.All Trips / Massachusetts / North America / Northeastern USA

A Day at the New England Aquarium, Boston

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I love visiting zoos and aquariums — at least most of them.  I believe they offer an excellent chance for people to see and study our planet’s fellow inhabitants, and that they are one of the most important conservation tools available to us.   People are much more likely to conserve animals and ecosystems they have an emotional tie to.  As a life-long student of biology and nature, I always find something new and fun everytime I go.

Boston’s New England Aquarium, while far from the biggest or best, is a nice place to spend a day with a family.  It is a popular tourist destination, hosting more than a million visitors each year.  Besides the aquatic attractions within the Aquarium …

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.All Trips / Asia / Nepal

Namche Bazaar, Nepal

03 Namche

One of the most memorable places I’ve visited was the Khumbu region of Nepal, home of the friendly Sherpa people.  The main town in this region is Namche Bazaar.  It is not an easy place to get to.  You don’t just drop by.  Most people fly to Lukla from Kathmandu, where they start a one to two day trek to Namche Bazaar (depending on how fast you go).  This is the route those going to the Everest Base Camp in Nepal take, gradually acclimatizing as they ascend.

There are no roads here so all goods are brought to Namche Bazaar either on the backs of human porters or beasts of burden, large cattle at this altitude, yaks at higher …

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.All Trips / Eastern Canada / North America / Ontario

A visit to the Library of Parliament, Ottawa

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When you stand on the bank of the Ottawa River in Gatineau, Quebec, (especially by the Canadian Museum of History), and look across the river you see the Canadian Parliamentary buildings.  This is the view captured in the above image.  The rounded building with flying buttresses in this complex, which is the one in the foreground and closest to the river, is the Parliamentary Library.  Before we step inside, let’s take a look at the history of the Library.

A Brief History of the Library of Parliament

Canada’s Library of Parliament began in the late 18th century with the legislative libraries of Upper and Lower Canada.  These two libraries were amalgamated in 1841 when Upper and Lower Canada united.  It was not …

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.All Trips / California / Food / Southwestern USA

Signs of Grand Central Market, Los Angeles

03 Grand Central Market Los Angeles

Even though I lived in the Los Angeles area for more than 2 decades, it was not until I moved away from the city that I visited its famous Grand Central Market.  Situated in downtown Los Angeles (on Broadway), near many of the city’s massive skyscrapers and businesses, the market has been a landmark for 100 years (established in 1917).

The market has changed with time and it’s not like most of the markets you’ll visit.  Sales of fresh and bulk food , while a component, are a small part of the operation.  It seems these traditional market elements have been pushed out to make room for more restaurant vendors.  People now go to the market to buy prepared food.   …

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.All Trips / Asia / India

Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar

Anenome, Aquarium of the Pacific

Jallianwala Bagh is a public garden of about 6.5 acres which is approached through a narrow walkway.  Here you’ll find assorted monuments and memorials to a tragic event, a sad episode while under British rule.  The events of this day were among those that began India’s march to independence.

On April 13, 1919 (which happened to be ‘Baisakhi’, one of Punjab’s largest religious festivals) thousands of people gathered at the Jallianwala Bagh to peacefully and non-violently protest the arrest of two community leaders, despite a curfew being in effect.  On the order of General Reginald Dyer (who later claimed he was facing a revolutionary army), and without any warning, 50 British troops fired about 1650 rounds on the crowd for ten …

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.All Trips / North America / Oregon / Pacific Northwest / Travel Talk

Solar Eclipse 2017 as viewed in Baker City, Oregon

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I’d only seen one prior solar eclipse in my life and that was long ago when I was a university student.  That one occurred on a cold winter day in February 1979, in my home city of Winnipeg, Manitoba.  So when I heard of the proximity of the American solar eclipse of 2017, I knew it was definitely time to view another.

There’s no question that this week’s eclipse was a popular event and thousands of people planned on visiting the areas of totality well in advance.  In fact, I couldn’t find a hotel room for less than $1000/night (which I refuse to pay) within the thousand mile stretch across the Northwestern USA that was of interest to me when I …

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.All Trips / Asia / Dubai

A Visit to Dubai’s famous Gold Souk

Gold Souk 08

While the image most travelers have of Dubai is of shiny new skyscrapers piercing the desert air (a fair impression to be sure), you can still find places in the city which date to the time before the construction boom that transformed the region.  Most of these sites of older Dubai are in the Deira and Bur Dubai neighborhoods which straddle Dubai Creek, the region of the city first settled in the 19th century.  A variety of markets can be found here the most famous of which is the gold market (aka souk).

You’ll be welcomed by it’s wood lattice arcade proudly proclaiming, “Dubai: City of Gold”!  While it is not enclosed or air-conditioned, the market’s roof provides welcome shade and …

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.All Trips / Alberta / Central Canada / North America

Cochrane Farmers’ Market

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The town of Cochrane sits in the beautiful Bow River Valley, between Calgary and Banff.  Growing rapidly because of its proximity to Calgary, Cochrane still retains a small town vibe although it’s now home to more than 20,000 people.   The region was originally developed as a ranch, as was much of the western Alberta prairies, and the farmers’ market is still held at the Historic Ranch Site (which you can explore when you’re done with your visit to the market).

While it’s only held during the summer months, the Farmers’ Market is very enjoyable.  It’s busy, but not too crowded, and features locally grown produce and handicrafts, as well as popular food vendors.  You’ll find items here you don’t see …

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