Reykjavik, Iceland, Day 6, 7

Bubba is on day six of his trip to go east, young man.  His destination is east…just east.  He has just arrived in Reykjavik, Iceland from Toronto Canada.

I caught a bus from the airport and found a room in this house.  It was built in the early 1900’s and was once an embassy.

                                                                        It has a nice view of some local artwork on the wall across the street. 

                                         That could explain why this is a former embassy.  The Ambassador reportedly said he felt he was being watched.

                                           On top of the hill, I saw what looked like a huge rocket, set to go to Mars and beyond.  As I got closer, I saw …

            This must be the most impressive bit of modern church architecture on the planet.  In a place that has as little as four hours of daylight in the winter, they have built a bright, airy interior.  Not the dark and gloomy gothic structures I am used to seeing.

Even the pipe organ is grand, majestic, and yes, Viking like.

            Whoa!  Too much inspiration and culture.  I think I’ll take a walk and hang out with these local folks.  They look to be more my type, especially the troll on the left.

            I need someone to show me around.  I’ll ask this guy.  He pointed down the street to another guy.

This man looks like an Icelander.  He is set for weather, is willing to show me around and the price of his tour is just up my alley.

            Travel tip:  Do this!  It was a great walk with lots to learn.

                                                                                            He showed me some historic buildings.

            Some more wall art.

And the church at the end of the rainbow.

            We also saw the Reykjavik commute of blockhead businessmen.

            This statue may refer to the Icelandic financial crisis of 2008.  Deregulation of banks and other businesses entities caused a deep financial collapse.  In true Icelandic form the people staged the “Pots and Pans Revolution where they gathered outside Parliament and banged pots and pans to express their displeasure.  The leaders of the government resigned and were replaced. 

 

Reykjavik is a great city but I’d like to see some of the rest of the country.  I think I’ll venture out tomorrow and maybe even take a cruise in a local boat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Still Eastbound, Day four, Day Five, A Wedding!!

            Niagara Falls.  The place of honeymoons and where Marylyn Monroe plotted murder in the film, Niagara.  Sinister wedding events abound.

            Heading a bit east from the falls I came to little town of Niagara on the Lake.  Just on the outskirts, there is a tiny, tiny church.

                                                                         It is not only small, it is the world’s smallest. 

                                    This chapel is Guinness book tiny.  This place is so small, they had to put the name on a sign out front.  It has been known to turn away basketball players due to height restrictions.  

 

                                              What can be done in a church that small?  I peeked inside and sure enough, there was a wedding going on.

            Yeah, that happened…again. 

That guy must have left his tux at home.

The minister and his wife posed for wedding photos.  They also doubled as best man, maid of honor, and wedding guests.  That about filled the place to capacity.  It is a tiny place when you have to go single file down the aisle.

            After the wedding what comes next?  The reception!  Or at least a trip to the pub for fish and chips and a pint of stout.

This was the Angel Inn on Niagara on the Lake. It was established in 1789 but this is the place after a remodeling in 1812.  The server told a tale of an uneasy guest.  In 1813, a Canadian militia officer, Captain Colin Swayze, missed out on the British retreat to hang with his new found lady friend.  He hid in a barrel in the cellar from the invading U.S. forces.  They entered the pub and probed the barrel with bayonets and pinned him to the spot forevermore.  He is said to roam the building but is harmless as long as the Union Jack flies over the building.

            The server gave me another pint to ease my fears.

Or not.  Must be time to head east again.  Where to now?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bubba Around–Day 3

            Heading east from Toronto, I came across, what I thought was a broken water pipe or maybe a flooded gutter.  Whatever it was, coming from the California drought, I knew someone was in big trouble.

                                              I was wrong!  This is Niagara Falls.  I took a closer look and saw a boat that would take me even closer.

            The problem was that it was on the other side of the water…in another country…Back in the USA.  I saw a bridge, maybe I can sneak in.

I figured if I crawled on the curvy bit, I could sneak over, get my ride, and sneak back before anyone knew.

            Note:  Bubba don’t play those games!  We don’t mess with Immigration or Customs from any country we visit.  The idea of a jail is not my idea of a good time.  The idea of a foreign jail is enough to melt the plastic off a little person.

I made it to the other side and climbed to the top of this tower to get a better view.

                                                The view was great but it looks a little wet and misty down there.  I can’t really see; I’ll have to get closer.

                                                              I saw a lot of people dressed in blue raincoats.  May I can score one from this nice lady.

                                                                            It’s a little big around the shoulders but there is my boat so I must hustle.

                                                                     The boat took me to the falls but this part looks a little rocky.

                                                                Hey look, there’s another place that looks a little more peaceful over there.

                                                                       Annnnd, maybe just a shade too rough.  I thought I’d give skiing a shot.

                                                              TOO ROUGH! TOO ROUGH!  TOO FOAMY!  GET ME BACK TO LAND!

                                                                                            Canada is that a way.  I’m heading back now.

                                                                                                   Back to the normalcy of Canada.

                                                                                        

Maybe heading east would be a better bet.

East to Day 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bubba Around

Day 1

Day 2

Where To Go

Where To Go

                        Bubba hasn’t been on a trip in quite a while.  At least I haven’t helped him write about one in quite a while. 

Time to travel, but I don’t know where.  These little plastic feet are getting itchy.  I need an idea so I turned to my favorite resource…books.  I wanted to look at some great travels Jules Verne wrote a book called “Around the World in 80 Days”.  That sounds like an idea.  I found another one, “Around the World in 18 Days” by H.R. Ekins.  He felt that with modern air flights, one could fly around the world by commercial airliner in just 18 days.  Amazing…in 1936.

When you have to travel, when you have the bug, it doesn’t matter where you go as long as it is someplace “not here”.  I jumped on the first plane out of Sacramento.  It took me to Denver.  Too close.  I jumped on the next place out.  The nice lady steadied me while I read the big letters.

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                      That sounds good.  I’m heading east and this Toronto place is east of Denver so I’m on the flight.

            Arriving in Toronto, I checked into my hotel. 

            While I was here, I thought I would catch a baseball game.  I think the Oakland Athletics are playing some local team.  I put on all my A’s gear and headed to the stadium.  Fans were not so appreciative if my stylin’ green and yellow.  They looked just a little hostile.

                                                          Maybe I’ll go to a hockey game instead.  These guys look pretty friendly.

                                              A new friend but I’m not sure if sitting on his glove would be the best location to view the game.

                                                                                    This place ain’t bad.  Hey look! A big tower to climb.

                                                                              And what is that at the base of the tower?  A Bubba sized train. 

                                                              Trains are good, they take you places, I think I will jump on the eastbound train.

To the East I’ll go for:

Day 3

            Originally, I planned to write this in real time.  That would have required a lot of discipline and drive which pretty much guaranteed I wasn’t going to do it.   This trip did happen and I’ll keep the day count accurate I just won’t promise to publish it even remotely on time.   Like all things Bubba, I’ll get to it when I get to it.

For Our Friends in New Zealand

            Our thoughts go out to the people of New Zealand, especially those who were so kind to us during our visit.

Making friends in faraway places means you shed tears when they suffer.

From the Gallipoli exhibit Wellington Museum, New Zealand

               From the Gallipoli exhibit Wellington Museum, New Zealand

Rest In Peace, Aunt Joan

            A dear friend and remarkable woman died this month and we felt the need to share her story, a small part of it, with all of you.

            Joan Reinke Robles, Aunt Joan, was a most amazing woman.  She died at age 90 in Tucson. The circle of her life intersected with ours in just one, significant point but that was enough to make her our friend forever.

            Joan was a fashion model, police officer, social worker, book seller, juvenile probation officer, and you might even be able to call her a Beatnik.  It was her role as a police officer that ended up bringing her into our lives. 

            In 1952, she became the second female officer hired for enforcement duties, for the city of Tucson, Arizona.  She partnered with the first female officer, Alice who would become my mother-in-law and they became known as “The Suede Slipper Cops.”  They patrolled the streets of Tucson in plain clothes because they never got around to getting uniforms.  None were available for women at that time anyway.  The department used them for duties they saw fit for women; juvenile delinquents, flashers, and sexual assaults.  At a reunion a few years ago, I heard plenty of stories of Joan and Alice on patrol (Joan playing the ukulele while Alice drove). 

Alice (left) Joan (right) in "uniform"

Alice (left) Joan (right) in “uniform”

            Joan left the department and moved to San Francisco, living in an apartment on Telegraph Hill with a view of the bay.  Her circle of friends included artists, musicians, and poets from the area in the Beatnik era.  She returned to Tucson, married George Robles (Uncle George), who was then a lieutenant on Tucson PD.  The two strong personalities were not to be married and they divorced, but stayed near each other and had some kind of contact almost every day. 

            Joan became a book collector, specializing in Southwest Americana.  Her home became an amazing museum of her life, with artifacts from her travels around the world and her many careers. 

            In 2013, Spider, Bubba, and I reunited Joan and Alice and brought them to Tucson PD where they were greeted by many of the current female officers who thanked them for paving the way.

Joan (seated), Alice (standing) and Tucson PD

Joan (seated), Alice (standing) and Tucson PD

            Joan was a true “class act” and she will be missed by all whose lives she touched.

 

A Stop in Venice

      I trained up in Ferrara and got off in Venice.  If you look way back in time, you can see my first trip here in July 2011.  That time I saw this tree growing out of a wall.

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    This time I thought I would look for some new sights.  I wandered down the narrow alleys.  I crossed a few bridges and I found this.

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I may need to improve my spontaneous wander skills.

     Honest, we were just walking down the street and I came across it…again.  It doesn’t seem to grow much but there were a lot of years in between these shots.

I decided to check out a new neighborhood but the big streets were flooded so I had to take a boat.

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Wet Street

                        Oh yeah!! Venice!!  That’s the way it is here.  Lots of water, no cars. 

     First stop, Murano.  A small island in the lagoon.  It’s easy to take the waterbus from Venice and arrive and a new group of islands connected by bridges.

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Murano Blvd.

Murano is best known for its glass.  And this hottie.  A real cutie but she looks a little fragile.

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Metropolis in Glass

This place has beautiful and delicate public art.  Where else can you find a garden like this?

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Or this thing.  I think I saw this wig on kid at a punk show in Berkeley.

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Blue Fizzy Blowout

                                    Or maybe it was a bottle of blue Gatorade exploding.

          Next it was time to hop back on the boat and head to Burano, another group of islands.

The buildings are very colorful and they are best known for their lace shops lining the main street.

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This lady had a big wad of thread.  She tied some knots and came up with a lace thing to stick under your Grandmother’s lamp.

The amount of work going into these lace items was amazing.  A true art form.

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I thought about buying some glass in Murano or some lace in Burano but ended up with this instead.

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The Good Stuff

                                        Gelato in a waffle cone.  Life gets no better. 

I took the waterbus back to Venice and bummed a ride in this smaller boat to look around the city.

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                                           Marco gave me a great tour of the waterways.

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                                        He took me by the Venice Casino.

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                     And I waved at this guy who seemed to be waving his fist at me.

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Fist Pumpin Lion

                                                       I don’t know what his problem is.

Marco took me down some side streets.  A quick right here, followed by a left, and down the narrow shortcut.

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Dark Alley

 

And stopping at a little Trattoria.  I felt like a real king…or maybe a Doge sitting on the seat all by myself.

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King of the Canal

 

                                                  Marco even let me handle the oar.

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My gondola trip was over.  Time for some food.  Besides, these people jumped in the boat and I didn’t want to share.

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I’m afraid my trip to Italy is at an end.  I left some sights unseen on purpose so that now I must return.  I have my medal from the Vatican to remember the trip and insure my safe return.

 

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Vatican Medal

 

     Venice has long been a place that I dreamed of someday, maybe someday, visiting.  I never thought it possible to actually go there, it seemed to be a place that only existed in books or TV travel shows.  Now, I not only find it possible to go there, I find it is possible to go there twice.  The people are way too nice for the number of tourists they encounter.  Marco the gondolier was very accommodating for the little yellow plastic guy and let us all pile down to one end of the boat so we could get pictures of him on the seat.  Posing with Bubba was just icing on the cake. 

     All through Italy we met wonderful friendly people.  From Marco in Venice to the Priests at the Vatican, to the guide in Pompeii, everyone was willing to spend a quality moment with Bubba.

              The impossible trips are actually possible.  All you need to do is take the first step.