.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

24-Cochraine Farmers Market 08-2015 27

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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.All Trips / Eastern Canada / North America / Nova Scotia

Burntcoat Head Park, Nova Scotia. World-Record Tide

01 Burntcoat Head Provincial Park

The highest tides in the world occur in Canada’s Bay of Fundy, which separates New Brunswick from Nova Scotia.  Twice each day the Bay of Fundy fills and empties about 160 billion tons of water.  In 1975 The Guinness Book of World Records listed Burntcoat Head Park in Nova Scotia as the site of the greatest average tide of 47.5 feet. with an extreme range of 53.6 feet.  That’s about as tall as a four story building!

When I visited Nova Scotia last fall, one of the top things on my “to do” list was to see the sight of this great tidal surge.  Ideally you want to be there at both low and high tide to see …

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.All Trips / Food / Nevada / North America / Southwestern USA

In ‘n Out — That’s what a Hamburger is all about

57 Las Vegas 2015. In ‘n Out Burger (8)

Many of my Canadian friends find it difficult to understand why someone would want to move away from California.  There were good reasons to stay and, in our case, better reasons to leave, but there are definitely things about California that I miss.  Foremost among these are dear friends, the meyer lemon and fuyu persimmon trees in my yard, and the beautiful winter weather (summers I wasn’t too crazy about — blasted hot).  And

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.All Trips / Europe / Food / Spain

La Boqueria: Barcelona’s fabulous Food Market

01 La Boqueria Market, Barcelona

One of the finest food markets I’ve ever visited, and supposedly one of the best in the world, is the Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria, usually just called “La Boqueria It’s one of Barcelona’s most popular tourist spots — so much so that group tours are no longer allowed inside.  You, the independent traveler, are welcome!  The market is just off the popular pedestrian mall, La Rambla, not far from Barcelona’s opera house. A iron gate frames your entrance to the very diverse and fresh selection of food items within.

The first mention of the Boqueria market dates to 1217, when tables were installed near the old city gate to sell meat. From December 1470, a pig market was …

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.All Trips / British Columbia / North America / Western Canada

A visit to the Burgess Shale. Stanley Glacier, Kootenay National Park

04. Stanley Glacier valley. Looking for fossils (54) Trilobite

One of the world’s most famous fossil sites is Canada’s Burgess Shale, which contains a large assortment of ancient and amazingly well-preserved (often soft-bodied) marine fossils.  Originally discovered at high altitude in the mountains of British Columbia’s Yoho National Park in 1909, the Burgess Shale was one of the important reasons for the designation of the region as a UNESCO World Heritage site.  There are two Burgess Shale sites in Yoho National Park you can visit, both long hikes with significant altitude gain.  One is to Mount Stephen and the other to Walcott Quarry.

Recently a sister site has been discovered further south in Kootenay National Park, about 25 miles (40 km) south of the original site.  That …

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.All Trips / Europe / Italy

Palermo’s Palazzo dei Normanni

02 Exterior of Palermo Palazzo del Normanni (2)

Palazzo dei Normanni (Palace of the Normans) is the old Royal Palace in Palermo, Sicily.  It was built in the 9th century by the Arab/Islamic rulers for the harems of their emirs.  It was expanded and renovated by the Normans who subsequently conquered Sicily in 1072.  The Norman kings transformed the building into a multi-functional complex that served as an administrative center and a royal residence.  During the period of Norman rule, Sicily thrived and prospered.

The Palazzo sits on the highest spot in Palermo and is the oldest royal residence in Europe.  After the Normans left, Palazzo dei Normanni was not used for several centuries.  But the palace returned to an administrative role in the second half of the sixteenth century, when the Spanish governors chose …

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Central USA / Colorado / North America

“Pic of the Week”, July 14, 2017. Airport Art, Denver

10 Denver Airport

When I have some spare time between flights I often walk around airports.  In large part this is to stretch my legs and get a little exercise before the lengthy time spent in a crowded airplane seat.  I’m a fan of nicely designed and interesting airports and like to explore some of their shops, get a bite to eat, and people watch.  Airports also increasingly seem to have interesting collections of art on display.  It makes sense to have such exhibits at airports because these places are often crowded and busy, in the case of Denver, nearly 60,000,000 people traveling through it in a given year.  Admittedly many travelers won’t give something more than a glance but others, like me, …

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