.All Trips / Asia / Sri Lanka

The British War Cemetery, Trincomalee

00 Trincomalle British Military Cemetery

Today is Veteran’s Day in the USA and Remembrance Day in most of the Commonwealth nations.  It’s a time to remember and reflect on those who paid the ultimate price to fight tyranny and preserve liberty.

During my last trip to Sri Lanka we made a 2 day stop in the east coast community of Trincomalle, a place I had not been to before because it was at the center of the Civil War.  Trincomalle is a pretty town with one of the world’s greatest natural harbors.  As such, it is a popular destination for diving.

I made a point of visiting the Trincomalee British War Cemetery (a.k.a. Trincomalee War Cemetery) situated on the north end of the …

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“Pic of the Week”, November 9, 2018: Street Art in Dubai

01 Al Fahidi Historic District (10)

As one might expect in a Kingdom with fairly tight control of its society, Dubai does not have much in the way of street art.  The one exception to this, at least that I encountered during my visit, was in the Al Fahidi Historical District.

The district is one of the older surviving neighborhoods in Dubai and was home to merchants and traders, many from Iran.  Their homes have been restored and have converted into offices, cafés, art galleries and small shops.  Interspersed was some art, mostly murals quite nicely done. But there were other interesting sights like some sculpture, a small garden growing in recycled soda bottles — even some antiques outside a café.

A pleasant and safe neighborhood in which to …

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“PIc of the Week”, November 2, 2018: Cargill’s Store, Colombo

01 Cargills

One of the most popular buildings from the British Colonial era in Colombo is the Cargills department store, located in the city’s old Fort District.  A century ago this store was busy providing British residents with a place they could purchase staples and luxury items from back home.  The journey to Cargills often required them to make the long trek to Colombo from tea plantations and other remote destinations in Sri Lanka. 

The lovely building is know for it’s red brick facade.  It was originally built as the residence of the Dutch military commander of Galle, before British occupation.  The building was acquired by Cargills in 1896 and underwent a remodel and refinishing, opening as a store in 1906.

Like many of …

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.All Trips / Argentina / South America

A Sampler of San Telmo’s Street Art

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As I’ve previously discussed, Buenos Aires has a vibrant street art scene.  In this post I’ll share some of the art we encountered in the San Telmo neighborhood.   San Telmo is a popular place to go shopping and dining.  While it was at its prime in the late 19th century, San Telmo is now in a state of “elegant decay”.   The street art provides some relief from this.

Here is some works of street art we saw as we walked these worn lanes:

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

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“Pic of the Week”, October 26, 2018: Jebel Hafeet

14 Trip up Jebel Hafeet (1)

Jebel Hafeet is a mountain near the desert city of Al Ain, in the United Arab Emirates. It’s an impressive peak, rising 1,249 m (4,098 ft), and is easily accessible. While many credit Jebel Hafeet as being the tallest mountain in the UAE, that honor belongs to Jabal Jais at 1,925 m (6,316 ft). The mountain straddles the border of Oman, and views of that country are easily seen from the summit (although some what hazy because of blowing dust).

Jebel Hafeet has an extensive natural cave system which has only partially been explored to a depth of about 150 m.  The caves show nicely preserved stalagmites and stalactites, but they are not open to the public.  Marine fossils (plankton, coral, crabs) are found within the …

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.All Trips / Arizona / North America / Southwestern USA

The National Atomic Testing Museum, Las Vegas — unlike any other

03 National Atomic Test Site (10)

I’ve been to Vegas more times than I can remember.  It’s always been a decent weekend getaway  destination and is a good place to meet up with friends as it’s easily accessible, has reasonably priced accommodation and great restaurants.  And if you want you can explore the desert, catch a live show, gamble, or go to a night club.

I’m not much of a gambler or a nightclub guy, but I do like to visit an interesting museum.  The National Atomic Testing Museum (NATM) certainly is different than most and if you have an interest in science and military history, is well worth a visit.  The museum opened in 2005 and is operated by the Nevada Test Site Historical Foundation.  It’s …

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.All Trips / Eastern Canada / North America / Nova Scotia

Halifax’s Legislative Home — Province House

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During my travels I often find myself visiting sites of government.  Not sure why this is so because, as a rule, most governments really annoy me.  Perhaps it’s because the buildings in which they’re housed are often grand and opulent and their landscaping beautiful, covering many acres of prime real estate. 

So a visit to Province House in Halifax was a pleasant change from the norm.  When we first spotted the building during our exploratory walk through the city, I thought it must be of some significance because it was old and looked important, but it is not at all large, occupying only a small city block.  Perhaps, I thought, it was a courthouse or library?  Turned out this was Province …

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“Pic of the Week”, October 12, 2018: The Waterfall at the Dubai Mall

10 Dubai Mall (48)

One of the most impressive works of public art I’ve ever seen was in the world’s largest shopping mall, the Dubai Mall.  Located close to the world’s tallest building (Burj Khalifi) and with views of it, are two cylindrical waterfalls that extend the full four story height (24 m) of the Mall structure. 

All that flowing water seems out of place in the desert, but the sight and sound of it is beautiful and mesmerizing.  To enhance the waterfalls are dozens of fiberglass figures giving the illusion of synchronized divers.  This art work can be viewed from each level of the mall, and the perspective changes so take the escalator up all the floors and take it all in.

The fountains are …

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