This blog is about the adventure of traveling and especially the interesting people that you meet. We will share stories about people and places we have encountered from around the United States, Ireland, Scotland, England, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, France, Canada, Spain, Mexico, The Netherlands, Belgium, Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and more. This is not a travelogue -- we leave that to Rick Steves -- this is a collection of fragments in the journey of life.


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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Gibraltar Apes

     This is a family of apes up on the Rock of Gibraltar.  Their population is controlled and they are not as bad as people say. They are interesting and add some humor to the terror of driving the road to the top of the rock. This picture not only shows the apes, but look at the upper left. That is the city of Gibraltar and it is nearly straight down from the guard rail. This road is not for the acrophobic.  

Monday, September 18, 2017

Botswana: Warthog

     You can be sure that this warthog's mother cared for him, but he is not what we might call "cute". One reason is that pair of tusks. They are razor sharp.  From a safari vehicle these guys are generally willing to head into the bush - although this one wasn't. I suspect that meeting one on the trail is a different story. Like the California wild boar that we have, they can have an attitude.

Sunday, September 17, 2017


      The picture above was taken from the veranda of our room at the Buena Vista Hotel on Lake Como, Italy. The city of Lecco is across the lake. I had the best toast there I have ever had. 
      So, the owners had a cook preparing the breakfast, but the male owner was given the chore of making toast. He used an older model toaster and manually watched it. At just the right moment, he removed the toast and brought it to our table still warm. He was very proud of his toast. Besides being very good, it also was done with a huge about of pride and love.
     Every morning when I make my breakfast and cook my toast, I think of that man. I cannot match his toast, but then I cannot match his passion for serving his visitors the very best.
      Another lesson learned on our way somewhere.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Drawbridges in Amsterdam

     While small trucks can make deliveries along the streets in Amsterdam, larger vessels are used to bring freight into areas of the city. These ships make it necessary for drawbridges. There are a variety of different types and again the Dutch engineers bring creativity to the projects. Amazing mechanical concepts allow the meeting of heavy trucks with big ships. In these pictures, a group of twelve  of us, ply the canals in a small boat. We did not need to have the bridges open for us. We liked the smaller boat with an English speaking guide rather than the large tourist boats and having to wear earphones.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Askari Lodge and Spa, South Africa

      Here is a big fellow we met at Askari Lodge and Spa to the Northwest of Johannesburg, South Africa. There are very comfortable chalets around a pool and pond, as well as a large lodge for meetings. Askari means "mentor" or someone older and wiser who teaches you about life. Indeed, the animal reserve and facilities are designed to do just that. There are game drives and expert guides. If that is not for you, there is a spa. They also host weddings in a lovely chapel. But, don't confuse its four-star amenities with a lack of seeing the animals of southern Africa. This is a facility in the wild with animals walking around. There is a strong security force to protect you and the animals there. While we also went out in tents in the Kalahari, there was plenty to experience in a more civilized setting. 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Hurrah for Kilkenny, Ireland

I like close-ups. This one is odd. It is two girls putting out the Kilkenny, Ireland colors out of a pub's window in celebration of their team winning the national hurling championship. I suppose most of you do not know what hurling is, or where Kilkenny is, but believe me, it is a BIG deal.