Tag Archives: vacation

Zanzibar Day 5: Nice and Easy

So today is my last day in Zanzibar and I have to say that I am sad to be leaving. When I first arrived I just assumed that I would be spending most of my days on the beach doing w hole lot of nothing. But as it turns out, I had a really packed vacation week with lots of see and do. And with everything that I have seen and done in Zanzibar, there are things still left to do. So for me, that means that a second visit is in order 🙂

So for my last day, I decided to slowly walk around the city and take it in one last time. I walked with no destination in mind. I only wanted to capture with my camera the beauty of a place where sands meets the sea.

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After I walked around for a hour or so and looked around for some souvenirs, I found a little place for lunch that was just about the close. It had no name, but it was a really busy place and seemed like it would be a good place. Luckily I wasn’t disappointed. It was a great lunch! There were 3 courses for $20 and more food than I could eat. Whilst eating I started talking to two women from Germany who were hanging out with this really strange guy. A European guy, he said he lived on the island permanently and owned a mansion and wanted the 3 of us to come and party with him. He also had an interesting car with 2 different coloured eyes. Although the guy was intriguing and the cat cool, my spider-sense was tingling so I said that I had to leave to go and pack. I think the German women took my cue and left shortly after me 🙂

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For dinner, I finally (after 2 tries) got a dinner reservation at Emerson Spice where they do a 5 course menu for $30. It quite simply was absolutely delicious! While at dinner, I got to talking with a newly married couple (an Irish guy and a Danish woman) who were also at dinner. Turns out that they were traveling around Africa for several months for their honeymoon. We ended up talking long after dinner was over and continued the conversation over drinks at the Freddy Mercury bar. We exchanged contact info which was fantastic because they are really cool and I would love to keep in touch with them the next time I find myself in Copenhagen or Amsterdam. For me, I slept for a hour after meeting them and then was woken up by the hotel to make sure my I made my 02.00 AM taxi in order to get to the airport and begin the 30 hour travel journey back to Sweden.

So overall, I have to thanks Zanzibar for an AWESOME week, which was just a bonus to the AMAZEBALLS adventure I had climbing up Mt Kili with Christina! The past 6 weeks have been such a transformative experience for me, in ways I am only now beginning to understand and with more reflection and time, will hopefully become even clearer.

Thanks awesome family and friends for following along! This won’t be the end of my blogging, that much is for sure 🙂

Zanzibar Day 4: Safari Blue

Today’s adventure was to participate in the Safari Blue experience. The concept is that you get to go out in Dhow Boats and look for dolphins, do some great snorkeling, and then go for lunch at their private beach. At $65 per head with food and soft drinks (and beer), equipment, and all other things included, it’s a great deal! The owner of Safari was pretty cool too! When I called her, I told her that I didn’t know how to get to the Safari Blue location, so she let me ride on the supply truck to the Safari Blue launch location (provided I got myself from Stone Town to the Chinese Embassy). Very nice of here and riding on the back of the supply truck I met up with another American and we made friends with the staff.

After getting to our dhow boat, I met up with a group of South Africans who I have to say were pretty welcoming and awesome to hang out with. They were staying along the beach at a resort up north. They couldn’t have been nicer people to hang out with 🙂

On our way to our first snorkeling site we saw dolphins! It turns out that they are remarkably hard to photograph on a rocking boat. So you have to keep an eye out for them. I was lucky enough to get a bit of picture!

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After watching dolphins for a bit of time, we reached our snorkeling destination where we saw awesome fish and coral reef wildlife. We snorkeled off the coast of a sandbank that we swam towards and stopped for a few soft drinks and recovery. These little sandbanks are everywhere in the Zanzibar Archipelago and not only do they look fantastically inviting, but you swim in clear blue water against white sandy beaches! Simply amazing 🙂

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After our short stop, we went further afield for more snorkeling and to a place called Pirates Cove. It was a really scenic location dotted by awesome little islands and trees and vegetation of all kinds. I didn’t get out of the dhow to take more pictures because of the coral reef bottom and the fact that I damaged my foot on the kili climb (didn’t wanna make it worse), but I took some cool pics anyway.

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We then went to the Safari Blue Island where we had lunch, listed to a band playing traditional music, and just relaxed for a couple of hours before sailing back to our launch point. At the island was also some really old awesome climbable trees and I couldn’t resist the urge to go climbing a bit 🙂

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It was a great day and I was wiped out again. And my foot I have to say is damaged enough that I won’t be able to do the dolphin safari that I had wanted to do. So instead I will have to figure out a new adventure for my final day in Zanzibar. Ah well, such is life 🙂

 

Zanzibar Day 3: Prison Island Tour / Snorkeling

Today I went to visit the Prison Island in Zanzibar which was actually never used as a prison. It was intended to be used as a prison (those British and the ‘lock the miscreants away on an islan” approach), but instead was used as a quarantine location when certain diseases broke out in Zanzibar. But today it is home to a cool turtle population and really expensive bungalow hotels 🙂

Anyway, my tour began with looking at the turtles, some of which were 130 years old. The turtles were in mating season, but took time away from their frivolity to be social with us 🙂 I even got to hold a baby turtle which was very cute. And a couple of curious birds came by as well.

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After visiting the turtles, I took a walk around the island and did some snorkeling off the coast of the Island. They fish weren’t very big, but they were really curious and didn’t hesitate to come close enough to touch. It’s moments like this when I wish I had bought an underwater camera or had found some way to make my camera waterproof if only for a few minutes 🙂 But anyway I got in some swimming and snorkeling, and we stopped our boat to talk to some fisherman who make their living getting fish for Darjani market. I learned that they often go our far into the sea, spend the night at sea, and come back the next day — in what basically amounts to a sailboat!

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Overall it was a great day, but I was wiped for the day. It was about 4 hours for the whole experience and I didn’t start until 10.00 so there was no afternoon event. Instead I walked around the souvenir shops, settled down at Africa House for a few drinks, wrote some post cards, and then found a place for dinner and had an early night. There isn’t really a nightlife culture in Zanzibar like you find in other cities, so no late nights here! But that is part of the charm actually. I enjoyed my final sunlight moments on my private sundeck having a couple of more drinks 🙂

Tomorrow, Safari Blue!

Mount Kilimanjaro – Am I Ready?

So for those who don’t know, I will soon find myself in Tanzania trekking up Mt Kilimanjaro with a colleague. The plan is to spend a total of 7-8 days going up the mountain.

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When you read the websites of the tour operator companies, it’s extremely tempting to think that because it is not a technical climb (where climbing gear is required), that it is just a simple walk in the park, so-to-speak. However, thank goodness for the multiple sources on the Internet! This climb seems like it is going to be very challenging. I am a bit concerned that the endurance and strength training I have been doing might not be enough. My goal is to reach the summit (something that only about 64% of the people attempting the climb on my route actually accomplish) and to be part of the percentage that gets up there. In addition to increasing my training, I have been walking and changed my diet considerably since 01 January. We’ll see if I am successful to get to the top of the summit! What I am missing unfortunately is some form of altitude training that is not available in Stockholm, but in talking to the Climb company, I added in an extra day beyond the normal in order to get used to the altitude.

I am really looking forward to this climb. It will make my trek up the Great Wall seems like a stroll in comparison.

SO wish me luck, health, and success dear friends! I am eager to make it to the summit and to share my success with you 🙂

So The Trip to NYC Begins! :-D

So now that we are at the ½ way point to our US trip, I should provide an update.

On Friday when we got to the airport, we were greeted with the news that our flight from Stockholm to Newark/NYC was cancelled.  The cancellation happened just 5 minutes before we arrived.  So we were standing around when we met a friend (Nicklas) who told us to go over to the ticket counter and maybe get some help from them.

So I go over to the ticket counter and we are helped by a terrific woman at the counter who despite the long line and being asked by her colleagues to help someone else, spent the time to re-route us to New York via Munich and we were only 90 minutes delayed at the end of it.  That was really good luck!  She’s earned a place in our hearts for sure! 😀

So we arrived on Friday night, make it through the shitty experience that is customers and immigration, and then we get to the hotel.  It is a really nice hotel right at Times Square so we are in the center of it all!  We were so tired that we decided to eat pizza for dinner and then go out to try and find some bars.  That was an unique experience, the details of which must be shared over beers.  But needless to say, we were probably so tired that we called it an early night and decided to wait until Saturday.

On Saturday we slept in late, went shopping around the city, bought some really nice things, had an award-winning dinner (sarcasm), and then went out to a bar and a club.  We had a great time.  But the high point of Saturday was meeting my high school friend Nakia (love you girl!) and her friend Kassia!  It was good to see people in person that I have not seen in such a long time!

On Sunday we slept in late again and went up and around the city.  More siteseeing (Rockerfeller Center, etc) and looked into more stores.  Then I took Alex to Ruby Tuesdays (we started to upgrad the meals…lol…) and then we went to a club called Escolito.  I can’t say that it was really my kind of club, but Alex liked it a lot.  They were having something called American Rumble.  The singers were awesome though and that is what I will remember about it.

On Monday we decided to wake up a bit early and see the city.  We’ve long since realised that we cannot see everything when we visit cities, so it is good to invest 3-4 hours on the city siteseeing busses where you can hop on and hop off.  So we did that for most of the day on Monday.  They are great to get an overview of things you should just drive past and not visit and getting oriented for things you want to see more of on another day.  We really only have 2,5 days left so we will now be able to make the most of it.  The highlight of Monday was also to be able to see Rob (yay!) and chat and catch up!

So today we don’t have plans other than to do more siteseeing and take advantage of the day.  Tomorrow with luck we’ll see Phantom of the Opera on Broadway.  And I hope we’ll be able to see my friend Derrick whilst in New York.  On Friday then it’s off for a weekend in Atlanta to have with the lovely Steve, Brent, John, Ronnie, and the gang in ATL.  Then onwards to Boston.

We have pictures even now but we’ll start posting them later on.  For the moment we just wanna have fun! 😀

Bonjour

Well hello again…after a long haitus from LiveJournal.  We’ll forego the usual sorry-I-did-not-update message.

Anyway, since I have last updated I had a really long assignment that saw we traveling back and forth from Denmark to Stockholm.  It was really intense and exhausting and I hope we get the right result from our project work.  We’ll know more in the next days.

In addition to a lot of time in Denmark, I also went on a weekend trip to Paris.  Markus and Tomas were also traveling at the same time there, so it was good.  And of course, Niclas and Pontus were so it was good to go around with them out.  Alex met Chloe, and we found another great restaurant in Paris (surprise surprise).

So really everything was quite nice about the weekend.  I did manage to pick up a cold shortly before going, so the last day in Paris wasn’t all that much fun, but still I managed to make a good time of it.

Next stop…Barcelona!

But first, rest and recovery since this cold managed to kick my ass last night and this morning.

Mountain Experiences in Örnsköldsvik

It has been becoming increasingly longer in between updates, but that is because I have been on vacation for the last 4 weeks and updating LJ hasn’t been the highest priority as of late.  But soon vacation is over and the updating and the fun starts again.

So I am guessing that now is as good as time as any for a general update.

As most of you know, I went to Palma de Mallorca with Alex and that was a lot of fun.  And then Alex took me to Örnsköldsvik to see how life in the Northern part of Sweden is.  And I have to say that I liked it up there as a vacation point, even though I am not sure that I could live there.  It is not because anything is bad up there at all.  Rather, it has more to do with the fact that I am a city guy at heart and I don’t know that I would be able to make the transition so very easily.

While we were up there, we went hiking up a mountain.  On the way up we followed the trail up and that was really nice.  Picking and eating blueberries along the way.  It was really nice and relaxing up there.  Here are some photos…we are 270 meters (886 feet) above sea level. But first a really bad video of me going up the mountain…35 minutes in, badly prepared, and well…the video speaks for itself :-/

Mountain Top Pictures

Palma de Mallorca…now with some pictures…

Palma de Mallorca Pictures:
http://public.fotki.com/RodneyCornelius/geographies-countries/europe/spain/palma-de-mallorca/

Here you can see pictures from the trip to Palma.  I’m the black guy 😉 … Alex is the other guy in some of the pics.

Sorry for not posting them all to LJ directly, but when I post to Fotki, it usually means that it’s a “long-term collection”

I have some pics from my phone that I will also add later….but here is a preview of the pics

Sampler