Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Middle Kingdom

Only two letters now remain for the Alphabet Travel quest in Y and Z - no simple task to accomplish so instead a deviation to visit the Middle Kingdom of China. Shanghai, Beijing, Zhengzhou, Shaolin and Xian. A cold time to visit with temperatures expected to be around -1C but potentially to -9C here's hoping for some snow but not too much. A bullet train ride and the Longmen Grottos look to be the highlights.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

P's and Q's

For those following along with the Alphabet Quest only four letters remain - P, Q, Y and Z. Countries with the letters P and Q will soon be visited - namely Poland and Qatar. Poland has a long and interesting history and many people when asked to name a country that starts with the letter Q struggle to identify that Qatar is the only one. But this trip will also visit many other countries: - Denmark (again); - Sweden (for the first time); - Finland (for the third time but the first to properly explore Helsinki); - Estonia, Russia, Belarus and Poland (all for the first time); - Germany (first time to Berlin, having made many prior trips to Germany); and - Czech Republic and Hungary (both for the first time). The many different currencies is a step back in time to my very first trips around Western Europe, now most countries of which all use the Euro - Zlotys (means gold), Korunas, Kronas, Krones, Rubles, and Forints - will be fascinating to see all the different currencies. Ahh and the Riyals of Qatar. And then there are the many languages. That's the great thing about travel - opens the mind.