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Our favorite hike in the Faroe Islands this summer? This one, above the village of Gjógv. It wasn't even in our plans, but my son and I looked out from our hotel room and saw people hiking along an upper ridge line. We grabbed water and snacks and started walking. The path went up to the left along the cliff and then ended at other cliffs. Coming down we cut through the sheep pasture that's pictured. And we liked it so much that we did it again the next day. Always fun to be spontaneous...
I've spent the past few days in Emilia-Romagna Italy exploring Ravenna and Rimini and eating my weight in pasta and seafood. And then yesterday I headed to San Marino - Europe's third-smallest country and completely surrounded by Italy. It's tiny but amazing! This is the view at sunset, standing near San Marino's second tower (Cesta) looking back at the first tower (Guaita). One of my favorite sunsets ever!
One of the coolest places I've ever slept! Kolarbyn Eco-lodge in central Sweden is an old charcoal camp - men used to live in these huts year-round making charcoal for the iron industry. It's not much different now than it was then. Still no electricity. No plumbing. No wifi. We learned how to make fire from a bushcraft expert, then cooked meals over the campfire and lit fires to keep our huts warm. We also went canoeing on the lodge's lake out to a floating sauna. So fun!
If your resort offers sunset sailboat rides, go for it! In the past month we've gone out on the water at sunset at Soneva Kiri in Thailand and again this week at Loews Coronado Bay in Southern California (pictured). My son even got to steer the boat for a while, which he loved!
We didn't make it to Churchill to see polar bears in the wild, but the Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg was a pretty cool backup. They take in orphaned polar bears who wouldn't survive on their own. This is in the polar bear tunnel, where you can watch bears swim (and play and wrestle) all around you. We could have spent hours there!
The best kids club we've ever seen is at Soneva Fushi in the Maldives. There's a pool, water slide, LEGO room, music room, cave with movies and so much more. The coolest kids club architecturally, though, has to be this one - at Soneva Kiri in Thailand. The resort is amazing anyway, but for kids 3-9 or so, the kids club will likely be their highlight. So fun and quirky!
The Faroe Islands are gorgeous! We've been driving around the past week, staying on multiple islands and hiking everywhere we can. There are sheep and waterfalls everywhere. Truly one of the most beautiful spots in the world, and tourism is extremely limited by flights and hotel availability.
Cambodia's Angkor Wat is amazing, but I've always liked nearby Bayon Temple, with its 37 face towers, even more. Highly recommend hiring a good guide (we had Sopheap from Signatures of Asia) and timing the temples right to avoid as many people as people. We arrived at Angkor Wat at 8am, skipping sunrise (unenjoyable since its too crowded), and there weren't many people since the sunrise visitors were back at their hotels. We then went to Ta Prohm and Bayon and had them largely to ourselves.
Vietnam's famous Golden Bridge, held aloft by giant stone hands. I had wanted to visit since seeing Instagram posts of the bridge last year, but...it's at a theme park - essentially the Disneyland of Vietnam. I had no idea. No one ever gives the context of the bridge on Instagram. It's definitely unique, but overall it was a disappointing experience, and not one I would recommend to other travelers unless you love theme parks!
Hue is one of my favorite cities in Vietnam. It's the former capital, 13 kings lived there in the 1800s and 1900s, and it's full of amazing temples and sites (this photo is at the Imperial City). Yet a lot of tourists skip Hue and go straight to Hoi An. They're missing out!
Ha Long Bay, Vietnam! My son and I are two countries into our six-country, three-week trip through Asia. We've planned a lot of amazing adventures, but I was most looking forward to Ha Long Bay, and it didn't disappoint. It's simply stunning in every direction, and we splurged by booking this cabin with a private patio with @HeraCruises. Amazing, amazing, amazing! And I should note that our entire trip was planned by Signatures of Asia - the second time we've used them. Highly recommended.
We love the Greek islands in the summer, but mainly Paros and Naxos since they aren't on cruise ship itineraries. Mykonos and Santorini simply get too crowded and unenjoyable when 9,000 day-trippers come in and clog the narrow walkways. Definitely head to Greece! It's perfect. But don't see it from a cruise ship, and if you're going to choose a popular island, go when there are no cruise ships in port (you can Google the port arrivals).
I rarely post food photos, but I was consistently impressed with the breakfast buffets throughout Turkey. Loved the börek and simit everywhere, plus yogurts, cheeses, fruit, stuffed breads, Turkish coffee, honeycomb and so much more! This was at Raffles Istanbul.
The view from dinner at the Kempinski Hotel Barbaros Bay in Bodrum (the hotel's Saigon restaurant). After Istanbul's culture and sites and Cappadocia's natural wonders, we're ending our trip around Turkey at the sea!