This last weekend, I had very little time off and was in bad need of a trip and a little adventure. Knowing that I had to work this weekend, I chose to take my "vacation" to Azeroth. My decision to visit there was a great choice and I had a weekend full of adventures, looted treasure, monsters and magic. I visited several continents around Azeroth and only died a few times.
For my trip, I booked a tour with Naturally Rebellious, a guild with a lot of experience touring "noobs" around both continents. I can say that my guides were very professional, gave great service and explanations as we went, including history of the areas. They even cooked for me, secured lodgings and taught me a few things to keep me out of trouble on the journey. In fact, they had to heal me after several close calls, including a severe bear mauling, outside Astranaar.
The tour started in the beautiful city of Darnassus, the capital of the Night Elves and probably the safest city on both continents. My guides met me at the Warrior's Terrace and made sure I was properly equipped for adventures. I needed a sword, bow, armor, magical potions and some food.
Darnassus was a great city and very beautiful. Merchants and craftsmen have their shops built, alongside houses, right into the massive trees. It reminded me of the redwood forests in Northern California. There is even a large lake in the center, where I learned to fish. After a few tries, I was able to start dragging some Longjaw Mud Slappers to the shore. After a bit of preparation and the standard guide safety briefing, including waivers and something about "risk of death and if death does occur, Naturally Rebellious is required to resurrect said corpse within 5 minutes" we started. It was a little un-settling.
The trip out of Darnassus involved an animal called a Gryphon. This is basically a large flying bird, ridden like a horse. Surprisingly, they were kept in very good condition by their trainers and did not smell as bad as I expected. I learned this was to be our primary means of transport, for the tour. Darnassus is on an island, and there are boats to travel to the mainland, but the gryphon was a great way to get a "bird's eye view" of the landscape and see the area. Next stop...the Continent of Kalimdor and the port city of Auberdine.
Auberdine was my first real chance to get some adventuring in and test out my newly acquired skills. We gathered some herbs and I learned to make some potions of my own. I was fighting with the bears for a bit and had a great time. I noticed I was quickly ushered out of the city by my guides and told it was "for my own protection". Apparently, this is a favorite raiding area for the "bad guys" of the world, the vile Horde. True to form, the horde showed up and laid quite a massacre on the unprepared and those insane enough to join the fight. I would advise extreme caution in this town, due to political instability and civil unrest. Still, the town was nice and the clam chowder was superb.
Pushing on, we took the gryphons to the Barrens for a wildlife safari. Roaming around the vast, dusty plains allowed us to see some exciting animals, very up close and personal. Highlights included the Zhevra, a cross between a unicorn and a zebra and the Kodo, a very large and slow dinosaur type creature. We visited the Goblin city of Ratchet. A meal of bear steaks and blood sausage topped off the visit, before we headed down to the Shimmering Flats to watch a drag car race at Mirage Raceway. I even got an autograph and picture with the champion driver Nazz Steamboil!
Our next leg was one of the most exciting for me, because we got to take a long boat trip, from the port city of Ratchet, to the other continents of the Eastern Kindgoms. We docked in Booty Bay, a pirate and goblin town on the southern most part of the land. Fishing is the center of business in Booty Bay, unless you count piracy. After a hard day of fishing and fighting both buccaneers and angry gorillas, we stayed at the notorious Salty Sailor Tavern. This was my first experience with Junglevine Wine and we ate some very good Spotted Yellowtail and Rockscale Cod. I even entered the weekly fishing tournament and won a lucky fishing hat! If you make it by the Salty Sailor, tell Nixxrax Fillamug, the bartender, I sent you.
Our final stop was the human's capital city, Stormwind. This is Azeroth's version of New York City. Everything is here and you can learn or buy what ever you can imagine. The Trade District was bustling with people chatting, checking their mail, making trades, purchasing new gear and running from district to district, within the city. The statues lining the entrance to the city were majestic and I even enjoyed the smoky and noisy Dwarven District. No trip to Stormwind is complete without a trip to the Mage Quarter and the Wizard's Sanctum that houses the Stormwind Academy of Arcan Sciences.
With great sadness, I knew this trip to Azeroth was over. I wasn't too worried because I knew I would visit again, very soon. I made some great friends and killed a few Orcs at the same time. If this sounds like your type of fun, pick up a copy of World of Warcraft and take a trip you won't soon forget. When was the last time you got to save a princess, overthrow an empire and catch some fish all in the same day? Now that is a vacation!