A Gorgeous (and Expensive) Drive Through the Alps

Hi friends,

So back to last Wednesday morning, Chris and his dad left the hotel early to pick up our rental car so that we could get on out of Munich. We would be driving about 2 hours from Munich to Salzburg to drop Chris’s parents off (it was so sad to say goodbye!), and then Chris and I would be continuing on to Venice.

We knew that we were starting off with an expensive journey, since renting a car in one country and returning it in another is, you know, not that cheap.

Little did we know that was just the beginning …

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G4: Grounded

I hope this volcano in Iceland stops acting out—otherwise my sister and I will be traveling to Europe like Seth did in Grounded

I mentioned a while back that I was reading a book a friend had recommended to me–and I just had the pleasure of finishing said book. And so here goes my first foray into an actual travel book review…

“Grounded: A Down To Earth Journey Around The World,” written by Seth Stevenson, chronicles the tale of the author and his girlfriend as they travel around the world, roaming from latitude to latitude, without ever setting foot on a plane (well, spoiler alert, that’s not totally true of both of them). They take container ships and cruise ships, buses, trains and rental cars. They even book it for a while on a bike journey.
I have to say that what I liked most about this book was how Stevenson managed to tell his personal journey so well, while teaching me something about the history of travel in the process. (That, and the fact that Stevenson settled it for me—I could never travel around the world the way he and his girlfriend did!) I’ve never known more about the origin of air, ship and train travel. And who even knew you could catch a ride on a container ship?

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Arigatu Mr. Roboto

Yup, that's a volcano.

Finally, Chris’s account of his Japanese adventures from a few weeks before. Buckle up, and beware of the snowboarding stories:

14 hours later and touch down,  g’day Tokyo, niced to meet ya!

Here I am, land of the rising sun, snowboard bag on my shoulder, ready to take down Japan.

Just a couple of Tokyo subway rides, a short walk and I arrive at hotel heaven…  K’s House Hostel in Tokyo is exactly what you want a hostel to be—super clean, super cheap, super friendly and super location (I really stretched my vocab in that description).  Seriously awesome diggs —if you’re ever in need of some great accommodation in Tokyo, I couldn’t recommend it higher!

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A Japanese Adventure- Before It Even Starts

Well Chris has made it safe and sound to his final Japanese destination—Niseko. His journey wasn’t without its bumps, though. After finding out that he had booked his connecting flight from New Chitose to Niseko on the wrong day (arrive in Tokyo Sunday afternoon, but booked connecting flight for Saturday, rookie mistake), he had to do a bit of reconfiguring.

Anyway, after the mix-up he managed to rejigger the schedule so it looked a little something like this:

Depart JFK, arrive in Naritu
Stay at K’s House Hostel
Depart Haneda, arrive in Niseko Village

Looking at that schedule, and thinking about traveling alone, in a country where the language is not my own, combined with that subway map from my previous post— I gotta say, I don’t know if I could do it on my own. Chris’s ability to travel on his own, such long distances, to such foreign places where he doesn’t even speak the language, it amazes me.

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