.All Trips / British Columbia / North America / Western Canada

A visit to the Burgess Shale. Stanley Glacier, Kootenay National Park

04. Stanley Glacier valley. Looking for fossils (54) Trilobite

One of the world’s most famous fossil sites is Canada’s Burgess Shale, which contains a large assortment of ancient and amazingly well-preserved (often soft-bodied) marine fossils.  Originally discovered at high altitude in the mountains of British Columbia’s Yoho National Park in 1909, the Burgess Shale was one of the important reasons for the designation of the region as a UNESCO World Heritage site.  There are two Burgess Shale sites in Yoho National Park you can visit, both long hikes with significant altitude gain.  One is to Mount Stephen and the other to Walcott Quarry.

Recently a sister site has been discovered further south in Kootenay National Park, about 25 miles (40 km) south of the original site.  That …

Read More

Tagged , , , ,

“Pic of the Week”, July 21, 2017: Ha’Penny Bridge, Dublin

IMG_2708

A landmark worth looking for while exploring Dublin is the charming Ha’Penny Bridge.  The bridge was built in 1816 and was the first to span the River Liffey.  Before this bridge was built, the only public option Dubliners had for crossing the

Read More

Karl on | Leave a comment
.All Trips / Europe / Italy

Palermo’s Palazzo dei Normanni

02 Exterior of Palermo Palazzo del Normanni (2)

Palazzo dei Normanni (Palace of the Normans) is the old Royal Palace in Palermo, Sicily.  It was built in the 9th century by the Arab/Islamic rulers for the harems of their emirs.  It was expanded and renovated by the Normans who subsequently conquered Sicily in 1072.  The Norman kings transformed the building into a multi-functional complex that served as an administrative center and a royal residence.  During the period of Norman rule, Sicily thrived and prospered.

The Palazzo sits on the highest spot in Palermo and is the oldest royal residence in Europe.  After the Normans left, Palazzo dei Normanni was not used for several centuries.  But the palace returned to an administrative role in the second half of the sixteenth century, when the Spanish governors chose …

Read More

Tagged , , , , ,
Central USA / Colorado / North America

“Pic of the Week”, July 14, 2017. Airport Art, Denver

10 Denver Airport

When I have some spare time between flights I often walk around airports.  In large part this is to stretch my legs and get a little exercise before the lengthy time spent in a crowded airplane seat.  I’m a fan of nicely designed and interesting airports and like to explore some of their shops, get a bite to eat, and people watch.  Airports also increasingly seem to have interesting collections of art on display.  It makes sense to have such exhibits at airports because these places are often crowded and busy, in the case of Denver, nearly 60,000,000 people traveling through it in a given year.  Admittedly many travelers won’t give something more than a glance but others, like me, …

Read More

Tagged , , , ,
.All Trips / Central USA / Colorado / North America

Camp Hale, Colorado

07 Camp Hale

Though today it’s mostly just the quiet pastoral scene you see above, with a few scattered concrete ruins as markers of it’s historic past, Camp Hale was once a very busy site with as many as 15,000 soldiers living and training here.  Camp Hale is at an elevation of 9,200 ft (2,800 m) above sea level and was used to train the elite troops of the 10th Mountain Division during the second World War.   

Camp Hale is situated in Colorado’s Eagle River valley between Red Cliff and Leadville. The camp was named in honor of General Irving Hale and was built in 1942 by the U. S. Army at a cost of $30 million.  It was here that soldiers who …

Read More

Tagged , , , ,

“Pic of the Week”, July 7, 2017. A Wedding in Palermo

04 Wedding in Palermo Palazzo del Normanni (16)

One of the pleasures of traveling is stumbling on memorable scenes of everyday life.  So it was as we waited to gain admittance to the Capella Palatina

Read More

Karl on | Leave a comment
.All Trips / Asia / India

Jantar Mantar — A Visit to the Royal Observatory of Jaipur

27 Jantar Mantar, Jaipur . Brihat Samrat Yantra

Jantar Mantar is a walled astronomical observation compound which adjoins the Royal Palace of Jaipur.  It’s home to a collection of astronomical instruments — many massive — and was built in the eighteenth century by the Rajput king Sawai Jai Singh.  The site was completed in 1734 and is an interesting hybrid of masonry, brass and science.  Although it was abandoned in the 19th century and fell into disrepair, the site has been restored and is well preserved (the best in India).  It is notable for being home to the world’s largest stone sundial, but I found all the instruments to be interesting.

Even a non-sophisticated or lay astronomer can have a sense of wonder at complexity of the instrumentation, and …

Read More

Tagged , , , ,

“Pic of the Week”, July 1, 2017: Ballooning over Calgary

IMG_2090

Stepped out of my home on my way to work early one morning and was surprised to see this hot-air balloon floating over the roof-tops.  Not a common site and as good as a jolt of caffeine in waking me up.

 

Karl on | Comments Off on “Pic of the Week”, July 1, 2017: Ballooning over Calgary