Posts

Greenland: Among the Icebergs

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As a photo enthusiast, I really am fascinated by nature and landscape photography.  And I'm a big fan of Camille Seaman, who is famous for photographing icebergs.  She captures the effects of climate change by merging the realms of science and art.  Camille said, "Art is not only important, it is necessary for us to communicate what is happening with our planet.  Without art I don't think we will ever truly be able to communicate what climate change is".  Nine years ago, I was so inspired by Camille's work "The Last Iceberg" that I wrote a poem about it. (Reprise below) Still inspired by the beauty of nature, I recently traveled to Greenland to photograph and see the icebergs up close and personal. I literally only saw "the tip of the iceberg/s" (pun intended) because 85% (the bottom part of an iceberg) is submerged in water. I saw icebergs that vary in shapes and sizes: iceberg taller than a building, some with hollow caves and appeared to be

Switzerland - The Swiss Alps

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The Matterhorn I’ve been to Switzerland on short trips before like taking the Bernina Express to St. Moritz but never really explored the Swiss Alps. So as soon as international travel was allowed, I booked a trip to Switzerland and planned on exploring the Alps on my own.   Sadly, I had not fully recovered from a broken wrist when the time came for my trip, and my doctor advised me not to do any heavy lifting. So, I canceled the independent travel. I rebooked and joined a tour group to let the porters take care of my luggage and the heavy lifting. Exploring the Swiss Alps had been on my travel radar for a while, so imagine my excitement when we arrived in Zermatt.   Zermatt lies at the foot of the Matterhorn. It is a car-free town. And the whole town can be explored on foot in a few hours if you don’t stop at every souvenir shop.   Lots of skiers and mountaineers come to Zermatt to stand on the awesome peak at least once in their life. Considering my current physical condition, I

Scotland: The Best of Both Worlds

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Scotland was the first country I traveled to post Covid or as soon as international travel was allowed, I flew in to Glasgow and what I saw when I first arrived was not what I expected – modern buildings, Art Nouveau architecture and the center of Glasgow’s famed shipbuilding industry along the river Clyde.  The weather was pleasant for early spring, but there were hardly any tourists. Hanging out at the pub and eating fish & chips was my first introduction to Scotland. It was not until the visit to the St. Mungo’s Cathedral and the surrounding area where the history of Scotland began, that I got a sense of the place.  But the most pleasant surprise was the visit to Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery.  It features Salvador Dali’s ‘Christ of St. John of the Cross’.  Across the gallery was Glasgow University in Gothic Revival style of architecture. Of course, Scotland is famous for castles, the residences of the kings and queens, knights and nobles.   Forty minutes ride from Glasgow

Northern California Treasures, Part 2

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Drivin' or Surfin' USA I've been experiencing the four seasons in a day here in Northern California.  It was chilly and raining when I woke up this morning. Driving to my appointment, I noticed that my windshield wiper was broken. So, I went to the car dealer/repair to get the wiper replaced.  The weather changed drastically as I left the dealership.  It felt like early summer.  So, I decided to go for a scenic drive to Santa Cruz. The fog rolled in and started to rain as I approached Pacifica. I decided to stop downtown for coffee, but I missed the exit and took the next exit to Starbucks.  Across the coffee shop was Taco Bell. This place is noteworthy because it's the only Taco Bell situated in the middle of the beach.  The Taco Bell parking lot and the Pacifica State Beach parking lot were full. I noticed a few people changing in the parking lot. I went down the beach and saw a few surfers walking on the beach with surfboards in tow. I was struck by large swells and

Northern California Treasures, Part 1

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My approach to travel during this pandemic is that of rediscovering what my home state has to offer.   Driving the Pacific Coast Highway in Northern California is ideal for someone like me who is passionate about travel and photography. Even if the popular sights are closed,  I can always stop to  photograph the landscape and enjoy the view.       Point Reyes National Seashore The Point Reyes National Seashore offers some of the best scenery in California. The highlight  is the  Point Reyes Lighthouse  which is located at the western-most end of the Point Reyes Headlands and Sir Francis Drake Blvd. I must admit the drive here is not easy due to winding roads, high winds and fog. But the spectacular views are worth the drive. From the parking lot we hike about half a mile uphill to the visitor center. And in this short walk, we see varying landscapes from rolling hills covered with wild plants, wildlife (tule elk) roaming around the hills, and rugged cliffs that fall into the ocean, and
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 Auschwitz (Repost) "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana Auschwitz I - The Main Camp In 1940 Himmler, the head of SS ordered a former garrison site in the town of Oswiecin (Auschwitz in German) to be taken over and held as a concentration camp. The camp has been left almost untouched, just like it was when the Nazi left in January 1945. Like most visitors to Auschwitz, I joined an organized tour group. After meeting our guide and collecting our audio set, we headed to the gate, the main entrance to the camp. The mood was subdued as we entered the main gate that read “Arbeit Macht Frei” which means “Work will make you free.” Our guide’s voice began to tremble as she described how the prisoners thought they were going to labor camps, but in reality, the camp was designed for mass extermination. We walked through the tree-lined street between rows of brick buildings reminiscent of a college campus to see the original barrack buildin