Sunday, August 18, 2013

Pokhara Raptors and Tharu Dancers

Among our favorite places in Nepal: a respite from our travels from Lumbini (the birthplace of Buddha), and the hectic pace of Kathmandu, was the town of Pokhara.  We stayed on the third floor of the Tropicana Hotel; observed Pokhara's main street and beautiful lake from the balcony. We also witnessed many para gliders from our spot and loved seeing these floating apparitions.  We were tempted to try it out but wanted to save our money for Tibet travel.  (You can see my mini video clip I put together above from the captured sights.) Pokhara is known as a agricultural city; is fertile, a kick back place, and the air is better breathing.  It is also where many trekkers go to hike the Annapurna Trail.  We hiked up to see the Peace Stupa and you can view the city landscape from very high.  It was a grueling one our walk up hill making the downhill just as demanding.  

In the above video clip are the Tharu Dancers from our stay at Chitwan National Forest.

the main drag in Pokhara, Nepal, seen from our balcony

At Chitwan National Forest, we bought a package deal for four nights and five days; visited the towns and villages of the Tharu people was a plus.  We witnessed several wild life during our stints in the jungle.  I loved seeing the one horned rhinoceros and rushing through the brush, we saw some deer and wild boar.  The heat was overwhelming at times but our room had a nice fan (when the electricity was working!) the food not too stellar consisting mainly on variations of potatoes and vegetables dishes.  One of our outings included an evening to the cultural center that featured several dances of the Tharu people.
the one horned rhino at Chitwan National Forest, Nepal

Friday, August 9, 2013

Jersey short stops

a small view inside Princeton University campus

One of my highlights was revisiting Princeton University.  While in high school, I would hear singers at the cafe on campus and it is where I first heard Paul Stuky sing solo.  (You may know him from the trio Peter, Paul and Mary.)  My girlfriend had an ingenious idea to drive over there one Saturday.  It took us an hour to get there; beautiful mansions, roadside vegetable and fruit stands and large open green pastures filled our glimpses out the car window.  Once on campus, we saw a fantastic collection of art at the museum.  They have quite a range of work - Contemporary,  Medieval, Renaissance to the Impressionists from masters around the world.   

Princeton University Art Museum
My brother and sister

Hibiscus the size of your hand
a friend since eight grade

 I had worked my visit too with my 40th high school reunion and made it to the opening night barely recognizing a soul!  The rest of my sojourn was focused on close friends and family.  I posted some of the highlights of this journey.  New Jersey is an expansive, rich and busy state - townships connecting one another with dozens upon dozens of side roads, parkways, interstates and freeways. 
Jersey Shore, Ocean Grove

When visiting the shore points, I would have not known that a devastating hurricane had destroyed much of the beach front under a year ago.   I loved the sea while I lived there and during my short stay, I managed to spend time sitting on the beach observing the vastness of the horizon line.  It is where I first learned one point perspective and gorgeous space.  No art class could ever teach me that.