.All Trips / Alberta / Central Canada / North America

Banff National Park’s best Short Hike — Moraine Lake Rockpile Trail

moraine lake

Moraine Lake is located a few miles south of Lake Louise in Banff National Park, in one of the most scenic and breath-taking locales of the Canadian Rockies.  In the winter the lake is buried under a thick layer of snow and not accessible by car.  The road leading to Moraine Lake is a popular cross-country skiing destination once enough snow has accumulated for the Park Service to groom it, but the skiing trail ends well before the lake because of high avalanche risk within its valley.  During the summer months (June – Sept) Moraine Lake is popular and busy, even though it doesn’t thaw out until late June.  Parking is limited so it’s best to arrive early.  The lake …

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“Pic of the Week”, November 17,2017: Palmetto

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The most common palm tree in the United States is the saw palmetto, a hardy plant capable of growing in habitats as diverse as sand dunes to swampy wetlands.  It is a fire-resistant and attractive low maintenance plant commonly used in landscaping, and is slowly growing and capable of living hundreds of years.  

Saw palmetto can be low to the ground, like a bush, or grow into a tree 25 feet tall and 7 feet wide.   What I and others find attractive about the plant are its leaves which earn the plant its name, being edged with small but sharp spines that can tear skin and cloth.  Saw palmetto blooms from April to July, producing white flowers that ripen …

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.All Trips / Asia / India

Delhi from the Rear Window

01 Delhi Backseat

There’s no place quite like India and within that country, nothing quite like Delhi.  I’m fond of (most) Indian people and enjoyed my visit there, but the country is an assault on your senses.  The noise, the terrible traffic, millions of people swarming about and, of course, the unforgettable smells.

I spent a week in Delhi and to get the most out of my time hired a car with driver and a guide.  It’s not that expensive and I got a lot out of the experience and was able to see much more this way than if I had done it on my own.  I enjoyed the time to look out the passenger window and take in the many sights of …

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“Pic of the Week”, November 10, 2017: Las Teresas Tapas Bar, Sevilla, Spain

05 An Evening walk in Santa Cruz, Seville (109)

While exploring the winding alleys and lanes in Seville’s old Jewish quarter of Santa Cruz, one of the people showing us around suggested we stop for a snack at a small tapas bar.  We were all game because it looked like an interesting place.

Founded in 1870, Las Teresas has been run by the same family for almost a century.  Las Teresas is what a typical, traditional tapas bar feels like and I was charmed by it.  There are, of course, a number of Iberian hams (jamón) hanging from the ceiling.  I loved the old feel to the place and how the walls were plastered with memorabilia.  The food we tried was extremely good.  The service was friendly and the clientele …

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.All Trips / Car Culture / Nevada / North America / Southwestern USA

Cruise Night, Carson City

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I spotted this collection of classic cars while recently visiting the Reno area. We were driving down the main road in Carson City (S. Carson St) when we saw dozens of beautiful cars in this lot and, of course, had to turn off and see what was going on.

Turns out this was the weekly Cruise Night gathering of a local car club. I’d long known that the favorable climate of Nevada helped prevent the deterioration of cars and that certainly was on display.

There were lots of beautiful cars and many people stopped to study and enjoy them. Here’s a part of what we saw that day:

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)

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“Pic of the Week”, November 3, 2017: Famine Memorial, Dublin

Famine Memorial 1

A friend once told me that good public art should capture your attention and “get you in the gut”.  That’s certainly true of the Famine statues on Custom House Quay in Dublin’s modernized Docklands.  These gaunt figures commemorate the Great Potato Famine of the mid-19th century (1845 – 1847), referred to as An Gorta Mór –“the great hunger”.   The location is historic as it was the site of the first voyage of the famine exodus on the ship Perseverance. The work is entitled “Famine” and was presented to the People of Ireland by Norma Smurfit in 1997.

During the great famine approximately 1 million Irish people died and a million more emigrated from Ireland, reducing the island’s population by about 25%. …

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.All Trips / Eastern Canada / North America / Ontario

Ouimet Canyon, Ontario

07 03 Ouimet Canyon (36)

Situated about an hour outside the city of Thunder Bay on the Lake Superior’s north shore is a natural wonder you’d never suspect was there if you didn’t know about it.  This is where you’ll find Ouimet Canyon, one of Ontario’s many Provincial Park.   

You’ll need to do a short 1 km hike to get to the canyon from the parking lot.  The trail is partially smooth dirt, partially a boardwalk and overall is accessible to all.  It’s important to stay on the trails because the canyon is hidden by dense forest and you wouldn’t want to accidently step into the gorge.  The walk is easy and lovely and takes you to two viewing platforms from which you get panoramic …

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“Pic of the Week”, October 27, 2017: Two Churches in Boston

03 Trinity Church

By American standards Boston is an old city, although compared to those in Europe and Asia it’s still a juvenile community.  Boston is a great city to explore on foot, with a lot of famous historic sites.

During my wanderings on my last visit I came across two old churches only a few blocks apart.  The more interesting of these is Trinity Church, an Episcopalian church on Copley Square across from the Boston Library, and a National Historic Landmark building.  It was constructed in the mid-19th century as the 3rd church home of the parish and is renowned for it’s architecture and art.  Select tours of the site are available.  

Old South Church’s present building was completed in 1873.  It is …

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