Finally, I started to compile and curate collections of my travel and or themes around a topic that had been published on Vagobond. This was pretty fun and allowed me to clean up some old posts, revisit some interesting travel, and share it with you.
I began to ask some friends to share their stories to make it more interesting…
And then, I wasn’t real sure how to end the year… so I went with an explanatory post, some travel secrets, a bit of nostalgia, and how to celebrate the end of the world…
Now, I’m ending with this roundup… What do you think the Vagobond Travel Museum should be?
The web is full of great travel blogs, travel stories, travel photos and travel videos – the hard part is finding them. bring you the highlights here at the Vagobond Travel Museum.
I have to admit, that over the past week, I’ve been pretty occupied with a few things – missing a flight, having a spontaneous trip, catching another flight, getting settled (temporarily) into an apartment in Istanbul, showing my wife around, etc etc – but still, I’ve managed to find these great inductees to the Vagobond Travel Museum.
One of the great things about travel is finding things you don’t expect in the least. To be honest, I’m not even sure this photo is real, but whether it is a concept or executed, the bottom line is that it looks cool and the meaning behind the words rings true. Life comes at you fast.
If you’re an American and you want to see Cuba, you might just want to check this out. A guide to Americans travelling to Cuba.
I love great travel quotes. I hope to someday say something clever enough to be quoted, until then, I’ll keep reading quotes like “A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.” – John Steinbeck
On my wishlist of things to see is the (March 8) Hindu Festival of Color in India – Holi. This post from Karthik Tantri explains so much of why I have this on my travel to do list/
Another beautiful travel piece from the Independent. This photo from beneath the waters of Grenada is but one example of why this artcle by Matt Carroll is a fine example of the art of travel writing. This sentence alone should send you to the article “Ahead of us lay a writer sitting at his desk, blue and yellow fish darting around his typewriter: the ultimate in creative inspiration.”
I’ve been considering a trip to Ukraine with my family…this article from popped on my radar at just the right time. Why Ukraine? I’ve always felt that holding Ukraine was the key to winning the game of Risk. In any event, here are five ways to enjoy Ukraine if you go.
Last week we rode horses on the beach in Essaouira, Morocco -next time maybe we will go riding horses in Iceland with Marcel Theroux.
The web is full of great travel blogs, travel stories, travel photos and travel videos – the hard part is finding them. I curate the best travel stories I find and I bring you the highlights.
This photo from Nepal just blew my mind. Wonderful serie of photos from Enjoy Nepal. Nepal is one of those places that has always called to me for some reason. Perhaps someday when I go there, I will find out why.
Here is a video that I enjoyed quite a bit. Of course, what isn’t there to enjoy about Paris. If you are gong for the first time, this video offers a nice overview. If you have already been, it’s a nice reminder of why to go back.
Nothing says travel like eating strange new foods and the truth is that you will find little as strange as the night market in Beijing. This great post from AroundtheWorldL illustrates tha nicely.
If you feel like the zorld has become too organized and regular you will defintely appreciate seeing this list of seven unusual places to travel and things to do once you are there. Have you done any of these yet?
Ethan Geilber wrote an insightful piece that poses a great question – Why aren’t more travel bloggers writing about responsible travel? One has to wonder if this is because of a lack of market incentive or if it is simply overlooked. Read on to find out more.
If you feel like you are missing out on the history of Europe while you travel, be sure to read this great list of 10 Charming Oldtowns in Europe fro, TravelAway.
If you are planning to travel in China, be sure to check out this nice photoset of what various finger signs mean in China…and yes, the middle finger being flown is universally understood.
While some will argue that this article from the Guardian misses some of the best streetfood in the world, the truth is, it’s a pretty good list! Have a read and then let us know what you would add to the list.
Finally, here is a great post filled with 10 packing tips from some vagabonds who definitely know of what they speak. The fact that this comes from National Geographic Traveler should ensure that you click on this very helpful post.
Welcome to the Vagobond Travel Museum! The web is full of great travel blogs, travel stories, travel photos and travel videos – the hard part is finding them. I curate the best travel stories I find and I bring you the highlights.
For me, one of the markers of great travel writing or travel posting is just a sheer wanting to make me go there. This great little article on the great migration by Travel Tweaks did just that. I can’t even express how much it made me want to see this…but maybe you will feel what I’m saying if you have a look.
When I see something about VW buses, obviously, I take a look. I’ve had four buses, lived in three of them and wish I’d never sold one of them. In fact, it turns out that I could have made a pretty penny keeping them since the first one I bought for a TV and VCR in trade and the rest were less than $200 each. Nice post by LifeCruiser to remind me of that (and show me the coolest tent I’ve seen in a while). While I was at it on my stroll down the virtual memory lane, this wonderful video of my old stomping grounds on the island of Kauai showed up. Wow, can you say homesick!
This great piece on finding vintage clothing shops in Montreal made me want to grab my shopping bag (recycled of course) and head out for some awesome 2nd hand shopping. Nice job from Downtowntraveler.com who took a totally delicious sounding walk through London this week. Delicious photos, great text and even if you don’t think of great food when you think of London or England – this is an exceptional foodie piece that may just change your mind.
This New York Times article about the Andaman Islands was another one that made me thirsty for adventures. With the great writing and depth of reporting you would expect, I bet this piece inspires plenty of adventurers to set off for the Andamans.
Finally, here’s a post from Go See Write in which he argues that perhaps the guide book as we know it, will soon be dead. What do you think? Tune in tomorrow for my interview with one of the original old school guide book authors Tom Brosnahan and you’ll get to hear what he has to say on the subject too.
Welcome to the Vagobond Travel Museum! The web is full of great travel blogs, travel stories, travel photos and travel videos – the hard part is finding them amidst all the garbage.I curate the best travel stories I find and bring you the highlights.
One of my favorite blogs is Barbara Weibel’s Hole in the Donut – this week she is exploring Peru and the cultures that once (and still do in some cases) exist there. One of the great things about Barbara is the way she delves into the cultures she visits. As an amateur anthropologist – this is a blog of goodies for me.
Fox Nomad explores the complexities and realities of getting a Schengen Visa. Don’t know what the Schengen Zone is? Read on. Obviously, you have a passport from a country that lets you go anywhere you want.. “The Schengen Area currently consists of 26 countries in Europe including Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Poland, and Greece. You can see the full list of current members here. Some notable exceptions are England and Ireland (both EU but not Schengen). Several countries you might not expect also part of the Schengen Area include Estonia, Latvia, and Malta. Bulgaria and Romania are likely to join the Schengen club later this year.”
Lonely Planet published this piece on the Hawaii of Japan this week – for me it just points out how wonderful the real Hawaii is, since whenever an island paradise wants to sound perfect they tout themselves as the “Hawaii of…” Still, Kagoshima sounds like maybe Oahu could be the Kagoshima of Hawaii..
Travelocafe took a visually delightful wine tasting tour of the Croft Winery in Porto, Portugal this week – “Just after we finished our boat trip up and down the Douro River, our ever surprising and resourceful guide, Luis from EcoTours Portugal asked us if we wanted to go for a wine tasting before saying goodbye to him. Hell yeah!” – one of my favorite cities and wineries ever.
In terms of video – this week let’s shout out to flight attendants – they’re not all bad.
Here is something completely awesome in a different way. Blogville! Bloggers will now have their own home, a perfect place from where they can start to discover Italy and the Emilia Romagna region. I’m going to be there in April and then in June – are you? Come join me!
Gadling let us all know that we can finally breathe easier this week as In honor of its upcoming 100-year anniversary, the Château Laurier Hotel in Ottawa is offering an amnesty for anyone who has pilfered something from the hotel over the last century. The historic, castle-like hotel in the Canadian capital put out the call for the items on February 23, 100 days before the 100-year anniversary, and has already received more than 60 items from people all over North America. Whew!
Finally, here is another way to see the world without burning through your pocketbook. Trustedhousesitters.com was founded by Andy Peck after realising need for a comprehensive house sitting website where homeowners could search for ideal house and pet sitters, view references, photos, relevant house and pet care experience, police check information, and even video profiles.
The web is full of great travel blogs, travel stories, travel photos and travel videos – the hard part is finding them. I curate the best travel stories I find
While these aren’t necessarily my first choices, I”ve been to most of these cities and found them all to be fantastic. It’s a great list from Around the World L 8 Places to Live Around the World
This post from trans-americas was not only an enjoyable read but was about one of those things on my bucket list, fly fishing. Isla Hobla looks like the right place for me to take it up and learn the ropes, don’t you think?
This was one of my favorite finds of the week just for the sheer awesome oddness of it. I mean, who would think to make a hammock out of crushed beer cans and then say it’s comfortable…but I believe them.
This is a particularly nice page of hammocks – This one of a couple in a single line tree hanging hammock just speaks incredible volumes, but you have to wonder who the voyeur watching them was.
Long ago I met a beautiful woman from Uruguay in Waikiki – we had dinner, took some moonlit walks on the beach and she told me about her country which I had never really thought about before. This article might get you thinking about Uruguay, though probably not with the same thoughts I had.
Finally, I have to admit, I like the collectivist nature of this site and what it is saying. http://indietravel.org/
Welcome to the Vagobond Travel Museum!
The web is full of great travel blogs, travel stories, travel photos and travel videos – the hard part is finding them amidst all the garbage.
Without a doubt, this is my favorite travel related site in recent memory. The site is exactly what it says- Enter two cities from around the world and it will compare the cost of living in them and tell you using a number of metrics (housing, transport, clothing, food, entertainment, etc) how they compare. Check it out and have fun. Expatistan.
Google Earth is awesome, no doubt about it – one thing I love are the sometimes Easter Eggs or surprises that appear on it from time to time….here is a great one. Olympos – The Home of 12 Greek Gods Mount Olympus (Google deleted it!) was formed after the gods defeated the Titans in the Titan war, and ever since the gods inhabited the place. This is one of the Cool Places you can explore in Panoramio Places with Google Earth.
There were some incredible food videos and blogs this week, I particularly enjoyed this video from Viator where they walk through the streets of Athens enjoying wonderful Greek cuisine.
Want to see more international streetfoods? Just check out this Pinterest international street food page which has pictures, links, and much more. It seems that some aspects of blogging are being phased out from what I can see as services like pinterest serve to be curators from around the web. Like this.
Amusing Planet offered this fabulous photo and description “Kizhi is a narrow strip of island on Lake Onega in the Republic of Karelia, Russia. The island is popular for dozens of historical wooden buildings. … Today, the entire island and the nearby area form a national open-air museum with more than 80 historical wooden structures. The most famous among them is the Kizhi Pogost. The Kizhi Pogost enclosure holds two wooden churches and an octagonal bell tower built during the 18th-century. The jewel of its architecture is the 22-domed Transfiguration Church with a large iconostasis—a wooden screen covered with religious portraits. This massive church is about 37 meters tall and made entirely of wood making it one of the tallest log structures in the world. …”
The Independent continues to offer amazing travel with this piece Santiago: Poetry and motion in Chile’s capital -Santiago carries reminders of a troubled past, but Simone Kane discovers that art and architecture are much in evidence too
Another reason to visit Chile would be Easter Island. This great post from Don’t Get Me Wrong highlights the history, culture and some of the mysteries surrounding Rapa Nui. Great photos too.
Finally, I just love this picture from Timothy Allen which makes me think maybe I still want to live in a yurt after all.
And while there were plenty of other great travel stories this week – that’s it for this weeks inductions into the Vagobond Travel Museum.
The web is full of great travel blogs, travel stories, travel photos and travel videos – the hard part is finding them amidst all the garbage. I curated the best travel stories I find and bring you the highlights.
One of my favorite ongoing travel sagas is this ultra long distance cycle trip of Matt McDonald and Andy Madeley. They wander into a Turkish den of iniquity and secure visa entry to Iran on their 13,000-mile trip to Sydney.
This incredibly beautiful post from pxleyes made me long for waterfalls in Hawaii and elsewhere. I’ve been to about 20 of these 50 amazing falls…what about you?
The Guardian also continues to hit travel with an often missing these days journalistic eye. This wonderful piece about Japan from the point of view of a salaryman goes way beyond some blogger getting drunk in a hostel. Kuzuhara-san leads Chris Michael on a tour of the hidden Tokyo where an army of office workers get to let off steam at the end of the day. Awesome read.
In video this week, it was the excavation of this giant ant hill that captured me more than anything else. Believe it or not, this video inspired controversy as rumors were spread that it killed several billion ants…in fact, it was abandoned and not the lost city of Atlantis, though it looked like it might have been.
Okay, back to the non-journalistic exploits of teens and twenty somethings put out on the internet in a show of exhibitionism…let’s have a go at sex on the road! This very funny and incredibly presented tidbit from Finding the Universe is a very worthy induction into the travel museum. Enjoy sex on the road! Why don’t we do it, on the ro-oooad!
This post about Hemingway and Idaho from the slightly disturbingly named Bulls and Beavers is a reminder that sometimes great travel pieces come from unexpected places. Bulls and Beavers is all about hunting and fishing.
Travel Wire Asia brought some pretty good information to the table this week in this aptly titled piece 5 Great Travel Myths. Surprise, leaving your mobile on won’t crash the plane and people in Korea probably don’t speak English.
This older post from Uncornered Market about how to travel outside of your comfort zone is really a great one for those who want to get the most out of their travels. The piece has been around for a while, but since this was the first time I’ve seen it – it gets brought into the Travel Museum. Great advice.
The web is full of great travel blogs, travel stories, travel photos and travel videos – the hard part is finding them amidst all the garbage. I curate the best travel stories I find and bring you the highlights here at the Vagobond Travel Museum.
Great post about the Canyons of the Southwest USA from GypsyNesters. I’ve always enjoyed traveling in the USA’s Southwest and these ruins make me look forward to doing it again.
Keith Jenkins of Velvet Escape brought out a great post about the top 10 Islands to visit in Malaysia this week. Great photos, well written guide.
A Dutch teenageer named Laura Dekker managed to break the record for youngest solo voyager around the world this week. She and her parents had to fight in court to get permission to even make the attempt. Travel is not what it used to be.
Speaking of dreams – this week a stunning video made the rounds of the travel blogosphere. An amazing encounter with a troop of wild gorillas in Uganda. Watch this and you will know why Gorillas need to be protected – seriously, this brought tears of amazement…
The Aurora Borealisthis week blew everyone’s mind as one of the biggest solar storms on record brought astounding light shows to Northern Hemisphere countries. In particular, I like this line “The Sun has a heartbeat”
The Daily Mail wrote this great article on a revolutionary walkway that is going to be constructed through the Amazon Rainforest. The days of crunching undiscovered species under tourist boots may soon be behind us.
Great travel stories don’t always come from strictly travel sites.
Finally, this odd photo on Instagram in which a mummified monk appears to be on sale. Does anyone know what the heck is going on here? 16,888 Malay Ringits seems a bargain to own your own Buddhist Mummy.
And while there were plenty of other great travel stories this week – that’s it for now. To let me know about any great travel pieces use the contact form here at Vagobond.com
Welcome to the Vagobond Travel Museum.
The web is full of great travel blogs, travel stories, travel photos and travel videos – the hard part is finding them amidst all the garbage. Through the week, I curate the best travel stories I find and then, I bring you the highlights here at the Vagobond Travel Museum.
These are my Travel Museum Inductions for the third week of January 2012.
This photo of the Mahabalipuram Seven Pagodas in Tamil Nadu, India seemed to capture a lot of the reason why I began traveling in the first place. Add Tamil Nadu to my bucket list.
This was without a doubt the best travel writing I came upon this week. Old World Wandering‘s article on the Hippie Trail is long but well worth the read – it not only acts as a great historical piece, but also is a great character study.
Eric Lafforgue’s amazing photography and descriptions capture the imagination and no doubt will inspire travelers to explore the world and her people’s customs for some time to come. This photo of the Karrayyus Oromo people during the Gada Ceremony in Ethiopia is a great example of how travel can broaden your mind.
How Tea Has Conquered the World is the type of travel story I am always surprised to see on mainstream media. Sure, it’s using istock photos, but the story is interesting and worth reading- even if it’s on CNN.
I’d love to know what these guys were watching…this is the kind of photo a great photographer can capture on the fly. You couldn’t pose something like this and get the same feel. Apparently, there is work going on and the older people enjoy watching. Anziano che Guardano i Lavori’s page has plenty more older people watching the work get done.
In terms of video, I found this video about Tivoli Gardens by Virtual Wayfarer, the second oldest amusement park in the world to be interesting, compelling, and filled with odd facts.
For those looking for an interesting blog to follow, I can recommend TravelWriticus – in particular, I liked this picture of a manhole cover in Austria. Not the usual.
The Travel Chica provided some great advice for how to survive a long bus ride. If you’ve done any travel outside of the developed world (or in it for that matter) you know how important this can be.
Laughter is the cure for all the world’s problems. That’s why this week I’m including this great post by Inspiringtravellers – Funny signs and things they’ve found in their travels.
The Independent’s Travel Section always seems to have some great stories like this fun piece about a week in Vietnam. Vietnam is one of those places that calls to me, I’m not sure why, but articles like this increase that desire to go there.
Lauren Stephenson looks at travel an odd way in this article on overcoming your fears through travel at Bootsnall. It’s a light piece but has some very fun looking adventures couched in it. I’m not sure travel is the way to get over your fear of clowns, but I like the angle she took on this article to get there.
And while there were plenty of other great travel stories this week – that’s it for now. To let me know about any great travel pieces, contact me using the contact form here at Vagobond.com
The web is full of great travel blogs, travel stories, travel photos and travel videos – the hard part is finding them amidst all the garbage. Through the week, I am curating the best travel stories I find and then I will bring you the highlights here at the Vagobond Travel Museum.
These are my first Travel Museum Inductions
France Today always has incredible content, but this quirky piece on finding the best flea markets in Paris went beyond the usual Francophile and got into something that feels much more tactile. Want to experience France and take something home that is more than a trinket?
This picture from Timothy Allen’s ‘Pics from my travels’ was without a doubt my favorite picture of the week.
Sometimes, it’s easier to just buy a guidebook than to read a travel blog for ideas about where to go or what to do, but I found this piece about Hong Kong from Off The Meat Hook to be well worth reading. Great pictures, fantastic style and some very good tips.
I love it when I can find something that is short, well written, teaches me something and that is just a little bit wierd and interesting. This piece on snail farming in Italy from ItalianNotes fit the bill perfectly. Who knew?
FlipNomad offered a great piece this week on 10 Survival Tips for Visitors of the Monkey Forest. Great pictures, well written commentary, and interesting to read whether you are going there or not.
National Geographic’s Digital Nomad paid a visit to Tsukiji Fishmarket and took some great iPhone shots. This is a place that I’ve wanted to visit for a long while and Andrew Evans photos and commentary make it clear that it’s a very interesting destination.
And here is some brilliant travel writing and sad sad reality. I was in Viang Vieng back in 2001 and it was heaven, but I could already see that things were heading in the wrong direction. This piece from Old World Wandering almost makes me want to cry…and makes me glad that I haven’t been back there.
Finally, here is the best travel video I came across this week:
And while there were plenty of other great travel stories for this weeks inductions into the Vagobond Travel Museum. To let me know about any great travel pieces, contact me using the contact form here at Vagobond.com
This year did not work out the way that any of us planned. I’m very grateful that my family has not been dealt horrible blows from COVID-19. We’ve had family members who caught it but so far, we’ve been really blessed. Our hearts go out to those who were not so fortunate.
I’m very grateful that my travel plans in 2020 worked out before the pandemic hit. I’d always dreamed of visiting Australia and Tasmania and while the pandemic had started – it wasn’t yet full blown. We did cancel some other trips but for themes part – we were pretty content with staying in Hawaii. Again, I am aware of how fortunate we are.
We took two trips to the Big Island of Hawaii when tourism reopened between the islands in July. We swam with dolphins, zip lined, and enjoyed visiting with a friend who has relocated to a farm there. But, for most of this year – we’ve been on lockdown. I’ve become homeschool teacher to our daughter, which we both love (again, I am so thankful to be able to do this)and I’ve been writing writing writing. I’ve almost completed another novel after writing one at the beginning and re-editing two others.
I took one short trip to the San Francisco Bay Area to sell my beloved VW Vanagon – with tourism closed, this was what it took to be able to pay the rent. I’m grateful I was able to sell it and that we’ve been able to pay our rent. I flew to SF before limited tourism was reopened to Hawaii and I’m grateful I was on empty planes and in empty airports.
It feels really good to be helping others – even if it is only in a small way.
We wish you a joyous holiday season and a wonderful 2021 for all the world.
Aloha nui loa,
Happy Thanksgiving! It’s 2019 – I first wrote this back in 2011 and I’ll just keep adding to it every year.
I hope that you are enjoying all the food posts that I’ve put up in the past month. Thanksgiving and travel are both all about gratitude and food. Here’s a post that gives me a taste of both and fits the holiday spirit.
Since coming back to the USA – so much of my energy has been focused on being a father, finding a way to pay for the right to live (the American way), and building businesses that might make things better – that I haven’t done much in the way of travel. In 2019, I only took a few flights – I took my family on a short island hop to experience the Hawaiian Island of Maui and I took a short trip to San Francisco for a tech conference. Other than that, I’ve been here on Oahu – not the worst place to be stranded, but I have to admit to a bit of island fever.
I’m grateful for my wife and daughter, for the fact that we live in Hawaii, and today, I’m grateful because I just finished the first draft of a new novel. This is the first novel I’ve written since 2012 – I’d forgotten what a huge joy it is to create a new story, new people, and to some extent a new world and be able to shape them into a story. Here’s our 2019 Thanksgiving dinner…not a big production, but a fun and easy way to do Thanksgiving dinner for the three of us.
In terms of the KIVA loan below – I’ve loaned it out several times now with only one time that it wasn’t repaid – in general I’ve focused on loaning to women who produce food – the one time I loaned to a man, the loan has not been repaid. I’m grateful that women are so awesome and I’ve just re-funded the loan so that it can help more women producing food in an sustainable way. We can help make the world a better place together…..
I’m excited about the year 2020. I’ve already got a new trip planned in spring. For the first time, I’ll be heading to Australia – my wife gave me the go ahead so I’ve got an ultra budget trip down under in my near future. Who knows what the future holds?
I hope you are all having a great Thanksgiving. Over the next month, I’ll be sharing our many Christmas and holiday season stories.
Aloha nui loa!
November 24, 2011, Happy Thanksgiving!
I’m writing this from Paris. It’s been one hell of a wonderful year for me and I can’t tell you how thankful I am. Especially for this little wonder:
At four months, our daughter is already bringing us so much joy. I’m no less thankful for her sweet and wonderful mama, who, even though she wasn’t able to get a visa in time for this trip, understood, that I sometimes need a break from Morocco and insisted that I go since we couldn’t change or get a refund for our flights and hotels.
I am also very thankful for the many friends we have around the world, for both of our wonderful families, and for the many opportunities we have been blessed with.
I’m not sure how a too independent for his own good vagabond like me ended up with a beautiful family, a warm (well, mostly) and comfortable home, and the chance to travel the world, see new people and places and have wonderful experiences. But, I’m certainly thankful for it and I think that, ultimately, that is what this day is all about. Being thankful – it’s not about the turkey, the football, or even the United States. It’s about gratitude pure and simple.
As a small way of giving back, I am making a micro-loan through Kiva.org – It’s not much, just $25 but it makes a difference. I ask you to do the same…to join Team Vagobond, just follow this link: http://www.kiva.org/team/vagobond
Here is the woman who my loan went to in the Philippines. As you can see, she is a farmer – which for a Thanksgiving loan seems quite appropriate. She earns approximately $4142 per year, so as you can see, $25 makes quite a difference. Her requested loan amount is just $475 and she still has $400 to go. Let’s make her loan happen! http://www.kiva.org/lend/359963
Glane owns and operates farmland, planting & harvesting corn for sale to earn a living and she’s been two years in this business. Each month, she earns 15,000 doing this type of work.
She requested a loan of 20,000 PHP to purchase additional seeds, seedlings & young crops to raise. Glane is been a member of GDMPC for almost a year. In the future, Glane wants to make improvements to her house and to have her children finish their studies.
The web is full of great travel blogs, travel stories, travel photos and travel videos – the hard part is finding them amidst all the garbage. Through the week, I curate the best travel stories I find and bring you the highlights here at the Vagobond Travel Museum.
And while there were plenty of other great travel stories this week – that’s it for this weeks inductions into the Vagobond Travel Museum. To let me know about any great travel pieces, contact me using the contact form here at Vagobond.com
People ask me about Istanbul and I have a hard time describing exactly what it is that makes this place so incredibly special to me. There is a feeling here that just sits right, it is a feeling of wonder and melancholy at the same time. Excitement, happiness, and sadness. Do you remember the first time you were truly and hopelessly in love with someone you could never have? Do you remember how you knew you were making them better than they actually were, but you didn’t care, the illusion was worth the price you would pay in disillusionment? Do you remember those feelings? Istanbul is like that for me. I’ve tried to share a bit of it in this hastily shot and edited video – I think it may say it better than all of my words. I hope you enjoy it.
If you are heading to Volos – you aren’t going to find any hostels. The hotels in Volos tend to be pretty basic without really offering very much in the way of services. 60-100 Euro per night will get you a fairly generic hotel room. Some will have wi-fi and some won’t. Some will have breakfast included and others won’t.
I opted for the very simple, very central, and very clean Hotel Argo (165, Dimitriados Street) for the two nights I needed to be in Volos. A small hotel run by two families- it doesn’t have any listings on-line. If you bargain with the manager, Nikolaos Papanikolauyou, can get a room for 35 Euro per night. A basic room and shower but kept clean and neat. Central location near the bars and restaurants and only two streets up from the waterfront. Free wi-fi in the rooms along with basic TV (with Greek channels) and A.C. The balconies face a fairly busy street but at one point looked out over the water before tall buildings were built between the Argo and the waterfront.
The backpacker favorite that is listed on the Lonely Planet Thorntree and other forums The Galaxy Hotel – has now gone out of business.
Overall- Volos isn’t really a great place for accommodation – that’s the bad news. The good news is that the many towns and villages around Volos offer tons of unique, boutique, cheap, and enjoyable options.
Makrinitsa Hotels are a great option for the times when the heat of Volos gets overwhelming. Both Makrinitsa and Portaria are on Mt. Pelion above Volos and offer stunning views. 15-20 minute bus ride from Volos center. Portaria Hotels offer a bit more upscale options to Makrinitsa.
There are some great little hotels in Milina, but you have to drive a bit to get there. A taxi will cost you about 50 Euro or the bus will cost you 5 Euro to get there. Worth the effort, but not close enough if you need to be in Volos.
The hotels in Agria and the Milies are closer to Volos and offer amazing beaches and/or rural Greek village life. The same is true of the Kalamos Hotels and the Afetes Hotels but they are a little further outside of Volos – not as far as Milina, but a good 45 minutes – 1 hour bus ride.
And closest to the airport is the small town of Nea Anchialos which also offers some interesting historical ruins and a very pleasant small town.
We moved here and both had this strange sense of being drawn to the mountain. At night I look at the gorgeous shadow of it and I have this sense of power pulsing in it. Those of you who have read a bit of my published work, may be familiar with my idea that God (aka Allah, Creator, IS) is actually the strong forces of the universe: Magnetism, Electricity, Gravity, and Strong (atomic) Force. To me, this idea fits well with the idea that God holds the universe together, is everywhere (omnipresent), knows everything (omniscent), and has all the power in the universe (Omnipotent).
All of this fits well within just about every major religion and I find that particularly, Quran and the words of Christ take on new meanings when you read them with this insight. In fact, I think that this is the missing key which obviously could not be explained to B.C. shepherds or 7th century nomads in scientific terms. The fact is, we know that these forces exist, we sort of know what they do, but we really don’t know why they exist or how they came to be. Just like God.
So, what does this have to do with the magic mountain of Manisa? Well, in fact, the ancient name of Manisa was Magnesia, the name comes from the magnets which come from Sypil mountain, also known in ancient times as Tantalus. The entire mountain is, in fact, one huge magnet. Stories of magnetic gold being found here, and stories of the Olympian Gods struggling with humans also come from this amazing mountain.
Cities here date back as far as 5000 BC and some researchers have postulated that it was a highly advanced city on Sypil that was swallowed into a great lake during a large earthquake. The great lake no longer exists, except as a minor body of water, but geologic evidence shows that there was one, it did exist, and there is some evidence to show that this was actually the site of a civilization of which we know very little. What was the name of this city?
Atlantis. And of course, with stories growing and changing it is more than likely that from a relatively advanced civilization being destroyed in a large lake that the story could grow to a continent sinking into a sea. Not unlikely at all.
Tantalus was named after the first King of this region. Tantalus, the son of Zeus. Keep in mind that Homer came from the nearby city of Izmir and he is the first one to write of ‘magnets’ in historical records.
It should also be mentioned that many of the sages of ancient Ionia said that the word magnet actually meant spirit. And the name Sipylos comes from greek and means ‘Gate of the Gods’.
All of this, leads me to wonder if I was drawn here like some piece of iron drawn to a magnet. I’ve found myself in this life living in many ‘power spots’ on the globe and certainly the circumstances which brought me to Manisa are not exactly run of the mill.
While I haven’t had the chance yet to climb up the magic mountain of Manisa, I know that once Hanane gets here, we will begin to do some exploration of it. For now, I wonder if I am living closer to God than I ever have before.