Friday, August 08, 2003

EasyJet and RyanAir are giving some stiff competition to European rail:


Thursday, August 07, 2003

Maria, that's just what I wondered. However, it seems as if a lot of people in Europe use them and they are advertised heavily over there. The same company also owned the huge Internet cafe we used in London. We'll have to get Norris to write more about his friend's experience... whether EasyJet cuts back on food and drinks or mechanics.
Liv that sounds like a great idea, but how safe are these "cheap" planes??

Monday, August 04, 2003

Planes, Trains & Automobiles
Well, I know that trains & busses (fun!) have already been recommened for your European voyage, but I would like to make a unique and new suggestion---a plane. EasyJet is an awesome company that has planefares from about $40 dollars. (From London to Barcelona, for example is about $51.99). EasyJet is, according to a friend of Norris's, very cheap and low budget, so don't expect anything too plush.
Very interesting, Peter. We often drive by that complex on our way to my parent's farm. My parents went on a garden tour there once. Did you know that when they rebuilt the church brick-by-brick they had some left over, which they used to build the little shrine on the lawn outside?

As far as Europe, my advice would be to avoid the trap of visiting only large, famous cities (London, Paris, etc.) Of course, they all have some sights you shouldn't miss, but every big city is quite a bit like another big city! I have enjoyed my time in small towns much more, as one gets much more of the regional flavor.

You can buy rail passes tailored for your travel plans:

Rail passes are not always the cheapest option, though, unless you're doing a lot of traveling. They also are not as convenient as I originally pictured, as one still has to check in to ensure seats are available. People in Europe also take buses a lot, especially between smaller towns. Even if there is rail service, it is sometimes faster and more direct to take a bus. Liv and I did that to get to Annecy, France from Geneva: we would have had to transfer two times to take the train, so I followed some stranger's advice on the Internet and we took a coach bus instead. It was direct, comfortable, inexpensive, and had about five runs each way every day.
I forgot to mention one thing.. Maria had a good time.. this picture attests to that:
Over the weekend Maria and I, along with her parents, went on a "Date Night". It was for a men's church group that Maria's father and I are a part of. We are going through the book and video series for "Wild At Heart" by John Eldredge. The book talks about how men long for adventure, and how they can take their "beauty" or wife along for that adventure. Our date night on Saturday was to be one of those adventures.

We met at the little log house show grounds near hastings. It is an old restored village with an old saloon, post office, blacksmith, general store, church and house of ill repute. It was a very interesting place, and I'd recommend checking it out sometime if you get a chance. They had a bunch of people from the "old west society" there to do re-enactment of a gunfight, complete with real guns (shooting blanks of course). Some of those guys were pretty scary looking!

The grounds had several areas, one of them was a garden with all sorts of beautiful flowers.

There was a little log house (thus the name of the place) next to the garden that was the original building on the grounds. (see picture below)

There was an old church on the grounds that had been moved from another city in Minnesota. Inside they had a bunch of life size statues of Jesus and Mary. They were very life like. I can imagine that it would be a bit spooky in there if you were all alone at night with these statues...

All in all we had a good time!