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Switzerland’s Glacier Express

Switzerland is well known for it’s trains. Efficient, punctual and comfortable, the only thing to not like is the price! For just an hour and a half InterRegio train direct from Berne to Zurich, it will cost 47 Swiss Francs (€37 or US$52)! Most things in Switzerland are expensive so if you want to travel in Switzerland on a budget, you have to look out for the deals.
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French bike-sharing article I wrote for ‘Spunky Girl Monologues’

Welcome spring by hopping on your bike! If you’re traveling to France, most cities have a community program that allows you to rent a bike for a day, month or year! Check out the post I wrote called Vélos Vert: Green Bike-Sharing in France.

You can find more posts from other spunky female travelers at their blog Spunky Girl Monologues.

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Travelling through food in Vancouver

I recently returned from a 4-day trip to Vancouver, British Columbia. For a $13 Amtrak ticket, it couldn’t be passed up. Once I decided to go, I discovered my Dutch CouchSurfing host from Amsterdam last year had just moved there, a Chinese surfer I met in Bellingham could host me and there were a few CouchSurfing meetings organized for the Cherry Blossom Festival and Vancouver’s 125th Birthday Celebrations! I knew the four days would be packed with CouchSurfing activities, but in the end, the focus was all on food.
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Book review – Hokkaido Highway Blues: Hitchhiking Japan by Will Ferguson

A few months ago I read Hokkaido Highway Blues: Hitchhiking Japan (also under the title Hitching Rides With Buddha) by Will Ferguson and it’s recently been on my mind. Between Japan being hit with an earthquake and tsunami, the sakura zensen (cherry blossom front) passing the country and my current week-long trip to Vancouver where I’m attending a Cherry Blossom event, it feels very applicable today. While it didn’t completely enthrall me like a really good book would, it was still a book I couldn’t put down because I knew it was teaching me really interesting and culturally important stuff.
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Hitchhiking out of Turkey: an adventure and a detour

Sometimes good travel ideas aren’t the best timed. Turkey seemed to be full of them for me. For example: renting scooters for a day? Great. Not returning until after sunset and freezing on the way back? Not so fun.

My most blatant travel blunder was probably deciding to hitchhike out of Istanbul.
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The craziest bus trip yet: Istanbul, Turkey to Sofia, Bulgaria

It was a long bus trip from Istanbul, Turkey to Sofia, Bulgaria. The 360 mile (580 km) trip took about 12 hours including a 2 hour border check at midnight. Not my idea of fun. But, I was happy to even be on the bus in the first place. That was adventure enough.

I went early in the day to the office of a bus company which I had used and had good experiences with. I naïvely thought this would be just as easy. I knew I wanted to leave that night, but needed to find out what times the buses were (I still haven’t found any long-distance bus schedules online in Turkey).
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Vampires, Gypsies and horse-drawn carts: false images of Romania

What images come to mind when you think about Romania?

Thieves? Dracula? Castles? Poor, rural life? Country-side?

I’ll admit that before I went to Romania, I planned on watching my back around Gypsies, getting a hold of some garlic and holy water to keep the vampires away and riding on horse-drawn carts around the country.

Luckily, I didn’t get any bite marks, I held on to my wallet and I moved between cities quickly on Romanian motorways.
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