Canadian Tulip Festival Ottawa
Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in WA
Holland Michigan Tulip festival
Tulip Festival – April Showers bring May Flowers, there are a multitude of tulip festivals come spring time in the United States, Canada and the Netherlands. Some of the largest festivals are held in Ottawa Canada, Amsterdam’s Keukenhof Gardens in the small village of Lisse, Skagit Valley Washington, and Holland Michigan to name a few. So if you want to get in on the Tulip Mania, (no we’re not talking about the crash of 1637) and want to feel like a real dutch-man or dutch-woman, Make sure to grab your wooden shoes so you can go tiptoeing through the tulips..or maybe more appropriately said, clod hopping through if you’re more like me and lack that kind of grace. Either way it only lasts while they’re in bloom so no procrastinating, time to get your flower on.
El Camino del Rey
El Caminito del Rey
Kings road in Spain.
El Caminito del Rey – The Kings little pathway is an old path that was built in 1905 to provide workers access to the hydro electric dam. From all the reports, this is known as one of the most dangerous hikes in the world. In fact the Spanish government tried to close the path in 2000 due to a couple of fatal accidents.. I say tried because there are still people that have been accessing it since(Illegally I might add). In 2011 they decided to have the regional and local governments work together to restore (aka take all the fun out of) this daring hike. I’m not exactly sure if it’s a good thing, or a bad thing, but the Spanish government must not work too fast because it was supposed to take about 3 years and 9 million to restore.. I just watched another video on youtube that was filmed about a month ago, March 2013. Comparing the recent video to the older one from 2008 shows the that the path still looks the same = scary, and I didn’t see any difference in any work having started yet. The newest video link from 2013 is below, also check out this blog post, it’s a little old from 2010 but has some pretty good pictures of how sketchy the hike really is http://blog.thecheaproute.com/guide-to-el-camino-del-rey-el-chorro-spain/
North Korean Arm
North Korea – It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Okay maybe just the worst of times, unless you’re Dennis Rodman. I think to be honest, North Korea is going to stay on my “phucket list” for now. Just in case you’re wondering, my “phuket list” is just like the “bucket list” except opposite. For the record, I love to visit new places, meet new people, get a nice tan, but I have a feeling that if you travel towards North Korea anytime soon, you’re more likely to get radiation burns than a sunburn. Hopefully diplomacy is the word of the day though, and we can all just be friends at sometime in the not too distant future.
La Rambla, Barcelona Spain – In 2012 I had a chance to visit Barcelona. My friend and I had chosen a hostel that was pretty close to La Rambla, the first thing we did was walk down the main street and of course we saw the market right away. So as soon as we checked in and ditched our bags, we decided to check it out. By far one of the coolest and one of the largest markets that I’ve been to. I’d say probably one of the highlights of the trip just because of all the variety, colors, smells, and of course tastes. La Rambla also has some pretty interesting looking street performers. One more thing to add, while we were walking around the second day we watched as a slightly rough looking lady bumped into a local and tried to steal something from her. The local lady then started screaming at the top of her lungs “ladrona” which apparently means thief in Spanish. So make sure to stay aware while you’re taking in the sights if you get a chance to check it out.
Graveyard in Huayna Potosi
Bolivian Mountains (Jayson Simon-Jones/http://www.crestedbutteguides.com)
La Plaz – Bolivia
Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia
Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia
Places to see in Bolivia – I was watching the Bloomberg show today, and they started talking about a new restaurant opening up in Bolivia called Gustu, that is ran in collaboration with the non profit organization started by Claus Meyer called the Melting Pot Foundation. Apparently Claus Meyer is well known for his other restaurant Noma, which has previously been ranked as the best restaurant in the world in 2010 and 2011. Anyways, after hearing about Gustu and realizing that no matter how good the eating is, there’s no way I’m going to travel half away around the world just for some food… I need an ulterior motive to go that far. Well I think I found my motivation. I ran across a blog by Jayson Simon-Jones who is a guide right here in my own backyard of Crested Butte Colorado. After looking at the pictures of a recent trip to Bolivia, I think I’m sold. You can see his blog here – http://www.cbguidesblog.com If anything, I think I’ll definitely have to add the Salt Flats called Salar de Uyuni to my bucket list. On top of all that, as if I didn’t need any more of an incentive, knowing that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid went there while trying to avoid the law, and that Che Guevara made his last stand in Bolivia as-well just kind of adds fuel to the flames, so to speak of wanting to learn more about Bolivia, its culture and history.
Nissi Beach / Agia Napa (Aya Napa), Cyprus.
Cyprus Riots 2013 (Reuters)
Cyprus – With Cyprus being in the spotlight right now due to the issues with their banking sector, everyone is thinking of the bailout problems and such… Me? I’m thinking about waiting till some of the dust settles and making that my next vacation spot. Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean besides Sicily and Sardinia. I’ve been to Sardinia and absolutely loved the beaches there, so if the beaches in Cyprus are half as good, then count me in. Plus Cyprus has always been on my list of places to go, so depending on how things end up over there, it definitely might be next. And who knows, if things don’t turn around, then I can always start my austerity vacation package tours where you can get your picture taken on the front lines of a riot with moped helmet and gas mask included.
Susuki River Cherry Trees
Cherry Blossom Hanami Tokyo
photo taken by tokyoluv.com
Cherry Blossom Festival – Today on CNN I read that in Japan, the Cherry Blossom Festival, or Hanami as it’s called, has got an extra early start due to the weather this year. Normally the cherry blossom season starts anywhere from late March to early April depending on what part of Japan it’s in. Here in the USA, our season is supposed to be March 26th- March 30th for the peak blooming time for the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. I’m not sure if I’ll be making it over to Tokyo anytime soon, but in the meantime I found out that here in Denver CO, the SGI-USA (Buddhist Association for Peace, Culture and Education) has already planted over 1000 cherry trees in areas such as Cherry Creek, Wash Park, City Park, Sakura Square and other areas. It won’t be the same as an actual trip to Japan but it’ll have to do for now.
Silo City Buffalo NY
Silo City Rocks – Rock Climbing Center
Silo City kayak tours by BFLO Harbor Kayak
City of Night Festival 2012
Silo City Buffalo NY – I recently saw a cool article over at gearjunkie.com about a project to turn old grain silos into a rock climbing center in Buffalo NY. By far one of the coolest ideas I’ve seen in a while. Make sure to check out their Indiegogo fundraising video which gives a great summary of what they’re trying to do by revitalizing the whole area. On the homepage they mention that they wanted to turn this into an experience or place to go “do things”, not just another area to go “buy things”. After doing a little more research it turns out not only do you have the Silo City Rocks Climbing area, but there are also kayak tours of the riverfront area by BFLO Harbor Kayak , arts and music festivals like the City of Night festival they had in 2012, and the upcoming Silo City Boom Days that’s coming up in April 2013. I really hope they get all the funding they need because this is an awesome cause.
What Will You Conquer in 2013? Take on a Reebok Spartan Race! I’ve been reading up on all the different extreme obstacle courses, such as Tough Mudder , Warrior Dash and the upcoming Colorado Spartan Sprint on May4th and 5th which is located in our great state. And of course being the researcher that I am, I wanted to see what the difference was between them all. I stumbled across this forum of people who ran both the Tough Mudder, and the Spartan Race, and I think it probably gives the best all around picture. Overall the Tough Mudder is great fun but not very challenging. If you don’t believe me on the not too challenging part, make sure and read this article on how a chubby (27% fat) journalist from Guycodeblog ,with no earlier training, conquered it with just a little help from some beer. Where as the Spartan Race is definitely a little more difficult sounding. The Spartan sprint race, like the one here in Colorado, only has about a 70% completion rate and the Death Race they put on, only has a 10% completion rate!! Personally I say anything that gets you off the couch and outdoors is worth doing, but I’d be more inclined to go for the Spartan Race due to the challenge. Oh and last thing, over at Outside Magazine they have these great tips for first timers.
Top ten Spartan Race tips
Top ten Tough Mudder tips