Tuesday, December 24, 2013


Kyoto was amazing.
Kyoto and Koyasan were the highlights of the trip to Japan.
Kyoto is rich with history.

And UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Seven to be exact.

We managed to see four: Kinkakuji Temple with the Golden Pavillion, Nijo Castle, Toji Temple and Nishi-Honganji Temple.

And still managed to see some other great sites, like Daitokuji temple, Gion Corner and the Geisha area, as well as a traditional Kyomai show.

I could have spent weeks there and not seen enough.

I'd love to return at some point in the near future.
Pictures from Kyoto are up in the galleries.

Monday, December 23, 2013


Miyajima is a small island off the coast not far from Hiroshima.
Its famous for the Itsukushima Shinto shrine, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

And famous for its deer, the only beggars I witnessed in the entire country.

The place was beautiful and we happened to drop by right in the middle of a wedding ceremony, which was pretty neat to see.

Pictures from Miyajima are up in the galleries.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


One of the best parts of our trip to Japan was travelling up the Kii Mountains to Koyasan.

We took a train part way and a funicular the rest of the way up Mt. Koya.
Its a long way so it must of been one hard pilgrimage back before they had trains, eh.

Koyasan was established almost 1200 years ago by the Buddhist monk Kobo-Daishi.

There are many temples, the most impressive of which is Kongobu-ji, the Temple of the Diamond Mountain.

We stayed in a Shukubo, a Temple that hosts people.

It was very traditional and an awesome experience.

I would definitely like to find my way back there again someday.
Pictures of Koyasan are up in the galleries

Friday, December 13, 2013



Tokyo was busy, modern, diverse.
It was a refreshing change from the more historical sites that we had visited.
But to be honest, I really enjoy the historical sites and would take them over a busy city any day.
We visited Shibuya, Harajuku and Asakusa.

We walked along the river across from the Skytree and went up the Tokyo Tower.

Good times.

Pictures from Tokyo are up in the galleries.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


Forever to be remembered as the place where the first atomic bomb used in war was detonated, Hiroshima was an interesting city.
We enjoyed the food including oysters and okonomiyaki.
And visited ground zero.
At ground zero is the Genbaku Dome, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The monument, peace park and museum were fascinating yet somber at the same time.
So many innoscent individuals killed.
And so many generations effected.
Very heavy stuff.
Pictures from Hiroshima are up in the galleries.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Mt Hakone is right next to Mt Fuji.
It is known for its hot springs and onsen spas.
Its also known for being depicted on the label of Sapporo beer.

That's Hakone on the right and Fuji in the background.
And Lake Ashinoko on the left.
We took a short boat ride across Lake Ashinoko and then travelled up Mt Hakone using their ropeway.
And spent the night at an onsen spa.
Good times.

Monday, December 9, 2013


Let's start the Japan tour off on a light note.

White Kiss

Just got back from a couple weeks in Japan.
Without intending to do so, I still ended up growing the family.
While in Kyoto, we stopped by Pic Camera, and I discovered this lovely matching set:

The White Kiss X7 from Canon with a matching white EF40 F2.8 pancake lens

While in Japan we managed to see five UNESCO world heritage sites.
Expect pictures from the trip shortly.

Friday, September 6, 2013


Soooo....yeah, its taken a little longer to get the Budapest pictures up.
Its not my fault.
Its Dell's.
They sent me a new computer with a faulty video card...
...then removed my operating system, because that's the logical thing to do when a video card is faulty.

After waiting a week for them to send a disk with my operating system on it, because removing an operating system without making sure there was a way to put it back on would make sense, it was reinstalled...
...and viola, the video card was still faulty.

So the following week, they sent along a guy with a new video card.
And he installed it and here I am.

Total hours of my life I spent talking to Dell reps that I will never get back...12.
Total weeks my computer was doa, thanks the the Dell rep who removed my operating system...2.
Total times I will purchase another Dell product, or recommend them to someone else...0.

Anyway, Budapest was awesomely photogenic, as is apparent in the pictures.
It has large portions that are designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites.
And we were there at the peak of the Danube's flooding this summer.

With that I've completed my Budapest/Helsinki/Vienna trip galleries and so I've updated my travel gallery with links to the latest trips (Thunder Bay, Senegal, Hungary) and the new countries that I've visited (Austria & Hungary).

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Medina-Bransan is a Fula village in eastern Senegal.
They heard cattle and farm to survive.

Its amazing to see how much of a difference on a whole village of people the purchase of one $8k water well/pump can have.
Just amazing.
Medina-Bransan is up in the galleries.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


One of the two UNESCO World Heritage sites in eastern Senegal is the Bassari Region.
Within the region there are three distinct tribes of people each with different cultures.

I managed to explore two of the three before the rain ended my expedition.
The Bassari Region is up in the galleries.

Thursday, August 22, 2013


Niokolo-Koba National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site in eastern Senegal.
Before visiting, I was under the impression that all the wildlife was hunted/poached to extinction.
Boy, was I wrong.

I didn't have any difficulty finding lots of wildlife.
Photographing it was another story.

As the rainy season was upon us by the time I visited, the greenery was growing, making it easy for the animals to disappear into the brush.
I did manage to get a few shots though.

Niokola-Koba is up in the galleries.