Spain and Morocco, July 2010

Spain

Trying to get a vacation as well as a free trip back to work this year, I worked out a dope deal where I pieced together a flight to Spain, and then a flight from Morocco to Sudan, paid for by work, while I would travel in between on my own for a few weeks. Unfortunately I had to also work on a summer school graduate class, which resulted in me having to work on assignments each day and having to constantly look for wifi and electrical outlets, but I was able to have a fabulous vacation, finish my class, and get back to work in time for the school year to begin. Success!

Deah in Madrid
Deah in Madrid
Madrid, Spain
Madrid, Spain

I started my trip in Cordoba, because I only had ten days and I wanted to see Andalucia more than I wanted to see the big cities like Madrid or Barcelona. After living in Sudan for a year, Continue reading “Spain and Morocco, July 2010”

October 2009- Dubai

Deah in Dubai
Dubai Hotel
Dubai hotel

Hello, everyone! I am in transiting through Dubai and feeling a lot better after getting some sleep. For some unknown reason, I can’t seem to sleep on planes, even after taking sleeping pills. So this flight was pretty bad for me. It was fourteen hours. The first five weren’t so bad and the last five weren’t so bad, but the four in the middle just about killed me. Only me and about four others were awake and we kept congregating in the back to talk and kill time. On the plus side I did get to watch 4 different movies, 5 episodes of 30Rock, and 5 episodes of 2 and a Half Men. Comedy really helps on long flights!

Continue reading “October 2009- Dubai”

Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Swaziland, and Lesotho- Nov 2008

Wow, what an amazing three weeks spent traveling around southern Africa! It felt so great going to the airport to leave Angola.  Once again, I had good luck getting through the Luanda airport and soon I was heading towards Johannesburg.  Once there, I spent only one night, and immediately grabbed a bus to Gaborone, the capital of Botswana.  From Gaborone went to Francistown, and decided to stop there for the night as well (and had to share the last hotel room with a guy from my bus!).  Finally, the next day, I bused from Francistown to the Botswana/ Zimbabwe border.  Without too much trouble, I was able to hitchhike from the border crossing Continue reading “Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Swaziland, and Lesotho- Nov 2008”

August 2008- Portugal

flat boat porto port wine portugal

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Here are a few highlights from my trip in Portugal.  Click on the links if you’re interested in visiting their webpages.

Porto- a city in the north of Portugal, where port wine was created.  The city of Porto is pretty small and very fun to walk around.  The River Douro runs alongside the city, with a beautiful steel bridge designed by a student of Gustav Eiffel’s.  On the other side of the river, numerous port houses store casks of port and offer tours and tastings.   http://www.portugalvirtual.pt/_tourism/costaverde/porto/

Lisbon- the capital of Portugal.  Home of the giant Christ statue, a fort overlooking the city, some wonderful parks, a couple of museums, and a very nice sculpture garden.  Not a huge city, so it’s nice to explore on foot.  On the weekends, the Bairro Alto area is the happening spot to hang out at night.

Lagos: a town on the southwestern coast, this city was great to just relax for a couple of days and walk around the town, and enjoy the beach. http://www.portugal-info.net/algarve/lagos.htm

Sintra:  my favorite part of the trip.  I spent the last 4 days in this UNESCO World Heritage town and loved every minute.  On one day, I rented a bike so that I could bike to some of the farther away attractions, such as the monastery.  Definitely my favorite part.  http://www.portugalvirtual.pt/_tourism/costadelisboa/sintra/index.html

  • Capuchan Convent- a really beautiful, tiny monastery built by monks who took literally the line in the Bible “the doorway to heaven is low and narrow”.  They built their rooms only 4 feet high with tiny doors.  The monastery is surrounded by some beautiful grounds. http://www.visitingeu.com/western-europe/portugal/2008/04/convento-dos-capuchos-sintra.html
  • Pena National Palace and Park- one of the best examples of a restored castle or palace that I have ever seen- and I’ve been to a lot!  The castle grounds were amazing, and they have restored a several of the inside rooms to tour through.  A nice bike ride from the city of Sintra.  http://www.portugalvirtual.pt/_tourism/costadelisboa/sintra/palpena.html
  • Quinta de Regaleira- a truely bizarre palace and grounds.  Once the home of royalty, the property was bought in early 1900’s for restoration, and the owner turned over all the plans to an Italian opera set designer to go wild with.  Together they turned the palace and gardens into their idea of the entire cosmology, ranging from the garden of Eden, to Dante’s world, to Olympus, etc.  You can spend an entire day here and not get bored.  Words can’t really describe this place, you really have to look at the pictures. http://www.portugalvirtual.pt/_tourism/costadelisboa/sintra/regaleira.html