Untours Cafe

Powen Shiah's Blog (52)

Announcing Photo Contest Winners & Sign Up to Get Send a Friend Card

Congratulations to the winners of the Untours Cafe Photo Contest!

They are...


Added by Powen Shiah on December 17, 2008 at 4:28pm — No Comments

Hal & his new sweater

Hal came into our office today to show off his new sweater! It's Berit Greutert's present to Hal this year. It came from Norway, where Berit Greutert's sister knitted it.

Sorry… Continue

Added by Powen Shiah on December 10, 2008 at 2:34pm — No Comments

Vote for your favorite photo!

Dear Untours Cafe members,

(Read this update in blog format: http://bit.ly/I4KM To make this email shorter & easier to read, links shortened with http://bit.ly Click as you normally would)

Now that we've gotten all the photo submissions, you can now choose your favorite photo in the contest! Vote: http://bit.ly/jxvv

I've also placed all the photos into an album on the Untours Cafe so you can… Continue

Added by Powen Shiah on December 5, 2008 at 5:30pm — 6 Comments

Untours Cafe Photo Contest

One of the best things about the Untours Cafe is the absolute amazing pictures everyone has been sharing. We've long thought that we should have some sort of photography contest to showcase the great photographs (and photographers) out there, and now we've finally got a good reason to do one.

Soon we'll be unveiling more details about the Untours Send a Friend program. Basically, as an Untours alumnus/a, you'll be able to earn $100 towards your next Untour for each new friend (who… Continue

Added by Powen Shiah on November 14, 2008 at 8:37pm — 5 Comments

Newsletter: Relive Your Untours & Dream about Your Next Adventures

Dear Cafe patrons,

(To make this post easier to read, links have been shortened with http://bit.ly Click as you normally would - they go to the Untours Cafe)

The last few days here in Pennsylvania have been rainy & overcast, but we're keeping ourselves warm with memories of Europe. Read on to find recently added photos, videos, & triplogs to warm you through the winter.

We're also having a photo contest to kick off our Send-a-Friend referral program. For… Continue

Added by Powen Shiah on November 14, 2008 at 8:30pm — No Comments

Untours Founder Hal Taussig on the Radio

In September, Hal was a guest on radio show 'The Story' from American Public Media recently. He gives a wonderful account of the history of Untours and discusses his personal philosophy of doing business the unconventional way. Click the play button below to listen:

To read more, visit their webpage about the interview with… Continue

Added by Powen Shiah on November 13, 2008 at 5:00pm — 6 Comments

Untours Cafe Update: Great Things Brewing in Europe and North America

Dear Untours Cafe patrons,

(To make this message easier to read, links start with http://tinyurl.com. Click through as you normally would -- they go to the Untours Cafe site)

A few months have passed since our last update. It's suddenly fall & most people are back from travels, so I've got lots of great stuff to highlight!

Jean & Fred Agneta have been chronicling their return to Switzerland this year. So far there are four parts to the triplog:…


Added by Powen Shiah on October 21, 2008 at 3:00pm — No Comments

Greece and Holland Trip Slideshow, Including Video (June/July 2008)

So I finally gave my trip report yesterday on my summer Untours trip to Greece (and Holland). Greece was official Untours business, and Holland was for fun!

I just figured out how to set it up so you could see my photo/video slides, so please enjoy them! Click play to start the show, or click on the arrows to go to the next picture.

The videos don't seem to play in the slideshow below, so go to the… Continue

Added by Powen Shiah on October 10, 2008 at 9:30am — No Comments

Berlin's Suburban Trains to Get Their Own Fragrance

I subscribe to a weekly email newsletter sent out by the German Information Center USA (part of the German embassy). It includes short articles about all sorts of things, but I usually just file it away or skim through to see if anything catches my eye. Today it was totally worth it! It's a piece about how the transit system in Berlin is going to develop its own fragrance to make the trains smell nicer. What totally surprised me about this article is that the Paris Metro already has a scent… Continue

Added by Powen Shiah on September 12, 2008 at 12:14pm — No Comments

"Fair Week" in Germany; Fair Trade Live in Media, PA

Starting next week (September 15 - 28) is Fair Trade Week in Germany. There will be thousands of events held all over Germany in fair trade stores, supermarkets, restaurants/cafeterias, and other places to increase awareness of fair trade. It's an initiative of the German Fair Trade Forum that's been going on for several years. Unfortunately the website is only in German:

Faire Woche

If you're… Continue

Added by Powen Shiah on September 11, 2008 at 10:00am — No Comments

[Weekly Wednesday Words] Badge Updates, Bookworms Wanted, & Photo Updates

Dear Untours Cafe patrons,

We're busy here in the Untours office in Media, where we're getting ready to send the fall catalog to the printers and add the 2009 offerings to our website. Stay tuned for the former in your real mail box and the latter in your virtual inbox in the coming weeks (September at the very earliest).

Even though it's only been a week since we unveiled the Untours badges, I've got some news for you there. Before you rush off to grab the new badges, we… Continue

Added by Powen Shiah on August 13, 2008 at 8:30pm — No Comments

Weekly Wednesday Words - A Day Late, but not a Dollar Short!

I've got two really exciting developments to share this week. Here in the Untours Cafe kitchen we're hard at work rustling up new flavors & concoctions for you to try.


What are badges? They're the digital equivalent to a bumper sticker on your car (I don't have a car so I'd put mine on my suitcase) or a patch on a vest or sleeve. Instead of being for a cause or a club, these are for Untours you've done. Many of you out are veteran Untourists, so this is just… Continue

Added by Powen Shiah on August 7, 2008 at 4:00pm — 5 Comments

Weekly Wednesday Words - Missing Greece, 1000 members, & Fabulous Photos

Dear Cafe Patrons,

I'm back from my European travels this year, having experienced the full range of weather from 100 + degree sun (and swimming) in Nafplio to 50 degree rain (and stroopwaffels) in Leiden, Holland.

I miss it already, so as I slowly go through all the pictures & videos I took, you can follow along on my page & on the Greece destination section, where I'll be checking in frequently because I'm the latest person to fall in love with that sea-side town… Continue

Added by Powen Shiah on July 23, 2008 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Oranges for Lunch

Hi everyone,

I've gotten a little bit backlogged in terms of writing about all the different things that have been going on. I have days and days worth of pictures and several posts' worth of stuff to tell you about, but I'm just not sure when to squeeze it all in.

Speaking of squeezing (oranges), I went to the Wednesday market today, which is actually much larger than the Saturday market (and a little more spacious). It's located in the new town section of Nafplio. I… Continue

Added by Powen Shiah on July 2, 2008 at 10:53am — 3 Comments

An Athens Adventure

(June 25-26, 2008)

The flight from Geneva to Athens follows a marvelous flight path, soaring over snow-capped mountains, down the entire boot of Italy, and then along the Mediterranean coast. It finally approaches Athens after offering tantalizing glimpses of miles of beaches and beautiful blue water.…


Added by Powen Shiah on June 29, 2008 at 4:14pm — No Comments

Untours Dinner in Nafplio [Lots of Photos!]

After less than a day in Athens I rushed off (slowly, on the bus) to Nafplio in order to make it back to what many people call a major highlight of their Greece Untour: the Untours dinner!

Just a little background: it usually takes place during the 2nd week of the Untour, and it's a way to get all the Untourists back together to share their experiences.

Some olives to start us off…


Added by Powen Shiah on June 28, 2008 at 5:00pm — 5 Comments

30 Hours in Nafplio

This is actually not going to be one of those New York Times-esque comprehensive travel articles about going to a place. Why? Well, I am feeling super rushed at this internet cafe so I can't compose such a work of art. Also, they don't have wireless and all my notes and pictures are on my laptop.

Some brief notes...

  • Gotta adjust to the pace of life here, it's so different. Slower, everything goes later, stuff closes in the afternoon when it's super hot and not a…

Added by Powen Shiah on June 27, 2008 at 4:00pm — 1 Comment

Food & History

This is just a quickie before I head to bed, I got into Athens around 3pm today and took the Metro into the city (6 euros, if you're taking notes & about 45 minutes).

I walked around town after a much-needed shower, and somehow stumbled onto the Acropolis area (the hotel has got a great location).

I'm planning on trying to go up to the actual Agora tomorrow, but here's a picture I got today!…


Added by Powen Shiah on June 25, 2008 at 4:08pm — 8 Comments

Greetings from the Geneva Airport!

[this entry was posted 'after the fact' from the Hotel Achilleas in Athens, 23:37 on Wednesday 25 June 2008]

There isn't free wireless here, and I can no longer piggyback my laptop on my cell phone internet connection, as Sprint (and Verizon) phones are on a different type of network than is used in Europe (if you are interested, Sprint/Verizon use CDMA network technology, Europe is on GSM). Even if I could use my phone overseas, I'm sure the data charges would be something… Continue

Added by Powen Shiah on June 25, 2008 at 2:30am — 2 Comments

On my way to Greece!

Well, I'm only just starting off my journey. I'm on a bus (with wireless!) on my way from Philadelphia to NYC where my flight (on Swiss) takes off in 5.5 hours. The reason I can update you all from there is because there's wireless internet access in these buses, as well as power outlets in the backs of the seats in case your laptop battery is low.

Here's a picture from my webcam of me sitting awkwardly in the bus trying to take a picture of myself on the webcam :-)…


Added by Powen Shiah on June 24, 2008 at 1:20pm — 8 Comments


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