We are now in Stirling, which is one of the most historical spots in Scotland. The strategic location of the city, between Southern Scotland and highlands to the north led to many famous battles fought between the Scottish and English in the late 1200’s / early 1300’s. This history included such historical figures as Robert the Bruce, King Edward I and William Wallace of Braveheart fame. Stirling is set on a hill, with a beautiful old town rising from the River Forth. Cobblestone streets lead to a castle at the top of the city, overlooking the town and valley below.
Lauren and I are now in Scotland for 10 days, taking a mother / daughter trip to enjoy the country’s scenery and history the old fashioned way – by train. It is the first time in Scotland proper for Lauren and me (I have only been to Edinburgh on a weekend trip). Of course getting there is always half the fun, and after arriving in Manchester, England via a plane change in Chicago, we were ready for the journey north by train.
Here are a few facts about the population, location, currency, income and demographics of Uganda.
During our month in Africa, we saw a variety of sights, including a camping safari deep in the heart of Botswana, mokoro and walking trips in the wild, an epic 40 hour train journey from Zambia to Tanzania and the relaxation and history of Zanzibar. This video provides an overview of that experience.
We spent three weeks visiting three major areas of the country: Bangkok, Northern Thailand and Southern Thailand. In Bangkok, our major activities were viewing the temples and seeing the city by foot and by ferry. In Northern Thailand we visited Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, and also got off the beaten track by taking a longboat trip to several villages and staying two nights in one of them. Southern Thailand, our last stop, was experienced on the island of Ko Pha Ngan, where we relaxed on the beach.
We spent 3 1/2 weeks in Australia and saw a great variety of the country, from the east coast cities of Brisbane and Sydney to the smaller towns of Adelaide, Alice Springs and Darwin, with Ayers Rock, Litchfield National Park and the Outback in between. Our entire journey was by land, via two long train trips and a 2,000 mile drive along the entire Stuart Highway, from south to north. This video shows some of our pictures during this time.
This overview provides some snapshots of the five weeks that we spent in India. In addition to visiting the major cities of Mumbai and Delhi and, of course, the Taj Mahal, we also were able to experience the beauty of two national parks, a spectacular hike in Sikkim through the Himalayas and the charm of Rajasthan. Overall, we found India to be a vibrant, diverse country.
This overview provides some snapshots of our visit to Phnom Penh and Angkor Wat in Cambodia. As we visited some sites associated with the Killing Fields and genocide, be warned that there are some disturbing images that follow.
It is Thursday, 3 July 2008. We are awakened at our lodge by the voices of the staff this morning at about 6am as they prepared breakfast and attended to their other duties. Later, as the sun rose, we hear the birds make their exotic calls. At that moment, we were reminded how far we were away from home. There is no electrical grid in Buhoma – the name of the settlement that includes the buildings both inside and outside of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. It took 180km (111 miles) of poor dirt roads to get here and the nearest paved road is 85km (53 miles) away. Our purpose for coming to Buhoma was to see the mountain gorillas in the wild.
We are now flying over the Atlantic in the midst of a 30+ hour odyssey home, which is comprised of four flights: first to Nairobi, then Brussels and Chicago, before the final leg to LAX. Our final two days following the gorilla tracking were spent in Lake Mburo National Park, which features savanna and a wealth of antelope, zebras and birds. The highlight here was a two-hour bush walk with a private ranger / guide, complete with his WWII-era semi-automatic rifle around his neck for protection. The three of us walked through the savanna, photographing animals as they moved through the terrain.