.All Trips / Asia / Food / India

A visit to Delhi’s Subyard-Okhla Market

37 Subyard-Okhla Market, Delhi

Most of the inhabitants of our planet have very different shopping patterns from those living in the developed countries.  They do not buy their groceries at Safeway, Costco or Tesco, but at local markets in their neighborhoods.  Sometimes these markets have a series of small shops but often they are open air markets like the one I recently visited in Delhi.

There are dozens of vendors at some of the larger food markets in India, most with a unique product or small series of products (for example, the “onion and garlic” or “apple and orange” vendor, and so on).   Sometimes you’ll find four or five vendors side-by-side selling exactly the same fruit or vegetable for exactly the same price.  How does …

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.All Trips / Asia / India

The Colors of India

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Before my visit I’d never formed a mental picture of India as being a particularly colorful place, although I’m sure it has natural areas in the mountains and along the coast that are lovely.  Natural beauty was not my experience when traveling around northern India in February.  I found the areas near Delhi and Rajasthan to be exceedingly dirty, dusty and gray-brown.  The plants were coated in dirt, parched and most had lost their leaves, the monsoon still months away.  It would be interesting to see the region again after cleansing and rejuvenating summer rains, but I have no desire to visit when India’s temperatures are around 50 C and the humidity approaches 100%.  (Note:  The weather in February was absolutely …

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.All Trips / Central USA / North America / Wyoming

Signs of Jackson Hole

Signs of Jackson, Wyoming (1)

Jackson — sometimes called ‘Jackson Hole’ after the valley in which it resides — is a fun town to visit.  It’s situated in northwestern Wyoming, one of the most beautiful regions in the world.  With the growth of tourism in the area the town has morphed from its cowboy and ranching roots to an upscale resort.  But it’s not gone Hollywood — there’s still a lot of “country soul” around.  Jackson’s population is just under 10,000, not counting the surrounding ranchers and the many tourists that visit.
The popularity and quality of alpine skiing and the nearby location of the National Elk Refuge and Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks have made this town a travel destination both in summer and …

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.All Trips / Argentina / South America

Nowhere is a Place. Visiting Patgonia, 5) Viedma Glacier, Argentina

Viedma Glacier, El Chaltan 066

Situated close to the small Argentinean town of El Chalten is Lake Viedma, a large glacial lake.  You can take a boat tour to visit the largest glacier in the Southern Patagonia Ice Field, the Viedma Glacier, from a dock on the northwestern shore of the lake, near El Chalten (which you can reach by bus from town).

The following overview photo, courtesy of NASA, will help orient you a little better.  Viedma Lake is obvious, as is the Patagonian Icefield.  The Viedma Glacier is at 12 o’clock in this photo (actually direction is west).  The boat launch is in the little thumb at the top right of the lake at about one o’clock.  El Chalten is in a non-snow …

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.All Trips / Florida / North America / Southeastern USA

Orlando’s Harry P. Leu Gardens

070b Leu Gardens, Orlando

If you’re in Orlando and grow tired of visiting the many theme parks, with their attendant crowds and long lines, then consider a visit to a beautiful southern garden.  In my research, the most recommended garden in Orlando was Harry P. Leu Garden, donated to the city by Mr. and Mrs. Leu in the 1960s.

Situated on 50 acres just north of downtown, the Leu Garden did not disappoint.  It’s truly lovely, with a beautiful assortment of shade trees including gigantic ancient oaks draped in Spanish Moss (which have survived a number of hurricanes over the years).  Orlando’s climate is conducive to a variety of temperate and tropical plants which the gardeners have arranged in a number of themed regions you can visit (a …

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.All Trips / Travel Talk

Flying the Boeing 787 Dreamliner

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I’d been following the development and troubled roll-out of the Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” for more than a decade, but only recently had my first chance to fly this aircraft on a trip to India.  One of the appealing things about the Dreamliner is that its size and fuel efficiency open new travel routes, partially bypassing the usual “hub-and-spoke” model.  I was among the first to fly the newly established Toronto to Delhi route (nonstop), a more than 14 hour journey.  That’s a long time to spend in an aircraft and the quality of your aircraft seat can add or take away from your flight experience.

I can’t bring myself to pay for a business class seat because I don’t believe the …

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.All Trips / Europe / Food / Italy

Palermo’s Vucciria Market

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The most famous of Palermo’s four main markets is the Vucciria market.  The market’s name is derived from the Sicilian language, wherein Vucciria means “voices”.  Interesting…a market named for the sound of those bartering and dealing.  You’ll find this market, which winds through the curving graffiti-covered streets around Piazza San Domenico, in the heart of Palermo’s historic district.

The Vucciria market is open every day except Sunday, from dawn until about 2 pm.  You’ll find all kinds of fresh produce, seafood, meats and grocery items.  Souvenirs, household goods and handcrafts are also for sale.  A market has been held on these streets for at least 700 years.

My wife and I had looked forward to strolling through the Vucciria market because of …

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.All Trips / Florida / North America / Southeastern USA

Gatorland, Orlando, Florida

01 Gatorland 11-2015 (1) Classic entrance

Florida is home to lots of alligators, and there’s probably no better place to see your fill of them in one day than at Gatorland.

Gatorland was Orlando’s first large attraction, starting way back in 1949 when Disney and Universal hadn’t even thought of using the region for theme parks.  Back then Seminole Indians would wrestle the gators for tourists, and the classic gator jaws at the park’s entrance (top photo) were photographed tens of thousands of times.   Because of the extensive development of the Orlando region, there are many fewer gators around today but there’s still lots of them in the state.

Gatorland is a family-run, family -oriented place that reminded me a little of Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park …

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