Central USA / Kansas / North America

“Pic of the Week”, June 26, 2020: Van Gogh Easel, Goodland, Kansas

00 Van Gogh Easel, Goodland (6)

It’s not every day you get to see an enormous Van Gogh painting sitting on an easel in a small prairie town.  But that’s what we encountered recently when traveling through Kansas.
Goodland, in western Kansas, is said to have the World’s Largest Easel.  It’s 80 feet tall and holds a 32 x 24-foot representation of one of Van Gogh’s “Sunflower” paintings.  The painting was constructed using 24 sheets of plywood surrounded by fiberglass mattes and layered with an industrial gel coat.  The paint used was industrial acrylic urethane enamel, known for it’s hardiness in extreme weather conditions.  The easel is built of steel, weighing more than 40,000 pounds. The supports are sunk 35 feet into the ground. 
Goodland’s painting is a …

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.All Trips / Europe / Slovenia

Church of St. John the Baptist, Lake Bohinj, Slovenia

00 Church of St. John the Baptist (18)

One of the most photographed sites in Lake Bohinj is this church.  It’s about 700 years old (although it was constructed over several hundred years) and sits at the lake’s outflow, adjoining an attractive stone bridge.  The church is an important cultural landmark, but I think the main appeal is its beautiful “picture perfect” natural setting. 
The Church of St John the Baptist in this region has a history dating back to the early years of Christianity, but this building was constructed in the Middle Ages.  The nave is of Romanesque architecture.  The walls and ceilings are covered with 15th- and 16th-century frescoes, some of the oldest in Slovenia.

Entry to Church of St. John the Baptist

Entry to Church of St. John the Baptist


As you enter the church you’ll see some interesting murals, as well as the …

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“Pic of the Week”, May 22, 2020: The Nike of Samothrace, Paris

00 Nike of Samothrace

One of the more striking pieces in Paris’ Louvre, at least in my humble opinion, is this statue known as “Winged Victory”, or the “Nike of Samothrace”.  It’s an ancient work dating to around 200 BC, and originates from Samothrace, a Greek island in the north Aegean Sea.  Its creator is not known.
The marble statue stands nearly 8 ft tall and depicts Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, wind-blown with her garments clinging to her, triumphantly stepping toward the front of a ship.  The work was probably created to commemorate a successful sea battle.
The statue was unearth by French diplomat and budding archaeologist, Charles Champoiseau, in 1863.  He reassembled the 23 blocks that comprise the ship and sent the figure …

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“Pic of the Week”, March 6, 2020: The Mona Lisa

03 Mona Lisa, Louvre

What’s that small thing everyone’s staring at?  Arguably it’s the world’s most famous painting.  If you want a closer look, you’ll have to push your way through the crowd at Paris’ Louvre to get to it.  And be sure to lock your valuables somewhere on your person because the room is well known as a den of thieves.   Pickpockets rule here, and signs everywhere warn you to be careful.

One of my most anti-climatic moments as a traveler came when seeing the Mona Lisa for the first time.  I’d read and heard so much about it — one of the great Leonardo da Vinci’s few paintings, and of a mystery woman (possibly Lisa del Giocondo) with such an unusual smile.  …

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“Pic of the Week”, November 22, 2019: Street Art sampler, Winnipeg

04 Trip to Winnipeg 08-2018 (80)

A few of the murals I saw while driving around Winnipeg this past summer.  Over the years the number and quality of these has shown an appreciated increase throughout the city. 

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

 

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.All Trips / Central Canada / North America / Saskatchewan

Murals of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan

05 Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan (29)

The Canadian province of Saskatchewan and its city of Moose Jaw are hardly on most tourist maps (though I recall as a kid I thought it very cool that a city was named after an animal’s mandible).  As with many things in life, when you scratch the surface you’ll find something interesting underneath.  

So it was this past summer when I was driving between Calgary and Winnipeg.  Having passed through Moose Jaw many times through the years, without stopping for more than gas, I though I’d head into the city and look around for a few hours.  It was an enjoyable break from the day’s driving.

 Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan

Capone’s Hideaway, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan

The city has an interesting array of large outdoor murals depicting its history and development …

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“Pic of the Week”, May 31, 2019: LaFayette, Colorado

Lafayette, Colorado (2)

The small Colorado town of Lafayette is mostly a bedroom community for the cities of Denver and Boulder.  Its roots are related to mining and it has a nice collection of restaurants and shops that we visited recently.

Here’s a few of the sights from a stroll around the town:

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

 

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.All Trips / North America / Western Canada / Yukon

Street Art in Whitehorse

P1110666

While by no means a large city, with only around 25,000 residents, Whitehorse is the major population center in Canada’s Yukon Territories.  This large territory (482,000 km2, 186,300 miles2)  is home to only 37,000 people (and about 75,000 moose), so Whitehorse’s influence in the region becomes apparent.

Whitehorse is changing and it is growing.   These changes are perhaps most notable to someone like me who hadn’t been there for nearly 20 years.   An appreciated addition was a proliferation of street murals on the buildings of the city.  These varied greatly in theme and style, but most of them in some way represented life in and the history of the north — notably …

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