a.k.a. Photo of the Week

“Pic of the Week”, December 14, 2018: A fine Crab Dinner in Ushuaia

03 Ushuaia

I have to admit that before my trip to Patagonia I didn’t know the waters of the southern Pacific were home to king crab, much like you find off the coast of Alaska.  While walking around the streets of Ushuaia, we found a number of restaurants that specialized in the cooking and serving of these large crustaceans.  These places seemed busy and very popular with tourists, especially the Japanese groups, so my wife and I decided to splurge and share one of these monsters for our last dinner in southern Argentina.  

The beasts are sold by the kilogram (sorry, can’t remember the price, but it wasn’t cheap).  The crab is cooked and served to you intact on a large platter, as …

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“Pic of the Week”, December 7, 2018: Unbearably Lake Tahoe

05 Lake Tahoe, California (19)

An art form I enjoy, which has seen growing popularity these past few decades, is chainsaw carvings.  As the name implies, the artist uses chainsaws of different size to work a piece of dried raw wood into the final carved piece.  The carvings are often large and heavy.  The wood is then generally stained or painted and sealed with varnish or polyurethane to protect the art.  

While driving around Lake Tahoe this past summer — a beautiful scenic drive that’s highly recommended — we came across several homes on the California side of the lake that had some fine examples of carved bears.  I thought they were quite good and stopped to get some photos.  Not sure if all the ones …

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“Pic of the Week”, November 30, 2018. The Old Parliament Building, Colombo

00 Old Parliament Building (4)

A building that’s impossible to miss when you visit the coastal area of downtown Colombo is the nation’s first Parliament building (a.k.a. the “Old Parliament Building”).  Facing the Galle Face Green and the sea (and now the ever-growing Marina development complex), the building is situated on reclaimed land just south of the Fort District and World Trade Center towers.  Initially the building was home to the Legislative Council of Ceylon and was witness to country’s transition from colonial state to self-rule in 1947. 

Completed in 1930, this Neo-Baroque style building was home to the country’s legislature for 53 years.  During the country’s prolonged Civil War, Parliament was moved to a a more secure complex in nearby Sri Jayawardenepura in 1983.

The building …

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“Pic of the Week”, November 23, 2018: Paradise Valley, Nevada

03 Paradise Valley, Nevada (5)

While on a road-trip last year, I drove through northern Nevada and came across a rather pretty place in the desert.  Relatively green and lush, it was known as Paradise Valley.   One of about a dozen places by the same name I’ve encountered in my travels and like the rest of them, visually striking.  This was a place of horse and cattle ranchers.

Don’t know much about the region but it was worth stopping and enjoying the view.

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

 

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“Pic of the Week”, November 16, 2018: Halifax’s Old Town Clock

Citadel, Halifax (12)

The Halifax Town Clock (aka ‘Old Town Clock’, or ‘Citadel Clock Tower’) is situated just beneath the old Citadel on a hill overlooking the city and its harbor.   It has kept time for over 200 years and is considered one of the city’s iconic buildings.

The clock was a gift from Prince Edward, Duke of Kent (Queen Victoria’s father). Prince Edward was the Commander-in-Chief of British Forces in North America and was stationed in Halifax for about a year, ending August 1800.  Upon leaving, the prince (who was obsessed with punctuality and found Halifax residents lacking in this regard) decided to give the city this timepiece.

The Clock was designed by Prince Edward’s engineer in 1801 and was crafted by 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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“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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