above the clouds

International Travel and Lifestyle Blog

From Sea to Clouds, Vancouver to Whistler

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With two days in Vancouver before jumping on the Rocky Mountaineer train on the way to Banff, we decided to visit the mountain town of Whistler. Greyhound offers a relatively affordable option by combining a round trip bus journey with unlimited tram/gondola rides on Whistler/Blackcomb Mountains. This makes it quite doable to see Whistler in a day with an early start from Vancouver. As soon as we arrived in Whistler Village (partly home to … [Read more...]

Comedy, Kayaking, Museums and Farmer’s Markets in Los Angeles

Enjoying a relaxing moment between rapids

Looking for some comic relief in the evening after fighting traffic earlier in the afternoon, I stopped in at the famed Comedy Store on Sunset Blvd - just down from the celeb rich Chateau Marmont for some comedy. Many famous acts have started here or performed on its stages including Jim Carrey, Whoopi Goldberg, Steve Martin and Chevy Chase among others. It was #blackout Tuesday and I was the only Caucasian in the audience. Oh and I was in the … [Read more...]

Chena Hot Springs, Crazy Squirrel and Plenty of Sunshine!

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Since visiting Chena Hot Springs (pronounced Cheena) several years ago, I've recently had the urge to revisit this neat little part of Alaska - merely a 90 minute drive from Fairbanks. And sunlight nearly all night in these northern latitudes was also appealing. It is almost 11pm as I type this outdoors, swatting nats and the occasional mosquito and there is bright light still! Sunset is around 1am and sunrise around 3am but it never really gets … [Read more...]

Mud Pond & Raymond Burr Gardens, Fiji

Huge Tree, Raymond Burr Gardens

With the weather remaining dark, gloomy and at times spitting buckets of heavy rain scattering people under overhangs in downtown Nadi - it was a "weather weight off my back" today as the clouds parted and we finally had sunshine! Too much of this rain and gloomy weather is bad for my personal psyche. The cyclone watch was lifted a day or two ago and it was just a waiting game for the storm to dissipate. Today I set out for the hot springs and … [Read more...]

A Quick Stopover in Kiev, Ukraine

Cathedral in Pechersk Lavra

These days, with WiFi commonly available while on the go, Independent travel has certainly become "easier". After arriving at the massive central train station in Kiev, I simply typed the words "hotel" and "hostel" in Google maps and immediately a number of properties popped up within walking distance. This can take a bit of "adventure" out of raw Independent travel - simply removing all human contact. I didn't need to try and talk to anyone for … [Read more...]

Looking for Sunshine in Lithuania

The Trakai Island Castle

With my brother and my friend looking to escape the miserable weather we've had all week (they are flying down to Greece in a few days) we opted for a trip together to the countryside before we parted ways. Today we visited Trakai, a prominent and historical Lithuanian Castle located on an island. Spotting an empty boat sitting near the drawbridge to the castle on the water's edge we walked on board. There were no guests but rather three crew … [Read more...]