A Zen moment

Had a stop at DFW airport and decided to use a Priority Pass benefit at Minute Suites.

You get 1 hour in a small room with a desk and a sofa that can be opened to a bed.

When you had a 6 AM flight as I had earlier it is wonderful to have a quiet place to relax or even to actually get some sleep.

This establishment charges 40 USD an hour and 28 USD if you have Priorty Pass.

They were full when I arrived so after about 40 minutes was taken to my room.

While I did not have a quick sleep since I laughed to myself that if I did sleep it surely would be for a few hours which would make it a very expensive quick snooze….. I did have a Zen moment.

As I sat on the sofa and counted down the minutes left on my free stay I thought about the beauty of this haven in a busy Airport.

The gift of our very existence the need to savor every minute of our life.How grateful we should be to have the people we love and the simple enjoyment of having a few moments of solitute.

Every minute passing checking my watch as I adjusted my pillow gave me a deeper sense of time and our own mortality.

Travel helps us defy Space and Time those moments we visit new places and experience cultures and people so different then our own cities and towns helps make our trips a different use of our valuable time.

As the minutes of my stay came closer to my 60 minutes I not only

appreciated each moment more but realized that I and all of us have been given a certain amount of time and it is our job to use it in the most productive way.

Glacier Bay

Was on a Cruise with Holland America that left Vancouver after about 7 days we arrived at a beautiful area filled with not only many Glaciers but also many Whales and a variety of other local creatures.We traveled around this area for most of the day.

Did not plan on going on this Cruise but after checking the low prices only 3 weeks before departure could not resist to book.

It is a game of cat and mouse with the Cruise lines the earlier you book the more you pay but if you have the ability to Travel a short time before

departure you often can get a good deal even in high season.Of course the Summer in North America is very busy but many Cruise Lines move Ships to Alaska during this period and often they have extra Cabins.

When you do a booking at this time it can be a problem getting a good price on Airfare.That is why you need to start to accumulate Awards from not only Airlines but Hotels as well.I discuss this concept in earlier Posts it is in many ways like having an Investment Portfolio which allows you to have flexibility when you need to Travel on short notice.

I used Frequent Flyer miles to save money on Airfare but the cash price was really not that bad so it was difficult to decide if using miles was worthwhile.

This is a great area in Glacier Bay.
From my cabin a Glacier on each side.

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.