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Top Four Travel Surprises

Iguazu falls – Argentina

  • we thought, ‘why’ would we fly from Buenos Aires to northern Argentina (bordering Paraguay and Brazil) to spend one day looking at some falls, but thankfully we were wrong
  • Iguazu Falls are the most extensive waterfall system in the world, with 198 falls of varying shapes
  • the sheer size, power, and diversity was staggering
  • we had a fantastic boat ride into some of the falls, and some unique walks into other falls
  • as it turns out, the jungle area, including our hotel, was spectacular as well

 

 

Postojna caves – Slovenia

  • firstly we knew nothing about Slovenia other than the names of a few NHL players (we also learned that Melania Trump is from there)
  • the brochure we had made the cave tour seem almost Disney like in terms of the little train you rode on, so we had low expectations
  • located in SW Slovenia, the Postojna caves are a 24,340-meter long karst cave system consisting of four unique caves
  • the stalagmites and stalactite formations were one of the most visually appealing geological formations I’ve ever seen
  • our Central European tour guide, Matej, was from Slovenia (shout out to this fabulous guide and person who we are still in touch with)

 

 

Mountain gorillas – Rwanda

  • Virunga National Park in NW Rwanda is one of the most biologically diverse areas on the planet
  • I’ve had the pleasure of visiting these fascinating creatures twice in the past ten years, and they were both surreal experiences
  • the males average 430 lbs, and the females average 220 lbs, with the Silverback being the dominant family leader
  • they are very friendly despite their massive size and intimidating look
  • in 1967, American Dian Fossey began an 18-year study that provided extensive research and protective measures of the mountain gorilla’s until her murder in 1985

 

 

Old Walled City – Cartegena

  • Colombia has long been regarded as a dangerous country which has not been dispelled by the Netflix series Narcos featuring the famous Pablo Escobar
  • I’ve been intrigued by this country in the NW corner of South America since my good buddy, Mike Scott, spent several years traveling there on business for Petro-Canada back in the 80’s
  • the final stop on our junket was to Cartegena on the northern coast of Colombia in the Caribbean Coast region
  • Cartegena’s colonial walled city and fortress are a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • the inside of the nondescript yet colorful buildings often contained beautiful hotels, restaurants, bars, cafes, shops, and art galleries
  • we particularly loved the unique door knockers on the entryways
  • construction of the walled city began in 1586 to protect the city from continual pirate attacks