2018-03-16 – Lyon

Today I woke up at 7:00am with the use of an alarm, because I knew I had a busy day ahead of me. The day started off by taking the metro to City Hall Lyon station where I saw City Hall Lyon, Bartholdi Fountain, Place des Terreaux and picked up some delicious baked goods from Antoinette Pain & Brioche. The City Hall Lyon was built in 1651, but has survive a fire, and received some modifications and restorations since.
2018-03-16 Lyon 012018-03-16 Lyon 022018-03-16 Lyon 032018-03-16 Lyon 052018-03-16 Lyon 092018-03-16 Lyon 102018-03-16 Lyon 122018-03-16 Lyon 152018-03-16 Lyon 16
My next stop was Amphitheater of the Three Gauls. The amphitheater dates back to 19AD and has ties back to the Roman’s! It’s estimated that the theatre had four levels of seats, and was about 80×60 metres in size. I then stopped at a local coffee shop and had a delicious coffee with a cranberry and chocolate chip cookie.
2018-03-16 Lyon 22IMG_6553
After the coffee shop I walked the streets in the beautiful community of La Croix-Rousse, coming across a very beautiful stairwell called Cour des Voraces. I rode Metro Line C back down, which is a pretty unique Metro line, holding the current record for the worlds steepest metro line.
2018-03-16 Lyon 242018-03-16 Lyon 252018-03-16 Lyon 262018-03-16 Lyon 282018-03-16 Lyon 302018-03-16 Lyon 36
After some walking and a quick ride up a funicular line 1 the next stop was the Ancient Theatre of Fourvière and the adjoining museum. The museum showcased the history of how Lyon came to be and why there was so much Roman influence in the city. The theatre was built around 15BC, has a 90 metre radius and could hold an estimated 10000 people!
2018-03-16 Lyon 412018-03-16 Lyon 442018-03-16 Lyon 472018-03-16 Lyon 482018-03-16 Lyon 492018-03-16 Lyon 522018-03-16 Lyon 65

The next stop was the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourviere and the underwhelming Metallic Tower of Fourvière next to it. The basilica is actually rather new compared to the rest of the Lyon, being built between 1872 and 1884. It overlooks the entire city and is decorated with some of the most beautiful art that I’ve ever seen!

2018-03-16 Lyon 712018-03-16 Lyon 722018-03-16 Lyon 732018-03-16 Lyon 742018-03-16 Lyon 762018-03-16 Lyon 792018-03-16 Lyon 802018-03-16 Lyon 812018-03-16 Lyon 82
I took the funicular back town to the community of Vieux Lyon. I had pizza and a beer for lunch at La Trattoria before walking through the remainder of Vieux Lyon, visiting the also rather underwhelming Cathédrale Saint-Jean-Baptist). I was quite tired at this point having walked over 20km, so I went back to my hotel for what was supposed to be a 1 hour nap, that ended up turning into a 3 hour nap.
2018-03-16 Lyon 832018-03-16 Lyon 842018-03-16 Lyon 852018-03-16 Lyon 87
IMG_6581IMG_6583
When I woke up I took the tram to Musée des Confluences and took a picture from the nearly bridge overlooking the museum. I then went back to the base of Fourvière and took the funicular back up so that I could get some night time photos of the basiclica and a view of the city. On the way home I stopped by Brasserie George, which was literally next door to my hotel. I picked up a Princess Pale Ale, which was a delicious India pale ale with mild citrus notes.
2018-03-16 Lyon 892018-03-16 Lyon 912018-03-16 Lyon 922018-03-16 Lyon 932018-03-16 Lyon 90
IMG_E6599
While drinking my beer I booked some exhibits that I wanted to see in Barcelona as they were quickly selling out. The exhibits I booked were Sagrada de Familia, Casa Mila, and park Güell. I went to bed at around midnight.

 

If you like the content that I produce and want to donate money towards my travel, or buy me a cup of coffee please feel free to contribute towards it. I really appreciate it.

Donate By Clicking Here

2018-02-21 Packing For France

Some of you may wonder what I pack, or what kind of backpack I travel with, so I’m going to go in depth with how I prepare for travel here. I just replaced my previous backpack of 8 years (Osprey Atmos 65 Litre) with a brand new Osprey Ozone 46 Litre Convertible with a 16 Litre detachable day bag. I use packing cubes for easy organization of my items. I usually pack the following:

  • 4 Socks
  • 4 Underwear
  • 4 Shirts (3 Long Sleeve, 1 Short Sleeve)
  • 2 Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Pants (Zipper Off Into Shorts)
  • 1 Rain Jacket
  • 1 Tripod
  • 2 Camera Lenses (Canon 24-70 f/2.8, Tamron 15-30 f/2.8)
  • 1 Camera (Canon 1DX)
  • 1 Washbag With Essentials
  • 2 Passports (British, Canadian), Money, Airport Lounge Passes, Money Belt, Charging Equipment
  • 10″ Acer Laptop (2.2 Pounds)

I wash everything daily in the sink and hang to dry. It’s useable the next day. I bring extra’s in case they are not dry, or item’s get wrecked.

2018-02-21 Packing For FranceIMGL9990IMGL9993

Here’s a video of me preparing for my trip to France in two weeks.

YouTube Video

If you like the content that I produce and want to donate money towards my travel, or buy me a cup of coffee please feel free to contribute towards it. I really appreciate it.

Donate By Clicking Here

Thailand – Day 7 & 8 – Koh Samui

My flight was at 8:10am so I had to wake up quite early (5:30am). I had breakfast at the hotel buffet, which was a delicious omelette, lots of bacon, roasted tomatoes, some nice cheese, and some coffee (real coffee, none of that instant stuff I’ve been having at most hotels).

I proceeded to walk to my gate, which was about a 20 minute walk from the hotel. Security is very quick and well organized at the airport. On my way to the gate I decided to use the washroom and then something funny happened… you know how we take it for granted that there is toilet paper in every stall in the bathrooms in North America… yeah my luck ran out for the first time here… I was looking around and couldn’t find any and I thought to myself what the heck am I going to do. I then left my stall and was about to leave when I noticed a single roll with a sign above it near the sink. The sign says it’s to limit consumption of toilet paper… I wouldn’t agree because I took 4 times as much as I needed because I didn’t want to have to go back for seconds.

The flight to Koh Samui was on time and was very smooth. I took a time lapse video of the takeoff and landing of the flight. During the flight I was even served a real meal, even though the flight was only 45 minutes long; similar and just as impressive as my experience with Qantas in 2016 when I was in Australia.

After landing in Koh Samui I rented a Nissan Micra from National Car Rental for about $200 for the three days. I did this over renting a motorcycle for a variety of reasons; it was supposed to rain, and I didn’t want to die. The fatality rate on the roads in Thailand, and the rest of Southeast Asia is phenomenally high!

I drove around the entire island and stopped numerous times to see a bunch of temples, two mummified monks, a hike to a waterfall, and to eat some delicious Pad Thai.

One important thing that I have to mention that completely makes me sick to my stomach is the animal trekking that occurs all over Thailand, as well as the rest of Southeast Asia from what I’ve read. Today I saw a baby elephant chained up next to its mother doing a circuit at a trekking place called Na Mueang Safari Park. The elephants were miserable. Please don’t support any of these trekking places if you end up visiting Thailand. Even Bangkok Airways announced prior to landing I Koh Samui that they don’t support it and recommend to not partake in the activities.

i then drove to the resort I was going to be staying at for the next two nights; Bandara Resort & Spa, an Asian themed boutique resort. The check in procedure was amazing; I was greeted with a cool refreshing towel soaked in essential oils, and presented a delicious drink.

In the evening I had some Tom Yum soup, and was still hungry so I walked across the street to a pizza shop, which was delicious!

I ended the evening watching a fire show at CoCo Tams, which is known for its night life on the beach, which was an incredible experience especially with the great music!

The next day was a day of relaxation by the pool and on the beach. I even went for a traditional Thai oil aromatherapy massaged for 450 baht ($18)

In the evening I walked to the night market near CoCo Tams to check out what was for sale. You could purchase almost anything you could think of; $0.25 socks, $1 underwear, $50 knockoff Bose speakers, knickknacks, etc.

I then relaxed at CoCo Tams listening to the music before calling it a night at around midnight.

If you like the content that I produce and want to donate money towards my travel, or buy me a cup of coffee please feel free to contribute towards it. I really appreciate it.

Donate By Clicking Here

Thailand – Day 6 – Bangkok

Today I woke up at 7:00am, which is on par with the normal time that I wake up. I had breakfast at the hotel buffet, which comprised of an omelette, sausages, bacon, and coffee.

I then relaxed at my hotel until 10:00am by reading my book. After checkout I walked to the JEATH war museum. It provided an interesting perspective as to what some of the things people went through, the kinds of vehicles that were used by the Japanese as well as the POW, and the kinds of loot that was found.

After the JEATH museum I walked about an hour to the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery. An incredible amount of lives were lost in the war just in the Kanchanaburi area, let alone the rest of the war.

I was still early for my 2:45pm train so I relaxed and read a book in a covered portion of the cemetery where it was substantially cooler. 2:00pm rolled on by so I walked to the train station, which was close by. I was informed the train was running 35 minutes late, so I read some more and people watched.

The train arrived at Thonburi station in Bangkok around 6:30pm. I decided I wanted to eat at the pad Thai place I had eaten at on the second night in Thailand so I walked back towards Khao San Road.

When I arrived at the steer vendor I placed my order and sat next to a couple that are travelling all the way from Wales. We got chatting while I was having my food, but I couldn’t stay too long due to my early morning flight tomorrow so we exchanged contact info.

I took a taxi from Khao San Road to Phaya Thai Train station for 60 baht, and then took the airport link train to the airport for 45 baht. This evening I stayed at the Novotel Hotel, which was extremely well appointed. My father was absolutely amazing and got me the hotel, in fact the majority of the hotels on this trip are from him using his Hotels.com accumulated free stays. I can’t express how thankful and grateful I am.

Tomorrow I fly out bright and early to spend the last 3 days of my trip on Koh Samui!

If you like the content that I produce and want to donate money towards my travel, or buy me a cup of coffee please feel free to contribute towards it. I really appreciate it.

Donate By Clicking Here

Thailand – Day 5 – Elephant World

Today I woke up at 6:00am. Getting closer to waking up at a normal time. I started the day off with the all-inclusive breakfast buffet, which comprised of anything you could possibly think of; so I had soup, eggs, sausage, hashbrowns, and coffee for breakfast.

Today i went to the the Elephant World sanctuary. I was picked up from my hotel at 9:30am in a super spacious and luxurious Toyota Minivan. The drive to the sanctuary was about 30 minutes. Open arrival we all paid out 2500 baht ($100) admission and grabbed a bottle of water from the reception area. The wonderful thing is that almost all revenue goes to the elephants. Almost all of the workers are volunteers, which I find amazing.

After paying the admission fee we were driven to an area where we were introduced to the rules and regulations, given a lock and then locked away our bags. I kept my camera and water bottle with me for the duration of the day.

During the day we fed the elephants a morning and afternoon snack, cut grass for them, prepared grass/banana balls for them, watched them take a mud bath, helped bathe them, and had lunch. It was such an eye opening and amazing experience that I highly recommend to anyone who has a love for elephants. Please do the world a favour and visit this place over the other places that abuse the elephants and allow you to ride on them.

After returning from Elephant World I showered and changed, and walked across the bridge to explore the town. I decided to eat at the other restaurant in town, across the bridge from the other one. This was a much better choice. I had chicken and pork in rice soup, and a beer while enjoying the sunset.

I ended up walking back and relaxed for a but before going to bed at around 10:00pm

If you like the content that I produce and want to donate money towards my travel, or buy me a cup of coffee please feel free to contribute towards it. I really appreciate it.

Donate By Clicking Here

Thailand – Day 4 – Death Railway & Hellfire Pass

Today I woke up at 4:00am because my internal clock is still messed up. I laid in bed listening to music and talked with a friend over the small amount of cell coverage I had.

Breakfast was at 7:00am, and included two eggs, four slices of toast, 1/4 of a pineapple, two slices of tomatoes, potatoes, a slice of ham, and coffee. The staff were very friendly.

While waiting for my 8:00am long bag back to the pier on the main land I saw an elephant in the water. The kitchen staff grabbed some food and went over to it and starting feeding it pineapples and watermelons. I asked if I could feed them to the elephants and they gave me some scraps. I got another hotel guest to take a video of me feeding the elephant, and I even got an elephie (elephant selfie).

I boarded the 8:00am long boat back to the pier on the main land where I met up with the same driver as yesterday. He drove me to the Hellfire Pass Death Railway museum. I walked through the museum exhibit and then walked through Hellfire Pass. The place was very somber and I learned a lot about the sacrifices and horrible conditions the workers had to go through. The Death Railway was built during the Second World War. To sum it up quickly 60000 prisoners of war and about 200000 labourers built this Railway from Thailand to Burma for the Japanese during the Second World War. They had horrible living conditions, almost no food, almost no sleep, and were beat. 20 percent of the people ended up dying. If you want to read more about it you can here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burma_Railway

After visiting the Hellfire Pass museum my driver came and picked me up and took me to the train station where I had some green Thai curry for lunch before boarding the train to Kanchanaburi.

When I arrived in Kanchanaburi I walked around the town a bit before heading to my Hotel, the Felix River Kwai Hotel. The hot is very beautiful and sits right on the river embankment overlooking the famous Kwai River Bridge. The hotel is almost completely empty so I was able to sit and drink beer watching the sunset at the “Bar by the River” all by myself until an Australian couple joined about an hour later. I took some long exposure shots and some time-lapse videos. I even got to watch two Thai people do some welding without any PPE equipment and dangling precariously close to the river!

After watching the sunset I walked across the bridge to a restaurant called the Floating Raft. I ordered something that resembled Red Thai Curry but I regretted it afterwards. It tasted and smelled like garbage and made me feel unwell. My friend Kirsty told me it was probably durian, which now to me makes sense as it has the smell, look and texture of durian. I decided I will try a different restaurant tomorrow evening.

Check back soon for my next blog post, where I will be going to an Elephant Sanctuary to bathe elephants and cuddle with them.

If you like the content that I produce and want to donate money towards my travel, or buy me a cup of coffee please feel free to contribute towards it. I really appreciate it.

Donate By Clicking Here

Thailand – Day 3 – River Kwai Jungle Rafts Hotel

Today I woke up at 4:00am because I am still a bit out of sync. I talked with some of my friends on iMessage and Facebook before I walked across the street to the 7-11 to get some breakfast. I ended up getting some grapes, a ham and cheese sandwich, some soup and some coffee.

I walked back to my hotel room and ate my food and relaxed until it was time to leave for Thonburi Train station to catch a 7:45am train to Nam Tok. The walk was about an hour, including one river ferry crossing. I had already made my Fitbit happy before 7am!

The train ride took 6 hours instead of the scheduled 5 hours because of delays, but the trip was an amazing experience. Somehow I lucked out and got the fancy train car with soft seats for free instead of the extra 100 baht over the 100 baht ($4) base fare to Nam Tok. The train conductor asked for everyone else’s train tickets but kept smiling and nodding at me instead of asking for my ticket.

Upon arriving in Nam Tok I was greeted by a local driver who drove me to the hotel pier for 400 baht ($16), which is quite pricy for Thailand standards, but there is no alternative. We agreed tomorrow he would pick me up at the pier at 8:30am and take me to the death railway museum and then back to the train station for 800 baht ($32).

At the pier I waited about ten minutes before boarding a long boat for a 10 minute journey down the Kwai River to the hotel. The river journey was so amazing! The roaring noise of a straight piped diesel motor screaming away, the sounds and smells, the river rushing on by, the sights; they were all amazing. This is so Thailand!

Upon arrival at the hotel I received my room key, which unlocked something that resembled a lock that you’d lock your shed with, or perhaps the liquor cabinet from the kids with. I opened my room, which was amazing, with a huge comfy bed! I took the opportunity to take my new travel tripod out for the first time and take some long exposure shots of the hotel room, since the room was quite dark.

I then proceeded to grab a beer and a local dish containing chicken, rice, and a ton of spices from the restaurant before enjoying my afternoon reading a book and writing my blog. I even floated down the fast moving river in a life jacket a few times from one end of the hotel to the other. It was fun!

Dinner was at 7:00pm and included five local dishes as well as rice. All were delicious and very spicy, just the way I like it.

After dinner I watched a local Mon Dance. The dancing was cool, but I couldn’t really make out much of the music they were making because they didn’t seem to be playing the instruments in sync. I did record it with my iPhone and played it back with headphones after and it sounded better, so clearly my hearing has deteriorated a reasonable amount.

After the Mon Dance I went to bed. Stayed tuned for the next instalment in my blog series where I visit some world war 2 museums and ride the death railway back to Kanchanaburi and get to stay in a luxury resort!

If you like the content that I produce and want to donate money towards my travel, or buy me a cup of coffee please feel free to contribute towards it. I really appreciate it.

Donate By Clicking Here