I went skiing on Mount Baldy today. The snow was soft, the sun was out, and there was hardly anybody out there enjoying it all. I know most people were at work but the few of us that thought skiing was a better option for today had the place to ourselves. No waiting at the lifts is always a welcome experience, and at times being the only one on a run can actually feel strange and freeing at the same time.
The recent Southern California storm system brought in a couple of feet of fresh snow to the local mountains. The Mt. Baldy ski area now has a 3-5 foot base and it has been staying cool up there to → Continue Reading
Cuzco is a beautiful, old city with many stone paved streets in the city center. We stayed at the Amaru Hostal, which is on a narrow, single lane stone road named Cuesta San Blas. It was only 2 blocks NE of the Plaza de Armas. We found the Amaru convenient to everything around the city, yet far away from the Plaza to avoid the noise. The hostal was well maintained and the people their were friendly and very helpful. We paid $25 US for a double (two beds and private shower). The hostal was quick to give us our Mate (coca tea) to help us adapt to the 11,000ft elevation of the city. The tea tasted much like Ginseng or → Continue Reading
After entering main land China by way of Shenzen, we took the train into Guangzhou, which is the capital of the Guangdong Province. As the train brought us into the city, we could see how large and populated this city is. Guangzhou is a very congested city, and has many of the problems that come along with the urban sprawl. Pollution is prevalent throughout the city. Smog is heavy and thick, creating a layer of haze, and perhaps it was my imagination, but I would swear you could feel the “thick” air entering your lungs. A large part of the smog is generated by the still popular use of coal. Putting trash in a receptacle seems to be an inconvenience → Continue Reading
Granada is a city I could visualize myself living in, though I would find it difficult to be so far away from the beach. Central Granada has the usual combination of old and new buildings. Gran Via de Colon and Calle Reyes Catolicos are main streets that have restaurants and other businesses lined along them. We found the Plaza Nueva area a good place to find a room and keep us nearby to our main interest, the Alhambra. The plaza has many hotels or hostals close by, and in the evening the restaurants in the plaza offer some decent meals while the local musicians come out to add to the atmosphere. One night we were fortunate enough to strike → Continue Reading
With the political turmoil settling down in Bangkok, there are sure to be some good deals available. The week long shut down of the two main airports is estimated to have cost over 3 billion dollars, and it is estimated about 2 million tourists may cancel their flights to the country. The anti-government demonstrations are said to have had a worse economic impact than the Tsunami that hit the resort areas back in 2004. Fortunately, there were no reported tourist injuries, and violence and vandalism was virtually nonexistent.
Now that the dust has cleared the tourism industry is trying to get their business back on track. The Tourism Authority of Thailand announced a plan for a promotional campaigns to get → Continue Reading