A Good Reason to Travel

When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable.

– Clifton Paul Fadiman –

La Bastide Clairance in Northern Basque Country

As suggested by the Eyewitness guide and other brochures, we visited this quaint village of La Bastide Clairance, northeast of Biarritz.

It is a very clean and quiet village, meant for tourism, photography, and a feel-good ambience. There is a small information center,  cafés and restaurants, some artisan shops, a forge museum, and much more.

around the market square

Based on what we saw, two to three hours are enough for walking around and stopping for a cup of coffee. Found some nice kitchen utensils in one of the shops right at the market square. For some reason, I always buy them in France, while on holiday.

La Bastide Clairance

Yes, there is some up and down walking as in most of the towns in Basque country. This little grandmother is not real, just an eye-catcher.

La Bastide Clairance

The tourism center also lets visitors see what the old Basque style classroom looked like.

Old classroom in La Bastide Clairance

We bought some sweet chili paste and powder. Most souvenirs carry the image, the name, the flavor, or the taste of the local sweet chili plant. The only thing we have not found yet – seeds to take back to grow our own.

Notes from Bhuj Gjarat in India

My best Japanese friend, Nobuko, is at it once again – traveling around the world and sending updates. I have decided – with her permission – to put her updates on my blog to help fellow travelers navigate and learn from her experience.

21 June 2012  

I am in Bhuj, Gjarat (India) since this morning. I am doing fine. I have some interesting stories to tell you. Hope you will be entertained.

On my first day, in a queue line at a train station in Mumbai, I happen to run into a Brazilian guy and his wife I had met in 2009 when we did a meditation course in Rio!!  How crazy and a good omen is this. Small world.

By the way, a big train station is a very good place to practice what I would like to call patience with assertive flavor (if you can name it better, please let me know). They are not mutually exclusive. It can be done.

I had to change queue lines three times due to me not having a form filled out or being in a wrong line (local vs long distance, etc), each costing me about 20 – 30 minutes to get to the window. All the while, others are breaking into the lines or squeezing themselves in at the window when someone else, like myself, is being assisted. I learned quickly that I had to glue myself to the person in front of me to prevent people from getting in between – I am sure men enjoy such close encounters on their back. Or in the front, for that matter.

Anyhow, without me being shuffled around from one line to another, I would not had bumped into the Brazilian couple, so I guess everything has a reason.  I have a cell phone now because a 24-year-old, very nice young Indian man I met on a train gave me a SIM card as a present. Here, one needs a local residence proof to buy a SIM card. So without him giving me a SIM card, I would not have been able to have local cell number. Lucky me. 91 is the country code.

Country Hotels in Germany

The magazine Geo Saison, in its current October 2011 issue, ran an article featuring their choice of the 18 best country hotels in Germany.

These country hotels are spread out all over the Germany, reaching from the North Sea down to the Alps. One of them is located in the heart of Germany, namely Hotel Schloss Zeilitzheim in Northern Bavaria.

On of our visits to my hometown in Northern Bavaria, we had an overnight at Hotel Schloss Zeilitzheim.

Country Hotel Schloss Zeilitzheim

Quoting an excerpt from the Geo Saison article, written by Hannah Glaser:

Den jungen, gutgelaunten Hausherrn von Schloss Zeilitzheim treffen wir im Garten, auf den Knien beim Löwenzahn stechen (We found the young and good-humored castle owner in the garden, on his knees pulling weeds).

This, among other daily routines, contributes to a familiar atmosphere when staying at the hotel.

Country Hotel Schloss Zeilitzheim

Hotel Schloss Zeilitzheim ranked 7th on the Geo-Saison list (full list available on Presse-Portal).

For more information, visit Zeilitzheim Castle Hotel in Bavaria, Germany.

 

A Good Reason to Travel

Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.

– Anaïs Nin (French author) –

Anais Nin.(Amazon.de)