S: Backpacking Trip, 2009
FC: My trip to Thailand, Cambodia, Greece, Italy, Spain and Ireland January 4th to March 24th, 2009 | Cinque Terre Italy
1: Becki Bergen and I had known each other since my family moved to Manitoba when I was 13. We dreamed of this trip for months over many cups of tea. Becki's younger brother Derek decided to join us part way through. | MY TRAVEL BUDDIES
2: FLYING Winnipeg>Chicago>Tokyo>Bangkok 22 hours total flying time. | squattie bathroom sign in Japan | through customs in Wpg! | Japan! | airplane food | catching some zzz's
3: We visited Lorissa at her school in Bangkok. We were able to spend some time helping out in her kindergarten classroom.
4: Khao San road was the center of the tourist strip in Bangkok | There was an amazing falafal stand. | Some of Bangkok's transportation methods. Pink was one of the King's colours; hence the pink vehicles. | Bangkok | January 5th-13 and January 20th-February 17th
5: Ancient City | Floating Village
6: We rented a sweet tandem bicycle to drive around the park. There may have been a few wobbles, but overall it was incredible to see the variety of architecture from the different regions of Thailand. | Ancient City takes up 320 acres of land, that is roughly in the shape of Thailand with the attractions laid out according to their actual geographic location. The park contains over 200 significant buildings from around the country that are either collected or reproduced.
7: Fish ball soup.
8: We connected with Kendall & Debbie in Bangkok before they headed back to Canada. This is when they told me they were expecting Joel! | Waiting for the bus on Sunday with Frank & AJ. | The electronics mall, which was five floors high!
10: 95% of Thai people are Buddhist, 4% are Muslim and 0.5% are Christian. We saw many statues of Buddha, yet despite the size and quantity, the idols are powerless. There is a spirit of darkness that can be felt in the temples as well as in some parts of Bangkok.
11: No pancakes, no dogs. | A heaping truck of flowers. | Pictures of the king were a common site. | Monks were a common site. | The king's colours were pink and yellow. | The variety of fruit was one of my highlights of Thailand. | Rambutans were my favourite fruit. | Thai Sights
12: Chicken on a stick. | We spent a day with Janessa getting Thai massages!
13: Chiang Mai | We first met Brett (from Winnipeg) when he crashed his rented motorcycle into the curb in front of our guesthouse. We decided to use bicycles for the rest of the day.
14: Iced coffee in a bag. | Rope swing | The old part of Chiang Mai was surrounded by a moat. So much character!
15: We went on a trek through the Thai jungle. One of our first stops was at a snake farm. I touched a king cobra. | Chiang Mai Zoo
16: My mom would have loved this stop! | Orchid Farm | The real trek begins!
17: The view behind the bathroom! | Amazing Creation!
18: Evening Scenery
19: The most incredible green curry ever! | Our sleeping quarters.
22: My cousin Trevor joined us for two weeks in Thailand. We ate at a restaurant with a glass table and our feet dangling over the water. I had the best cashew chicken! | We went to the island of Koh Samet for a few days. We stayed in a room over the water. Becki and I slept on the front porch. I discovered amazing watermelon smoothies.
23: We went to Phuket for a week, and stayed with some missionaries. Kevin & Karlene Klassen, with Tyler, Andrew, & Jesse. Lorissa joined us for a weekend. Becki, Trevor, and I all spent a day or two violently ill. I threw up 12 times in one day.
24: Connecting with Kevin & Karlene was one of the highlights of my trip. They showed us what missionary life was like and were incredibly generous! | We also hung out with Amber & Amanda, who were missionary twins. I ate lots of chocolate banana roti, and played a few rounds of Ticket to Ride.
25: We spent a few days in Krabi, where we slept in a bamboo hut. The scenery was beautiful!!! | We took a boat to Railay beach one day. From there we hiked to a lagoon. It was amazing!
27: My cousin Jaymie joined us from Cambodia for one weekend. We went to Kanchanaburi and visited a beautiful set of seven waterfalls.
28: CAMBODIA!!! | January 13th-20th We went to Cambodia to renew our visas and visit my cousin Jaymie. | The best iced coffee was at the Russian market. | Squatie. | The local gas station. | Bowls of insects for snacks at a bus stop.
29: We visited the ministries Jaymie worked at. She also took us to a lake where we rented a little shelter over the water and hung out for the day.
30: ANKOR WAT | Ankor Wat is a remarkable complex of more than 100 stone temples that were built in the early 12th century. | We took a bus up to Siem Reap for a few days to see the marvelous Ankor Wat.
31: Back in Phnom Penh, Jaymie took us to a slum village where we saw the extreme poverty.
32: Tuel Sleng Genocide Museum | A former high-school turned into a prison by Pol Pot during the Khmer Rouge regime. Classrooms were turned into torture chambers. Thousands of men, women, and children were killed.
33: The torture tools, mug shots, and victim's clothing are on display. The blood splatters still remain on the floors, walls, and ceilings as evidence of Pol Pot's atrocities.
34: GREECE | February 17th to February 25th
36: We were able to see places that were mentioned in the Bible.
37: I had always dreamed of going to Santorini! It was as beautiful as the pictures!!! | SANTORINI | The beautiful island of
39: We rented a car and drove around the whole island. The island had so much character and beauty!
45: We went to the town of Nafplio for a day trip. Nafplio had a castle on a hill looking down on a prison island. Amazing! We drove through Corinth on the way.
46: Nafplio, Greece
47: ITALY February 25-March 6
48: We spent a number of days in Rome. We saw the Colosseum, the Vatican and many other Italian sights. The gelati at Blue Ice was the best!
49: Cinque Terre | Cinque Terre is five towns built into the rugged coast of Italy. Best part of Italy! I'd love to go back!!!
56: Spain March 6-18
58: Alicante Spain
59: We stayed with Becki's cousins Ingmar and Angela with son Kodhi.
62: Skiing in the Sierra Nevadas!
63: The weather was amazing as was the scenery!
67: IRELAND March 18-24 We flew from Barcelona Spain to Dublin Ireland. We took a bus to Galway where we spent most of our time.
68: Both Dublin and Galway were beautiful! We watched Irish dancing in Dublin and stayed with Becki's friends in Galway.
70: We biked around a beautiful Irish island!