Two days in Portland, Oregon

We landed in Portland at 10:30 am on a Friday, where the plans had us spending two days before traveling to the Oregon coast. There was no time to spare and the adventures started as soon as we got the rental car. Columbia River Gorge Portland*Columbia River Gorge: A 20 minute ride from the airport on I-84, it was the best way to start falling in love with Portland. A dear friend, who used to live in the city, told me that this was a-must-visit place, and I’m glad she did! At first the GPS couldn’t figure out where we wanted to go and kept thinking we were going to Washington State, I was a bit worried myself with the ticking clock telling us we only had two days in this city and here we were driving away from it. Once we found the sign for the scenic road the mood changed. The road narrowed and took us under a green canopy of ferns and mossy trees as we drove to Multnomah, the most popular of the waterfalls. After 20 minutes driving around looking for a parking spot lurking behind those walking from the visitor center to their cars, we began our ascend to the top of the falls. It was a solid incline full of impossibly beautiful vistas and hyperventilating visitors. There are many other falls along the road, prompting us to think of “a next time.” *Division Street: Through VRBO (Vacation Rentals by Owners) we found a place two blocks away from this happening street for $100 a night. Continue reading Two days in Portland, Oregon

Champagne, The Beginning of the Bubble

Traveling to Champagne allowed me to immerse ourselves in the place holding many traditions. Walking in the dark caves where it all started centuries ago took us back in time. The dusty, wet smell of earth, the dimmed lights, and the heavy history flowing through the walls. Champagne was always a mystery to me. I had many questions, and could never remember the intricate process, the history behind it, and the technicalities of an old tradition.
antique wine press To see the old equipment used to make the bubbly wine and to hear the stories of the ancient Roman civilization, who initially planted the vines, and the Catholic Church monks who took it upon themselves to farm and care for the vines, and also became avid winemakers.
carcassone walls Continue reading Champagne, The Beginning of the Bubble

Champagne, The Place and The Wine

“We are running out of gas!” Were my husband’s words when we were traveling from Reims, in the Champagne region of France, to Luxemburg. We had already stopped at two gas stations in small towns along the way without a chance to use cash or our credit cards. The scenic route was a great way to avoid the main highway’s many tolls and flying trucks. The foggy morning kept following us with a light sprinkle of rain, making the already green and yellow landscape endlessly breathless; I was, however, not ready to spend the day hitchhiking in the middle of rural France.  It was the Sunday before labor day, if only we had realized earlier that most countries celebrate labor day on May 1, which yielded us the pleasure of finding entire towns closed down for the weekend. Many gas stations along the highways have attendants who help with foreign credit cards or cash payments, but they were all closed and the payment machine took only French credit cards. Continue reading Champagne, The Place and The Wine

Salento, Colombia

Early in the morning the town of Salento sits quiet, at 9200 ft., overlooked by mountains. The green air flows through my hair and leaves a chill on my skin like cool vapor. I walk down snapping pictures of the houses. Pink and white; blue and green; red and yellow, and down main street each house wears its best suit, like tropical birds smiling at the camera. salento colombia Continue reading Salento, Colombia

Cocora Valley, Colombia

The ten minute ride from Salento makes Cocora Valley a destination for peace lovers unaware of the stream of tourist along the only parking spot available at the end of the driving road. My family, eager to get on the horses,jump out of the car like the most wonderful adventure awaits them. horse cocora valley Continue reading Cocora Valley, Colombia