Sunday, October 31, 2010

Poland, Prague and Kazakhstan

In September we made a trip to Eastern Europe.  Our first stop was Szklarka National Park in the southern Polish mountains near the border between Poland and the Czech republic.  I went for a couple hikes there. Those pictures can be found on this web page.

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From there we got a ride into Prague and spent two days there. 

Prague pictures


And then we flew 8 more hours to Almaty, Kazakhstan, where we spent one day and then flew up to Ust Kamenogorsk, where we spent 3 more days.


In Kazakhstan I saw lots of beautiful textiles, embroidered wall hangings and cushions,  felted carpets, woven braids and more.  I saw two yurts in museums that were filled with beautifully decorated objects.  You can find some of those pictures here.

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This amazingly decorated, wooden cathedral is in Almaty.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

More photos of Taiwan

I did get my Taiwan photos organized finally.  It was fun having my son show me around Taiwan.  We went into Taipei on the high speed rail, which took 32 minutes and left exactly on time every time. We visited two national parks, several temples, lots of restaurants, which I mentioned in the previous post, one family home museum, a seaside historic town, and much more. 

There are 3 pages of photos, which link to each other, but I'll give all 3 links here:



Around Taipei

Taroko Gorge


I'm going to be lazy and not add any photos to this post.  Go visit those pages for the photos.

I'm leaving in 2 weeks for Poland, Prague and Kazakhstan-yikes!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Food and Restaurants in Taiwan

My son, Patrick is in Taiwan for nine weeks. So, of course I went to visit him there. This was my chance to sample Asian food, and I took a lot of pictures of our meals and other food and restaurants, so here goes:

We tried lots of things from street food to elegant restaurants.

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This is our first course at a fancy Chinese Restaurant in Hsinchu. (for those of you who read Pinyin: Xinzhu) This place was quite elegant, but we were there after dark and the pictures I tried to take just don't show it very well.

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Patrick getting started on the first course.


On our last day together we went to Danshui, a resort town on the coast. Here we tried some street food starting with these fried pork rolls on a stick. See the picture at the top of the stand.


That evening we ate at a dumpling restaurant. The dishes here came one at a time, so this is the first two. These dumplings were a bit tricky to eat, but delicious.

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This was our first lunch in Taipei. Patrick ordered some fried noodles, I think and I ordered curried chicken with rice. Both meals came like this with a sizzling soup. There was a flame under the soup, which had fresh vegetables, tofu, seaweed and mushrooms in it. It cooked while we ate the other stuff, then we asked them to put out the flame. They took the tray away and we wondered if they thought we were done, but no they brought it back with the flame out, so I guess they couldn't just extinguish it at the table. It was all delicious.

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Patrick had to work for three days, so I walked around Taipei on my own those days and ended up sampling some pastries for lunch. This was a pumpkin cheese cake that I had at a Big Tom near the Sun Yat Sen memorial park.

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These cows are the symbol for Big Tom.

belgian restaurant

I love how this restaurant made sure to cover all the bases in its name.

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And this was a very small English pub I passed.

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And another combination I've never seen in the U.S.

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There are lots of bakeries in Taiwan showing beautiful pastries like these in their window.

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This was my meal at a Japanese restaurant in Hsinchu again.

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We traveled by train to Hualien on the east coast, where we spent 3 days exploring a beautiful national park, Taroko Gorge. This was our lunch at a snack place in the park. We also bought this guide book in English there. My "cold milk" turned out to be flavored with chocolate and tea. It was good.

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We ate on the terrace, but under a roof as it started to sprinkle while we were having lunch.

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That night in Hualien it was pouring. You can see how wet my hat and Patrick's jacket are. We walked around a while before we found this seafood place. Don't see the food in this picture? Look behind Patrick. This place advertised fresh seafood.

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This place was popular and quite large. It is all open to the outdoors. We had several seafood dishes, here, but apparently I didn't get photos of the food.

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Breakfast in our hotel. We ordered what we wanted the day before and picked a time for the room service delivery. The breakfast came wrapped in plastic. Here I had ordered the fried dumplings and Patrick got the American breakfast. The dumplings were very good.

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A snack we had the next afternoon back in the hotel. These pastries were delicious. Both cups here have iced milk tea in them. They seal the cup, shake it up and give you a straw to puncture the seal. Then they handed them to Patrick in a bag with one cup upside down.

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That night we ate at the Saint Pink restaurant and stone museum. The local product here is the marble and granite from the area.

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This is the outside of the restaurant.

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And these are our meals. Patrick had Thai Chicken, I think and I had Japanese pork. The meal also included a first course soup and creme brulee for dessert.

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Another room service breakfast. They offered tea or milk, and had a coffee machine down in the lobby if you wanted coffee. This morning we went down for coffee before the breakfast came up.

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Our best picnic lunch. The bakery we had planned to buy lunch in wasn't open in the morning. We decided Asians don't consider bread or pastries to be breakfast food. So we stopped at a Carrefour and got this baguette, some ham and grapes for our lunch which we ate on a marble table after our morning hike.

I'll post picture of the spectacular scenery in this park later.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Ghana and Turkey

This post is way overdue, but last year got busy.


So here are links to the pages I did last year with pictures of our trip to Ghana in October, 2009

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And some pages for Ankara, Turkey. From this page you can link to the photos of Beypazari, a lovely town in the hills west of Ankara.

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Happy New Year!!!   and

Happy and safe Traveling in 2010!!