Volcano Boarding by Night in Nicaragua

Mark Stewart Activities Leave a Comment

I was completely blind, flying down the side of an active volcano at 70 kilometres an hour on a piece of wood, rocks bouncing off my face, under a moon hidden by clouds. Volcano boarding is one of the biggest draws for most backpackers in Nicaragua, a must do. It was one of the top activities on the list of things to do this trip. Our hostel in Leon happened to also be one of the operators of this unique …

Menningarnott: How Iceland Celebrates Iceland

Mark Stewart Festivals 2 Comments

Mennigarnott: How Iceland celebrates Iceland. After an earlier than usual rise, I step onto the patio to enjoy the cool air with my morning coffee. Looking down, the first thing I notice is a pale blue door in it’s frame standing square in the middle of the road. Further down is another, this one yellow, then another on the sidewalk whose colour I can’t make out from where I stand. Even stranger is the guy laying flat on the concrete …

London

Mark Stewart Cities 4 Comments

With just under a week remaining in the trip, the mood is bittersweet. Any time a journey is reaching it’s end, one can’t help but feel uneasy, the excitement and freedom is soon to be replaced once again with work and schedules. It’s been a hectic journey to this point, with a lot of stops crammed into a fairly short window of time, but there’s still one final stop that I’d been looking forward to for a very long time. …

Halloween in Holland

Mark Stewart Festivals 2 Comments

I make an ugly woman. November first, Eindhoven, Netherlands. It’s Friday afternoon, the day after Halloween, and we’re pinching pennies in a tiny little costume shop near downtown. Although Halloween traditionally isn’t celebrated in this part of the world, there is a fairly strong expat community here that still throws down. We’re taking the week to relax after a few weeks of fairly busy travel, staying with Kylee’s sister Kristy, and her boyfriend Aren, who is currently living here for …

Getting some Exercise in Montenegro

Mark Stewart Travel 2 Comments

There was one final stop in Bosnia before heading to the boarder, A day trip to the town of Mostar, a nice little town about two hours west of Sarajevo. I hadn’t enough time to explore the city much outside of the old town, which is what brings the majority of visitors to the city. Quite typical of most medieval cities of Austrio-Hungarian and Ottoman era influence, old stone buildings and roads, mosques and churches, weave their way outwards from …

Budapest to Bosnia (and Why I’m a Hypocrite)

Mark Stewart Travel 2 Comments

If you told me twenty years ago that I would be travelling around the world, I would have brushed the comment off as nothing. I couldn’t care less at the time about leaving the comforts of home. If you told me I would be traveling to Croatia, Serbia, or Bosnia, I would have called you crazy. In 1993, Yugoslavia was breaking apart in all out civil war. The Balkans were one of the most dangerous and chaotic places on earth. …

Sardinia: Beaches, Cork Trees and Cobblestone

Mark Stewart Travel Leave a Comment

Over the span of two nights, I’ve had the two best pasta dishes of my entire life: One on a small farm in the mountains around Nuoro, the other in the seaside village of Alghero. Two weeks have past since we left the turbulence of Rome, and set foot on Sardinia, the southern of the two islands (Corsica to the north), directly west of mainland Italy. In this short time we’ve spent the days lying on pristine beaches, exploring and …

Rags on Sticks, and Pig Skin; or Rome pt. 2

Mark Stewart Travel Leave a Comment

Rewind a couple of days. The flight was pretty standard: watched some movies, had some drinks and questionable food, and stared at the insides of my eyelids for hours at a pathetic attempt at airplane sleep. Landing in Rome, we cab to the centre of the city and find our hotel. Already over-tired, just looking to put our bags in a room and get some food, we attempt check-in. Here’s where the fun starts. Through one reason or another, when …

Sleep Deprivation is a Powerful Drug; or Rome pt. 1

Mark Stewart Travel Leave a Comment

Three days in Rome should be enough. I’m thinking about monkeys. It’s sometime in the afternoon of the second day, the windows to our very small, though quite beautiful hotel room are shut, curtains doing their best to block out any shred of light from the outside, and the power is off entirely. Last time I was in the washroom, I avoided looking at my reflection in the mirror because the time before that, I barely recognized what was staring …

Back to Mumbai… or a Little more Goa

Mark Stewart Inspiration, Travel Stories Leave a Comment

Well, the last day in paradise arrived. One last swim in the warm, salty waters of the Arabian sea, a quick breakfast, and we check out of our bamboo beach hut. After walking through the burning sand to the main road, we grab a rickshaw back to the ‘town’ at Palolem to catch our bus back to Margao.  From there, the plan is to meet up with the main bus back to Mumbai; and after that 16 hour bus ride, …