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Yes, we do!

On September 3rd, 2011 under sunny skies, Meghan and I got married! It was a perfect day, and we were so lucky to be surrounded by friends and family and barns. Pictures will tell the story best…

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Syria

Our pictures from Syria are now up on our Photos page. Thank you to Toon for sharing some of his pictures with us from Jordan and Syria!

Photos from Jordan

Petra

Two more albums done, this time from Jordan. Don’t miss the pics of Petra, one of the most amazing places we visited. As usual, you can find the new albums over on our Photos page.

New photos, more to come

We’ve started to get caught up on our photo albums. You’ll find three new albums from Egypt on our Photos page, and we’ll have several more albums up over the next week or so.

Home for a wedding!

Brothers and sister together again!

Wow, how life changes when you get back home! There were days on the road where I thought it was hard to keep a website up-to-date, but it seems to be exponentially harder now that we’re back in Canada. It’s funny how life conspires against your aims sometimes, even when you’re enjoying it.

It’s about time that I wrote about the big event that brought us home in the first place. About a week and a half ago, my little sister Melanie got married. I know she’s not so little anymore, but of course she’ll always seem that way to her big brother. Before we left on our wanderings, I remember Melanie calling me up and asking “sooooo, when will you be back? I kind of got engaged!” I wasn’t going to miss her wedding for the world, even if that was literally the case! And what a great event to come home to, with all of my family together in one place for one happy reason.

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Reykjavik’s Golden Circle

Hot and cold pools

We rented a car in Reykjavik in order to make the most of our day. We found a local company called Route1 that had decent rates and met us at the port with our car, and we were off. Our mission was to drive the Golden Circle, Reykjavik’s most popular day trip, which would take us to some of Iceland’s most spectacular sights. After tucking some pastries from the buffet on board into our pockets, we hopped in our Yaris and headed out.

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Torshavn

Street in Torshavn

The Faroe Islands are a small collection of islands way out in the middle of nowhere. By nowhere, I mean in the middle of the North Atlantic, but “nowhere” is sure what it feels like while you are sailing across it. As we approached Torshavn, which is the capital town of the islands, we expected to find a rustic little community huddled tenuously in the midst of a barren, harsh landscape. We expected to find wind-beaten old buildings and salt-eroded stone quays. We expected the people to have webbed fingers and few teeth, if any. But we failed to take something significant into account: the Faroe Islands belong to Denmark. And I have to say that based on what we discovered in Torshavn, those Scandinavians could teach us all a thing or two. The last thing we expected from Torshavn was Torshavn itself, a town where grass-roofed cabins and modern architecture live side by side, where streets are clean and engaging, and where wifi comes “free” with your eight-dollar coffee.

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Bergen, Norway

Bergen waterfront

The first stop our ship made was in Bergen, Norway. It took a day and a half to get there from Southampton, sailing through the North Sea, which can be quite rough at this time of year. Even though our ship is 17 decks tall and looks more like a floating office building than a ship, we could feel the effects of the wind and the waves much more than on our previous two cruises. The Grand Princess doesn’t quite have the aggressive ocean-liner profile of the Queen Mary 2, the ship on which we crossed the Atlantic in the other direction. It still amazes me that a ship as large as this, regardless of profile, can be moved so much by mere water. Still, it’s a far cry from the sickness-inducing bouncing and swaying of our ferry crossing to Zanzibar.

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Paris part deux

Back in beautiful Paris

After a very uncomfortable 11-hour train ride from Munich, we alighted in Paris with 8 hours to kill before our Eurostar train left for London. After checking our journals, we realised that we’d actually been in Paris one year earlier, hanging out with our friends Carl and Brigitte and still breaking ourselves in to our travels. It was surreal to be back in a city we recognized, and it began to inspire a feeling of nostalgia as we reflected that so much of our journey was already behind us. We revisted a couple of our favourite spots, including a park near Les Halles, and Notre Dame Cathedral. It was fun to point down streets and say “hey, remember that from last year?” or “remember how you almost broke your shin that time?”

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View from the "Star Flyer" at Oktoberfest

A week before arriving in Munich, we were on a train to Budapest with four guys traveling together from Ireland. We got to talking about our next destinations, and we found out that, like us, they were making their way towards Munich. They told us that they couldn’t wait to get there, because Oktoberfest was going to be so much fun. We cocked our heads at each other. Oktoberfest? But wasn’t it still September? Yep, they said, Oktoberfest starts in September. In fact, it was starting only two nights before we were set to arrive. Wow! The legendary festival of beer had set itself squarely in our path. What great news! We’d had no idea that our visit to Munich would coincide with Oktoberfest. Happy days!

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