Archive of ‘Historical’ category

Gaviota Peak Trail

Gaviota Peak is awesomely situated among juxtaposed mountains and ocean, about a 20 minute’s drive from where I used to live in Santy B. The turnoff for it is right near the famous Gaviota tunnel, featured in the The Graduate.

The Graduate

I have driven through this tunnel many times, always appreciating the characteristic bare rocky peaks of Santa Barbara County.

The trail heads up the north side with views of sloping hills and agriculture, and loops back down through rocky mountains and ocean views.

The color of the hills changes drastically with the seasons. The hills are pretty brown here in October, but in Spring they turn bright green after the rains. And yellow with mustard!

The trail is about a 6-mile loop and also features wind caves! A stop in Solvang for pastries makes for a perfect weekend morning expedition.

If you are super adventurous, there are reportedly hot springs near the trailhead, though I haven’t checked them out!

Berlin: After the Rain

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This post will only include pictures of places that evoked some emotion in me. Checkpoint Charlie wasn’t one of them, and really just felt like a place to buy souvenirs. It took me quite a while to find the Berlin Wall, based on not really consulting a map but just sort of biking through tunnels and along parks. Everything seemed empty that day, and no one was really outside at this time. The recently rained look gave the wall memorial a special aura.

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People consistently graffiti over graffiti at the Berlin Wall, and it was cool to watch it being done. I can’t explain why, but I didn’t watch for too long, feeling as if I were trespassing.

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This lone swing was just at the foot of the wall.
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Where the wall first fell:
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Anhalter Station ruins, once an important rail center in Berlin. A plaque there commemorates the deportation of 9,600 Jews to Theresienstadt in Czechoslovakia.
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Glück auf!

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So say the miners! This is a traditional miners’ greeting in Germany/Austria, wishing each other luck in finding a lode. I was in Salzburg last week, presenting a poster at a GIS conference, and I found the opportunity to do some exploring, including spending a morning at the salt mines.

I chose the salt mines in Hallein, which are among the world’s oldest, mined for 7,000 years. You put on protective clothing, ride a little train through the mine, walk through the tunnels, cross into Germany, slide down 2 miners’ slides, and ride a boat across an underground lake!

The slides were definitely the coolest–very steep and it was all so fast!

The above photo is taken from the fortress in Salzburg. More to come on the beauty of Salzburg!

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Salt mine ceiling

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Miners’ gear: riding the train!

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Miners’ slides: can’t see the top!

Storm the Castle

Last Sunday, I took myself on a little bike ride to Landskron castle, which dates allll the way back to the year 878. It’s a ruin today, having burned in 1812. I followed a bike path along the Drau and lost myself among the winding streets. Gazing upwards, there it was!

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Landskron Castle

I parked my bike and hiked up the mountain, just in time for the BIRDS of PREY show! The show is narrated in German and Italian and features eagles, hawks, and vultures, flying around in the open air!

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Determined eagle swoops in

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Follow-up meal on the outdoor terrace

There were gorgeous views all around, a perfect Sunday relaxation activity!
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Bis bald!