Eric Wasiolek

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"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
- Mahatma Gandhi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

World Travels

For 33 years my wife and I have traveled the world experiencing foreign cultures, languages, cuisines, natural scenes, people, fellow travelers, and numerous adventures.  We have visited 66 countries. Below are some of our favorite trips starting with India in 1988, Thailand in 1998, Bali in 1993, Tahiti in 1993, Italy in 1989, and Australia and New Zealand in 1990. Click on the link below each country's name and be treated to a full moving slide show.

 

Continue down the page to view travels to other lands and domestic travels as well.  We feel there is two types of learning, book learning and experiential learning which includes traveling.

INDIA

India:  Land of the Mystic

India, the Land of the Mystic.  We traveled to the land of green magic:  Banglore and Mysore, to Cochin the Venice of the East, to the beautiful beaches of Goa, up north to Srinigar and Lake Dal, to the holy city of Varanassi, to the imposing Taj Mahal in Agra, to the Erotic Sculptures of Kajaraho, and finally to the pink desert city of Jaipur.

BALI

Bali:  Island of the Gods

Bali, Island of the Gods.  A magical island of devout Hindu worshippers who engage in elaborate preparations for temple festivals and of great artists producing beautiful paintings, wood carvings, silver ornaments. Highlights: Sanur (garden cottages), Nusa Dua (parasailing), Chandi Dasa (rice terraces), Lovina (waterfall).Udalan, a big temple festival.

 

THAILAND

A Journey to Enlightenment

A Journey to Enlightenment.  We were escorted by a Thai friend to this Buddhist land of enlightenment.  We visited the floating market south of Bangkok, rode elephants in Chaing Mai and Chaing Rai, visited the hill tribes of the Meo and Karen people, dined with the locals at our Thai friends village, and then vacation in Hua Hin, Phuket, and Phi Phi Island.

 

 

NEW ZEALAND

New Zealand:  A Land Lifted On  High

We enjoyed a farm stay at a Sheep Ranch, drove to Queenstown and Te Anau, and then the most beautiful drive in the world from Te Anau to Milford Sound past the mirrored lakes where there is tropical vegetation (ferns) and snow capped mountains in the same vista.  On to Milford Sound, then up to Rotorua's geysers and opal pools on to Auckland.

ITALY

Italy:  The Fall of the Roman Empire

Italy:  The FALL of the Roman Empire.  We visited Italy in the fall, spending time with friends in Rome, then proceeding southerly along the beautiful  Amalfi Coast to Sicily where we spent a week.  Then by ferry to Genoa, to Florence, and finally to Venice, the city with streets of water before returning to Rome.

TAHITI

Tahiti:  Gauguin's Paradise

Tahiti:  Gauguin's Paradise.  We visited the land of the famous french painter Gauguin and partook of the laid back lifestyle of the natives, topless women, beaches, snorkling, barbeques, a luau with a roasted pig burried in a pit and native dancers swinging their hips to rhythmic drumming.  We rented a car and toured the island on our own as well as staying at a resort.

 

 

AUSTRALIA

Australia:  The Land of Oz

In Adelaide for Business with Ingres Corporation, pet a koala and danced with a big red (kangaroo).  Visited an aboriginal cave in the outback among wallabies.  Flew north to Cairns to visit the tropical rain forests, beaches, and great barrier reef where I went snorkeling.

 

KENYA, TANZANIA, AND ZANZIBAR

First Safari to Kenya, Tanzania, and Zanzibar

Visited Lake Manyara where elephants, giralls, warhogs, and baboons walk the streets,, then Amboseli at the foothills of Mount Kilomanjaro, on to Tanzania to the Sergetti where we saw lions, leopards in a tree, and cheetas on a hunt, and the Ngorongoro Crater where we saw a lion kill and cubs resting in the shade along with flamingos in a lake.  Then we spent a week in Tanzania on a beach eating coconuts and lobster enjoying conversations with fellow travelers from around the world.

 

TURKEY

Turkey:  Gateway to the Middle East

We started in Istanbul visiting the Blue Mosque and Aya Sophia and local colorful markets.  We proceeded east towards Ankora and Cappadocia the land of unique rock formations and cave dwelling of early Christians.  We proceeded south to Antalya, Konya with its whirling dervishes, Pamukale where we bathed in ancient roman hot springs, and Ephesus an ancient city with a grand library, torrid love houses, and public toilets where romans were serenaded by musicians.

CHINA

China:  An Ancient Civilization

We enjoyed a three week tour arranged by China Focus with our Danish friends Jens and Winnie.  We began in Bejing visiting Tienanmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace, and the Great Wall including a visit to a Hutong for a home cooked meal.  We took a Yangtze river cruise which ended in Chongking where we visited pandas.  Then to Xian to see the buried Terracotta warriors.  On to Hangzhou and Suzhou and then to beautiful Guilin where we passed mystical lime mountains cruising on the river Li.  We ended in Shanghai.

 

BOTSWANA, NAMIBIA, AND ZIMBABWE

Second Safari:  Life in the Bush

We responded to the call of the wild in style, staying at luxury tents with ensuite toilet, hot shower and a staff to cook, do laundry and entertain us. In Botswana, we saw endangered painted wild dogs, silver-backed jackals, lilac-breasted national bird, and a multitude of elephants. In Namibia, we did a boat safari through reeds laden with weavers’ nests. We had 2 scares: a hippo fight and the jeep got stuck in the water. In Zimbabwe the crowning glory of the trip was running into a pride of 17 lions and cubs which surrounded our jeep.

PERU

Perusing Peru

After landing in Lima and spending a week in the Amazon we visited Machu Picchu the famed mystical Inca city in the mountains. Outside of Cusco we dined with indigenous indians at an Amara village, enjoyed a home cooked meal with cuy or guinea pig and alpaca.  We ended our trip visiting the reed islands in Lake Titicaca, islands made of reed and the villagers that reside on them.

 

 

 

 

THE AMAZON

The Amazing Amazon Slide Show

All of my life I have wanted to see the Amazon and I fufilled my quest  in 2006.  We cruised the grand river and its tributaries, walked through the forest and canopies, saw capibara, anadonda, and the island of the monkeys (Isla des los Monos), and went fishing for Phirana.

ARGENTINA

Argentina Slide Show

We  visited friends in Buenos Aires where we tangoed, attended an estancia (ranch) where we watched gauchos do tricks on their horses, at great quantities of beef, visited Uruagay, cruised the Atlantic to the Faukland Islands to view Gentoo penguins, and visited Argentinian Patagonia.

 

CHILE

Chile:  Land of Lakes and Volcanoes

Highlights: Valparaiso – upbeat, colorful city covered with delightful paintings in every block, a photographer’s paradise. Sheep farming in Punta Arenas. Breath-taking volcanoes and lakes in Bavarian-like Puerto Montt. Viewed elephant seals on rocks in the Pacific.

BELIZE, COSTA RICA, AND PANAMA

Caribbean Cruise 

We cruised the Caribbean in comfort while visiting Mayan temples in Belize, cruising a river in Costa Rica with howler monkies and giant sloths, visited the Panama canal and a native indian village the Emberra.

 

 

SCANDINAVIA:  NORWAY, SWEDEN, DENMARK

Scandinavia:  Land of the Vikings

This trip was enhanced by combining train, bus, boat as modes of transport. Norway – best fjord cruise on Sognefjord, Viking village, Viking ship museum. Denmark – Viking ship museum, Tivoli, Hans Christian Anderson museum. Sweden must see: Alfred Nobel’s novel and noble idea to reward the ideas that changed the world – visit Nobel museum. River and canal cruises in all three countries.

 

FINLAND

Finland:  Land of Woodland Lakes, Saunas, and Reindeer

After touring Helsinki and taking a back canal tour Vilma and I rented a car and went on our own to the Wooded Lakes where we spent two days in a rustic cabin.  We then flew north to the Lapland where we mingled with the reindeer hurders and saw wild reindeer roaming near the roads.

 

 

RUSSIA

Russia:  The Waterways of the Tsars

We stayed with a Russian friend and celebrated the 200th anniversary of Pushkin and visited Doestoyevsky's grave.  We spent several days at a Dacha on a lake and lived with a Russian family.  We toured Saint Petersburg including the Summer Palace and Peterhof.  Then we cruised the Volga visiting many ancient sites of the Tsars.  We ended our tour in Moscow visiting Red Square and Tolstoy's estate with another homestay.

PHILIPPINES

Philippine Homecoming:  Balikbayan sa Filipinas

We toured the northern island of Luzon, visiting Vilma's hometown of Agoo, going to the mountains in Baugio, to some native hotsprings.  Vilma attended her high school reunion.  Then we and Vilma's high school friends vacationed on an island in Palawan.  Vilma and I continued to the island of Cebu and then the beautiful white sand beach island of Boracay where we floated on the salty sea and where Eric snorkled.  Finally Vilma and I visited the Bananue rice terraces.

FRANCE AND SWITZERLAND

Honeymooning in Paris

Honeymooning in Paris, visiting the Eifel Tour, the Latin Quater, Versailles, dining on a Lebanese boat restaurant in the Seine, and viewing the famous can-can dancer show at the Moulin Rouge in Monmartre, Vilma and I then rented a car and drove to Giverny to view Monet's Garden, on to the Atlantic coastside fishing village of Honfleur where Vilma dined on a seafood tower larger than she was.  We visited chateaus in the Loire Valley and then I took Vilma to Villars Switzerland where I lived and schooled when I was nine and ten.  I spoke to the locals in french (as I lived and worked in France) and they invited us on a picnic.

 

POLAND

Poland:  Land of My Ancestors

Poland is partly the land of my ancestors (I'm also half Scottish and English).  We visited the beautiful city of Krakow, the underground Salt Mines complete with carved cathedral, the home of the Pope, the Auschwitz death camp, and the Black Madonna painting.  We spent time in Warsaw in the old city and then Vilma and I rented a car on our own and drove north to Malbourk and Frambourk dining and staying in an old castle, then visiting Copernicus' observatory.  Finally we attended a Chopin piano concert.

EASTERN EUROPE:  HUNGARY AND THE CZECH REPUBLIC

Eastern Europe:  Hungary and the Czech Republic

In Hungary we visited Buda and Pest then twin cities divided by a river, ate wild boar stew, and bathed in Roman baths after visiting the vibrant market.  In Prague we toured the red-roofed city on foot visting the old town, Prague castle,  and house of Kafka and a famous Charles  bridge abounding with statues where artists display their works.

 

GERMANY AND AUSTRIA

Germany and Austria

We started our stay in the Barvarian Alp region south of Munich with a farm stay in Oberammergau.  After watch the Passion Play we went on to Austria where we visited Vienna and Salzburg home of Mozart where we dined on the famous WienerSchnitzel (which is actually a breaded pork dish not a hot dog) meaning little cut of Vienna.  We attended a Mozart classical music concert.  I lived in Germany briefly when I was 19 and do speak the language somewhat.

 

 

GREECE

The Glory That Was Greece

A trip with a dual theme on Vilma and Eric’s topics of interest: Helen of Troy and Aristotle. Enjoy Crete of the Minotaur and Theseus’ fame, the blue-and-white houses of Mykonos, the drama theater of Epidaurus, Helen’s Sparta, Agammemnon’s citadel in Mycenea, Pella – home of Alexander the Great (Vilma’s hero), Stagira – home of Aristotle (Eric’s idol), lovely stay at Astor Hotel with full view of the Acropolis, etc. etc. Olympia where Eric ran the stadium, and Delphi home of the Oracle.

 

 

 

 

   
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