.All Trips / Asia / Sri Lanka

Sinhalese New Year Celebration, Sri Lanka

00 New Years, Polonnaruwa

Tomorrow, April 14th, is New Year’s Day in Sri Lanka.  Sinhalese Buddhists call it ‘Aluth Avurudu’, while Tamil Hindus name it ‘Puthandu’.  My last visit to Sri Lanka coincided with this celebration, which I thought I’d share with you today. 
The date and time of Sri Lanka’s New Year’s is determined by astrologists, but  always falls between April 12th and 15th (depending on the cycle of the moon).  It’s a celebration based partially in superstitions — a way to hope for a good harvest and prosperous year.  New Year’s is a time to put on some new clothes and visit friends, family or a temple, and to enjoy good food.  Parades are held, although we didn’t go to one.  Almost everything …

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.All Trips / Denmark / Europe

The King’s Garden, Copenhagen

00 Rosenborg Castle Gardens

The King’s Garden — sometimes known as Rosenborg Castle Gardens — was designed in the early 1600s, during the reign of popular Danish King Christian IV. It was created as a private garden for King Christian and adjoins Rosenborg Castle. It’s the oldest Royal Garden in Denmark and is a popular green space in Copenhagen, with about 2.5 million visitors a year most obviously visiting in the summer.
As you might expect, the garden has undergone a number of changes over the years, but its overall design is mostly preserved.  Within the park you’ll find a large number of sculptures, including the most famous one of beloved Danish novelist, Hans Christian Andersen.  

Rosenborg Castle Gardens - Hans Christian Andersen statue

Rosenborg Castle Gardens – Hans Christian Andersen statue

The oldest sculpture in the garden is ‘The Horse …

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.All Trips / Alberta / Central Canada / North America

Bar U Ranch National Historic Site, Alberta


The Bar U Ranch is located just south of Longview, Alberta, on the scenic Cowboy Trail.  The area consists of a long stretch of mostly undeveloped prairie where it abutts the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.
The Bar U Ranch sits on the eastern slope of the Rockies. It’s a nicely preserved and interesting ranch that provides a look at life on Canada’s great prairies more than a century ago, before the land became fenced off. At a time when the bison had nearly been exterminated from the plains to be replaced by large cattle herds that roamed freely.

A wagon shuttles you from the visitor center to the ranch

A wagon shuttles you from the visitor center to the ranch

The Bar U back then was one of the largest and most successful ranches in Canada, covering 160,000 acres (65,000 ha).  It had 30,000 …

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.All Trips / Alberta / Car Culture / Central Canada / North America

Great Cars Along the Highway: 1964 Austin Healey 3000

00 1964 Austin Healey 3000

The Austin-Healey 3000 was a popular British sports car built from 1959 to 1967. The 3000s were often used as racing cars. Most were exported, the majority to North America.
This beautiful car was spotted in Calgary.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)


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.All Trips / Denmark / Europe

Exploring Christiania, Copenhagen

01 Christiania (9)

I was told by a friend that I absolutely “had” to visit Christiania — also known as Freetown Christiania — while in Copenhagen. It’s an unusual and somewhat interesting place, but I’d definitely not put it on a ‘must see’ list for the city.
The existence of this community has been quite controversial.  Christiania was began in 1971 when a group of people moved into an abandoned military barracks (covering 7.7 hectacres — 19 acres).  The place grew into a squatter’s village and somewhat of a community.  It especially became known as a place you could buy pot and hash on “Pusher Street” (which was illegal in the rest of Denmark).  Hard drugs are said not to be tolerated, though I …

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.All Trips / Argentina / South America

A Final Hike in Tierra del Fuego National Park

01 Tierra del Fuego National Park

The final chapter of our exploration of Patagonia was a visit to Bahia Lapataia (Lapataia Bay).  Here you’ll find the southern most point of the Pan-American Highway, the longest highway on earth.  At a parking lot beside the road’s end,  you’ll find this sign marking this important landmark.  It’s only about a 45 minute drive from Ushuaia, but is the farthest south you can drive in the Western Hemisphere.
We drove to the area, parked, and hiked a little through a swampy forest of beech and evergreens.  Fortunately there were boardwalk trails through the wettest areas, so our feet didn’t get soaked.  The weather was wet and cold and windy — not exactly terrific hiking weather, but typical of the area.  The …

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.All Trips / Peru / South America

Trekking on the Original Inca Trail

00 Inca Trail

I’ve enjoyed hiking and walking all of my life. One of my most memorable treks was the Inca Trail in Peru. Hard to believe it’s been 25 years since my brother and I did that walk, and I’m glad I did it then because my worn knees would not be up to the task today.
The hike lasted four days and wound its way up and down and across the Andes, starting in a desert climate and ending in a cloud forest. Our highest altitude was 4200 m (13,800 ft), a level at which it’s quite cool even when so close to the equator.
The trail has a lot of ups and downs, and it’s hard work as the pitch is so …

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.All Trips / Florida / North America / Southeastern USA

Rambling around Key West’s Historic Waterfront

07 Key West Historic Waterfront

Key West is one of the older cities in the United States and that history is especially reflected around it’s old waterfront region.  There are several older buildings here, like the above featured U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, now a shopping arcade.

The old waterfront reminds me a little of San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Warf.  There are quirky attractions like the Shipwreck Treasures Museum, which includes a viewing platform that is one of the tallest points in Key West.

Key West has an old small aquarium that’s interesting to visit……

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