Thursday, November 13, 2014

Not Just Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

We have found that being flexible as we travel 
is a requirement for having a good time.

So while planes, trains and automobiles are the most common forms of transportation, sometimes we find that ourselves getting from point A to point B in a way that we did not really anticipate.  But it's all part of the experience.......

And you'd best hang on, 'cause there are no seat belts!

Such as the tuk tuk's in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, Thailand

Or the "ordinary train" headed to Kanchanaburi 
(there's a whole story here that I will save for another post!)

Or the "truck taxi's" in Kanchanaburi
It looks like a pick-up truck but.....It's really a taxi!  I promise!

Here's your air conditioned seat in the back.  Mr. C tried to tell me this is the main form of taxi in this little burg.  I didn't really believe him until our 5-star hotel called a taxi for us one night, and yup!  This is it for Kanchanaburi.  There is good reason for this, though. These "taxi's" double as touring vehicles, and most of "what's to see" here is pretty rural ~ waterfalls, elephant adventures, and the like. 

But after dinner, we discovered that this sidecar motorcycle was the only option after the truck taxi's were already "retired" for the evening.  Yes, I was ready to make the concession that they weren't so bad after all, compared to this home-made hand-welded side car.

But, it was either this or walk the 8 miles back to the hotel!

Then there's the canoe at "The Lakes" in Australia 
that we took across the water to go to dinner

Of course there's the gondola's in Venice

Yeah, girls, he's the real deal!

But there's also the water taxi, which is how we got 
from the airport to our hotel (doesn't that just sound so weird!?)
And the water buses, called Vaporetto, 
which is actually their form of public transportation, and which I somehow failed to get a decent photo of.

Or by long boat on the Chao Praya River in Thailand  
(It's the James Bond boats!)

Or the river boat tours in Prague

And in Paris

Or the elephants in Thailand

Or the horse & carriage in Prague, Czech Republic

And in Seville, Spain

Or by camel in Morocco

Or the ferry in Sidney, Australia

And Seattle, Washington

And Lake Balaton, Budapest

And to get to the island of Miyajima off the southern tip of Japan

And at Cinque Terra on the coast of Italy  
(It really is the best way to see those villages clinging to the cliffs)

And @ Positano to the island of Capri

Where this lime green convertible was our taxi for the day.
I know, technically it's an automobile, but I included it in this article because, you have to admit, it's pretty unique.

Nope, just kidding.  
We did see them going out in this little tiny thing, though!

Or by cable car in San Francisco

Or by bicycle in Snow Canyon, Utah

Or by kayak in Hawaii

 And then there's the Funiculars in Ito and Koyasan, Japan
They are so much fun they have their own post 
(See "Who Put the Fun in Funicluar?")

We can't forget the cable cars in Salzburg, Austria 
 which is how we got to the top of Untersbergbahn

and Montserrat, Spain, which is how we got to the Monastery 

And to the top of Mount Misen in Myajima, Japan

Or by catamaran  in Oahu,  Hawaii

And Lanai, Hawaii

By boat @ the Golden Triangle ~ 
where the borders of Thailand, Laos, & Burhma meet

And on the Yarra River in Melbourne, Australia

In the summer @ Lake Powell, Arizona, it's the houseboat

And the Mastercraft 

But you can't get to "Lover's Cove" without the jetski

Occasionally it makes sense to hire a car and driver for the day.  Like the Amalfi Coast in Italy;  or to get to the Golden Triangle from Chiang Rai.

And occasionally it's by bus, as when we went from 
Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai in Thailand

And we sometimes use the "Hop-on-hop-off" buses in the bigger cities, like Barcelona, Rome, and Paris.  They are usually an economical way to get to some of the sites that are too far for walking, and we like the fact that we can set our own pace.  You just hop off when you want to spend time at a site, and hop back on when you're done.

And sometimes a Bus Tour is the way to go, such as our 
"Sound of Music Tour" in Salzburg, Austria.  
It's one of the most entertaining days I can remember ~ 
after all, how often are you with 30 of your newest 
best friends from all over the world, 
visiting the sites where this wonderful musical was filmed, 
all singing "The hills are alive!" at the top of your lungs?!?

We've also used city buses in places like Rome, Italy and Toledo, Spain.  Using public transportation gives us more of a feel for what life is like in that particular city.  It's real people who are going about their real lives ~ working, commuting, shopping ~ living their lives.

As does public transportation like the subways in Paris, and Budapest; and New York City and DC here in the states.  

But nothing comes close to the subways in Japan.  
The subway stations are like small cities, with miles and miles of shopping malls and restaurants, all underground.  It's staggering!

But by far, our favorite mode of transportation is this.  By foot.  Our own little footsies.  We acquire between 10 - 15 miles a day on foot, wherever we are.  It's the very best way to experience a city, to absorb the sights and sounds and smells that are otherwise missed. We never call a cab when we could walk instead.  We never take a car, a local bus, a taxi, or a cable car when we could walk instead.  If I have any travel advice, it's this.  Walk when you can.  You will see more, feel more, hear more, and experience more than any other mode of transportation.  I remember vividly the feel of the heartbeat of every city, every neighborhood, every time, because we've walked it.  We are intimately acquainted by the time we leave, because we have spent time on it's streets and alleyways, mingling with those who live there.  We take time to touch and taste and experience where we are, we discover small hidden gems that we otherwise would have missed, and we stumble upon some of our best memories, some of our best travel stories, all because we are on foot.  It's the difference between being a traveler and being a tourist!



  1. I have to say I am not sure I could ride some of those Gondolas (cable cars) Tooo high off the ground for me. ~MiChelle

    1. I'm not great with heights, either, Michelle. But sometimes I just squeeze my eyes closed and endure, 'cause I know the end result is somewhere I would not get to experience any other way!

  2. This is an amazing collection of photos you have accumulated! So fun, so wonderful that you share it with us! Just so exciting to scroll thru all the places you two have been! This is a fun fun fun blog!

    1. You know, it was truly lots of fun to go back through so many of our travels and remember all the different experiences. I'm missing pictures of you & me in NYC in the little bicycle rickshaw thing-y (don't really know what they're called). That's just a tragedy! You & me dressed to the nines in cocktail dresses & high heels, out on the big city at night; got caught in the pouring down rain, no cabs available, so we finally accept the rickshaw guy's offer. He lays down his coat for us on the wet seat. He zips up the plastic wrap so we won't get soaked ~ but. It's still dripping huge bucketfuls through the zipper onto our laps. Then he's peddling through the night and the drenching rain, and.......he can't find the hotel. Remember??? Then he finally gets directions at a stoplight from the cabby next to him (cause you still have to stop at the lights, even if you're on a bicycle out in the rain). And when he has to weigh the option of going clear around the looooong NYC block to circle back to the hotel entrance, or just zipping up the WRONG WAY ON A ONE WAY STREET! He chooses the latter. And I am laughing hysterically, 'cause you are almost in tears, screaming, "We're gonna' die, we're gonna die, I'm sure we're gonna' die!" I am laughing right now, still, at this memory. I will admit, in your defense, it was a little intimidating to turn down the wrong way in the dark and see all those headlights facing (and dodging) us!!!

      Ahhhh, but we made it, and are alive to tell (and laugh at) the story. Travel, for me is all about the stories! Thanks for coming along on the journey(s).

    2. It is one of my most exciting memories! Yes, I have laughed at that adventure over and over! Your description of the ride is perfect! I still get anxiety when I think about it although I can laugh about now!

  3. Loved this! We have enjoyed so many fun (interesting) modes of transportation also. One of our "taxis" in Mexico had no inside handles on the doors, for either windows or doors. Glad we aren't cloustrophobic! Fun memories & more wonderful pictures. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Well, I'm not sure if I would feel more cloustrophobic or just plain 'trapped' in a taxi with no door handles! But, yes, it's all part of the travel experience ~ not everything is the same as back home ~ but then, 'That's why you go' is one of Mr. C's favorite sayings.


Join the conversation ... comment now!