Nevada / North America / Southwestern USA

“Pic of the Week”, April 27, 2018: “Big Edge”, Las Vegas

00 Around the Vdara (16)

Situated in the heart of Las Vegas’ City Center, in the middle of many beautifully designed skyscrapers, is a fascinating piece of street-art.  It’s crafted by Nancy Rubins and is known as “Big Edge”.   Like something you might imagine seeing at the bottom of a waterfall that has surprised dozens of boaters.

“Big Edge” is situated in front of the Vdara Hotel and Spa, between the Aria and Bellagio casinos, and is best seen from its elevated circular drive (its not visible from The Strip).  Two hundred boats, many canoes but with some flat bottom boats and rowboats, are incorporated into this unusual piece.  Given the strong desert winds, this seemingly haphazard arrangement of boats actually has to be firmly …

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“Pic of the Week”, April 20, 2018: Views of Seville

07 Seville views

For over 800 years the tower of Seville’s magnificent cathedral (the Giralda) stood as the tallest structure in the city, built at 103 m.  Completed in 1195, it was originally the minaret of the Aljama mosque before it became the bell tower of a Christian Church.  The structure took 12 years to build.

The name Giralda means “she who turns” after the weather vane on top of the tower.  The figure on the weather vane, called El Giraldillo, represents faith.

The Giralda, originally used for calling faithful Muslims to prayer and as an observatory,  was highly valued by the Moors.  There were plans to destroy it before the Christian conquest of the city in 1248, but a threat by King Alfonso X …

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.All Trips / D.C. / North America / Southeastern USA / Washington District of Columbia

Martlin Luther King Jr Memorial, Washington D.C.

00 Martin Luther King Jr Memorial (10)

 
“Out of the Mountain of Despair, a Stone of Hope”

 

One of the newer memorials in Washington DC is also one of its most unusual and memorable.  The Martin Luther King (MLK) Jr. Memorial is located adjacent to the Tidal Basin in West Potomac Park, beside the National Mall and the FDR Memorial.   The MLK Memorial is spread along the banks of the Tidal Basin and cover four acres, but is centered on a carving of the famous Civil Rights leader. 

The MLK statue is incorporated into part of a large granite boulder that has been sliced into three pieces, much like the layers of a giant sandwich.  To enter the monument from the National Mall, you walk through the outer two …

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“Pic of the Week”, April 13, 2018: Boo the Bear, Golden B.C.

Golden B.C . Grizzly Bear Refuge (35)

I’d like you to meet Boo, a grizzly bear. Boo is well known around the Canadian Rocky Mountain region because he lives at the Kicking Horse Grizzly Bear Refuge and gets lots of visitors. His home consists of a fenced 22-acre piece of natural land (apparently the world’s largest protected grizzly bear habitat) where Boo has lived and wandered freely since 2003. Boo and his sibling were orphaned at only a few months old when their mother was killed by a poacher; sadly Boo’s sibling didn’t survive his first hibernation.

Boo has found a good home here in eastern British Columbia, near the town of Golden. He’s been known to escape during mating season (he digs out under his electrified fence), …

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.All Trips / Europe / Spain

Seville’s Awesome Cathedral!

04 Seville Cathedral

Seville’s cathedral, Santa Maria de la Sede, is the largest Gothic cathedral in the world and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.  The cathedral was built in the 15th century (1401 to 1506 A.D.) on the site of the 12th century Aljama mosque.  Portions of the mosque survive within the Cathedral’s structure, most notably the belltower known as Giralda.

Seville’s Cathedral is very popular with visitors and unless you arrive early or late, you’ll likely have to wait in line to purchase your ticket.  It’s one of the most magnificent churches I’ve ever seen, and I found it well worth the wait and price of admission.  While you wait in line you’ll have time to study and enjoy some of the beautiful craftsmanship adorning the …

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“Pic of the Week”, April 6, 2018: The world’s largest TeePee, Medicine Hat

04 Lethbridge Saamis TeePee (1)

When you drive through the city of Medicine Hat in east-central Alberta, you’ll encounter an enormous steel structure on the western outskirts of the city.  This is the Saamis Teepee, the city’s most prominent landmark. At 65.5 meters high, the Saamis Teepee is the tallest teepee in the world (about as tall as a 20 story building).

Originally built for the 1988 Winter Olympics, it was erected in  McMahon Stadium in Calgary where it housed the Olympic Flame during the games.  After the Olympics, the teepee was subsequently moved to Medicine Hat and erected here in 1991 due to the generosity and ingenuity of Amerigo (RickĀ) Filanti. 

The Saamis teepee now stands on the edge of an old Blackfoot buffalo jump (place …

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.All Trips / Car Culture / North America / Pacific Northwest / Washington

Great Cars Along the Highway: Ford Sunliner, Spokane

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Came across this lovely old car parked in a shopping mall in Spokane.

It’s a Ford from the early 1950s that seems to have been reworked somewhat, especially its grill, making it a little hard to pinpoint.  I expect a 1952 or 1953 vintage, but a lovely classic  convertible.  I found it interesting that it has its old dealer plaque, Stoddard-Wendle.  Wendle is still a popular Ford dealership in the city. 

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)

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.All Trips / Alberta / Central Canada / North America

Beautiful Writing-On-Stone Provincial Park!

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Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park lies in the Milk River valley of the province’s prairie grasslands ecosystem and has characteristic “Badlands” erosion.  It is situated in southern Alberta, just north of the Montana border.  

This place is sacred to the Blackfoot native population as the Park contains the largest concentration of petroglyphs (rock carvings) and pictographs (rock paintings) on the North American plains.  It is believed this site was a place where the ancestors of the Blackfoot people gathered to socialize and tell stories. 

I visited this park several years ago.  It’s in a fairly remote place, about a half day’s drive from the city of Calgary and an hour and a half from Lethbridge.  I visited on a rainy, windy June day that …

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