a.k.a. Photo of the Week

“Pic of the Week”, February 15, 2019: Arabian Tea House Cafe, Dubai

02 Al Fahidi Historic District (53)

Just outside one of the more interesting neighborhoods in Dubai, the Al Fahidi Historic District, sits a small picturesque cafe — the Arabian Tea House Cafe.  I’d been on my feet for more than three hours and the heat of the day was ramping up, so I thought I’d take a break to rest and get a snack. 

The cafe was situated in a shaded courtyard (shade provided by both trees and canopies) with comfortable tables.  Some sofas for waiting were placed outside and inside the restaurant, so it must get busy at times, although that late morning it was not. Fans moved air around and it was quite pleasant, despite the ambient heat.  The clientele was a mixture of locals …

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“Pic of the Week”, February 8, 2019: Downtown Baker City, Oregon

01 Baker City, Or (3)

I’d driven past Baker City in northeastern Oregon a number of times before finally visiting it — twice — in one year.  One visit was a relatively quick one, just driving through to see the historic district while on a road-trip.  For our second visit it was our destination for viewing the 2017 Solar Ellipse as it was in the path of totality.

Baker City is relatively small, with around 10,000 residents.  The community lay along the famous Oregon Trail and really took hold after the railroad came through.  By 1900 it was the largest city between Salt Lake City and Portland.  It rests between the picturesque Wallowa and Elkhorn Mountain and the setting is quite pretty.   The city …

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“Pic of the Week”, February 1, 2019: St. Peter’s Church, Colombo

00 St. Peter’s Church, Fort (3)

Christianity is a minority religion in Sri Lanka with just 7.5% of the population being Christian.  Most residents are Sinhalese Buddhists (70%), with smaller numbers of Tamils (12.5%) and Muslims (10%).  Historically all these people have gotten along quite well, although there have been periods of serious conflict (eg. a bloody 50 year civil war between the Sinhalese and Tamils).  While there are many ancient Buddhist temples throughout Sri Lanka, it’s not common to find older Christian churches.

It’s worth looking for the entrance to St Peter’s in the Fort District of Colombo.  St. Peter’s is located on Church Street beside the Grand Oriental Hotel, adjoining the city’s harbor.  The area is quite secure, with barricades and fencing, because Police headquarters …

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“Pic of the Week”, January 25, 2019: Bow Valley Provincial Park

04 Bow River PP

Alberta has a fine network of provincial parks (analogous to American state parks).  One of these is situated just east of the Alberta Rocky mountains on the banks of the Bow River as it makes its way from Banff to Calgary and ultimately to Hudson’s Bay.
 
The park has several campgrounds which are very popular during the summer months.  It provides excellent access to Banff and Canmore, and is also not that far from Calgary.   The park also offers some easy hiking trails that provide a nice way to explore the terrain of the Rocky mountain foothills.
 
We parked at Middle Lake and explored many of the trails in the area — Middle Lake, Moraine and

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“Pic of the Week”, January 18, 2019: The Metropol Parasol, Seville

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It’s hard to miss the massive Metropol Parasol, which is said to be the “World’s Largest Wooden Structure”.  Not sure how to verify such a claim but it certainly is large.  It measures 150 x 70 meters (490 x 230 ft) and is about 26 meters (85 ft) tall.

The structure was designed by German architect Jurgen Mayer and was completed in 2011 as part of the revitalization at Plaza de la Encarnacion.  It consists of 6 interwoven large mushroom-like structures built of birch panels which provide welcome shaded relief from the warm Spanish sun.

Metropol Parasol is one of Seville’s newer structures and is becoming an icon.  It’s home to a museum (with Roman and Moorish ruins displayed), a market, restaurant …

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“Pic of the Week”, January 11, 2019: Grand Oriental Hotel, Colombo

00 Oriental Hotel Colombo (4)

The Grand Oriental Hotel (GOH, previously the Taprobane Hotel) is a heritage property located in the Fort district of Colombo.

The building was formerly a barracks for the British Army and was converted to a hotel in 1875,  with 154 rooms.  Ads at the time claimed it was “the only fully European owned and fully equipped hotel in the East”; also, “the hotel is lighted throughout by electricity and all the public rooms and bedrooms are kept cool by means of electric fans”.

It was an elegant place to visit in the 19th century.  It had a tropical garden, was illuminated at night by colored lights, and had its own orchestra which performed daily.  The hotel underwent a thorough a refurbishment in …

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“Pic of the Week”, January 4, 2019. Old Fire Truck, Gold Hill

00 Old Fire Truck, Gold Hill

Situated in the high foothills of the Rocky Mountains is the town of Gold Hill.  This is a fascinating living relic of Colorado’s mining past and an interesting place to visit.

Sitting by the town’s main road is a large rusting and faded truck that was worth exploring.  On closer look, it became clear that this was an ancient Ford fire truck, circa 1940 or so.  Most of the lights and equipment have been stripped and it obviously hasn’t been used for many years, but it definitely fit into the landscape of Gold Hill.

I love finding old vehicles like this during my travels!

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

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“Pic of the Week”, December 28, 2018: The Coffee Museum, Dubai

05 Al Fahidi Historic District (85)

The Al Fahidi Historic District is one of the few surviving older neighborhoods within Dubai.  It’s quite a charming area which has been refurbished and modernized, and contains a variety of shops, cafes and some small museums.

One of the museums is dedicated to coffee.  It’s a small privately owned museum that displays the owner’s private collection, including historic items related to coffee making and drinking, such as old coffee grinders, pots, roasters and other coffee-related memorabilia.   Some of the items reflect the history of coffee consumption around the world.  There’s a small library with books based on coffee dating back as far as the 18th century.  And there are some Emirati-style majlis (sitting rooms) also on display.

Coffee is an integral …

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