Author Archives: Karl

.All Trips / Argentina / South America

A Visit to the Maritime and Prison Museum, Ushuaia

03 Ushuaia Marfitime Museum

The Maritime and Prison Museum was originally constructed in the late 19th century as a prison (by prisoners).  It consists of 5 two-story wings built onto a central hub.  The prison became the most southerly situated jail in the world and was where Buenos Aires sent prisoners it didn’t want to house locally — sort of like the English sending prisoners to Australia.
The prison had 380 cells which housed up to 800 inmates ranging from political prisoners to murderers.  In some ways the prison was reformative, prisoners receiving a basic education and pay for work performed (which they could take with them when — or if — they ever left).  The prison ran various shops that served the needs of …

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“Pic of the Week”, October 16, 2020: Statue of Jan Matejko, Krakow

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Jan Matejko is a famous 19th century artist who was born in Krakow.  He is best know for his oil canvases documenting famous 19th century Polish battles and persons of interest, like kings and politicians.
I thought this a rather clever piece.  Situated in Krakow’s Planty Park — a circular 4 km long park that used to be the city’s moat — it shows the artist sitting in front of a large picture frame.  There is no canvas and what you see framed is pleasing scene of the old wall and vegetation of the park itself.  It was fall when we visited, so the colors stood out beautifully.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)

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.All Trips / North America / South Carolina / Southeastern USA

South of Broad, Charleston

03 Charleston South of Broad (8)

South of Broad is a novel by Pat Conroy, which I read years ago.  The book is set in Charleston, in the popular and historic part of the city situated south of Broad Street.  Like all of Conroy’s books it focuses on an interesting cast of characters, but the title of the book stuck with me.
The area south of Broad is located between the Ashley and Cooper Rivers and is a residential neighborhood filled with beautiful antebellum homes dating back as far as 1721.  The real estate of the neighborhood is pricy, it being unlikely you could purchase a home here for under a million dollars (repeated beatings by future hurricanes are thrown in for free).  It’s a charming area …

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.All Trips / Alberta / Central Canada / North America

Markerville Lutheran Church, Alberta

01 Markerville Lutheran Church

It’s not easy to find the small Alberta town of Markerville on a map, but you’d be charmed by it as I was when I visited.  The most memorable building in Markerville is this simple but pleasing church.
Markerville was established by Icelandic immigrants who arrived in Alberta via the United States in the late 19th century, and grew to a thriving (if small) community.  After hiring a full-time minister in 1905, the residents decided they needed a church.  Local farmers brought their tools and began the work of building their house of worship in 1906.  Most Icelandic people at the time were Lutheran, so it makes sense they would build a Lutheran church. 
The foundation was made of sandstone quarried in …

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“Pic of the Week”, October 9, 2020: Bow Falls, Banff

00 Bow Falls

Bow Falls is a wide but relatively short waterfall (<9 meters) which, because of it’s location, is often visited.  When the Bow River is filled with spring thaw it really roars, but in the drier summer months its flow is significantly reduced and the falls are less impressive.
Bow Falls is located less than a kilometer south of the Banff townsite, near the Banff Springs Hotel.  You can access the falls from a parking lot immediately downriver from them or from Banff by following a trail adjoining the Bow River (there are trails on either side, but the best views are from the west side).  If you continue further downriver, past Bow Falls, you’ll quickly hit the junction of the Spray River …

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

Great Cars Along the Highway: 1960 Chevrolet Corvette, Calgary

1960 Chevrolet Corvette (1)

I think Chevy Corvettes — especially those made in the 1950s and early 1960s — are among the most attractive cars ever made in America.  
The Corvette was first built in 1953 — this model was made in 1960, one of just over 10,000 made that year.  The car has a front placed engine (generally a 283 cu in (4.64 L) V8), rear wheel drive, and is a two-door, two passenger vehicle. 
The Corvette was one of the first cars to use fiberglass for the outer body, a tradition that continues to this day.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)

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.All Trips / Asia / Sri Lanka

Views of Sri Lanka’s Tea Country from the Rear Window

Trip to Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka (95)

Despite being a small nation, there’s a lot of beautiful scenery to enjoy in Sri Lanka, from lovely palm-fringed beaches, to charming small villages, to ancient cities.  As far as scenery to enjoy while on a road trip, I don’t think there’s anything more appealing than a drive through the tea country of the mountains.
The following images are a short gallery taken from my back seat window while traveling from Colombo to Nuwara Eliya, the latter city in the heart of the country’s tea-growing region.  The roads are curvy and progress is slow, but I suppose that’s a metaphor for life in Ceylon.
Here are some of the scenes spotted along the way:
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance …

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“Pic of the Week”, October 2, 2020: The Coin Artist, Ushuaia

00 Ushuaia Coin Man

In a park along Ushuaia’s waterfront is a small market featuring small “mom and pop” gift shops, like this one.  Most sell junk like crappy t-shirts and hats, but this one caught our eye.
This gentleman is an artist.  He takes coins from around the world, meticulously cuts out the artwork within them to make lovely pendents featuring animals, flowers, buildings, heroes, etc. — a large assortment of beautiful items.  I’d only in decades of traveling seen one other display of its type, and that many years ago.
My wife is extremely fond of horses and purchased several horse pendants for herself and as gifts.  The artist was appreciative and pleased to know his handiwork was traveling to California and Washington state.
(Clock …

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