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Published : 02.05.2015 | Author : admin | Categories : How To Lookup A Phone Number
At 12:30 a€?Cheta€?, from a€?Over the Road Toursa€? picked us up in a twenty seat tour van. The city itself is enormous, stretching some 40 miles in across and encompassing several large mountains. We enjoyed a few hours of shopping, then stopped at a Starbucks for some of that strong nectar.Then, we walked back along the boulevard to the Doubletree, enjoying the sunshine and warm temperatures.
Frank Lloyd Wright first came here, in 1937 at age 72, to found a Winter sanctum, to cure his ailing lungs.He ,his wife and acolytes camped in tents for four years, until the prarie-style masterpiece took shape and was completed.
The foundation that runs the property is a functioning architectural firm, that admits 11 architectural students a year to mentor with working architects. It was late afternoon and we were tiring, in spite of the arhchitectural brilliance of Taliesin West. We met Jerry and Muriel from Boston, cousins Michelle and Jane from New Jersey and a whole passel of friendly Canadians. It was sunny and nice out, with an azure sky, as we continued up along Oakcreek Canyon along Rte.#89-A.
The line of cars, waiting just to enter the Grand Canyon, was an hour long.We sat patiently, awaiting our turn. We walked along the narrow trail, looking out some ten miles across to the North Rim of the Canyon, 1,000 feet higher in elevation.
We walked back to the Maswik lodge and had coffee and danish in the small lodge.Everyone else was up and about.
We were approaching the Glen Canyon Damn.The huge project had created a 200 mile long Lake Powell and filled the huge Glen Canyon to the top with the water from the Green, the Escalante, the Colorado, the little Dirty and the San Juan Rivers, over a 17 year period. We sat with a Canadian couple and Kim Durham, chatting while everyone trooped up to the breakfast bar. We took a side road into the a€?Gouldings Trading Post.a€? It is a complex of gift shops, trading posts, a small museum, two dining rooms and a small hotel. Mary and I walked through the museum, the Dukea€™s shrine, the gift shop and then looked all around us at the towering mesas and wierd stone pillars, all covered in a dusty vermillion paint. After lunch, we saddled up in the back of two very large pick-ups for a tour of the valley. Kanab, a small metropolis of eight thousand souls, had been an outpost for the early Mormons, who ran their buisinesses under a a€?United ordera€? concept, something like a benevolent socialism, where a€?each got according to his need and gave according to his ability.a€? I found it interesting to see this pocket or socialism so deeply embedded in the American West. The country side was getting more snow-covered as we rose in altitude towards Bryce Canyon. The kids from Florida were laughing and throwing snowballs, unused to playing in the white powder.
At a€?Sunset Pointa€? we saw a vast panorama of bright orange hoodoos, with alabaster tops. We stopped by the Zion Lodge for breakfast and then returned to our room to put our bags out and prep for the day. The terrain was getting flatter and browner as we approached the desert mecca of Las Vegas.The passengers were stirring with anticipation at so fabled a destination.
After a€?T.Ia€? as it is now called, we walked to the Mirage, former home of Sigfried, Roy and their Tigers.
After breakfast, we walked down the strip towards the Luxor Casino, that huge pyramid and assemblage of all things Egyptian. We caught an early dinner in the Zanzibar cafe, at the Alladin, before setting our for a walk along the strip to the Luxor and our show for the evening.
Afterwards, we walked back along the crowded strip, amazed as always at the sheer throngs of people streaming by.
We retrieved our luggage, with no problem, and caught an SAS bus to the city terminal, 26 miles away, (100 kronors.) We only had to walk two blocks over to check into the Stockholm Sheraton.
We walked by the palace again and through Gamla Stan (Old Town), checking out restaurants and shopping. We walked over and through the nearby Stadhus (old city hall) and admired this venerable structure. We caught the Djurgarden ferry (60 K for 2 round trip tickets) and docked at the GronaLund amusement park.
Next, we walked down the central boulevard to a magnificent, turreted edifice called the Nordic Museet (30 K each).
We walked back to GronaLund for a coke (10K) and watched a bungee jumper plummet off of a crane. From the jetty, we walked through the waterfront to the Nyboplan Area, hoping to catch the last ferry to Millesgarden.
We stopped off at the Cattelin restaurant, in Gamla Stan, for fish, fries and a Tuborg beer.
We strolled across the stroget for a last walk and enjoyed the evening, before turning in early to pack for the trip to Gothenburg. Continuing on through the university section, we walked through the grounds of Rosenborg Castle. We walked on and past the grounds of Amalienborg Palace, where the royal family resides, to the beautiful waterfront. Strolling through Nyhavn, or new harbor, we admired the large wooden fishing vessels berthed along the quay.
From Nyhavn, we retraced our steps along the Stroget, which was very crowded, to the hotel for a brief respite. On the way back to the hotel, we stopped in at the Old English Pub, but it was too crowded for us. We breakfasted early and walked over to Christianborg Palace, before proceededing across the bridge to Christianhavn.
After breakfast, we walked over to the Radhus Plaza and caught the #30 bus to Dragor, a fishing village 10 miles south. Tired & footsore, we returned to the hotel to pack and ready for the flight to Oslo, Norway. Later, we walked along the waterfront, past a large statue of FDR and took a one hour Oslo Fjord tour for 100K. Further along the harborfront, is Akker Brygge, a restored shopping area, adjacent to a large quay.
It was getting late and cooling off, so we walked through town and on up, through Queen's Park, to the hotel. Later, we boarded a ferry (30K each) , for a trip to the BygDoy peninsula, with its attractions.
We boarded the return ferry (30K) to the Radhus Plad (City Hall Plaza) and walked through neighboring Akker Brygge.
The day was waning and we were tired with the day, so we retired to the hotel via cab (45K).
Munch's earlier works (1880-90's) remind one of Degas or Manet, his works after 1900 appear to be fed from a cocaine induced mania. We walked back into the city center and stopped at the Scotsmen's Pub, on Karl Johan's Gate, for coffee (36K). That night, there was a massive thunderstorm echoing through the hills with very heavy rain. We had a good dinner of catfish and steak, at the hotel, for 350K .After a short stroll through the town, we crashed, tired with the day. Somewhat tired with the day, we returned to the hotel to pack and ready for tomorrow's flight. After a brief r & r at the hotel, we had pizza at Jeppe's Pizza, in the late afternoon. We stopped at the Tourist Information Center, in Radhus Plaza, and walked on up to the rail station.
At Gudvagen, we scrambled for the buses like a last lifeboat, that would take us to Voss, with a 15 minute stop at scenic Stahlheim Hotel, in the mountains. We stopped at the bus station, next door to the train station and bought some sandwiches and chips for dinner. Upon our return to the market area, we walked through the old Hanseatic buildings complex and stopped at the Tracteursted, a 300 year old tavern on Bryggen wharf, for a beer. We arrived at the airport early, checked our bags into the Braethen Airlines counter, for the 50 minute flight to Oslo and had coffee in the terminal. One of the most frustrating parts of searching for and booking award tickets is knowing where to look. This list will constantly changes as (hopefully) airlines get better at showing actual award availability online. Air Canada‘s Aeroplan is actually a separate company from the airline (Air Canada sold it off years ago). For more information on Aeroplan redemptions, taxes and fuel surcharges, check out my series: In Part 1 of my series, I priced out awards on Air Canada, United, Lufthansa, Brussels Air, Singapore Airlines, Air New Zealand, ANA and South African Airways.
Points earned on Flying Blue partner airlines can be used for upgrades, hotel stays or movie tickets. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan has partners with the following airlines and a comprehensive awards chart. Please note that their partnership with Icelandair ended on June 1, 2013, but tickets purchased on or before May 31, 2013, will continue to earn miles for travel through February 28, 2014. American Airlines AAdvantage partners can be found here, and their awards chart shows miles needed for domestic and global destinations.
ANA is a member of Star Alliance and their Mileage Club has the following list of partners and online awards chart. Avianca flights earn LifeMiles which can be used on their partner airlines as well as Star Alliance members.  The LifeMiles award chart is here. British Airways Executive Club Avios can be used to book awards on the following partner airlines and and details of their award flights are available.
I have written an extensive series on Maximizing British Airways Avios program, the taxes and fees involved on their awards, and other facets of the program.
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We had tried to check in on-line, with Southwest Airlines, after midnight , and had no success.
Two pools, tennis courts, exercise facilities and a restaurant and bar make this a comfortable place to stay.
Several shiny new bank buildings, a huge sports arena and convention center compliment the state capitol building complex to make an attractive downtown area. Camelback, South and newly named Piesowa Mountain, which was renamed from Squaw Mountain, to honor the first Native American woman soldier recently killed in Iraq dominate the skyline.
It was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and has two eighteen hole golf courses on its grounds. The concierge had recommended a nearby Southwestern restaurant, called the a€?Tequila Grille.a€? It was a great find. We were headed for the very pricey a€?Fashion Island Mall.a€? The sun was shining and it was warm and in the 60a€™s out. We had decided to make a pilgrimage to Frank Llloyd Wrighta€™s a€?Taliesin West a€? this afternoon.
Low slung and angular, the house, in Wright tradition, seems like it is part of the surrounding land itself. First year students are required to sleep in tents, for a year, to get the feel of the land and the wind and their relationship to the buildings.
We had salmon and a glass or two of cabernet, as we chatted and became acquainted with a table-full of fellow travellers.Everyone seemed amiable enough and would prove to be good travelling companions over the course of the next week.
Most of the town lies along both sides of Rte.#179 and extends a mile or so along the road.
We packed our bags and put them outside the door.Then, we set off for a sunrise walk to the Canyona€™s rim. Every time, the canyon came into view an appreciative a€?ooha€? and a€?ahha€? rose from all of us.
We drove across the bridge, admiring the chasm beneath us and the huge expanse of the damn itself. The original Gouldings had come to Monument Valley in the early twentieth century and set up shop.
Mary and I elected to wash off the trail dust and enjoyed a welcome shower before venturing over to the dining room. An all female city council and mayor had first appeared here in the late nineteenth century and done a good job for the town too.
We could see ranges of snow capped mountains along the skyline.Winter hangs long and departs slowly in these parts. In brief, after an uplifting had raised the Colorado Plateau, from beneath an inland ocean to the 8,500 foot level, rivers and winds had eroded a huge portion of the upraised Colorado plateau, shaping it in the form of a Grand staircase, that runs from here, in Bryce Canyon at the 8,500 foot level, down through Utah, Arizona and Nevada and finally reaching the floor of the Grand Canyon at the 3,000 foot level. A peak-roofed,wooden sided, two-story dining room, reception area and gift shop are flanked by several two story wooden lodges with guest rooms. We waved to several of our fellow travellers and then were seated by a€?Jonathana€? at a nice table for six. We crossed over the time zone into Pacific Standard Time and all set our watches back one hour to accomodate the change.
The sidewalks were awash with families and hordes of young people, streaming up and down the strip. We stood patiently, until the water falls in front erupted into the controlled fire of a small volcano.
We walked back to the Alladdin and decided to catch some sun on their sixth floor pool deck. At the Alladin, we bought some quarters and fed the video poker machines for an hour, enjoying a glass of wine, as we threw our money away. We had cafe au lait, in the outdoor cafe behind the opera, (38K) while we waited for the bus.
Gold, diamonds, emeralds and an array of Royal treasures are artfully displayed in secure, glass enclosed exhibits. This city was included on our trip because it is near where Mary had spent the summer of 1968. Again, a good selection of pickled herring, smoked whitefish and plenty of everything else. It is a delightful 3 story, turreted castle , that is the repository of the Danish crown jewels and a hoard of other antiquities. We had a Tuborg beer, in an outdoor cafe for 50K, and watched the considerable tourist traffic flow by. We returned to the Sheraton and had a beer in the Red Lion Pub, for 50K, before retiring footsore and tired from the day. We walked over to Ackerhus Castle and, for 20K each, toured this massive coastal fortification. The light rain was intermittent, so we walked through and sat in several squares, at a leisurely pace. It is a thrilling rollercoaster ride through gorges with cascading streams gushing from the mountains in every direction.
We checked into the Scandic Hotel, which is very nice, and got a room with a great view of the harbor. Then, we nosed around the circa 1702 buildings, from the Hanseatic league era, on the wharf. The short flight to Oslo and the brief layover, gave us a few minutes to spend our remaining coins, before leaving. Many airline websites are either woefully or willfully outdated when it comes to searching not only their own award availability, but also that of their partners.


In Part 2, I looked at some other popular Star Alliance carriers including: Air China, Asiana, EgyptAir, LOT Polish Airlines, SAS, Swiss, TAM, Thai Airways, Turkish Airlines and US Airways (for now). However, Air France also recently devalued its miles, so beware of higher redemption requirements. Here are the posts: In Part 1 I priced out itineraries on Air Canada, ANA, Lufthansa, Singapore, SWISS, Thai Airways, Turkish Airlines, United and US Airways. Here are the posts: Master FAQ Post on British Airways 100,000 Mile Offer, Spotlight on Taxes and Fees, Distance-Based Awards, Travel Together Companion Ticket, Household Accounts, The Avios and Cash Option, Save Money on Fuel Surcharges by Transferring British Airways Avios to Iberia, Using Avios For Non-Flight Redemptions, Using Avios to Upgrade Paid Tickets, Using BA Avios on Aer Lingus to Avoid Taxes and Fuel Surcharges. This Chinese restaurant has been open for just 15 days now and honestly the experience was just as great as the first day I went. Ahmad approached us with a set of sauces, one of which is a home signature sauce for us to try - a spoon of chili paste, mixed with another of hot mustard and a bit of white vinegar in a soy sauce bowl.
Fresh and crispy vegetable rolls prepared daily) Perfectly rolled, these spring rolls are generously stuffed and most importantly not oily.
A true favorite) Served in a Martini cup with a piece of cabbage leaf cut in half for decoration, this plate is unique. An unforgettable dish) In a square plate, juicy slices of chicken are mixed with crunchy grilled almonds and cashew nuts felt in every other bite while the crunchy vegetables, capsicum, onions, shallots and bamboo shoots, are bathing is rich sauce.
Yes, we peel our oranges one by one to prepare this dish) My favorite tonight, this plate is a must order. Given our tight time frame today, we were apprehensive about boarding our flight later this afternoon. Green Park areas, several restored 19th century homes and a general aura of clean prosperity greeted us as we drove around the bustling city.
They then start to sprout a€?arms.a€? The Cacti can grow to enormous size, live without water for up to seven years and exist for over 300 years. Casual and comfortable, we had some Dos Equis beer and a plate of Que Sedias that were wonderful A basket of Mexican corn chips and several tangy dips were also great to the tatse.
Sited on the brow of a desert bluff, (Taliesin is Welsh for shining brow) just below the crest of a nearby Mount McDowell, you can look out over 90 miles across the desert and seeTuscon,on a clear day.
Second year students have to design and build their own quarters.They also work the kitchens, to be familiar with what design elements should be incorporated in well designed kitchens.
Kim Durham introduced herself as the Collette representative and gave us an overview of the week ahead of us. We watched the desert scenery flash by, enjoying the various flora and the remarkable a€?green carpeta€? on the desert floor.The area had enjoyed bountiful rains this Winter and the desert was blooming with flora. They were replaced by scrubby pinon trees , thin ponderosa pines and short, flat, prickly-pear cacti. Jewlery shops, art galleries and the entire array of tourist support structure lay waiting for us.We browsed several of the stores and bought some decent Indian jewelry. We were ascending onto the Colorado Plateau, at the 7,000 foot level, as we traversed the winding switchbacks.
We saddled up and drove over to move into building #9, room 6904.The rooms were pine-panelled and basic, but clean and had all the amenties.
Whole families took up tables for eight and ten and were busily going through the various psycho dramas that families endure at dinner time on vacation. We stopped for a brief time at the visitora€™s center.They have all manner of schema on the dama€™s functioning and its construction. They were big enough to have a knife and fork in their fins, as they wolfed down the floating cheesbits. I think the hotel manager has to kick some butt here to get ready for the coming tourist season. The practice of Polygamy of course is the nettle that stuck in the rest of the countrya€™s craw.
We left Rubya€™s and drove higher into Bryce Canyon.The snow pack was much deeper here, often several feet thick. There are vast coal deposits there, a source of much wealth for Navahos in the future, should they elect to expolit their most sacred site. Each had on snow shoes, with iron pitons attached to the bottoms, for gripping the slick ice. Along the way, weirdly beautiful shapes of all sizes and colors had been created by the forces of erosion. Several sheep and cattle farms sit along the fast running Virgin River here, giving the area a visage of quiet prosperity. The traffic was building heavily as we entered Las Vegas.The place grows yearly by leaps and bounds, reinventing it self in the process. We walked down to the Venetian Casino and sat down for a light supper and a glass of wine in a small cafe, bordering the canal.
The sidewalks were thickly jammed in front of the Casino, with other griswalds waiting to watch the show which appears hourly. At one point ,during the performance, giant rolls of crepe paper pass over the head of the entire audience.
Some musician had finally securred his gig in Vegas, even if it was only playing on the pool deck of a casino. A kindly businesman shared his cab with us, or we would have been waiting at the airport still.
A marching band, in police uniforms, led the parade and performed for an hour.(yawn) It was hot , the courtyard was very crowded and we were tired. Then, we took a brief overview of the harbor area and central city (Nobel prize site), before heading out to Djurgarden. It looked like the building must have housed a much more impressive collection that had then moved on to better quarters.
After readying for the next day's trip to Copenhagen, we settled in with Needful Things by Stephen King and As the Crow Flies by Jeffrey Archer. She had tried to make contact with the Davidson's, the Swedish family she stayed with, but to no avail. For 20K each, we viewed the remains of 3 Viking longboats that had served as funerary biers. A few blocks over, we hopped on the trolley (30K) and rode to the Edward Munch Museum, near the university. After lunch, we walked about a mile out to Maihaugen, a Norwegian cultural park, featuring 18th century wooden structures, in a rugged natural setting. There were wooden stockade type buildings, a stave church and other structures dating from the 1700's.
We stopped at the bank to exchange dollars for kronors, the post office for Olympic stamps, the town information center and finally the Olympic information center.
The best advice here is, if you must call long distance, use your calling card and dial unassisted. It has statues of fishermen, fish mongers and women waiting apprehensively for their men to come home from sea. We drove through one of four, mile long subterranean tunnels, that connect the 4 major islands that make up Aalesund.
The tour was only moderately interesting, because the guide was having a private conversation with a passenger and seemed to forget his narrating duties. The airline will begin charging more for awards on certain routes, starting in January 2014, so it might make sense to book before then. In Part 2, I looked at Adria, Aegean, Air China, Air New Zealand, Asiana, Austria, Avianca, Brussels Airlines, Copa and Virgin Atlantic. The shrimps melt under your teeth like butter while the sauce explodes on your tongue to reveal its freshness and spiciness.
Chunks of fried beef mixed with orange peels and a crunchy envelop, slightly sweet and slightly spicy at the same time.
We were surprised to be able to sail through everything and make the a€?Ba€? sectiona€? of our Southwest flight. It was the beginning of a delightful caloric onslaught that would stretch out over the next 10 days and engulf us in some memorable tastes and aromas.
The entire area is set in the huge Sonorran Desert that stretches for 2,000 square miles all around us. Wright also held many soirees at the school, so that prospective students would become accustomed to socializing with wealthy patrons and learn how to secure commissions for work.The man thought of everything.
Most of the rest of the gang had just arrived, in the last few hours, and looked pretty tired. The huge red sandstone expanses of Bell Rock, Cathedral Buttes, Snoopy and Thumb Peak all stood like vermillion lamp posts in the morning sun. Then we settled into the a€?Canyon Breeze,a€? on their open back deck for lunch, joining Gerry and Muriel.
The vistas, back across the valley, were awesome, not comfortable for acrophobics on the narrow road.
Cars were parked everywhere along the roadsways, while their occupants walked the rim path. Gerry, Muiriel, Mary and I settled into a small booth and ordered up a martini, manhattan and glasses of wine to take off the chill. We rode back up to the lodge, then returned to our rooms for a half hour break, before we were to set off, in the landcruiser for Monument Valley, deep in the Navaho Reservation.
Harry Goulding had taken pictures of the colorful Buttes and traveled to Hollywood, in the early 1930a€™s.He camped in director John Forda€™s office, until he got in to show him these great vistas. Next, we droped by the diner, where efficient and pleasant Navaho waitresses serves us some tasty a€?Navaho Tacos.a€? We much enjoyed them.
We chilled out, had a glass of Mondavi Cabernet and enjoyed a decent, if very slowly served meal. We browsed through Dennya€™s., had some good coffee and delicious maple fudge and then took pictures of ourselves standing in front of a large wooden bear and a replica of an old stage coach.
You could but look and silently admire them as they sat there in quiet stillness and let the wind and the snow swirl through and across them.
And then, we came upon the first a€?window.a€? An enormous a€?windowa€? had been carved from the rock and looked out over a vast canyon of stone. They were pine-panelled and pleasant enough, with views to the Virgin River just across the grassy entrance way. We watched a parade of gondoliers singing for their tourist fares, as the poled up and down the small canal. We entered the Luxor and retrieved our tickets for the evening performance of a€?Blue Man Group.a€? ($105 each) A tram took us back to the storied castles of the Excalibur and we then walked along the strip, past New York, the Monte Carlo and other palaces.
You find your self pulling madly on the crepe covers and throwing it onto the seats beneath you, in a mad frenzy. We managed to get to our castle in time to change the clocks back for the Spring time change. There were chess games with outsized pieces, bocce, game tables, fountains and benches in the small square.
The locals take their kids everywhere and cart food and beverages underneath the strollers, for a family picnic. As we approached the pale yellow Royal palace, with green spires, it reminded us of Versailles.
We were pretty tired and footsore, so we took a slow walk, back along the river, to the hotel.
There are several nice restaurants , cafes and many amusement rides and carnival attractions. After dinner, we walked through Kong's Nytorv (King's Square) and again strolled through picturesque Nyhavn. We again stopped in the Old English Pub for a quiet afternoon beer.(49K) We bought pita sandwiches, chips, and sodas for 100K and then had a picnic, for dinner. We stopped in to look over the nearby Alte Kirke (old church) and perused Johan's Gate, Oslo's version of the Stroget. We picked up several small baguette sandwiches (80K) and mineral water (40K) for a picnic supper.
Every train station we stopped in, was loaded with dozens of backpackers, of all nationalities.
It was not something we were aware of before we left , but is definitely worth asking about.
Lastly, we stopped by the Oppland Kommune (county hall) and exchanged Erie County pins for theirs. Each turn risked a head on collision and swung outward, with a view guaranteed to terrify an acrophobic. After checking out prices in the market area, as well as tourist shops, Mary purchased a Norwegian sweater from a woman in the market. In Part 3, I found the taxes and surcharges on partners: Croatia Airlines, EgyptAir, Ethiopian Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, SAS, Shenzhen, South African Airways, TAM and TAP. An interesting and acceptable spicy aftertaste, interesting flavors, beautiful textures in a mix that brings out the true flavors of ingredients. The cacti, flowers and other flora were a delight to us, just coming from the frozen tundra of Buffalo.
Early city leaders had built 130 miles of aqueducts to carry water in from the Salt and Colorado Rivers, in the nearby White Mountains, to nurture the city.
We enjoyed our narrated tour through the small and nautically designed living and sleeping quarters, admirng the many unique architectural features that brand the man a genius. We could see the white expanse of snow covered Mt.Humphrey, far along the skyline in the San Francisco peaks.
We enjoyed their rust-red beauty and took photos of ourselves with the rock formations as backdrops. In a brief time we reboarded the bus for the short hop over to the Bright Angel Lodge, sitting right on the Canyona€™ s Rim. A pleasant waiter, from Providence, Rhode Island, served us up some decent River Trout, steaks and wondefrul deserts. It was quiet as we walked.Only a few other brave souls were out and about in the morning cold.
The Navaho Reservation stretches across 27,000 acres in parts of three states and encompasses mountain ranges, deserts and rivers. You first encounter the massive red sandstone pillars of a€?stagecoach butte, a€? a€?the two mittens,a€? a€?rabbits earsa€? and many more colorful stone monuments. Ford was so taken with the area, that he, John Wayne, Henry Fonda and Ward Bond filmed several classic Western epics in the valley.
The Utah area, comprised formerly of native Paiutes and Utes tribes had first been scouted by the same Spanish priests, who recconoitered Arizona, Fathers Escalante and Dominguez in the late 1700a€™s.
You can but gaze intently and try to capture the images in your minds eye, as you enjoy the vast panaroma before you. In that the Emerald Grotto trail wound upwards for several hundred feet in elevation, we drew a by. We would love to visit here for a longer time and spend a few days wandering the hiking trails. We noticed the graceful, slim brown envelope of the new a€?Wynn Casino.a€? It would open in a few weeks. We walked back along the boluevard to the Bellagio and stood waiting for the hourly a€?fountains dance.a€? In a small lake out front, computer controlled fountain jets orchestrate an hourly dance of fountain sprays, accompanied by classical music. For $19 each, we sat down to coffee and an enormous selection, of every type of food available, in the many stations in the huge buffet. We browsed through the pricey boutiques, admiring the casual opulence on display and wondering who actually buys all this stuff?
We put our bags in the check room and walked next door to the Paris Casino complex, where we walked a bit and then settled into sit and watch the throngs go by. The Wasa is an enormous, elaborately carved warship that had sunk in Stockholm harbor in the 1700's.
Gamla Stan, with its cobblestone streets and narrow alleys, was very crowded with tourists.
The hotel charged about $10 per shirt, so we looked up a nearby laundromat, on Istedegade, and walked over.
In addition, they have nightly performances by musical groups, dance and theater companies. The Danish Crown Jewels, in the cellar vault, are truly impressive, rivaling England's or France's.


The park is a beautiful green expanse, but it is more a living monument to Norwegian sculptor Gustav Vigeland. They believe that the mountains are the broken bodies of trolls, who were caught in the daylight. At the bus station, we bought 2 round trip tickets to tour the Geiranger Fjord area for 492K. At the top, is a restaurant with a terrific view of the harbor area and surrounding coastline. In Part 4, I found the taxes and surcharges for itineraries on ANA’s non-Star Alliance partners (I found Virgin Atlantic in Part 2 since it’s a popular carrier) including: Air Macau, Etihad, EVA, Hawaiian Airlines (inter-island only), Jet Airways and Qatar Airways. As you bite into these pieces the inner juiciness is revealed while the rich flavors caress your palatal buds. Someone from Collette Tours was supposed to greet us at the airport and transport us to the Doubletree Hotel in nearby Scottsdale. We walked across the busy boulevard and headed through a subdivision towards Camelback Mountain in the distance. We had called the local tour company and arranged for a Phoenix city tour in the early afternoon. Paul Harvey and Glen Campbell still called these impressive haciendas and faux Roman Villas home.
Row after row of shops, like Nieman-Marcus, Nordstroms, Gucci and dozens of other fashion names command your attention.
He had a feel for the land and thought of the house as a ship sailing on an ocean of desert. A huge landcruiser, from a€?Tour America West,a€? was parked out in front of the hotel, presumably our a€?ridea€? for the next week. Snoopy,a€? and several other red sandstone creations, in the noon day sun.These are the real attractions of the area. The bus took us out of the park and drove through Grand Canyon Village to the small airpark outside town. The locals were hoping that the heavy Winter snows and ensuing Spring run off would put back another 50 feet of water into the huge Canyon. They are varied in shape and a dusty vermilion in color.You can read images into them like you do when staring at the clouds. I can see even now, the a€?Dukea€? charging at the head of a cavalry troop, or riding long, lonely days with Jeff Chandler in a€?The Searchers.a€? Every time that I see these great epics again, I will think of Monument Valley and smile.
Each yeah an entire hillside, with hundreds of actors, draws tens of thousands of tourists there to watch a four-day pageant, acting out in light and song, the history of the mormons.
Then, the Mormons came to this forbidding land in the mid 1800a€™s to develop it as a mining and agricultural complex, which it remains today.
The casino was featuring a small impressionist collection of Moneta€™s and works by Sissler, Pissaro and Renoir in its gallery.
We sat for a time, at the end of the mall, waiting for the hourly performance of the a€?talking Roman staues.a€? They performed as they always do on the hour, never tiring of their own preprogrammed ribald comments and hearty laughter. The square was vibrant and interesting, but of course attracted the requisite number of hustlers. We then had a pleasant one hour flight, on SAS #154, to Landvetter Airport in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Several small lagoons and tasteful floral settings enhance the omnipresent neon outlines on all of the buildings.
Jugglers, musicians, singers and actors regularly perform, for coins, on an impromptu basis.
Outside of town, we walked onto what appeared to be a large fishing, swimming pier, with secluded sections for sunbathing. On the approach to Oslo, we could see the many lakes and relatively flat terrain of eastern Sweden. A horse and dray, with driver and peasants, in native felt costumes and capes, rode through town. We then walked through the Radhus Plad and looked in the Alte Kirke (13th century) .It has a Dutch mini cannonball embedded in the front wall. Retracing our steps, we had coffee at the 2nd floor Lido restaurant, overlooking the fish market. Among the things he told us, were that he was a sky diver, jumped at 150 feet and he thought the French were assholes.
In the final post, I included a roundup of all the awards I’d found including taxes and fees for side-by-side comparison. Reaching P.F Chang's at 9pm, I was luckily welcomed by Greg, who took care of us the last time.
While predominately associated with Japanese culture, the Chinese has appropriated it as well. The Army Corps of Engineers had turned it into lush parkland and a golf course, much enhancing the area.
Novel touches, like an acousitcally perfect recital hall, and reflected light everywhere kept our attention riveted to the house and the tour guide. We walked along the rim, past the Bright Angel Lodge, Look Out Point Lodge and a few other early structures, some now undergoing rennovation, enjoying the solitude and the light effects as the sun hit the far canyon walls.
A heavy magnezium content colored some sands green, iron dyed them red and sulfur, a yellow to give the far away desert floor a multi colored hue in its vast expanse. The Vermillion Bluffs, Echo Bluff and Navaho Montain all crowded our skyline and drew our appreciative glances.
Carrot cake and coffee finished off this lovely repast, as we dined quietly, enjoying the momentary lull in the pace.
I remember well these scenes, from the many times I had watched the Western classics.And now, I was here amidst them.
The terrain is hilly from erosion and the roads earthen and rough, with no improvements.The spiky chapparal and sage didna€™t do much to hold down the dry, red dust that coated everything and everyone.
Kim put on a video of a€?October Sky.a€? We watched it during the ride back, our thoughts remembering what we had seen, and realizing that we would never this way walk again.
The viewers were into the window surprise, as we flashed through the dark and winding cocoon of bored rock. It was a mind shift for us, to go from the grandeur of erosive stone to the manufactured brilliance of the enormous casinos on the Las Vegas Strip. They had some interaction or other and, with lighting and sound effects, one of the huge ships sunk into the small lagoon. For $20 each, we wandered through the crowded gallery and admired several of Moneta€™s dusty mauve works of Cathedrals and seascapes. It is actually interesting and enjoyable, if you let yourself get into the madcap performance.
Huge renditions of his statues, which adorn fountains throughout Europe, were placed atop columns and in various nooks throughout. Vikings of long ago had held sacrificial rites here and wove a legend of sorcery and mysticism around the place.However, the skies were a beautiful bright blue and it was warm and sunny. Then, a forecourt with a large central fountain is surrounded by sculptures of various nymphs.
Another brisk walk downhill to the KonTiki Museum , featuring the Ra I and II , was only moderately interesting. We followed the paths upward, stopping at a small mountain lake, to watch the ducks and appreciate the scenery. Luckily there were only five of us on the tour, so we could spread out and minimize the noisy and cramped seats. Huge forests, high mesas and mountain ranges, with suguaro cacti everywhere, are beautiful.
Crowds of kids were headed to the Cinemas and more crowds of locals were off work for Good Friday.This is a very busy place, especially during the Summer months, when the outside temps can reach and stay in the 100-plus temperature ranges for weeks on end. We were only to be 33, so it promised not to be as crowded and claustriphobic as some we have experienced. One intrepid female was already sitting on a rock face meditating on the rising sun.Another couple read their bible as they looked out over the canyon. We ogled the Canyon from its eastern end and enjoyed the shadings and sculptings of the canyona€™s walls.High above us, a giant condor floated on the heated air currents rising from the canyon walls. Finally, we arrived outside of Bryce Canyon and stopped at the very large and comfortable a€?Rubya€™s Complex.a€? Conference center, lodge, diner, gift store, provisioner and a€?old towna€? amusement center, Rubya€™s has everything.
And then, we emerged into an even more fantastic lanscape.The Virgin River had carved the canyon into weirdly shaped formations. Interesting as it had once had been, we now found the whole show somewhat tacky and inconsequential, compared to the physical grandeur that we had experienced during this last week. We had coffee and muffins, in a small cafe, and then walked back into the casino area, to throw some more money into the video poker machines at Caesara€™s. Reputedly, the king had authorized the extra level of cannons whose added weight sank the boat, so no official blame was ever attached.
We ogled the Grand Cassas stretched out before us, in neat rows, like small movie sets in the desert. Much of Arizona is federal land (54%) Another 17% of its land is on native American reservations. We laughed, thinking of doing a a€?Chevy Chase.a€? (standing and looking out across the canyon for 30 seconds, then walking back to the bus) It was a scene from National Lampoona€™s vacation and we mention it often when we are touring.
The place does that to you, brings you back to the things elemental like nature and religion.
For $10 each, we sat through a stomach lurching visual of an aerial ride over and through the Canyon.The photography was magnificent. When the bus came to a crossing, the lead cow stopped the ones behind it, until we crossed over the road. We arrived in Kanab (a€?willow basketa€? in Paiute) and stopped at a very prosperous a€?Dennya€™s Wigwam.a€? Besides the requisite jewlery, Dennya€™s carries an expensive line of Western clothing. Brigham Young took over the reigns of the religion, which exists and prospers today as the Church of the Latter Day Saints.
We wandered around the huge gift store and adjacent art gallery, admiring the western and native trinkets and baubles.Except for the pricey sculptings and paintings in the Gallery, things probably hadna€™t changed much from the time when beef jerky and oxen feed were the staples. The crowds were still building as we walked across one of the overhead crosswalks to the east side of the boulevard. I find that if you step back about 12 feet from these works, and catch them at about a 45 degree angle, they snap into sharp focus from their diffused frontal perspective.
I was tiring and had come down with some malady or other from breathing all the recycled air during the last week. We arrived at Helsinborg, Sweden, where two of the rail cars were detached and loaded onto a large ferry. A large obelisk shaped monument, composed of hundreds of human figures, climbing on top of one another, dominates the area. Our hotel is located about 13 miles from the airport, so we settled back to enjoy the new surroundings. Mystic figiures like the a€?Kokopellia€? petroglyphs embellished the surfaces of these majestic rock faces.
The day was fast cooling, as we stood on the stone flagged terrace of the hotel and looked out ovet the canyon.The setting sun cast a thousand differing shadows, as it set behind the West Canyon walls. A narrator gave early history of the area and included Major Wesley Powela€™s expedtion exploits through the Canyon.
At one stop, an obliging Navaho, sitting on his horse, posed on a stone mesa and let us all photograph him. It was interesting to see how fast the transition had occured from native American to a€?westerna€? in only so few a number of miles. Photos taken inside the museum did not turn out well, in that it is very dark, to prevent further deterioration of the vessel.
After a brief ferry ride across the Baltic, passing Elsinore castle (the setting for Hamlet), we arrived in Helsingor, Denmark. Live sex shows, gay bath houses, porno shops, pimps, pushers, hookers and all manner of interesting characters abounded on the this street. Surrounding the obelisk, are a score or so of paired sculptures, depicting the various ages of man from childhood to death. The countryside was changing gradually to mountains, clear streams and cooler temperatures. The view is a magnificent panorama, over a 270A° vista of mountains , ocean, fjords and greater Bergen.
The sky was a bright, turquoise blue, and the sun was shining benignly on a wealthy land of milk and honey.
The indians had learned to scrape away the dark, a€?desert varnish,a€? that is a form of algae, and leave inscribed figures on the rock faces, depicting animals, rain and other tribal mysteries. We talked with Jane, Michelle, Gerry and Muriel as we watched the lights go out all along the Canyon.
It had been a good, albeit brief, visit to a phenomena that would be here for eons after we shucked this mortal coil.
When the others rejoined us, they all spoke of the breathless beauty of the helicopter rides.
A small room, off the trading post, also lists all the films that had been shot in these environs, including the a€?Eiger Sanctiona€? and those crazy car commercials that show a vehicle airlifted onto huge pillars of stone. After the gallery tour, we stopped at a small ice cream parlor, in Bellagio, and had coffee as we watched the swirl of people drift by. A small rail shuttle took us out to the Southwest terminals.They were jammed with Griswalds.
The temps were dropping into th 20a€™s tonight and we were all lightly dressed, so we ambled back into the Bright Angel and milled around with all the other Griswalds.
The bus dopped us off and we scurried to our various rooms, to pack for the morning departure, settle in and crash from the long daya€™s travel. Huge chunks of red sandstone, some bigger than the bus, lay along the roadside, testimory to the enormous rock falls that occurr here regularly. The colorful Dale Chihuli glass ceiling, in the Conservatory, is always worth a look as well. We had a 90 minute layover in the town of Geiranger, so we browsed and stopped for coffee and french fries (70K). A former collection of huge citrus groves, and named for 19th century army general Winfield Scott, the area now bustles with 225,00 residents. Through it all, Rosie filled us in on Navaho customs and even tried to teach us some of the language. The town is really a ferry stop with a small hotel, a few shops and houses on the edge of this arm of the fjord. We made our goodbyes, to our dinner companions, and walked back, through the inky and cool darkness, to our room.
We strolled along the Storgata, a pedestrian shopping mall, that runs through most of the downtown center. We walked through the busy casino area, of the Alladdin and rode the elevator to our aerie, where we settled in to let the sand man whisk us away. We settled in to read and pass the time, as the overloaded behemoth off-Lifted into the Nevada sky and flew eastward towards the frozen tundra of Western New York.
It had snowed all day in Buffalo and we knew not what we faced.The cold and flu hit me hard, in the air, on the flight back. We made our case, got checked in and even had coupons, provided by the manager, for breakfast tomorrow morning.
It was a charming town, but all roads were undergoing massive renovation in preparation for the Olympics. Most of the residents of the reservation do what they can to survive economically, but I think they fair not well. It wouldna€™t take a large mind-blink to revert back hundred of years here, to a land and a time when the gods of thunder had walked the earth and cast large shadows amongst and above the few primitives who huddled here.



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