Getting some Exercise in Montenegro

Mark Stewart Travel Stories 4 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 Stories 4 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 Stories 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 Stories 2 Comments

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 Stories 2 Comments

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 …

Eating at the French Laundry

Mark Stewart Food, Travel Stories 2 Comments

Our first real introduction to the French Laundry was many years ago on Anthony Bourdain’s first show: A Cooks Tour. We’d browsed the legendary cookbook before, but at the time couldn’t really grasp it’s magnitude. At the time, the restaurant held the number one spot in the world, a concept that simple line cooks in culinary school couldn’t fathom. Fast forward nearly a decade, and Kylee drops one of the biggest surprises on me, several months before my birthday. Now, …

Back to Mumbai… or a Little more Goa

Mark Stewart 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, …

Goa

Mark Stewart Travel Stories 2 Comments

And to think, of all our plans for this trip, we hadn’t included Goa. Thought about it yes, but thought it would actually happen? Goa is a tiny little state about 12 hours south of Mumbai, and thinking we wouldn’t even have enough time left after traveling the north, even making Mumbai in time was a minor concern. Long blog short, plans changed, and we hopped our train to Mumbai, and from there, the first one we could down south …

India v2.0

Mark Stewart Travel Stories Leave a Comment

The last week is a blur. As I previously mentioned, Udaipur was a great time. The guesthouse we stayed at was the first true ‘guesthouse’ of the trip. With only three rooms, one of which is occupied by the owner Johar, it is not you’re typical accommodation. First of all, Johar is a very westernized Indian, fluent in English, and sympathetic towards the small day-to-day bullshit a foreign traveler goes through in his country. Secondly, while staying with him, he …

Eid al-Adha

Mark Stewart Opinions, Travel Stories 2 Comments

About a week ago on the train to Jaisalmer, we were told about Eid al-Adha: the Muslim festival commemorating the story in which Ibrahim was willing to sacrifice his son Issac to prove his love for Allah, and at the last minute, Allah stopped him and provided him with a sheep instead. For the Western (Christian, Jewish…) equivalent, simply change Ibrahim with the obvious Abraham, and Allah to God, and you’ll find the same story in those their associated texts. …