lørdag 1. desember 2012

A Year of Travelling

A year has passed since my last blog. I didn't mean it to. Maybe it is because I planned to write so many long and detailed blogs about my travels that it became an obstacle rather than a joy to write it.

I was planning on blogging on our trip to Thailand in January/February. It's one of those places one just have to go at some point. When we planned the trip, everybody was stating "it is so cheap over there!", "everyone are so friendly in Thailand!", "It is so easy to get around!". Well, I suppose it was quite cheap, but having built up expectations I still was kind of disappointed with the prices. Although we got around cheap enough.
About the friendliness, of course, most people around would always help you getting to his brothers shop or cousins restaurant, but I didn't find people more friendly and helpful than most other countries I've been to. They were definitely less aggressive than Egyptian sellers, but not all shop keepers and ticket sellers were very friendly either.
If you know where you are going, it is fairly easy to get around, but you really have to check up routes and times beforehand (or be prepared to pay whatever a taxi driver wants, not that it is much compared to Western fares). Most people doesn't speak English well, and tell you what they think you want to hear rather than necessarily the facts. At one point we ended up taking a bus to a place where there were no buses back, and little traffic at all, so ended up hitchhiking our way back!

Being our first time, we booked by a travel agency, for two weeks on Phuket on Kharon beach. For the first week, we booked a plane to Chiang Mai in the North. There we stayed for a few days, checking out town, the nearby National Park, and a lot of temples that were really nice. From there we went to Bangkok to experience this Metropolis. Although very busy and noisy I loved the city and will definitely go back at some point!

After a week we went back to Phuket, to spend some days diving (Tollef), snorkelling (me) and enjoying the sun. The wind made the hotel pool more attractive than the beach, and we missed an excursion to Phi-Phi due to strong winds, but it was a nice time anyway.

I could write pages about the sights, experiences and everything I thought about this trip, but then so many have written about Thailand before, it seems kind of superfluous. But we will definitely go back.

I was also planning on blogging my trip to Paris in March. Tollef was going for work, and I decided to join in. I never had much love for France, maybe because I love England so much? But of course you have to visit Paris too. While Tollef spent his days in meeting rooms, I walked around Paris. I didn't bother to queue to go up in the Eiffel tower, but visited another high atraction with a view towards the tower. Unfortunately it was quite foggy, so the view could have been better. I walked a lot, and tracked my walking. According to my mobile I walked about 20 kilometers the first day, and as much the day after. It is like this, when I am on sightseeing and shopping, I often tend not to bother with buses and subways, I might miss a sight on the way!

In July, I went on my now regular trip to ManorCon in Leicester. I had plan to go a day early, and spent a half day shopping around in London (tracked again, 15 km), and half a day visiting an dog forum aquintance in London suburbs. ManorCon was nice, as usual, but I missed a bunch of the regulars. And got some new friends though, so maybe that makes up for it?

In August I went on my first job trip ever! The summer was really busy, and in the Norway office we had to take on a lot of extra work that was to be transferred to Poland. So I went there to train my successor, and got to do some sightseeing as well. I stayed in a fancy business hotell (expensive in Polish terms, not so much for in Norwegian), visited the town hall and musical instrument museum, and of course had Polish food in the pubs. I suppose Poznan is not the most exciting of Polish cities, but it was a nice trip nevertheless. Not the least having some days of sun and warmth while the Norwegian summer drowned in rain.

My last trip abroad for the year went to Gran Canaria in November (as long as one doesn't count day trips to Sweden) to relax in the sun. Both were somewhat limited due to strong winds and clouds, but I got some days by the pool and some nice runs along the beach. Hoping to get more of the sun, if not so much relaxation, on our planned riding holiday in Morocco next year!

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