.All Trips / Chile / South America

Exploring the Fjords of Patagonia: 4) Pia Glacier

19 Pia Glacier

Having finished a hike in Tierra del Fuego and studied birds up close on Tucker’s Islets, we completed a memorable day with an evening of fine food, good companionship and restful sleep.  During the night our ship re-positioned itself and the next morning’s excursion was a visit to Pia Glacier.

Pia Glacier is in the north-west arm of the Beagle Channel and lies on the Darwin Range.  It’s an advancing glacier, meaning …

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.All Trips / Alberta / Central Canada / North America

Exploring Midland Provincial Park

05 Midland Provincial Park (41)

Midland Provincial Park is located in Alberta’s Badlands and was established in 1979 to help conserve some of Alberta’s coal mining history.  The park was once the site of the Midland Coal Mine and the land was donated to the province after the mine closed.  The park is home to one of my favorite museums, the Royal Tyrrell, and adjoins the Red Deer River. 

Today’s post focuses on exploring the Midland Coal Interpretive Trail located roughly midway between the city of Drumheller and the Royal Tyrrell Museum.  This trail has a series of educational interpretive signs providing information about coal-mining in the area and to help you understand the artifacts on the grounds, A former mining office survives.

Coal Mining office, Midland Provincial Par

Coal Mining office, Midland Provincial Par

A rich …

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.All Trips / Asia / India

A Day at Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi

17 Humayun’s Tomb (54)

The building of Mughal Emperor Humayun’s tomb was actually undertaken in 1565 by his Persian-born widow, Hamida Banu Begum, nine years after the great man died.  She selected the site of the monument, on the banks of the Yamuna River, and the Persian architect who designed it.  The monument took seven years to build and shows a strong Persian influence, including it’s gardens divided into four parts by walkways or flowing water.  It was the first garden-tomb in India.

The massive mausoleum is constructed of red sandstone interspersed with white marble, while the inner tomb itself is made of marble. The platform of the mausoleum is 7 meters tall, while the height of the building’s impressive marble dome is 47 meters.  …

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.All Trips / Chile / South America

Exploring the Fjords of Patagonia: 3) Bird-watching at Tucker’s Islet

00 Tucker Islets

After our morning hike in Tierra del Fuego we returned to the Australis for lunch and some rest, during which time our ship re-positioned itself in Ainsworth Bay.  Our afternoon excursion was to be entirely on a Zodiac. This is obviously a slower process than zipping us onshore for the morning’s hike as the supply of Zodiacs was limited.

The Zodiacs took us to a small cluster of islands known as Tucker’s Islets.  These lie within the Strait of Magellan and are rich in bird life (note:  Magellan was the Portuguese explorer who visited this region 500 years ago).  We would slowly circle these islands in the Zodiac to observe the different types of birds, slowing to a stop when possible, …

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.All Trips / Asia / Food / Sri Lanka

St. Clair’s Tea Center, Sri Lanka

01 St. Clair’s Tea Center

High in the mountains of central Sri Lanka you’ll find vast plantations of tea.  Interspersed among these are tea centers, wherein you can stop, sample some of the local tea and purchase some to take with you.  Some of these stops include a free tour of a tea production factory; here you can see how the tea leaves are dried, fermented, roasted, crushed and prepared for market.

Near the city of Nuwara Eliya we stopped at St. Clair’s Tea Center, which is only a tea shop with no adjoining factory tour.  St. Clair’s was founded in the 19th century by James Ryan, who was among the first in the region to begin growing and experimenting with tea.  The plantation is named …

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.All Trips / Europe / Slovenia

Ljubljana’s lovely Baroque Cathedral

00 Church of St. Nicholas

The lovely Ljubljana Cathedral (also known as the Church of St. Nicholas) lies in the heart of Ljubljana, Slovenia.  The church is near the popular Central Market and the city’s Town Hall.

There has been a church at this site since at least 1262.  After the fire of 1361 it was re-built in the Gothic style.  That church was burned down in 1469 (by the Moors).  A new cross-shaped Baroque church was constructed between 1701 and 1706, although its octagonal dome was not finished until the 1840s.  The church is dedicated to the patron and guardian of fishermen and boatmen, St. Nicholas.

Sundial outside the Church of St. Nicholas

Sundial outside the Church of St. Nicholas

The exterior of the church is attractive, although relatively simple, but with 2 bell towers and a distinctive dome.  One …

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.All Trips / Chile / South America

Exploring the Fjords of Patagonia: 2) A Hike in Tierra del Fuego

02a Ainsworth Bay

After a good dinner, an evening of pleasant conversation with our fellow cruisers and a good night’s sleep aboard the Australis, we found ourselves in Ainsworth Bay, in the Tierra del Fuego region of Chile. The area is part of the protected lands of Alberto de Agostini National Park.  Ainsworth Bay is a fjord fed by the meltwater of the nearby Marinelli Glacier, itself part of the larger Darwin Ice Field.

Our route to Ainsworth Bay

Our route to Ainsworth Bay

We boarded the zodiacs and were zipped to shore, where in small groups of about 10-12 we were lead by a guide through a subpolar Patagonian coastal  rainforest. 

The weather was highly changeable.  When we landed it was gently drizzling, but after a while the rain broke and soon the sun poked …

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.All Trips / Alberta / Car Culture / Central Canada / North America

Great Cars along the Highway: 1958 Buick Special, Calgary

00 1958 Buick Special

A marquee car for Buick was its Special, considered an entry-level vehicle. This lovely 1958 model is the last year the Special was made. In the 1959 model year, the LeSabre was to replace the Special.

The chrome work on many cars from the 1950s is lovely, and this one certainly is not an exception.  Note the gas cap in the middle of the rear bumper.  The engine is a 364 cubic inch nailhead V8.  It has an automatic transmission. 

1958 Buick Special. Note the steel antennae by the wheels

1958 Buick Special. Note the steel antennae by the wheels

I was wondering what the function of these steel antennae behind the rear wheel was, and have to conclude that they were there to help with parallel parking.  If you hear metal scraping the curb, you’re too close.  A single antennae is also …

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