The Amazing Race - by Alexandra G. and Isabella D.

  • Flight to Guatemala City, Guatemala

    Flight to Guatemala City, Guatemala
    We boarded our flight at the Miami International Airport at 12:01 am. The flight was Copa 227 and we rode in coach for 3 hours and 6 minutes to Panama City. We stayed there until 4:13 am and then took a Copa 496 flight from Panama City to Guatemala City. We landed at the La Aurora International Airport at 6:27 am and the total flight time was 6 hours and 36 minutes.
  • Breakfast

    Breakfast
    When we landed, we picked up our luggage and a small four person rental car, and drove about three miles to Guatemala City. Here we stopped at the famous El Injerto Cafe for an amazing cup of coffee.
  • Ziplining in Guatemala

    Ziplining in Guatemala
    After the coffee, we drove 30 minutes to the Antigua forests for our ziplining adventure. Since the TOPONYM (a place name) 'Guatemala' means land of forests, we thought that there would be nothing better than to experience Guatemala's NATURAL LANDSCAPE (a landscape that is unaffected by human activity) from a bird's eye view of a zipline.
  • Ziplining in Guatemala continued

    Ziplining in Guatemala continued
    30 feet in the air, we flew above the beautifully green and diverse Guatemalan flora and fauna which included parrots and Guatemalan's national flower, the monja blanca. We rode on 8 ziplining cables and walked across two hanging bridges. From the Antigua Forest, we drove to Rincon Tipico, a restuarant in Antigua.
  • Making Tortillas

    Making Tortillas
    Corn Tortillas are a big part of Guatemala's MATERIAL CULTURE (items like food or clothing constructed by a group of people). They are eaten with almost every meal. Native Guatemalans were making corn tortillas outside of the Rincon Tipico, so we asked if we could participated in the process. They taught us how to pat the corn dough called masa until it was round and evenly thinned out, and then place it on the steel stove called the comal.
  • Flight to Italy

    Flight to Italy
    After we made and ate tortillas, we drove back to the La Aurora International Airport, returned the rental car, and boarded the Delta 906 flight to Italy at 2 pm. 3 and half hours later we arrived in Atlanta and stayed there for 4 hours and 45 minutes. Then we flew Delta 9375 for 8 hours and 15 minutes to Amsterdam, where we stayed for 2 hours and 15 minutes. Finally, we took an hour and 45 minute Delta 9583 flight to Italy.
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    The Amazing Race

  • Arriving in Italy

    Arriving in Italy
    We arrive in Venice, Italy at 10;31 am. The total flight took 20 hours and 31 minutes. We rode in a water taxi to the famous Rialto Bridge. From the bridge, we walked to the Bar Pasticceria Rosa Salva, where we picked up breakfast canolis and fritelle. Then we walked back and rented a gondola.
  • Gondola Ride

    Gondola Ride
    One of us steered the gondola from near the Rialto Bridge through the Grand Canal. The other person rode in the gondola and we both noticed the unique CULTURAL LANDSCAPE (the visible imprint of human activity and culture on the landscape). Unlike South Florida, where we're from, Venice is composed of many canals, and they have unique buildings that people describe as Venetian Gothic Architecture.
  • Gondola ride continued

    Gondola ride continued
    After a half hour we switched jobs so that the we both could experience being a gondoleir. Gondoleirs generally sing during the rides so we both sang songs in Italian which is a ROMANCE LANGUAGE (languages that are in the areas that were once controlled by the Roman empire). Italian is the OFFICIAL LANGUAGE (usually the language of the governement) of Italy.
  • Gelato

    Gelato
    Our gondola trip lasted an hour and we decided to get chocolate gelato for lunch before our plane ride. Gelato is the Italian version of icecream. It is served slightly warmer than icecream, has less fat, and is more dense than iceream. After the gelato, we took a ferry back to the airport.
  • Flight to Scotland

    Flight to Scotland
    At 2 pm we boarded a British Airways 2585 flight and about 2 hours later we arrived in London. We stopped there for 2 hours and 10 minutes, then boarded a British Airways 2946 flight to Edinburgh, Scotland. We arrived an hour and 20 minutes later at 7:35 pm and the flight 5 hours and 35 minutes total. We picked up our luggage and rental car.
  • Eating and Lodging

    Eating and Lodging
    It took 22 mintues to drive to the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh where we dropped off our luggage. We chose this hotel becuase it has a great view of the Edinburgh Castle. We ate at the hotel, where we tried traditional haggis, which is made from sheep liver, heart, and lungs put into a boiled sheep stomach. Then we slept for for 12 hours.
  • The Highland Games

    The Highland Games
    We woke up at 9:30 am, had porridge and tea for breakfast, and drove for an hour and 6 minutes in the rain. We arrived in the village of Ceres in Fife where the Scottish Highland Games are held at 12:45 pm. The Highland Games are a popular Scottish CUSTOM ( somthing that is practiced routinely by a group of people) that is practiced annually.
  • The Highland Games continued

    The Highland Games continued
    The Games originated in Scotland where it became so popular that they spread to Untied States, Australia and New Zealand which is CULTURAL APPROPRIATION (the process where cultures adopt customs and knowledge from other cultures to use for their own benefit) . We watched many events in the Games such as the caber toss, tug of war, races and shotputt. We also got to listen to the traditional music of the fiddle and the bagpipe band and we watched the Highland dancers.
  • The Highland Games continued 2

    The Highland Games continued 2
    Almost everyone at the Games was dressed in a kilt including ourselves. Wearing a kilt is a CULTURAL TRAIT (an element of normal practice in a culture). We aso wore red knee socks. Later in Games we were able to particpate in the comedic Haggis Hurl where we rubbed our hands in peat which is a dry, decomposed vegetable mixture. This kept us from slipping and dropping the haggis. We stood on a barrel and threw the haggis as far as we could.
  • Back to Edinburgh, flight to Thailand

    Back to Edinburgh, flight to Thailand
    The Highland Games ended at 4:30 pm and we arrived back at Edinburgh an hour later. We ate again at the hotel, then went to the airport. At 6 pm we boarded flight 1346 of the Turkish Airlines and flew for 4 hours and 15 mintues to Istanbul, Turkey. We stayed there for 2 and a half hours then boarded flight 68. We arrived in Bangkok at 11:45 am. the flight in total was 15 hours and 45 minutes.
  • Bangkok, Thailand

    Bangkok, Thailand
    We rented a car to take us to our hotel. Our hotel is River Kwai Resotel at the address of 55 Moo 5, Wangkrajae, Sai Yok, 71150, Thailand. As we waited for the car, we noticed Thailand was warm and humid. Thailand and Florida are CLIMATIC REGIONS (areas of the world with similar climatic characteristics). We happened to come during Thailand's hot season which is between March and June. When we arrived at our hotel, we unpacked and got ready for a long day of trekking with elephants.
  • Elephant Trekking

    Elephant Trekking
    As we are driving, we are able to enjoy Thailand's wonderful nature and animals that we don't get to experience in Florida. We first got to walk the River Kwai but we had to be careful because there were no gaurdlines to protect you from falling off. After that, we were able to ride the elephants and slide down the elephant's neck. The LANDSCAPE (the overall appearance of an area) where we were riding the elephants was very marshy.
  • Elephant Trekking

    Elephant Trekking
    We were then able to bathe them in the same river that we crossed over in the beggining of the day. Riding elephants was an amazing experience. We finished the interactive elephant trip and arrived back at the hotel at 7 pm.
  • elephant challenge culture

    elephant challenge culture
    We chose trekking with elephants as our challenge in Thailand becuase elephants are very important there. BUDDHISM (religion with the belief that enlightenment would come through knowledge, there would be honesty, and elimination of greed, harm, and craving) is a major religion in Thailand and the elephant, in Buddhism represents mental strength. Also, in Thailand, the albino elephant was considered holy, and was often given as an unwanted gift, because it was too expensive to care for.
  • Hotel/Depature in Thailand

    Hotel/Depature in Thailand
    We woke up, packed our things and got ready to depart to Australia. We learned many things from our experience yesterday. One thing we learned was the ABSOLUTE LOCATION (the position of a certain item on the Earth, expressed in degrees, mintues, and seconds of latitude or longitude) of Bangkok, Thailand. Its location is 13.73 degress north and 100.50 degress east. We took the taxi to the airport and departed at 10 am.
  • Flight to Sydney

    Flight to Sydney
    We board the Philipinnes Airlines flight 731, fly for 3 and a half hours, and stop at Manila, Philipinnes for 4 hours. Then we fly again for 8 hours and 10 minutes and land in Sydney, Australia at 3:40 am. The flight was a total of 15 hours and 40 minutes.
  • Sydney, New South Wales Australia

    Sydney, New South Wales Australia
    The DISTANCE (measurement of the physical space between two places) in time between Bangkok, Thailand and Sydney, New South Wales Australia is 11 hours and 40 minutes. We take a rental car to the Marriot Sydney Harbor hotel at the address of 30 pitt stree, Sydney , New South Wales 2000. As we unpack we enjoy the view from our hotel window. Then we sleep until the sun rises.
  • Sydney Harbor

    Sydney Harbor
    We walked over to Sydney Harbor to go whale watching. As we walked we noticed that there was much activity space going on. People were walking, biking and driving from place to place. When we got there we didn't see anything, so we started calling the whales. We kept this up and we heard splashes and people taking pictures so we new that there were whales passing by. We looked out into the water with our binoculars, and it was our lucky day because a whole group of humpback bacwhales passed by.
  • Sydney Australia

    Sydney Australia
    After we see the whales, we walk around this wonderful CITY (a conglomeration of people and buildings clustered together to serve as a center of politics, culture and economics). Sydney is the most populous city in Australia. As our legs begin to get tired, we walk back to our hotel to eat emu pie, and sleep.
  • Whale Calling

    Whale Calling
    Our challenge was to whale call until we saw whales appear in the iconic Sydney Harbor. We chose this challenge becuase whaling was a very important industry in Australia before it started causing ENVIRONMENTAL STRESS (the threat to environmental security by human activity). Even aboriginal Australians made meals out of beached whales. Eventually, whale protection laws were passed, and the number of whales started rising again.
  • Hotel Departure

    Hotel Departure
    As we wake up, we prepare oursselves for our long trip back home. We say good bye to our wonderful adventure, drive to the airport and depart at 12 am. Our American Airlines flight is aproximently 19 hours 52 minutes with one stop in Dallas.
  • Home Sweet Home

    Home Sweet Home
    After our long, exhausting flight we arrive in Miami Florida at 11:52 pm.