.All Trips / Denmark / Europe

Nyhavn: The Best of Copenhagen

00 Nyhavn

Copenhagen is nice city, but not one I’d consider among Europe’s most beautiful. An exception to this is Nyhavn, one of Copenhagen’s neighborhoods, which has undeniable appeal and charm. If there is a more stereotypical Scandanavian neighorhood, I don’t know of it.
Nyhavn was constructed by popular Danish King Christian V between 1670 to 1675. The harbor was dug by Swedish prisoners of war and provided access from the old inner city at Kongens Nytorv (King’s Square) to the sea.



Originally Nyhavn was a commercial harbor at which ships from around the world would dock. Most of its colorful buildings were built in the 17th and 18th century, and its docks back then were busy with sailors, fishermen, dockworkers, and ladies of …

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“Pic of the Week”, August 9, 2019: Scenes from the Batticaloa Waterfront

10 Batticaloa harbor

Situated on Sri Lanka’s east coast, the small city of Batticaloa was all but neglected by tourists until the country’s Civil War ended a few years ago.   Fortunately for the region, that’s changing and valuable tourist dollars are flowing in.

Most people who visit Batticaloa go to see its historic fort, which I’ve previously discussed.  The city is situated on the Indian Ocean, to which it is connected by a series of lagoons, and there are many great scenes to enjoy from the water.

Below are some scenes from the city’s waterfront, including of its harbor including fishermen bridges and the city’s lighthouses….

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

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“Pic of the Week”, March 22, 2019: Sambodhi Chaithya, Colombo

00 Stupa

Stupas, or dagobas, are very commonly found throughout southeastern Asia.  I’d never seen one with legs before my visit to Sambodhi Chaithya, located on Marine Drive adjacent to the Harbor in Colombo’s Fort district.

Sambodhi Chaithya was built in 1956 on a platform supported by two massive interlocking concrete arches.  No one is sure why it was designed in this manner, but likely so that it can be seen at a distance by ships as they approach the harbor.  The stupa can be entered by climbing 11 sets of stairs (barefoot — no shoes allowed in a stupa — beware of burning your feet on a hot day!), and then crossing a steel bridge as you can see from the photo …

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.All Trips / Eastern Canada / Nova Scotia

A Visit to the Citadel, Halifax

00 Citadel, Halifax (9)

Halifax’s roots lie in its proximity to the sea, and its large natural harbor.  When the town was founded in 1749, among the first buildings constructed was a guardhouse atop what would become known as Citadel Hill.  The Citadel, because of its hilltop location, offered a strategic defensive position.  As the harborside town grew and changed, so did the fort which overlooked and protected it. 

The Citadel was completed in 1856, the fourth and last in a series of forts built at this site.  Its official name is Fort George (after King George II).  It has a distinctive star shape, strategic for allowing optimum defense of the structure.  Fortunately these defenses were never put to the test as the city was …

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.All Trips / Eastern Canada / Ontario

Rambling around Thunder Bay’s Waterfront

00 Thunder Bay (51)

Situated on the northwestern shore of the world’s largest lake, Lake Superior, the small city of Thunder Bay is home to one of my favorite people (my baby brother).   I enjoy visiting the city, especially during its summers which are warm and pleasant.  

One of the nicest places to explore on foot is the waterfront along the northern section of town.  Much of the southern shore of Thunder Bay is devoted to transporting the bounty of the prairies to foreign markets.  There are many massive grain elevators alongside which ships pull up and fill their bins with wheat and other grains from the vast stores within the elevators.

The area around the Prince Arthur’s Landing has undergone a dramatic revitalization …

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“Pic of the Week”, February 5, 2016 : Exploring Vancouver’s Waterfront

10 Vancouver Conv Center

One of my favorite cities in which to go for a long walk is Vancouver, BC.  It lends itself to walking because its setting is incredibly beautiful, its architecture interesting, and there’s a lot of fascinating street art you can enjoy.  I especially like exploring the harbor area around the new Convention Center and Canada Place.

Pixel Orca, near the Vancouver Convention Center

Pixel Orca, near the Vancouver Convention Center

Situated just outside the Convention Center are several interesting works of art, including Pixel Orca, a massive outdoor piece that definitely catches your eye, partially because it’s framed by beautiful North Vancouver.  It’s a reminder that many Orca pods live off the coast of the city (which you might see if you take a guided boat tour).

The Drop, outside the Vancouver Convention Center

The Drop, outside the Vancouver Convention Center

The Drop, outside the Vancouver Convention Center

The Drop, outside the Vancouver Convention Center

The Drop  resembles a raindrop, but is made of …

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.All Trips / Europe / Ireland

A Visit to Ireland: Part 5) the town of Dingle (An Daingean)

Dingle Town 2013-011 Harbor

Dingle (in Irish, An Daingean) is the main town on the Dingle peninsula in County Kerry, with a population of around 1500 people.  The Dingle Peninsula sits on Ireland’s west coast just north of the Ivernaugh Peninsula (Ring of Kerry), about 71 km (40 mi) west of Killarney.  Dingle is in the Gaeltrecht part of the country, where maintenance of traditional Gaelic language and culture (eg. music, hurling) is encouraged by government subsidies.  Historically it was an important trading port but today it’s a great town for tourists to visit. 

Colorful storefronts in the small town of Dingle, Ireland

Colorful storefronts in the small town of Dingle, Ireland

 Ireland has many beautiful small towns and Dingle ranks among the finest (and was my favorite of the ones we visited!)  Built along a beautiful sheltered harbor and spreading up the slopes of a mountain to the …

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“Pic of the Week”, Oct. 18, 2013. Harpa, Reykjavik, Iceland

2013-041-Oct. 11a

Dominating Reykjavik’s harbor, Harpa is its new Concert Hall and Conference Center.  It’s impossible to miss this massive structure, with its interesting and unique three dimensional multicolored glass facade.  Home of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and the Icelandic Opera, Harpa can seat up to 1,800 in its largest room.

Harpa’s construction was plagued with problems, some technical but mostly money-related.  Half completed when the country’s financial crisis hit, it was almost abandoned.  The final tab was US$250,000,000  (in a country with just over 300,000 people, that’s almost US$1000 per citizen).  I hope the investment pays off.

It’s a fascinating building to visit, not just because of its size and physical presence, but because of the interesting use of angled …

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