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Welcome – Wilkommen – Bienvenido – Bienvenue – Benvenuto – Bainvegni

Once in awhile it really hits people that they don’t have to experience the world in the way they have been told to.” – Alan Keightley

Welcome to our travel site:  More 2 Explore.

We hope this site inspires individuals to live the lives they were meant to live; to get out into this vast, beautiful world and explore more. To realize there is more to this life than the traditional 9 to 5.  We also plan to share our travel, cultural and educational experiences with our followers.

Keep checking, the header image changes randomly, now 61!
You asked for it, now the headers include where the image was taken…

Photo of the Week – July 31st

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Last year we enjoyed many long weekends with perfect weather in the Alps.  Here is one of my personal favorites from our trip to Zermatt.  Hiking with the kids to Stellisee (before things became stressful along the Mermulweg, here’s that post).  We still enjoyed great views!

Photo_Week_20140731_Zermatt_July_2013The “Photo of the Week” on More 2 Explore is taken from our collection of travel photos throughout the past 7 years and is typically from the same month for which it is posted. Be sure to click “follow” to see more photos each week! (usually posts on Friday…)

Lenzburg Castle

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What better way to spend a gloomy Saturday than to explore a 1,000-year-old hill-top castle? Oh, living in Switzerland offers families so many thrilling opportunities and Lenzburg castle was nothing short of a full day of family fun. From the moment we stepped foot on site, there were activities to engage our children, cabins to explore, keys to be found, swords and crowns to be made, museums to pursue and wells to fill.

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Located in the canton of Aargau, the museum is accessible by train and bus. We took the train from Basel, which took just under an hour and then walked to the castle instead of waiting for the bus to arrive (who says you need a car to get around?).

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The museum costs 14chf for adults and children aged 4-16 are 8 francs, but with the handy-dandy museum pass, your entrance is free. Pack a picnic lunch and spread out on one of the picnic benches before or after exploring the gorgeous grounds of the castle. The museum is open from Tuesday – Sunday and on most public holidays from 10:00 – 17:00.

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Allocate an entire day to make the most of this ancient wonder. Our children loved running around the grounds, filling the bucket in the small pond and then dumping its contents into the impressive well. The thrill of hearing the water plummet to the bottom was contagious and we found ourselves making several trips to witness this childhood fascination over and over.

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We slowly made our way into the museum, which was surprisingly engaging for our son who is five years of age. Yes, some of the details are a bit gruesome, but we skipped over those and created child – friendly versions for those innocent ears. The true magic waits on the top floor where children play freely in the attic, which is filled with jewels, dresses, knight outfits and loads of open space to play and allow the imagination to run wild. The craft room encourages children to create swords, crowns and an array of other creative projects. I was amazed at how well the castle was configured for children and smiled in their delight as the hours quickly passed.

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When our time of exploration was finally over, we made our way by foot to the train station, slowly meandering through the sweet town, stopping to pick – up sticks, eat a snack and reflect on a beautifully memorable day – kid style!

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Our Problem with Iceland

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Ok, so we’ve kept this trip a bit on the down-low, if you know what I mean.  Perhaps for the following reason: we get comments like, “WTF?” “So, what are you doing with the kids?” “Why would you go there?” “No, really, are you serious?” and “That place scares me.”  Since Walter Mitty, people think we’re going to get Eyjafjallajökull‘ed, fall down a lava tube, or wind up lost.  Which, by the way, would totally suck. Correction, getting lost from the rest of the world in Iceland would be kind of awesome; lost in a lava tube in Iceland would completely suck.  By now my sister is making jokes about Austin Power’s and the Liquid Hot Magma.

2011-04-20_Umbra_03In planning this trip, I’ve come to learn that as a non-native Icelander, don’t even try to pronounce anything.  As expats, we’ve learned to do this quite frequently, but Icelandic is another level.  My keyboard doesn’t even make those letters; I have to cut and paste Google searches, seriously.  I make maps too, so I can understand where I think we will be going.

I fear being told to ask directions and being confronted when I ask…

“Excuse me, how can I get to Thorsmork?”

“Hæ”

“What?”

“Ha?”

“I’m sorry?”

“Fyrirgefðu?”

“Um, where is Thorsmork?”

“Ókei, yu want Þórsmörk, Já?”

“Sure, I think so?”

“Go straight. Past Þe hill. Þen you see it.”

“How far is it?”

“Is what?”

“Thorsmork?”

“Nei, Nei. I wanted to hear you say Þat again, it’s sooo funny. It is 90 minutes from here.  Bless bless.”

I also don’t want to get told how to spend my travel money.  Everyone makes choices about how they spend their currency; we value experiences.  I guess if someone questions our travel decisions they can blame my geology teacher in college.  Yes, I took geology.  At one point I considered becoming a Civil Engineer, but who wants to build targets anyway? (ok, bad engineer humor, I know).  That course was where much discussion found its way to Iceland.  Having been raised on the ring of fire (practically on the San Andres Fault), this somehow related to Iceland, a lot. So much, it left me longing to go to Iceland, much too long after any interest in andesitic volcanism and quartz-feldspar.

Fast-forward twenty years (yes, it has really been that long), and we found ourselves on one end of a direct flight to Reykjavík. So we said, “Fuck it!” (I think this was a direct quote).

If you have looked at our blog, we like photography (and traveling), and we try to only post our own content.*  Any Flickr or Pinterest search for Iceland will beckon you to its shores, and mountains, and volcanoes, and glaciers, and caves, and so much more.  This place looks sick.  As in, I threw up in my mouth with excitement thinking about going there.  Perhaps too many people are going these days; enough already!  Twenty years is too damn long and now we are gearing up for a family adventure.  Sweet!  (So don’t be a buzz-kill).  We’re probably not going caving with our five-year old, or whale watching on a dingy with our two-year old.  But the sights are crazy beautiful, and we’ll see (as well as our blog followers), how this trip goes.

My advice to you all, don’t put off going somewhere for any reason.  Life will find a way to push other shit into focus.  You need to say, “I’m going!”  You’ll probably get crap from various people, but at least, in this case, I can blame my Geology teacher.  Go find your “geology teacher” and get out and go! – Robert

* With the exception of endorsements with pictorial links representing the likes of SBB.ch, hiking apps, and badges on the side bar.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin’

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As part of The Daily Posts Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin’ we look back at last years fun and long weekends spent in the Alps, and look forward to this years summer fun in a whole new area!

Have a great summer!

For Peace

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With all that is transpiring in the world today, it seems a bit frivolous to be writing and posting photos of travel and life experiences. We will take a moment to pause.

Today, we offer a photo of a setting sun, with hopes that tomorrow is a new day and one that will inspire peace, hope and healing for all.

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“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

-Martin Luther King Jr.

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