All posts tagged: travel

Old Slide: just a plane at the airport

The photo is not even framed properly. I would have discarded the old slide from my father’s boxes that I tasked myself with sorting out. Many of these slides were the source of our family’s entertainment, back when the only channel on black-and-white TV had the hockey game on Saturday nights, and none of us cared for it. This photo of an Air France Boeing 707, apparently taken at Orly airport, was part of the family show after my parents came back from their trip to France in the Spring of 1964. Many of the photos show street scenes, and sometimes there’s my mother sitting on a rented chair in the Jardin des Tuileries (I’m making this up, I don’t remember what jardins they were, but I remember she mentioned having to pay to sit on the chair). It must be Sunday, and they might have attended Sunday Mass at Notre-Dame, because she’s wearing white gloves… Otherwise, my father was interested in documenting his trip with his group of professors, and we saw a hydroelectric …

Water and Stones of Glendalough

There were little man-walking-with-a-cane icons printed around the Wicklow Mountains on an old Michelin Map of Ireland, prompting my search for a quiet place to stay on my way down the east coast of Ireland. There was a daily bus from Dublin to the Medieval site of Glendalough, and both a hotel and a hostel nearby. Well aware of the uncertainties of late winter travel, I chose it as my “pillow” destination: I would not make reservations, and I would skip it, should I be significantly delayed. Little did I know it would become my favorite place to visit in this trip. Serendipity started with on-time arrival and, only carrying a small backpack, easy passage through Customs. It continued with a coffee shop serving espresso only a step away from the St Kevin’s Bus Stop to Glendalough, and the comfortable bus showing up on time. Soon we were traveling a narrow road with the sight of lamb grazing in green fields. The rain greeting me upon arrival at the visitor center was not a deterrent, …

Glendalough

My flight to Dublin is an hour late, and I wonder if I’ll be able to catch the 11:30 Glendalough bus. It’s called the St. Kevin’s bus service, picks up passengers at “Top of Dawson Street opposite Mansion House” which, after looking at the Google Map, is near a stop of the 747 Dublin Airport bus (College Greens). There’s also a 700 bus, which would drop me on Kildare Street. Fortunately, only carrying a backpack that I could take with me on the plane, I swiftly go through Irish Immigration and Customs, find an ATM (advice: request an amount that isn’t a multiple of 50, to get some convenient 10 Euro notes), find the bus and its imminent departure displayed, and up I go on the double-decker bus to Dublin. On the road I see the 700 bus passing us and leading the way to town. In a hurry, it would have been better, and the 747 bus detours on crowded small streets before crossing the Liffey. But I make it to my stop, College …

on lindaleith.com: Books, in Guatemala?

Read the full article on lindaleith.com I’m really glad that I don’t have to drive in Guatemala.  Our driver takes us on a road where a bridge collapsed during tropical storm Agatha, two or three years ago, but no one has bothered to rebuild it. On the other side of the river, a truck starts towards the river, showing the water depth to be about one foot. Julio, our expert driver, obviously knows he’ll go through. As I travel in this and other underdeveloped countries, I’ve found that people don’t seem to worry about things like a river crossing. They know a bridge or other infrastructure will not be built any time soon.  They’ll deal with problems when they occur. The same happens with their educational system. The central government may build schools, but it doesn’t seem to supply the books. A child may show up at school one day, but not the next, if the family’s priorities have changed one way or another. New teachers find themselves assigned to classes they can hardly manage, …

Ashore

Ropes curled, neatly inside The disenchanted serpents of your skiff Floating away in the silence of a deserted pier The town shrunk to museum size Then blurred impasto Destined to memories and The traveling theatre of your dreams You navigate on seas now calm then rough Counseled by ghosts and gods Against pirates jealous of your light purse Guided by the stars Confused by the clouds Siphoned by currents You reach A new port, outside your map Charming you with strange music To set foot on dry land Behind you the horizon Absorbed your history and silenced the voices of the past So far away now That you take a new name.