MADRID, Spain — More than 20,000 things people left on planes and at airports, including a wedding dress and a pair of rudimentary stilts, were auctioned off Tuesday as Madrid’s airport cleared out its lost-and-found department.

The items were divided up into nine lots, such as clothes and jewelry, and prospective buyers submitted bids over a one-week period that ended Monday. Most were merchants who run secondhand stores, said the national flagship carrier Iberia, which organized the sale.


“The long abuse of power rendered [Constantius] a considerable object in the eyes of his contemporaries; but as personal merit can alone deserve the notice of posterity, the last of the sons of Constantine may be dismissed from the world with the remark that he inherited the defects without the abilities of his father.”

“The generality of princes, if they were stripped of their purple and cast naked into the world, would immediately sink to the lowest rank of society, without a hope of emerging from their obscurity.”

— Gibbon

Hey folks, we’re in Germany now after four months in Asia, the last two spent in India and Nepal, and we’re loving the change of pace and scenery. We spent the last few days in Mumbai, a great town — the energy, the people, the big city-ness: quite a change from Varanasi, where we’d just been, or Rajasthan, or all of Nepal outside Kathmandu. We expect to return to Bombay in the near future, to see more. Three days is not enough. But now we think Europe feels just right.

We’ve neglected the ole blog a bit recently but that’s partly by design. Maintaining a constant correspondence was difficult in India and Nepal, the land of constant blackouts as Lauren P-N said, and would have detracted significantly from our enjoyment of all the weird and wonderful places into which we wandered, stumbled or were abducted. In short it would have been a chore, an odious, time-consuming chore. Now we’re in the land of sidewalk cafes and strong wireless connections, so expect once again to regularly receive those annoying email alerts. To start with we will have many tales to tell of our adventures in the Subcontinent, replete with the usual colorful descriptions and purple prose.

In a few days we’ll be meeting up with some of you in the Netherlands, and Lisa will be meeting her sister in Athens, and a whole new phase of our Trip begins. We’ve been at it for nine months now, and have four more to go, and already our itinerary for Europe is packed: packed tighter than a backpack full of exotic presents. Special warm thanks to Flora and Uli, in whose lovely home we are crashing here in Trier, near the border of Luxembourg. Trier, if you didn’t know, was once a prominent seat of power for the Roman Empire, the tertiary capital behind Constantinople and Rome itself, and now boasts the most Roman ruins anywhere north of the Alps. Cool huh? We’re going to check some of them out right now!



On Dec. 10, 1976, Lisa Archer was born to grace the world. Happy Birthday Lisa!

Hello everyone,

The Journey Map, after much labor and laptop-cursing, is now wholly operational. Lisa spent a lot of time on this so please take a look. It has just about all of our photos to date, 90 percent of which were taken, downloaded, photoshopped (when necessary), and uploaded online by her — a time-consuming process. And you wonder why she hasn’t been posting to the blog.

Speaking of which, we’re in Australia now, menacing the roads of Queensland, which means it’s time for Lisa to write about the country we just left: New Zealand. So look for that soon.

We miss all of you and in case we forget: Happy Holidays! 

Election: Elation. Jubilation. Celebration. Invigoration. Salvation.

Greetings from everyone here in New Zealand, they’re hoping to see a return of the good ole U.S. of A.

Hey everyone, just wanted to drop a note to let you know you can now view our New Zealand North Island pics by clicking here or by clicking on the photos on the right hand column in the blog. Enjoy! More photo brilliance with the South Island as our subject coming soon.

 P.S. If you haven’t already checked out our other amazing pictures, click here.

I may be on the other side of the world, but when my baseball team is in the World Series, I know about it. We just got off the Abel Tasman track, one of New Zealand’s Great Walks, and I beelined to a computer to catch the last few pitches of Game Four. And Magglio Ordonez wins it in the bottom of the ninth with a three-run homer. GO TIGERS! And just in time for my birthday … 🙂

More on Abel Tasman later. In the meantime, I’ve got to get to a town with some proper sports bars.

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