Six Years Ago Today–Machu Picchu

On June 12, 2013, we were visiting Machu Picchu.  This was part of an extensive visit to South America that began shortly after we got married in April 2013.

Machu Picchu

Visiting Machu Picchu is a terrific experience that we would heartily recommend.  For anyone wanting to make this trip, it’s probably best to do so with an organized tour company since the logistics can be tricky.  We used the city of Cusco as a base for getting to Machu Picchu.  Cusco is the foremost city of the Inca Empire and holds the claim as the oldest continuously inhabited city in South America.

Islas Uros

After returning to Cusco, we then made another trip from there, this time to the rain forest in an area called Puerto Maldonado in the southern Amazon zone of Peru.  Once we returned again to Cusco, we finally left the city to head south to the town of Puno and Lake Titicaca where we had the opportunity to explore some of the fascinating native groups living on the lake.

This time in southern Peru was a particularly memorable portion of our time in South America.

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Train Travel in Europe

 

Europe Map Annotated

We just completed a trip to Europe where we spent 77 nights in 16 different locations and we used trains as our primary means of travel.  We rented a car for 9 days in Germany and took a flight from Barcelona to Geneva.  Otherwise, we used trains to get from place to place.  The trains were fast and reliable. Continue reading

Berlin, Germany

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Berlin has an incredible history just within the 20th century.  This makes it an appealing and fascinating destination for people from all over the world.  It’s a history that feels accessible to us since only 90 years ago, Adolph Hitler was making his move in Berlin with the rise of the Nazi Party and the Third Reich.  The subsequent war ended with a crushing invasion of Berlin by 1.5 million Soviet troops and Hitler’s suicide in his bunker here.  Then the city, and all of Germany was divided up by the victorious allies, kicking off the Cold War with the Soviets eventually building a wall that would divide Berlin.  When the wall came down in 1989, Germany was reunified and there was a huge rush of development in the former East Berlin.

Spree River Continue reading

Hamburg, Germany

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The crest for the city of Hamburg prominently features a castle which represents the Hammaburg that was built by order of Charlemagne around the year 808 AD.  Subsequently the castle was attacked and destroyed, by Vikings, then rebuilt no less than 8 times.  Hamburg really got a boost when, in 1189, Frederick I granted it the status of a Free Imperial City and tax free access into the North Sea.  This made the city a major port in Northern Europe.  In more recent times, they have discovered that in fact, Frederick I died before he could sign this actual document but they were successful in convincing others that he had done so.

HafenCity Waterfront Continue reading

Amsterdam, Netherlands

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The Netherlands, and particularly Amsterdam, experienced a Golden Age during the majority of the 17th century.  In 1602, the Dutch East India Company was founded to trade with India and other Southeast Asian countries.  It experienced rapid growth and is considered to be a forerunner of modern corporations.  The public was offered shares of ownership in the company and many of these owners realized fortunes as the company grew.  The company became a pioneer of outward foreign direct investment by establishing foreign colonies where it possessed quasi-governmental powers.

Amsterdam Canals

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