Yes, we did it! We have arrived to New York after driving 13.000km all over the country. Our last main stop before NYC was Chicago were we spent 3 days with Seyi. For Emilie it was nice to be back as she has been working there three years ago. We enjoyed strolling and shopping in that great city, really loved it!
Since ten days we are in New York and thanks to our friends Sybille (Jersey City), Erin (Fairfield) and Maggie (Brooklyn) we could stay in 3 different places in and around the city. It was amazing to have their help and be able to stay with friends we know! Thank you very much Charlies Angels 🙂
A great moment was meeting up with Jatin who we met in India on our motorbike trip, really great! Unlike the different cities we were visiting before NY was not much sightseing. Here in NYC we enjoyed spending time with our friends and chilled out.
In a few hours we will be taking our flight to the last destination, in Europe that is….
Eager to see more wildlife Al recommanded us to drive to the Canadian Rockies and that was the best advice ever! Along the road to Jasper we saw our first black bear (quite far away) and could not believe our eyes. The next day just before entering the national park 2 coyotees crossed our way. This officialy was the beginning of our wildlife adventure!!
The Canadian Rockies are just breathtaking. They made it among our TOP3 highlights on our around the world trip. It is the combination of stunning scenery and the unbelievable wild wilderness. As we were there during the low season most of the lakes were still frozen and the mountains were covered with snow. In 2 days we saw 2 black, 1 brown and 1 grizzly bear. Besides that many elk, deer, mountain goats, squirrels and birds.
From the Canadian Rockies we drove south to the Yellowstone National Parks in the US. Spotting the wildlife there was very easy! Before entering Yellowstone we hoped to see one or two buffalo. Well, Yellowstone is full of bisons and they are liturally everywhere! We also did see 7 black bears and 2 grizzlies! A very special moment for us was watching a black bear mother with her 3 kubs. They were approx. 3 weeks old and very cute!! At one point a deer approached the bear mother and quickly she pushed the 3 little ones up a tree- just amazing!!! Besides animals Yellowstone offers greats waterfalls, canyons and geysers and is a great park to visit.
Below photograpah of the wildlife Emilie took and additional photographs under PORTFILIO I
Unusual for our age (avarage is 95 :)) we have taken a cruise ship to visit a part of Alasaka. This one week journey was recommended to us by Carlos and Marcela who we have met in New-Zealand. It was a great experience and the few places we saw of Alaska make us want to come back one day.
The first place we visited was Juneau, the capital of Alaska which you can only access by boat or plane. We continued to Glacier Bay National Park which was our highlight. We were sailing through ice fields and came really close to the bluest glacier of Alaska. A unique experience to hear the ice cracking and crushing down into the sea called ice calving. We were surrounded by sea lions, seals, sea eagles and Humpback whales during most of the trip, pure nature!
One of the other stops was Sitka, a cute town where we decided to do a nice hike along the river. We were all alone and came very close to a sea eagle. Luckily a grizzly didn’t cross our way. At one point though we got very scared as a trunk fell down so we started making a lot of noise to scare away whatever was out there.
Kitchikan which is the raniest city in the south of Alaska was not that spectacular and very touristy so we very much enjoyed our last stop in Victoria, Vancouver Island, Canada. Victoria has a British touch and a very nice flair with the waterfront and its nice parliament building.
Before te cruise we were prepared to face a lot of rain and low temperatures but we were really lucky with the weather in Alaska making it a great trip!
Are we going to do another cruise soon? Probably not now as we prefer being on the road and having more adventure feel.
Right now we are back in Seattle staying with Al, a good travel friend who has shown us as much as possible in the area around Seattle. With him we did a very nice treck in the Olympics!
We are now ready to move on without knowing yet where next….
We spent the last 10 days in Portland with Kim and Kjell where we were hosted. It was so nice catching up on old friendship and getting to know Portland really well. We appreciated staying at one place for longer and getting the home feeling, thank you very much to both of you!
The drive to Portland coming from South California (San Francisco) through Oregon was scenic, rainy and kind’a romantic 🙂 We stopped at different towns on the way and went to the Sequoia and Redwood National Parks where we saw the tallest and largest trees in the world. They are also one of the oldest trees (3500years old) on the planet. We felt very little and nature is and remains impressive!
Here a few pictures we took:
We are now on the road since 2 weeks and we are positively amazed by the country’s national parks. They are much more impressive than we thought and are totally different with what we have seen so far.
From Las Vegas we drove to the Zion national park and did a great hike “Angels Landing” in and above the canyon….what a view! It was a nice first encounter. We continued our road and had to cross the Red canyon to reach the Bryce Canyon. The Bryce Canyon is smaller than the other ones but it remains one of our favorite parks. As we were quite early in the season the park was covered by snow….what a change after French Polynesia! On the road we got snow and hale and were freezing!!! From Bryce Canyon we continued driving into the Arches National Park. On the way we stopped at Capitol Reaf, Canyonlands and Dead Horse Point. All of them are really worth a visit as they are different one from each other.Yet, if you have to make a choice then without hesitation Arches is the one. We did 2 great treks there. One was to the Double O Arches and the other one to the Delicate Arch. The views during those treks are stunning!
After a couple of parks in Utah we decided to continue to the Antelope Canyon in Arizona. For those who are into photography this canyon should be on your to do list. Finally we made a stop at Horseshoe Point. This is one of my favorite places.(Emilie) The view onto the canyon and the Colorado river is just amazing! Last we arrived at the Grand Canyon and it is impressivly huuuuuuuge!! If you can we do recommand to visit the canyon by helicopter. We looooooved it….it was unforgettable!!
The colours of the main national parks are beautiful, a mix between orange, yellow and red and it is becoming more impressive during sunset or sunrise. Besides that you also have a chance to see wild animals. We were lucky and saw a coyote, elks, prairie dogs and deer.
We finished the Grand Circle Road trip by taking the mythic Route 66 back to Las Vegas in Nevada. After almost 2 weeks in the national parks we enjoyed the one night in Las Vegas. It was good to eat something else than burger or pizza….we ate Chinese hehe!!
Yesterday we were crossing the Death Valley and it is fascinating how the temperature increased so fast. We were close to 40 degrees celcius in the middle of nowhere and where praying that nothing happens to our car 😉
Here the pictures we have been taking on our journe. MORE under PORTFOLIO I //
Our last 5 days we spent in Moorea with Eva and Gordon, a polynesian couple who hosted us. Patrick fullfilled one of his wishes and together with Gordon went deep sea fishing. The first time in his life he cought a big Yellowfin Tuna. Although he liked it and learnt a lot from it Patrick could not become a fishermen as he felt too sorry for the fish beeing cilled. Nevertheless thanks to the catch we got a great dinner 🙂
French Polynesians are very friendly and hitchhiking was lots of fun and easy! We always met nice poeple and got something to eat or drink.
These 3 weeks here passed crazily fast and we like to thank a special person, Chris. Thanks to him we could spent time with 2 wonderfull families who we will never forget!
Now we are packing our things for the next adventure as our flight is tonight….
Here again some pictures and have a look under PORTFOLIO I
Emi and Patrick
We are back from the second largest atoll in the world named Rangiroa in French Polynesia. We were staying with a local family and were spoiled to the maximum!!! Every day we got served great food, mostly fish, spent time with the children or went fishing…its difficult to describe how happy we felt being in this warm loving family!!! A huge thank you Orphee and your entourage!!!!!
When we were not at home we went snorkeling and diving which was incredible as well! World famous and unique – a school of dolphins, sting rays, turtels, lemon sharks, white tip, black tip and grey reef sharks were on our diving menu.
To get a better idea here some photographs under and above the water.
We spent the last 2 weeks driving through the North Island of NZ and we are happy to have spent more time on the South Island. We liked the South better as it was more wild and remote then here up North. Nevertheless also the last 2 weeks have been filled with highlights. In Wellington we happened to be in the middle of the opening cerimony of the Arts Festival. It was a beautiful concert with percussions and 200 children drumming, a choire and a funk and soul band – emotional and incredibly nice to see!!!
We really enjoyed one of the “Great Walks” called the Tongario Alpine Crossing where we had to climb part of the Tongario volcano also known as MT DOOM of Lord Of The Rings and continued to the wonderful Emirald Lakes.
Last week we were in the volcanic area of Rotorua where all rivers and lakes were perfect thermal baths! We also found a hot waterfall where we spent hours warming up.
A really pleasant surprise to finish our trip in NZ was meeting Sam. We met him for the first time in India 9 month ago and spent around 1 month together in the Himalayas driving our motorcycles there. All 3 of us went to the far north called Cape Reinga where the Tasman see meets the Pacific ocean. It was impressiv to see the waves crashing into each other!
The past 7 weeks we drove 9000km and slept 39 nights in our dear “White House”.
NZ is landscape wise so far the country we like the most together with the Himalayas. Its incredible how such a small place can offer that much! The pictures help you to understand our enthousiasm but you have to come yourself to witness it. For us it was unbelievable and magical.
THANK YOU NEW ZEALAND FOR THIS EMOTIONAL AND WONDERFUL TIME…
We are now in Auckland and our next flight is in 2 days time to…..see you soon again here on our blog.
Emi and Patrick
The last 5 weeks on the South Island we took our “White House” not only to the major but also secondery roads. We sometimes felt being the only ones in this country. From Milford Sound we drove along the South Coast and then drove up the East Coast where we stayed in one of our favorite small towns: Omara. Its a cosy, authentic town with historical buildings, nice art galleries and breweries. What was amazing there is that we could see the Yellow Eyed Pinguins. We had to wait 3 hours and were very cold but it was worth waiting and seeing them walking on the beach after a long day fishing, very cute!
Then we crossed the the island via the Arthurs pass to the westcoast and its crazy how the nature changes every half hour and also the weather does.
The last 3 days we did Couch surfing at Marcela and Carlos place in Christchurch. This amzing colombien couple welcomed us to stay with them for 3 nights. After one month sleeping in the car we really enjoyed having a bed, a good shower and a proper kitchen. We even succeeded in making our first bread, yammmy!!
Now we are in the north, discovering that part of island!
Enjoy the pictures!!!
Emi and Patrick
The West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand is stunning and spectacular.
You can drive for hours and you’ll never be annoyed by its scenery and wilderness. Most of the time we camp close to the sea, a river or a lake for swimming and having a shower, bath at the same time. It is great to wake up at night and see the stars and waking up in the morning with seals or Keas ( alpine parrots) in front of our car. We manage to cook outdoors with a small gas stove, the sole problem is sometimes rain, the cold or worse the dracula of the South Island: the Sand Flys….very annoying and itchy!!!!
A couple of days ago it was Emilies birthday and she treated herself with a skydive. For dinner beers and a huge hamburger with Erin and Ian were the party ingredients.
Yesterday we went to the most touristic but at the sametime really beutiful Milford Sound fiord. On a cruiseship we came close to seals and huge waterfalls and were enjoying the steep cliffs and mountains.
By the way: for the ones being interested why the inhabitants are called KIWIS: its not the fruit but the national bird being active at nightime. The Kiwi has a round shape and a long peak.
Here some more pictures we took of the nature, also under PORTFOLIO I pictures have been added.
Cheers, Emilie and Patrick
Welcome to the country where there is more sheep than inhabitants!!
Since two weeks we fully enjoy the south island of NZ, simply amazing! Ten days ago we got a new friend, we call it “The White House”. Its our home and takes us from A to B….our rental car. Up to now we drove 2000km already and started along the east coast up north and now we are driving on the west coast down to the south. It is easy to camp in the middle of nowhere, we have the choice between wild beaches and tropical jungle. If you ask yourself what NZ looks like? We would answer it with: a mix of Avatar and The Lord Of The Rings.
We had many great moments already. We swam with wild Hector and Dusky dolphins, crossed big sand dunes, went kayaking and met seals and pinguins, sooo cute and unforgettable.
Here some pictures of the last 2 weeks:
We arrived 3 days ago to the south of Mauritius, just a 20mn flight from La Reunion. This week we especialy enjoy as my parents are with us! It is great to see them again after 9 months and spending time here with them.
Right now it could not be better!!!
Its good to be home after 4 years. We are very busy visiting all relatives celebrating birthdays, births, national holidays and christmas. Its funny to celebrate christmas in the tropics but at the same time a big party with lots of food, dancing and fire works, really loved being around Emilies family! Te blog has been ad acta for a while dur to all this gatherings and celebrations…..but we are back reporting from our travel.
A couple of days ago Emilie went paragliding and had the perfect conditions for a 40 minutes flight from the mountain to the coast of La Reunion. Its not my favorite so I prefered taking pictures from below.
Here some snapshots:
Nooooooo…. tomorrow we will leave Sri Lanka! The second half of our journey in Sri Lanka was also amaaaaaaazing! We loved it at least as much as the first part focusing on the beach life in the east and south coast of the island.
We had an unforgettable day during a Whale watching tour in Mirissa where we spent our last 4 days! Together with Ludwig and Lena from Munich we saw Bryde whales, around 50 Spinner dolphins swimming in front of our boat, so beautifuuuul, the Blue whale (the biggest animal in the world) and the very rare Orca! These Killer whales have been seen only 6 times in the past 6 years as the water in the Indian ocean is much warmer then the northern seas ( Alaska, Canada, Norway) where they usually live. They only come to these waters to hunt the Blue whale babys.
Every evening we spent at the beach and what could be better than fresh fish? On our menu were Yellow Fin Tuna, Dorade, Red Snapper, Sea Chicken ( right it really tastes like chicken), Giant Scampi and Lobster! DELICIOUS.DELICIOUS.DELICIOUS.
If you are not sure if India is the right place for you then Sri Lanka may be the one!
We really enjoyed it and do strongly recommend visiting this stunning island!
Stay tuned, the updated travel map will be available shortly!
What a wonderful surprise Sri Lanka is!!!
We were expecting little India but except of the similarity of the people, the island has nothing to do with it’s close neighbour. Sri Lanka is more developed and structured making travelling very easy, safe and pleasant. Again, also here, the people are amazing, we love their happy faces smiling at us….Emilie is the smaller sister of them all.
Within 10 days we watched wild elephants chasing us ( soooo cute anyhow), took amazing steam trains through lush, unforgettable nature with tea plantations, waterfalls, bridges and mountains and are now in the middle of the country, Ella, in a family homestay where monkeys, giant squirrels, bats and mosquitos surround us…..just magical!!!
Last we think that the food deserves to be mantioned ( French gourmet on board:) as the country offers very deliscious and unforgettable spicy dishes, a true delight.
Here our first pictures plus the pictures under PORTFOLIO I – njoy! If you wonder what Patrick has on it’s head, it’s two stichtes as a result of changing the mosquito net in the guest house last week. He is feeling good after a visit to the goverment hospital, treated like a VIP!
Arriving in Myanmar after only one hour flight, coming from high tech, fancy, chaotic Bangkok, is like traveling back in time. The first thing to notice arriving at night is the lack of light, the simplicity, an immediate “Indian”like flair with different smells….a country with lots of charm! Especially the poeple are incredibly nice, sweet and helpful in Myanmar. We as touristis felt like welcoming attractions!
One thing is for sure: if Myanmar is on your “to do travel list” don’t wait too long to visit as the country is changing really fast. Due to increasing tourism it may lose its authenticity quickly. The good news: probably WIFI will improve 🙂
Our highlights were:
1. Shewdagon Pagoda in Yangon. We spent 3 hrs admiring this 100m high golden Pagoda ( coated with 750kg of GOLD, 5000 diamonds and 2000 rubies). Breathtaking also because the pagoda was surrounded by thousands of candles, magical!
2. Teak U Bein Bridge: the longest teakwood bridge in the world. Our most beautiful sunset so far, really kitsch but sooooo romantic.
3. difficult to decide so two destinations:
A. Trekking in Hispaw where we slept in a traditional family home and visited different villagers.
B. Inle Lake on a small boat where we could see the traditional fishermen, water villages and temples.
We spent only 2 weeks in Myanmar as especially the accomodation was expensive considering being around the world travelers. If you compare the quality of rooms and the USD they cost its a very bad exchange rate 🙂
Nevertheless Myanmar is worth a visit and we are happy that it was on our travel route.
After all this text, enjoy the pictures below and under PORTFOLIO I
Keep visiting, the updated world map with our next destination coming soon.
Hug, Em & Patrick
Vietnam is definitely a country we highly recommend to visit in South East Asia. Its diversity make it very special. We enjoyed and loved Vietnam very much and this time we believe that the photographs express our journey the best. Reading the notes under each picture give you a better insight.
What about the people? Check PORTFOLIO I: “FACES OF VIETNAM”
Hugs, Em & Patrick
We crossed the mekong delta coming from Cambodia and here we are in Vietnam! An interesting journey being the only 2 people as passangers on a large boat…quite a private tour!
Chao Doc in the far south of Vietnam was our first stop, then Can Tho where we spent 7 hrs on the mekong river visitng floating villages and markets.
The next stop brought us to Ho Chi Minh City also known as former Saigon, the economic pulsing heart of the country. It’s a big city with over 3 mio. motorbikes making every street crossing a real adventure. It has its charm and as everywhere in Vietnam the street food was diverse and excellent. After a couple of days we decided to move north and spent one day in Muy Ne, a beach town created for tourists. We didn’t like it there.
A really relaxing place, a UNESCO world heritage site, is Hoi An, a town full of lanterns and lights, sooooooo romantic during the night! Apart from its ancient houses and temples, Hoi An is famous for tailor made clothes and shoes! We now are continuing our travel to the north, left Hoi An two days ago and had our first Thyphoon experience (strong winds and heavy rain) during our trip.
Below the first impressions of Vietnam, enjoy!
Angkor Wat is a must when visiting Cambodia, it is the largest religious monument in the world and was built in the 12th century. We spent 6 days in Siem Reap and spent 3 days at the Angkor Wat temples.
Afterwards we headed to Battambang. There is not much to see but it was interesting to find out more about the sad history of the Khmer Rouge in the 70’s.
We continued our journey to Phnom Penh by boat (7 hrs) and saw a lot of floating villages. This was amazing! In Phnom Penh we went to visit Cordell and Tamara. Cordell is an old friend of Patrick. Last time they met was 12 years ago. Just crazy and nice to see them again!
Beeing in PP we visited the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum alias S21. After you finish a tour like that you definitely need several glasses of wine, beer or other strong liquor. For those who like reading and want to know more about the Khmer Rouge regime I do recommend “First they killed my father” from Loung Ung. Don’t forget your tissues when reading this book…..
Cambodia is one of our highlights so far. Cambodians are the nicest people we met in Asia and the landscape is beautiful. We just loved it!