...constantly searching to find the best travel deals and places to visit. A never-ending quest for adventure!

Friday, August 23, 2019

Next up: Singapore

I depart later today for Singapore and the Next Gen Learning Spaces conference. I'm excited to be participating as a speaker and conference Chair.  You can find more information about the topics and speakers here:

5th Annual NGLS Asia

I've scheduled the flights so that I get a bit of a break midstream traveling east - hoping to see how this compares to past trips via SFO with the major time change.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Place of the Day: Carcassonne

It's more than just a game!

Medieval walls and history of the same have really been focus points for me when traveling.  I had a blast visiting Dubrovnik and walking the city walls, and Hadrian's wall is on my list yet to visit.  So I'm also adding this as a "must" place to go:

Located in the southern part of France, Carcassonne is the one best-preserved medieval/Roman cities with existing ramparts and citadel.  It dates back to early BC time and didn't suffer the same fate as other ruined locations.  It contains 53 towers and two outer walls for exploration.

A good idea of a visit/tour can be found here.

Hopefully I'll get the chance to visit soon!

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Dubrovnik/Tallinn Trip: Recap

It's always tough to do recaps since the trip must be over!  It was another amazing trip overall; the weather was perfect in each location and we were able to walk or use public transportation with little difficulty.  Climbing the walls is special in Dubrovnik (and if you're a Game of Thrones fan it's fun to find film spots).  I still believe there is nothing like a tiered, walled city to take you back in time.

The food options we explored were also excellent - I highly recommend both Leib and Farm if you're visiting Tallinn.  Each city had a wide selection of choices and I believe they have expanded in the last few years.

For 2020 I'm still doing research on points required, and am hopeful that a return trip to the Maldives might be in store.  It's a bit of a jaunt though worth it if you have the points to fly in business.  If everything works out, a stopover or two may also be possible.  Next trip up: Singapore!

Monday, August 12, 2019

Dubrovnik/Tallinn Trip: Daytrip to Helsinki

On my first trip to Tallinn I had some regrets about not taking advantage of the excellent cruise/ferry options to visit nearby cities.  The Tallink/Silja Lines operate a variety of connection opportunities including Stockholm, Helsinki, and Turku.  We were in luck to find that a day trip to Helsinki would only cost 64 euro for two...not bad!  From D-Terminal in Tallinn, it's only a 2 hour trip to get to Finland.

We got up early and took an Uber down to the Terminal and boarding started shortly after we walked in.  The main sitting area of the boat is open for anyone with no reserved seating; we found a table by a window that also had outlets.

Helsinki is a very easy city to visit.  The city tram line runs right to the arrival terminal and in about 20 minutes you're in the central city - use the app and purchase a day pass for only 8 euro.  Our first stop was Helsinki Cathedral - statues of Martin Luther and Melancton are inside:

The City Museum is just a short walk away from the Cathedral though was not very impressive.  Turning left down the street, though, we came to the Market Square with many outdoor vendors and food choices.

After lunch we decided to take a tram ride northeast of the square to find the Sibelius Monument.  Created with some controversy, this was an interesting creation in a nearby park:

We also chose to stop and see another well-known landmark, the Temppeliaukion Church. Built into the surrounding rockface, the acoustics in the sanctuary are impressive and we were lucky to have a pianist playing when we stopped.

Soon it was time to head back to the ship and transit back.  Our ferry back was uneventful and the main seating area was fairly full. Arriving back in Tallinn, we stopped in at Restauran Contravento just off of the Pile Gate for dinner.  Excellent wine and entrees!

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Dubrovnik/Tallinn Trip: First Day in Tallinn

Exploring Tallinn is very easy.  There is a tram service that takes you around the Old City and much if not all of the area is walkable.  I would encourage the use of public transportation and walking to anyone visiting to get a complete picture and flavor of the culture:

We were able to visit the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral along with St. Mary's Cathedral a short distance away.  Plus walking the wall sections is really special (and similar to Dubrovnik in stature).  Our walk also took us to the main Town Hall Square where we stopped in at numerous market shops.

For lunch I was excited we could visit Leib Restaurant - it boasts a specialized Estonian menu with many organic ingredients.  Make a reservation if you can in advance to secure a seat.