Category: Uncategorized

  • Rio de Janeiro

    Rio de Janeiro

    Rio is not only beaches ans favelas, or the faceless highrises that dominate the skylines. I have alao visited many charming neighborhoods full of life, like Catete, Flamengo, and Urca. And I have discovered all-you-can-eatbsteak restaurants.… Read the rest

  • Rio’s beaches

    Rio’s beaches

    Rio loves its beaches. White, fine sand, wide, surf, people playing volleyball or a volleyball variant played with feet and head. Copacabana, probably the best-known beach in Rio, is not my favorite. Too wide, separated from the city with an enormous highway that is hard to cross, and too commercial. My favorites are Ipanema Beach,…

  • The other Rio attraction

    The other Rio attraction

    There is a 700-meter mountain called Corcovado in the middle of Rio with a big Jesus statue on top. They call it Christ the Redeemer which makes me think of plastic bottles. The statue is 38 meters tall. Beautiful views from up there. It’s packed up there even on a weekday; the platform is not…

  • Rio de Janeiro

    Rio de Janeiro

    First stop in Rio is the sugarloaf mountain!… Read the rest

  • Unpolished Manaus

    Unpolished Manaus

    Just pretty pictures is boring. I had another day in Manaus and decided to go to the edges, where it’s industrial an poor – without venturing into the favelas (slums) because that’s dangerous. Took a picture from across the river though, the banner of this post.… Read the rest

  • Amazonas

    Amazonas

    Hiking in the jungle again. No animals this time but we got a course on building traps. The guide cut the crown off a young tree, bent it down, and tied a rope to the end which was held down by an H-shaped frame and a carefully balanced trip rod. Step on that rod, and…

  • Amazonas hiking

    Amazonas hiking

    Met a few others at the lodge, and our guide took us on a long hike. First 45 minutes using our small wooden motor out, then two and a half hours back through the jungle. Our guide was in front, walking a path that he knew but that I couldn’t even see, occasionally using his…

  • Amazonas

    Amazonas

    The Amazonas region is one of Brazil’s largest undamaged jungles. I had a tour booked that first took me from Manaus across the Rio Negro and the Amazon. The former has dark water and the latter is yellow, and they don’t mix where they meet, just swirl a little. Very peculiar. The tour continued to…

  • Manaus, Brazil

    Manaus, Brazil

    Manaus is the gateway to the Amazon river. Most river and jungle tours begin and end here. Manaus is not a beautiful city; it’s loud and busy and colorful but has few attractions. The opera house is one of them. I took the picture below from the hotel’s roof terrace. Like so many tropical cities,…

  • Bogotá

    Bogotá

    Long time without Internet in Amazonas! Now I have to catch up. Here are some more photos from Bogotá. I especially enjoyed the university neighborhood up the mountains, with all the cafés, offbeat clubs, and street art one would expect, plus large green spaces and nice views over the city. Bogotá is otherwise not a…

  • Bogotá, Colombia

    Bogotá, Colombia

    There was a time when Colombia was at the top of the American crime charts but no longer. Doesn’t mean it’s Switzerland now, but the biggest threat is now a taxi scam where they take the passenger hostage and force them to withdraw all their money. The historical center is Candelaria, and that’s where I…

  • Santa Cruz

    Santa Cruz

    Santa Cruz is a seaside town 100km south of San Francisco, at the north end of Monterey Bay. It was a very charming town until it was mostly destroyed by the Loma Prieta earhquake in 1989. For many years, downtown was just huge metal tents. Today it’s back to what it was, it has been…

  • San Francisco

    San Francisco

    Some more time in the city. The Haight or Haight/Ashbury, is the original hippie neighborhood. It used to be alive with artists, oddball shops, and institutions like the bookstore. Covid has not been kind to it. Many stores have closed and shuttered, and the bookstore is half its previous size. To the west is Golden…

  • Scotty’s Bluff

    Scotty’s Bluff

    is a cliff at Rodeo Beach, northeast of San Francisco on the Pacific coast. We were hiking the Coastal Trail, leading up and down the hills of the Marin Headlands. A wonderful region with great views over the coast, completely undeveloped except for some WWII batteries, now abandoned. And after our long hike, dinner and…

  • San Francisco

    San Francisco

    I have lived and worked here for many years, and I always enjoy visiting again. Due to an orange president and Covid it’s been seven years since my last visit, way too long! Much has been built in those years that is new to me, like the leaning tower and other highrises downtown. The historic…

  • Cliffs of Moher

    Cliffs of Moher

    The British have Dover, Ireland has the cliffs of Moher, an hour’s bus ride from Galway. The area is very sparsely populated, with a few small villages and remote farms, and small castles that dot the coast. Lots of sheep though, it is said that there are three times as many sheep as people in…

  • Galway

    Galway is a pretty small town on the west coast, and like the Ring of Kerry part of the Great Atlantic Way that connects all the destinations on the west coast of Ireland. The main street is pedestrianized and packed with tourists, but the town still somehow manages to be quiet and scenic, except where…

  • Ring of Kerry

    Ring of Kerry

    Kerry is an Irish county in the southwest. Lots of rugged coastline with fjords and small villages, and Ireland’s highest mountain at 1000m. For once, the weather was excellent (by Irish standards) – some rain in the morning but later mostly sunny at a sweltering 17 degrees C.… Read the rest

  • Blarney Castle

    Blarney Castle

    This is one of the top attractions in Ireland, a short bus ride from Cork. It was built in 1446 in the most impractical way possible. It’s very tall, and most rooms are small and stacked atop each other. There are two very narrow and steep spiral staircases. It’s all exceedingly gloomy and medieval. You’d…

  • Kilkenny

    Kilkenny

    This town does not only have a super Irish name, it’s also very pretty and feels much more Irish than the big cities. Pubs everywhere, with doors and interiors painted black and bright red, locals who have clearly had too much Guiness, and very few tourist shops. If only there were fewer cars clogging the…

  • Belfast

    Belfast

    Since Northern Ireland is part of the UK, I expected an ID check, but there was no such thing on arrival in the train station. They do control access to the platform though, and the seat displays show the name of the booked passenger. The Irish were always applying EU privacy regulations loosely. Belfast has…

  • Dublin, Ireland

    Dublin, Ireland

    Mission accomplished – I have officially been to all 27 EU member countries now. Dublin is the capital of Ireland. It’s cool and cloudy; Irelandbis known as the Green Island and that means it rains a lot. It’s a surprisingly compact city with a limited number of sights, like Dublin Castle and St. Patrick’s cathedral.…

  • Rila monastery

    Rila monastery

    Ivan of Rila needed time to himself back in the middle of the tenth century, so he became a hermit in a mountain cave near Rila. That attracted acolytes and soon the cave became a little crowded so they founded a monastery nearby. In the 19th century this grew into a huge complex with a…

  • Plovdiv

    Plovdiv

    Plovdiv is Bulgaria’s second-largest city after Sofia, two hours by bus and three by train. Depending on whom you believe, it’s been settled 4000 or 8000 years ago. The Thrakians were here, the Romans (who left two amphitheaters of course), the Ottomans and apparently everyone in between. It’s very green with many beautiful and lush…

  • Sofia, Bulgaria

    Sofia, Bulgaria

    First time in Bulgaria! I am on a mission to see all EU member countries and two were missing on my list. The capital, Sofia, is quite impressive. Very green, with beautiful side streets shadowed by huge old trees and churches and sculptures everywhere. Not so much the spotless gentrified buildings that you find in…

  • Manta videos

    Manta videos

    Back home now, sorting my photos. Got much better manta videos:… Read the rest

  • Goodbye Indonesia!

    Goodbye Indonesia!

    My return to Asia was brief but wonderful, modulo Bali’s traffic on the last day. Covid is just a memory now, Indonesia at least is open and welcoming visitors. I’ll be back! I write this in the departure lounge of Denpasar Airport. The picture above is actually a swing over the beach in Lombok, I…

  • Bali

    Bali

    Can’t put it off any longer, my vacation is nearly over and I need to get back to Bali. I don’t like Bali much. The Gilis have no motor vehicles; Lembongan has scooters; Bali is an unmitigated traffic hell. It’s so packed with scooters and cars that scooters sprint on sidewalks to get ahead. But…

  • Mantas

    Mantas

    My reason to return to Lembongan, and in fact Indonesia, is diving with mantas. There is a place south of Nusa Penida where mantas come to get cleaned by cleaner fish, which even enter the mantas’ mouth to remove remains of food and parasites. The mantas patiently wait their turn. However, mantas cannot stop in…

  • Mangroves

    Mangroves

    Nusa Lembongan has a mangrove forest in the northeast. The trees trunks are not rooted in the ground, but sit on a dense tangle of air roots that filter the water below. They run boat tours there; I found a tour guide with a boat on Lembongan’s sparsely populated north coast. Quite unlike the mangroves…