Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

After out visit in 2007 i dreamed to come back. And we made it happen. Haunting place in Death Valley.


It’s sad that Desert Flower was destroyed by a strong wind last year. RIP, the strange flower, you’ll be missed!

Desert Flower


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Belmar in Winter

After moving back to jersey from MA we often bitch about how it was all scenic there and not enough worthy outdoor destinations here. Which of course is not true. In fact this weekend we hit two places in one day – Apple Pie Hill followed by the lunch at the excellent burger place in Belmar called Boom and then a walk along the beach. The weather was terribly windy and cold but this contributed to the grand colors of water and skies. And nothing could beat the atmosphere of deserted for winter beachtown.

Belmar Boardwalk

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Apple Pie Hill

Apple Pie Hill is a local destination of sorts. There is an abandoned fire tower from which you could see endless Pinelands and even Philly. We learned about this place a year ago and since then tried to find it couple of times. Finally yesterday equipped with the GPS and precise long/lat of the destination we made it.

Apple Pie Hill

The weather was very windy and cold. I started to climb stairs and in the middle almost decided to turn back, it was that scary,
In the middle
but it would have been a shame to miss the view from the top.

From the top of the tower

We were lucky to have the place all to our own so had time to enjoy unobstructed 360-degree panoramic view from every possible angle.

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Blue Ridge Mountains Shenandoah river
Life is old there older than the trees
Younger than the mountains blowin’
like a breeze…

Country roads take me home
To the place I belong
West Virginia mountain momma
Take me home country roads

All my memories..

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In one sentence: the food and wine in Portugal are pretty good and cheap, both in stores and restaurants, and portions in the latter are generous.

The discoveries were presunto – a salt cured ham that is quite different from spanish jamon serrano and served cut into quite thick slices), broa – a cornmeal bread made with a combination of corn and wheat flours and is great with some quiejo da serra, a runny mountain cheese. I brought a small wheel of this cheese home – we bought it while driving through Serra da Estrella mountains where it is made.

Restaurants we visited and can recommend: A Cozinha in Coimbra for great consistent portuguese fare – we ate there several times, Pedro dos Leitoes in Mealhada for roasted suckling pig, and Pao de Trigo in Azoia for grilled sardines and other seafood: unexpectedly they also serve pimientos de padron – apparently these peppers belong in both spanish and portuguese cuisines.

Suckling Pig

Other pictures we made are of course flickered: Dining in Portugal.

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Glass Museum in Corning

While on our way to Toronto during the xmas time we decided to stop at Corning NY, to visit a famous museum of glass there.


(the rest of pix are flickred here.)

The museum is hosted in an airy contemporary building and has an impressive collection of glass art. Especially interesting were galleries of contemporary as as well as 20th century works.

Nice gift shop worth browsing but by all means avoid the cafeteria for anything beyond coffee.

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Ghost Rider: Day 2 in Vegas

So we rented a nice Goldwing and off we rode into Nevada desert escaping the shopping madness of black friday. The weather was unusually harsh – cold, sunny with ghastly winds. We didn’t mind though – it made our long ride more fun. And it set a proper stage for the appreciation of monumental sculptures at the Goldwell open air museum, located at the entrance of the Death Valley and near by the ghost town of Rhyolite.


The rest of the pix are here: Riding to Rhyolite.

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