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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 …
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 …
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 …
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.
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 resembles a raindrop, but is made of …
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.
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 …
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 …
I thought it would be nice to feature photos of the Statue of Liberty on this Independence Day Holiday (USA).
I don’t think there’s a symbol of America more iconic than the Statue of Liberty. Situated on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, it offers wonderful views of Manhattan, Brooklyn, New Jersey and Ellis Island. A gift from the people of France, the statue has greeted immigrants and visitors to America for more than 150 years. It’s now under the protection of the National Park Service as National Monument and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The statue was closed the past few years, partially because of internal restoration efforts, but more recently due to the sequelae of Hurricane …
As our Icelandair flight descends through the clouds towards Keflavik airport, the rugged cliffs and shoreline of the Reykjanes peninsula begin to emerge from the mist. The sun is just peaking over the far horizon and its warming light is magical and welcoming! The peninsula’s dark rugged lava fields remind me somewhat of landing in Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii, although the massive bulks of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa are distinctly absent here. We breeze through immigration and customs and make our way to the Flybus, a comfortable and convenient way to do the 40 minute commute from Keflavik to Reykjavik.
We’re tired after our red-eye flight, but to me it feels familiar and good to be back in Iceland. The last time I made this journey I …