by Steve
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Sunday March 8th, 2020

Kon-Tiki! Most of us baby-boomers have read the book. And after visiting the Kon-Tiki Museum in Oslo, it's on my list to reread.

The Kon-Tiki expedition was in 1947. Led by Thor Heyerdahl, it sailed from South America to the Polynesian Islands using the same materials and technologies from the Pre-Columbian times. The objective was to show that people from South America could have settled in Polynesia.

My visit started with watching an award winning documentary that was made in 1950. While it is 70 years old, it nicely tells the story through film that was shot during the expedition. In the museum is the original Kon-Tiki raft that was brought back to Norway. If you're in Oslo, plan on spending a couple hours here to learn more about Kon-Tiki and the life of Thor Heyerdahl.
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Kon-Tiki! Most of us baby-boomers have read the book. And after visiting the Kon-Tiki Museum in Oslo, its on my list to reread.
The Kon-Tiki expedition was in 1947. Led by Thor Heyerdahl, it sailed from South America to the Polynesian Islands using the same materials and technologies from the Pre-Columbian times. The objective was to show that people from South America could have settled in Polynesia. 
My visit started with watching an award winning documentary that was made in 1950. While it is 70 years old, it nicely tells the story through film that was shot during the expedition. In the museum is the original Kon-Tiki raft that was brought back to Norway. If youre in Oslo, plan on spending a couple hours here to learn more about Kon-Tiki and the life of Thor Heyerdahl.Image attachment

Thursday March 5th, 2020

It's three weeks of travel through Norway and Slovenia to watch 14 days of ski jumping competitions. It's been a mild winter in Europe but for all the competitions so far this season, the jump and landing areas have been prepared nicely. Hopefully, that will continue. And then there is the Coronavirus that has also started to cause some events and conferences to be canceled throughout Europe. When I started making reservations for this trip last August, who would have thunk!!!

Tonight it was heavy snow at the Oslo airport with lots of plows working the runways. In the city center, there is hardly any snow. The picture is of the plaza in front of the Storting building which houses Norway's Parliament.
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Its three weeks of travel through Norway and Slovenia to watch 14 days of ski jumping competitions. Its been a mild winter in Europe but for all the competitions so far this season, the jump and landing areas have been prepared nicely. Hopefully, that will continue. And then there is the Coronavirus that has also started to cause some events and conferences to be canceled throughout Europe. When I started making reservations for this trip last August, who would have thunk!!!
Tonight it was heavy snow at the Oslo airport with lots of plows working the runways. In the city center, there is hardly any snow. The picture is of the plaza in front of the Storting building which houses Norways Parliament.

Sunday March 1st, 2020

Cyprus, an island in the Mediterranean, has seen a lot of history throughout the centuries. Recent history of the island is complex. The players include Cyprus, Greece and Turkey. Today the island is divided after a 1974 Turkish invasion.

In the capital city of Nicosia, one has to walk through the border with passport in hand to go between the Cypriot side and the Turkish side. The Turkish side is where a lot of the older history is located. One of those places is the Buyuk Han or Great Inn. It was built by the Ottomans in 1572. It was originally built to house travelers from distant villages. Today it houses restaurants and shops.
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Cyprus, an island in the Mediterranean, has seen a lot of history throughout the centuries. Recent history of the island is complex. The players include Cyprus, Greece and Turkey. Today the island is divided after a 1974 Turkish invasion.
In the capital city of Nicosia, one has to walk through the border with passport in hand to go between the Cypriot side and the Turkish side. The Turkish side is where a lot of the older history is located. One of those places is the Buyuk Han or Great Inn. It was built by the Ottomans in 1572. It was originally built to house travelers from distant villages. Today it houses restaurants and shops.Image attachment

Friday February 28th, 2020

A spontaneous 5 day trip to Cyprus, can't beat the $20 roundtrip airfare, lots of Greek history and mythology here. And the weather is nice! Aphrodite, the goddess of love, emerged from the sea on this island in the bay pictured below.

Near the bay is the Sanctuary of Aphrodite. This site was a place for pilgrimages in the ancient world. You can still see the the outline of this vast sanctuary. The Sanctuary sits on a hillside near Paphos on the western side of the island.
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A spontaneous 5 day trip to Cyprus, cant beat the $20 roundtrip airfare, lots of Greek history and mythology here. And the weather is nice! Aphrodite, the goddess of love, emerged from the sea on this island in the bay pictured below.
Near the bay is the Sanctuary of Aphrodite. This site was a place for pilgrimages in the ancient world.  You can still see the the outline of this vast sanctuary. The Sanctuary sits on a hillside near Paphos on the western side of the island.Image attachment

Tuesday February 25th, 2020

1,000 Places to See Before You Die Calendar

This week, the calendar features Victoria Peak in Hong Kong, China. We visited many places in Asia during the five years we were living on Saipan in the western Pacific, including Hong Kong in 2011. In the early 19th century, European residents were attracted to the peak because of its great view of the city. In 1888, the funicular railway was built. Today it still serves as transportation to the top of the 552 m (1,811 ft) peak. Once at the top, the view is panoramic overlooking the harbor and the city.
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1,000 Places to See Before You Die Calendar
This week, the calendar features Victoria Peak in Hong Kong, China.  We visited many places in Asia during the five years we were living on Saipan in the western Pacific, including Hong Kong in 2011.  In the early 19th century, European residents were attracted to the peak because of its great view of the city.  In 1888, the funicular railway was built.  Today it still serves as transportation to the top of the 552 m (1,811 ft) peak.  Once at the top, the view is panoramic overlooking the harbor and the city.Image attachment

Monday February 17th, 2020

1,000 Places to See Before You Die Calendar

This past weekend, my favorite travel calendar featured the Parthenon in Athens, Greece which I visited in 2008 and 2017. It is perched on the top of the Acropolis overlooking the city. It was completed in 432 BC and is considered one of the greatest architectural achievements of ancient Greek civilization. It was built as a temple to the goddess, Athena.

Since 1975, the Parthenon as had many major restoration projects. The current one is expected to be completed sometime this year.
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1,000 Places to See Before You Die Calendar
This past weekend, my favorite travel calendar featured the Parthenon in Athens, Greece which I visited in 2008 and 2017.  It is perched on the top of the Acropolis overlooking the city.  It was completed in 432 BC and is considered one of the greatest architectural achievements of ancient Greek civilization.  It was built as a temple to the goddess, Athena.      
Since 1975, the Parthenon as had many major restoration projects.  The current one is expected to be completed sometime this year.Image attachment

Thursday February 13th, 2020

1,000 Places to See Before You Die Calendar

Today, this great travel calendar features Old Tbilisi in Tbilisi, Georgia. No, this is not a city in the US. Georgia, the country, borders Russia on the south and is in the same area as Azerbaijan and Armenia. We visited Tbilisi and toured throughout Georgia in 2019.

Tbilisi was founded in the 5th century. It is the capital of Georgia and has been since 1921. The Old Town is a maze of streets with cafes and restaurants. But one of the favorite places in the Old Town is the bath district. Tbilisi is known for its hot sulfur baths which are housed under domed brick roofs. Many of these baths date back to the 17th century.
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1,000 Places to See Before You Die Calendar
Today, this great travel calendar features Old Tbilisi in Tbilisi, Georgia.  No, this is not a city in the US.  Georgia, the country, borders Russia on the south and is in the same area as Azerbaijan and Armenia.  We visited Tbilisi and toured throughout Georgia in 2019.  
Tbilisi was founded in the 5th century.  It is the capital of Georgia and has been since 1921.  The Old Town is a maze of streets with cafes and restaurants.  But one of the favorite places in the Old Town is the bath district.  Tbilisi is known for its hot sulfur baths which are housed under domed brick roofs.  Many of these baths date back to the 17th century.

Sunday February 2nd, 2020

1,000 Places to See Before You Die Calendar

This week, my favorite travel calendar featured Plaza Mayor in Madrid, Spain which I visited in 2017. Plaza Mayor was completed in 1619. It has been the epicenter of Madrid ever since. There is a lot of history that has occurred in this Plaza including the dark rituals of the Spanish Inquisition. Located within the plaza is a bronze statue of Philip III, who also was known as Philip the Pious. Today the plaza is surrounded by taverns, tapas bars and outdoor cafes.
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1,000 Places to See Before You Die Calendar
This week, my favorite travel calendar featured Plaza Mayor in Madrid, Spain which I visited in 2017.  Plaza Mayor was completed in 1619.  It has been the epicenter of Madrid ever since.  There is a lot of history that has occurred in this Plaza including the dark rituals of the Spanish Inquisition.  Located within the plaza is a bronze statue of Philip III, who also was known as Philip the Pious.  Today the plaza is surrounded by taverns, tapas bars and outdoor cafes.

Saturday January 25th, 2020

1,000 Places to See Before You Die Calendar

This week, my favorite travel calendar featured the Louvre in Paris, France. Did you know the Louvre was once the largest palace in the world? It was home to French royalty until 1682 when the palace was moved to Versailles.

Today the Louvre is the world’s largest and most visited museum. The glass pyramids were designed by I.M. Pei, a Chinese-American architect. The pyramids provide daylight for the museum’s underground entrance. The Louvre and its pyramids were also featured in the book, “The Da Vinci Code” and scenes for the movie were filmed there.
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1,000 Places to See Before You Die Calendar
This week, my favorite travel calendar featured the Louvre in Paris, France.  Did you know the Louvre was once the largest palace in the world?  It was home to French royalty until 1682 when the palace was moved to Versailles.  
Today the Louvre is the world’s largest and most visited museum.  The glass pyramids were designed by I.M. Pei, a Chinese-American architect.  The pyramids provide daylight for the museum’s underground entrance.  The Louvre and its pyramids were also featured in the book, “The Da Vinci Code” and scenes for the movie were filmed there.

Thursday January 16th, 2020

1,000 Places to See Before You Die Calendar

Today this interesting calendar features the Piazza San Marco, St. Mark’s Square, in Venice, Italy. Located on the plaza are two buildings that represent the two seats of power, church and state, that ruled the Venetian empire for over 1,000 years. The first building is the Basilica di san Marco, which was the city’s most powerful church. The second building is the Palazzo Ducale, the Doge’s Palace, which was the residence of the political and military leaders of Venice. While I’m highlighting the two buildings from the outside, the insides are absolutely spectacular!!
... See MoreSee Less

1,000 Places to See Before You Die Calendar
Today this interesting calendar features the Piazza San Marco, St. Mark’s Square, in Venice, Italy.  Located on the plaza are two buildings that represent the two seats of power, church and state, that ruled the Venetian empire for over 1,000 years.  The first building is the Basilica di san Marco, which was the city’s most powerful church.  The second building is the Palazzo Ducale, the Doge’s Palace, which was the residence of the political and military leaders of Venice.  While I’m highlighting the two buildings from the outside, the insides are absolutely spectacular!!Image attachment
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