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Homage to Crimea PDF Print E-mail
Written by Greg Prohl    Monday, 07 April 2014 15:33

Crimean mountain lake

(Crimean mountain lake)

We’ve all seen, heard, and read the news stories about Ukraine, Crimea and Russia. The headlines have been inescapable for months now to anyone who pays attention to the world. It’s unfortunate that for many Americans the first time they’ve ever taken notice of Ukraine and Crimea in particular is for the worst possible reason. Admittedly I have a much higher stake in events in this corner of the world than does the average American, since my wife, Irina, is Ukrainian. Through her and her family and friends, Ukraine is a country I’ve come to enjoy, admire, and appreciate deeply in my many visits there, both the land and its people.

Black Sea coastline near Balaklava

(Black Sea coastline near Balaklava)

I’ve held off for the last month or so from writing this piece, waiting and hoping that the crisis in Crimea might somehow resolve itself in a way that I could view as positive. Sad to say, but I don’t see any indication of the situation reverting to the pre-invasion status quo. It’s a shame, really, indeed a tragedy for me to see Crimea, this lovely jewel of Ukraine, invaded by Putin’s jack-booted thugs and stolen in broad daylight for all the world to see. The only positive thing is that there has been no large-scale loss of life…so far. But that could change at any moment depending on the whims of Rootin-Tootin-Putin.

Watch your step! The cave town of Eski-Kermen

(Watch your step! The cave town of Eski-Kermen)

Colorado Part Three: Denver Botanic Gardens PDF Print E-mail
Written by Greg Prohl    Friday, 21 March 2014 16:10

One of numerous reflecting ponds and pools

(One of numerous reflecting ponds and pools)

Spring is here and with that comes thoughts of warmer days, blossoms, flowers and gardens, so what better way to kick off the season than to showcase some of nature’s finest flora as displayed in the Denver Botanic Gardens? I’ve raved before about how much my wife and I enjoy seeking out and enjoying botanical gardens wherever we travel, so while in Denver we made sure the local BG was on our list, and we were not disappointed.

My attempt at photo homage of a Monet water-lily painting

(My attempt at photo homage of a Monet water-lily painting)

Into the garden

(Into the garden)

Nepal Part Two: Pokhara and the Himalayas PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sergei Prutskov    Wednesday, 05 March 2014 10:07

It’s time to return to Nepal for our second article featuring Sergei Prutskov’s travels in Nepal.

Nepal Part Two: Pokhara and the Himalayas

Written by Sergei Prutskov and Greg Prohl

Photos by Sergei Prutskov

After you’ve spent your time in Kathmandu, it’s time to head on to other locations and adventures in Nepal. For many travelers to Nepal, the city of Pokhara is the natural choice, and is in fact the most visited city in the country. With a population of 265,000 people, Pokhara is the third most populous city in Nepal. Geographically, it is located dead center within Nepal’s borders and about 200 kilometers or 125 miles west of Kathmandu.

Pokhara, Phewa Lake lower left and Annapurna Range to the north

(Pokhara, Phewa Lake lower left and Annapurna Range to the north)

Pokhara is situated in the Pokhara valley (makes sense to me) and only 30 linear miles from three of the world’s ten tallest mountains – Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, and Manaslu. As you might expect, this makes for some stunning views to the north of the city as these massive giants ascend abruptly from the lowlands, going from approximately 1,000 meters to over 7,500 meters in the distance of only twenty kilometers. This also creates a massive rain wall effect with Pokhara and environs annual rainfall ranging from 130 inches in the city to over 200 inches at the base of the mountains!

Phewa Lake and the Himalayas, another view

(Phewa Lake and the Himalayas, another view)

Naturally this makes for an abundance of fresh water and the area is awash in rivers and lakes. The largest and most easily accessed of these is Phewa Lake, a very popular destination for both locals and tourists alike. I spent some time on and around the lovely Phewa Lake and took one of the local small boats out to Dragon Island in the middle of the lake.

Lakeside restaurant, Phewa Lake

(Lakeside restaurant, Phewa Lake)

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