“High Speed Rail” is a relative term. In the EU to be called “High Speed” a train must be able to travel either 155 MPH (250 KPH) over purpose-built track or 125 MPH (200 KPH) over standard rail lines. The … Continue reading “Higher Speed Rail” in America. (Drawbridge Up)
It used to be a tradition at Alaska Airlines, still may be, to put their best pilots on their most challenging runs. In the late ‘70s those included the Southeast Alaska “Milk Runs.” Wrangell and Petersburg had gravel strips on … Continue reading “Let’s Go Fly!”
The first Christmas in Sitka, in a trailer park, Suzi looked out the window and saw brightly colored boats cruising by in the channel. Over the years the boat parade has ebbed and flowed with the economy and the weather. … Continue reading Sitka Christmas Boat Parade, 2019
Back in 1993 member of the committee drafting the Albanian Constitution asked me who was right in their view of government, Jefferson or Adams. I thought about an answer and told him this story. Later I was asked to tell … Continue reading After 247 Years, Jefferson Still Lives!
In which I say goodbye to a ship named Prinsendam – the second time around. I was new to Juneau, looking across Gastineau Channel from my home in North Douglas. A neat little cruise ship pulled into Juneau’s dock. It … Continue reading Goodbye Old Friend
You can try to shelter yourself from travel’s inconveniences but you’re never completely successful. We’re used to negotiating travel’s mine fields (sometimes literally.) We’ve done winding dusty mountain roads in third world busses, train rides with goats and chickens, and … Continue reading The Long Ride Home
In 1904 the fishing city of Ålesund burned to the ground. There was only one fatality but the whole city was homeless. Around Europe people responded. In Paris there were benefit concerts, in Germany Keiser Wilhelm personally got involved in … Continue reading Art Nouveau Phoenix — Ålesund
Trondheim is a place of pilgrimage, for two types of pilgrim, religious and rock ‘n rollers. First St. Olaf (in the Norwegian brochures it is St Olav, in English, St. Olaf. St. Olaf is pretty engrained in my brain so … Continue reading Trondheim — St. Olaf and Rock and Roll.
These are more pictures, companions to the post Flåm Railway. The final picture is the electric ferry, “Future of the Fjords” it can travel 40 KM on a charge and takes 25 minutes to recharge. I will be talking about … Continue reading Flåm Valley
This is not the first time we have ridden the Flåm Railway. One of my most vivid memories of traveling with the kids was standing on the platform at a station on the line, after having gotten off at a … Continue reading Flåm Railway
The lecturer on the ship told us that in Oslo we would be tie up at Askershaus, a fortress fairly close to much of what I wanted to see in Oslo. He told us there would be a money exchange, … Continue reading Feeling So 20th Century in Oslo
St. Charles Borromeo Church is easy to miss if you are not on a tour. While it is “hidden” in a little square it is not small. It does not appear in my Lonely Planet book or on either of … Continue reading Confessions and Anguished Angels.
Yesterday was a “sea day” on Prinsendam. There are not enough of them on this segment of the cruise. I like a day at sea to recharge, and go to lectures and to ask the Captain questions. This sea day … Continue reading Einstein on the Beach
Matzi (Albanian for cat) came into our lives when our cat “Smite” died. Our husky dog, Merlin, went into mourning, with a keening howl that would not stop. We went to the shelter to find a “rescue cat.” We asked … Continue reading Matzi
The St. Pancras is a classic old railway hotel designed by British Architect Gilbert Scott. It ran out of steam in the 30s and sat more or less derelict, used for a sett for the occasional Victorian or horror film, … Continue reading St. Pancras Redux
I’m not sure if I love railway stations because I love trains or if there is something about them that I love in and of itself. Paddington is a classical iron and glass station with brick front, but it has … Continue reading 19th century stations with 21st Century trains.
“He is Not Here!” This post is originally from May 2010 You need a lot of faith to visit holy sites in the Holy Land. The “upper room” where the Jerusalem tourist office tells you the Last Supper took place … Continue reading Crucifixion and Resurrection in Jerusalem.
The idea of an Easter Market seems counterintuitive. Lent is the time of penance between Carnival and Easter. The idea of a market selling food and flowers during Lent seems odd. But then there is Palm Sunday, a time to … Continue reading Easter Markets, a New Interpretation of Lent
I had never much thought about Carnival or Mardi Gras before 1965, it was something that happened somewhere else. (OK we did eat pancakes but I had never connected that with anything other than an Anglo-Celtic quirk.) But then I … Continue reading 50 Years of Longing. (Carnival Cover Page)
Twenty nine years ago my life changed forever. The Berlin Wall fell. We had been in Berlin the summer before and the wall looked permanent. We went back the next summer in time to see streets opening in the Wedding … Continue reading Walking the Line Between Hope and Despair.
80 years ago today Radio came of age. In one terrible — beautiful hour the third rated program in a three network universe managed to entertain, terrify, and motivate millions of people by stimulating the imagination. If it happened today … Continue reading 2X2L Calling CQ
We had a great time riding the cable cars in San Francisco. The California street cable car climbs Nob Hill, past China Town, the Mark Hopkins and Grace Cathedral. We rode it at night and the next day at dusk … Continue reading Ding, Ding, Ding, a Ding, Ding, a Dinga Ding. Cable Cars and Other Delights.
Two hundred and forty two years ago a resolution written by Thomas Jefferson and moved by John Adams passed the Continental Congress. It read, in part: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that … Continue reading JEFFERSON STILL LIVES !!!
Around 150 Sitkans joined other people in other cities around the US in a “Families Belong Together” march. To be precise Suzi and I counted 147 people march past us while I was taking pictures. We met several more at … Continue reading Remember — It Could Be Us.