50 States/50 Countries-Famous World Landmarks

Website TripAdvisor recently published a list of the world’s 25 top landmarks based upon votes from their millions of readers. We have been to half the ones listed (which means we have a lot to go!) and wanted to share our photographs with you, in order, from the top vote-getter down. How many have you seen?

St. Peter’s Basilica – Rome, ItalyPICT0018 (3)PICT0436 (2)PICT0438 (2)PICT0430 (2)PICT0433 (2)

Duomo di Milano – Milan, ItalyPICT0034 (3)

Alcatraz Island – San Francisco, CaliforniaDSC02714 (2)Australia Dec. 2008 305 (2)

Golden Gate Bridge – San Francisco, California177770941

Notre Dame Cathedral – Paris, FranceNotre Dame2PICT0793 (2)PICT0795 (3)

Eiffel Tower – Paris, FrancePICT0816 (2)

Tower of London – London, United KingdomPICT0473 (3)Acropolis – Athens, Greecetravel photos 063 (2)

Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho) – Bangkok, ThailandFAR EAST 2009 ALL 567 (2)

Mutianyu Great Wall – Beijing, ChinaFAR EAST 2009 ALL 1076 (2)

Sydney Opera House – Sydney, AustraliaAustralia Dec. 2008 169 (2)

One of the great world landmarks left off this list is the Great Pyramid & Sphinx near Cairo, Egypt which I think has to be included…

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What other sites would you add? Here are some of my suggestions…

Cairo Mosque?PICT0156 (2)PICT0165 (2)

Peterhof Palace & Gardens?DSC01869 (2)

Giant Buddha – Hong Kong?DSC03328 (3)

Happy travels!  Rich

 

 

50 States/50 Countries-Big Island Hawaii

PICT1545 (2)The 50th State…the big island of Hawaii…Volcano National Park. You’ve heard about it in the news, the recent eruption of Kilauea, homes destroyed, people evacuated. The destructive power of molten lava. Thought you might enjoy a tour in more peaceful time and learn more about this force of nature.PICT1500There are three main volcanoes on the big island (six all together), Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, and Kilauea, the most active, has a fire pit called Halemaumau. This is where most eruptions occur, but a vent can open up anywhere in this region.PICT1585 (2) You can see the steam, feel the heat, and smell the sulfur…truly Hell on Earth.PICT1577 (2)

Mauna Kea (tallest mountain in the world measured from the ocean floor) is dormant for now and is high enough it gets snow in winter and you can ski on it when it does. Volcano National Park is located near Kilauea.PICT1584 (2)Look close and you can see the Park’s lodge sitting right on the crater’s edge…and yes, they have had to evacuate but the Volcano House has never been destroyed. http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts/PICT1578 (2)PICT1574 (2)Walking through the crater…PICT1579 (2)PICT1569 (2)PICT1588 (2)Halemaumau…the fire pit!PICT1587 (2)Lava Flows after it cools….PICT1583 (2)When hot lava hits trees, the wood burns to ash, but the sap in the tree can cool the lava enough to leave strange formations…a forest of “lava” trees…PICT1597 (2)PICT1598 (2)As the lava heads toward the sea the outer portion of  the flow can start to congeal, creating a lava tube.PICT1573 (2)Inside Thurston Lava Tube…PICT1592 (2)Finally when the lava does reach the sea, it cools down to large chunks of volcanic rock which wears down over time from the ocean waves to create Hawaii’s famous black beaches…PICT1590 (2)The big island is still growing and every time there is an eruption, it creates more land. The rich volcanic soil (in due time) is perfect for growing things and plants, trees do come back eventually other than in the crater itself…

Aloha & happy travels!  Rich

 

 

50 States/50 Countries – Hawaii

The 50th State…Hawaii. Four main islands — Oahu, Kauai, Maui, and the Big Island. I was fortunate enough to visit here a couple of times and then live on Oahu from 2006-2008. Hawaii is truly paradise. I have so many favorites but here are a few photos of things you may not have seen before.PICT0099This Buddha is on the island of Maui just outside of Lāhainā. Photo was taken right after a rainstorm.PICT0021 (2)Lighthouse on the island of Oahu…fun hike to go out to see it.PICT0124Japanese cemetery and temple.PICT0196The official bird of the state of Hawaii, the nene goose is exclusively found in the wild on the islands of Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Molokai, and Hawaii.PICT0202 (2)Surface of the moon?  Nope…the interior of the Haleakala volcanic crater on Maui.PICT0055 (2)Wedding site…Kaneohe’s lush Haiku Gardens, just down from the restaurant Haleiwa Joe’s on Oahu…

I’ll post more later. Just wanted to send you a sample. Aloha & happy travels!  Rich

 

 

50 States/50 Countries – World’s Best Museums

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I love art. We have been fortunate to visit some of the greatest museums in the world…Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. Le Louvre, and Musée D’Orsay, Paris, France. The Acropolis Museum, Athens, Greece. State Hermitage Museum and Palace, St. Petersburg,  The British Museum, London, England. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City.Farmer (2)The Vatican Museums, Vatican City, and The Uffizi Gallery, Italy. The Art Institute of Chicago and many more. Here are but a few of the original masterpieces we have spent hours admiring…

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50 States/50 Countries – Today’s Photo

Sorry, I’ve been away for awhile. My computer crashed and I almost lost all my photos. Fortunately, the geeks at Best Buy were able to download my hard drive and I am back in business.

IMG_4617 (4)The American bison or buffalo is a magnificent creature and I have been fortunate to get close to these animals in the wild (my wife says too close because they can be very dangerous)… and capture some images that to me represent the wild west and the natural beauty of this country.IMG_4942 (3)These photos were shot in both Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming and Teddy Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota.IMG_4601 (3)DSC01759 (2)

 

50 States/50 Countries – Cuba

 

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Everyone got excited when Americans were cleared to go to Cuba in 2016, but there was a window in 1973 when Russian cruise ships were allowed to sail to Cuba from New Orleans. We went…

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This was our voyage aboard the M/S Kazakhstan…

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Interesting to experience the Russian traditions to included costumes, food, language and even a friendly US vs USRR basketball competition…

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And then there was Cuba…communist country, many years under Castro, since the fifties, cars looking the same, famous Tropicana nightclub, 100% employment (including standing on the corner), former US mansions & hotels turned into museums…

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Check out the cars…

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Tropicana…

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Another exciting adventure in the Caribbean…Rich

 

50 States/50 Countries – The Great Wall

 

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The Great Wall of China is a series of fortifications made of stone, brick, tamped earth, wood, and other materials, generally built along an east-to-west line across the historical northern borders of China to protect the Chinese states and empires against the raids and invasions of the various nomadic groups. 

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The Great Wall is one of the few man-made objects that can be seen from space, but not from the moon as the myth suggests. It was built in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and is approximately 6000km long and stretches across North China from east to west for over 6,000 kilometers.

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Exploring in communist China…

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Another exciting adventure in the far east…Rich