Author Archives: Karl

“Pic of the Week”, May 29, 2020: Circular Congregational Church, Charleston

02 Circular Congrational Church of Charleston

Circular Congregational Church is one of the many interesting and historic churches in Charleston, and is home to one of the oldest community of worshippers in the USA.  The church was originally founded in 1681.  It is located on Meeting Street, the street named for the gatherings at this church.
The church you visit today is  the fourth building housing this congregation.  Records of the early churches have largely been destroyed by past hurricanes.  The third church was the first circular structure the congregation used, and it was destroyed by fire in 1861.  As the area was devastated by the Civil War and it took some time for rebuilding.  Bricks from the burned down church were used in constructing the present …

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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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“Pic of the Week”, May 22, 2020: The Nike of Samothrace, Paris

00 Nike of Samothrace

One of the more striking pieces in Paris’ Louvre, at least in my humble opinion, is this statue known as “Winged Victory”, or the “Nike of Samothrace”.  It’s an ancient work dating to around 200 BC, and originates from Samothrace, a Greek island in the north Aegean Sea.  Its creator is not known.
The marble statue stands nearly 8 ft tall and depicts Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, wind-blown with her garments clinging to her, triumphantly stepping toward the front of a ship.  The work was probably created to commemorate a successful sea battle.
The statue was unearth by French diplomat and budding archaeologist, Charles Champoiseau, in 1863.  He reassembled the 23 blocks that comprise the ship and sent the figure …

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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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“Pic of the Week”, May 8, 2020: A Century of Yukon License Plates

Yukon Transporation Museum (135)

I couldn’t help but smile when I saw this display of license plates at the Yukon Transportation Museum.  Where else would you find an actual  (not a custom plate) license plate #2?

Besides its displays of cars, trucks and planes, the museum features an exhibit of a century of Yukon license plates in one of its halls.  Licensing of motor vehicles was not required in this Canadian territory until 1914.  It was interesting to see how little the style of the plates changed, and how small the number of motor vehicles must have been in those early years given the single and double digit plate numbers.  Even today Yukon vehicle plates only have three letters and 2 numbers …

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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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