1: Aussie Adventures 1
Journal 2: Aussie Adventures 2
Journal 3: Indonesian Escapades
Journal 4: Singapore & Malaysia
Journal 5: Langkawi, Malaysia
Journal 6: Thailand Trekking 1
Journal 7: Thailand Trekking 2
Journal 8: Indian Ocean, Maldives, & Oman
Journal 9: Oman & Yemen
Journal 10: Pirates, Eritrea, & Sudan
Journal 11: Egyptian Adventures 1
Egyptian Adventures 2
Journal 13: Egypt to Israel
Journal 14: Cyprus Crossings
Journal 15: Turkish Tales 1
Journal 16: Turkish Tales 2
Journal 17: Greek Odyssey
Journal 18: Italy & Spain
Journal 19: Why Go
Journal 20: Airplanes are Faster
AIRPLANES ARE FASTER
September 20-27, 2005 – There was complete darkness when we left this
morning. Without the glimmering light of the moon, we would not have
been able to make our way to shore. And so we are off, Donna and I. I am
heading for France and Donna is heading for the US. Donna must have been
excited to get going this morning. She woke me up at 2:45 AM, a whole hour
before we were supposed to get up. But here I am now, with crusted eyes, jumping into
the dinghy. I have stuffed my suitcases full. I just hope that they are not
too heavy. I am not exactly relishing the thought of lugging these bags
through the airport. Then again, this is what fiancés are for!! It is
amazing how much stuff I brought with me and never truly used. Now I
just give me a good pair of shorts and a t-shirt and I am ready to go.
So here we are dragging our bags up the hill to the main road.
the taxi came right away and we sped away to the airport. Another
for me heading off to Strasbourg, France, where my parents are
living. It is a bittersweet trip though. I am not looking forward to
David behind. He and Dave will be heading for Gibraltar tomorrow. Once
get to Gibraltar, the crew will begin boat work in earnest. Our last
moments together included attempting to sleep in airport chairs (always
challenge between the crowds and blaring PA systems), sharing a very
over-priced croissant (how is it all airport food is bland and
and wandering through the duty free shops (if the Toblerone chocolate
wasn’t 2 feet long I might have bought it).
It was a quick hop from Mallorca to Basel, Switzerland. Looking out the
window I could see our anchorage in Mallorca and Exit Only sleeping
peacefully under the stars. Before I knew it, we were flying over the
D’Azur and then the Alps. What a change from the Med! Coming into
could see dense forests of pine trees and oaks outlining neat fields of
corn. As the plane gently landed on the runway passengers began to
the pilot! Now this is a first for me! Never in all my flying years
ever had a pilot applauded. Were they thankful for the smooth flight,
choice of beverages, the fact that we had not crashed into the Alps ...
what?! I later learned from my parents that this is apparently a German
custom. Weird. But then again, maybe if we applauded out pilots more
we would have speedier flights.
The important thing to remember when landing in Basel is to walk out
right exit. The airport is based right on the borders of Germany,
and Switzerland. Walk to your left and you will be in Germany. Go out
right and you will be in France. At least this is one thing that the
European Union seems to have gotten right!
In Basel, I was welcomed
loving arms of my mom and dad. Hard to believe that it has been over a
since I last saw them. They have just recently moved back to France and
working with an international church in Strasbourg.
We had a pleasant
through the French countryside passing small farming villages and
Before I knew it, we had arrived in Strasbourg. The skyline was
steeples, the wide boulevards lined with trees, and the sidewalks
with cyclists (they even have their own lane).
Strasbourg is part of the department (state) of Alsace Lorraine. For
centuries, it’s control has been batted back and forth between Germany
France. So the people here actually have their own dialect which is a
mixture of French and German, Alsacienne. You can see the German
in much of the architecture here. Buildings with exposed beams and
flower boxes. And then there is the French love for open squares and
spaces. Combine that with rivers and arched bridges spilling over with
flowers and it makes for a beautiful city.
At the center of Strasbourg
large Gothic cathedral. From what I have heard, it was actually a
church at one time, but now it is Catholic. I think that I am more
with this cathedral than the one in Mallorca. The cathedral in Palma
massive with lumbering buttresses and somber interior. The cathedral of
Strasbourg seems to have much more detail to it and the interior has a
welcoming sense to it. Quiet music floats through the air while
wait for the ancient clock to strike noon. They even have a century’s
and elaborate cuckoo clock in the nave which parades knights on horses,
priests, and townsfolk at the strike of noon.
There are a few things one must always do while in France. On the top
of my list is visiting the Boulangerie/Patisserie or Bakery/Pastry Shop. I
already feel my sweet tooth acting up just thinking about it. France is
known for its delicious bread and pastries. Éclairs, millefeuilles,
baguettes, pain de compagne, croissants, pain au chocolat …. YUM!
there are the outdoor markets. France has a large agricultural base.
small farmers come to town and set up their stalls on the streets
breads, fruits, vegetables, cheese, meats, wine, and arts and crafts.
is a plethora of smells, sights, and sounds to take in. The vendors try
outdo one another by yelling at the top of their lungs – “1 Euro a
“Fresh eggs” … The French are quite proud of their gastronomic prowess
so they have inspectors who come to these markets to ensure that the
from fruits to cheese is always top of the line. You can watch them
strolling through the market, sampling food as they go along. So hey,
this PA thing doesn’t work out, I think I’ll know what field of work to
I had a wonderful week relaxing and visiting my parents. It ended all
soon. But there is another adventure waiting for me now – a 24 hour
traveling day and searching for job!! I’ll see you all soon back in the
ole US of A!
September 27-28, 2005 – It was another early morning start from the
Why can’t flights leave at reasonable times in the morning, like 10 AM?
I was again, dragging my bags around. This time I was laden down by
chocolate and coffee, two of my favorite things in the whole world, so
really shouldn’t complain. 40 minutes later we had landed in Paris, the
of lights. It would have been great to visit some of my old haunts and
friends in this wonderful city. But before I knew it, it was on to the
flight back to the US. A little shut eye, a few movies, a bland airline
meal and I was back! It feels a little surreal being back in the America after
this time. But it has been wonderful to catch up with friends and family.
Thanks so much to everyone for following my adventures around the
hope that you have enjoyed it as much as I have. And continue to
check up on the adventures of Exit Only as they sail from Gibraltar to
Morocco, the Canary Islands, the Cape Verde Islands, and finally the
David wrote a song to see me off....
Take a listen: Sarah's Song.mp3
View of the Mallorca anchorage from the plane
Stained Glass Window
Canals of Strasbourg
No cookie cutter houses here
Chilling with Mom and Dad