After having been travelling three months around the
world, we are back home. Since April 1st, I have started working
again (it was no April joke) and Mylene has started looking for a new job (she
holds a Master's in food science, if you know any vacancy J). It was three fantastic months during which we had
the chance to see breathtaking landscapes, admire construction wonders from
former civilisations and enjoy the richness of very different cultures (see
some pictures here).
FIRST, WE ENJOYED DELICIOUS BEEF MEAT AND TASTY WINES AT THE FEET OF THE
- Argentina is a great place to have delicious meat
one year in the land of the holy cows, it was quite a welcome change to
have beef meat on one's plate. And what meat! Just try to imagine a huge
piece of steak cooked on a charcoal grill, just juicy enough inside and
very crispy on the outside. We had it almost every day but never got bored
- We regularly took the bus for journeys over 20 hours
is huge, really huge. We had definitely underestimated the distances while
planning our route. So we ended up taking night buses for
"short" drives varying from 16 to 21 hours. It might sound quite
long, but it is hard to get bored from the landscapes surrounding you. And
in the worst case, one can still look at the latest US blockbusters on the
bus TV or put on weight while eating the meals they serve you on a tray,
very like in a plane.
- There is no such a thing as tasting wines on a terrace
with the Andes in the background
trekking through the Andes or spending the whole day on a bicycle, there
is no such a thing as to go and sit on a nice cafe terrace and enjoy the
time passing drinking some Argentinean wine. Even if the white ones were a
bit too sweet to our taste (the drier ones are exclusively for the
exportation!), the red ones were very decent. It is impressive to realise
how the production there is systematic and customer oriented. In all the
vineyards we visited, we were amazed to see very modern equipment and to
hear how they change the grapes, maturation and blending processes and
finally even the bottle design according to the targeted markets (e.g.
local, US and Europe).
THEN, WE HEADED NORTH TO DISCOVER THE RICH CULTURAL HERITAGE OF MEXICO
- The Sierra Madre is indeed like in the old Western
first shock in Mexico was the cold temperature. We did not fully realise
what landing in a city at 2000 m o.s.l. in early February would mean.
Heading North to the Sierra Madre, a windy desert plateau even higher up,
was just even worse. Beside the cold nights (the houses there are designed
for the warm summer, i.e. no tight windows or doors), it was great to be
out in such a setting that keeps reminding you of old Western movies:
deserted valleys, old villages in ruins, and some lonely Mexican cowboy
with long crocodile boots riding a donkey.
- The heritage left by the Aztecs and Mayans is really
back to the South, we then started our "temples tour":
Teotihuacan city near Mexico, Monte Alban (Zapotecs) and the great Mayan
temples (Palenque, Chichen Itza and Tulum) in the Yucatan peninsula. It
was impressive to realise what gigantesque works these civilisations achieved,
keeping in mind that they didn't know the wheel and had not metallic
- Lying on the beaches of the Caribbean Sea was a welcome
already two months of intense travel, we decided to take some rest and
enjoy the beautiful beaches of the Caribbean Sea. A couple of days in
Tulum as well as in Playa del Carmen were just what we needed to get a
nice suntan and recharge our batteries.
FINALLY, WE TANKED TONES OF FRESH AIR IN THE BREATH TAKING WILDERNESS OF
- We found lakes, mountains, deserted valleys and
dramatic fjords at every corner
Mexico, we flew to Christchurch in the South Island of New Zealand. There,
despite some colder and wetter weather, we were overwhelmed by the beauty
and wilderness of the countryside. Every ten kilometres we had to stop the
car and get out to fully realise the immenseness of the scenery in front
of us: deep blue lakes with snow capped mountains behind, wide deserted
valleys (but for some tourist camping cars on the road), or deep fjords
surrounded by hills caught in clouds. You almost get the feeling that you
are travelling through a giant post cards shop.
- The Lord Of The Ring is omnipresent there
is omnipresent in New Zealand. There is not a single place where you
cannot find a tourist agency offering a tour to some shooting location or
a shop selling all kinds of souvenirs related to the movie. In Wellington,
there are even giant plastics from the main characters watching you at
every corner. For example, Golum waits for you on the airport tarmac, some
nasty Nazguls fly over your head near the Te Papa museum and ugly Orks are
spread everywhere else in the city.
- Tourism is (too) perfectly organised down there
Zealand lives mainly from tourism and is perfectly organised accordingly.
Unfortunately, it also makes it quite difficult to travel without a clear
plan in mind, where and when you want to be. To our big astonishment, we
had to book hotels at least 4 to 5 days in advance in order to get a
decent room for a reasonable price, which significantly reduced our degree
On the other hand, almost each village has a tourist office with tones of
maps and suggestions for treks and other outdoor activities. Just pick any
one and you will find very well maintained tracks and huts on your way ensuring
that you can fully take advantage of the breathtaking landscapes.
Now we are back in Switzerland and have settled down
in our former apartment (see our contact
address here). Fortunately we had subrented it during our stay in India
& world trip so that we could avoid the painful process of looking for a
new place under time pressure. And it is so good to have our own four walls
Well, we hope that we will soon have the chance to
meet you to discuss what happened on YOUR side during these last 15 months.
Meanwhile, we wish you all the best,
Mylene and Jerome
Last updated: 08.05.2004 12:01 Back home