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Best travel advice to save money and have fun on any budget!

February 11, 2010

Palanga Beach Resort, Lithuania

It is very understandable why Palanga is such a popular resort town in the summer or early Fall but today was windy and cold on the beach. Even so, the less than one hour spent here was most definitely not enough. The town of Palanga is a short distance from Klaipeda...View image, located on the coast of the Baltic Sea and functioned as Lithuania's main port from the 15th-17th centuries. The coast stretched as far as the eye could see, well over 10 km/6.2 miles and is backed by a pine forest and dunes. Almost half a million visitors visit Palanga and settle into one of the many guesthouses, hotels, resorts and even sanatoriums with thermal and mineral baths that operate year-round.

The bus dropped the group off on a corner along with directiol instructions and "what to see." The old town pedestrian area with historic buildings that date from the 13th-18th centuries. Check that off as a miss with too little time. The Palanga Botanical Gardens, designed for Count Tiskevicius with over 300 plant species and considered to be Lithuania's most beautiful botanical garden. The Tiskevicius Manor House is located in the center of the Gardens and houses the Amber Museum (closed for the day). Check that off as a miss with too little time.

Continue reading "Palanga Beach Resort, Lithuania" »


Latest Photographs

Day 6 palaga beach.jpg @ Palanga Beach Resort, Lithuania Day 6 palanga sand and church.jpg @ Palanga Beach Resort, Lithuania Day 6 palanga house 1.jpg @ Palanga Beach Resort, Lithuania Palanga 2.jpg @ Palanga Beach Resort, Lithuania Save on airfare, hotels, car rentals, and more! @ Palanga Beach Resort, Lithuania Day 12 fair tale.jpg @ The Hill of Crosses, Siauliai, Lithuania

February 10, 2010

The Hill of Crosses, Siauliai, Lithuania

From Rundale Palace, the bus crossed the border into Lithuania...View image... where we stopped somewhere to use an ATM and convert Lats (LVL) into Lits (LTL) - Lithuanian currency if anyone chose to convert their Lats (we'd spend more time in Latvia after touring Lithuania - are you confused yet?). Again, we were out of the group loop and just found out that Mort had his wallet stolen in Tallinn as he was walking up the stairs to a church. Money, credit cards, and ATM. Where was his wallet? In an easily reached pocket, obviously not in a money-belt.

Lithuania is the largest of the three Baltic States, is 90% Catholic and converted to Christianity 200 years later than its northern neighbors. Signe told us that there are still Lithuanians and Latvians that practice paganism, primarily in a society called Romuva. Google "Romuva", you'll find out she is correct. Romuva was a pagan worship place and the grass snake (or Sacred Serpent) is revered. Later on in this trip, Signe passed around a book called Egle, Queen of The Grass Snake for everyone to read commenting that it would be difficult to understand the Baltics without reading this Lithuanian fairy tale.

Continue reading "The Hill of Crosses, Siauliai, Lithuania" »

February 09, 2010

Anybody interested in Albania Hiking/Trekking, July, 2010?

Albania may not be on your radar yet but it will be. A few different tour operators either are visiting Albania now, for example, Explore U.K. (check out the itinerary on the Adventure Center Finder to your left as you read this post) who has a cultural exploration of Albania. Others are working on future plans.

ex-Marine (husband, Steve) and I are currently lusting over a light-moderate hiking/trekking trip offered by KE Adventure Travel. Click on the link and you'll be able to read and see what I'm talking about. KE Adventure Travel is a highly regarded and reputable company that we've never had the pleasure of traveling with before. To answer your unspoken question, KE Adventure Travel is not giving me a commission, discount or freebie no matter how many of you decide to join Steve and myself.

Continue reading "Anybody interested in Albania Hiking/Trekking, July, 2010?" »

Rundale Palace, Latvia

The Historic Baltic Republics continues...

The group headed south into Lithuania today with a jam-packed schedule. We now have a dedicated bus that will be used for transport until the tour ends. A short stop at a RIMI Supermarket in Bauska to buy food for lunch except us. We settled on a rotisserie chicken, Armenian bread and mega pastries to eat for dinner since the Klaipeda e.t.a. was 7:30 p.m. (Must confess...we snarfed down the pastries way before dinner. They are just so darn good.) Not only was Bauska on the old trade route between Riga and Lithuania but Napoleon's army transited through in 1812 on the way to Moscow.

The bus passed the atmospheric Bauska Castle...View image... on the short 12 km/7 mile drive from Bauska to Rundale Palace but there wasn't enough time to stop. Rundale Palace was built in the 18th century by Anna, Empress of Russia, for her lover Count Birons who became Duke of Courland...View image. Being Anna's lover sure paid off for him until she died when he was promptly banished to Siberia. Hey...I've been lost in Siberia. How many people do you know that can say that...or want to say that? The palace then stood empty until Catherine the Great presented the palace to her lover, Prince Zubov in 1795.

Continue reading "Rundale Palace, Latvia" »

February 08, 2010

Taking An Alaskan Cruise or Tour This Summer?

Whether you are Alaska-bound this Summer on a large cruise line, an inside cruise, tour, fishing or hiking, an interesting article just crossed my desk about the Great Alaska TourSaver Book filled with 2-for-1 travel deals. I wouldn't exactly say the book is inexpensive at $99.95 but tour excursions off Alaskan cruise ships, whale watching and other sights aren't exactly give-aways and it's easy to see how this book could pay for itself after using just one coupon.

The compact guide features more than 130 travel deals: flights, cruises, lodges, fishing, whale-watching, adventures -- the works. If you are skeptical over the savings, spend some time surfing on line and see what individual tours cost without a coupon. Below is a small sample of just a few 2-for-1 offers that certainly appeal to me:

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February 07, 2010

The Fabulous but Challenging Inca Trail in Peru Requires Stamina

ex-Marine (husband, Steve) and I were fortunate enough to hike the Inca Trail years ago. Before the Peruvian Government put trail restrictions in place to control the hordes of hikers that were beginning to degrade the trail and turn the entire journey into one, big bottleneck. There is nothing easy about the traditional Inca Trail Trek and you can read about our trekking experience in depth on Travels With Sheila. I still encourage trekkers to take that leap no matter how popular this, one of the world's great treks, is. And to rev up the motivation, here is a guest post (along with a little paraphrasing) by Rachel, who traveled with the Adventure Company.

...From the moment I booked myself on to The Inca trail trek I was hugely excited: here was my chance to challenge myself and in doing so see one of the most fascinating sites in history. I have never been to South America, and having searched Peru Tours on the internet for an exhilarating holiday experience, I soon found myself gearing up for an adventure which would take me to see the spectacular Machu Picchu; here lay an Incan legend, an ancient Peruvian village abandoned in the 17th century.

Continue reading "The Fabulous but Challenging Inca Trail in Peru Requires Stamina" »

February 06, 2010

A Hike from Adelboden Over the Mountains Into Lenk, Switzerland

It's a little complicated getting to Adelboden from Kandersteg. Take the train to Frutigen and transfer to the PostBus that stops at the Frutigen train station to Adelboden. If you manage to miss the scheduled bus and want to add more and easy distance to the hike, walk. There are marked trails on both sides of the valley.

Once in Adelboden village proper, you'll see even more yellow Swiss hiking signs pointing in all directions. Adelboden has a huge ski circus in the winter...View image, and quite a few of the lifts operate through the summer. Perfect for hikers and families who just want to hike around the top of the many mountains, through the flowery meadows without any exertion, and then take the chair lift/cable cars back down at the end of the day. Our yellow sign pointed the way to Hahnenmoospass and Lenk along Adelboden's main street, and past the church.

Continue reading "A Hike from Adelboden Over the Mountains Into Lenk, Switzerland" »

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