Monday, August 31, 2015

Delhi Monuments

This afternoon we were bussed across Delhi to two of its major monuments: the great tower of Qutub Minar; and Humayun's Tomb, which served as the inspiration for the Taj Mahal. Both are splendid.

Qutub Minar seen at a distance across a garden.

A close-up of a small section, showing the exquisite detail.

Humayun's Tomb with the reflecting pool and fountain

Latticework with shadows in one of the rooms

We are flying tomorrow morning from New Delhi to Srinagar in the Vale of Kashmir, where we will live on a fancy houseboat in Lake Dal for three days. It's unlikely that we will have good internet service, so probably no blog postings for a few days.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

New Delhi Neighborhood

We went out this morning (Monday 10 AM, though this post is dated Sunday because of time zone differences) to see what Priya Market and the DDA Park looked like before it got too hot. The market was just coming alive, and it was already too hot, so we retreated to the hotel. Our group meets at noon for orientation, then after lunch we'll go on a tour of a few Delhi monuments.

 Lots of stray dogs around the market. This one looked better cared for than most.

One of several shrines around a huge fig tree in the market.

A family cutting grass by hand in the park.

First Day in New Delhi

We arrived in New Delhi early (1 AM) Sunday morning after a flight from Amsterdam. We were met by our tour agency representative, and driven to our pleasant hotel. We managed to get a few hours sleep and then, after breakfast, walked in the market and park near the hotel.

Vendor in the Priya Market

Strollers in the Delhi Development Authority Park

Bara Lao ka Gumbad Tomb in DDA Park

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Schipol Airport Control Tower

From our hotel room window

Van Gogh Museum

Once we landed at Schipol airport and checked into our hotel, we took the bus down to Museumplein to see the Van Gogh Museum, which recently reopened after a nearly decade-long remodel project. 

Unfortunately, there were many others who had the same idea, so we waited in line for about an hour before we could buy tickets and enter.

Even those who had the foresight to obey this sign (or listen to the advice of Rick Steves) had to wait a long time, because the museum was at capacity.

Once inside, it was a very good show, well worth the time. Unfortunately, photography is not allowed, but I sneaked this photo from the top balcony.

In few hours, we'll fly off to New Delhi to start our Kashmir-Ladakh-Bhutan adventure.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Nature's Chaos

In Portland's Audubon Nature Sanctuary. This place is just adjacent to Forest Park, and not essentially different from it, but it is smaller and has a more manageable feel.

NOTE: We are in Amsterdam now, on our way to India (Kashmir and Ladakh) and Bhutan. We'll be in places with very iffy internet for the next four weeks. I'll try to post when I can, but it may be very spotty. Should be lots of good pictures when we return, however!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Audubon Nature Sanctuary - Survivors

The Audubon Society of Portland has a Nature Sanctuary "nestled against Forest Park just five minutes from downtown Portland." Good hiking trails, massive old trees, and a Wildlife Care Center are some of its attractions.

This spotted owl was found injured on the ground and brought to the Center. Some of its feathers will not grow in properly, so it cannot fly, but it makes a wonderful show-and-tell bird for interaction between the guides and visitors.

Woodpecker-drilled holes in a massive old tree.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Farmers' Market

Last Saturday at the Portland, Oregon Farmers' Market

Many kinds of potatoes - the closest thing to Peru

Monday, August 24, 2015

Painted Bricks

The wall of a parking lot in the Old Town Chinatown district of Portland has painted and weathered bricks that would make fine abstract paintings.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Stapled Telephone Pole

People staple lots of ads and notices to telephone and utility poles in Portland. Eventually, crews tear away the paper, but leave the staples behind to rust. The density is of staples is amazing, and the resemblance to abstract art is striking. The "eyes" on the medallion make the image reminiscent of a Paul Klee painting.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Early Evening Shadows

The setting sun shone through the trees, our balcony railing, and window screens into our living room.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Monday, August 17, 2015

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Around Crater Lake

Crater Lake isn't just deep blue water. It is rimmed by striking trees, dead and alive, and by rocky overlooks. And in the distance are some forest fires, among the many that threaten the Pacific Northwest this year.