"schwein" schwein's Profile

Sunrise at 40,000 feet, with the anticipation of new-found adventure...

Not many views are better than that!

I'll end up back in Canada eventually...
Too many other places to go and things to see, first, though.

What life is about...

It could just be me, but have you ever noticed that all of the best things in life start with the letter 'B'?

Bikeys, buddies, beer, beaches, bikinis, backpacks, bacon...

I'm a sucker for a nice beach. Swimming, diving, just relaxing...

Nothing beats a beautifully secluded beach, and sharing it with only one other person.

The top of Tirol.

I like Austria.
The Alps reminded me of the coastal mountains near Vancouver.
I miss real mountains and snow...

The warm waters of Southeast Asia have spoiled me.
Have gotten into diving, and am loving it.

Am thinking that a trip to Malaysia/Spratly Islands is coming soon.
Or Thailand. Or Palau... :)

Latest trips/pages I've done:

I've been lazy the last little bit. Not with bouncing around, but with building pages afterwards... Have been to Osaka, Hokkaido, Philippines again, and a few other places.
Pages now in progress, and will be added as completed. :)

- Japan: March/10 Osaka

- South Korea: Feb/10 Hongch'on , for a bit of ice-diving.

- Japan: Jan/10 Hokkaido: Kutchan, Niseko/Hirafu, and Sapporo, for snowboarding in the most epic powder I've ever played in.

- South Korea: Oct/09 Kyongju, to see some of Korea's pre-war beauty.

- South Korea: Aug/09 Ulchin, for some scuba diving.

- Philippines: April,May/09 Cebu, with most time based out of Panglao island in Bohol province, for scuba diving and bouncing around.

- Thailand: Nov/08 Khao Lak to the Similans, to Phuket. Warm water diving is good. :)

- South Korea: Oct/08 Yangyang, for some scuba diving. The east-coast's only night diving! :)

- North Korea: July/08 Kaesong Definately an interesting place!

- South Korea: July/08 Sokcho, for some scuba diving. Nice area! Will go back.

- China: Feb/08 Beijing, for the Chinese New Years.
Was able to check the Great Wall and Forbidden City off my list of things to see. :)
Beijing is crazy for the New Years celebration, will definately go back!

Next big trip(s?):

Most likely riding across Mongolia, on a motorbike trip with a few friends.

Will definately head back to the Similan Islands for diving, and may include Burma in the next trip as well.

After that?
Either Malaysia for some diving, or Canada to visit family.
Maybe Philippines again?
Would love to get to Socotra as well, and combine it with Egypt, for a good trip!

Not quite sure yet... things happen when they happen!
Watch for new pages as they pop up! :)

Other places I'd like to eventually get to:

• Luxor, Egypt. Dating back to the 14th century, B.C., the Luxor temple complex includes the Valley of the Kings, the Valley of the Queens and more than 40 temples. These temples, built on the west bank of the Nile, are threatened by not only the ravages of tourism and theft, but by the Nile itself. The Aswan Dam, constructed 40 years ago, has caused salt to build up in the newly fertile soil around the complex, eroding ancient foundations and filling many tombs with water. The World Monuments Fund is working on a management plan for the site and hopes to introduce the biggest renovation since Alexander the Great.

• Babylon, Iraq. This ancient settlement of "hanging gardens" fame was built by King Nebuchadnezzar. Since the ruins were uncovered at the turn of the 20th century, valuable artifacts have been removed, damaged and contaminated. Saddam Hussein installed a giant self-portrait on the site, and the recent US military incursion crushed many of the ancient roads. A British Museum report urges an international effort to restore the site.

• Coral Triangle: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines. The Coral Triangle hosts one of the most diverse collections of marine life in the world, with more than 3,000 species of fish and 600 varieties of coral, a full 75 per cent of those known to science. This eco-system, extending from the waters of eastern Indonesia to Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, and parts of Malaysia and the Solomon islands, is threatened by overfishing as well as destructive fishing, whereby explosives or poisons are used to kill the fish -- and at the same time, permanently destroy the habitat. Species such as grouper and Napoleon wrasse have already been fished to near extinction. Rising sea temperatures have also led to increased periods of coral bleaching, which kills the reefs.

I've dove throughout a bit of the area, but not nearly enough! :)

• Machu Picchu, Peru. Built around 1460 and discovered by American historian Hiram Bingham in 1911, this ancient Inca city has become Peru's most popular tourist attraction, drawing half a million visitors a year. Constant foot traffic has destabilized the ancient stone foundations of the mountain ruins. Further, development near the site is exacerbating the problem of landslides. Peru has recently limited the number of visitors to 500 per day and closes the site for one month every year to make repairs.

• Maldives. This nation of 12,000 islands contains some of the richest marine life in the world. But with 80 per cent of its land less than a meter above sea level, the entire country is at risk of sinking. The Maldives are particularly endangered by rising sea levels caused by global warning. The 2004 tsunami has already erased some small atolls, and the country's maps have been redrawn. Conservationists are regrowing damaged coral reefs in an attempt to prevent further erosion.

• Venice, Italy. This famed city is yet another potential victim to rising water levels. Since it was settled in 452, the city has been sinking at a rate of more than one centimeter a century. The plate on which Italy sits is slipping, causing the Adriatic Sea to rise. Contributing to the problem are heavy-industry workers pumping groundwater from below the city and huge tidal waves left by freighters and cruise ships.

(•X) Great Wall, China. Built in the fifth century B.C., and strengthened by the 14th century Ming dynasty, two thirds of China's most famous landmark has been destroyed by erosion, commercialism and overdevelopment.

  • Intro Updated Aug 29, 2010
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Comments (32)

  • toemayn's Profile Photo
    May 20, 2014 at 3:15 PM

    Hope your birthday is filled with all the fun you can handle!

  • kahnjetta's Profile Photo
    May 20, 2014 at 10:19 AM

    Happy Birthday Michael! Best wishes on your special day.

  • CEP1863's Profile Photo
    May 20, 2014 at 12:47 AM

    Michael, I hope that you have a super birthday and a year crammed with memorable travel!

  • DaHongHua's Profile Photo
    May 20, 2012 at 6:14 AM

    A warm happy birthday greeting from Malaysia.

  • TrendsetterME's Profile Photo
    May 19, 2012 at 11:30 PM

    Hey Michael, "Happy Birthday", with all my best wishes ... :)

  • Rabbityama's Profile Photo
    May 20, 2011 at 5:20 AM

    Happy Birthday!

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Mar 5, 2010 at 12:02 PM

    YOu are to be admired for taking the trips you do and see the rest of the world, piece by piece. Have fun and remember the spots later in life.

  • marilag's Profile Photo
    Feb 22, 2010 at 5:03 AM

    how have you been! :) Happy travels!

  • Canguy's Profile Photo
    Jul 28, 2009 at 4:45 PM

    Hey Michael: Looks like another fellow Canuck is having a heck of a time "bumping" round the world. When do you plan on coming home? Hehehehe. Btw: thanks for your response to my question on Seoul forum

  • nmainguy's Profile Photo
    Jul 23, 2009 at 5:28 AM

    Ive had the page for awhile but never got around to making some travel pages, still figuring that whole part out!

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