LAPC 99: The Old and the New

Amy of Lens-Artists invites us this week to show old and new with our photos and stories.

On our last trip to Brazil, we spent our first week staying with friends in the southern city of Curitiba, which has well over 1 million inhabitants. The city has grown a lot since I was last there in 1979! In this photo, the juxtaposition between old and new can be seen in the Centro Histórico (historical center), with Portuguese-style buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries dwarfed by modern skyscrapers.

We then spent about a week in São Paulo. Every Sunday, a major avenue, Avenida Paulista, is closed to motorized traffic; pedestrians and bicyclists have the street to themselves on that day. Being a major street, Avenida Paulista is lined with ultra modern architecture, but there are historical monuments there also, which visitors can explore. At the far end of this avenue is the Casa das Rosas, named for its rose gardens, a Victorian mansion that has become part of Brazil’s historic patrimony. Behind this partial view of the house, a glass blue skyscraper rises high.

In São Paulo’s downtown, old and new live side by side, above and below. These 19th century buildings, which can be admired for their colors nd wrought-iron balconies, now house modern stores on their lower levels.

Two years later, we were in Egypt, where we saw many monuments of its 3500 year old civilization. The Egyptians are both proud of their heritage and dependent economically on tourism. This modern apartment building is decorated with motifs of ancient Egypt.

While visiting the ancient pyramids in Giza, just outside the city of Cairo, we also took in a museum housing a restored ancient boat belonging to one of the first pharaohs. These boats were buried in pits next to the king’s tomb because the ancient Egyptians believed he would need his boat to travel to the afterworld. While the pyramids and the boat are ancient, the hexagonal Giza Solar Boat Museum which houses the ancient boat is quite modern looking on the outside, in contrast with the 3,500 year old pyramid behind it!

We visited the mortuary temple of Hatshepsut, a woman who ruled as pharaoh for nearly 20 years during Egypt’s 18th dynasty. I took this photo of my silly husband with his Nikon camera hanging down over his chest, posing with two Egyptian guards dressed in traditional garb in one of the temple’s sanctuaries.

Every one of the monuments was swarming with cellphone-toting tourists snapping photos.

South of Aswan is the city and monument of Abu Simbel, which is less touristy, because many people do not want to take the two-plus journey there to see the twin temples built by Ramses II. When the Aswan High Dam was built in the 1960s, it caused a lake to form south of the dam, which flooded previously inhabited areas. Because of its historical value, a huge effort was made, before the dam could be built, to remove the ancient monuments that would otherwise end up underwater. Ramses II’s temple and the smaller temple next to it he had built for his beloved wife Nefertari were divided painstakingly into sections and lifted 200 meters higher where a cliff had been carved out for its placement to look at much like the original location as possible. In the old position, Ramses II’s architects had cleverly created an inner chamber in which there were statues of the pharaoh and two gods, which received direct sunlight for 45 minutes on only two days of the year – his birthday and his coronation date – February 22 and October 22. One of the gods, Ptah, remained always in shadow, for he was the god of darkness. When the monuments were raised up to the higher cliff in the 1960s, the sun’s rays no longer illuminated the statues on those two dates, but close – they now shine upon the statues for fewer minutes on Feb. 21 and Oct. 21, only a day earlier.

Several of Egypt’s ancient monuments, including the temples at Abu Simbel, now have a special light show for tourists, which project colorful images onto the outer face of the monuments starting at twilight. As the images are shown, there is narration to accompany them in several languages that you listen to with an earbud attached to a small transmitter. New technology is juxtaposed with ancient buildings by using them as a “movie screen” for the images. During the projection of the images, it is difficult to make out the shapes and features of the statues behind them.

Beginning of the show, just after twilight
These projected images are from photos of actual Egyptian paintings, used to tell the history of this ancient civilization, as well as from photos telling the story of the project to move the monuments to their current location.

In Israel, where we traveled after our tour of Egypt, there are also many ancient places. Much of the original wall of Jerusalem and its gates still exists; millions of tourists and residents enter those gates on a daily basis. Here are some young Israelis dressed in their military uniforms about to enter this ancient gate.

In Gethsemane, there is a garden with ancient olive trees. One of them is exceptionally old – dating from the time of Jesus and is believed to possibly have been a young tree when he leaned against it to pray on the eve of his crucifixion. In order to protect it, a fence now surrounds it.

Finally, while on a boat tour of the canals and harbor of Amsterdam, I took this photo of Amsterdammers in a boat shaped like a Heineken barrel, about to pass under a medieval bridge.

Capitol Series #2: Denver, Colorado

On June 21, I published the first in a series about state capitols, in Lincoln, Nebraska. On our most recent trip, we visited five of them!

Since August 1 was Colorado Day, I go next to Denver, Colorado.

On June 1, we visited the state capitol in Denver. 20180601_111942.jpg
Once inside, we decided to take a guided tour.  The guide met us and started the tour in the rotunda, where there are murals all around depicting the history of Colorado.

SONY DSCAbove us was the dome.
Round stained glass portraits of important Coloradoans formed a circle below the dome.


This is a close-up from the back of Ouray, a Colorado Native American chief. I took this photo on the way up the winding staircase that led to the dome.

Like most capitol buildings, the staircases had ornate railings and the walls and columns were made of various types of marble.
We were able to peek into both the House of Representatives and the Senate, neither of which was in session.
The House of Representatives (Legislature)20180601_122504DSC_0190.JPG
The Senate
On the walls above the Senate Chamber were stained glass panels of notable Colorado statesmen and stateswomen.20180601_123725DSC_0191
The ceiling of the Senate chamber
Both legislative chambers are on the second floor. On the walls of the balcony are portraits of all the presidents from 1-44. (I was glad #45 hadn’t been added yet!)

A unique feature is that you can take a stairway to the dome and view the city from the cupola. I was a bit nervous about attempting to climb the narrow spiral staircase at the end, but I’d come that far – so I kept going, allowing younger, sprier people to pass me.
After the tour, we looked around a little more on our own.
We stepped into the governor’s office and talked to the secretary. There was a horse statue near the doorway!
This quilt, called “Women’s Gold,” was created by a group of local women, who stitched their names in the bottom right hand corner!DSC_0176
Another quilt, depicting the symbols of the state of Colorado.DSC_0177
We then went outside and to the front of the capitol, because our guide had told us the story of the three measurements of the capitol steps. Denver is known as the “Mile High City” because its elevation is about a mile above sea level. There were those who wanted to find the precise measurement of one mile on the capitol steps so in 1909, after doing their calculations, the worlds ONE MILE ABOVE SEA LEVEL were chiseled on the 15th step. DSC_0211The measurement was done again in 1969, and was found to be at the 18th step – a difference of 17 vertical inches – and a small round plaque was embedded in that step.

SONY DSCIn 2003, with GPS technology, the measurement was done once again, finding that the 13th step was exactly one mile above sea level. This was marked by a bronze plug.

In front of the capitol is a Civil War monument.20180601_113057

One Word Sunday Challenge: Upright in North Dakota

Debbie Smyth at Travel with Intent has a Sunday One Word Challenge and this week the word is uprightThis is my first time participating in this challenge!

In May, we took a trip to North Dakota, South Dakota, and a little piece of eastern Wyoming.  Our third day in North Dakota, we drove up to the International Peace Garden at the Canadian border. It was a windy, cold day and the place was deserted – the official opening of the tourist season was a week later, Memorial Day weekend. The only employees there were a few gardeners and a U.S. Customs official. Actually there was no one there to check our passports going into Canada and we had only to fill out a small envelope with $20 as admission to the place. It was on the honor system. We saw the border checkpoint U.S. Customs official on our way out, who checked our passports and was very friendly.

Photos below: View of the park from the north; the 9/11 monument, with pieces of metal from the Twin Towers.

There is a spot where you can put one foot in Canada and one foot in the United States. Looking at the map, there was supposed to be a Peace Tower comprised of four tall concrete towers. Was I going crazy or was it not there?? We later found out it had been torn down recently because its foundation was unstable. They hadn’t issued new maps without it yet.

We visited the things that were open or accessible – the Peace Chapel, the 9/11 Memorial and the Peace Poles.



I was a bit disappointed that we didn’t see more, but I was tired due to what I thought was bronchitis and Dale didn’t want to walk the extra way to see the greenhouses.

By the time we arrived in Bismarck that night, I was feeling better and the next morning we took in the North Dakota Capitol building.  Unlike most capitols I’ve seen, the capitol in Bismarck is not a domed building. Built in 1934 in Art Deco style, it is in fact a 15-story building, rather ordinary looking, but it’s the tallest building in Bismarck!


Inside we saw the North Dakota Hall of Fame (I recognized a few individuals, but not the majority) in the main hallway off the entrance, pictures of the first capitol (it didn’t have a dome either) which burned down in 1930, and we rode up the elevator to the Skydeck,  where we had panoramic views of the city.

The photos below show the Capitol’s Hall of Fame and two well-known North Dakotans, the writer Louise Erdrich and actress Angie Dickinson.





Rio de Janeiro: Flamengo and Cinelândia

November 27, 2016

Our intention today was to visit MAM (Museum of Modern Art) in the morning and then take my sister-in-law to Sugarloaf.  We got sort of a late start, however, so when we got to MAM it was already close to lunchtime, and my husband’s stomach does not like to wait!

We stopped at the courtyard outside the museum to look at a photography exhibit. While there, I noticed a young boy who was quite entranced with an interactive installation in the shape of a square box frame full of colorful strings. I took this series of photos of the boy trying it out:





We asked at the museum if there was a café or restaurant nearby and were told that the museum has its own café in the back of the museum.  Trying to find it, however, we ended up stopping for a minute to watch a group of young people with percussion instruments playing a batucada:

I would have stayed there listening to them longer, but Dale was anxious to have lunch. We were on the wrong side of the museum (it turned out) to find the café so we wandered, looking for some sort of eating establishment.

We crossed some streets and ended up at nearby Cinelândia! This area is named for the number of movie theatres one can find there, but it also has some beautiful historic buildings and monuments.



Memorial to “Never Again:” honoring the resistance and struggle for amnesty in Rio de Janeiro. This memorial is dedicated to military personnel that were hunted and persecuted (during the dictatorship of 1964-1985) for defending democracy and constitutional rights. For truth, memory, reparation and justice. So that we never forget. So that it never happens again. (Erected on the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the dictatorship, Rio de Janeiro, April 1, 2014)





Municipal Theatre






We ate at an outdoor restaurant, where I indulged in way too many fries!   Having lunch rested us, so we walked back toward MAM and entered the museum.
(See separate post.) 

KODAK Digital Still CameraAfter viewing some interesting and sometimes bizarre exhibits, we went back outside and followed a walkway past a pond to an entrance to the museum shop, where the (expensive) items for sale were artworks themselves.  Next to the store was the café!

It being a nice day, there were a lot of people in the park behind the museum. We saw kids on stilts and tightropes, graduates of the college of veterinary science posing for pictures, lovers walking hand in hand, murals, and of course, the beautiful view of Sugarloaf from Flamengo.


KODAK Digital Still CameraKODAK Digital Still Camera

KODAK Digital Still Camera


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Find out what’s at MAM next!






Praça do Relógio on the University of São Paulo campus

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

We wisely took a cab to the Praça do Relogio (the first driver we asked didn’t know where it was, the second did) on the USP (University of São Paulo) campus.  I wanted to go there because I had read that it’s a large park containing species from all six ecosystems in the state of São Paulo.  It was kind of a disappointment.  For one thing, we couldn’t find all the ecosystems which are not marked in any way.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

KODAK Digital Still Camera

The first thing we came to was a memorial to the students of USP who had been persecuted and killed during the military dictatorship (1964-1985). I was glad to see this – in spite of the corruption scandals and upheaval the Brazilian government is going through now, at least there is the recognition that Brazilians died defending human rights and the democratic process.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

KODAK Digital Still Camera

We  wandered through the nearly deserted park, seeing the occasional student crossing through, hearing the sound of a batucada being played by someone who repeated the same rhythms over and over – perhaps he was practicing for something –  and taking pictures.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

KODAK Digital Still Camera

In spite of the park being deserted, evidently there were plenty of people around, as this full parking lot shows.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

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The clock is actually a cement tower carved with designs with a clock at the top, and standing in a circular pool of water, surrounded by a mosaic tiled walkway with words spelling out NO UNIVERSO DA CULTURA O CENTRO ESTÁ  EM TODA PARTE. (In the Universe of Culture, the Center is Everywhere.)

KODAK Digital Still Camera

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KODAK Digital Still Camera

We had to take a bus from there which would take us to the end of the yellow line subway station.  It took a couple of inquiries and contradictory answers to figure out which bus stop and which bus.  When the right bus came, it clicked:  my GPS route had said take bus 8022-10, so when the bus bearing the number 8022 arrived, I figured it was the right one.  The driver confirmed it.

It quickly filled with students and I paid the R$3.80 each to pass through the turnstile, even though we qualified as idosos – I wasn’t going to bother the driver by showing him our passports, which is what the money taker said to do.  Soon we couldn’t see anything but the bodies and backpacks of students filling the aisle, crushing together.

Little by little, the students got off.  It was obvious when we were no longer on the university campus, where there were several stops, and soon after that we arrived at the last stop – the subway station for the yellow line.  Relief!  After that, I knew exactly what to do:  we rode the yellow line all the way to Luz, transferred to the blue line and got off at Vila Mariana.


That evening, we returned to Graça Mineira for dinner, where we ate a sinful dessert: There was a card on the table advertising some desserts and we ended up getting one to share – good thing, because it was big!  It was a churro-like donut-shaped shell filled with doce de leite and ice cream on the side, and drizzled with chocolate sauce. It was yummy!


Curitiba: City Tour on the Tourism Line

November 10, 2016

On November 9, 2016, we arrived after an overnight direct flight from Chicago O’Hare to São Paulo’s Guarulhos International Airport.


As soon as we landed, a Brazilian passenger got on social media and found out who won the U.S.presidential election – to our shock and dismay, we found out Trump had won! I could write a whole post about that, but for now I am going to stick to this travel journal. From Guarulhos, we got a mid-afternoon, one-hour flight to Afonso Pena airport in Curitiba, where our friends, Eliane and Carlos, live.

I was amazed to see how Curitiba had grown when we arrived and Carlos drove us to their house, crossing much of the city. The city itself has a population of 1.8 million, but the metropolitan area has swelled to nearly 4 million!  Needless to say, there was much I didn’t recognize and since it had been 37 years since I was last here, I don’t think I would have recognized even familiar things if they hadn’t been pointed out!

When Eliane returned home from her part-time job that night, she told us of her plans for us the next day: we would catch a tourism bus nearby, but we had to get to the stop at a certain time or we would miss the bus!

Map of the tourism bus line

The tourism bus line route

Of course, that’s exactly what happened! We spent too much time talking over our morning coffee and didn’t make it in time.  So Carlos drove us to another stop further down the line, the Torre Panorâmica (Panoramic Tower).


Arriving there, Eliane figured out we’d have 20 minutes to go up into the tower before the next bus would come.  We paid admission (it was R$5 – five reais – , or R$2.50 for seniors age 60 and up) and went up in the tiny elevator to the lookout level, where we took pictures from all directions.

Nice view of downtown Curitiba

Curitiba from Panoramic Tower

Looking down on a nearby section of Curitiba

Looking down

There were two urubús (vultures) sitting on the ledge outside.  Eliane told us it’s good to see them, because they die when there’s too much pollution, so their presence is a good indicator of relatively fresh air.

Vulture on the ledge

Vulture on the ledge outside the window

I could now see for myself how much Curitiba has grown so much since I was here last!  There are clusters of tall buildings in various places and large areas of green, which are the many parks.  I was happy to see that there are still a predominance of houses, although there are also many high rise apartment buildings.  Inside the tower, the round cement foundation pillar contained murals depicting the life and history of Curitiba and Paraná.


Araucarias - Parana pine

Eliane going toward the elevator

We went back down and looked briefly at the gift shop, but we didn’t buy anything.

We got on the bus as planned, where we received a sheet of 5 tickets (meaning we could get off and on five times throughout the day) and a pamphlet containing a map of the route and a short explanation of each stop in 3 languages – Portuguese, Spanish and English. A sheet of 5 tickets cost R$40 each.

The tower was stop #24 of 25, but the bus was on a continuous loop so it didn’t matter.  We climbed the steps to the upper deck and sat right in front.  There was a canopy overhead (because it might rain) but the front and sides were open – better for taking pictures!

From the Panoramic Tower, the bus headed down the hill toward downtown and the Setor Histórico (Historic District). I became obsessed with capturing as many pictures of araucárias as possible. On my first trip to Curitiba, I fell in love with these pine trees that grow only in this area of Brazil, whose branches curve upward, like inside-out umbrellas!

Street with many araucarias

Street with many araucaria (Paraná pine) trees

Mago Restaurant

Mago Restaurant – we never ate there but I liked the pink building.

Downtown Curitiba contains modern highrises next to colonial style buildings.

Downtown Curitiba contains modern high rises alongside colonial style buildings.

Praca Tiradentes

Praça Tiradentes

The bus stopped for about 10 minutes at Praça Tiradentes, but we didn’t get off.  Tiradentes is the nickname of Joaquim José da Silva Xavier (1746-1792), a hero and leading member of the Brazilian revolutionary movement.

Praca Tiradentes

Praça Tiradentes

At each stop, there was an oral narration in the same three languages about what we were seeing. Some of the places we could not actually see much of, because the bus could not enter some of the streets (one was blocked off by police cars for some reason) and also, sometimes the bus didn’t stop right in front of the landmark in order for us to get a good look at it. This was the case with the Historic District – we could only see part of it –  but we would visit it another day on our own.


Everywhere in Brazil is evidence of the richness of art, and Curitiba is no exception. There are many beautiful murals for public appreciation as well as good art museums.


Stop #4 is the Railroad Museum.

Museu Ferroviario

Other stops along the route included Teatro Paiol, built in 1906 as a gunpowder storage, it was transformed into an arena-shaped theatre in 1971. Dedicated by popular poet/singer/composer Vinícius de Moraes, it represented the beginning of Curitiba’s cultural transformation.



Paço da Liberdade, which used to house the city government and now has a cultural center.


The Arab memorial


juggler outside our tour bus

A juggler performs on the street next to the bus.


We finally got off the bus at the Oscar Niemeyer Museum (popularly known as “The Eye”), mainly because we were hungry.  It’s a great museum, Eliane says, so we’ll have to come back here.  As it was, we sat down for a small bite to eat at the MON cafeteria – I ordered bolinhas de queijo and diet Guaraná (Guaraná Zero); Dale and Eliane ordered quiches, and we all shared. In less than half an hour we were returning to the bus stop so we wouldn’t miss the next bus.





Museu Oscar Niemeyer (MON)


We  got on the next bus and again went upstairs.  There were more people on this bus but it wasn’t too crowded.  The problem was the noise.  The motor on this bus was so loud that it drowned out most of the narrative.  We sat through stops 13-17, which didn’t help much because we couldn’t see anything – I was kind of disappointed that we didn’t even get a glimpse of the Ópera de Arame.

We got off at Parque Tanguá and walked some.  There was a fountain and water that dropped off into two waterfalls.  By this time, we were hot and tired, so Eliane called Carlos to come pick us up.

Parque Tangua

Parque Tangua’

Parque Tangua'


View from Parque Tangua’ tower





Thursday Doors: Mixture of styles in Indiana

On our short trip to Indiana in June, we visited Indianapolis and Columbus. Indianapolis has an eclectic mix of architectural styles, and Columbus is famous for its architecture (it’s rated 6th in the country for innovative architecture, superseded only by 5 large cities).

A mixture of styles, a mixture of doors…


Shriners building, Indianapolis

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Entrance to the Indiana World War Memorial, Indianapolis


Entrance to the Children’s Museum in Indianapolis. Brachiosaur “Riad” stands erect and her baby seems to be going in through the top.


Doorway of a theatre in Indy. To fit into the space they “folded” the facade, so the door is at an angle.


Entrance to Circle Tower building in Indianapolis.


Inside the door into Pres. Benjamin Harrison’s house. This national monument commemorates the only president from Indiana.


One of the historical homes of Columbus, Indiana: Irwin Home (1864); 1910 renovation and addition by Henry Phillips. Now The Inn at Irwin Gardens.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Doors to First Christian Church in Columbus. The architecture for this church is modernistic, and rather unusual. For one thing, the doorway is not centrally placed; the left side is wider than the right side.

Thursday Doors 8-11-16


CFFC: Walks around the USA

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge theme this week is Walks – Indoor or Outdoor.  I  love to take walks when the weather is good. I don’t mind walking on a track during inclement weather, but it’s more fun to walk outside, smell the air, see the flowers, the trees, people, dogs, etc. Last fall, WP Automattic, invited photography buffs to take pictures on a 5K walk. We had a beautiful, colorful fall in 2015, and my photo essay of that walk can be accessed here.

The following is a travelogue of some of the paths and sidewalks I have walked, organized by state.

WISCONSIN, the state in which I was born and grew up, and where I spent many summer vacations at our former cottage, has many state-supported trails as well as city walks.

Scott Trestle - cell phone camera.

Scott Trestle on the Bearskin Trail (18 mile trail between Hwy K and Minocqua). The Bearskin Trail is a scenic trail for hiking or biking, built on a former railroad route. There are several of these trestles over creeks and meadows, and the remains of towns that depended on the railroad to thrive. Depending on when you go, there are opportunities to observe wildlife such as various bird species, deer, beaver, fox, and even black bears.

Cattails line the shore in the water fowl section of the park.

This and the following three images were taken at Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary in Green Bay. This park has many short forested trails and of course a lot of wildlife to observe. In this picture, cattails line the shore in the water fowl section of the park.

Urban walks have become increasingly popular as people in cities have demanded more green spaces. The next several pictures were taken in Beloit, in southern Wisconsin. An example of an urban walk is this nice river walk there which runs alongside the Rock River, and with different things to see and do along the way.


Drawbridge – possibly an old railroad bridge (there’s a rail car on top of the farthest section).


This bridge leads over to Turtle Island, where there is a big playground for kids, and a connecting path back to the main path.

ILLINOIS, the state in which I’ve lived for the last quarter century, also has followed the trend of creating hiking and biking trails, and there are also unique opportunities to hike into the past.

I live in the Chicago suburb of Des Plaines, which has its own river walk along the Des Plaines River. I’ve seen hikers, bicyclists, and roller bladers on this trail! You can pick it up either by parking south of a viaduct off of Schwab Road, or via stairway on the northeast corner of Miner St. and River Rd. This trail connects with longer hiking/biking trails through forest preserves on the north and south ends. To the north is Big Bend Lake, about 2-3 miles from the beginning of the River Walk, where small boats (no motors) are allowed for fishing and leisure.

Me on the DP River trail

I’ve stopped to watch a flock of ducks on the river. There are also a lot of terns that fly overhead.

Des Plaines River, from the River Walk.

Section of the Des Plaines River along River Road (where there is a line of cars waiting for the traffic light). We do have problems with flooding during rainy seasons, but the problem has been greatly ameliorated with deep tunnels installed in recent years to handle the run off.

Another walking and biking (and rollerblading) trail nearby is an 8-mile loop through Busse Woods, which traverses part of Elk Grove Village, Rolling Meadows and Arlington Heights. I’ve walked, biked and cross country skiied on this trail.

Geese or ducks at the lakeshore

One of small lakes within Busse Woods. People can fish in this lake, either from shore or in small boats.

Dale on the trail ahead of me

Dale (my huband) pauses on his bike to wait for me.

Elk at Busse Woods

There really are elk in Elk Grove Village! They have a large fenced in range on one side of Busse Woods.

One of the most interesting places to visit in Illinois is just outside of St. Louis, near Collinsville, Illinois. Cahokia Mounds has a museum and hiking path to explore the mounds and learn about the ancient people, one of the tribes of the Mississippians, who lived there. In 1250 AD it was a city larger than London! There is even an archaeological dig, where volunteers can sign up to spend a week in the summer painstakingly searching for artifacts. I’m tempted to do this!


This is near the archaeological dig site. Dale is looking at a section of ancient wall.


Monks Mound is the biggest of the mounds at Cahokia. A long stairway leads to the top.

To build the mounds, the inhabitants of Cahokia transported the soil in baskets over long distances. Monks Mound is a platform mound, thought to have been used for political or religious ceremonies and may have had large buildings at the top. Two other types of mounds, which were smaller, were conical and ridge top mounds. These were used as burial sites or for marking important locations. (Reference)



This to me was the most fascinating thing at Cahokia – it’s a wood henge! These wooden poles placed in a large circle marked different positions of the sun. (In this picture, the telephone poles connected by wires are NOT part of the henge!

INDIANA – We have recently returned from a three-day trip to Indianapolis, a city I had never visited before. Indianapolis actually has two walks developed by the city. One is called The Cultural Trail, which covers 12 miles and 6 districts of the city.


The Cultural Trail is marked by this special brick sidewalk, brown with designs. This picture was taken downtown, near where we parked our car. To the left (not in picture) is the Capitol.


Blue Indy electric car. You rent them and then return them to a charging station like this – no fossil fuels are used!


I kept seeing these old-fashioned parking meters and didn’t know why they were still there. When I looked closely, I realized that the meters now accept coins which are used to help the homeless.


Chakaia Booker, renowned American artist, created this sculpture on display on the Cultural Trail. The base is stainless steel, the rest is made from rubber tires. (That’s Dale framed behind it!)

The other is the Canal Walk, which starts at White River State Park, but can be accessed at other spots along the way. River or canal walks are very popular today, since San Antonio (see below) created a beautiful one which is a major tourist attraction. The Indianapolis Canal Walk is not as elaborate, and in fact, is flanked in many sections by large condo buildings. But there are monuments, a couple of restaurants, opportunities for water sports, and concerts performed on certain nights of the week. And it is a nice walk to cool off at the end of a hot day!

Central Canal Walk with view of downtown

Central Canal Walk with view of downtown


This multicolored sculpture marks the entrance to the Canal Walk in White River State Park.

Two monuments: Left – 9/11 monument with two pillars from the Twin Towers; Right – USS Indianapolis, last cruiser to be destroyed in World War II. The story of this ship is engraved at the bottom – only 318 people survived out of 1,196 on board.


We ate at this little restaurant, called Fresco. You can rent a gondola there too, accompanied by a ‘real’ gondolier!


On the terrace behind the Indiana History Center, there are concerts every Thursday night. This was a New Orleans rhythm and blues band. The tables are reserved in advance, but many more people sit on the steps, the balcony, and the grassy banks on both sides of the canal.

Leaving the Midwest and going to the Southwest, first to:

TEXAS, specifically San Antonio with its famous River Walk:

San Antonio River view

San Antonio River view

The River Walk in San Antonio is quite extensive with many entry points.


Informational signs such as this one orient the visitor about to River Walk highlights and historical information.

There is lots of lush vegetation and shady trees.


There were boats for rent and group tours on the river.

The River Walk is highly developed, with many (rather high priced) restaurants and shops. There are also historical landmarks that are accessible from the walkway.


Colorful umbrellas shade sidewalk cafe tables, their reflection shimmering on the surface of the water.

ARIZONA  – Last December, we were in Tucson, hoping to get away from the cold weather of the Midwest (it turned out to be just as cold there!) and to visit my cousin that lives there. There is a walk you can take to orient yourself which takes you through downtown Tucson and some historical places to visit. All you have to do is follow the turquoise line painted on the sidewalk.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Pima County Courthouse

The line took us through downtown and into courtyards. It led to the San Agustin Presidio, an old fort in Tucson. We toured the Presidio with a guide recounting the history of the presidio, telling us about many of the plants on display, and drawing our attention to small details.

Outside the presidio, following the turquoise line was a Time Line of southern Arizona’s history.

KODAK Digital Still Camera
We saw murals and mosaics on the facades of buildings and on walls.
KODAK Digital Still Camera

We saw quirky houses in different neighborhoods and a large flower arc in a churchyard, to honor Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe, the patron saint of Mexico.

We didn’t walk the entire path of the turquoise line – we were too tired!

I could add many more walks, but I have decided to end here this travelogue of walks in places I’ve been.