I only spent a short afternoon there during our Flying Kiwi tour of New Zealand in 2006, but it was such a perfect day that I’ll always remember this beautiful city. My heart goes out to the people of Christchurch.
Here’s Christchurch Cathedral from 2006
Here are a few more photos from Christchurch in 2006
Who would have thought that a market would be one of the most interesting things that I would see in Thailand? The Rom Hub Market is no ordinary street market. It’s built on an active railroad track with trains passing through it 5 or 6 times a day. As a train approaches, vendors calmly move their goods, pull back the awning, and watch a train go by a few inches away.
I wasn’t quite sure of what to expect when we first arrived at the market. It was bustling with activity and even though there was a track running through the middle of it, it was hard to believe that there would be a train coming through. One of the vendors pointed out a spot for us where I could film the train from the middle of the tracks as it came around the bend. Once the train approached, I quickly moved over to sit next to her. I figured that she would know exactly where to sit to avoid being hit by the train. Still, the train passed by way too close for comfort. Seconds after the train passed, the awnings popped back into place and the market proceeded like nothing ever happened.
Here are some photos from Ayutthaya, an ancient capital of Thailand. Ayutthaya is about 50 miles north of Bangkok. The capital was moved from Ayutthaya after falling to the Burmese during a war in the 1750’s.
Wat Mahathat We joined a day tour to see Ayutthaya and only had about an hour here. Spectacular ruins of temples of Cambodian, Thai, and Burmese styles are everywhere and we were not able to see everything. One thing you notice is that nearly every Buddha statue is destroyed with the heads and arms chopped off. Most were looted and sold to collectors of ancient artifacts.
Here is a Buddha head that was picked up by the roots/branches of a tree and lifted up from below the ground after it had been buried. The Thai people consider this spot a very spiritual place
Reclining Buddha Here is a rare outdoor reclining Buddha- one of the largest in Thailand. Most reclining Buddha statues are enclosed inside a temple.
The journey to Thailand has begun. First a quick stop in snowy and cold Minneapolis. It’s a chilly 10 degrees outside. We’ll be here for an hour before heading on to Tokyo, Japan.
Our first snafu. I had booked this flight months ago with my girlfriend and my seats together. However, now our boarding passes have us really far apart with both of us in middle seats. Not much use for trying to trade seats.
Here’s the seat in front of me. Note the complete lack of any type of entertainment system. Thanks Delta for having one of the oldest fleets on the planet. Good thing I’m well equipped for self entertainment with my iPhone and iPad. Still, it’s going to be a long flight.
Here’s the view of the screen from my seat. I’m going to enjoy watching Salt from the equivalent of a 13 inch TV.
Mmmm. Beef. I know it’s airplane food but it actually sounds good. We shall see if it’s worth the anticipation.
One thing about taking a vacation is that there’s always a pile of work waiting for you when you return. Makes it a little difficult to get back on schedule.
I took a ton of pictures while in London and Paris and I’ll be posting them over the next couple of days. I was a little rushed to to get to the airport and left the two cameras I was planning to bring at my office. I ended up using a slightly older digital camera that I borrowed from my sister who dropped me off at the airport and my trusty iPhone 3GS.
First picture up, a walk button to press when crossing the street in Paris. I love that the guy has a cane!