Thursday, December 29, 2016

Bergen Norway

Bergen, Norway is a clean, colorful, port framed by mountains and water. The rich colors of many buildings draw attention to their architecture and stimulate thoughts of children's stories.

After arriving by ship, we walked a short distance to the center of Norway's second largest city, we walked through a fish market, which also sold inviting fruits and vegetables. Close to the market is a tourist center with free WIFI.

A local item of interest is the brown cheese featured below.

Part of the attractiveness are the shops along the waterfront. The quaint shops and restaurants of the Bryggen (Hanseatic Wharf) link the city to the Viking Age some 900 years ago.

You can ride a tram to the top of the nearby mountain (Floyen).

--or walk up like we did.

-- to enjoy fantastic views of Bergen

There are historic places as well including St Mary's Church and the Bergen Museum.

We found the people friendly and helpful. Most of the people in the shops spoke English. Credit cards were widely accepted--even for small purchases.

The local currency is the Norwegian krone or crown.



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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Wildlife Safari Kenya

My trips to Kenya rank high in my list of favorite places to visit. The wilderness landscapes and wildlife were the highlights.

I visited with a friend , Grant Jones, and several university students. We capped off a week of helping children and families with a visit to a wildlife park and animal preserves near Nairobi.

We had not been in the park long before seeing this lion eyeing a giraffe. Even better, I got video of her chasing a giraffe. See video below for those scenes.

It was good to see people invested in the care of animals- for example this refuge for giraffes ( aka Giraffic park).

The care facility for orphaned elephants was a winner with our whole team.


These vehicles are relatively inexpensive inclusive of a driver from Nairobi.

I'll add a few photos to wet your appetite for a safari.



On our way back from the park, we saw a sign about a boat ride to view hippopotamuses- so we turned in- an amazing close to the day!

I'll close this off with some notes. But first, here's a link to a YouTube video from the adventure.

A few notes.

We found the people of Kenya very friendly during both visits.
We exchanged U S dollars for Kenyan shillings at a Nairobi bank.
We hired vans and local drivers rather than risk our own driving skills. Besides, we were busy taking in all the scenery.
you can travel light by having clothes washed inexpensively in town.
It can be really hot in the summer months.

We did not have problems but you do need to be careful- there are pick-pockets.
Our return flight was full but we were well taken care of by the Kenyan Airline who put us up at a five star hotel near the airport. A few of our team did get on the scheduled flight-- bumped up to first class.
You'll pass a lookout over the rift valley on the way to the park. The toilet stop is not fancy.

You might work up an appetite - all of us enjoyed The Carnivore.

I recommend the show put on by locals at the park where we spent the night.



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