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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Travel Posters From Another Era

This is just one of a number of wonderful vintage travel posters at Far and Wide

Go on a virtual adventure today ... slip back in time to a different age in travel.

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Friday, July 28, 2006

Klosters Is A Great Place For A Family Adventure Travel Vacation

An alpine wonderland full of fun and adventure. Hiking across high alp meadows, picnics by emerald lakes, a thrilling bike ride down the mountain, and sleeping in a mountain house are just some of the fun things we do on this adventure in an alpine playground.

Klosters - A lovely town for families

Friendly locals greet us on our wanders about the lovely village of Klosters. The intimacy and hospitality of Klosters make it a great village for families. Chalet-style buildings, a riverside promenade, and fun places to eat - all set in a picturesque landscape of rolling meadows against rocky peaks.

We stay in a family-friendly hotel with an indoor swimming pool, a great mini golf, tennis courts and other fun to be discovered.

Day 1 - Schwarzsee picnic and down the Schluchtweg

We ride the cable car up to Gotschnaboden on a grassy plateau halfway up the Gotschna. With the rocky Grat looming above us, we take a meandering hike over grassy hillsides and through cool forest.

We emerge from the pine trees into the hamlet of Laret. A short walk down through interesting old houses and farm buildings takes us to the Schwarzsee.

After a relaxing picnic by this lovely little lake we hike down through the Schluchtweg - an easy path winds downwards through a rocky gorge. We continue our easy downhill walk over the grassy meadows above Selfranga. Following the road through the sunburned old houses, we stop in front of big farmhouses with attached barns and a menagerie of cows, goats, and chickens.

Day 2 - Alp hamlet at Schlappin

Gentle trails amongst rugged peaks provide a perfect setting for family fun. Today we ride a gondola up from the opposite side of Klosters - below us a toy landscape of barns dotted over green hillsides.

Our hike takes us along a gentle, panoramic traverse with magnificent views out to yesterday's Gotschna and down to Klosters. We pass the tiny Zügenhüttli and hear the melodic tinkling bells of grazing cows - these gentle Brown Swiss will allow us up close for some petting.

We drop down to the tiny hamlet of Schlappin - a small scattering of houses near a pretty alp lake. A lunch at the Berghaus is followed by a frolic in the quiet Schlappin Valley.

Our return route follows the stream of the Schlappinbach down through a cool forest to Klosters-Dorf.

Day 3 - Parsenn panorama trail and heavenly dessert

We return to the Gotschna - this time we ride the cable car all the way up to the rocky Grat. As our car swoops up the face of the Gotschnagrat, we get a close-up look at the marmot colony that lives in this rugged habitat.

An easy stroll along the Panoramaweg, with broad views across the valley, takes us to the Parsennhütte for lunch. We walk on across Totalp to Schatzalp - here we have a blast riding the summer sledding run.

A ride down to Davos on the funicular and we head over to my favorite pastry shop - the venerable Confiserie Schneider - for a delicious selection of dessert creations. Sitting on the flagstone terrace, we enjoy our tasty selection with a cappuccino or rosehip tea and watch the scene on Davos' busy main street.

Day 4 - Fireworks from our mountain restaurant

Sunny meadows on rolling hillsides make for comfortable hiking. Heading out of Klosters, amongst the old wooden houses of Aeuja and Mälcheti, we hike up and follow along the banks of the icy Landquart. Emerging into the grassy meadows across from Pardenn, we have a great barbecue on the banks of the river.

Climbing up over the Schwendi, we enter the refreshing forest of Monbieler Wald and follow a trail through aromatic pines and across lovely alp clearings.

Tonight, we celebrate Switzerland's Confederation Day at the perfectly located mountain restaurant Alpenrösli. A traditional and delicious dinner of Älplermacaroni and we get ready for the show. In Klosters below us, on top of Gotschna directly across from us, and all the way down the Prättigau Valley, the Swiss are celebrating their Confederation Day with a barrage of fireworks - and we've got ringside seats.

Day 5 - The flying bicycle run to Küblis

We bike out of Klosters into the cool forest behind the Gotschnabahn station. Up the gentle forest path we climb through the Rüti Wald, crossing bridges over wild gorges tumbling down to the valley below.

Our reward comes as we emerge from the forest and plop down on the spacious sun terrace of the Schiferhütte - their golden fried Rösti is heavenly.

We ride out on a path that affords wide panoramas of the Prättigau. From here it's downhill all the way to Küblis - a wonderful long flight along a smooth road through tiny alp farms, ancient hamlets, and into the valley 750 meters below.

After refreshments, we bundle our bikes into a train and return to Klosters the easy way.

Day 6 - Sleeping in a Berghaus, playing on a glacier

The alpine zone is a totally different world from the valley below. We ride in mini-vans up into the Vereinatal - a twisting road up through a rocky gorge deposits us at a solid rock Berghaus sitting in a desolate alpine valley. Heading up through the Frömdvereina, we hike up to the Jöriseen - two pretty glacial lakes where we enjoy a wonderful picnic.

A jaunt across this tiny bowl and we clamber onto the tiny Jöri Glacier for some summertime snow fun. Returning to the Berghaus, we're greeted by a friendly atmosphere and settle down for an enjoyable night.

The large boulders in the side valley entice us for some after-dinner exploring and we bask in the alpenglow as the departing sun turns the peaks to pink and gold. Tonight we sleep in a Lager - a slumber party in the alpine world.

Day 7 - Down through the tumbling Vereina gorge

A brisk wake-up - it gets quite frosty in the alpine zone - and we're ready for a hearty mountain breakfast. Today's hike takes us back down through the gorge alongside the torrent of the Vereinabach. Hiking amongst the fragrant dwarf pine, we're in a habitat quite different from the alpine region of yesterday.

Coming out into the open pastures of Alp Novai, we beeline for the converted alp barn at Garfiun. Sitting outside this rustic rock and log building, overlooking a soft rolling meadow, we enjoy a solid farmer's lunch. At our hotel we end our alpine adventures with a rousing mini golf tournament.

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Saturday, July 22, 2006

Those adventurous Hungarians

Seems there's a different kind of adventure on Laka Balaton in Hungary. The Hungarian tourism authority is advertising it for those who fancy sex in a boat.

An email is being sent around by Hungary's authorities ... with a link to a cartoon film. Accompanied by a snappy Hungarian pop song from the 1980s, a young blond woman goes out on the lake with a man in a small rowboat. After popping her top (so to speak) she gets his undivided attention and they make waves in the boat.

The tourism authorities was quoted as saying, "The marketing campaign is aimed at selling Balaton as a travel destination primarily for the young generation." Since the man is seen at the end hiding his wedding ring ... have to wonder what kind of young people they're trying to attract ;-)

You can check out the short flick here: (Warning: Some cartoon nudity)

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Thursday, July 20, 2006

An adventure in the Himalayas of Tibet

I received a great tale of adventure in the Himalayas from my Warrior friend Beverly Clement. She and her husband Rob went there to help with a hospital and center.

You have made it as far as China and now you want to go and explore parts of Tibet that you might not have been to before or even read about.

Wewere heading to a place that was almost difficult to find on a map.We hired a driver, a 4x4 car and a translator, and then off we went over the mountains. It is fairly cheap to hire people to drive you and far safer than trying to drive yourself.

Slowly we climb up the mountains, it was just the end of winter and snow was still plentiful on these mountains. Finally we climbed to just over 4500 metres. Wow the view was amazing. The Himalayas - we are among them and words fail to describe what you see ahead.




From this you can see the road we have just travelled. Remember we are up over 4500 metres. But it wasn’t long before we were slowed down as there had been an accident on this mountain range. It immediately shows you how good a driver you have as he safely goes past it. These photos were taken from the vehicle we were in as we slowly drove past. You want adventure - you get adventure on these mountains.


And as you see it isn’t one vehicle that has gone over the edge, but that vehicle is resting on another van.


And of course you need to look at the problem to make sure the vehicles don’t roll down the mountain. What do you do? Well in China it is simple - stand on the bumper and see what can be done.


And if you are not sure how far it was to roll down the mountain - this is us below the crash.


It is good to know that nobody was injured and the drivers got out safely.

You want adventure; try the mountains of China and Tibet. We promise you that you will not be disappointed with the view you get. The clean air, just be aware of the altitude.

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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Sunrise in the Alps rewards adventure travelers

The first rays of the sun strike the high peaks and then slowly descends to the village below - bathing the Alpine meadows in a warm golden glow. Early mornings are a wonderful time for mini explorations.

Early risers enjoy an enjoyable and refreshing "early morning ramble". One morning you take a light saunter through an old part of town, looking at traditional architecture or watching the locals go about their morning chores. On other mornings, you hike up to a vantage point in a meadow where you revel in the early light and the fresh air.

Walk to the bakery and savor the tantalizing aroma of fresh baked temptations. Join a local farmer as he milks his cows.

(Here's the early morning sun bathing my hometwon of Klosters, Switzerland)

Wherever you go on your "early morning rambles", you're sure to build up a healthy appetite. You return to our inn to find the rest of your group congregrating over steaming mugs of rich coffee and sitting down to a hearty breakfast buffet. A map is pulled out, showing today's hike, and soon everyone is poring over it in anticipation of today's adventure.

Get up early on your adventure tour and get the extra reward of a wonderful morning.

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Milford Sound is an adventure travel jewel in New Zealand

Nestled in the World Heritage Fiordland National Park of New Zealand, Milford Sound has been described as one of the Natural Wonders of the World ... with its awe-inspiring Mitre Peak and stunning waterfalls that tumble down into the serene waters.

The sound is located at the northern end of the wild Fiordland, which stretches over 200 kilometers from Milford Sound to Preservation Inlet. On the eastern frontier the forest gives way to the drier and pastoralSouthland and is defined by large lakes. The Tasman Coast lies on thewestern boundary, and to the north lies the Southern Alps.

Fiordland's extraordinary coastline and deep branching lakeswere carved out by glaciers millions of years ago, leaving behind aland hailed for its spectacular scenery ... its isolation ... its wild, uninhabitied environment.

Milford Sound is one of the wettest places in the world and this rain contributes to the area's beauty, nourishing its rich beech forests. The waters of Milford Sound are a haven for wildlife ... a place where dolphins, seals and penguins are often seen in their natural environment.

If you're planning a visit to New Zealand ... Milford Sound is a destination to seriously consider adding to your vacation. Adventure travel vacations bring you in touch with nature.

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Monday, July 17, 2006

More adventure than they wanted

I found this story on Yahoo today. Could this be a new form of adventure travel vacation?

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Two Irish men who stole a fishing trawler after missing their ferry had to be rescued off the British coast where they were going in circles because they did not know how to sail.

After hours at sea, the men called what they thought was the Irish coastguard for help."They thought they were just off the coast of Ireland," said Ray Steadman, press officer of the Holyhead lifeboat in north Wales, about 66 miles east of Ireland.

In fact, the two were just 12 miles north of where they started in Holyhead and had called the British coastguard, Steadman told Irish broadcaster RTE Monday.Lifeboats and a helicopter were sent out to rescue the men, who were detained by police before being released.They were later rearrested after the boat owner discovered some damage to his trawler.

Here's the original story:

Two guys really miss the boat - Yahoo! News

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Sunday, July 16, 2006

More families are booking adventure travel vacations

Seems that families are outgrowing the old "week at the beach" vacation. Now, they're heading for the trails ... they're exploring more of their world.

A recent poll of American Express travel agents showed that families are booking more outdoor, adventure-style vacations (62 percent). They're also booking more international vacations (57 percent), cruises (49 percent) and family reunions (41 percent).

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