Travel Schlepp Dispatches

See the Travel Schlepp Dispatch archives (May - November, 2002)

Albuquerque, NM
Return to Schlepp's home page


Back home for awhile.  Whew!  What a busy year!  My computer's power supply went out while I was in Ireland but now that's fixed.  

Valentia, Ireland


I need to write up the adventures that  Willie and I had in Ireland, but here's our first dispatch.  Isn't it odd that after traveling all year, I go traveling on my vacation?  I guess that's why they call me Travel Schlepp.  At least Willie got to go back to a place like his home in the Isle of Wight.  Even so, we had plenty of sunshine on Valentia Island off the southwest coast.  Beautiful gardens with plants one normally sees only in the tropics.  It seemed like there was a castle or an abbey or a priory on every hilltop.  This is Castle Ballycarberry just across the harbor from our B&B.  We had a great time climbing up into its crumbling, ivy-covered towers.  

Castle Ballycarberry

Mumbai, India


Debbie and Karl got sick coming back from Turkey and that made them miss the trip to Ghana.  But now everyone's doing OK and we've made it to the third workshop in India.  Mumbai used to be called Bombay by the British but the Indians have changed its name back to the Hindu version.  Its the monsoon season in India and it rained nearly all the time.  Here's a picture of me in the Taj Mahal Hotel with the famous monument, the Gates of India, behind me.  We had real Bombay Sapphire in our gin and tonics.  

Gates of India

Ankara, Turkey


We've been back to Vienna four more times working on the RAIS software.  Now its time to train people so they can start using it.  Our first stop is the capitol of Turkey, Ankara.  Its off the beaten path and not as popular with tourists but it has a neat museum, lots of markets and bazaars, and the Turkish Atomic Energy Commission.  They are taking good care of us in a nice hotel and making sure the workshop goes well.  Here is a picture of me in the Museum of Anatolian Civilization.  

Museum of Anatolian Civilization

Vienna, Austria


Another Saturday and time to catch up on sleep again.  Been busy at work all week:  Karl has been fixing problems with the inspection database (something to do with the photographs, tags and seals on things, and equipment that has been moved.  Debbie is hard at work with the travel database.  But today was for sleeping, shopping, and a trip to Schonbrunn, the Hapsburg's summer palace.  It was beautiful as you can see from the pictures.  In one direction is the main palace; in the other is a hill with the beautiful Glorietta on top of it.  


This weekend was a good time to catch up on sleep.  The computer work at the Iraq Nuclear Verification Office is going ahead of schedule and the weather is cooler.  Got to shop a little and see a place called Gasometer with lots of shops in old gas storage buildings (right next to the modern zigzag building in the photo below).  Then on Sunday Gregg took us to a castle north of Vienna named Kreuzstein.  Originally built in the 12th century, it was full of old art, armor and weapons, furniture, a catapult, and even a rack (but it didn't have a real dunjon, much to Debbie's disappointment).  Karl's picture shows me on the outer wall of the moat with the main curtain wall behind and the chapel beyond that.  Later we had an early dinner at Durnstein, where King Richard the Lionhearted was held captive in the days of Robin Hood.  Here's a photo of the ruin seen from a beautiful restaurant on a terrace above the Danube.  


What a change a few months makes!  Now its Summer and Vienna is hot and humid.  We walk around in shorts and eat Italian "Eis," a very refreshing and light ice cream in a cone.  Today we shopped around the First District and then went to a new mall at a place called Gasometer, old brick gas storage buildings converted into shops. I also got to see my big Vienese bear friends at Kobers, too.  Below is a view of Stephansdom as seen from one of the streets nearby.  


Sunny but very cold today.  A little breeze makes it colder still but I'm lucky I always have my fur coat with me.  Karl did laundry, which takes hours in these little European washers, and we took a long walk waiting for the cycle to finish.  We went up to the cathedral and inside, where it was no warmer than outside.  Then we wandered down the Graben to the Hofburg Palace.  All the stores were closed so I couldn't go in and visit my friend the big Viennese bear at Kobers toy store.  

Bratislava, Slovakia.


We got up early today and took the train to Bratislava.  Its just an hour but its a whole new country with different currency (Kronen) and language (Slovakian).  I got more stamps in my passport and did a little shopping for Bohemian crystal.