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Balabanova All Over

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[Rila National Park, Bulgaria, Sep 15, 2018] The Seven Rila Lakes are glacial lakes located in the northwestern corner of Rila mountain, about 2 hours from Sofia. Since I didn’t want to drive myself or make my parents come with me, I booked a day trip through Globul Tours. I talked about how we decided which tour company to trust in this post. To preserve the mountain and its ecosystems, Rila national… Read More

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[Olympic National Park, July 19, 2018] After three nights in Port Angeles, it was time to leave. Our plan for the day was to exlore the Hoh rainforest and one of the beaches on the west side of the park before overnighting at Lake Quinault. Driving directly to the lake was about 2.5 hours. We expected our detours to add another 3-4 hours to our trip. I also thought about detouring to… Read More

[Olympic National Park, July 17, 2018] The Olympic peninsula is on the Western edge of Washington state, across Puget sound from Seattle. Its home to the northwestern most point in the United States, Cape Flattery. At about 3600 square miles, the peninsula remained largely unmapped until the late 19th century. The Olympic mountain range sits in the center. It blocks the passage of rain-producing systems and casts a dry “shadow” in the… Read More

[Mount Grinnell, MT] Glaciers are moving ice. A glacier’s upper end – the accumulation zone – piles with snow and presses the glacier down the slope. This movement is what separates glaciers from static snowfields – a glacier has enough mass to move. A glacier needs to be at least 100 feet deep and 25 acres in surface area in order to have enough mass to move. Glacier national park’s remaining 25… Read More

[Waterton, Canada] The forecast for today was cool (50s) and rainy, so we decided to keep busy by driving to the Canada side and checking out Waterton National Park. Glacier and Waterton sit on either side of the US-Canada border, respectively. Together, they are a UNESCO World Heritage site and the first International Peace Park.This means that the two parks are managed jointly,the idea being that if nature doesn’t have borders, why… Read More

[Hood River, OR] We woke up to the same gorgeous weather in Oregon as we had been for the last three days. Sadly, it was our last day here. I’d been forgetting to take a photo of the amazing view we got from the dining room every morning, so today I finally snapped some pictures. I will miss this view. Most definitely.

[Puno, Peru] At 3800 m (12500 ft) elevation, lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world. We were wondering what the term “navigable” referred to. According to Wikipedia, there are a few other lakes that are at higher elevations but they are much smaller and shallower, and so there are no commercial boats on them – hence they are not “navigable”. The native populations of this area belong to two… Read More

[Puno, Peru] Anther day, another early morning. I am going to need a vacation from this trip! To cover the 400 km (250 miles) from Cuzco to Puno, we opted for a bus with a guided tour of some of the most notable sights along the way. This was by far the longest option – it was going to take us 10 hours to cover the distance with all the stops –… Read More