RSSCategory: travel

The Easy Work of Meeting People while Traveling in Turkey and Greece

July 2, 2017 | By | 1 Reply More

My Girlfriend Jen McKnight and I saw some amazing sites during our trip to Turkey and Greece. It was the trip of a lifetime based merely on the many ancient and modern wonders we saw and photographed. What made this trip especially satisfying, though, were the people we met, and there were many. Turkey and Greece offer an endless stream of incredibly friendly people. Combine that with the fact that Jen is a people-magnet; combine that with my natural curiosity, and you end up with animated conversations in some of the most unexpected places. It happened so often that after we’d been in Turkey for a day, I decided that whenever we ended up visiting with a person for more than a few minutes, I would ask the person/people to take a selfie with us and trade contact information. I’m posting some of these photos here.

On the flight to Goreme, a Turkish woman who teaches language, but who lives in Amsterdam, volunteered to give Jen and me a crash course in Turkish. What a gift! We actually did incorporate a couple dozen Turkish words into our vocabulary.

Thank you, Mustafa Kabalci, who was our host in Cappadocia at Sultan Suites Cave Hotels! He was as good a host as I could have imagined, offering us unending advice and encouragement. We’ll never forget the wise eyes of Ismir, the dog either. And there was Haydar Elçi from the Goreme restaurant, who presented us with a free desert of baklava on our final night in Goreme. Who else? There was Karolina Barac, the model from Croatia with whom we shared an inspiring balloon ride. And then there were two Turkish women from Istanbul, who we met at Derinkuyu, Turkey, Tilbe Cana İnan and Nesrin Göksungur who approached Jen and me 100 feet underground, asking if they could walk with us to distract them from the claustrophobia. That led to a later (above-ground) wonderful dinner conversation in Urgup on a breathtaking overlook.

While in Turkey, we also met Fatih and Jenna, the two young law students from Indonesia, who were taking a break from their schooling at the University of Leeds in London at sat next to us in the small outdoor restaurant in Goreme.
There are many merchants among the people we got to know, especially since it was a holiday season, and all of them offered us insights and friendship. That list includes Fatih, Mohammed and Suddik. Jen bought a cute little birdsong whistle from a man in Istanbul for a total of 1 Turkish Lira (30 cents). He then chased us down to make sure that Jen knew how to fill the whistle with water and showed her several techniques for making bird sounds.

 

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Cyclist getting wiped out by car door

September 12, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More

I’m really ambivalent about what happened in this video. Cycling is my preferred method of transportation. I’ve never yet been doored. I assume that every door I pass can open at any time and wipe me out. Therefore, I slow down quite a bit when in a hazardous situation. The guy in this video likes to take changes as part of asserting his rights. Check out the way he shot through the pedestrians before the crash. The narrow path right before the crash and his insistence at traveling at a brisk pace were accidents waiting to happen. That he was wiped out by a door thrown into the bike lane angers me, people should be more careful opening car doors. On the other hand, almost all people who open car doors do it blindly. It’s a fact of life, like the fact that the tides go in and out. Further, the consequences of riding fast through hazardous areas will be an injury suffered by the cyclist, not those who throw their doors open. Hence, my approach of riding very slowly in such zones, even though I would be legally entitled to go as fast as I want in the bike lane. I’m sorry to see this guy wiped out, of course, but the video leaves me quite ambivalent about who was the victim.

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St. Louis Riverfront trail good ride and diverse sites

July 24, 2013 | By | Reply More
St. Louis Riverfront trail good ride and diverse sites

Given that today’s high was in the low 80’s, I decided to ride my bicycle up and down the 11 mile St. Louis Riverfront Trail this evening. As for things to see, this paved bike path offers a bit of everything, including the Mississippi River (actually quite beautiful in the quietude of the sunset), but also industrial areas, junk yards and several areas under construction. It’s a worthy endeavor for anyone in half-decent biking shape. The end point is the Chain of Rocks Bridge, originally part of Route 66, but revamped as a pedestrian walkway and gathering spot, with vistas of downtown St. Louis far in the distance.

If you click the title, you can see eight photos I took along the ride this evening.

IMG_9694 riverfront chain of rocks

IMG_9625 riverfront chain of rocks

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Ressurrecting the F1 rocket

April 26, 2013 | By | Reply More

Wired has published an article that ties the present space program to the highly successful Apollo program many decades ago. We might be on the verge of recreating the F1 rocket engine. Lots of amazing facts and figures here:

There has never been anything like the Saturn V, the launch vehicle that powered the United States past the Soviet Union to a series of manned lunar landings in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The rocket redefined “massive,” standing 110 metres in height and producing a ludicrous 34 meganewtons of thrust from the five monstrous, kerosene-gulping Rocketdyne F-1 rocket engines that made up its first stage.

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Here’s where to sign up for a one-way trip to Mars

March 16, 2013 | By | Reply More

According to this plan, there will be a rocket leaving for Mars in 2013. Before signing up, you need to know that you’ll only get a one-way ticket.

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Bridge halves try to kiss

March 7, 2013 | By | 2 Replies More

I hiked through some mud in north St. Louis this afternoon to capture this photo of the new Interstate 70 Bridge, which is almost spanning the Mississippi River. Due to open in 2014.

[caption id="attachment_24814" align="aligncenter" width="550"]Image by Erich Vieth Image by Erich Vieth[/caption]
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Why would a person choose to commute by bicycle?

July 16, 2012 | By | Reply More
Why would a person choose to commute by bicycle?

As I do much of the time, I commuted to my job on a bicycle. It’s a 4 1/2 mile trip that offers me many benefits. I park on the 6th floor of the garage. Though I sometimes ride up the circular garage ramps, today I decided to take the garage elevator. A woman stepped in; then I joined her with my bike.

“Oh, I suppose you are delivering something, but you are taking your bicycle with you in this elevator?”

“No, actually, I’m an attorney and I work in this office building.”

“Oh . . . ” [Giving me the expression of “Why would a lawyer ride a bike to work?”]

I work in a building that probably has more than 1,000 employees, and as far as I can tell, I’m the only person who rides a bike to work. That’s not how it would be in many cities, such as Denver or San Francisco, but that’s how it is here in St. Louis.

One of the many benefits of bicycling is the cost savings, and it’s not just about gasoline. On Thursday, a local bike shop is going to change out my chain and give the bike a complete overhaul, essentially for the cost of two gasoline fill-ups. Other than that, yearly maintenance mostly consists of a few tire tubes and some chain lube. Further, when the commute is less than five miles in city riding, it takes only a a bit longer than it takes to commute by car. It’s win, win, win, but a lot of people won’t consider switching over to bicycle because it’s undignified, or a “toy,” or you might get wet if it rains, or it’s simply not the way that they have commuted for years, and they are not going to consider changing. They should reconsider, because they are losing out.

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Bicyclists mowing down pedestrians

June 21, 2012 | By | 3 Replies More
Bicyclists mowing down pedestrians

I often commute by bicycle, so this article caught my eye. In three separate incidents, three cyclists in San Francisco have killed pedestrians by running into them. This most recent example suggests flagrant and reckless conduct on behalf of the cyclist.

I sometimes tell people that I prefer riding a bike to driving a car, because although I might get myself killed, it’s not like I’m going to kill someone else on my bike. Well, I need to rethink that.

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Bicycle cruising

April 27, 2012 | By | 3 Replies More
Bicycle cruising

Ever see a bicycle drafting behind a truck at highway speeds?

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