Yearly Archives: 2015

My 5 weeks of Spanish immersion in Guatemala are over. It was an amazing way to learn a new language. I’m certainly not fluent, and not even really conversational, but I do have a great base of Spanish that will make it much easier to travel in Latin America in the coming months.

Finishing my Spanish Immersion Courses in Antigua

Ever since I finished refusing to learn a single thing in my completely free but compulsory foreign language education in high school, I’ve wondered why I was so determined to squander my opportunity to become bilingual. In my travels, I’ve often wished that I could actually communicate with the locals, instead of just pointing cluelessly at menu items in restaurants. And, I’ve been fascinated by people who are fluent in multiple languages: I’ve always wondered what […]

Spanish Lessons at “The Most Beautiful Lake on Earth”.

It’s official: my bicycle trip across Europe has drawn to an end. It was an amazing trip through a beautiful part of the world. I’m glad I did it on a bicycle instead of on trains and busses, and I feel like it was a great use of a couple of months. I hope to do a final post with some conclusions about what it’s like to do a bike trip of that length, but […]

The Home Stretch: Slovakia, Paris (again!), and Hungary.

(Note: this entry covers travel up to around Sep. 13) While planning my trip, I was excited to begin my journey into Eastern Europe when I crossed the border from Germany to Austria. I’m not really sure why I thought that Austria was part of Eastern Europe. Maybe because there used to be an Austro-Hungarian Empire? I also thought that it used to be the center of the Ottoman Empire. Like most Americans Westerners People […]

Austria: Passua to Vienna

Germany. The land of pilsner, sausage, and lederhosen. What could it possibly hold for a tee-totaling vegetarian who tries to avoid wearing leather? I wasn’t sure what to expect in Germany, but it’s rapidly becoming one of my favorite countries. The beautiful high Rhine, the black forest, and the lively, clean, and safe down-towns have been great to experience. And, the Germans themselves have been absolutely awesome.

Bodensee to Rodenberg, Germany

EuroVelo 6 is in Switzerland for only about 100 km total. Even during that time, it weaves in between Germany and Switzerland constantly. In fact, the only way I could tell which country I was in was to either ask someone, or to buy something and see what currency my change was in (Euros, or Swiss Francs). The border is baffling along the Rhine–the two countries fit together like puzzle pieces, and although the border […]

Switzerland, I hardly knew you, but my wallet sure did.

Last night I crossed over from France to Switzerland. I was in France for around 1200km (740 miles), which is about a third of the length of Euro Velo 6. It took me about three and a half weeks to do it, but I sped up  as time went on. I now average about 90km a day. At that pace, it will take another 25 days of biking to finish, and it will take even […]

Au revoir, France! One country down, nine more to go.

A few days ago, I rode with Dee to Paris to return her bike so she could fly back to the US. I am so glad that she was able to join me for those 2 weeks–we’ve always wanted to do a long bike trip together, and the Loire Valley was the perfect setting. The roads were safe, the hills were manageable, and the towns and chateaus were beautiful. It was great to have someone […]

Leaving the Loire Valley and saying good-bye to Dee

Today I (Dee) am guest posting about my experience biking with Rob for the first two weeks of his trip! So far we’ve traveled from St. Nazaire to Amboise; we’re splurging and spending the night in a little bed and breakfast in Poce sur Cisse, France, which is a 4km bike ride from the main city. Today we plan to go into town to check out the chateau and Da Vinci’s last residence after a […]

The Day I Became A Real Cyclist

The bike trip is going strong. The scenery is beautiful, the path is well-signed and safe, and we are gorging ourselves on French cuisine. We are now 7 days in, which is nearing the halfway point of Dee’s visit with me. We are starting to pick up speed as we get used to the bikes and as we get better at managing our camping gear, and within a few days we should be in the […]

La Loire a Velo: St. Nazaire to Angers (France)