Neuschwanstein Castle

You take the Train from the Main Train station in Munich……. the trip takes about 2 hours.The trip is pleasant not spectacular but a nice way to spend 2 hours.

When you arrive at Fussen the closest town to the Castle a Bus is waiting for you outside the Train station it is about 3 USD but included if you have a Bayern ticket.The ticket can be purchased online or at the train station it is about 28USD and can be used anywhere in Bavaria including Saltzburg for almost 24 hours for any type of public transportation.I used the Bayern ticket to go on the U-Bahn to the

Munich central station………. it was used to go to Fussen and then showed it to the driver for the 30 minute ride to the Castle.You arrive at the bottom of a hill to get to the Castle which has its own shuttle to the top……. are you tired yet ? This is a long trip and a lot of people are making a buck from this Castle especially Disney.

But you get your reward when you start to get a view of the Castle and of course you pay again if you decide to go into the Castle.Although the views of the area are nice I think just walking around the area and getting a view of the Castle and the area is more interesting.

My suggestion is to arrive early and try to come in off season.Even though it was late April it was still busy.Also it was about 45 F or 7 C not a Beach day.

How to get a Boarding Pass to Mars.

This is an article from The Verge………………

Now’s the time to get your name on NASA’s next mission to Mars

It’s that time of the year again, when NASA gives you the opportunity to “ship” your name to another celestial body. This time, the destination is Mars, and the shipping service is NASA’s future Mars 2020 rover, which will be headed to the Red Planet in — you guessed it — 2020.

The rover’s primary mission is to get us closer to answering that fundamental question: did Mars ever host alien life? The robot is equipped with tools and instruments that will help scientists figure out if the planet may have hosted life in the past. On top of that, the rover will also be drilling and collecting samples of Martian dirt. It’ll then leave those samples on the ground, where they could potentially be picked up someday by another spacecraft and brought back to Earth.

And while the Mars 2020 rover is doing all of this, your name could be along for the ride. If you send in your name sometime before September 30th, NASA engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory will etch it onto a silicon chip with an electron beam, and then the rover will carry it on its journey. The names are going to be pretty teeny, though — about one-thousandth the width of a human hair. That’s small enough so that more than a million names can be included on a single chip as big as a dime — but big enough for any Martian microbes to read (only kidding… Martians can’t read).

NASA has provided this opportunity for members of the public before, when it landed the InSight lander on Mars in 2018 or when it sent the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft to the asteroid Bennu. And just like any seasoned traveler, you’ll get a boarding pass and “frequent flyer” miles. Seeing as how the InSight travelers got about 300 million miles from their trip, the Mars 2020 folks are poised to get some serious points, too. Unfortunately, it seems doubtful Delta airlines will accept them.

Stratford-upon-Avon

Took the Train from Marylebone Station in London which takes about 2 1/2 hours

It was not a pleasant trip since that day on May 6 had many delays on this route.Every time a Train was cancelled I got off at a new stop and then a new Train was cancelled.At that point I made many new friends who faced the same issues so it was not a totally negative experience.

When I finally arrived in Stratford-upon-Avon after making some good bets on where I should get off and which Train I hoped would actually arrive I was greeted by old style English hospitality.

The Taxi driver would not take a tip and even carried my bags into the Hotel to the Reception area which was not easy to find.

I chose the Arden Hotel since they recently joined Hyatt and as a result I could use Hyatt rewards to get 2 free nights.

The Hotel was old and very charming that charm of course comes at a cost no Elevator.

I was taken to a room with a short group of steps with the wonderful lady at reception taking my bags to my room.

It had a great view of the Avon river and the Royal Shakespeare Company right across the street.

In the Bathroom was a old tub that is larger then many rooms in London or New York City.

It was late afternoon so I quickly went to take a walk to get a feel for the area.I also had booked 2 shows at the RSC so I had very little time to take a quick view of the area.

All in all the 2 Days were great I got out of London got some fresh air visited a lovely and charming city with people who are lovely and charming.

This is not only a great day trip from London but a nice place to stop for a few days.

The RSC from my room.
Stratford-upon-Avon
You can feel the History.
Arden Hotel

Santorini

Have been staying at the Atlantis Hotel in Santorini……… and Wow what a view.The view from my balcony is so beautiful it is difficult to have a desire to leave the room.

But this Island is a pleasure to explore and you can do it for very low cost.The central bus station on Fira has a group of buses that go all over the Island and they are new and have Air Conditioning.The rides are around 2USD to almost any part of the Island.

You also can take many long walks that can give you great views as well.

The Atlantis Hotel does not have an elevator so you have to reserve long in advance if you want a room on the first floor.

This property is a good value and since it is in Fira facing the Aegean it has fantastic views.

The rooms are basic but have a Fridge and Air Conditioning that actually works.

It costs about 20USD to take a Taxi from the Airport to the Hotel.


What a view !!!!!

The Lake District of Chile

After leaving Ushuaia our ship headed up the Coast of Chile to an area that is wild and unspoiled and often beautiful although it is often hidden by clouds and rain and high wind.

It is an area that gives you the feeling you have been transported to another Planet it carries a feeling of mystery of something alien.

The trip took 2-3 days before we reached Puerto Arenas we did not stay long since high winds did not allow for safe passage to the port so we continued to

Puerto Montt a very beautiful and unique area that is also very young geologically.It has had the most powerful earthquakes in recorded history some as high as 9.6 which occured in 1960 known as the Great Chilean earthquake.

Like New Zealand which also has a very active land area these areas have enormous beauty while they can be potentially dangerous.So that Ying and Yang adds to their appeal.These Pics will give you a feel for the place.

Use it or lose it.

The best way to accumulate Rewards quickly are with sign up bonuses for various credit cards with the main Banks and American Express.

The problem is the Reward programs are being devalued more often and with a greater impact to members of the programs.

My opinion outlined in a previous post is you need to model your Rewards portfolio in the same manner as an Investment portfolio.In that sense no matter where you travel and whatever Airline you use you will have a strategy to Travel at low cost just by using your Rewards.

The issue is the Big Guys either Marriott or IHG or Hyatt or Delta or United or British Airways or American keep raising the bar on the use of their currency then why bother at all in this Rewards Jamboree.

At this point the only logical answer is plan a trip and either use the Rewards you have now or plan a trip sign up for the bonus from the program or programs you think will work best and use them in a short time because they are losing value as I am writing this post.

All the major Hotel programs are watching each other lower the value of their programs where it stops no one knows.

So the mantra is Use it or lose it.

IWM Duxford

After leaving Alesund I flew with Norwegian Air to Oslo and then flew to Gatwick.

From London you take the Train from Kings Cross to Cambridge and from there to Duxford for the Museum.I decided to go on Sunday since a Shuttle picks you up near the Train station and takes you to the main entrance of the Museum.

The Bus is about 3 USD and runs about 3 times a day it is No. 132

It is a lot of fun to be close to the Aircraft that fought all through World War 2 and even watching them in action if any are being flown that day.

Make some time when you are in London and you can experience the Museum and Cambridge.

The Bus from Cambridge is about 30-40 minutes.

Here are some Pics.