A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: Arellaskye

Final Update

We have finished the travel map check it out

Posted by Arellaskye 12:30 Comments (4)

Final Reflection

As we are nearing the finale of our Million Trips i have had some time to think about the good bad and best.

I have really enjoyed this trip because it has taught me to not have a fear of travel and that i can go anywhere in the world to travel and i will never have an issue. It has also taught me how to deal in harsh conditions, like in india where it was gross and smelly but i pulled through even with sickness(I even went on a tiger safari when i was throwing up).

I will rate each place on a scale of 1-10 and give a general description of what i liked and disliked (for future travelers).

Japan:
Rating:7

Description:

I really enjoyed Japan. It was a new experience because everything was so orderly and clean. I actually got really inspired in Tokyo. I even changed my 8th grade project from womens rights to Harajuku fashion. The clothes just caught my eye and really made me want to look into the style. The food was decent because I do not enjoy fish, so everything that was "amazing" really wasn't my type of food. Overall it was a new and great experience and i hope to return soon.

China:
Rating:3.5

Description:

It was LOUD. The sound was crazy and the cars even crazier. Other than that it was decent. The food was gross and the activities satisfactory. For me it was to big and dirty in the cities. The country was beautiful and serene. The food that we ate with Yunxin and his family was really tasty and the location of his house was in a beautiful little village. Overall there was some good and some bad.

Hong Kong:
Rating: unavailable due to sickness

Description:

Hong kong was like a mini Japan. Everything was neat and proper. I was sick 2 out of the 3 days so much of hong kong was left unseen. I did find some great face wash in the mall, though i am upset that they dont sell it in the usa :(. NO OVERALL.

India:
Rating:1 maybe even a .5
Lorettas rating: 10000000000000000+++++++

Description:

AAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was mayhem! the cars were crazy the honking was excessive and to make matters worse I was partially healthy 3 days out of the 2 and a half weeks we were there. I cant believe i didn't bale out in the beginning. At some points it was so gross and dirty that I was reduced to tears. The food wasn't very good, with the exception of a couple places. Though all i could really eat was naan and rice. I never really got to try a bunch of food because i was always sick. Also in one place I got 40 + mosquito bites in one night ( my face was covered as well as my body).

The best part was having Loretta as our leader. She was so nice and totally helped us out when we were sick and got us through the angry mobs. I would recommend her to anyone who is thinking of going to India and is looking for the "real life experience." I would definitely return if she invited us to her wedding but otherwise it may be a long while before I go back.

......The Taj Mahal was spectacular though.

Turkey:
Rating:8

Description:

I love turkey! It has by far been the best experience of this trip. Though it is the last stop because of the volcano it has definitely lived up to the occasion of being the last stop. These last few days have been so fun. Today I spent the day with my mom shopping for gifts. We also just had a late night pool party. In Turkey I have had so much fun, from playing Doctor/surgery with Posa (basically tickling her and making her laugh ( Adrian made this game) ) to the food. It has all been great!

LOVELOVELOVE,

Rae

Posted by Arellaskye 12:23 Archived in Turkey Tagged family_travel Comments (3)

Dolmabache Palace

The grandest of all

all seasons in one day 63 °F
View Around the World in 87 Days on Arellaskye's travel map.

wow the Dolmabache Palace. It is breath taking. The palace was created for the 31st sultan. It is a very European influenced building. During the construction they imported a lot of elements for decoration and design. We started by waiting in a very long line. About halfway through the line the army security guards did their marching around the courtyard and everyone stopped to watch. As we were captivated by their synchronization multiple people snaked in front of us. My mom then did her sneaky line cutting and got us to the front again. Then we got to the main door just in time to catch the next English tour. The palace museum offers tours in both English and Turkish every 15 minutes. Our guide spoke great English though her accent was a bit thick. We started by going through the visitors quarters. These rooms were used to hold meetings and give visitors a place to rest before and after events. Then we went up the stairs. It had the 3rd biggest chandelier weighing in at 1 ton. It is completely made out of English crystal. Then we ventured into the dining room. It was huge!!! The rug that covered the ground was at least 60 feet by 30 feet. It is massive!!!!!! W hen i stood in the room and saw the rug all i thought was "jeez that's big!" Then we sped off to the sultans room. We got to free explore the several rooms. One of the rooms had a bed for the Sultan that was 8+ feet long. That was one big sultan :) LOL! To see the luxury of that bed was so different. Nobody today would buy a completely gold bed. It just shows how rich the sultans were. Then we went to the ceremonial hall. When the our tour group walked in everyone was silent in awe! WOW! The ceiling was completely painted and the paintings were so intricate. The colors were so vibrant and perfect it looked like you were looking out to into real balconies. The main dome was a seiries of painted balconies. The paintings looked 3D from the ground! Then there were mosaics of angels and Jesus. They were surrounded by gold mosaic tiles. Then in the middle was a massive chandelier. It was easily 2 tons or more! It must have been 8 feet tall and hung about 70+ feet below the top of the arch. (Sigh)

LoVe

RAERAE

Posted by Arellaskye 12:07 Archived in Turkey Tagged tourist_sites Comments (2)

Cooking Class Pics


View Around the World in 87 Days on Arellaskye's travel map.

P1030130.jpgP1030129.jpgP1030128.jpgP1030127.jpgP1030126.jpgP1030125.jpgP1030123.jpgP1030122.jpgP1030120.jpgP1030106.jpgP1030104.jpgP1030107.jpgP1030101.jpgP1030100.jpgP1030099.jpgP1030098.jpgP1030097.jpgP1030082.jpgP1030076.jpgP1030075.jpgP1030073.jpgP1030069.jpgP1030065.jpgP1030064.jpgP1030063.jpgP1030062.jpgP1030061.jpgP1030060.jpgP1030057.jpgP1030053.jpgP1030052.jpgP1030051.jpgP1030048.jpgP1030049.jpgP1030047.jpgP1030046.jpgP1030045.jpgP1030044.jpgP1030043.jpgP1030042.jpgP1030041.jpgP1030040.jpgP1030038.jpgP1030036.jpgP1030035.jpgP1030030.jpgP1030024.jpgP1030019.jpgP1030020.jpgP1030012.jpgP1030008.jpgP1030009.jpgP1030010.jpgP1030002.jpgP1020999.jpgP1020997.jpgP1020994.jpgP1020992.jpgP1020985.jpgP1020983.jpgP1020982.jpgP1020981.jpgP1020980.jpgP1020979.jpgP1020978.jpgP1020977.jpgP1020988.jpgP1020987.jpgP1020976.jpgP1020975.jpgP1020974.jpgP1020971.jpgP1020969.jpgP1020967.jpgP1020966.jpgP1020965.jpgP1020964.jpgP1020961.jpgP1020959.jpgP1020957.jpgP1020951.jpgP1020953.jpgP1020947.jpg

Posted by Arellaskye 13:25 Archived in Turkey Tagged events Comments (0)

Cooking class


View Around the World in 87 Days on Arellaskye's travel map.

Yesterday my mom and I attended a Turkish cooking class. It was extremely fun. There were 11 people in the class and 2 chefs/teachers. The class was roughly 4 hrs long and we made a 5-course meal for us and other customers who had reserved tables. We started by splitting up the jobs. I was put on cookie dough making (my specialty). My mom opted to be onion chopper. After she had cut a few onions the head chef came over and cut one in super thin slices in less than 2 minutes, then he prepared one for dicing. My mom finished this one off and then we moved on to making the filling for various items (I will not mention because we will recreate them when we get home so I don’t want to ruin it). We then proceded to chop, dice, mash, smash, puree, and peel almost everything. Then the cookies were rolled, baked and then doused in 3 cups of sugar syrup. YYYYUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Then came the eating. It was delectable. It was easily the best food I have eaten the entire trip ( besides the lamb dolmas which were gross). I had enjoyed making it and eating it so much. My favorite was the cookies. I will be making these ASAP when i get home.

pics on way

recipe on way

Posted by Arellaskye 12:39 Archived in Turkey Tagged family_travel Comments (4)

Missing Y'all

I was just having that all important wave of homesickness.

I really am missing everyone of you guys and look forward to seeing you all very soon. I hope you have enjoyed our travels so far!

Love y'all so much

--- Arella

Posted by Arellaskye 13:07 Comments (4)

Update


View Around the World in 87 Days on Arellaskye's travel map.

UPDATE UPDATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The travel map is completed!!!

Please go and check it out!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Arellaskye 13:05 Comments (0)

a small reflection

all seasons in one day

As we are nearing the finale of our Million Trips i have had some time to think about the good bad and best.

I have really enjoyed this trip because it has taught me to not have a fear of travel and that i can go anywhere in the world to travel and i will never have an issue. It has also taught me how to deal in harsh conditions, like in india where it was gross and smelly but i pulled through even with sickness(I even went on a tiger safari when i was throwing up).

I will rate each place on a scale of 1-10 and give a general description of what i liked and disliked (for future travelers).

Japan:
Rating:7

Description:

I really enjoyed Japan. It was a new experience because everything was so orderly and clean. I actually got really inspired in Tokyo. I even changed my 8th grade project from womens rights to Harajuku fashion. The clothes just caught my eye and really made me want to look into the style. The food was decent because I do not enjoy fish, so everything that was "amazing" really wasn't my type of food. Overall it was a new and great experience and i hope to return soon.

China:
Rating:3.5

Description:

It was LOUD. The sound was crazy and the cars even crazier. Other than that it was decent. The food was gross and the activities satisfactory. For me it was to big and dirty in the cities. The country was beautiful and serene. The food that we ate with Yunxin and his family was really tasty and the location of his house was in a beautiful little village. Overall there was some good and some bad.

Hong Kong:
Rating: unavailable due to sickness

Description:

Hong kong was like a mini Japan. Everything was neat and proper. I was sick 2 out of the 3 days so much of hong kong was left unseen. I did find some great face wash in the mall, though i am upset that they dont sell it in the usa :(. NO OVERALL.

India:
Rating:1 maybe even a .5
Lorettas rating: 10000000000000000+++++++

Description:

AAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was mayhem! the cars were crazy the honking was excessive and to make matters worse I was partially healthy 3 days out of the 2 and a half weeks we were there. I cant believe i didn't bale out in the beginning. At some points it was so gross and dirty that I was reduced to tears. The food wasn't very good, with the exception of a couple places. Though all i could really eat was naan and rice. I never really got to try a bunch of food because when it wasn't a faucet it was blocked up and when it was a faucet i really didnt feel up to eating anything because of the cramps. Also in one place I got 40 + mosquito bites in one night ( my face was covered as well as my body). The best part was having Loretta as our leader. She was so nice and totally helped us out when we were sick and got us through the angry mobs. I would recommend her to anyone who is thinking of going to India and is looking for the "real life experience." I would definitely return is she invited us to her wedding but otherwise it may be a long while before I go back.

......The Taj Mahal was spectacular though.

Turkey:
Rating:8 maybe 7.5 (final result pending)

Description:

I love Istanbul and I cant wait to see the rest of turkey. I have been eating good food for nearly 3 weeks and i am loving it. One night it is insanely good meat balls and the next it is pizza that is almost good as the stuff in Italy. My mom and i are taking part in a cooking class tomorrow and then we head off to Ephesus. Only time will tell!

LOVELOVELOVE,

Rae

Posted by Arellaskye 12:32 Archived in Turkey Tagged family_travel Comments (3)

Istanbul Modern

rain 49 °F
View Around the World in 87 Days on Arellaskye's travel map.

Istanbul Modern

Today we went to the Istanbul Modern. It is the MOMA of Istanbul. We saw a series of paintings and sculptures ranging from a tripping egg delivery boy to a slathered oil painting. Some of the stuff was similar to that of the Modern art museum in New York, but others were so out there I can't even explain them.
My favorite was a yellow and black oil painting.

The canvas was first covered in a layer of black, grey, and yellow paint. These colors were caked on heavily on blob like patches. They covered the whole board. Then the entire canvas was covered in a thick layer of orange/yellow and brown. The paint used on the top had a spongy finish on it. This layer must have been about two centimeters thick. Then the artist took a large scraper and while the paint was still wet ran it all around the painting revealing the black and neon yellow background. The soft yellow and the intense black really pulled me into the painting and made it interesting to look. I even want to try this when I get home.

The other one that I liked was a board covered with old newspaper clippings that had a faded brown tone almost like paper dipped in black tea (a trick I learned back in fifth grade). Then on top of that layer of news clippings was various patches of marbled paint. It looked as if the artist had put several globs of paint in a circle and then used a skewer to swirl them. This was cool to look at because at first it looks like a brown canvas with spots of color but when you get up close and really look at it the creativity of the painting really shows.

Another was a geometric painting of a half circle and some rectangles. The rectangles were solid but the half circle had a amazing display of purple paint fading out. The coolest part though was that you couldn't see any brush strokes, only a perfect fading half circle. It somewhat reminded me of a sunset.

Being at this museum really gave me some inspiration for my own art by showing some different ways that I can interpret an object. I am now really motivated to start painting and drawing more often.

Posted by Arellaskye 00:17 Archived in Turkey Tagged family_travel Comments (3)

Agra


View Around the World in 87 Days on Arellaskye's travel map.

The Taj Mahal!!!!! It is picturesque. From afar it looks like a painting. All of the colors are so precise and perfect. Shah Jahan created this magnificent monument as a mausoleum for his favorite wife. The construction started one year after she died. Though she was only 39 she had 14 children with Shah Jahan and was the only one of his wives to give birth to a boy. The Taj Mahal was built from 1631-1654 CE. The Taj Mahal is almost 200ft tall and it is located more than 100 meters from the opening gate. When I went to see it both my dad and I agreed that the Taj Mahal was more spectacular than in the pictures. We went at sunset and the sky was just beginning to darken and the Taj Mahal was so bright against the sky. We slowly made our way to the opening to the Taj Mahal. There we put on shoe covers on and embarked through the smelly stair way up to the platform. We got to the top and saw the massive line waiting to get in. My mom and I waited at the front corner and my dad was diagonal from us in the line on the other side of the Taj Mahal. We waited and waited but then we got into the burial site. It was butiful but not quite as beautiful as the out side. The prettiest part of the inside was the carving. All the ceilings were geometric patterns carved into the perfectly matched marble. We walked through 5 or 6 rooms before we got to the exit. Our timing was a bit off because we missed the sunset but we were in time to catch the beautiful color of the sky. We stood there and marvled at its beauty and brilliance unitil Mariposa gave the “I’m not feeling good” warning. We made a hasty start towards the exit when she vomited right there on the Taj. I guess India will always have a little piece of the Trustmans.

Posted by Arellaskye 11:24 Archived in India Comments (2)

A little update from Istanbul

rain 50 °F
View Around the World in 87 Days on Arellaskye's travel map.

We have safely arrived in Istanbul and we have gone 1 week without someone new getting sick. Istanbul is so cool and fun. I is actually the first time on this entire trip where I have actually wanted to eat. The food is T-A-S-T-Y!!!!! All of it!!!!!!!! Istanbul is very cool. Once we moved out of the tourist area and into real Istanbul everything got much more relaxed. The street off of taxsim square is stocked with french fry shops and fresh juice bars among the excessive amount of clothing stores. I have yet to venture off on my own due to a warning from my dads high school friend Mehmet. Today Cooc, Mom, and I went on a day long excursion to the faraway land of Bazaar. As we were on our way the torrential down pour cause some issues becasue the only shoes I have are open back Mary Jane crocs. SO to say my feet were soaked. We finally reached the large land called Grand Bazaar. We spent at least 2 hours walking around and visiting every single scarf shop. We found some awesome gifts then headed to a candy shop that Cooc insisted was amazing. It was great and I had the best baklava so far. Colleen spent some time picking out the selected favorites to bring back for the friends and fam. We then walked to the trolley and set off to the Other land of spice Bazaar. We walked around for a bit then found a spice booth with at table full of chili paste. The man working was named spice boy and took a great liking to us. He helped my mom buy over 100 usd worth of spices. They better be good. By the end of this I am yawning like crazy and totally exhausted after a full day. We made it back to the apt. with just enough time to blog!!!!!!!

Posted by Arellaskye 11:23 Archived in Turkey Tagged family_travel Comments (4)

India blog

sunny
View Around the World in 87 Days on Arellaskye's travel map.

I officially love India! NOT!!!!!!

We are currently in Bijaipur, staying at a huge castle!

in Udiapur my family went to see the city palace that they said was grander than the one I saw. Sad to say that I wasn’t there because of a neck injury that left me unable to straighten my head and/or walk without feel severe pain in my head ☹. It happened in the early morning when I turned over and lifted my head to adjust my hair. In that instant my neck popped and fell back to the bed. I was in severe pain and sobbing when my parents came in after Posa woke up and went and told them I was hurt. I was unable to turn over and required assistance and support to be able to sit up. It was probably the worst pain I had ever felt. It was worse than when my foot got stepped on a broken right before nutcracker. I was lucky and Loretta our group leader knew a masseuse/reiki healer. They sent me to her and she worked magic on my neck. I got a full body massage and facial scrub as well. After working on my neck and back for and hour she sent her assistant to retrieve a card with an ancient healing symbol on it. She traced this reiki symbol on my back and neck numerous times. Today when my mom asked her about it she said that it was the strongest form of reiki. I completely agree now that my neck is completely fixed and I am as healthy as I was before I left for the trip.
Recently we went to a painting studio in Udaipur. They specialize in a special type of painting where one-hair paintbrushes are used to color these magnificent pieces of art. He kept referring to the ones my family saw at the city palace.
They paints themselves were another story. Each paint is made out of something different (no chemicals used)! The blue was made out of lapis. The red was made out of ochre, white was made out of powdered mother of pearl. The yellow by far was the most complicated to make. They start by feeding cows mustard seeds and mango tree leaves. This pigments their urine a strong shade of yellow. They then collect the urine and let it evaporate. They then collect the urea, which is a bright yellow. To fix the paints they use acacia gum collected from the acacia tree. The powdered paint is mixed with water and then used.
My brother and I got the opportunity to take a class and used the techniques to create our own paintings. Adrian did a great painting of a camel, while I did a peacock. Adrian was complaining at the beginning that a peacock will be easier than a camel (I talked him out of doing a peacock). He soon changed his mind when I came time to decorate. While the camel had a few details and design on him my peacock had hundreds of tiny lines for feathers on the wings and fanned out tail. Then there were a hundred tiny circles I had to make for the eyes of the tail feathers. He finished long before I did! Our paintings are in the mail being shipped home right now! The experience of using the special paints and tiny paintbrushes was very fun. I might have to take it up when I get home.
Food here has finally hit a high note. Three consecutive meals now have been delicious and hopefully many more to come. Though mangos aren’t really in season I have been fortunate to find a few places with the super secret supply of mangos for lassies. Last night we had fresh baked naan that was cooked right in front of us and steamed veggies ( the one food I have been missing on the trip). Dessert is coming back with me. It was great! The dessert was a thick porridge like substance made out of a finely ground semolina baked with honey, cream almonds, and a few other ingrediants. This could possibly one of the best desserts ever. Not to sweet not to savory! I am looking forward to making it when I return.
India has so many surprises and every place we go gets better and better. I am excited to be exploring so much of this country. We even made a plan to spend a beach week down in Goa instead of going to Nepal. We decided to save Nepal for when Posie is older and able to trek and explore instead of sitting by herself at the hotel or being carried by my dad. Though we all know that we will make it back to Nepal sometime.

Posted by Arellaskye 23:19 Archived in India Tagged family_travel Comments (10)

Cows→Cars→Tuk Tuks→Motorcycles→Scooters→Trash→Pedestrian

Catch my drift

sunny 75 °F

Long time no blog.............. We have reach India. It is nothing like anywhere i have been. It is dirty, smelly and loud all at the same time. Pedesrtians dont have the right of way, cows do!

Today we went to a very pretty palace. It had an entire palace inside made out of mirrors. He chose mirrors because if he (the king) used stained glass the color would never change and it would eventually fade but with mirrors he could just change the carpet color that the mirrors reflected. Smart huh? He also had 12 wives and different passages to the master bedroom (1 for each wife). This was so the wives wouldn't fight when they saw one another. Smart again. The palace was so big in fact that they had 350 rooms just for the different types of cocoa beans. We didn't have time to see all of the palace but what we saw was cool.

The food here is great. Naan and chicken tikka and rice. Im sure there is other good stuff but my favorites are always included. I have also been making up for the lack of Indian food restaurants in Truckee. I have had 5 mango lassies already. My FAVORITE.

Just so everyone knows we are 13 and a half hours ahead of pst.

Love Arella

Posted by Arellaskye 08:19 Archived in India Tagged family_travel Comments (7)

Here comes the sun :)

sunny 70 °F
View Around the World in 87 Days on Arellaskye's travel map.

Today we arrived in Dali. After a relaxing day yesterday it was off again with a 7 am flight. It was the later of the 2 available today ;)! We got to Dali at about 8:30. It was quite a short flight. One the plane it was so hot, but then outside was hhhhhoooooootttttt. We drove to our hotel and checked in. Then headed out to "Ear" lake to watch the cormorants (type of bird) fish in the lake. They were specially trained to catch fish and bring them back to the boat. They have a small piece of bamboo in their throat that doesn't allow them to swallow the big fish. Though they are allowed to keep the smaller ones for themselves. After watching them catch 3 big fish we headed back to shore. One the row back Yunxin our guide and the man who was rowing the boat for us gave us a taste of some traditional Bai folk songs. It was very interesting. Once we got to shore we headed off to the old part of town. This for me was pretty dismal because there wasn't a lot for me to see. My mom loved it though. The old buildings were well old. One place that was semi OK was the house of a very rich family that fled in 1949 when the communists took over. When the communists took over they took all the wood carvings from the houses. They did this because they didn't want anything to do with wealth or power. So all the decorations were removed. Walking to lunch was the worst. The heat peaked and i was stuck in a sweat shirt with nothing on underneath. I guess I am now a baked potato. The lunch was great. We got amazing spicy pork, which I actually ate despite my aversion to hot food. We also got a bucket of rice. Literally it came in a bucket. Tasty tasty food. Riding back to the hotel was like being in a oven. LOL. The hotel itself wasn't that bad though, just a little heat. We sat outside soaking up the much needed rays. My dad got a little to much sun and it burnt! burnt! burnt! Later after naps and rest we set out on a very touristy shopping street. I found some very cool earrings and Mariposa got a traditional outfit and some nick knacks to bring home. Western food for dinner was just what we needed to refuel out tanks before a week of food we may not like.

Photos are on the way but the internet is to slow to upload right now

Love,
Arella

Posted by Arellaskye 04:27 Archived in China Tagged air_travel Comments (5)

Oh the feeling of the sun on my face!!

sunny 70 °F
View Around the World in 87 Days on Arellaskye's travel map.

Hello-we have finally made it out of the fog/haze. Yesterday in Kunming it was beautiful. Kunming was actually a nice city with a walking area in the center-mellow feel and no Gucci or Prada. We had a nice afternoon there and dinner. Yo and I went on an adventure to the Carrefour (supermarket). My grandpa Ralph always said he and Grandma always went to the supermarket wherever they went to see what people were really like--well Kunming did not disappoint-it was big and busy. After oversleeping the alarm and not having the car we asked for at the hotel we managed to brave the crazy airport(last day of spring festival holiday-busiest travel week in China) we made it on the plane and to Dali. It is really beautiful here. We are staying at a small hotel that is just perfect-reminds me of Mexico. The sun is shining and we have a guide for the next 8 days so the adventures around food will be eased. They even brought a wooden bucket of rice at lunch(Adrians dream). We are napping and resting in the sun before we walk through old Dali. I will let the kids tell you about this mornings adventures but all I have to say is I feel so much better being out of the city. The next week will be great!!!

Posted by Arellaskye 22:51 Archived in China Comments (1)

(Entries 1 - 15 of 25) Page [1] 2 »