.All Trips / Europe / Italy

A visit to the fascinating Frari Church, Venice

05 Frari Church, Venice (8)

One of the great places to explore when visiting Venice is the Franciscan church of Santa Maria dei Frari (St. Mary of the Friars, commonly known as the Frari Church).  
As with many things in Venice, the Frari Church is an old building.  The church was originally constructed between 1236 and 1338, then rebuilt in Gothic style two centuries later.   It’s considered a minor basilica and is dedicated to the Assumption of St. Mary, Mother of Jesus.

Exterior, Frari Church, Venice

Exterior, Frari Church, Venice


While the church is well known for its spacious architecture, it is best known for the many fine monuments and terrific works of Venetian Renaissance art it displays.  This beautiful art is still situated exactly where the artists knew it would be placed and where it …

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.All Trips / Arkansas / Central USA / North America

Christ of the Ozarks, Eureka Springs, Arkansas

00 Christ of the Ozarks, Arkansas (11)

We spent a few days driving around the Ozarks, enjoying the beautiful hills, forests and rock formations. It really is very scenic country. One of the recommended destinations in the Ozarks is Eureka Springs, a lovely historic city that’s terrific to explore on foot. An obvious stop in Eureka Springs is to visit Christ of the Ozarks and the Great Passion Play site which overlook the city. Our visit was before the season for the Passion Play began (we visited in early April), but the grounds were open for visitation, with no admission fee.

Christ of the Ozarks, Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Eureka Springs, Arkansas


Christ of the Ozarks
Sitting atop Magnetic Mountain is a gigantic white figure.  The statue, sculpted by Emmet A. Sullivan, is of Jesus Christ and it’s massive —  …

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.All Trips / Chile / South America

Exploring the Fjords of Patagonia: 6) A Storm at Cape Horn

00 Cape Horn

We headed south across Nassau Bay on the morning of our last full day aboard the Australis.  Our hope was to be able to go ashore at Cape Horn (Cabo de Hornos), the most southerly island in the Tierra del Fuego archipelago — weather and conditions allowing.  When I enquired about what our odds of going ashore were the night before, I was told 50-50.  I think, in retrospect, that was an overly optimistic prediction.

Route Map, Cape Horn

Route Map, Cape Horn


It would have been nice to walk on this remote island, the most southern point of South America.  It was discovered by the Dutch in 1616 and is known as the “End of the Earth”.  Cape Horn has a sheer 425-meter (1,394-foot) high rocky promontory which overlooks …

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.All Trips / Eastern Canada / North America / Ontario

“Pic of the Week”, May 15, 2020: Reflections of Toronto

01 Reflections of Toronto

While I admire buildings made of stone and brick more than those made of cement and glass, there are features to be enjoyed in modern architecture.  Toronto is filled with dozens of gleaming skyscrapers, many of which reflect the city.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)


 

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.All Trips / Central USA / Kansas / North America

Monument Rocks, Kansas

24 Monument Rocks, Kansas (70)

I had not heard of Monument Rocks before staying at a hotel in Kansas during a recent road trip.  Our hotel room displayed photos of some beautiful rock formations and on doing a little research, we realized they were not far off our route and definitely worth trying to see.
For big city folks, driving to Monument Rocks might seem like driving to the middle of nowhere, but persist in your journey as the trip is worthwhile.  The road to Monument Rocks is mostly well paved, although the final 6 miles is a gravel road that during heavy rains might get flooded and be difficult to navigate without all-wheel or four wheel drive. When we visited the weather and road were …

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.All Trips / Europe / Italy

Milan’s Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

04 Gallerie Victor Emanuelle II (15)

The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, a beautiful shopping arcade in Milan near the Duomo, is the oldest shopping mall in Milan and one of the oldest in Europe.
In 1860 the government of Milan held a competition for the redevelopment of the area between the Duomo and the Scala Opera House.  The winning design was submitted by Bolognese architect, Giuseppe Mengoni.  The first stone of the mall was laid in 1865 by King Victor Emmanuel II, after whom the arcade is named.   The Gallerie was opened for business about 2 years later, but work on the structure continued for another decade, especially on the grand entrance from Piazza del Duomo.  In a sad note of irony, Mengoni fell to his …

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.All Trips / Car Culture / Europe / Poland

Great Cars along the Highway: Polish Beer Truck

04 PIWO beer truck

Parked near Wawel Hill in Krakow is a rather fancy old truck, all done up as a beer delivery truck — down to large wooden kegs sitting in its bed.  PIWO is Polish for “beer”.  I thought this was extremely effective advertising.
The flat bed truck is a Barkas V901/2, an East Germany brand which was made in the 1950s.  There were many other chassis put on this frame, but this style was the most useful and popular.  These trucks were used in the Eastern European communist block until after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)


 

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.All Trips / Florida / North America / Southeastern USA

Driving the Overseas Highway, Florida Keys

00 Overseas Highway, Florida Keys

A highlight of my last visit to Florida was a trip to its Keys.  It’s a road trip I’d wanted to do for some time and wish I’d done sooner.  The drive is a journey to a place that’s unlike any other in America.  Looking at it on a map, it seems like you’d be floating across water, rather than driving a well-engineered roadway.

Map overview of the Overseas Highway

Map overview of the Overseas Highway


A trip down the Overseas Highway (US-1), the only road connecting Miami with the Florida Keys, covers only 113 miles and can be driven in as little as 4 hours.  But the point of the journey is to stop when possible, linger, and enjoy the beautiful scenery and ambience of the Keys.   The drive takes you across numerous …

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.All Trips / Chile / South America

Exploring the Fjords of Patagonia: 5) Glacier Alley

00 Glacier Alley

After an interesting morning exploring Pia Glacier and its surroundings, we returned to the Australis as she continued her journey.  Our next attraction didn’t require leaving the Australis and could actually be enjoyed from the deck of our ship.  We were to navigate through what’s commonly called “Glacier Alley”.
 

Map of our route through Glacier Alley

Map of our route through Glacier Alley


Situated along the Beagle Channel, Glacier Alley is a string of massive and picturesque glaciers that extend to the sea from the massive Darwin Ice Field (which covers 2500 km2) on Isla Grande, the largest island in Tierra del Fuego.  These glaciers are named after several European countries — Holland, Italy, Germany, Spain and France (in Spanish — Holanda, Italia, Alemania, Espana and Francia).    If it seems a little odd that …

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