Travel with Jan Weekly Digest

Travel with Jan Weekly Digest

Oued Laou: Seaside Blue and White

Oued Laou

Morocco

May 6, 2013 

Dear Friends,

The blue and white seaside town of Oued Laou … what a fitting conclusion to my three week trip to Morocco! 

East of Tetouan, I carefully follow the 45km winding that road hugs the mountainside that overlooks the Mediterranean Sea.  

How can I resist stopping once or twice to admire the hillside greenery that descends down the mountain to the very shore of the placid sea? 

In town, I stroll through the food market and the town square.  But the sea beckons. 

Machala: The Petrified Forest

Machala

Ecuador

October 21, 2013

We New Yorkers are not timid.  We confront.  We question. 

 So, long, long, long ago when my Fifth Grade primary school class traveled from the Bronx to Manhattan to the Museum of Natural History and stood before the skeletal recreation of Tyrannosaurus Rex, it should come as no surprise to anyone when I challenged the tour guide, “Doesn’t this display contradict what we read in The Bible?”  (Imagine the chutzpah of that ten year old boy!)   The docent gave some inane response and we proceeded on to the diorama of Neanderthal Man.

For some reason, I recalled that museum incident during my stroll through El Bosque Petrificado Puyango (Petrified Forest) in the south of Ecuador.  Once again we are confronted with a remarkable natural process: How in the world is organic material transformed into inorganic material – tree trunks to solid rock!  And how does a fossil of an ancient sea creature end up a mile high in the mountains?

Puerto López: The Blue-Footed Booby

Isla de la Plata: The Blue-Footed Booby 

Miami, Florida

USA

October 1, 2013 

Jan: So, you’re going to Ecuador for three weeks.  You’re also planning a trip to The Galápagos Islands?

Jan: Yes, I’m doing my research and making a few calls.  In fact I have cruise recommendations and the travel agent has been most helpful.

Jan: So, when are you going?  

Jan:  After considering all the factors, I decided not to go to the Galápagos.

Jan:  What? And you call yourself a traveler?  What will your friends think?

Phyllis and Jack in Bangkok

Bangkok 

My friends and high school classmates Phyllis and Jack were on a tour of Southeast Asia.   Their first stop was Bangkok.

Since I live in Bangkok, it was a great pleasure for me to show Phyllis and Jack some of my favorite sights.

We spent two days together, sightseeing in Bangkok, Ayutthaya and Lop Buri.

But mostly we had "stories" to share!  The period from high school until now contains a rich mine of people and places and events!  

Sapporo: Snow Festival and a "Nice Shot"

Sapporo

Hokkaido

Japan 

February 8, 2014

Snow, Cold 

My dear friends with a camera, 

At first, the Japanese I observe seem distant and cool, focused and serious.  I doubt whether I will have any success shooting people. 

As I walk toward the Sapporo Snow Festival, two young girls cross my path.  Undaunted, I raise my camera and propose “photo?”  The girls respond with an eager smile.  They pose and pose and continue to pose with creative feminine energy.  

I present my work. Cheerfully, they respond, in choral unison, “Nice shot!”    

Sapporo: Ice Sculptures and Snow Structures

Sapporo

Hokkaido

Japan

February 9, 2014

Threatening Clouds. Cold. Bitter Cold. Painful Cold.

-9C  16F

So what did you expect, Khun Jan?  Palm trees and a papaya salad?

It’s the Sapporo Snow Festival in the dead of winter.  Across the Sea of Japan.  From Vladivostok.

A layer or two or three.  Hat, scarf, gloves.  Get out of the house!

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