Cats in Riga

1 09 2012

I always try to take pictures of cats when I’m travelling.  I just like them and like capturing their expressions.

Something from the past:-

Cats in Amsterdam

In Budapest

In Fes, Marrakech, and Essaouira

In different cities and villages of Bhutan

Sadly during my entire Baltic trip, while I saw a couple of cats in passing (including once from the bus near the border of Lithuania and Latvia, I think on the Latvian side), I was unable to get them on my camera.  I don’t know where they exist in the Baltics.  All domesticated and no stray cats??

Here is something else though from Riga: the famous black cat (well, two of them).

Cat House/Kaķu māja

And there is a counterpart dog that our guide told us was observing the cats…





The Tram in Riga

30 08 2012

It’s what I didn’t ride on this trip and wish I had.

I love trams!

In Budapest

In Vienna

http://www.rigassatiksme.lv/en/

The retro tram!  I didn’t see this one.





Riding the Subway in NYC

29 03 2012

Whenever I go away on a trip, whether for work or for pleasure, I try to use as much public transportation as possible.  Years ago that was kind of unthinkable in New York especially at night.  There was firstly concern for one’s own safety but also the trains and stations were just not clean enough and smelled really bad.

Things have changed for the better in this city and given all the traffic, riding the subway seems like the smartest thing to do.  The stations, while not as clean as in Tokyo, have their charms with station signs done in colorful tiles.

Eighth Avenue Station on Line L.

I was very much reminded of “Line 1” in Budapest, Hungary by all the station tile art.

Budapest Subway





Wrapping Up 2011

31 12 2011

January – Cannes, France for the 20th time in 20 consecutive years…

followed by London.  Some things do change I realized!

February – I seem to have gotten back into the CD buying mode then which has continued throughout the year.

March – March 11th earthquake

and cousin visits from Kobe on the very next day.  It took a while for everybody to realize what had happened and how serious things were.

April – cherry blossoms

May – off to Vienna, Austria

and Cesky Krumlov, the Czech Republic

June – managed to do two “eating the world” get-togethers in one month, Poland and Bulgaria.

July – office move and Fuji Rock Festival 2011 and many more musical events

August – way too hot!! & Summer Sonic 2011

September – Tokyo Jazz Festival 2011 and a trip to Budapest, Hungary

October – more Budapest and own birthday which doubled as another “eating the world” get-together at a Cambodian restaurant.

November – new iPhone (no photo) and the annual Beaujolais Nouveau get-together

December – Christmas and Chrsitmas

Happy New Year’s Eve.  Wishing everyone and the world much joy and peace in 2012.





Budapest’s Parliament Building

30 10 2011

We have seen the building up close and from afar, during the day and in the evening.  It stands magnificently on the Pest side of the city and the view from the Buda side is very grand.  It is supposed to be one of the must-visits in Budapest and visit we did but we weren’t prepared well enough and we ended up not seeing the inside… 😦

Where we lined up to get tix for the guided tour.

Inside this door X tix for guided tours are sold...

What we didn’t know until we got there in time for the scheduled English guided tour one day was that even if you lined up at that time, you couldn’t get in immediately.  In fact we were told to come back the next morning and line up again to purchase tickets for an English guided tour for later that day.

Apparently they only allow a small number of people in at a time at this working parliament and the English tours sell out very fast (tours are available in different languages at different hours) and since tickets are only good on the day of purchase, you would have to line up early in the morning for the day’s allowance of tickets on any given day.  We didn’t have enough time for that unfortunately.

Anyway…

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The Hungarian Parliament





Budapest’s Most Beautiful Run-Down Building

29 10 2011

I don’t know why it’s been abandoned like this but that seems to be the case with Párisi Udvar – the Paris Courtyard or the Arcade in Budapest.  I didn’t care for the very Gothic exterior so much but the interior with the beautiful domed ceiling was worth seeing.  Hopefully someone would invest and save it from further deterioration!

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Since my interior photos didn’t quite turn out right and it’s difficult to tell how the arcade is set up and where the beautiful features are from my photos, here is a video someone shot of the building.





Budapest’s Museum of Applied Arts

28 10 2011

I am not much of a museum goer and I prefer seeing architecture to art.  The Museum of Applied Arts in Budapest was just right for me because the building itself was beautiful inside and out and the kind of “art” it presented was things people used in everyday life such as furniture, tableware, stationery, and other lifestyle goods which I find quite fascinating.

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Museum of Applied Arts








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