Showing posts from April, 2015

NEPAL: Thoughts and Prayers For Those Affected by the Earthquake

My heart breaks as I see the news of the devastation and the aftermath of the earthquake.  It's surreal to think that the same area we strolled through only a few days ago now in rubble. I'm disheartened to see the irreplaceable damage to the temples and monuments designated as World Heritage sites, and the beautiful homes with balconies made of wood carvings that we came to admire have been damaged or leveled off. I met so many warm and nice people in Nepal - from the airport security, the staff at the resort in Chitwan and the hotel in Kathmandu to our guides - who went out of their way to make our stay in Nepal unforgettable. I hope that none of them have been injured.  My prayers and special thanks to S who accompanied us to the airport for the flight to Mt. Everest and who made things happen when I told him that I wanted to shoot a live action of the birds flying over the temples.  (see the guy feeding the pigeons) It's devastating to think about those wh

NEPAL: Mountain Flight to Mount Everest

For decades, adventurous people go to Nepal to climb or set foot on the highest mountain on earth, Mount Everest. I did not come to Nepal for that reason, but when I mentioned that I was going to Nepal, a co-worker told me to, at least, take the flight to the mountains and see the amazing view of the Himalayas and the eight tallest peaks in the world, which includes Mount Everest (the tallest at 29,028 feet). So I signed up for the ‘mountain flight’ offered by some Nepalese airlines. The ‘mountain flights’ offer dawn/early morning panoramic views of the Himalayas and Mount Everest; each passenger is guaranteed a window seat. It was raining when we arrived in Kathmandu. By 7:00am the following day, we were scheduled for the mountain flight on Yeti Airlines. I anxiously waited to board after going through the normal airport security, not realizing that the flight was dependent on weather condition. As we approached the boarding area, the airline staff told us to wait about 10 minute

Where in the World is Alice

I'm currently in Kathmandu and just had a once-in-a-lifetime experience on board Buddha Air flying over the highest mountain in the world: Mount Everest or Sagarmatha or Holy Mountain.  Five days ago I tried to take a flight over Mt Everest, but all flights to the mountains got cancelled.  I tried again today and my persistent paid off.  It was a freaking amazing experience.  The best birthday gift to myself.  NOTE:  Photo by the author  Video to follow

Morocco Road Trip: Tichka Pass

  Morocco Road Trip, Part 3:  The Road to Marrakesh Along the fabled road to Marrakesh or Ouarzazate (depending on where you are headed) lies a place that never existed in my imagination: Tichka Pass . Approaching the pass, our guide told us a tiny bit of history, “We are coming to this pass…7,400 feet or approximately 2200 meters. The road, by the way, was built by the French, the road that links Marrakesh to Ouarzazate”. Soon we reached the peak and stopped to take photos of the Tichka Pass marker and the astonishing views. As we traveled in the heart of the High Atlas Mountain chain, I started to film our journey using my iPhone 6+, mostly shooting the landscape – the snow-capped Atlas Mountain reaching towards the sky - bisected by a thin road.   As if shooting from a moving vehicle not challenging enough, the refracted light made filming the landscape even more impossible.  But I found a workaround by pressing my iPhone against the window. We stopped at an overlook wher