.All Trips / Florida / North America / Southeastern USA

A Few Photos of Life in the Everglades

07 Shark Valley 12-2018 (47)

The slowly flowing, warm, River of Grass is teaming with life, although at times it’s hard to see it.  A recommended place to spot wildlife within Everglades National Park is in Shark Valley.  There is a lengthy elevated bike path in the area, which is shared by a tram.  You can rent a bike and cycle around, stopping to see the alligators and birds, or you can sit back in the tram and let a biologist/guide educate you about what you’re seeing.  Both options are very rewarding.  There is no better place to immerse yourself in this UNESCO World Heritage ecosystem.

We visited Shark Valley a few months ago and had a wonderful experience.  I previously published a …

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.All Trips / Belgium / Europe

Brussel’s Amazing Market Square (Grand-Place)

17 Brussels. House of the Dukes of Brabant

Grand-Place (Grote Markt in Dutch) is the central square of Brussels which is know of its beautiful and decorative architecture in a variety of styles (e.g. Baroque, Gothic).  The square is lined by City Hall, Maison du Roi, and a number of guild houses. In 1998 it was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Many famous events in Brussels’ history occurred in the Grand-Place, including the martyrdom of protestant leaders Hendrik Voes and Jan Van Essen, and a brutal attack by the French in 1695 targeting the façade and tower of City Hall, resulting in extensive damage to many buildings of the square. Obviously all has been repaired and today many of the buildings house museums and tourism-related shops.

Some of …

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.All Trips / North America / Western Canada / Yukon

Kluane National Park, Yukon Territory

04 Kluane NP (8)

One of the more remote regions on the North American continent is Kluane National Park, located in southwestern Yukon, 160 kilometres west of Whitehorse.  It’s minimally accessible by car and has few hiking trails, most of which are near the outskirts of the park.  The park’s backcountry is largely inaccessible except to rugged individuals who like to blaze their own trail.  The best way to see Kluane’s backcountry is by plane (on a clear day).  It’s a very beautiful but rough landscape, filled with tall peaks, roaring rivers and glaciers. 

Alaska Highway and Kluane National Park

Alaska Highway and Kluane National Park

The town of Haines Junction is at the convergence point of the two highways that skirt Kluane National Park and Reserve, namely the Haines Highway heading north from Haines in the …

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.All Trips / Florida / North America

(Still Another) Gallery of Gators

Shark Valley 12-2018 (104)

Several years ago I did a blog post on alligators, which featured photos of some fine specimens I’d encountered in the Everglades, as well as a brief discussion of their life history.  I’ve not a lot to add to that, but I did learn something interesting during my recent trip to the River of Grass.  Alligator mothers protect their young hatchlings for up to 2 years.  I had no idea that the maternal instinct was so strong in these reptiles.  It makes sense for the survival of the species, because baby alligators are at the bottom of the food chain.  The photo of a mother and her hatchlings below prove it.

Mother and baby alligators, Shark Valley

Mother and baby alligators, Shark Valley

You won’t see alligators at every stop in the Everglades, but …

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“Pic of the Week”, November 8, 2019: Hiding in plain sight, Everglades National Park

Shark Valley 12-2018 (173)

My brother and I were traveling down a remote road in Everglades National Park one evening.  We’d stopped frequently to enjoy views and take photos of the River of Grass and Cypress groves.  During our last stop, in the fading light, we noted this alligator nearby, well camouflaged by the low light and reflections of the cypress trees.  There was something primitive and primal about the scene that caused the hair on my neck to stand on end.

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

 

Karl on | Comments Off on “Pic of the Week”, November 8, 2019: Hiding in plain sight, Everglades National Park
.All Trips / Europe / Germany

Berlin’s unique Museum Island: a UNESCO World Heritage Site

03 Berlin Museum Island (2)

Situated on an island in the Spree River, Berlin’s Museum Island (Museumsinsel) is home to five world-renowned museums.  The space is shared with Berlin’s great Cathedral, the Berliner Dom.  In 1999, the Museum Island complex was declared a UNESCO World Heritage. 

The five museums on Museum Island are:

1) Pergamonmuseum (Pergamon Museum):

Opened in 1930 — the last museum on the island to open but also perhaps the greatest of these museums.  This museum alone attracts around one million visitors every year and is currently under refurbishment. Its collection includes the Pergamon Altar and  Ishtar Gate.

Bode Museum, Berlin's Museum Island

Bode Museum, Berlin’s Museum Island

2) Bode-Museum:

Opened at the northern tip of the island in 1904 and with a renovation completed in 2005.  It has an …

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.All Trips / Asia / India

Visiting the Khajuraho Group of Monuments, India

Khajuraho temples and town (97)

Khajuraho is a co-mingled grouping of Hindu and Jain temples in Madhya Pradesh, India.  The site is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the temple collection is especially well-known for its erotic sculptures and architecture.

Most of the temples in Khajuraho were built between 950 and 1050 AD during the Chandela dynasty.  It’s thought that the grouping consisted of 85 temples when the region reached its peak of activity in the 12th century; currently only 25 temples remain.   These temples vary tremendously in size from tiny to enormous!    The most visited temple, Kandariya Mahadev, has an area of about 6,500 square feet and a spire that rises 116 feet.  The temples all face the rising sun and are built near water.

India …

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.All Trips / Eastern Canada / North America / Nova Scotia

Lunenberg, Nova Scotia: A UNESCO World Heritage Site

Lunenberg, NS (9)

While I am not a fan of the provincial capitol of Halifax, I really enjoyed the rural landscapes of Nova Scotia, especially the many colorful and picturesque fishing villages along the coast.  The most interesting coastal community we visited was Lunenberg, situated about 90 km from Halifax.  It has rows of tidy well-kept homes, nice churches and shops, and a lovely waterfront.  Canadians best know Lunenberg as the birthplace of the Bluenose, a racing ship which graces the Canadian dime.

Lunenburg’s history has long been entertwined with the sea.   The first mention of an European settlement around here was in the early 1600s, which was a simple Acadian village.  The British saw the value of the …

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