.All Trips / Peru / South America

The Nazca Lines, Peru

31 Nazca lines. Condor

If you drive south of Lima on the  Pan Am Highway in Peru, you’ll drive by (and through) the Nazca Desert along the foothills of the Andes.  This is one of the driest places in the world.  The average rainfall is less than an inch (<2 cm) a year and some years there’s no rain at all.  The Nazca Lines are an amazing group of geoglyphs etched into the surface of the desert.  There are about 300 hundred figures that comprise the Nazca lines including, besides lines, geometric shapes and pictures of animals and birds.

Along the highway you can stop at the Mirador tower, built along the Pan Am highway.  This tower allows people to climb up and see a …

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.All Trips / Central USA / Colorado

A visit to Minturn Market, Colorado

01a Minturn Market

Among the pleasures of summer across the northern hemisphere is that farmers markets spring to life for a few months, serving a bounty of fresh produce along with other items people buy at a market, like handicrafts, baked goods, snacks, jewelry and the like.   I’ve grown increasingly fond of these markets over the years, visit them frequently — especially when I’m traveling — and like to share them with my fellow travel lovers!

Minturn is a small sleepy town of just over a thousand residents a few miles west of Vail and a few miles east of Beaver Creek, Colorado.  It’s built along the Eagle River, a popular mountain river with fly-fishermen.  Each Saturday from 9 am to 2 pm …

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.All Trips / Alberta / Central Canada / North America

Gasoline Alley, Calgary: The Cars and Trucks

001

Besides its extensive collection of antique gasoline pumps and signs, Calgary’s Gasoline Alley museum has a fascinating assortment of cars and trucks!  Many of these are unique, at least in my experience, as they were mostly collected from vehicles driven in Alberta.  As such, you’ll see more trucks than at most car museums because trucks were (and still are) very important to Alberta’s economy.

What follows are several galleries of photos of my favorite vehicles in Gasoline Alley’s collection — far from everything!  For the sake of organization and no other reason, I’ve divided them by year of manufacturing, the oldest first with newer vehicles to follow.  I could just as easily have divided them by brand, trucks versus …

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.All Trips / Europe / Ireland

Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin

Kilmainham

Kilmainham is one of the largest unoccupied prisons in Europe.  It’s situated in the west part of Dublin, not far from the famed Guinness Storehouse.  There’s a lot of Irish and English history here, including of Irish suppression and rebellion, so it makes for an interesting stop especially if you’re in the city for several days.

The jail opened in 1796 as the Dublin County Jail and as a debtor’s prison.  At that time it was considered a model prison, but by modern standards it was a stark and cold place to be confined.  It was often used by the British as a political prison, especially to incarcerate those who fought for Irish independence, including those of the firing …

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.All Trips / Alberta / Central Canada / North America

Gasoline Alley, Calgary: The World’s largest collection of Car-related Signs and Pumps

01 Gasoline Alley pumps

Little did I know when I moved to Calgary a few years ago that this city has one of the finest car museums in North America.  Situated in a 75,000 sq ft building known as “Gasoline Alley”, within Heritage Park, is a collection donated by local oil and gas businessman, Ron Carey.  Mr. Carey collected and restored the 67 vehicles he gave to the city, many of which are trucks.  But perhaps the real highlight of his gift is what’s said to be the largest collection of petroliana in the world — restored pumps and automotive-related signage.

This is the first post of a two-part series sharing some of the automotive treasures of Gasoline Alley, and focuses on the …

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.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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