.All Trips / Central Canada / Manitoba / North America

Royal Canadian Mint, Winnipeg, Canada

27 Winnipeg Mint

The Royal Canadian Mint in Winnipeg is, in my opinion, one of the most interesting travel destinations on the prairies  It is a place with a combination of artistry and craftsmanship, economics, money, and Canadian pragmatism.

There are two mints in Canada, one in the nation’s capital of Ottawa, and the newer one in Winnipeg.  The Ottawa mint is a “low-volume, high quality” facility which makes special issue and bullion coins (eg. Maple Leaf gold coins).  The Winnipeg Mint is a high-volume state-of-the-art factory that makes the money Canadians use on a daily basis.  Every Canadian circulation coin is produced here –- that’s about a billion coins each year.  The Winnipeg mint was established in 1976 …

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.All Trips / Central USA / Colorado / North America

Silver Plume, Colorado

01 Silver Plume

I love going on leisurely road trips — the kind where you’ve several spare hours to pull over somewhere and explore.  If a place seems interesting, I like to check it out.

So it was this past summer while we were visiting Colorado.  We were heading east to Boulder, with a planned stop for lunch in Georgetown, and were cruising on I-70.  We starting to look for the Georgetown exit when immediately ahead was an exit for “Silver Plume”.  Great name, got to explore it!

Silver Plume is located in Clear Creek County and is a former silver mining town.   It’s just 46 miles (74 km) from Denver, but worlds apart from that huge busy city.  The town is situated along gushing Clear Creek …

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.All Trips / Europe / Italy

Mercato di Ballaro, Palermo, Sicily

05 Palermo Mercato di Ballaro

There are four big street markets in Palermo, one in each of the 4 historic quarters of the city.  We had chance to visit two of these during our visit to Sicily and the Mercato di Ballaro was the one we liked most.

While I’d read about the market in my trip preparation, we stumbled on it by accident as we were heading back to our hotel from a visit to the Capella Palatina.  The market winds down a small street for a number of blocks, with wall-to-wall vendors on both sides of the road.  The market caters to the workers and families who live in the area; while it runs all day, it’s busiest in the morning, slows …

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.All Trips / Argentina / South America

Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires Recoleta Cemetery 066

Who would have guessed the most expensive real estate in Buenos Aires is found in a cemetery?  Not only is it expensive, there’s a line waiting to get in (seriously)!  You actually lease a plot here, as I understand it, and don’t permanently own it.  In the future your heirs can cancel the deal or let the lease expire, though it’s so prestigious to have a plot here few do.  Regardless, this piece of pricy land has become an interesting and popular tourist attraction.

Recoleta Cemetery is the final resting place of some of the richest and most important people in Argentina’s history, including politicians, Nobel prize winners, scientists and businessmen.  Obviously only wealthy people can afford the real estate (about …

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.All Trips / Massachusetts / North America / Northeastern USA

Over There! A look at World War I through Poster Art

IMG_3314 By L.A. Schaffer

While visiting Boston this past spring I encountered intense wintery weather that made me focus most of my free time on indoor activities, rather than strolling through the interesting streets of this historic city.  I enjoyed these days and visited some wonderful sites that I hope to share with you in the coming months.

A highlight was a fascinating day spent at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, a large yet “manageable” collection.  Among the many excellent displays at the museum was a temporary exhibit of World War I art.  Propaganda pieces really, mostly from the USA but also from Europe and Russia, many beautifully crafted, some quite familiar.

It’s been a century since World War I — among the bloodiest …

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.All Trips / Hawaii / North America

Pu`uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park (The Place of Refuge), Big Island of Hawaii

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Perhaps the best place on the Big Island to enjoy a sunset (from many great possibilities), Pu’uhonua o Honaunau (the Place of Refuge) is a remarkable destination.  This is a National Historic site which should be near the top of things NOT to be missed by anyone visiting the Big Island.

The Pu’uhonua o Honaunau was built by the Hawaiian people as a sanctuary and place of safety.  Any commoner one who had broken one of the many laws (known as kapu) of their society could try to go here to be safe (although people would be trying to stop them as they tried to get to the place of refuge).  No blood could be shed or people arrested within …

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.All Trips / Hawaii / North America

A visit to the Greenwell Coffee Farm, Kona

08 Greenwell Coffee Plantation

Kona coffee is world famous for its full-bodied, non-bitter, bold flavor.  Hard to put the taste into words, but it’s good coffee!  The micro-climate just south of Kona, around 1000 – 2000 ft above sea level, is perfect for growing coffee beans.  The volcanic soil is fertile, the days sunny and warm, the nights cooler, and with frequent light afternoon showers — exactly what coffee thrives on!

Coffee grows on small trees, generally trimmed to bush size.  It’s a fruit known as a cherry which is red when ripe.   Much smaller than the bing cherries you buy in the store, the pulp of the coffee cherry is scanty but sweet — quite tasty and rich in antioxidants.  Most of the …

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.All Trips / South Carolina / Southeastern USA

Signs of Charleston

23 Signs of Charleston

I enjoy looking at small things in places I visit, such as the signage of a city.  Among the best urban walks in North America is the area “South of Broad” in beautiful historic Charleston, past wonderful old mansions, most meticulously and loving preserved.  There are some businesses here, but most of the businesses are “North of Broad”.  This photo gallery has an assortment of signs that I found interesting in the city.  I hope you enjoy it.

 

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