above the clouds

International Travel and Lifestyle Blog

Crossing the Pond, Start of Bordeaux Viking Cruise

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Usually when I have a bulkhead seat I end up with families seated nearby; I have always referred to these seats as 'bulkhead babies' as a number of flights I've been seated here next to crying babies. Fortunately there were no crying babies seated next to me. The only eventful happening was about half through the flight in the darkened cabin - I jumped up in my seat startled by a loud noise. It turns out a woman had fainted and crashed to the … [Read more...]

Exploring the World’s Two Largest Wine Caves & Wine Collections, Moldova

Mold is common on the wine bottles that age in the wine caves for many years

I first read about Moldova's ancient winery history several years ago in an inflight magazine while jetting over the skies of Finland somewhere. The thousands of years of wine making history certainly appealed to me as well as the fact Moldova is home to the largest underground wineries in the world. While stumbling through the streets of Chisinau after being dropped off by the bus from the airport I spotted a little tourist office called Simgal … [Read more...]

A Few Musings on First Night in Moldova

Orthodox Church in Chisinau

Sometimes you meet inspiring travelers while on the road - such was the case this evening in Chisinau, Moldova. I met a young woman traveler from Japan who took bought a 50CC motorbike in Irkutsk Russia and rode it some 14,000 kilometers solo from Russia to the Romanian Moldova border. She had stories of her time on the road as a trip of this length will invariably create. She camped much of the time but when it was raining or otherwise bad … [Read more...]

Trip to Budapest for VinCE Wine Show

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With upcoming excitement about a pending trip to Budapest, it seemed like George Ezra's song of the same name was always playing on the radio. The movie, The Grand Budapest Hotel was showing on a recent flight so I watched it yet again. In reality, both the song and the movie seem to have little to do with Budapest but both seem like appropriate entertainment considering my trip to this historical city. In any case it is nice to be back - … [Read more...]

What is Food like in a Thai Village?

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Our property is located next to a tiny village about 2.5 hours east of Bangkok. In recent years there have been plenty of changes here. We now have running water, Internet access and most of the wooden homes in the village have been taken down and many of the villagers have moved nearby into western style buildings (especially as the nearby industrial park continues to experience rapid growth and starts to further exert its influence over this … [Read more...]

A Busy Day Exploring Phang Nga & Vicinity #thailand

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Panyi Village is sizable community along the edges of the Andaman Sea near the town of Phang Nga. A stop here is well worthwhile to see and experience to some extent the daily life of these villagers. Some of the village is built on wooden supports above the water - other homes are supported by reinforced concrete pillars. A walk here is an experience in senses - smells, tastes and exotic surroundings. Wooden walkways are surrounded by tiny homes … [Read more...]

Takua What? Takua Pa, #Thailand


Less than 10 minutes from where we are staying is the self titled "Amazon of Thailand" a waterway that winds through a rats nest maze of tangled roots dangling from giant trees. We hired a long tail boat driver who loudly drove us into this "wilderness". He was quicker than us to spot large snakes sleeping on branches overhanging the waterway. He explained they sleep on these overhanging branches to quickly feel any movement of predators crawling … [Read more...]

Island Hopping, Andaman Sea – Thailand

Author on Koh Tah Chai

This week we have been exploring the warm clear waters of Southern Thailand. Our first stop was Ko Tah Chai - dubbed the "Maldives of Thailand" for its azure surrounding waters and the satin-like white sand beaches - which are so silky underfoot. Activities include: A Nature Hike - where you can spot a green pointy snail that lives and eats in certain trees and the pretty "chicken crab" which tends to hide during the heat of the day. The … [Read more...]

Playing with a new Drone

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I had been researching various drones for the past few months and finally decided on the DJI Phantom I. I made a quick test in our house before we left for Thailand. That did not go very well at all. The drone took off by itself as I was unable to get it calibrated - it repeatedly banged into the ceiling and then got tangled in some wires. These soon snapped and shot across the room into the blinds and fell to the ground. Lucky it landed upside … [Read more...]

Bang Khla Floating Market and Giant Fruit Bats, Thailand

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Today we headed to the Bang Khla Floating Market - which is located on the outskirts of Chachaongsao (about an hour and 10 minutes from Bangkok). Last year we made the mistake of driving all the way out here on the weekday - for a market that is only open on the weekends and holidays. This market comes alive around the lunch time hour - with hundreds of families sitting around enjoying the variety of foods that makes the Thai cuisine so … [Read more...]