Category Archives: Museums

Yogyakarta, Indonesia

4 days around yogja

Total budget per person : 600$ flight included

Day 1

We started our trip from Singapore with Air Asia (cheap airline) at 11am. After an hour delay and 2hours flight we landed in Yogja around 1pm. We choose to rent a car for this travel. It might be supprising and risky but it was worth it even if the drive is a bit intense (cars and motocycle are coming from everywhere) it’s manageable.

After having checked the car condition with the renter (Avis), here we go ! Direction Prambanan Temple.  It is a 9th-century Hindu temple. It is dedicated to the Trimurti, the expression of God as the Creator, the Preserver and the Destroyer.

/!\ Tips: buy the binded ticket with Borobudur Temple, 40 USD.

Nice temple, and very big. There are several “towers” where if you go inside can see status of gods.

After our visit, we stopped at the temple restaurant outside of the temple and facing the temple. Beautiful view of the temple. Then, long drive started to go to Borobudur Temple. Around 50km of small and narrow streets with a lot of traffic. After 2h drive we made it to our hotel.

Lotus 2 Homestay: Jalan Balaputradewa No.54, Borobudur, Magelang, Jawa Tengah 56553, Indonesia
Very nice and welcoming people, 5 min walk to Borobudur temple, clean rooms.

Day 2

Waking up early 5.45am to reach Borobudur temple when it opens at 6am. We knew that we were going to miss the sunrise but we didnt wanted to pay the additional cost for it. Despite this we could enjoy the early morning lights with no body at the temple.

It’s from 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist temple, it’s the the world’s largest Buddhist temple. The temple consists of nine stacked platforms, six square and three circular, topped by a central dome.

Amazing view, beautiful temple, I think from many temple we have done over asia, this one is one of my favorite one.

Back to our hotel for the breakfast and then heading to Yogja downtown.  40km drive and 1h30 later we arrived in the busy city. The drive became a bit more tense and after several u-turns we found a parking at the railway station (50,000 Roupies for 24 hours).

We started our viste with the Kraton and Waterfall temple (Taman Sari). It’s a nice area to walk from narrow streets to very large and noisy streets. The temple itself is not very beautiful, but the atmosphere and the whole district around it make it interesting. The entrance for both is 13,000 per pers.

 

We stopped for lunch at a very nice place (Italian and Spanish) but very good food : Sixsenses Restaurant  (Jalan DI. Panjaitan No. 39, Mantrijeron, Kota Yogyakarta, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55141, Indonesia).

To end our day we went for some batik art (painting on silk).

We spend the night at Andrea Hotel, Sosrowijayan Wetan GT I/140, Gang 2, Sosromenduran, Gedong Tengen, Yogyakarta City, Special Region of Yogyakarta 55271, Indonesia. Located in a beautiful narrow street, nice and clean rooms.

Day 3

Starting our day around 9am, we took back the car and drove toward the coast of Yogja. Beautiful road, less traffic, and amazing landscapes.

First stop : Laut Bekah. The access is a bit tricky and will require good driving skills. The road is more like a path and very very narrow, sometimes very steep, but the view is worht it ! Coordinates : S8°4’16” E110°22’30”.

Second stop : Parangkusumo Desert. We were really impressed by the diversity of landscape Java island has ! Indeed, we went to see and walk on the parangkusumo desert, small yes but quite interesting to see sand dunes appearing after the forest. Coordinates: 8°00’59.5″S 110°19’03.9″E.

Finally, we reached our amazing hotel.

Queen Of The South Beach Resort, Girijati, Purwosari, Gunung Kidul Regency, Special Region of Yogyakarta 55872, Indonesia. Amazing pool with view on the sea, nice and clean bedroom. Good breakfast and barbecue.

Day 4

Day 4 started with a fail, we wanted to do the Langse Cave and the dardevil treck, but it ended up by turning back at the start of the trail. The ladders were not in a good shape and it was too risky with 100 m hollow on the right side.

We changed our plans and drove toward an organic farm and a nice view on the countryside. Wisata Alam Seribu Batu. Beautiful view.

Then after chatting with the owner of the farm, we drove to Pinus Asri Where we found a nice forest of pine tree.

Back to yogja, where we slept one more night, close to the airport in a nice homestay.

Griya Cemara homestay, Jl. Pisang, Maguwoharjo, Kec. Depok, Kabupaten Sleman, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55281, Indonesia.

10 days in Vietnam {part2}

Day 6 & 7 

Visit of Sapa and the villages, first village we did was Ta Van, we also did Ta Phin, Thac Bac water fall. Beautiful villages where you need to get lost and just walk though the streets.

End of the day 7, we took a bus to go back to the train station and then take the night train back to Hanoi.

Day 8

Arriving early morning to Hanoi, we took a cab to go the Hanoi Airport direction Hue. After 1h flight, at Hue our private driver is waiting for us. Direction Da Nang and Hoi An through the traditional road and the “COL DES NUAGES – ĐEO HảI VAN”. It takes around 4hours but its definitely worth it.

https://hueprivatetaxi.com/hue-to-hoi-an-by-private-taxi/ --> this is what we used to book our driver. +++ beer at arrival, very flexible as our flight was 3 hours delayed. 60 USD

After 4 hours drive and amazing views we reached Hoi An. We booked a very nice hotel for this part of the trip : Hoi An Beach resort. 

1 Cửa Đại, Tp. Hội An, Quảng Nam, Vietnam

Day 9&10

Visit of Hoi An old town. The best way to visit Hoi An is to walk in the different streets. You can at the entrance of the old town buy a ticket that give you 5 visits of old houses and museums. One house to visit is enough has they have always the same spirit and construction. The bridge is worth to visit.

Day 11

One day trip to My Son Sanctuary. Very nice temples, they are being restored. We booked our tour at the tourist information center of Hoi An, with a french speaker guide. The whole day was visit of my son and then visit of a fisher man village and back to Hoi An though the river.

Day 12

We took a flight the day before in the evening to go to Ho Chi Minh. We only spend 1 day at Ho Chi Minh before taking our last flight to Singapore. We did the walking tour written in the lonely planet. We stopped for lunch at “la propaganda” very nice restaurant ! A must to do !

10 days in Vietnam {part1}

Duration : 10 days
Budget : ~1300 sgd / pers (flights/hotel/activities and food included)

10 days in vietnam is a good duration to be able to visit a bit and enjoy the country from north to south. We most of the time stayed 2 days is each cities.

Overall trip : Hanoi –> Halong Bay –> Hanoi –> Sapa –>Hanoi –> Hue –> Hoi An –> Da Nang –> Ho Chi Minh

Day 1 – Hanoi

Arriving to Hanoi from Singapore after 3 hours flight we took a cab to reach the city center (~40 min drive, it should cost around 400,000) and our hotel Rosa Bella Hotel. Nice and welcoming people took us to our rooms. Very clean hotel, maybe the breakfast is a bit small but still okay.

Hotel bella Rosa : 21 Cầu Gỗ, Hàng Bạc, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam

To start our visit, we looked for a nice place to grab something for lunch.  We ate at the Artisan Buon Dua Le Cafe. Very nice place, nothing fancy but just great.

Buon Dua Cafe : 20 Hàng Hành Hàng Trống Hoàn Kiếm Hàng Trống Hoàn Kiếm Hà Nội Vietnam

Day 2 – Hanoi

We did the lonely planet walking tour which is just perfect to enjoy Hanoi and all the small streets.

Highlights :  Ngoc Son temple, The Huc, The monument of the martyrs, Pho Hang Be and the market on Pho Gia Ngu, Pho Ma May, to discover, at n ° 87, the delightful commemorative house, Pho Ta Hien, to the famous bars, the Bach Ma Temple, Cua O Quan Chuong  Pho Thanh Ha, where a street market, the Dong Xuan Market, Pho Hang Ma, where the fake notes are sold during the Buddhist ceremonies, the tinsmiths and the mirror makers, Buddhist altars, St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Ho Lo Jail.

For our afternoon, we took a cab to go at the west lake and enjoy a nice walk next to it with the visit of a temple.

For dinner, we ate at la Porte d’annam. Absolutely amazing. Careful, there might be lots of people, it’s better to book.

Porte d'Annam : 22 Nha Tho street, Hoan KiemHanoi 00000001, Vietnam

Day 3 – HON GAI HARBOUR – BAI TU LONG BAY – THIEN CANH SON CAVE

Direction : halong bay. 4 hours drive to reach the area.

http://www.indochina-junk.com/ No 58, Au Trieu street Hoan Kiem district Hanoi- Joining PRINCE junk

7.30 – 8.00: Pick up at your hotel in Hanoi’s Old Quarter area. We booked through indochina junk a small boat for max 8 people. It’s more expensive than the big boats but worth it as the trip is not the same and they are going through smaller path where you’re getting more privacy.

12.00 – 12.30: Embark at Hon Gai International harbor.

12.30 – 13.00: Check-in, we enjoyed a welcome drink and add a cruise briefing.

13.30 – 15.00: Have lunch while cruising to magnificent Bai Tu Long bay; admire the fascinating formations on the way.

15.15 – 15.40: Explore the well- hidden Thien Canh Son cave.

15.45 – 18:00: Enjoy relaxing on a white sandy beach at Hon Co island, swimming or kayaking.

18:00 – 19.00: Back to junk for refreshing before having dinner on board.

20.00 – 21.00: Relax, enjoy fresh air & overnight on board.

 

Day 4 – VUNG VIENG FISHING VILLAGE – HON GAI HARBOUR

07.30 – 08.00: Morning view of Bay’s landscape with a cup of tea or coffee. Have breakfast in the fresh air.

08.30 – 09.30: Visit Vung Vieng fishing village by a rustic row-boat.

10.00: Check out of the cabin. Start cruising towards the harbor while an A la carte lunch is served.

 

11.45 – 12.00: Disembark. Drive to Yen Duc village in Dong Trieu province.

14.00 – 14.30: Enjoy water puppet show performed by local artists which is good for kids not really interesting for adult.

14.45 – 17.30: Arrive in Hanoi.

Once in Hanoi, we moved to the railway station to get our train to Sapa. We booked one bedroom with 4 beds with the Orient Express. Small but clean, let’s go for 6 hours night train to Lao Cai.

Day 5 – Sapa

6am, we arrived at Lao Cai station. We took a taxi (you can have cheaper if your take the local bus which is correct, but we were too tired !). 1hour later we finally reached Sapa. Next objective, find 4 scooters. We found some in the street next to the bus stop, for 60 $ 4 scooters for 3 days.

Sapa is changing a lot currently with constructions everywhere. They are also lots of ethni that try to sell you many handmade braclette, neckless… They also try to sell you hotel rooms, or visits of small villages. Be strong ! you can say no sometimes.

With our scooter, we drove to our guesthouse (1h by scooter). Beautiful road for the view, but not great for the road itself with lots of hole.

Ta Van Ecologic Homestay --> super nice homestay with a magnificient view on the rice field.

 

4 days in Cambodia

Duration : 4 days
Budget : ∼600 $ / pax (flight; hotel;activities and meals)

Day 1

We left Singapore on Thursday evening plane took off around 7pm we arrived in Phnom Penh at 9pm. We took a cab to reach the city center (11$, not really negociable as all of the cab where saying the same price).

We check in at our hotel (nice a quiet hotel, near everything restaurant, museum, coast, activities), the employees were nice and the room was cosy and clean. Sufficient for us.

Address : Diamon Palace Hotel, #29EO, St. 178, Preah Ang Makhak Vann St. (178), Phnom Penh 12206, Cambodge

We went out in the famous street to grab something to eat. Stop at where we enjoyed really strong cocktail (bit too strong for me through) and good food.

Day 2

Starting the day with a nice breakfast (included in the room) toast; egg and orange juice or coffee. We then walk to What Phnom (north of bd Norodom). Nice pagoda, small but with decorations and well maintain 5 (only 1$ the entrance).

 

 

Then we walk back in the direction of the hotel. Originally we wanted to visit the Silver pagoda and the royal palace but they are closed between 12 till 14h. We had to change our plan to the National Museum (5$). I recommend it if you want to learn and understand a bit the culture of Cambodia. Allow around 1h30 for the visit.

After the visit we went eating in a very nice place called “Friend“, close to the museum. Awesome place, incredible plates and really affordable prices. Totally recommend it.

To end our day, we decided to go and visit the Tuol Sleng. Old prisons like we used to have in France or Germany during the war. Hard, difficult, sad, but worth it. It’s unfortunately part of the history of this country.

Dinner at the Romdeng; also perfect like his brother “Friend”.

Day 3

Direction the airport for Siem Rep. After 40 min flight we landed and reach our nice hotel  ( Borei Angkor Resort and Spa).

Address : Borei Angkor Resort and Spa, #0369 National Highway 6, Slokram, Banteay Chas, Krong Siem Reap 17252, Cambodge

We relaxed the morning at the pool area.

For our afternoon, we decided to visit a floating village. we choose Kâmpóng Khleang less touristic than his brother Kampong Phluk but a bit farthest but worth it. We were the only foreigners there. Our tuk-tuk driver was really nice and show us around.

Day 4

For our last day we choose one tour that the hotel offer for the Angkor Wat temple. Our driver and guide took us during the whole day to all the touristic but outstanding place of Angkor Wat.

For me one day at the temples area is sufficient if you’re not a huge fan of temples. However, you could spend 3 to 4 days visiting the area.

We ended our day around 3 pm so we enjoyed the swimming pool and could go at the city center to enjoy a nice meal.

Day 5 

Our last day was the travel back to singapore around 11 am.

 

3 days in Chicago

Day 1 – Travel and The loop

Woke up early to take our flight from Dallas to Chicago, we arrived around 8am in Chicago. We took the subway to downtown and meet a friend. We started our visit with the Millenium park and Grant Park with the Bean.

The bean
The bean

We went then to rent bikes near Monore harbour. We biked to the Navy Pier and had lunch then.

View from the shore
View from the shore

We biked up north to Lincoln Park Zoo and enjoyed the Michigan Lake. Lincoln Park Zoo is a really nice small zoo, one of the oldest in the country.

Lincoln Park Zoo
Lincoln Park Zoo

We biked back to the hotel Hyatt and had a dinner and drink near our hotel.

Downtown Chicago
Downtown Chicago

Day 2 – Near North and North Side

We started our day by a long walk around downtown to enjoy as much as we could the heart of Chicago. You definitely need to lose yourself in those streets.

Chicago
Heart of Chicago
Chicago Downtown
Chicago Downtown

Then we had a wonderful lunch with the specialty of Chicago deep dish pizza at pizzeria uno near magnificent mile. Then we did the famous magnificent mile.

Pizzeria Due
Pizzeria Due
Chicago Water Works Pumping station
Chicago Water Works Pumping station

Ending our day with a wonderful sunset on one of the highest tower the John Hancock Center. Tips, better than the willis tower because you dont need to pay entrance, you need to have a drink instead but believe me it’s worth it.

View from the tower
View from the tower

To end our day we went enjoying some live music in one of the many bars on Hubbard St. Good streets to go out !

Day 3 – Far south

To finish our wonderful long weekend, we walk a bit alongside the canals near the Trump Tower. We then took the subway to Chicago University up South. Amazing campus, beautiful buildings a must to do to enjoy more about the student life.

Chicago University
Chicago University
Chicago University
Chicago University

One week in Mexico

Day 1 – Teotihuacan & Mexico City

Departure: 10 am
Return: 6pm

Teotihuacan was an ancient Mesoamerican city located in a sub valley of the Valley of Mexico, 30 miles (48 km) northeast of Mexico City, known today as the site of many of the most architecturally significant Mesoamerican pyramids built in the pre-Columbian Americas.pyramidsTo do the whole visit plan around 2h, bring lots of water with you as the weather is really dry and hot. Bring also a good hat and sunscreen. Take some tennis shoes and enjoy the view of the pyramids.

Pyramid

The site doesn’t only include the pyramids but also a small museum about the history of the civilizations.

After a long walk under the sun, let’s go to the city centre of Mexico.

Mexico City – City Centre

First thing to know there is no free parking in Mexico. We parked next to the Bella Del Arte monument.

Our favourite and national Mexican friend took us to a nice and typical café to enjoy some Mexican dishes such as tacos and Chile relleno with of course a good beer. We were lucky at that time there were a birthday celebration and we got some music from the mariachi.

IMG_0435

Address of the restaurant: Calle de Tacuba 28, Cuauhtémoc, Centro, 06010 Ciudad de México, D.F., Mexico

Price: $$

Then back to Toluca.


Day 2 – The Grutas de Cacahuamilpa & Taxco

Departure: 9 am
Return: 7 pm

Address: 2h30 south west from Mexico City

Located in the National Park of Guerrero, the caves are one of the largest cave systems in the world. It is also home to the Grutas of Carlos Pacheco, a smaller system, as well as two subterranean rivers which have carved out tunnels in the rock. The park has extreme sports attractions such as rappelling, and rock climbing in Limontitla Canyon as well as the two underground rivers to explore. It also has a small botanical garden, a pool and places to camp.

on our way to the caves
on our way to the caves

We went on the guided visit of the caves that are definitely amazing and incredibly big. Everything is well maintain. The only bad thing was the guided guy was only speaking Spanish and really fast. Hopefully you do not really need him to enjoy the visit.

the caves
the caves

Price: around 60 pesos

Duration: around 1h30

After that beautiful escapade, we drove to an amazing place called Taxco. Wonderful village around the mountain.

Address: 3h south west from Mexico City.

The city is alongside the mountain and has paved streets with for local taxi the famous coccinelle cars. The city is also known for silver carriers so if you’re looking for cheap but good silver present you can buy it there. The small city centre looks like an old village in France with the place in the middle and the church and small habitation around it.

View from the restaurant; Taxco Hotel
View from the restaurant; Taxco Hotel

We hate at the Monte Taxco Hotel, where you can enjoy the view on all the city.

Tips: to avoid costly and time consuming finding a parking lot, park at the opposite side of the city centre, to the Monte Taxco Hotel (Calle Alfredo Checa Curi s/n, Fraccionamiento Lomas de Taxco, 40210 Taxco), then take the cable car to join the other side.

Taxco streets
Taxco streets
Taxco cathedral
Taxco cathedral

Day 3 & Day 4 – Tolantogo Hidalgo

Located 4hours north from Mexico, in the middle of the country side where there is nothing else than small villages and farmers, there is a paradise place.

Tolantogo walk path
Tolantogo walk path

You can enjoy bath and hot springs with the nature as a place and the mountain as view. The place is beautiful and peaceful. Come over there for a weekend to relax and swim in the hot springs.

Tolantogo - hot springs bath
Tolantogo – hot springs bath
Tolantogo - River bath
Tolantogo – River bath

Hotel price per night for one person: 270 pesos.

The food: small restaurant, with typical Mexican dishes for around 20 pesos.

The entrance to the park: 120 pesos per day per person

Tips: bring water shoes to be able to walk and swim in the different places without issues.


Day 5 – Mexico City

Departure: 10 am
Return: 6 pm

To start our day we went to the museum of anthropology. Really good museum about the history of Mexico and all the civilisations. There are several parts to visit inside de museum. To visit the essential it takes around 2hours, more if you spend time to read and visit everything.

Price: 70 pesos.

Tips: there is a nice shop if you’re looking for souvenirs!! :p

On our way to Mexico City - Fabelas
On our way to Mexico City – Fabelas

For Lunch we went in a restaurant whose speciality are the tacos, and they were really good. No doubt you will find one for you!

Address: El Califa, Altata 22, Col. Condesa, Mexico City

IMG_0529

Then direction the Chapultepec Castle, the only castle in North America. Built during the colonial time, the castle has an amazing 360° view on Mexico City. The inside of the castle is well maintained. Nice. The total visit around 1h30.

Address:  Bosque de Chapultepec I, 11100 Ciudad de México

Price: 65 pesos

view from the castle
view from the castle

Day 6 – Culhuacán

For our last day in Mexico, Edgar took us to the district of Pueblo Culhuacán. It doesn’t feel like you’re still in Mexico City so different! It’s more typical and more like a village inside a big city where you have Small Street, restaurant, outside terrace… Walk around get lost in those street and enjoy!

City center of Culhuacán
City center of Culhuacán

We picked one restaurant with terrace, sat outside and had a beer.

We went after that to the museum of Frida Kahlo. The house is colorful from the outside and also inside. You can see many of her painting and learn about her story. It was not my favorite museum but if you’re interested in her story go ahead.

Frida Kahlo House
Frida Kahlo House

Dallas full of surprise …

Dallas full of surprise …

Local Dallas

Dallas is full of surprise, apparently not the city you would like to spend vacation but if you look deeper in the city you might find many interesting and nice place to enjoy your days and evenings.

Dallas it’s Downtown ; Updtown ; Deep Ellum ; Lower Greenville ; Bishop Art.

Downtown, epicentre of Dallas, lots of building and museum. The best way to visit downtown Dallas it’s to park somewhere on the Trolley line (http://www.mata.org/schedulesroutemap.html ) and take the trolley until Downtown area (free ride). Then just walk by the building and status. You might enjoy a nice drink at the small but not nice klyde warren park (http://www.klydewarrenpark.org/ ).

Downtown 6
Klyde Warren Park
Downtown 5
Klyde Warren Park

Downtown 3 Downtown 2

Downtown 1
View from dowtown
Downtown 4
The financial district

Uptown, nightlife of Dallas and especially McKinney Avenue with plenty of bars and night clubs. High select part of Dallas, and rich people are living there. Here is a list of clubs and bars that are good but not only! The Den, Blackfriar, The avenue (very select), So&So, the Concrete Cowboy…

During a sunny day, go and have a walk at Katy Trail. Nice path for bikes; runners or just walkers. If you’re getting tired you can always have a drink on the patio at the Ice House (very nice area, nice beer and average price).

Bishop Art, area in rehabilitation and transformation. Nice bars and expos there.

Deep ellum, I love that place. Great streets with street arts and hipster bars/clubs. If you want to enjoy brewery go to Braindead Brewing (http://braindeadbrewing.com/ ), Pecan Lodge or BuzzBrews Deep Ellum.

DeepEllum (3)

Walk in the street of Main Street or Elm Street you will see nice street paintings. Enter in the strange handicraft shops and vintage shops.

DeepEllum (1)
Somewhere in Elm street
DeepEllum (2)
Elm street / Main street
DeepEllum (4)
Elm street / Main street
DeepEllum (9)
Elm street / Main street
DeepEllum (14)
Elm street / Main street
DeepEllum (16)
Elm street / Main street
DeepEllum (17)
Elm street / Main street

Lower Greenville/Knox Henderson, nice area similar to deep ellum but more hip. Nice rooftop with a view on downtown skyline.

You can find a really good French bakery: Boulangerie (http://villagebakingco.com/ ).

Great coffee shop: Houndstooth Coffee (http://www.houndstoothcoffee.com/ ) with real espresso from different countries.

If you’re at lower Greenville, you must also stop at Truckyard (http://www.texastruckyard.com/ ), great way to have a beer with friends outside.

Finally, if you feel more fency, you can enjoy a good meal/dinner at the French restaurant: St Martins (http://www.stmartinswinebistro.com/ ), but a meal will cost you around (50$/pers including 2 plates starters and meal plus a glace of wine. For a good affordable brunch you can go to the Old Monk (http://www.oldmonkdallas.com/ ).

Greater Dallas

If you take your car a drive a little bit outside of Dallas, you can also find really nice things.

Parks and lakes

Close from Dallas: White Rock Lake, you can enjoy a picnic and a nice view of the lake. Path and parking are available for walks, rides…

White Rock Lake
White Rock Lake
White Rock Lake 2
White Rock Lake

North West Dallas: River Legacy Park: http://www.riverlegacy.org/ , huge park so great if you want to go out from the city life.

South West Dallas: Cedar ridge preserve: Audubon nature preserve offering 9 miles of hiking trails through 600 acres of hill country habitat. http://cedarhilltx.com/1700/Cedar-Ridge-Nature-Preserve

IMG_2113
Cedar ridge preserve
Cedar ridge preserve
Cedar ridge preserve
Cedar ridge preserve
Cedar ridge preserve

Nightlife

  • Country nights:

Red River Irving: http://www.cowboysdancehall.com/dallas/ Outpost of a honky-tonk/dance hall chain with live country music, dance lessons & a mechanical bull. Free classes Thursday nights at 7pm.

  • Karaoke nights:

Family Karaoke: http://www.familykaraokedfw.com/ Karaoke outfit features a sizable song selection, a spacious bar & well-equipped private rooms.

  • Fency/clubbing nights :

Uptown dallas and Deepellum

 

Ski in Colorado

Duration: 4 days (2 days of ski and 2 days of visit)

Budget: 700$/person

Skiing in the us is an expensive trip that you have to plan and anticipate. For our trip we went skiing in Arapahoe Basin next to Keystone. Nice and very good ski resort. Arapahoe is well known for is high altitude (the resort is above 3,200 m and the highest point is 3,900 m). The snow there is light and really good.

There is several things that you need to prepare ahead your trip:

  • Health insurance : make sure you’re covered while your back country skiing
  • Credit/debit card: tell your bank that you’re travelling and you will need to pay large amount. Believe me you do not want to have your card blocked the day of martin Luther king and when everything is closed…
  • Flight : you will need an extra luggage or check in luggage ; pay this in advance

Good deal to know while you’re going skiing in the US:

  • Lift ticket are much cheaper on the online website! Between 20 to 40% off.
  • Rental ski are cheaper if you book them online!

The luggage of the skier:

  • Helmet
  • Gloves
  • Skiing trouser and vest
  • Skiing/hiking bag
  • Goggles
  • Hand warmer
  • Warm clothe
  • Knife
  • Head lamp (in case)
  • Cereal bar
  • Water
  • Avalanche system

Day 1 – Denver

The first day was more walking and visiting downtown. The tour is around 4 hours.

We began at Millenium Bridge. This modernist footbridge is a bold symbol of contemporary Denver. Look ahead to the river: the city was born when gold was discovered in the currents below.

Millenium Bridge
Millenium Bridge
View from the Millenium Bridge
View from the Millenium Bridge

We pass the rolling hills of the commons Park, nice view of the city and a bit of fresh air.

We descend to the far bank and took the paved path upstream. Then we walked through the Confluence Park, with its swimmable rapids where Platter River meets cherry creek.

We stopped at REI to shop some nice things for hiking, climbing and skiing.

Then we stopped at Tattered Cover Bookstore, nice book store where you can find nice and old book.

On our way to REI
On our way to REI
Denver downtown
Denver downtown
Denver downtown
Denver downtown

After that we went to the Denver performing Arts complex where we can give a hug at I see what you mean. We went eating at a Peruvian restaurant nice and cheap.

P1020031

Los Cabos II : 1525 Champa St, Denver, CO 80205

After that we headed to our skiing resort.

Day 2 & Day 3 – Arapahoe Basin (Ski)

The day two was for skiing. We skied at Arapahoe Basin which is an old school ski resort. The top lift gets you to the summit (13,059ft), where you can drop into Montezuma Bowl on the back side.

There are really great ride to do powder.

Araphaoe Bassin
Araphaoe Bassin
Araphaoe Bassin
Araphaoe Bassin

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The lift ticket is around 80$ a day but if you go on the website of the ski resort you can find good deals.

We slept in Keystone because there is no lodging in Arapahoe.

Keystone Resort By Rocky Mountain, lakeside view. Nice and comfortable apartment with everything you need inside (oven, microwaves…) link: http://www.rmrm.net/resorts/keystone-colorado/

Keystone Lakeside
Keystone Lakeside

P1020073

We rented the skis and shoes in one of the many stores in Keystone. They can be rent online and its cheaper. https://www.rentskis.com/#!/resort/keystone-resort

Day 4 – Denver

Our last day was the museum day in Denver. We only had half day to visit; so we choose the museum of Colorado to learn more about this state. http://www.historycolorado.org/museums/history-colorado-center

Entry; 12$

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Thanksgiving in New Mexico

Where? Carlsbad, White Sands, El Paso, Santa Fe, Kasha Katuwe Canyon, Cadillac Ranch, Big Texan.

Distance? 1,870 miles / 29hours

How long? 4 days trip

Cost? 200$/pers except some meals include rental car, hotels, gaz, visits.

Day 0

Starting Wednesday after work, we drove until Carlsbad around 6 hours west from Dallas. Originally we wanted to visit the caves the next morning but unfortunately it’s closed on Thanksgiving Day as lots of things in America. We slept in a motel 6 found on booking.com

Day 1

Thursday, thanksgiving day.  Modification of our original program, we drove to White Sands instead of the caves (http://www.nps.gov/cave/index.htm).

White Sands is just lunar pictures, it’s amazing, and coming from nowhere you have this desert of white sands in a middle of New Mexico. The landscape is just gorgeous. The weather wasn’t with us but it was still really nice. I am guessing with a blue sky it must be incredible.

White_Sands (2)
White Sands
White_Sands (5)
White Sands

You have to pay the entrance to the park and then you can walk on several trail (from 1.5 miles to 8 miles). Don’t forget to bring water during summer times.

I believe you can also camp, because we saw several tent.

It’s definitely a must to do if you are in New Mexico. <3

White_Sands (38)

Stop to El Paso to spend the night. Strange city across the border of United States and Mexico. You can feel the tension. I cannot say to do not feel save but the atmosphere is special. We spend the night in a nice small bar.

Day 2

Friday morning, we drove back to Carlsbad cavern, but unfortunately not lucky again, it started to snow so they closed the cavern just few minutes before we got there.

We drove almost the entire day to Santa Fe, because of the really bad weather (snowing and iced road) it took us forever to reach Santa Fe.

Day 3

Starting the morning visiting Santa Fe. Nice small city with lot of charm. Typical houses made and nice streets. We went to the local market. Santa Fe has plenty of art selling, hand craft, jewels… I really loved this city.

Santa_Fe 1
Santa_Fe
Santa_Fe 2
Santa_Fe
Santa_Fe (4)
Santa_Fe

Santa Fe has also the oldest church in the US. San Miguel Chapel. The adobe walls were constructed around 1610.

San Miguel Chapel
San Miguel Chapel

And you can also see the famous stairs that nobody knows how it stand! Lorreto chapel: unusual helix-shaped spiral staircase (the “Miraculous Stair“).

Loretta Chapel
Lorreto chapel

To end the day, we went to Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, located 40 miles southwest of Santa Fe. Beautiful canyon, that worth the trip! You can have a nice walk in the canyon and reach the view point to enjoy a nice view of the canyon.

Kasha-Katuwe
Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument
Kasha-Katuwe
Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument
Kasha-Katuwe
Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

Kasha-Katuwe Kasha-Katuwe

Day 4

To end our trip, let’s finish with the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo and a big burger at the Big Texan.

Cadillac Ranch is not a ranch but a public art installation and sculpture. It was created in 1974. It consists of what were either older running used or junk Cadillac automobiles, representing a number of evolutions of the car line from 1949 to 1963, half-buried nose-first in the ground, at an angle corresponding to that of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt.

Cadillac Ranch Cadillac Ranch

Cadillac Ranch

 

 

 

 

One week over lousiana and texas

Sunday – Dallas Baton-Rouge

We drove for 8 hours to reach our hotel at Baton-Rouge

Monday – Baton Rouge

We spend sunday morning at Atchafalaya Basin. Nice walk around the lake before our swamp tour, one of the greatest river swamps. It was a really good swamp tour, different from the one I did ( 3 days in Louisiana), but interesting also. The boats are bigger but the river also. ~20$

McGhee’s Landing, Inc. http://www.mcgeeslanding.com/home.htm

Mc Glee's landing 1 Mc Glee's landing 2 Mc Glee's landing 3

After our tour we stopped at Baton-Rouge to visit the capital of louisiana.

Stop at the Louisiana State Capitol; you cannot miss it it’s the tallest building 137m. We also stop at the louisiana state museum, really good museum that explain the history of louisiana and the cajun culture. Well explained. ~6$

Baton rouge

Then, we drove around 2 hours to reach News Orleans in the beginning of the evening.

Tuesday – New Orleans

10:00 a.m. – Visit of the Treme quarter.

A really nice quarter just buy walking and losing you in the narrow street with colourful houses.

Treme 1 Treme 2

Treme

10:30-12:30 p.m. – Visit of the French Quarter.

  • Jackson square nice central place of the french quarter with street muscician, souvenir stores and an important statu of andrew jackson.
  • Saint Louis Cathedral which one the first catherale of north america.
  • French Market, nice market with lot of souvenir of new orleans to buy.

French Quarter

12:30-2:00p.m. – Lunch time in the French Quarter at the french market : aligator sausage and smothies.

2:00 p.m. – Visit the Aquarium of the Americas, one of the top five aquariums in the U.S.

~28$

Mississippi river coast Mississippi river coast

4p.m – Coffee break at Café Du Monde for coffee and beignets in the French Market near Jackson Square. Nice ambiance, it’s been from 1862 that they served the famous french doughnuts with sugar on it. Really cheap and traditionally accompagned with coffee. ~3$

6. p.m – night at Bourbon Street. You can enjoy live concert of jazz, blues or other kind of live music. Just walk and enter in any bar you want. You will find something nice !

Wednesday – Plantation

Nottoway Plantation Restaurant & Inn, the largest plantation home in the South. Built in 1859, this Greek Revival and Italianate mansion boasts 53,000 square feet.

Nottoway Plantation Nottoway Plantation

Nottoway Plantation

Thursday – The coast

On our way to Houston we made few stops, we stop at Lake Charles by hoping to find a nice beach but it was not the nice beach you can have in Florida. It’s next to the highway and not clean.

We stop later on at Holly Beach and this was unexpected nice white sand beach ! No clear water because of the floor but nice place to relax. Must go if you want to see some ghost village and have a stop on your way.

Holly Beach Holly Beach

Houston, we reach houston during the afternoon. We stop at down town district. Houston is not a touristic city, you have few museum but nothing amazing to do.

Downtown Houston Downtown Houston

We ate in a nice fish restaurant with the form of a boat. The food was really good and the portion were big.

Friday – Houston

Let’s go Nasa center 1h from Houston and discover the nasa museum. Nice place, well explained but maybe too much for the children. Must do the visit of the real installation of the nasa center. Take around 4 hours to do everything.

We spend the night in Houston in a nice hotel.

Saturday – Houston – Dallas

Drive back home .