This is the beginning of a new adventure. Phase 1 . Europe and maybe North Africa.
  • Nov3

    Bosnia & Mostar

    November 3, 2021 in Bosnia and Herzegovina ⋅ ☁️ 54 °F

    So before I jot about Croatia, I think Bosnia needs a mention. When one drives from Split to Dubrovnik, there is a sliver of Bosnia the extends to the Adriatic and literally breaks Croatia into two land masses. All that being said, on our drive to Dubrovnik we took a slight detour to the fifth largest city in Bosnia—Mostar. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bosnia_and_Herzeg…

    We went to Mostar to see the old bridge. It is a UNESCO site and in my opinion is worth the visit.
    The bridge was destroyed by members of the Croatian army in 1993 during the Croat-Bosnian war. It was rebuilt and reopened in 2004. The Bridge, the surrounding cobblestone streets and old buildings with Mosques filling the skyline is a treat to behold. There was a call to prayer as we sat and had lunch perched over the river. Pretty cool.
    This part of the city has been restored but the walk to and from the parking lot painted a much different picture. Bombed out buildings and bullet holes in numerous buildings. A history not to be overlooked. The following is worth a read. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stari_Most
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    Michael Mciy

    Dubrovnik is beautiful

    11/17/21Reply
    Derick Clack

    Wow, that is like a fairy tael ... except of the bullet holes :(

    11/19/21Reply
    sean smith

    Keep them coming Donny! Spectacular!

    11/22/21Reply
     
  • Oct24

    The Alps

    October 24, 2021 in Switzerland ⋅ ⛅ 52 °F

    It was a beautiful clear crisp fall morning when we left Interlaken. Destination Lake Bled, Slovenia with a one night stop on the way. Did I mention the fall colors. WoW! We traversed the Alps for hours and hours. Every turn on the road brought another beautiful picture postcard into view. It would never get old in my opinion. If I am not mistaken we got up to over 9,000 feet above sea level.
    I think we went up and down on serious elevations three times the first day. And one descent was a true nail biter. Outside lane with thousand feet drop off at the edge, no barrier and switchback after switchback. I have told a few people that this drive was better than Yellowstone with the exception of the wildlife. Unlike Yellowstone, all we saw was signs for deer but none were actually sighted.
    We rested in a small town up in the Alps, just over the Austrian border called Nauders. Cosy little spot with one open restaurant where we had Pizza and rested for the next leg of the journey.

    The next day we grabbed breakfast before our continued descent. Bled was the destination and no other plans until one of the guests at our accomodation told us about the town of Merano which is in Italy and where a third of the population speak German because it is so close to Austria. This was a nice find. Have to say that I would like to get back there and stay a while. Wanted to get to Bled before dark so hung around for an hour or so. Had a glass of wine and strolled along the river that seemed to wind its way through the middle of town. https://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g187860-Mer…

    Back in the car and off to Bled. We checked in to another great find by Caroline. Best Co-pilot ever. (CE: awwww ❤️❤️) We went out for dinner to a spot that Jack and Ally recommended. Slovenian Food. Yummy but very rich. Needed a walk after. Lamb shank and smoked trout.
    Lake Bled is about 3km to walk around which we did the next morning.

    While at breakfast before the walk I thought I would seek more info about the hotel we were staying in as it has a majestic feel to it. As it so happened, Tito loved Lake Bled and liked to stay there during the summers and so built a summer residence. This was now our hotel. The rooms were massive. https://www.bled.si/en/accommodation/list-of-ac…
    Next stop Croatia.
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    Derick Clack

    That is amazing and I am sure this photo does not do it justice

    11/19/21Reply
    Derick Clack

    Hey there sexy couple

    11/19/21Reply
    Derick Clack

    That was really stunning ... just made me decide to go there next year 🤣

    11/19/21Reply
     
  • Oct23

    Its all about the Journey

    October 23, 2021 in Switzerland ⋅ 🌙 43 °F

    As a kid, young adult and adult it was always about the destination for me. The journey seemed to be the obstacle that I had to overcome. I don't know for sure, but I think in some ways it served me well. But now I have discovered that the journey is so, so much more enjoyable than I thought possible.
    We had just left Dijon, France when we last dropped a line. Sorry it has taken so long. So here we go. The Journey continues.
    Dijon was another of Caroline’s ideas. Guess what she loves. Haha. We stayed in in an Airbnb in the countryside. Took some nice long walks and went into the town of Beaune for a tour of the Fallot Mustard Museum. It was interesting and entertaining. We were both really impressed with this whole region. Next stop, Interlaken Switzerland.
    A lovely drive especially as we climbed up into the Alps. Here we stayed in a nice hotel just on the edge of town. The guy running the place was originally from South Africa. And very helpful. We spent two and a half days here, walking, driving and dining. Maybe a little sleep too. What a beautiful place. The Alps as they rise all around you. Had to do a drive to one of those towns you see way up the mountains. Switchback after switchback.
    It was recommended that we get up to Jungfraujoch which entails a couple of gondola trips and a train to get one up to the top of Europe. Unfortunately there was tons of cloud cover so we decided to skip it and save it for the next time we visit. Have to say we were a little bummed. https://www.jungfrau.ch/en-gb/jungfraujoch-top-…
    Hope this link works. OK I am going for my breakfast. Will catch you up on the rest of the adventure a little later.
    Quick question. Why there were so many East Indian and Middle Eastern restaurants in Interlaken? It was not what was expected.
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    Ryan B

    Now that you’ve had your peaceful stay in the Swiss countryside, I can’t wait to see a video of you two canyoning while in Interlaken

    11/3/21Reply
    Donny Foy

    Dude That water was milky cold. Hard pass…

    11/3/21Reply
    Christina Pratt

    Gorgeous!

    11/3/21Reply
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  • Oct19

    Channel Islands, UK

    October 19, 2021 in France ⋅ ⛅ 54 °F

    Glad this is not our day job. Haha. We have now left the Channel Islands. What an enjoyable time. Will fill in the dots soon. Now in a wee town 40 min from Dijon, Burgundy. And Life Is Good.

    Trivia: Which varietals of wine does Burgundy produce?Read more

    Pinot [Simon]

    10/30/21Reply
     
  • Oct8

    Loire Valley and More

    October 8, 2021 in France ⋅ ⛅ 50 °F

    We left Villamblard and meandered our way to the Loire Valley. As we drove there was not a whole lot to see on the drive. Motorway's are treelined providing little for visual stimulation besides the fall colors. We got to our B&B in the town of Restigne. I am amazed at how quiet these little towns are. They are void of any activity and its grape picking season. Perhaps this is why https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1I6AF24zfSM
    Loire Valley is home to some of the most fantastic châteaux's to be seen anywhere. Check out the list on the following link. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Châteaux_of_the_L…
    Between the châteaux's and the winery's one could easily spend a month here. We had limited time so we picked Villandry which is famous for its magnificent garden's. Caroline loves her an auld garden.
    Next morning I stuff myself with the most wonderful bread, butter and cheese. And off we go again. My trusty co-pilot has said she wanted to go to Normandy so off we go in that general direction and ended up at a place I had never heard of. Shame on me. Mont-Saint-Michel. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mont-Saint-Michel. There are no pictures that do this magnificent place justice. Ally stayed there once and swears the place is haunted. That would not surprise me one bit. I am glad we went on the off season. It was overcrowded for us and can only imagine the shit show during busy season. Bucket List....
    Next Stop San Malo on up the coast. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint-Malo
    Here we booked a room for the night in town and walked into the walled town. Again pictures don't do it justice. In 1944, the Allies heavily bombarded Saint-Malo, which was garrisoned by German troops. They have done a wonderful job of putting it back together.
    At some point in the evening we decide to go out to the Channel Islands (something to do with a book Caroline read while a child) sure why not! Next morning we try to book the ferry online but their system would not accept our Credit Cards. So we walked down to the ferry terminal and booked there. Then walked back to the hotel and asked to stay another night so we could catch the ferry early then next morning. Haha. No rooms available and it was fast approaching checkout time. We packed our bags and loaded the car with our stuff. After a long meandering walk on the beach we found a beautiful place out in the farmland of the area. There we ventured off to have Pizza at a nearby restaurant and back for an early night so we could be at the ferry dock for 6:30 am.
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  • Oct2

    French Introduction

    October 2, 2021 in France ⋅ ☁️ 61 °F

    As we said goodbye to the North of Spain, the unknown parts of France await. We pack up again. Which might I add is down to a science now. Two backpacks to a minimum and everything else is in the boot of the car.
    And off we go. We have decided that what we both need is time to frolic in the French countryside. So we picked a place in THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE. It was owned by an English family who were so accommodating. It was so calm we extended our stay two additional days. The only excitement was Michael (the owner of where we were staying) on his riding lawnmower on Sunday. He spotted us having a glass of wine as we overlooked the valley. He quickly abandoned the lawnmower like a drunk cowboy would his faithful horse and up and joined us. Apologizing the whole time for how pissed he was. And yes he was.
    Turned out to be a very entertaining evening with our hosts. We solved all that ails humanity.
    Other than walking, cooking, wine tasting, shopping for more food to cook and going to a brilliant farmer’s market, we just chilled. Michael and us.

    Whoops, I guess we did a quick stop off in Bordeaux (the city) on the way to the middle of nowhere. Caroline can give you all that.

    I’m on me holidays ☘️
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    Derick Clack

    Enjoying the life 👍

    10/12/21Reply
     
  • Oct1

    The rain in Spain falls only on the ?

    October 1, 2021 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 59 °F

    We last dropped a line while in the Douro Valley (Portugal). What a spot. From there we took a long drive up to north Central Spain. Gijón to be precise. (http://tiny.cc/wiki_gijon)

    It was a really nice, working class type city but what I have come to realize is that the population density of these towns (cities) far exceeds my expectations. What appears to be a medium size town has over 1/4 million people. Nonetheless loved the place. Stumbled on a great 5k (one way) walking path along the beach. Another 10k+ day!

    From there we drove to Getxo, just north of Bilbao on the Bay of Biscay. Barry Barr's home away from home (Barry of KAVU) through his wife's family. This is a town worth reading about. It was and perhaps still is one of the most influential towns in Spain. The captains of industry built their summer homes here. (http://tiny.cc/wiki_getxo)

    Getxo has a great promenade and the Vizcaya Bridge is something to behold. A different way to ferry across the water. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vizcaya_Bridge

    While in Getxo, our good friend Gregg Ness instructed us to visit San Sebastian.
    (http://tiny.cc/wiki_sanseb) What a treat. The walks, the beaches, the architecture, the food and the hot ch...urches. (Fun fact: about 1 in 10 women sunbathe topless. Not a lot of tan lines around here...haha.)

    We have been bouncing from Airbnb to Hotel and back. The beds (and pillows) in Airbnbs so far in Europe, for the most part, suck unless one has been trained by NASA or North Korea. Seriously...what do people have against a bed that's a little soft? It's not like we're asking for a "princess and the pea" situation or something soooo smushy it makes your back hurt, but it would be nice not to have to switch positions every hour just to keep blood flowing to all parts of your body. Okay, sorry, end that rant.

    Overall impressions of Northern Spain / Basque Country:
    ~ Beautiful country--green, jagged coastlines up against cloud topped mountains, clean sandy beaches, frothy waves
    ~ Easy to communicate (with our broken Spanish), most establishments had someone that could speak English
    ~ Better food than Portugal--more flavor but still a LOT of bacalau (salt cod), seafood, and very few vegetables on the menu. Didn't have a chance to go to any public "farmers" markets but given that you see vegetable gardens in practically every backyard, I have to guess they're great.
    ~ Nice people once you engage, but not as nice as the Portuguese just walking down the street. Just simple things like people not making eye contact, or if they do and catch you smile, they don't smile back. Only had one person engage us in a bar, but they were pretty strict with masks and most people preferred outdoor seating where it's tough to just "chat someone up."
    ~ A bit more expensive than Portugal across the board, but you can still get a glass of wine for 2-3 Euros and dinner for 2 with drinks for 40 Euros.
    ~ Not as laid back as Portugal, just little things like traffic is a bit more hectic, a few more car horns heard, but still very respectful of pedestrians and nothing like a city of the equivalent size in the U.S.

    All in all, Northern Spain's combination of beaches, food, and architecture along with the Basque culture, is alluring and we'll definitely be back.

    Up next: France!
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    No gear ? [Simon]

    10/30/21Reply
    Jeff Shelley

    On November 10 Jeff is checking back on your adventures and am even more envious/thrilled for you two. So cool to know folks so free. Wonderful stories & pix by the way. Since tomorrow is Veteran's Day and I'm an Army vet, all I have to say is - no guts no glory! Safe travels my friends. I miss you up at the Point and will be following your journey.

    11/10/21Reply
     
  • Sep22

    Rent or Lease? It's a no brainer!

    September 22, 2021 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 66 °F

    I miss Portugal! But this is all a part of the journey. Right? We have to try new places and new things. So we hopped in our brand new car. Seriously, it had 12KM on the odometer when we picked it up. Besides having to get an Uber out to the leasing office, the pickup was flawless. The quick story on leasing is that when traveling in Europe for 3 weeks or more it is LESS expensive to lease a car than it is to rent one. Plus the leased cars comes with full insurance plus you can leave EU states with the vehicle (rental companies will not allow this) since technically you own it.
    We made it from Porto to Gijon in Spain on one tank of petrol. Approximately 80 euros worth or $100. It is nice to have the added flexibility to be able to pull off and see different sights and take photos. Not so easy when using public transportation. For info on leasing see following link.

    https://www.autoeurope.com/peugeot-europe-lease…

    Our drive up to Gijon was interesting, we were inland and you can see the rout on our map here. We did a lot of elevation changes which I didn't really anticipate. From sea level to over 3400 feet. The landscape changed with the Elevation also from lush green in the low lands to baron rock at the higher elevations.

    https://www.google.com/maps/place/Gijón/@43.546…

    Will fill you in later on our time in Spain so far later today. For now Cheers
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    Ryan B

    I get that you both worked so hard to divest in so many ways before you took off on this adventure, but I think Donny might have taken it a step too far by getting rid of his shirts. You both look so happy and I am loving all of these updates.

    9/29/21Reply
    Caroline Edwards

    Ha!

    9/29/21Reply
     
  • Sep21

    Portugal wrap up

    September 21, 2021 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 70 °F

    We landed in Portugal on August 26th. We paid a visit to Lisbon, Cascais, Nazaré, Coimbra, Porto and the Douro Valley. With a few minor side trips. So for those of you who are just following us, here is the mission. We are traveling the world to see where we want to hang our hat at the end of all of this. Portugal is high on this list for a number of reasons.
    1. Cost of living.
    2. Good medical facilities and inexpensive medical insurance costs.
    3. Golden Visa. Which after five years one can get residency.
    4. Access to golf and good weather to play the game.
    5. Slower pace of life.

    As of this writing, I would put her high on the list. The people have been great, food is really good, public transportation is great and wine is lovely and inexpensive. Hooray

    All that been said the country seems to be low on paint. No matter where we went, as I looked around my view was always "can someone please paint these buildings". All said and done a great country. I think we will be back to take a deeper look.

    For anyone looking to visit. Get to Porto and check it out. It has it all. Then if you like wine, take a trip out to the Douro Valley.

    Thanks Portugal. It has been a pleasure....
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    Christina Pratt

    Exciting!!! Love the pics! Just make sure you add “Sister Suite,” to that list of must haves ; )

    9/23/21Reply
    Caroline Edwards

    It’s a given. 😉

    9/24/21Reply
    sean smith

    Beutiful!

    9/27/21Reply
     
  • Sep20

    Inland to Bouro

    September 20, 2021 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 75 °F

    Left Porto, picked up our rental car (ask Donny about leasing instead of renting!) and headed for the next stop, a monastery converted into a hotel (https://www.pousadas.pt/en/hotel/pousada-amares) and some hiking.

    After checking in, we headed out to explore the town of Bouro, which took about 3 seconds so we just kept walking uphill. Twisty-turny, shaded paths winding through buildings and along hillsides remind me of Tuscany (particularly Chianti).

    Hard to tell if the path through the forest is man-made only because it seems mind boggling that it could be.
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