.All Trips / England / Europe

Experiencing the London Eye

00 London Eye

If you haven’t visited London in a few decades you might have missed seeing a new landmark on the South Bank of the River Thames, near Westminister Bridge. The London Eye is a massive Ferris wheel — the tallest in Europe –and it certainly catches ones eye as you approach it from the Houses of Parliament.   It is popular, usually with long lines and waiting times.  The Eye is the most visited paid attraction in the United Kingdom, with almost 4 million visitors annually.

Here are a few facts about the London Eye:
– It is 135 m (443 ft) tall and 120 m (394 ft) wide.  When it opened in 2000, it was the tallest Ferris wheel in the world, but …

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.All Trips / Europe / Slovenia

A Visit to Ljubljana’s Central Market

00 Central Market, Ljublana (43)

I recently visited a wonderful fall market in Ljubljana, Slovenia.  It was a pleasant Saturday morning and we’d been told that this was a market not to be missed, and not to wait until the afternoon and especially not until Sunday because the market dwindles at those times.  Like all good markets, it’s a place where the community gathers and enjoys itself, and we were told it would be “busy” (it was).

We left our comfortable rented apartment and walked to the market, about five minutes away.  Ljubljana has a beautiful historic core and it’s a lovely place to explore on foot.  Much of the historic region is a pedestrian only zone, so it’s safe and easy to get around.  There …

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.All Trips / North America / Western Canada / Yukon

Street Art in Whitehorse

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While by no means a large city, with only around 25,000 residents, Whitehorse is the major population center in Canada’s Yukon Territories.  This large territory (482,000 km2, 186,300 miles2)  is home to only 37,000 people (and about 75,000 moose), so Whitehorse’s influence in the region becomes apparent.

Whitehorse is changing and it is growing.   These changes are perhaps most notable to someone like me who hadn’t been there for nearly 20 years.   An appreciated addition was a proliferation of street murals on the buildings of the city.  These varied greatly in theme and style, but most of them in some way represented life in and the history of the north — notably …

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.All Trips / Belgium / Europe

Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert, Brussels

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Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert is a shopping arcade notable for its innovative architecture.  It preceded other famous 19th-century European shopping arcades, like Milan’s Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. The Galerie has glazed shopfronts and two upper floors, all under an arched glass roof overlying a cast-iron framework.

The gallery consists of two major sections, each more than 100 meters in length.  Construction started on May 6, 1846. and lasted for 18 months.  The Galerie was inaugurated on June 20, 1847 by King Leopold. 

It is a bright pleasant and cheery place in which to escape a brisk Brussels day and has excellent (and warm) coffee shops and some wonderful chocolate outlets.

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)

 

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.All Trips / Eastern Canada / North America / Ontario

Niagara Parks Floral Showhouse, Niagara Falls

02 Niagara Parks Floral Showcase

The Niagara Parks Floral Showcase is only 500 meters south of Horseshoe Falls. Greenhouses in the area date to the time of Queen Victoria, but the current complex was built the mid 20th century with several subsequent additions, including a large central atrium.  The complex includes space for storing bulbs, planting and growing new flowers for the Floral Showhouse (and elsewhere in Niagara Parks), but that is a behind the scenes activity that you won’t see.  What the visitor experiences after walking through the lovely grounds (enjoyable in the summer, less so in the winter) is a series of greenhouses that contain lush tropical vegetation, making it especially popular during times of cold weather. 

Plants you’ll see include orchids and cacti, and many …

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.All Trips / North America / Western Canada / Yukon

The S.S. Klondike, Whitehorse

00 SS Klondike Whitehorse (3)

One of the most popular attractions in Whitehorse is this sternwheeler which sits on the banks of the Yukon River in the heart of the city.  It’s one of only two surviving sternwheelers which plied the waters between Whitehorse and Dawson City — a relic from the time when waterways were preferred transportation route , before roads and railway provided quick access to the heart of the Yukon.

Whitehorse exists in large part because it of its proximity to the Alaska panhandle (and as such was a passing-through point during the Klondike Goldrush), and because it was the furthest city upstream on the Yukon River that could be successfully navigated by these flat-bottom boats. (Just upriver from the city, the Whitehorse …

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Alberta / Central Canada / North America / Western Canada / Yukon

“Pic of the Week”, April 12, 2019: Flying to the Land of the Midnight Sun

Flight to Whitehorse from Calgary (19)

I left for a 2 week vacation to the Yukon and Alaska last June 29th, just 8 days after the summer solstice.  My flight departed Calgary at 9:45 pm just in time to enjoy a pretty sunset, which you can see below (photos are in sequentially arranged).  There had been heavy rain that day and the clouds were starting to break apart as the sun dipped below the Rockies.

As we flew further north, the daylight seemed to be increasing, something I expected but still surprised me by how relatively bright it was.  Soon the sun was above the horizon again, illuminating our plane’s engine.  It only grew brighter the further north we flew.

We were scheduled to arrive in Whitehorse at …

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.All Trips / Asia / Dubai

A visit to the Top of the World — Dubai’s Burj Khalif

04 At the Top (11)

It seems fitting that the last major post in my series on visiting Dubai should highlight what I thought was its most spectacular attraction, namely the lovely Burj Khalif.  It is the world’s tallest building, with the world’s highest observation decks.  How could any traveler resist adding checkmarks to those bullet points on their bucketlist?

The Burj Khalifi has 1.85 million sq ft of residential space and 300,000 sq ft of office space, in addition to the Armani designed hotel and residences.   Here are some additional interesting facts about the building and its construction:
– It contains 11.6 million sq ft of concrete
– It took 22 million man hours to build over 6 years.  There were 12,000 people working on the building …

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