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Posts Tagged ‘Busabout’

Trencin, Slovakia

June 5th, 2014 No comments

Trencin, Slovakia

Today, we were on our way to Budapest in Hungary via Slovakia. Soon after entering Slovakia, we did a quick pit stop so that some of our bus tour folks could get a few more Euros. I took the opportunity to pick up some German water. Trencin is a picturesque ‘Eastern Europe’ village with most of the buildings appearing to be from the communist era. Slovakia, a land-locked country that has, over the years, been a part of many different jurisdictions including being once a part of the Kingdom of Moldavia and most recently part of Czechoslovakia is now an independent country. Slovakia became a member of the European Union in 2004 and adopted the Euro as its currency in 2009.

Then, came the tank ride, a 15 minute wet, muddy and exciting roller coaster-like ride in a tracked vehicle. We had arrived at Podbiel, Slovakia where entrepreneur, Jozef Krupa, promises tourists the ride of their life. From the pictures and video which I will be uploading later, you can clearly see that nobody went back to the Busabout Coach dry or unhappy. Definitely a must-stop tourist attraction for any tourist who would like a bit of an adrenaline rush!

(Graeme on tour in Europe. Images will be upload to this blog when time and consistent internet access permits.)

Olomouc, Czech Republic

June 5th, 2014 No comments

Olomouc, Czech Republic

We were now on tour with the Busabout tour company and we were stopping for the night in the sixth largest Czech city (a bit less than 100,000). It is located in the lowland of the Haná region and was, in the past, the capital of then Moravia. An architecturally attractive city with good mix of ancient, older and newer architectural styles to keep photographers busy. We would be spending the night at the Flora Hotel. It’s a nice hotel with comfy beds and windows that open. The rooms were a bit warm so we kept the window open for the night.

In the morning breakfast ended up being quite an adventure. We went to the wrong breakfast room. We were supposed to go to a nicer restaurant but, instead, some of us went to the more basic breakfast room where we watched in shock as the a group of tourists ahead of us literally attacked the food tables. Fortunately, our guide came and rescued us and we found our way to the much nicer restaurant and the rest of our group where we were able to have a nice breakfast in a more civilized fashion.

Bone Church, Kutná Hora
Now on the tour bus, we stopped at a church which became a very popular place to be buried after a 13th century monk returned form the Holy Land with some soil which he sprinkled over the existing graveyard.The graveyard became the popular place for aristocracy to be buried, so much so that there was a significant overcrowding issue and to help with the overcrowding issue bones were exhumed and stored below the church. Eventually, the city council hired a local craftsman,František Rint, to go in and put the bones into more order. What he ended up doing was create works if art using the bones. An interesting place to visit – rather unique. (photos to follow).

(Graeme on tour in Europe. Images will be uploaded when time and access to reliable internet permit)

Europe Bound

May 29th, 2014 No comments

Euro 4K
It’s vacation time again and I’m heading back to Europe for my forth time* and quite appropriate given my photo/film hobby I’m packing with me a Lumix GH4 which records in 4K (well true cinematic 4K and UHD). For the purpose of this trip I’m filming in UHD at 23.98 FPS which will allow me to match to my 1080p footage. Later I’ll look at doing true Cinematic 4K, but the GH4 only does that at 24FPS. That said I may find I have to switch to PAL (25FPS) or 24 if I find NTSC flickers as I’ll be in Europe rather than North America (that whole 60 vs 50 Hz electricity issue) – good thing the GH4 is a world camera and can swap between frequencies with a quick on/off.
*Assuming you consider UK as part of Europe which for my purposes I am. If not then I bounced through Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam on the way to Africa so count that instead 🙂

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It’s been over a year since I was on a plane for a vacation, but really making up for it now with a trip to Eastern Europe.

Today is day 1 of the trip leaving Ottawa in the evening and doing an overnight. Once in Europe I’ll have a half-day to check out Prague before meeting up with the first BusAbout Tour.
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Flying via Air France this time with actual flights on Air France/KLM/WestJet flights; with departures and arrivals that should minimized jetlag impact. Definitely worth the extra $50 CAD over other flight/operator combos.

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Special thanks to my Travel Agent, Margaret Breau, from Adventure Travel Company / Merit for investigating and arranging the flights and navigating the tours to ensure I could jump from one to another, and dealing with my ever changing vacation dates.

Over the trip I’ll be trying to update the blog when I can, so please stay tune!

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