We asked half a dozen professional Themopolisians where we should go to watch the eclipse, but much as they tried, we got little help. In the nick of time I pointed out the town’s road maintenance yard and reminded Steve that an Alaskan road maintenance guy had given great advice in another situation. Sure enough, he sent us to a perfect hillside overlooking the valley, no one around but a few horses, a herd of antelope, and a couple of highly compatible locals. When totality commenced we could hear people cheering up and down the valley. How could we have […]
I’ve always loved finding sweet ripe serviceberries (pronounced sarvice) while hiking in the mountains. The Waterton Park guide called them Saskatoon berries which has an even funner ring to it. Our campsite was overrun with them, so when our dog spotted a bear rummaging around right under our window, I was only surprised that the bear didn’t stay longer.
Bucharest is nicknamed Little Paris, and even after the communists demolished scores of historic buildings, the architectural wonders could keep a visitor rubbernecking for years. In Bulgaria the Turks once decreed that no church could be taller than the mosque, so the Orthodox Church started at sub-basement level to allow lofty ceilings. In Bucharest, the communists dealt with soaring church spires by dwarfing them into obscurity with crowds of skyscrapers. Nicolae Ceaușescu tried to dwarf them all. His People’s Palace is the world’s heaviest and second largest building, a beautiful monstrosity of marble, wood carving, crystal, and gilt. Ceaușescu began his career as a reasonable communist dictator. He was popular, criticized […]