Monthly Archives: April 2014

WELCOME BACK TO THE NETHERLANDS

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FLYING SLOVENIA TO NETHERLANDS
I arrived here in Amsterdam April 14, 2013 and am departing April 14, 2014 from Amsterdam. I decided to come a few days early, that may have been a mistake? The entire downtown is booked, except the very high end. ALL the AirB&B accommodations were booked too. I found a room in The Hague, at HOTEL STUDIO. A super clean and friendly place and only a 45 minutes from Amsterdam.
I’m in the Netherlands? So rent a bike and find a coffee shop.

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THE PRE-ROLLS COME WITH TOBACCO. WHY?

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I RODE UP AND DOWN THE BOARDWALK
The Hotel/Hostel backed up to the park

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I TOLD HER I ALREADY HAVE A GIRL FRIEND
The biking thing is for real here. I saw lots of people of all ages, sexes, and attire riding to their destination, amazing you can survive without a car given the proper facilities.

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THEY WERE COLLECTING WOOD- BY CARGO BIKE!
I took some fun Bike Photos:

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NEON BIKE LIGHT IN BIKE RENTAL SHOP

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I ALSO SAW A BIKE WITH AN ATTACHED SURF-BOARD RACK

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NICE LITTLE SET-UP

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PINK CRUISER
I could hardly walk down the sidewalk because of all the parked bicycles.

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THESE BIKES WERE TAGGED FOR REMOVAL
Hostel’s are great for saving money, because you can cook a few meals at “home.”

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NATASA’S HOMEMADE TROPICAL GRANOLA, VIETNAMESE COFFEE, KIWI AND YOGURT, MMMMMM
I would have liked to stay at this hostel one more night but I booked one night in Amsterdam. It was OK, nothing to bag about, they had a bed. I was 5 minutes from the red light district (didn’t go) and 20 minutes from the airport.
It was a last minute opportunity, thanks to my dear friend Hans, I got to ride in the business class section. Man they eat good up here!
I know I had a different NEXT? topic, (it’s coming). I thought the photos of the Netherlands were worthy of a post.
Thanks for reading.
Jeff

NETHERLAND PHOTOS
NEXT? BACK IN THE USA

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Back in Bangkok-(worlds biggest market) and back in Slovenia

After 10 hours of work, I had this blog within 5 minutes of being finished, thanks to WordPress updates, the whole thing was erased. So I’m going to try and not lose this one.
Goodbye Cambodia, Hello Thailand (for the 3rd time in 3 months.)

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STOPPED JUST LONG ENOUGH TO GET THIS PHOTO AND NOT LONG ENOUGH TO GET ARRESTED (coffee and souvenirs in the white bag)
How road weary am I? I paid $500, to change my flight, to be back with Natasa in Slovenia, 2 weeks early. 11 months on the road is a long time. I couldn’t get a flight till Sunday night which means I can visit Thailand’s, CHATUCHAK WEEKEND MARKET.
I saw a cool bike T-shirt in Cambodia, Where did you get it? The Chatuchak Weekend Market, I’m going for sure.
I grab a local bus, as we get closer, I see lots of rocks and gems on the sidewalks (my favorite).

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NICE LAPIS ( I bought a large specimen)

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THIS GUY AND HIS OFFERINGS WERE QUITE INTERESTING
The Market is HUGE, 35 acres with approximately 15,000 business’s, MARKET PHOTOS.
There are the Nike, Levi. Gap etc, knock offs. But there are many independent artist and crafts people’s merchandise too.

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THIS WAS THE FUNNIEST T-SHIRT (they didn’t have my size:()
There were lots of bicycle themed T-shirts, which I found to be a little confusing. Bangkok’s horrendous traffic and poor air quality tend to make bicycling quite dangerous and very unhealthy.

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THE WOMEN TOLD ME HER SON DID THIS DESIGN
This next T-shirt is for my X-boss, who had the nerve to call me lazy! Really? I just finished nearly a year of adventure travel, which was very hard work. I also planned and worked hard for 2 years to be able to have a work-free year.

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MAYBE IF HE PUT DOWN THE BONG LONG ENOUGH, HE COULD WORK SMART INSTEAD OF HARD TOO?
The street food in Bangkok is good and quite cheap. I’ve been eating fresh papaya, pineapple, watermelon, and more daily. Just because it’s a bike business, doesn’t mean it’s good.

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THE GUY WAS GRABBING ONE OF THE DRIED HANGING SQUID, ROLLING IT IN THE PRESS AND BBQing THEM (no thanks)
The claim is that it’s the world’s largest weekend market, I believe it. If you see something you like buy it. The chances of finding that stall again is nearly impossible. I saw some bicycle pillow cases I really liked, but decided not to buy them. I walked a little ways and stopped while I still knew the way back,

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YEP I BOUGHT THEM AND THEY’RE “VERY” POPULAR IN SLOVENIA
I’ve been eating and shopping for nearly 8 hours, my feet are killing me. I grab the bus back to my hotel.

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YEP, I’M GETTING A LITTLE CRAZY AND BORED ON MY LAST DAY IN BANGKOK.
My plane doesn’t leave till midnight, but I must check out of my hotel at noon, That’s 10 hours wandering around Bangkok. I decide that for $20 ($2 hr.) I’m going to keep the room. I tell the hotel I have a friend coming into
Bangkok (a lie). I’m actually going to find someone to give my paid room to. I find a Swedish guy, he says “this is the best thing to happen on my trip.” Glad I could be part of it. We collaborate our stories, I introduce the Swede to the hotel, “as my long lost friend”, it works. I give him the keys and get the mini-bus to the airport.
I board the plane and notice I’m in the “baby” section. I guess that’s what I get for changing my flight.

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SEVERAL BABY BEDS ARE HANGING FROM THE WALLS, RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME.
I’m back in Slovenia, no more fresh pineapple or $4 massages.

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NATASA LIKES TO SAY “THIS IS REAL LIFE”, SHOPPING, COOKING, AND DOING DISHES! JUST CALL ME “MR. MOM”
The local tourist office has generously loaned me an electric bike. I’ve been exploring potential bike tour routes. I had a doctors appointment in a nearby village.

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THERE ARE BIKE PATHS THAT CUT THROUGH FARMERS FIELDS, (used by skaters, joggers and walkers too)
I had driven to Kranj with Natasa, but never biked. The advantage of biking is discovering the car-free pedestrian areas.

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THE OWNER TOOK THE PHOTO AND TOLD ME HE DESIGNED THE SIGN (English on one side and Slovenian on the other)

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THE FARMERS HAVE BEEN SPREADING “ORGANIC” FERTILIZER, WHEW!
There are many roads (bike paths) from town that lead to the areas mountains. I’m re-earning my professional “bike walker” credentials. I walked several kilometers to reach the top.

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THE MOUNTAINS DIVERSITY IS STUNNING AND AMAZING, THERE’S FARMING, LOGGING AND RECREATION ALL COEXISTING

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THE LEAVES AREN’T ON THE TREES YET, IT FEELS SO OPEN AND SUNNY IN THE FOREST

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AT THE TOP, ONE OF THE MANY CHURCHES THAT DOT THE HILLS AND VILLAGES AROUND SLOVENIA

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ONCE I HIT THE ASPHALT, FAST WAS THE NAME OF THE GAME
Natasa’s writes me an email-“Can you walk 12 km?” What? There’s a Slovenian coast hike that her friends invited us to come along. Slovenia had a severe ice and wind storm this winter. Driving to the hike we passed an area that every tree had it’s top broken off, plus numerous fallen trees.

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THESE ARE STORM DAMAGED TREES FROM ONE OF MY BIKE RIDES
There was 1500 people on the walk and they were feeding us food and wine every 2 or 3 kilometers, but no Porta-Potties

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NATASA USED THE MENS BATHROOM AT A GAS STATION (the women’s line was too long)
There were lines at every food station, most people waited patiently, but not everyone. People were constantly cutting in line, enough (I thought). So this guy walks past everyone in line and cuts in, yep, I went over and asked him to wait in line like everyone else. He didn’t like it very much, but whatever, he didn’t get his food ahead of us. Happy Hiking
.

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EVERYONE SPOKE SOME ENGLISH, HVALA (thank you)
Natasa put in a new deck last summer, by fall, it was black with mold. I bleached it in December and again last week.

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TREATING THE DECK WITH “DECK OIL”
While on one of my many bike rides I saw some interesting lumber lying in front of a mill. We arranged to buy some and I made planters for the deck.

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NATASA IS PLANTING “EVER-BEARING” STRAWBERRIES

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MORE STRAWBERRIES AND LETTUCE
Natasa is a hard worker (so am I), but you still have to have some fun.

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I TOOK HER TO THE TOP OF A LOCAL MOUNTAIN THAT SHE HAD NEVER BEEN TO.

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SKOFJA LOKA IS THE VILLAGE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PHOTO
I came across an interesting article, listing the 20 MOST PEACEFUL COUNTRIES.

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SLOVENIA CAME IN AT #4 MOST PEACEFUL COUNTRY
I’m currently in Slovenia, heading back to Portland April 14. It’s hard to believe that the year of travel is finished. It’s been awesome, the blog has been fun too. There have been 14,800 views (as of today) from
98 different countries. I’ve gotten 190 comments, basically from the same 7 people (thank you). Lots of people have said they read my blog, but they never leave a comment? It’s nearly the last time that lurkers can leave a comment. You know who you are and so do I, your comments are being formally requested. I also really want to hear from people who are not from the U.S.A.
Natasa is coming to Portland May 18-31 we will be living at my empty house. My pots, pans and dishes are in boxes. This is your opportunity to invite us to dinner, brunch, lunch or breakfast the 2 weeks she’s here, sign -up soon!
Thanks for reading & commenting
Jeff
THAILAND PHOTOS recent photos at end of album
SLOVENIAN PHOTOS recent photos at end of album
NEXT? EPIPHANIES, INSIGHTS AND AWAKENINGS AFTER A YEAR OF TRAVEL

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