Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

In case you’re interested, this is roughly the route we took on our 2 week trip along the Loire river. A very rough estimate is 410 miles all in over a 10 day period.

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Here are some odd leftovers. To see the whole gallery, click here to go to my flickr set.

1. I’m not sure what this funnel building was in the back or even what town this was, but I thought it looked cool and weird.

2. A gargoyle in Tours.

3. Bicycle and wheat.

4. Goat on a haystack.

5. Cat on a hot tin roof in Tours.

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This is a great little wine town in France. Look out for it on your next wine list. For some reason the photos of Sancerre turned out great. We climbed the town tower and were able to get the views you see below. I can’t believe we cycled up those hills. I was dog-tired when we finally got to the town.

Sancerre had some of the best food in France, and our best accomodation of the trip came from a wonderfully stylish and friendly Frenchwoman who owned a bed and breakfast called La Belle Epoque. If you ever go, you should stay there.

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Foie Gras Burger

On our recent trip to France, foie gras was ubiquitous. I doubt there was one menu where it didn’t make an appearance. Asking the French to give up foie gras is like asking Americans to stop driving. While it may be the right thing to do, it’s not going to happen.

Jake ordered this foie gras burger in Nevers. You can’t really eat it like a burger. Every bite would be way to rich. It was delicious and decadent though.

As an aside, I should have my France pictures to post any day now. Editing them is taking a lot longer than I thought.

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Yesterday we returned from our Loire River cycling holiday in France. To even begin to tackle all of the photos I took and decide which ones to post is overwhelming, so I decided for my first post to focus on the Loire River itself. I hope you enjoy them.

1. One of the many Loire signs on bridges to be found.

2. The Loire River is sometimes called the last untamed river in Europe. The currents are unpredictable and sand dredging up until the 19th Century was a huge project. When trains came along the river was left to her own devices. As you can see it is indeed wild.

3. A fisherman.

4. These signs helped us navigate the trail. The bicycle trail is called the La loire à vélo.

5. Here’s a sample of what the trail looked like when it was actually a trail. We did go off the trail many a time and found little difficulty sharing the road with cars.

6. The Bridge at Beaugency. Built by the devil in one day.

7. Amboise.

8. Pique Nique on the Loire.

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Parque Central, Antigua

A view from our roof.

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Unknown ruin, Guatemala

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More Antigua

The city from afar.

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Santa Domingo, Antigua

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Tikal, Guatemala

A pizote.

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Archway in Antigua

While the food in Guatemala didn’t always settle well with us, we found we could eat the desserts without getting sick. Maybe it’s the sugar. We ate a lot of desserts. Lovely cakes and pastries.

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Vulcan Pacaya

No doubt this wasn’t a safe day trip from Antigua, but I got great photos.

Those are people above.

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La Merced Cathedral

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Antigua Guatemala

There are a lot of hanging flowers around the houses in Antigua, the old capital of the country. The capital was moved to Guatemala city because of the rather chronic earthquakes. You’ll see many ruins over the next few days.

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Mayan folkwear

The clothes that the Maya wear are outstanding. Very bright and colorful. It’s pretty sturdy too. All of the cloth is made locally. The Maya are craftsmen and their crafts also involve making anything out of the wonderful cloth they make. Sometimes clothes. Sometimes pot holders. You name it.

I noticed a handy man at the hotel. He did gardening. He served us food. And then one time I saw him building the gorgeous furniture that was in every room of the hotel. I wish I was just a franction as self-sufficient.

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On this particular day, Jake was suffering from some food poisoning. We were very careful but the food really did not sit well with us. I decided to go for a long walk between the villages and I got lost in the jungle. It was very scary. I came upon people occasionally, usually men with machetes. You wouldn’t want to walk in this jungle without them because there’s so much foliage. I can’t speak Spanish and many of the people spoke Mayan anyway. So no one could help me find my way.

Eventually I came upon a British expat who helped point me the right way.

In the jungle, you see many people working. I saw some guys halling firewood on their backs. I can’t imagine how far their walk was going to be that way. I saw women taking care of some corn fields that had been planted right in the jungle.

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Lake Atitlan

Staying on the lake provided some beautiful scenery. The water was crystal clear and very cold.

1. Our hotel. I don’t think I took this picture but it somehow made it into my collection.

2. This picture is definitely mine.

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I’ll be cycling the Loire River Valley in France for the next two weeks. I need to keep things light, so I won’t be taking my laptop — which means no blogging. Instead, I’ve scheduled two weeks of photos from a vacation I had in 2003 in Guatemala. I hope you enjoy them.

1. Here’s a map of Guatemala. I can tell this map isn’t made for Guatemalans as this map doesn’t include Belize. All maps within Guatemala do include Belize and if you’re curious as to why you can click here.

2. On our first week, we went to Lake Atitlan. More on this extraordinary lake here.

3. And my photo here. That wide angle lens came in handy.

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The first female gondolier in Venice.

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What are these?

With nothing better to blog about, I give you this picture that I took in Venice Beach in February this year.

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Visions of Edinburgh

I enjoyed this video if only to see my favorite city.

Via Rumproast.

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Where pilots sleep

I like reading the “Ask the Pilot” column on Salon. I think my fear of flying makes me completely fascinated by anything to do with a plane. Today’s column is about the problem of pilot sleep deprivation. While the picture below is not typical of all aircraft, that is the problem says the author, it does look really snug. There are loads of more pictures linked in this column that I think you’ll enjoy.

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Like Carhenge for instance in Alliance Nebraska.

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