Six Years Ago Today–Machu Picchu

On June 12, 2013, we were visiting Machu Picchu.  This was part of an extensive visit to South America that began shortly after we got married in April 2013.

Machu Picchu

Visiting Machu Picchu is a terrific experience that we would heartily recommend.  For anyone wanting to make this trip, it’s probably best to do so with an organized tour company since the logistics can be tricky.  We used the city of Cusco as a base for getting to Machu Picchu.  Cusco is the foremost city of the Inca Empire and holds the claim as the oldest continuously inhabited city in South America.

Islas Uros

After returning to Cusco, we then made another trip from there, this time to the rain forest in an area called Puerto Maldonado in the southern Amazon zone of Peru.  Once we returned again to Cusco, we finally left the city to head south to the town of Puno and Lake Titicaca where we had the opportunity to explore some of the fascinating native groups living on the lake.

This time in southern Peru was a particularly memorable portion of our time in South America.

Advertisements

Garmish-Partenkirchen, Germany

(Click here for more photographs.)

Leaving Munich, we picked up a rental car that we will be using for the next 10 days or so.  We visited Dachau and then drove south to Garmish-Partenkirchen.  This town, which is the combination of two formerly separate communities, is located in the south of Germany on the doorstep to the Alps.

Garmish-Partenkirchen

Garmish-Partenkirchen is a ski town.  From the town you can see the highest peak in Germany, Zugspitze at 9,718 feet.  Also, the town was the site of the 1936 Winter Olympics, the first to feature Alpine skiing.  Still, if you want to impress your friends, just tell them that you will be wintering in Garmish.

The old part of Garmish is quintessentially Bavarian.  Our guidebook directed us to check out a restaurant in the old town called Gasthof Fraundorfer.  They are known to serve very good Bavarian food and they have live music, yodeling and the Bavarian style dance, known as Schuhplattler with hip and foot slapping.  We enjoyed the food and the entertainment.

A well known natural feature here is the Partnach gorge.  This is a deep gorge that has been cut by the Partnach River.  The gorge is about 1/2 mile long and as deep as 260 feet.  It is located a little south of the Olympic Stadium.  You must walk from the stadium to the downriver entrance to the gorge.  There is a trail that has been cut into the rock on one side of the gorge that runs about 20 feet above the riverbed.  There are a number of tunnels and curtains of streams of water falling all along the path.  There are dramatic views at every point.  In addition, if you’re willing to make the additional hike, there is a high iron footbridge the crosses the gorge affording a breathtaking view of a long section of the river.

Next stop:  Freiburg, Germany

Innsbruck, Austria

(Click here for more photographs.)

Maria-Theresien-Strasse

Innsbruck sits in a valley with mountains to its north and south and the Inn River running through it.  Just on the other side of those mountains is Germany to the north and Italy to the south.  With relatively accessible mountain passes in both directions and a bridge across the Inn River (thus the name “Innsbruck”), this town became a very important trade route.  Innsbruck is the capital of the Austrian Federal State of Tirol (or Tyrol).  This region was much larger but the area of South Tirol was ceded to Italy at the conclusion of World War I.

Continue reading

Geneva, Switzerland

(Click here for more photographs.)

Geneva is surrounded on three sides by France and its Lake Geneva is shared with France.  The primary language is French but Geneva is a very international city with approximately 46% of the population being foreign born.  This is mostly due to the raft of international organizations that either make their home here or have a substantial presence, such as the United Nations, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization and the headquarters for the International Red Cross which was founded here in 1863.

Jet d'Eau

Continue reading

Durango, CO

(Click here for more photographs.)

San Juan Skyway

Heading south from Montrose, the most direct route to reach Durango is US Highway 550.  The road is a part of what is called the “San Juan Skyway”, as it travels through the San Juan Mountain range of southwestern Colorado.  In particular, the portion of this highway between Ouray and Silverton is known as the “Million Dollar Highway”.  This road is hung on the face of the mountain and has narrow lanes, no shoulders, no guardrail and steep drops as you can see in the above photo.  A little dicey in a motorhome towing a car.  The origin of the name is in dispute.  Some of the possible explanations:  it cost one million dollars per mile to build; the fill dirt contains a million dollars in gold ore; or, I wouldn’t drive that road again for a million dollars.

Continue reading