Archive for the ‘Travel Theme-Parks’ Category

An unexpected sighting …a Caribou, oblivious to human awe. We finally sighted wildlife while visiting Jasper, Alberta, Canada. (2013)

Link to article http://travtrails.wordpress.com/jasper-a-summe…wips-hong-kong/

Finally some wildlife

Finally some wildlife

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The stretched out snow wings on the cold dark mountains, the ecclesiastical aquamarine waters of Cavell Pond and one can gaze, transfixed for hours, visualizing warring armies and angels of mercy. The wing- shaped Angel Glacier in slow-motion-meltdown the north face of Mount Edith Cavell in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada, honors English nurse Edith Cavell who was an angel of mercy helping allied soldiers escape from German-occupied Belgium during World War 1. She was executed by the Germans for her actions and beliefs.

We follow the trail starting from the car park, climbing the stairs and past the Memorial for Edith Cavell, crossing a gurgling stream and instead of going straight to Cavell Pond through glacial debris left by the retreating Cavell Glacier, we climb past Teahouse Creek to the Cavell Meadows junction at 500m. A steady flow of climbers, young, old, four-year olds bravely leaning on mini walking sticks, school groups and tourists give us company. A squirrel insisted on following me or the Lays chips packets I was carrying and finally made its move the minute I rested on a rocky perch. My scream sent it careening off among the rocks and few minutes later I felt beady eyes glaring at me for being so squeamish.

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Just beyond the junction the panoramic view of picture perfect Cavell Glacier on the far side of the pond, Angel Glacier in center and right above Cavell Pond and the near invisible Ghost Glacier clinging on to the ledge on the left, compensates for the rugged terrain and occasional rumblings and ‘the mountains shrugged’ performance. In 2012 the area was cordoned off due to flooding and ice fall and in 2013 September, though it had partly opened, we had to be content with ledge lookouts. Few brave hearts sneaked down to the edge of Cavell pond when a snowy grumble and ice fall prompted the supervisor to blow his whistle to stop further clandestine excursions.

20140206-165917.jpg The lower trail to the Cavell Pond.

The trail continues onwards 526m towards Cavell Meadows and a spectacular view of Mount Edith Cavell, Angel Glacier, Cavell Glacier and Cavell pond.I had stopped midway preferring the stillness of environment to tourist chatter till squirrelly ambitions interrupted my niveous reverie.

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1….Wood
‘Playground of the Gods’ at Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area, Burnaby……Wood carvings atop Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area are a symbol of friendship between the Japanese and Canadians. The unassuming carvings meld with the scenic views of Downtown Vancouver and Vancouver Island.

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2. Juxtaposition
The vintage, Camel cart snorting at the new mechanical carts.

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Nan Lian Garden*..A perennial favourite…..Re-blogging for Ailsa’s Travel theme: Gardens

Nan Lian Garden

Surrounded by imposing mountain scape and vertical structures of commercial Kowloon, Hong Kong, Nan Lian Garden is a creative oases that makes one forget the afflictions of city life.  The 3.5 hectares Nan Lian Garden, modeled on the famous Tang Dynasty Jiangshouju Garden in Shanxi Province, follows the Chinese tradition of ‘earth enclosing rocks’ with water bodies and timber structures set amidst quiet winding paths and hillocks named according to direction, site or the plants. Thus we have the East or South Hills, the Spring Hill, the Myrtle or Fragrance Hill and the Pagoda Tree Hill. There is also the Dragon Hill or Turtleback Hill on auspicious animals.

In center of Garden is the Pavilion of Absolute Perfection with its gold leaf covered tower and two flamboyant orange bridges, the Zi Wu Bridges, off bounds to visitors. The bridges connect the Pavilion to the Lotus Pond and the Blue Pond watered by fresh water springs with giant Koi fish darting around in the Blue Pond. Nearby is the Fragrance Hill swathed in the breezy perfume of Lohan Pines, Osmanthus and orange-jasmine while the Banyan Grove is the place to soak in the sanctified air. From the Lotus Terrace one can view the Nan Lian Garden in its entirety.

One can feel the calmness, the sense of space despite the organized abundance of over 3000 trees of more than 59 distinct varieties including Pagoda Tree, Chinese Elm, Sago Palm, Crape Myrtle, Buddha pines and a variety of flowering species, including Bougainville shrubs, set amidst boulders, rocks and petrified wooden placements.

The giant rocks or ‘bones’ in traditional Chinese landscaping, strategically placed according to height and structure in clusters or single, were hauled all the way from the Red River in Xijiang, Guangdong province.

The garden is the antidote for heat and crowds, especially on the Mong Kok – Diamond Hill segment of MTR, and one can spend an entire day marooned in natural beauty. Other interesting landmarks of the Garden are the Chinese Timber Architecture Gallery, the Lunar Reflection terrace, the Mill and Silver Strand waterfall, The Tang gallery with its souvenir and snack shops, the Chi Lin Nunnery and the Rockery showcasing rocks from the Hongshui River