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 68 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 are two types of learning, book learning and experiential learning which includes traveling.


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:  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.



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:  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:  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:  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:  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.



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:  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:  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.



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.


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 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 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:  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.


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:  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:  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:  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.


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.


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:  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

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

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.




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.


Cruise to Greenland and Iceland

The highlight of Greenland is the helicopter ride landing on Qalerallit glacier and cruising the Prince Christian Sound all day in the comfort of our stateroom. Iceland is famous for its nature scenes and epic geology: volcanoes, geysers, lava fields, hot springs, glaciers, endless waterfalls (tall Dynjandi Falls looking like a lacy bridal veil and wide Godafoss or Waterfall of the gods). Awesome.


Eternal Egypt

We take you to the ancient land of the Pharaohs and the first great civilization, much older than the Greeks and Romans, that concentrated in preparing for the afterlife, united by the eternal Nile, a verdant oasis in a parched desert. What secrets lie beneath the sands?  We visit Cairo and the Giza Pyramids then cruise for a week along the Nile to visit various Egyptian temples.  Then we spent one week in Alexandria.


I have been to almost every U.S. state due to my business and personal travels.


Here are SOME of the U.S. travels that my wife and I went on: Alaska, Canada, Florida, Northern Wisconsin, U.S. National Parks.


To come:  California in my Vette, Georgia and South Carolina, Florida Orlando, the Space Center, Everglades and the Keys.


Alaska:  The Last Fronteir

A 3-part car odyssey 1) to and around Anchorage 2) North Pole following the Trans-Alaska pipeline 3) Panhandle thru a string of ferries visiting Inupiat villages in Juneau and Sitka. Alaska in June is beautiful with the midnight sun, the Mendenhall Glacier, the blue lakes and the tundra replete with wild life.




Canada:  A French Adventure

The Francophiles, Eric and Vilma, took to the road visiting Nova Scotia (French Acadia), the Gaspe Peninsula with its famous Perce Rock, into Quebec where the only voices you hear are french, then to Louisiana USA where the french Acadians migrated (now called Cajuns) closing the tour by Vilma meeting the Wasioleks, a french speaking family.



Sunny Florida and the Gulf Coast

We vacationed with Mom and Dad in their luxury condo in Florida.  Then we took a trip through the Gulf Coast (through the Florida Panhandle, Alabama, Mississippi, on to Louisiana where we stayed in the bayou and celebrated Mardi Gras with the locals.



Grindstone -- The Summer Home from my Youth

Vilma makes a memoir of Eric's summerhome on Lake Grindstone in Northern Wisconsin.  Eric spent nearly 18 summers here with his family.  Waterskiing, eating at the Cook Shanty and Turk's Inn, fishing, boating, visiting Lac Court Oreilles.





Across Canada and the U.S. National Parks

Eric takes Vilma on a journey to enjoy a symphony of colors in Wisconsin, bucolic farms of Manitoba and Banf in Canada, charming nooks and crannies in the Rocky Mountains, the festive arrays of reds and oranges in the Yellowstone, Glacier, and Grand Teton parks, and a "special harvest" in the Oregon town of Bandon.


The Life of Dreamer My Cat

Dreamer, our cat who we saved from a shelter --- his life from infant until adulthood.  He terrorized Vilma in his youth but then became a calm and loving cat.  He lived both indoors and outdoors (going into his forest and the field behind our house).  This indicates the many adventures in his life.

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