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Showing posts from August, 2016

Yellowstone National Park

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Happy 100th Birthday (NPS) National Park Service!
I could not think of a better way to celebrate the (NPS) National Park Service centennial than to visit Yellowstone, the oldest national park in the world. So this month I went on seven-state tour visting National Parks, National Monuments and National Memorial and spent the bulk of the trip at Yellowstone National Park.

Yellowstone National Park 
Yellowstone National Park is located in Wyoming and includes some areas of Montana and Idaho.  It is comprised of more than two million acres of diverse landscape from forest, valley, geysers, hot springs, craters, canyons, waterfalls, rivers and lakes.  I visited the three main attractions which are in the Wyoming side.

We started at the North Entrance, by the old Roosevelt Arch to see Mammoth Hot Springs.


Then drove past roadside forest mainly of needle pines and thousands of young trees said to have regenerated after the forest fires of 1988.




We crossed a couple of continental divides to r…

Baltic Germany

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Baltic Germany, Part 1 I don’t go on a cruise for the sake of cruising. I don't particularly care about the accommodation on the ship, the show, and the food - the buffet and the supposedly chef's signature dishes prepared for hundreds and hundreds of passengers. I go on a cruise to visit incredible destinations that are not easily accessible by land like Tasmania and Milford Sound or relatively untouched places like Antarctica. Unfortunately, I had been on a cruise where I was not able to reach the two top places in my list of destinations because Mother Nature struck her fury that our ship had to skip a port of call.

On a recent cruise to the Baltic, the same thing happened. We skipped two ports of call due to fierce winds. Thankfully, I had a chance to discover Germany's charming medieval towns in the former East Germany (GDR), a place I have not been before, or the cruise to the Baltic would have left me all totally disappointed. To be honest, I was not excited about …

St. Petersburg, Russia

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On a recent cruise to the Baltic, we had three days to spend in St. Petersburg, Russia. Before sailing, I was told that international cruise passengers are allowed to visit Russia without a visa for a certain amount of time.  I did not realize that in order to go out of the port and visit St. Petersburg, I had to be on a sponsored tour.  I could not just go and explore the city on my own.  Since I only booked two excursions for the next two days, I had to scramble and find something to do on our first day in St. Petersburg.  Luckily, I was able to book a last minute sightseeing tour of St. Petersburg.   
Sightseeing It was a nice day in St. Petersburg. Our guide started introducing us to the city by saying that we missed the rain and cold. "Did you know that St. Petersburg only get 60 days of sunshine each year? You're lucky to be here on such a beautiful day, one of those sixty days," announced our guide.  We were on a tour bus making our way along the bank of the Neva Ri…