Archive for vacation – Page 3

Overnight: Mexico: Baja California: La Paz


Baja California

From YouTube:

Honoring its name, La Paz [peace] is a refuge of salt and sand, sun and sea, ideal for weary travelers or those wanting to temporarily retreat from daily chaos, a site full of natural wonders and human touches.

Read more about La Paz in MexicoShowroom:


Overnight: Mexico: Vera Cruz, a Mexican Gem


Vera Cruz Mexico

I am always astonished that people think they know everything there is to know about places they've never been, usually because they've seen a Hollywood movie.

Happily, now that the Internet is reality, we can certainly learn more than we used to be able to without actually visiting countries, so I thought that a video about Vera Cruz, a major port on the Gulf of Mexico might be a way to learn a bit more about our next door neighbor to the south.

Incidentally, here's a Wikipedia entry about Vera Cruz ('True Cross')

From the YouTube 'about' section for this video

[The filmmaker] ... was very impressed with the exhibition on the boulevard which showed in pictures the history of VeraCruz back to the year 1860 and was presented by Tamsa. A truly marvelous peace of work. VeraCruz is one of his favorite ports. He likes it in particular because of its true Mexican flavor. Very popular with the Mexicans.
They come from everywhere to enjoy this colorful town with its friendly people, local shops, and music displays. A favorite of the Mexicans for the Mexicans.


Overnight: The Trans-Siberian Railway


TransSiberianRailwayMapw355h222 I would *love* to take the Trans-Siberian Railway sometime! The map above is from From their page - preparing for the trip:

  • Packing the following items is recommended for any lengthy journey on the Trans-Siberian railway
  • Pocket knife For slicing up bread and vegetables you can buy from the sellers at major stops
  • Cutlery Instant noodles, or its Russian version - instant potatoes, become essential snacks for most travellers, since each carriage is equipped with boiling water from the Samovar, unfortunately they often come without the usual plastic fork or spoon.
  • Perfumed wet tissues/baby wipes/wet wipes These little things can do wonders for your personal hygiene.
  • Head lamp On these long journeys (through 8 time zones), it often turns out that Einstein indeed was right - time does become relative. So bring a headlamp for reading when others want to slumber.
  • Flip-flops or other slip on footwear, for your days on the train
  • Deck of cards or other easily explained games are great for socializing with your fellow travelers, and making the long hours spent on the train immensely more enjoyable. Bring a deck of 5 Crowns for this is a favourite in Russia. If you are a chess player, by all means bring a little chess set - the game is really very popular in Russia.
  • Pictures of your home, country and family and a phrasebook with a conversation section (Lonely Planet's phrasebook is a good one) can work surprisingly well, since you'll have nothing but time to overcome the language gap. Many Russians tend to be curious about foreigners once the initial suspicion dies down, since they don't normally meet many - even these days. Recommended: make a list of vocabulary and study it in the train!

Paul Theroux has a great description of his Trans-Siberian trip in The Great Railway Bazaar

This video is a documentary about the building of the railway:

This video is of a private train which makes the long, long trip.

From YouTube:

The epic Private Train Journey on the world's most famous Railway
Further Information:
Over 25 years of experience - More than 30,000 satisfied guests.

Director Michael Altenhenne has captured the journey on the Transsiberian by Private Train with his camera in a virtuoso manner. His impressions of Russia, Mongolia and China are perfect to lose oneself in the yearning for or maybe even one's own memories of the last genuine adventure trip on earth. The unique atmosphere onboard the comfortable private train, the sublime mood of the travellers and the natural and cultural wonders en route unfold their irresistible charm in this excellent documentary.

Filmmaker: Michael Altenhenne (


Overnight: Rhaetian Railway in the Albula / Bernina Landscapes (UNESCO/NHK)


Rhaetian Railway
Photo: Harold Cunningham/Getty on the BBC website linked to below.

I saw this feature:

The Swiss Train Tourists Don't Take (BBC)

about the Rhaetian Railway the other day on the BBC website then realized there might be a video.

'Rhaetia' - also spelled 'Raetia was a province of the Roman empire which is now part of Switzerland. The map on this Wiki will show you where: Rhaetia

I've always found it interesting because languages fascinate me and, while it's spoken by very few people, it is still one of the four official languages of Switzerland. You can learn more about it here: Romansh/Romansch

From the Wiki

Romansh is a descendant of the spoken Latin language of the Roman Empire, which replaced the Celtic and Raetic languages previously spoken in the area by the 5th century AD

I also love trains, which is why this video is here. Enjoy.