Tuesday, June 24, 2014

24. Agent ZigZag by Ben Macintyre


 This book was enthusiastically recommended to me by a couple we met while traveling in Europe. This is a GREAT book! It is the story of criminal, Eddie Chapman, who become a German spy and then a British double agent during World War II. I really enjoyed this book and is perfect "prep" reading for our trip to England in 2015!


Here is a 2011 BBC documentary presented by the author and includes an interview with Chapman! 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QD7ETnlYSbU

Sunday, June 22, 2014

19-23 Rick Steves' Guidebooks




I wondered why I was not been reading as many books this year when I realized I HAD been reading books for my European Grand Tour Travel books .count too! So, I am counting these on my 52 books in 52 weeks reading challenge. I called it "homework":


This was my reading for most of April and into May, but I wished I had brought the Rick Steves' Books with me! Thank you Malcolm and Linda for loaning us your books when we were there! 

These guidebooks were SO IMPORTANT. My only regret is that I had checked them out of the library and read them prior to coming. (I am so cheap sometimes!) Thankfully, there were people (thanks Malcolm and Linda) on our boat who had the guidebooks with them and were kind enough to let me reread them before we went out on the town! Next time, I will buy them and tear out the relevant parts when I walk around the cities. I love how Rick Steves rates each thing. 

A highlight for us was our final afternoon/evening in Budapest when we walked down the famous Andrassy Avenue to the Széchenyi Thermal Baths! Our guide told us there was no way we could walk there, and even the walking map said it would take 2.5 hours! But we did it in 50 minutes, and there were so many sites along Andrassy that I am glad we did not take the metro and missed it by being underground!That local guide does not know that the Weavers walk a lot!



Swimming with the locals was a treat, and the 38 degree centigrade waters were a great and relaxing way to prepare for a long plane trip home. 


The locals really do play chess in the water at the
Széchenyi Medicinal Bath's in Budapest
See me looking on (some call it a "photo bomb")




On our way from Bratislava, Slovakia
to Budapest with the "Oregon Eight"

Parliament Building along the Danube in Budapest
Early morning view of the Buda Hills of Budapest from our boat

I highly recommend these guidebooks and Rick's informative videos too!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Feeling Weird

Not sure what is up. I had an appointment today at 10 am, but she overslept, and we rescheduled. I had plans for the afternoon to get all my pictures ready for a 40% off order at Shutterfly and get my Disciplemaking Movements (DMM) stuff into the schedule, but after a walk, I feel strange. I wonder if I am coming down with something. 

I do not know. Computer picked up some kind of bug too. 

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Grand European Tour in Freewrite: Amsterdam/Haarlam

How do you summarize a fifteen day adventure down the Rhine, Main, and Danube Rivers? It was a trip of a lifetime, and God kept saying "fly, enjoy, spend time with George." So I did, and we loved it. We were told we acted like newlyweds! 

So here goes. This is an abbreviated freewrite with no full sentences. 

AMSTERDAM/HAARLAM

Tall people everywhere. Fit right in. No stares or gawks or laughs like we do in Asia. Canals. Beauty of tightly fit houses.

Twenty minute train to Haarlam with the lifelong dream of visiting Corrie Ten Boom's house. Travel easy with help from an American behind us in line while buying tickets. Almost killed by a crazy bicyclist when crossing over to train station. BIKES EVERYWHERE - a "sea of bikes" with no regard for road rules. 

Back to Corrie. Made it with 25 people waiting in line, but we managed to make the English tour within five minutes of it starting. Five hundred year old house with rich history. Stood in "The Hiding Place." So worth the train trip.

Back to walking the canals of Amsterdam. No time to make it to the museums and I LOVE AMSTERDAM sign, but next time.  Beninghof was quiet and peaceful. Church where the Pilgrims worshiped before going to the new world. (Maybe attended once or twice because they were true "separatists".)

Walked to Anne Frank House exhibit. Glad I bought tickets on line ahead of time. Massive line in the hot sun, but we walked right in. Sobering. Empty. Tears. 

Walked to osteopathic appointment. Got lost in the maze of streets that changed name, but we found it after twice the time to get there. He was in the Red Light District! But it was not dark yet. YIKES! Went to the third floor and treated to two delightful hours (and charged for one) of OMT by a skillful Englishman of Indian descent. Awesome idea. He gave us an "insider" perspective. People killed daily on the bikes. I thought so! (We saw a crash.)

Late for our first dinner on ship but invited by four New Yorkers to come and dine. Chat and Dawn very chatty. Debra and Dean very quiet. Learned New York geography. Nice time.

Ran to catch the last canal boat cruise of the night. Enchanting view from the boat. Worth it! 

Room small but comfortable. Window seat and large picture window. We are third to the youngest people on the ship.

Embark late at night for Kinderdijk. 

Will write more tomorrow.


26. Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens

I just love a good story by Dickens.  This has humor and tragedy and mystery and good guys and villains. It was a joy to listen to, and Si...