Author Archives: Karl

.All Trips / Central USA / Montana / North America

A Visit to the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument

01 Little Bighorn Battlefield

My most recent visit was my third to the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, which preserves the site of “Custer’s Last Stand” — the Battle of the Little Bighorn (June 25 and 26, 1876). The National Monument has a small museum but the highlight of your visit will be to drive through or walk across part of the battlefield.  There are grave markers where soldiers fell during the battle, the largest cluster on the hill where General Custer died, as well as a few more recent markers for some of the Cheyenne warriors who were killed during the fighting.
You’ll enjoy the spectacular scenery of the Little Bighorn valley and “Big Sky” country of Montana.  Every time I’ve visited storm clouds …

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“Pic of the Week”, December 25, 2020: Some Scenes from Central Alberta

00 Rural Alberta

The terrain of Alberta is mostly that of the great Canadian prairies.  It’s where farms on gently rolling hills yield vast crops of canola, wheat and beef.  It’s where lots of oil is pumped from the ground — part of the rich dinosaur heritage of the region.
This past summer I spent several days driving around the central part of the province, between the major cities of Calgary and Edmonton, exploring small towns and destinations I’d not yet seen.  Here’s a sampler of what that’s like:
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)

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.All Trips / Europe / Italy

Catania’s Great Cathedral, Sicily

00 Catania Cathedral (4)

Catania Cathedral faces the city’s main square, and is part of a UNESCO World Heritage site.
As you stand in Catania’s main square and look at the exterior of the cathedral, you’ll be impressed by its beautiful Baroque features.  The many lovely marble figures decorating the exterior and grounds of the building add to its uniqueness.  It’s easy to see why the cathedral is one of Catania’s most popular buildings — both during daylight hours and at night.
Catania Cathedral is also known as Saint Agatha Cathedral in honor of a young Christian martyr named Agatha who was killed at this site in the third century.  Agatha was said to have been a beautiful and pious young girl born into a good family.  …

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“Pic of the Week”, December 18, 2020: Brown Bear fishing at Devil’s Falls, Alaska

Fishing 00

We planned our latest visit to Alaska to coincide with the salmon spawning season because this is when large numbers of Alaskan brown bears migrate to the rivers and streams to begin a feast, fattening themselves for the upcoming winter hibernation.
It had been a nearly rain-free and warm summer in Alaska and many of the streams were dry.  Fortunately Devil’s Falls, which drains glacier melt from the mountains of Katmai National Park, was in full flow.  The base of the falls is only a few meters above sea level but, nonetheless, salmon spawn here and bears gather to catch them.  Our boats could go only so far up the river during rising tide because of all the rocks in the …

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.All Trips / Europe / Slovenia

Some Street Art from Slovenia

00 Street Art Ljublajana

This post contains a few photos of some of the art we discovered while wandering the streets of the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana, which I hope you enjoy.  The first we encountered was this statue of a bull taken outside of a bank near the apartment where we were staying — shades of Wall Street!
There were an interesting assortment of statues and much that we saw….
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)


 

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.All Trips / Asia / India

A Wedding in Jaipur

01 A Wedding in Jaipur (2)

If there’s anything more colorful than a wedding in India, I’m not sure what that would be.  It’s uncommon for a group of tourists to be invited to a wedding celebration; this unique opportunity arose because our tour guide was a good friend of the groom, hence the invite.
Indian weddings are still mostly arranged affairs, the parents picking appropriate mates for their children.  I personally believe that marriage for love is better, but the Indians are happy with their system and it seems to fairly work well for them.  Marriages in India are as stable as those anywhere in the world.
We arrived at the rented venue, part of a total of about 250 people ultimately attending.  We were invited to …

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“Pic of the Week”, December 11, 2020: “Big Mike,” Bozeman, MT

Museum of the Rockies, Bozeman (7) – Copy

Meet “Big Mike”.  He’s a life-size bronze of a Tyrannosaurus Rex located outside of the incredible Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman.
Big Mike’s skeleton was discovered in 1988 near Montana’s Fort Peck Reservoir, and is one of the most complete T Rex skeletons ever discovered. The skeleton was excavated by a team from the Museum of the Rockies.
Using a mold created directly from the bones, the skeleton was cast in bronze in 2001, becoming the first life-size bronze T. rex in the world.  The cast measures 38 feet in length, stands 15 feet tall, and weighs 10,000 pounds. It was dedicated to the memory of Dr. Michael P. Malone, former President of Montana State University, and was a gift …

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.All Trips / Alberta / Central Canada / North America

Calgary’s New Central Library

00 Downtown Calgary Library

Calgary’s new Central Library is located on the eastern edge of downtown.  It opened about two years ago on Nov 1, 2018, replacing the existing library branch in Downtown Calgary.  As you can see, the exterior of the building uses textured and clear glass panes in an effective manner.
The building is considered a new landmark in the city and has been a popular destination, with visitation so far at about 2,000,000 people per year.
The city had begun planning for a new library in 2004 and contracted with architectural firms Snøhetta (an international/Norwegian firm) and Dialog (a Canadian firm).  Their design features an oval shape with a large central skylight  and a spacious central four-story atrium.

Central Atrium, Downtown Calgary Library

Central Atrium, Downtown Calgary Library

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