When most people think of North Korea they imagine a dictatorship closed to all outsiders. Surprisingly, it’s actually quite easy to visit. The hardest part is applying for a Chinese visa, as you have to go through China (or Russia) first. Here’s what it’s like to fly from Beijing to Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea.
Continue reading “Flying to North Korea”
This is the second time I’ve visited China in the past year. Last autumn I enjoyed snuggling the affectionate kitties at Chengdu’s Peekaboo Cat Cafe, so I decided to see what Beijing has to offer too.
Continue reading “Cat Cafes of Beijing”
China has an ancient history but the country is technically quite young. After a brutal occupation by Japan up until the end of WWII and a civil war that forced the losing side out to Taiwan, Mao Zedong and his Communist Party formed The People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949. Seventy years later, I just happen to be in Beijing. What better place to join in the celebrations.
Continue reading “Happy 70th Birthday, China”
Day 11 – Haarlem – 60 km
We catch a free ferry to Amsterdam. I like how everyone rides their bikes off the boat instead of walking.
Continue reading “The Real Harlem”
Day 9 – Utrecht to Hilversum – 36 km
After visiting the vibrant collage town of Utrecht, we join a cycling path along the Dutch Water Line. Now a peaceful greenway, this series of sluices, dikes, and forts was constructed beginning in the 1620s as a military defense against the Spanish, French, and English. It took until 1815 to complete! When you live in such a low country, flooding low-lying areas to keep attackers out is a brilliant idea.
Continue reading “The Real Brooklyn”
Day 6 – Rotterdam to Gouda – 49 km
We say goodbye to Rotterdam, crossing over the Erasmusbrug bridge, the second largest in the Netherlands.
Continue reading “The Home of Gouda Cheese”
Day 4 – The Hague to Brielle – 54 km
From The Hague, we cycle along the coastline to The Hook of Holland, a spit of land at the mouth of a major shipping channel.
Continue reading “Rotterdam, The Strangest Dutch City”
Day 1 – Amsterdam – 42 km
We pick up our comfy cruiser bikes from Mike’s Bike Rental in central Amsterdam and carefully strap on all our worldly possessions for the next two weeks. It’s time to explore Europe’s “low countries”.
Continue reading “Netherlands Cycling Adventure”
A New Adventure
After spending the first half of this year hiking long distance trails in New Zealand and the Canadian Rockies, I’m excited to begin a completely different kind of adventure. I’m off to Amsterdam to aimlessly cycle through the flat countryside of the Netherlands while snacking on stroopwafel and Gouda cheese.
Continue reading “The Long Way to Amsterdam”
Craters of the Moon National Monument in southern Idaho is often described as “the strangest 75 square miles on the North American Continent”. This chaotic mess of volcanic craters, lava flows, and piles of loose rock is so other-worldly that the Apollo astronauts trained here in preparation for their moon missions. Julius Merrill, who visited in 1864, described it as “a mass of Black Vomit”.
Continue reading “Craters of the Moon”