Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Roads

Cee’s roads challenge this week, had me searching through a few of my albums for something different. I’ve travelled many roads, in many countries, and I do try not to snooze, just in case I miss something.

This long, narrow and very winding road up to Machu Picchu really kept my heart in my mouth. Not a chance I was going to fall asleep on that coach, as I had to keep breathing in every time I saw another vehicle coming towards us down the hill.

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This is the road through the town at the bottom of the hill, also very narrow.

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A dusty, stony road through Bolivia, made for quite a bumpy ride.

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Another sand road through a Bolivian town. Tarmac would be a real luxury.

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Back to the USA, and a drive down the highway in Montana under clear blue May skies, was far less stressful. We could see Yellowstone in the distance.

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As we travelled through Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming the weather became less Spring-like, and the road was quite slippery.

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Back to civilisation, and Times Square is much more populated of course. You can hardly see the road for cars and people. 🙂

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Here’s the Lincoln Tunnel, as we sped our way out of the city. No stopping allowed of course. 🙂

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Hong Kong roads are also very busy, and quite hair-raising to cross.

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In Xian, the roads were extremely congested, even though there weren’t many if any cars around.

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Of course what ever road you may be travelling on, it’s always nice to ride in style, so from the ridiculous to the sublime. I was most impressed when our New York taxi arrived. I was expecting one of those yellow cabs.

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To see more interpretations of Cee’s theme, just click here.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Forward

Michelle’s challenge this week is to share a photo that says, “Forward.” I love her pic of a 12th century path at the beautiful Alhambra Palace.

Now, unless you’re new to my blog, you will know that I can rarely stop at one photo, except maybe for ‘Wordless Wednesday’. 😕 So here are a few pics from my travels which say “Forward” to me.

This massive unfinished obelisk was discovered in the stone quarries of ancient Egypt near Aswan. If it had been finished, it would have been 42 metres high and would have weighed nearly 1,200 tons. It was being carved directly out of the rock when cracks appeared in the granite and it was abandoned, still attached to the bedrock. Just imagine all that hard work for nothing! I found it really thrilling to be able to walk forward along the entire length of it, and imagine those quarry workers chiselling away with their small Diorite stone tools. What a mammoth task.

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We were on a Nile cruise in Egypt, and here is a photo taken whilst our ship was waiting patiently to go forward through the Esna lock, on our way to Luxor.

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From the heat of Egypt in July, to the freezing cold of Wyoming in early spring. We stopped in a lay-bye  to take some pics, and then it was time to press on forward to our destination, which was Yellowstone National Park.

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In the park, there was so much to see, but the temperatures were well below freezing. Hubby had left me in the relative warmth of the car whilst he went off to explore, but when he returned with tales of icicle-ringed hot geysers, my curiosity got the better of me. I wrapped myself up so well that even my own mother wouldn’t have recognised me, and bravely sallied forth to see for myself. Here I’m shivering my way forward over the slippery boardwalk. The amazing sights I saw were definitely worth enduring the cold for.

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To see links to more bloggers’ interpretations of the theme, Just click here.

Ailsa’s ‘Liquid’ travel theme.


“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”
~ Mother Teresa

For Ailsa’s theme, I have a few photos to share, all involving the uses of that most necessary liquid commodity, water. Click on any image to see slideshow.

You can click here to see other bloggers interpretations of Ailsa’s theme.

Ailsa’s Travel Theme: White

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”  Jimmy Hendrix

Ailsa’s travel theme ‘White’, is in honour of the 30th anniversary of ” International Day of Peace.” She has some wonderful white images on her post, which you really mustn’t miss.

My contribution to the theme is a few of my whitest nature photos, starting with this one from our 2010 trip to Wyoming. On our way to Yellowstone National Park, we encountered some of the snowiest and coldest conditions that we’d ever had to drive in, and this was in May. 🙂

From cold to hot, here is one of the amazing geysers we encountered. It looked just like a boiling cauldron, and to see the snow and ice around the rim was really bizarre.

Here we have more white water, but this time at Niagara Falls. What a wonder to see this breathtaking sight from the Skylon viewing tower.

Talking about white water, I thought I’d slip this one in of our son having fun at the start of his white water rafting adventure at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

When our daughter and family were living in Vancouver, we went up to Whistler for the day. It was certainly very white there, and I don’t think I’ve ever shivered so much in my life.

Of course, nature isn’t all about hot, cold and wet; there are also the beautiful wild animals. We got quite close to white lions at a wild-life park in Johannesburg. This was the Big Daddy of them all,

and I’m sure you wouldn’t want me to forget the gorgeous white tiger cubs, would you? 😉

I hope you enjoyed my white pics, and wish you all a very happy, relaxing, and peace-filled weekend.

Snow flurries at Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

As I’m not travelling anywhere for the next few weeks, I thought I’d do a few posts about a trip we did in April/May 2010. We first visited our son and family in New Jersey, and then flew into Jackson Hole to do a road trip to Yellowstone National Park. It was a wonderful adventure, and much, much colder than we ever expected it would be. I thought the end of April signalled the start of Spring, but we found ourselves in freezing temperatures most of the time.

After an evening out at a local New Jersey restaurant with our son and DIL, we finished packing and went to bed quite early as we had to get up at 4-30 am to take the hire-car back and catch the 7-30am flight from Newark to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, via Denver. I was surprised that there were so many cars about at such an early hour. My breakfast at Newark was a bacon, egg and cheese bagel which was absolutely tasteless, and orange juice, which was delicious. Then we were off on our way to Denver and made such good time that we arrived too early and had to wait on the tarmac for half and hour until a gate became available. It was bright and sunny and about 5 degrees in Denver. The airport is HUGE and sooo busy, like Piccadilly Circus in the rush hour.

After a Starbucks’ Chai latte and a decadent chocolate brownie, we boarded a much smaller plane, only 66 seater, for Jackson Hole. This flight was only an hour and a half and the pilot told us to expect a bumpy ride because of the gusting winds. He also informed us that the temperature at our destination would be -5 degrees, OUCH! The flight was quite smooth except when I got up to go to the loo and of course; that was when the gusting winds kicked in and I was propelled down the aisle a bit faster and not in quite such a straight line as I would have liked. As we were coming in to land, I saw a large animal galloping along the roadside close to the runway. I was informed later that it was probably an elk or a buffalo. The Rocky mountains were covered in snow and fir trees and looked so very beautiful.

Stepping off the plane I was greeted by a biting wind and a few flakes of snow, and a sign saying “Welcome to Jackson Hole Wyoming.” We were met by the car rental driver who took us to their office in town to pick up the vehicle which turned out to be a Dodge Durango 4×4 V8 SUV. When hubby touched the accelerator, it leapt forward like a bat out of Hell, and gave us both a BIG fright. Didn’t realise how much power there was under the bonnet, or “hood” as they say here.

We then drove a short distance down the road to the “Rustic Inn Creekside Resort and Spa” where we were booked in to stay the night.  It is all log cabins and our suite was beautifully warm with a gas log fire. Very cosy and comfortable indeed, with a lovely view of the Rocky Mountains.

Directly across the road was the Visitors Centre where a very helpful and friendly local guy called Jim, wearing a BIG hat, told us about the local conditions, recommended routes and places of interest.

About 7pm, we had dinner at the hotel Bistro and Bar which was so welcoming and again really cosy with a fire at one end. We sat at the bar and I asked for a hot drink as I thought I had the beginnings of a cold. I’d been sneezing rather a lot and thought I may have caught a cold from my youngest granddaughter who had been a bit runny- nosed for the last few days. The very jolly barmaid Kattie, recommended Bourbon, honey and lemon. I’m not at all a whiskey fan but purely for medicinal purposes you understand, I agreed to try one. I felt much better after drinking about half of it. Potent stuff. I asked her how much Bourbon she had put in and she smiled and said, “It was just a Kattie tot.” I ordered another one just to make sure that I would be well on the way to recovery by the morning. Hubby tried the “Bitch Creek” dark beer, a Jackson Hole original, and pronounced it excellent.  We ate delicious tomato soup, the chef’s “soup du jour” and shared a loooong flatbread topped with venetian prosciutto, oven roasted tomatoes, spinach and pecorino romano cheese. Yum! To follow, came fried artichoke hearts topped with blue cheese cream and red peppers. A truly wonderful meal. All this was eaten whilst watching baseball on one tv and basketball on another.

As we drove back to our cabin, the snow was softly falling all around and we were more than ready to try out our huge bed with the pine log headboard.

The following day, we were headed for Thermopolis, which claims to be the largest hot spring in the world. After the biting cold, hot springs would be more than welcome.

To be continued.

Weekly challenge: Close

I really couldn’t decide what to show you for this challenge, but then I remembered that a couple of years ago whilst on a trip to Yellowstone Park, we came upon this amazing 386m monolith situated in the Black Hills in northeastern Wyoming. It’s a national monument, called “Devil’s Tower.”

“What has this got to do with Close?” you might be asking. Well this site was made famous by Steven Spielberg’s 1977 awe-inspiring science fiction movie. “Close Encounters Of The Third Kind,” when it played a prominent role as an alien landing pad. This shot from the movie shows the government compound at the entrance to Devils Tower. This is actually the true entrance station to the monument, and you can even see the roof of the historic ranger station behind the cars and fencing.

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“Did you know that the oft used tagline, “We are not alone,” came from this movie poster.