Tag Archives: Travel
January 23, 2013

Got a lot of catching up to do…

Jesus, I haven’t posted to this blog for over three months? That’s pretty bad.

So what has kept me so busy? In October/November I took a work trip to Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan. It was lovely. Then in December/January I went on vacation to Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. Again, very lovely.

For whatever reason, I am completely unable to blog while actually on a trip, making me one of the least effective “travel bloggers” out there. I am incredibly envious of those who can post a summary (with pictures!) at the end of each day, but I am lazy, hate lugging around a laptop, and would rather spend the evening drinking beer or sleeping. So now I have this gigantic backlog of photo processing/blogging. Which isn’t helped by our new obsession with “Dexter” (thank you, Netflix!)

So once I get done processing all the photos I took (2,700 in Central Asia and 1,500 in Southeast Asia) I’ll get around to posting them and perhaps writing a few words. And hopefully that will get done before 2014 rolls around.

OK, here is one of me at the Registan in Samarkand, Uzbekistan:

lindsay_registan_samarkand_uzbekistan

October 12, 2012

Off to the ‘Stans

Just a super quick note before I head off to the airport. For the next three weeks I will be traveling around Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan. So after a few years of being stuck stateside, I will finally have some new content and photos for this blog.


(Courtesy WikiTravel)

July 19, 2012

Questions of Travel

I’ve never been a huge fan of poetry. In middle school and high school, poetry writing assignments were the bane of my existence, and I usually ended up turning in something that was slightly “smartass-ish”. But, I came across the below poem by Elizabeth Bishop and loved it. Since it is related to travel, I thought I’d share.

Questions of Travel
Elizabeth Bishop

There are too many waterfalls here; the crowded streams
hurry too rapidly down to the sea,
and the pressure of so many clouds on the mountaintops
makes them spill over the sides in soft slow-motion,
turning to waterfalls under our very eyes.
–For if those streaks, those mile-long, shiny, tearstains,
aren’t waterfalls yet,
in a quick age or so, as ages go here,
they probably will be.
But if the streams and clouds keep travelling, travelling,
the mountains look like the hulls of capsized ships,
slime-hung and barnacled.

Think of the long trip home.
Should we have stayed at home and thought of here?
Where should we be today?
Is it right to be watching strangers in a play
in this strangest of theatres?
What childishness is it that while there’s a breath of life
in our bodies, we are determined to rush
to see the sun the other way around?
The tiniest green hummingbird in the world?
To stare at some inexplicable old stonework,
inexplicable and impenetrable,
at any view,
instantly seen and always, always delightful?
Oh, must we dream our dreams
and have them, too?
And have we room
for one more folded sunset, still quite warm?

But surely it would have been a pity
not to have seen the trees along this road,
really exaggerated in their beauty,
not to have seen them gesturing
like noble pantomimists, robed in pink.
–Not to have had to stop for gas and heard
the sad, two-noted, wooden tune
of disparate wooden clogs
carelessly clacking over
a grease-stained filling-station floor.
(In another country the clogs would all be tested.
Each pair there would have identical pitch.)
–A pity not to have heard
the other, less primitive music of the fat brown bird
who sings above the broken gasoline pump
in a bamboo church of Jesuit baroque:
three towers, five silver crosses.
–Yes, a pity not to have pondered,
blurr’dly and inconclusively,
on what connection can exist for centuries
between the crudest wooden footwear
and, careful and finicky,
the whittled fantasies of wooden footwear
and, careful and finicky,
the whittled fantasies of wooden cages.
–Never to have studied history in
the weak calligraphy of songbirds’ cages.
–And never to have had to listen to rain
so much like politicians’ speeches:
two hours of unrelenting oratory
and then a sudden golden silence
in which the traveller takes a notebook, writes:

“Is it lack of imagination that makes us come
to imagined places, not just stay at home?
Or could Pascal have been not entirely right
about just sitting quietly in one’s room?

Continent, city, country, society:
the choice is never wide and never free.
And here, or there . . . No. Should we have stayed at home,
wherever that may be?”

July 4, 2012

North Korea: The Streets of Pyongyang, Part VII

Taken September 2009 while driving through Pyongyang in a bus (hence the poor photo quality)


I believe this is the entrance to a factory


I thought the style of these trams looked very familiar. They are Czech made, and likely the same style as the ones I rode in Prague several years ago.


Koryo Hotel on the left


Propaganda vehicle (notice the speakers on the top)


Student group


Top of the Ryugyong Hotel


The only gas station I saw in North Korea


A Nissan Paladin aka Nissan Xterra. The only reason I really took this photo was because I own an Xterra.


Another Xterra


A very crowded tram


The Mansudae Grand Monument to Kim Il-Sung. After Kim Jong-il’s death they added a statue of him as well.

And that is the end of the Pyongyang street photos. All of them can be found here.

July 3, 2012

North Korea: The Streets of Pyongyang, Part VI

More photos from Pyongyang in September 2009.


Traffic Girl (because who needs stoplights?)


City beautification project


City park with playground


Metro station


More propaganda


Apartment buildings and propaganda


Taedongmun (Taedong Gate). This is the eastern gate of the inner castle of the walled city of Pyongyang and one of the National Treasures of North Korea. The gate was originally built in the sixth century however the present construction dates from 1635 (the original was burnt to the ground during in the late 16th century).


Surprise, more propaganda


The elusive male traffic control officer


Pyongyang high rises

July 2, 2012

North Korea: The Streets of Pyongyang, Part V

More random photos taken while driving through Pyongyang, North Korea in September 2009.


More propaganda. It is literally everywhere.


Mangyongdae Children’s Palace


Ryugyong Hotel under construction.


Decorations for the September 9th “Independence Day” holiday


Tram


Portrait of Kim Il-Sung on a building


Approaching Kim Il-Sung’s Mausoleum (Kumsusan Memorial Palace)


Another view of Kumsusan Memorial Palace

December 22, 2011

POTD: Venice Grand Canal

Yes, Venice again. I know it’s quite possibly one of the biggest travel cliches out there, but I adored this city. We spent a few days here during our holidays in Italy, after visiting Rome. This is the Grand Canal, the major water-traffic corridor in the city. You can take either the water buses (vaporetti) or gondolas. Since the gondolas were way out of our price range, we stuck to the public transportation. The canal is is 3,800 m long, 30–90 m wide, with an average depth of five meters (16.5 ft). The buildings that line the banks of the Grand Canal date from the 13th to the 18th century. We had an excellent lunch at a nice little cafe along the canal and loved watching the boats go by as we chowed down on pizza. Since boats are the main form of transportation in Venice, there are ambulance speedboats, police speedboats, mail boats, and even UPS boats so the locals can receive their packages.

November 8, 2011

North Korean dance party at Moranbong Park

And finally, here is the last of the footage I shot in North Korea. This was taken at Moranbong Park during North Korea’s national independence holiday. With plenty of beer and meat on the grill, it’s not that far off from an American 4th of July celebration (except for, you know, that whole notion of freedom and liberty).

Still, this can’t compare to this North Korean dance party, perhaps the greatest YouTube video ever produced:

November 2, 2011

Pyongyang through a tour bus window

Here is the last of the footage shot while we were driving around Pyongyang. Not many recognizable landmarks in this video, but there are some large portraits of Kim Il-Sung and other propaganda.

November 1, 2011

Rural North Korea

Here is some footage taken on our drive south from Pyongyang to Kaesong and the DMZ. There were hardly any cars on the expansive six lane Reunification Highway, and as you can see from the video, the road itself was in very poor condition.

The next video was taken at a rest stop that straddles the Reunification Highway. The women selling tea, coffee, and fruit stopped momentarily to sing. The fellow on the harmonica is Nick Bonner of Koryo Tours.