Category Archives: State of travel

Back from Costa Brava

Spent the day in a bustling and vibrant Barcelona, went to sleep in the God-forsaken Mottingham… Fun life I lead sometimes! The big summer holiday took off splendidly, the long two-day trek from London to Costa Brava notwithstanding. We arrived to a beautiful setting, gorgeous weather and, most importantly, the company of friends whom we

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Map of Europe

Despite my self-sustained image of the world traveler, I have only been to 37% of European countries. Natasha is actually one up on me, in a way that I fear will keep forever, – she has been to Belarus as a child. The map below outlines the gaping chasm of Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Baltics, and

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London City airport note

We are in between visitors, for a few days anyway. My mother-in-law departed back to Russia this morning. Her trip’s first leg took her to Frankfurt from the London City airport, which again impressed us in terms of check-in and controls experience. You can literally be at the gate within 10 minutes of entering the

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Back from Antwerp and Gent

My loving children will forgive their old man for saying that it is infinitely nicer to travel without them. Our weekend getaway to Belgium was neither a dream trip nor even a particularly fascinating one, but it allowed Natasha and I, for the first time in ages, to spend time just as we wanted, not

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Back from Costa del Sol

Southernmost part of continental Europe turned out to be not warm enough for a dip in the Mediterranean Sea at the end of May. That was the only negative about our week on the Costa del Sol. The weather was sunny, the resort that we stayed at provided all possible amenities for a lazy holiday,

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Back from Paris

Ahh, Paris… There is nothing like it in the whole wide world. Not for us, at least. I don’t know what it is, honestly, but we always feel entirely at home in this most romantic of cities. This time around, we benefited from exceptionally bright skies and warm weather, which was a great and welcome

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Mind your passport

It is the most basic and universal of any advice that an international traveller can get: Never forget when your passport expires. My parents, who leave the shores of the U.S. of A. about once a year on average, were going for a tour of Paris, followed by a stay with us in London. Our

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Back from Holland

Simply going to the Keukenhof gardens for a few hours – which was the main point of our latest expedition – was worth the trip. There are literally thousands of varieties of tulips on display there, not counting the other flower species, of which there are plenty as well. Natasha was absolutely enchanted and the

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Back from Wales

This has not been the most exciting of trips, for two main reasons. First, it was mighty cold and, unlike in London, where not a single snowflake has graced us with its presence this winter, we had nothing less than intermittent hail following us through the northern part of Wales. Second, – and probably more

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Back from Ireland

A hot-off-the-presses update to the compendium of trivia about me: Q50. Yes, although only on a brief weekend trip that did not take me much further than Dublin’s immediate surroundings. Q121. Getting there. DC excluded, the number is now exactly even (still, shockingly low).     We had a grand time catching up with Alex

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More on not so cheap air travel

My cousin Alex – who, in our family parlance, would be referred to as my brother – is on a work assignment in Dublin for the next couple of weeks. Obviously, we wanted to come and visit. And the truths exposed in my onetime editorial on the costs of European travel garnered new evidence. Four

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In favor of Club Med

I admittedly do not like packaged vacations. There are few things in this world that annoy me more than having to waste my time on account of strangers. Coupled with the penchant I have for being punctual, I would certainly waste disproportionate amount of time if I joined a tour group, which would prevent me

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Back from Alps

We are back from our excellent Alpine adventure, and since I am sure that everyone is anxious to hear about it, here is a brief recap.     Yes, the skies were azure, the snow was sparkling, the setting was altogether gorgeous, and we enjoyed ourselves tremendously. My three ladies skied as much as was

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Reflecting on MAXjet bankruptcy

The problems we encountered on our trip to the States last summer (which turned into an upgraded, if lengthier, journey, as described here) were truly an advance warning. It took several more months for MAXjet to declare bankruptcy – which it did on Christmas Monday – and stop flying. I am a big fan of

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Costs of European travel

When I tell my British acquaintances the reasons for our relocation to the UK, – you know, travel and all, – they invariably offer in exchange that it is incredibly convenient and cheap to travel throughout Europe, having London as your base. Convenience is certainly in the eye of the beholder: I have already posited

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Back from Köln

The road to Cologne was the longest – distance-wise – of any of our weekend trips so far, but even the driving rain that followed us for over 200 kilometers on the way back did little to dampen our enjoyment of this little adventure. The theme of the trip was Christmas Markets in Germany. We

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Disparity in travel costs

The cost of a weekly economy car rental (automatic transmission, A/C, unlimited mileage) in Andalucía for a UK resident: £157. The cost of the same rental for a US resident: $650. Something to be said about the inter-EU travel. On the other hand, business-class-only MaxJet tickets cost almost 50% more (at the current exchange rates)

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Back from Loire Valley

Our last long trip of the year has come to its end, leaving us not exactly looking forward to the cold and drab months ahead. It was already quite cold in the Loire Valley (although, thankfully, no rain). It has long became clear to us that one of the biggest problems with our initial plan

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Trip to Bath

The historic town of Bath, in Southwestern England, was for quite some time on our list of prospective destinations. We finally found our way over there last weekend. The weather was as typical English weather goes: Overcast skies, intermittent rain, short periods of sunshine. But the town and its charms did not fail to impress

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