Friday, January 21, 2011

Backblog: European vacation 2010

So after putting up my winter vacation pictures, I realised that I never put up my summer ones. And that is just not cool.

Having a July birthday means that I must take a vacation every summer, lucky for me last year it coincided with the International AIDS Conference in Vienna, and since I had never been to that part of the world (for the most part) I decided to make it into an exploratory trip into Central/Eastern Europe – a part of Europe I have always been afraid to visit (let’s be honest their history with the ‘melanin-endowed’ has been less than stellar).

Even luckier for me Prasad was willing to come along (as if he would ever pass up the chance at a trip).

We ended up cramming 5 cities (Vienna, Bratislava, Salzburg, Prague, Budapest) in 4 countries (Austria, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary) over 10 days. It was daunting, but it proved doable thanks mostly to the fact that Europe is tiny and everything is close by, everything is accessible by trains, and we were not too ambitions in what we actually hope to accomplish in our limited time in each city.

Highlights included:

• Spending quality time with Prasad
• Meeting Chris and Brian
• Classical concert in Salzburg
• Travelling by train during the day to see the country side rolling by
• Catching-up with Wanja, Kent, & Qasim in Vienna, and Neil in Prague
• Budapest as a whole
• Sacher Torte! (you must say it with a Teutonic accent)

European Vacation 2010

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Indonesia 2010

This winter in my attempt to escape the dreary grey that is London I headed to Indonesia with Michael and Peanut. Those of you who read my rants on Facebook, know what a painful process it was to actually reach my destination. Alas, once I did touch down on the humid land mass that is the world's most populous Muslim country.

I unfortunately missed on Jakarta, due to my travel dramas, but Yogyakarta, Bali, and Lombok did await.

Michael and I had a great time discovering a country that both of us have been eager to visit. And though Bali left a lot to be desired, Lombok was an absolute paradise (one which will surely be lost once the new international airport opens up in 2012).

Highlights of the trip include exploring Borobudur and Prambanan temples (and we know how much Peanut loves old temples). Exploring Ubud in Bali. And the beaches of Lombok.

The seafood was sublime, the beer cold and the company most excellent.

And though I would not go during the rainy season again (when Bali says rain, they really mean it - no monsoon I have ever been through can compare); next time I would skip Java and Bali go straight to Lombok and continue exploring east.

Here are a few pics if you are interested:

Indonesian Vacation 2010

Now I need to figure out where to go next, before my suntan fades!