Istanbul, Turkey

by Reid Peryam· September 11, 2015· in Europe, Travel· 0 comments
I spend about half of September in Istanbul and the rest exploring remote regions of Turkey (with a couple excursions to Germany as well). I have never experienced a city like this before — 14 million people, terrible traffic, poor infrastructure and water that the locals refuse to drink. I had a blast. I came to admire and enjoy these charms as well as so many more – Turkish delights, nargile (aka “hookah” or shisha — smoked water vapor in a variety of fruit flavors), tea in place of alcohol in many social circumstances, the friendly, curious locals, the endless corners and neighborhoods to explore in this sprawling, cluttered, chaotic city. Istanbul is marketed to its tourists as a dichotomy of eastern and western influences – the only city spanning two continents, it is split by the Bosporus into a European side and an Asian side. I never made it to the Asian side — and I didn’t come close to seeing half of everything the European side has to offer — Istanbul is that large. But it doesn’t really seem large as much as busy. In most contexts your view beyond the neighborhood you are in is obstructed by buildings […]
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Cavtat, Croatia

by Reid Peryam· August 23, 2015· in Europe, Travel· 0 comments
Cavtat, Croatia is 11 kilometers south east of Dubrovnik and an utter paradise. I start a typical weekday morning by riding my bike to the gym 5 minutes away, exercising, and then swimming laps in the Adriatic sea. The temperature of the water is 79 degrees — the salinity of the water makes staying afloat easy. There are no waves and the water is clear enough that I feel like I am flying while I have my goggles on. Swimming in such a vacant, accessible and wonderful place is immensely freeing — the shores are uncrowded or busy and you can plop into the ocean from anywhere around the city quite easily. This makes an impromptu swim on the way home from the office simple. After my morning swim I return home to shower and prepare for a day at the office – a nice 10 minute walk to the conference room in Hotel Croatia. I have been living off of grilled squid, fruit salad (fruit and vegetable vendors are 100 meters from my apartment) whatever I stir up in my tiny kitchenette. My friends organize potluck dinners regularly and finding others to share dinner with or help cook is always a breeze. This lifestyle […]
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Tivat, Montenegro

by Reid Peryam· August 07, 2015· in Europe, Travel· 0 comments
Tivat, a quiet, sea-side vacation destination in Montenegro where I stayed for two nights.      
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Belgrade, Serbia

by Reid Peryam· August 06, 2015· in Europe, Travel· 0 comments
I spent two nights in Belgrade, Serbia. A surprising city to me because I had little conceptualization of it to color my perception prior to arrival. Belgrade might surprise others as a city that is very European-feeling and yet with a very discriminate flavor of the Balkans which makes things much more appealing to me than compared to other more popular American destinations. When describing the “feel” of a culture I struggle — yet the Balkans give an impression distinctively varied from what I have experienced and that’s good. The people are not cold or indifferent (like many Europeans) and in fact it was easy to stroke up conversations and ask questions. Like Bucharest, my time here just scratched the surface — but enough to want to return.  
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After hopping back to the states and taking care of business I needed to reconnoiter with Europe. I decided to take the scenic route to Croatia, where I’ll be spending the rest of August, stopping in a few places along the way. Bucharest, Romania was my first stop. I stayed at the Premier Hotel and Spa for two nights with the thought of trying to attack jet-lag with spa treatments and sleep. It mostly worked as I slept for at least eight hours each night. The deep tissue massage I had though… left some marks (see photo, below). I spent a night in the center of town at Hotel Cismigiu – a fabulous apartment replete with a living room, huge bathroom and even kitchenette and dining table for $100. On the first night I was here I attended a charity jazz concert surrounded by a dilapidated, national museum. Bucharest is a wonderful city to visit. It is very inexpensive (cap fares especially) and accessible to explore. The people are very friendly and courteous. For travelers Bucharest offers an interesting culture. It is the 6th largest city in the European Union. You’d never know though because it (surprisingly) isn’t all touristed-out. While here I’ve […]
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I was unexpectedly alerted by my HOA that my bathroom was leaking water onto the adjacent, downstairs unit of my apartment building. Estimated costs on repair were high and it seemed like a very good probability of me getting fleeced were I not present to facilitate repairs. I returned back to Denver on short notice to remedy the situation and take care of other loose ends that had been unresolved in my hurried preparation to abandon home two months prior. I ended up not only repairing the bathroom but having it refinished — apparently improvements I make while it’s a rental property are tax deductible; in addition to learning that I’m also learning the pain of locating bathroom fixtures (what did people do before Google image search??). While I was back in the states I popped up to Wyoming and had some good Peryam Ranch times with the family and dog.
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Slovenia was a respite after a three week, high-paced, Scandinavian vacation — things were much slower here in the capital city, Ljubljana. The population is not small at 277,000 but it feels small owing to the many bikes, little traffic and uncrowded arrangement of buildings, boulevards and people. I purchased a bike the day after my arrival for 60 euros — necessitated in order to travel to any of the three gyms I frequented in the mornings — 20 minute bike rides away. The slow-living in Slovenia turned out to be hyper-constructive for work and I found it easy to concentrate among so few distractions (other than the European heat wave and complete lack of air conditioning). I stayed in a dormitory housing high school students during the school year without access to refrigeration and a very meager kitchenette shared by about 50 people. It was all good though because I’m thoroughly adaptable to #nofridgelife — sardines, pumpkin seeds, Brazil nuts, fruit, carrots and peanut butter — these foods are easy to store and for me to eat. I visited lake Bled, one of the most famous tourist destinations within Slovenia — a picturesque lake with a castle that afforded swimming and escape from the […]
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I arrived into Ljubljana, Slovenia late on the eve of my 35th birthday — a formative year in that I am allowed to run for president and my age is equidistant from twenty and fifty. The next day I purchased a used mountain bike for 60 Euros to serve as my transport for the next month. I also visited Crossfit Ljubljana and did heavy squats and deadlifts. That evening I was surprised by my friend Trevor who had arranged a river boat tour and karaoke night in celebration of my birthday. I was definitely surprised! My buddy Jeff had arranged for cigars and there was even a buffet. Great birthday.  
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It was hard to leave southern Sweden after three days of cloudless sky at an ideal 75 degrees but Copenhagen did not disappoint. Much more cosmopolitan than I had expected — and busy bordering on crowded. The city has undergone a huge transformation over the past 15 years and though the infrastructure is very good the sheer popularity keeps attracting people to both live and visit here. I explore better on foot than bicycle so over the three days I was there became increasingly familiar with the best places for kebabs, soft-serve ice cream and patio drinks. The food availability in Copenhagen is outstanding and though expensive it was easy to indulge for the sake of being on vacation. I came to appreciate the local cuisine originating from the island of Bornholm — east of Denmark in the Adriatic Sea. The traditional food features open faced sandwiches with spread lard in place of butter (tastes better than you probably think!), smoked fish with onions, chives and various relishes. Visited the second oldest amusement park in the world, Tivoli (the oldest amusement park is just outside of Copenhagen); it’s small compared to Disney Land but features very nice restaurants and gardens. Like Walt Disney in […]
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Sweden

by Reid Peryam· July 03, 2015· in Europe, Travel· 0 comments
Arrived into Goetenburg, Sweden via train due to a logistical juggle after a ferry I had planned on taking from the Denmark coastal town of Kristiansand to Gotenburg was unexpectedly soldout upon our arrival day into Denmark from the Faroe Islands. Such is the fun of travelling unburdened by prior obligation of reservations. No it really is fun! So instead of a two hour ferry, alternately ventured via an 11 hour train ride through Denmark, Copenhagen and up into Gotenburg. Beautiful scenery the entire trip. Giant wind-powering turbines and unending, lush, immaculately farmed, groomed fields of wheat and hay acre after acre. Lush, green forests — every 10 seconds looking out of the train window afforded a post card of scenery worthy of a 17th century landscape painter. It confirmed my prior perception that Denmark is beautiful — had the previous, more simplistic route been taken would have missed this peek at Denmark’s countryside. Gothenburg was terrific. Stayed at a five star hotel (thank you Hotwire.com) in the middle of the city’s cultural epicenter. Explored cafes, riverway and even Scandanavia’s largest amusement park. The view from the top of a giant ferris wheel provided perfect coverage of the entire town. The second night moved north […]
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