Posts Tagged ‘Travel’

Five Oceans Race.

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

For those of you who haven’t heard, there is a grueling solo round the world race happening RIGHT NOW! This is also the most intense (exciting) part of the entire 30,000 nautical mile race, as they are racing around Cape Horn, some of the most dangerous water in the world. This is the longest “single-handed” event in the world, with the sailors clocking 3,000 hours alone at sea. The Canadian skipper, Derek Hatfield, is currently in 3rd place, but catching up on second place with less than 20 NM between them. He is the oldest contestant at 57 years old! Check it out!

They compete in 5 stages. They started on October 17th, 2010. With technology as it is, they keep up blogs in visual, auditory and written forms, with frequent updates as to their whereabouts. WOW!

Poor Life Decisions. Iceland.

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Sometimes we make poor life decisions. Take this one for example: One day, Nathan Colquhoun messages me and says something to the effect of: ‘Hey, a bunch of us bought really inexpensive tickets to Iceland. We also rented a cottage nestled at the base of a dormant volcano . . . would you and your Lady Friend like to come along?”

Ten or so days in mid-October and we were way too busy at the Studio to pull it off.

Looking back, or more appropriately, looking at Nathan’s Iceland footage, it was a poor decision. When someone says “Hey, would you like to go to Iceland”. Say yes.

Lesson learned.

Music by Rah Rah – Tentacles
Footage by Nathan Colquhoun and Stephanie Oullette
Everything was shot on 5d Mark II with 17-40mm or 35mm

More Iceland Pictures can be seen here

Ride Bikes. Play Music.

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Brian Macmillan was talking about doing this very thing at some party we were at last spring. The good news for Brian is that he doesn’t tour with a cello. Brian. Set this up, I am in.

Really excited one of the fellows in these edits is riding a Surly Big Dummy . . . But really, what other type of bicycle could you possibly strap a cello to?

Ditch the Van Bike Tour – Chapter 1 from marty benson on Vimeo.

Thoughts Abroad.

Saturday, July 3rd, 2010

Relatively speaking, there are many other places on earth for a Canadian to experience culture shock than in Central Europe . . . for as many differences, there are certainly a lot of overlaps. Like, no one here has heard of Justin Bieber, but everyone knows Lady Gaga — you know what I am talking about.

Here is a random list.

+++ I am currently listening to a Montreal band I was turned on to by a Dutch friend. I live closer to Montreal than he does. He probably doesn’t even know who the Expos were, let alone what Baseball even is. Just kidding Jaco, we went to a baseball game together last night, remember? True story.

Jaco also put me onto a Toronto based band as well, so I am pretty well out of touch with whats happening, musically, in my own backyard.

+++ Trains. European trains, plus local public transit feature the best system anywhere on the planet.

However, It is quite common, when hopping trains, making transfers, etc, that as a foreigner you will — I repeat, will — hop the wrong train eventually.

You will have a slight moment of panic, but here is some advice I can pass along to you: Like Colquhoun’s theology, pretty much all trains eventually lead to the same place. So don’t sweat it.

Also, when you screw up your ticket, pay the wrong fare, forget to get your ticket stamped in one of the machines at the station and the conductor comes along, as they always will. It’s best to put on your best “tourist” face. Play the tourist card heavily in this situation. Grace will abound.

Oh, here is another tidbit about trains. Sometimes the train you are riding toward your destination will actually split apart at a train station, and you will be left sitting in the section of cars that won’t be moving ahead, but will be returning in the direction you came and then off to somewhere else.

An announcement will come over the PA telling you to make sure your are in the right train cars if you want to continue on to destination “X”. But those instructions will be in French, Dutch, German or Italian. So whatever, enjoy the wrong train. Ha.

+++ Shelf toilets. If you ask some locals, there is a good, detailed and gross reason for the shelf toilet, but mostly they are a damned nightmare.

+++So the sea or ocean (in the North) might be cold and unswimmable, but European beaches are pretty much the best ever.

+++More Train Thoughts. Schedules. Train schedules are a serious thing. Trains, as it has often been said for one reason or another, do run on time. I can’t figure this out . . . Since I have experienced lengthy delays while on a train. One time the train hit a cow.

I don’t know how the train stations account for the delays and make sure everything runs on time.

The first time I was in Europe, I had a Euro-rail book full of train schedules. Since I can be skeptical of time schedules put in print months ahead, I asked a train official in Munich if my train (which was leaving the next morning) would actually leave the station at the time suggested. I asked: “Will this train be late?” — I’m still not sure why I phrased my question like that.

His response: “Sir, that would be impossible” Awesome.

+++Beer. Here is a finding from a menu I came across last week: Bier: €2. Water: €5. Enough said.

More later?