Author Archives: Karl

“Pic of the Week”: August 18, 2017. Temple Bar District, Dublin

01 Temple Bar intro

Ireland is well known for its music, food, Guinness, whiskey, and friendly engaging people, all of which (and more) can be found and enjoyed in Temple Bar District.

Temple Bar is an area on the south bank of the River Liffey in central Dublin. Unlike the areas surrounding it, Temple Bar has preserved its medieval street pattern, with many narrow cobbled streets.  Many of the pubs in the area are hundreds of years old.

Temple Bar is promoted as Dublin’s cultural quarter, being the location of many Irish cultural institutions, including the Irish Photography Centre, the Ark Children’s Cultural Centre, the Irish Film Institute, the Temple Bar Music Centre, the Gaiety School of Acting, as well as the Irish Stock Exchange …

Read More

Karl on | Leave a comment
.All Trips / Alberta / Central Canada / North America

Cochrane Farmers’ Market

24-Cochraine Farmers Market 08-2015 27

The town of Cochrane sits in the beautiful Bow River Valley, between Calgary and Banff.  Growing rapidly because of its proximity to Calgary, Cochrane still retains a small town vibe although it’s now home to more than 20,000 people.   The region was originally developed as a ranch, as was much of the western Alberta prairies, and the farmers’ market is still held at the Historic Ranch Site (which you can explore when you’re done with your visit to the market).

While it’s only held during the summer months, the Farmers’ Market is very enjoyable.  It’s busy, but not too crowded, and features locally grown produce and handicrafts, as well as popular food vendors.  You’ll find items here you don’t see …

Read More

Tagged , ,

“Pic of the Week”, August 11, 2017: Niagara Floral Clock

001 Floral clock

The Ontario Hydro/Niagara Parks Commission Floral Clock is situated on the Niagara River Parkway not far from Niagara Falls.  It’s a popular and quick stop for people visiting the area.
The floral clock was inspired by the famous clock in Princess Street Gardens in Edinburgh, Scotland.  The Niagara clock is the largest of its kind in the world and is three times larger than the Edinburgh clock.  The planted face is maintained by Niagara Parks horticulture staff, while the mechanism is kept in working order by Ontario Hydro.  Designs for the face of this clock are changed seasonally.
Here are some of

Read More

Karl on | Leave a comment
.All Trips / Eastern Canada / North America / Nova Scotia

Burntcoat Head Park, Nova Scotia. World-Record Tide

01 Burntcoat Head Provincial Park

The highest tides in the world occur in Canada’s Bay of Fundy, which separates New Brunswick from Nova Scotia.  Twice each day the Bay of Fundy fills and empties about 160 billion tons of water.  In 1975 The Guinness Book of World Records listed Burntcoat Head Park in Nova Scotia as the site of the greatest average tide of 47.5 feet. with an extreme range of 53.6 feet.  That’s about as tall as a four story building!

When I visited Nova Scotia last fall, one of the top things on my “to do” list was to see the sight of this great tidal surge.  Ideally you want to be there at both low and high tide to see …

Read More

Tagged , , ,

“Pic of the Week”, August 4, 2017: Amphicars, Florida

03 Amphicar 11-2015

You might recognize these cars from the movies, like Inspector Clouseau, but if you want a chance to see and ride one you’ll need to head to Florida’s Disney World, where I spotted this bunch.  I’d never seen an Amphicar before and it was fun watching them drive in, around, and out of a large lagoon.

Amphicars were the first mass-produced vehicles to be driveable both on land and water.  The car was designed by Hanns Trippel and production began in Germany in 1961.  The Amphicar’s 4 cylinder engine was mounted at the rear of the craft, driving the rear wheels.  For use in the water, the same engine drove a pair of reversible propellers situated under the rear bumper.  Once …

Read More

Karl on | Leave a comment
.All Trips / Food / Nevada / North America / Southwestern USA

In ‘n Out — That’s what a Hamburger is all about

57 Las Vegas 2015. In ‘n Out Burger (8)

Many of my Canadian friends find it difficult to understand why someone would want to move away from California.  There were good reasons to stay and, in our case, better reasons to leave, but there are definitely things about California that I miss.  Foremost among these are dear friends, the meyer lemon and fuyu persimmon trees in my yard, and the beautiful winter weather (summers I wasn’t too crazy about — blasted hot).  And

Read More

Tagged , , , ,
.All Trips / Europe / Food / Spain

La Boqueria: Barcelona’s fabulous Food Market

01 La Boqueria Market, Barcelona

One of the finest food markets I’ve ever visited, and supposedly one of the best in the world, is the Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria, usually just called “La Boqueria It’s one of Barcelona’s most popular tourist spots — so much so that group tours are no longer allowed inside.  You, the independent traveler, are welcome!  The market is just off the popular pedestrian mall, La Rambla, not far from Barcelona’s opera house. A iron gate frames your entrance to the very diverse and fresh selection of food items within.

The first mention of the Boqueria market dates to 1217, when tables were installed near the old city gate to sell meat. From December 1470, a pig market was …

Read More

Tagged , , , ,

“Pic of the Week”, July 27, 2017: Saddle-bill Stork, Botswana

Sandibe 2011 505 Sandibe. Saddlebill stork

Among many wonderful memories of being on safari in Botswana are those of its many magnificent birds.  These include our featured subject, the saddle-bill stork, which lives in sub-Saharan Africa.

These are huge long-legged birds, attaining a height of almost 5 ft (150 cm) and weighing up to 17 lbs (8 kg).  The birds have a wingspan of up to 9 ft (2.7m), so they are easy to spot at a distance. They are tallest and most vividly colored of Africa’s storks.  The tend to live on at the edge of forests, where they have access to tall trees (on which they build their nests) and marshes (wherein they feed).  Their diet includes fish, beetles, frogs, reptiles and small mammals. 

The bird’s …

Read More

Karl on | Leave a comment