Europe

Europe

Europe

Steeped in history and nestled up against the largest country in the world (Elena’s homeland), our expeditions to Europe are only just beginning.

Russia, known by it’s onion domes buildings, Vodka and Beautiful Women, Russia is so much more than Moscow and St Petersburg.

Russia

Russia‘s history runs deep. A country shrouded in mystery and for 70 years behind a curtain of political tyranny the world knew as Communism. Perestroika (freedom) in 1989, was never supposed to have happened, it was a accident, a pure moment in all the madness that allowed a wall to be torn down and the start of a new day for Russia. Elena lived through these wild times in Russia, in the 90’s when food was short, cues were long and the larges export out of Russia was it’s women. Our stories of Russia are not only of tourist traps like Moscow and St Petersburg, there are of the true Russia, the Russian beyond the Ural Mountains.  .

Ukraine

Ukraine, a country known for its turmoil and one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters in Chernobyl. Ukraine is a country divided between to ideals, Ukraine is part Russian, part European. Elena’s relations grew up in Odessa and are proudly Russian. This part of the country was Russian for over 300 years and the current conflict for the people to rejoin their Russian ancestors is now under world scrutiny. Ukraine now stands at a crossroads and its future is being written by international governments with agendas that may not be in the interests of the people of Ukraine.

One word written in red aerosol paint…. “Madness”. Gone now are the tyrants that destroyed Germanys innocence. Germany is now united and a nation filled with history to explore.

Germany

Growing up as a small boy my father had two huge books with red dust jackets on the bookshelf, both stamped WWII. Full of black and white pictures masking the awful colour of the atrocity that had been carried out less than 50 years earlier. Germany’s war with the people of Europe reshaped the world forever. With the fall of the Berlin wall Germany has risen from it’s past. A county of history, good, bad and ugly, Germany moves forward. There is so much to be discovered here, from thriving metropolis’s to quiet villages, Shopping malls to country taverns. Germany hosts many of our couchsurfing  families and friends. The hospitality of the German people is contagious.

Spain, so rich in history and so alive with culture. From the alhambra to sagrada familia, Spain continues to build upon its tourism.

Spain

Toreadors, Paella, Salsa and a language that makes you want to grab your partner and dance. Spain is a country of two distinct  halves. While the north is more “European” the South is filled with Moorish architecture. Spain’s borders extend to the African continent and throughout South America. Southern Spain provides spectacular beaches, ancient architecture and modern cities. From being hosted in Barcelona to sleeping in a cave Spain has something special to offer all travelers

Perched high atop the hills Pena National Palace in Sintra is only one hour from Lisbon by train and a must see for anyone visiting Portugal

Portugal

Sandwiched upon the end of a peninsula and over looking the Atlantic Portugal looked out over the sea and discovered vast wealth in the americas and beyond. Portuguese is the 6th most spoken language in the world, spoken in Brazil and Southern Africa. Portugal is often overlooked by tourists, however once your there you’ll be rewarded by generous hospitality, incredible food and the most palatable wines.

Ireland

Four leafed Clover, Leprechauns and a little luck Ireland has been plagued with jokes, limericks, potatoes and the infamous IRA for years. The conflict of religion and the battle to rid the English have never been resolved, it’s only at this point in time, while the world hunts for terrorists that the battle has gone strangely quiet. Elena discovered Ireland while on a working holiday with plans to return in 2020.