 – Istanbul, Turkey

Quite a busy day today! This morning we sat on the carpeted floor of the Blue Mosque watching the hoards of tourists pour in one side and back out the other within seconds. There were only a few local people there to actually pray and I have no idea how they could have done so with all the noise!

The (massive) Blue Mosque

The (massive) Blue Mosque

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One day in Damascus…

June 11, 2009 – Day 168 – Damascus, Syria

The day was slow, uneventful, and really really hot. We wandered lazily through the Grand Bazaar glancing into the doors and windows of the thousands of shops selling everything from duvets to cheap souvenirs to tea and fruit. A man with a mustache dressed in black gypsy pants, a brightly embroidered, ruffled shirt and a fuzzy black hat sold tea from a 3 foot tall samovar making clinking melodies with the tea cups on his fingers.

Syrian Tea Seller

Syrian Tea Seller

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Last price, I swear to you!

May 21, 2009 – Day 147 – Aswan, Egypt

”It’s 675 Egyptian Pounds but for you, my friend, I make it special price–650!” The ”it” in question was a thick red glass waterpipe with heavy silver hardware that disassembled into several billy clubs, er, pieces. It was a really great waterpipe but was way outside our price range.

Waterpipe shop

Waterpipe shop

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Multiple Personality Disorder

May 20, 2009 – Day 146 – Cairo, Egypt

Cairo has so many faces and personalities that it’s difficult to decide whether one likes it or doesn’t. Today we felt both. When spent our morning wandering through the Coptic Museum that houses some really amazing ancient pieces and the best part is that they are being cared for quite well! Unfortunately, these beautiful old things can’t be photographed so we have no way to share what we saw today.

Africa's only subway

Africa

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Market Day

May 17, 2009 – Day 143 – Cairo, Egypt

If you’ve ever heard of the Khan Khalili market in Cairo, you’re probably familiar with the downright ridiculous things the vendors will say just to make a sale, no matter how big or small. Perhaps the one that best sums up the day we spent at the famed market was, ”Hello! How can I take your money?”

Fanta!.... now in Arabic

Fanta!.... now in Arabic

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Now this is a vacation!!

Day 126: Athens, Greece

It’s more than a perfect day. The sky is clear blue, the sun is shining pleasantly, the air is warm with a slight breeze and we are clamoring all over the ancient ruins scattered with overgrown grass and wild brilliantly red poppies streaking the landscape in fiery bursts. Even the air smells like summer. It feels like late May in Indiana today, characteristic for Greece but a nice reminder of the changing seasons we’re missing at home.

Poppies and the ruins

Poppies and the ruins

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These people are ruthless!

Day 115: Lima, Peru

Today we did nothing but wander the streets of Lima. We picked up some supplies and snacks at the huge Metro supermarket. It was the nicest, cleanest grocery store we’ve ever seen but the shoppers were even more angry and snatch-and-grab than Wal-mart. It was like a shopping cart derby and we were all gladiators fighting for the last box of cornflakes.

Miraflores Stone Beach

Miraflores Stone Beach

After escaping the lion pit, we stowed our goods back in the hostel and headed for the beach. It was foggy but it was still fun to watch the surfers of all ages and sizes try their hand (feet?) at surfing. ”Tomorrow,” Saben decided boldly, ”I will surf.”

View from the cliff

View from the cliff

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