We arrived Montreal in Canada by plane from New York in the afternoon the 18th of May. Our dear friend Susan came to pick us up in the airport and we drove to their place in Montreal.
On our worldwide family tour we met Susan and Stephane on the bus from Hanoi to Halong Bay in Vietnam. We all started talking and just loved their company from the start. For the first time on our trip Luna Noor dared to talk English with someone without being afraid of making mistakes and she just looooved talking to Susan. She was the perfect teacher and soon Luna Noor felt like she had gotten a new best friend. Actually this was the foremost reason we went to Canada this time. We really wanted to see where they came from and lived their lives. So we e-mailed each other and lucky enough Susan and Stephane were thrilled by the idea to see us again so they invited us to their place in Montreal for some magical days in May! 🙂
Some small facts about Montreal before telling the rest of our experiences in Canada. It has around 1.8 million inhabitants and is the biggest city of the Quebec province and the next biggest french speaking city in the world after Paris. Still most people in Montreal are bilingual, also speaking English.
We arrived New York late in the afternoon watching the thunder and lightning in the west towards Michigan. Luckily we were able to avoid the bad weather following the coastline from Miami.
While Jamaica had Jamaican dollars we now had to get used to the value of US dollars. Still the language was English and the culture and vehicles were not too different from those we know from Europe. As there are around 8.5 million residents in “The big apple” we could not help but notice all the different sounds like honks, yelling and laughter, as well as the different smells and rubbish many places in the city. Still we found New York to be beautiful with its small parks, shopping streets, live theaters, cinemas, buildings and museums. There are lots to see in this vibrant city.
We arrived Kingston from Cancun via Miami a beautiful evening in May. I have to admit I was quite curious about the whole Island we had seen such wonderful athletes from sins we were little.
Some small facts about Jamaica before I try to capture our adventures in the Island. The official language is English, the currency is Jamaican dollars, the population is around 2.85 million people, the main religion is Christianity, the capital is Kingston and the island is the 3rd biggest in the Caribbean Sea situated 15 kilometers south of Cuba. Bob Marley was born here and the Rasta religion is still very much alive. Even if there are not too many of them, they are lively and musically visible throughout the island.
We had panned to stay for only 6 days to explore a tiny part of Mexico, namely Cancun at its surrounding historical sites. All three of us were looking forward to eat some of our favourite food – fajita and tacos! We couldn’t wait to eat these favourites from its birthplace. And we were not disappointed. The food we ate in Mexico was delicious!
Some small facts about Mexico; There are about 130 million inhabitants in Mexico, the capital is called Mexico City, the official language is Spanish but there are around 60 other languages spoken in the country. The currency is Mexican pesos and the country got its independence from Spain in 1821. The roads were good, at least the roads where we drove. It seemed like the vehicles used were the same of that at home (in Europe) like cars, buses, trains and bicycles. Over 80% of Mexico’s inhabitants are Catholics. The nature is diverse, ranging from mountains and volcanoes to desert, jungle and nice beaches.
To get to Cuba we had to go by plane from São Paulo in Brazil to Lima in Peru before chancing planes to go to Havana. We got up at 3 o’clock in the night, drove to the airport, handed in our rental car and started our journey from Brazil. We were up for some serious travelling. First a 5 hours’ flight from São Paulo to Lima. Then some transfer time in Lima before entering another plane to spend 5 ½ hours in another plane to go from Lima to Havana. We were excited to see the island we had heard so much about with our own eyes…
We left Buenos Aires in Argentina near 12 o’clock am the 13th of April and landed in Sao Paulo in Brazil at 2 in the morning the next day. No need to say we dived “gracefully” in bed in a nearby hotel after getting our bags and passing the immigration/passport control. In the morning, we went to pick up our rental car and drive directly to Rio de Janeiro.
We only had 9 days to experience some of the Argentinian culture and nature so we had to take some shortcuts and decide what we wanted to experience the most. Our choice fell upon travelling across the pampas and visit Mendoza, the famous vine area nearby the Andes mountains and the Chilean border. We were up for some serious kilometres driving by car across the country from Buenos Aires to Mendoza!!! As the language was Spanish and we had heard that not many people spoke English, we looked forward to overcoming some nice challenges…
We arrived Santiago in Chile in the afternoon after some hours’ flight from Lima in Peru. Our plan was to visit Valparaiso and some relatives of my sister’s husband before ending up back in the capital for some days.First, we bought a sim-card and some GB for browsing on the internet. Then we picked up our rental car and headed towards Valparaiso. Our GPS (Google Maps) showed us the way and we found both Valparaiso city and our rented apartment easily. What we did not know was that we had been contacted by email by the landlord while we were in the Amazonas in Peru, asking us to confirm our booking. As we were offline the whole time and obviously did not answer that email, the landlord cancelled our booking… So we ended up booking another apartment in Viña del Mar (the neighbour town to Valparaiso) which was a scoop – both the area and the apartment! 😊
Our next adventure was Peru and the land of the Incas. We hoped to get some nice experiences from Machu Picchu and the Amazonas… and we were not let down! What an incredibly interesting, beautiful and exciting trip we had!!! 🙂
We arrived Los Angeles in the afternoon after 12 hour’s flight from Auckland in New Zealand. As I am not too fond of flying I had not slept the whole night, changing the time zones from 11 hours after London to 9 hours ahead! Very tired but increasingly happy I was finally able to walk on solid ground again! The others could not understand why walking on solid ground made me sooo happy… Then again, this is only to be understood by those of us who are afraid of flying! 🙂