5 October 2017

A road trip through the US of A - Part X: Heading out west - Des Moines, IA - Reno, NV

Prairie dogs
We left Des Moines with less than a month of travelling in the US left. And so much ground to cover! But luckily, there wasn't much to see on the next 600 miles. So we drove quite quickly across the remaining part of Iowa, up along the border with Nebraska and across large parts of South Dakota. Fields upon fields and prairie as far as the eye can see. By noon the next day we reached the first attraction: the Badlands National Park. The colors of the many layers of earth and rock were nice to see, but we particularly liked the quite close encounter with the prairie dogs. But beware of touching them, they can spread diseases!

5 December 2016

A road trip through the US of A - part IX: Niagara Falls, NY - Des Moines, IA

Just above the Niagara Falls
The legendary Niagara Falls. Why are they legendary? Because the Americans know how to do marketing. Properly. Too much! When we arrived there we expected the Niagara Falls to be bigger than we could ever imagine. We expected to be blown away. When we arrived from the Canadian side, we looked at the American part - and had to smile. The Canadians mention the Niagara Falls, maybe, sometimes. And when you see their part, well, we actually were impressed. But the American part is a waterfall, not that impressive. But we had the impression it would be super big and important as it is in every movie and advertized a lot.

5 September 2016

A road trip through the US of A - Part VIII: Canada

Liquid Canadian gold
We know Canada is not just another part of the United States. But as 11 out of 12 weeks of our North America road trip were in US territory, we decided to include our quick trip across the border under the same theme.

We hadn't crossed any land borders recently (the last one was between Laos and Vietnam) but everything went smoothly. Only one question at the border caught us a bit off-guard: where do you live currently? In order to keep things simple, we said Switzerland. Getting to Montreal from the border was a piece of cake.

29 June 2016

A road trip through the US of A - Part VII: New England

Bernie Sanders
After two weeks in big cities, it was time for us to get out and enjoy nature again. The morning before we wanted to leave Boston, Senator Bernie Sanders launched his campaign for the US presidency in his home city: Burlington, Vermont. Curious about his campaign trail, I went online and checked out his next campaign rallies. And we were lucky! There would be two events right along our route north the day we planned to move anyway.

One was a campaign rally in a rural area, at a supporters private home and the other one at a local church in Portsmouth, NH. We quickly RSVPd for both of them, packed our bags and drove north. On the way, we got hungry and stopped at a local dinner, where we ate a delicious lobster brisket. Thanks to our many friends, we knew that New England was the best part of the US for fresh lobster.

11 May 2016

A road trip through the US of A - Part VI: Boston and the Ivy League

Yale university - on the way to Boston
Harvard, MIT, and all the other important universities. Boston seemed to consist mainly of universities. We were incredibly lucky to stay with Marcelo, the brother of our friend Marcela (whom we stayed with in Georgia). He invited us to come and see what he and his wonderful family lived like. They were fantastic hosts and shared everything with us. We highly appreciated their enormous hospitality! One of the highlights was that we could also visit the MIT with Marcelo. He is about to finish his PostDoc degree there and took us on a tour through the labs, to meet his super friendly colleagues and to see the entire campus. That was very impressive!

30 March 2016

A road trip through the US of A - Part V: New York City, NY

Manhattan
When we realized, that we were about to enter New York City by car I became a bit emotional. No clue why, but somehow I never dared dreaming about that. I don't even know why this should be a big deal for me. I have visited that place twice already. The first time with my dearest Mimi - we had 24 hours in this spectacular place - the second time I went there by myself. Now it was the third time. Well, 'murica is magic and weird and has strange influences on people, obviously I am no exception at all.

We entered the city from the west, through New Jersey and entered Manhattan by the George Washington Bridge, as our goal was Uptown Manhattan. We planned to stay with our former flat mate Eduardo, who lives next to Colombia University. You wouldn't believe it, but we immediately found a free parking spot, where we could leave our car for the whole week, for no money, right in front of Edu's house. All we had to do was move it when they planned to clean the street, twice that week. We were soooo lucky!

8 March 2016

A road trip through the US of A - Part IV: Washington, DC

White house selfie
When we checked who of our couchsurfing friends we could visit in the USA we were surprised that our friend from Ethiopia, whose couch we surfed in Addis Abeba already, moved to Washington D.C. recently. The capital of the United States, so kind of the capital of the world, right? We watched House of Cards before we went there, and we read stories and we visited important places and we listened to the stories people told about this place. In a nutshell, expectations were extremely high!