Garden of the Gods

This is the Garden of the Gods, a national natural landmark in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

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Five years ago when we went to Colorado, we planned on visiting this place, but a wild forest fire that closed the roads leading here, prevented us on going. Then two years ago, while visiting Colorado once more, we planned on going again. But heavy rains and hail stopped us.

This year, no fire or rain or hail can prevent us from finally visiting this place. Not even rush hour traffic.


This place, is one of the top visitor sites in Colorado. It is a geological wonder with incredible rock formations.

This place was purchased by Charles Elliot Perkins, a man who lived in Iowa. (Because I live in Iowa, of course I have to mention this.) But he donated this land to the City of Colorado Spring in 1909, so everybody can enjoy this wonderful site for free.

plaque in the rock

Some of the rock formations are massive. Some are not so massive.

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And some are thin and delicate, with some rocks even dangerously wedged waiting to crash down.

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Though the rocks are already wonderful to see, the light from the setting sun added magic to the show. Note the colors of these rocks change from red, to orange, to fiery yellow.

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Of course, the sunset is in itself a spectacle to witness. Certainly this is a place to spend some moments of awe and silence. A befitting name to be called the garden of the gods.

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It might have taken us several attempts to visit this place, but it was sure worth the wait to finally see this impressive landmark.

From the Garden of the Gods,

Pinoytransplant

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(*photos taken with an iPhone)

 

A Walk in Piotrkowska Street

It was cold and damp in Lodz, Poland during our visit. But it did not dampen our spirits to explore this place. It may not be as popular like other European cities such as Paris or Vienna, but we have not been to Poland before, or to Europe for that matter, so we were just as excited to be here.

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Piotrkowska Street is the main thoroughfare of Lodz, Poland, and is one of the major attraction of the city. Stretching at about 5 kilometers long, it is one of the longest commercial avenue in Europe.

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The street is known for its varied architecture, lined with beautiful 19th century palaces and houses as well as dainty shops, stores and restaurants. The street was remarkably damaged during World War II, but it was slowly revitalized and restored especially in the 1990’s.

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one of the ornate buildings in Piotrkowska

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coffee tables on the street, but it was too cold to sit outside

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me checking the posted upcoming events while a pedicab passes by

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view of the street below from a window

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a charming bistro where we dined

This place is a combination of old and new. A contradiction if you will, where it is frozen in time…….

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……and yet the world rushes by.

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The street is furnished with modern lamp-posts, and adorned with a scattering of monuments and sculptures. It is paved with black cobblestone, imitating the old pavement.

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The attractions of the street engages you to look ahead…..

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Look down where you step on…….

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their version of walk of fame

And look up.

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There are also mural paintings that goes up the walls.

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What brought us to Lodz Poland is another story. We traveled to Poland not primarily for tour or for a leisure trip. We went here for an international piano competition where my children were fortunate to join.

Why Poland you may ask? I would say that many great pianists, past and present, were from Poland, like Frederic Chopin, Arthur Rubenstein, Krystian Zimerman, and Milosz Magin to name a few. So they have a great heritage of pianists.

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The first phase of the competition was held here in Piotrkowska street, in an old house (picture above) that was transformed into a small auditorium.

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lobby of the auditorium

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practicing on the old piano, while a poster of Milosz Magin contemplates and listens

The second phase of the competition and where the winners’ concert was performed was in a much grander place, a palace, a couple of streets from Piotrkowska.

So while I was in this place, I immersed myself with the music of young protégés and seasoned pianists alike.

Here am I listening to a maestro. O wait, it is a statue.

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statue of Arthur Rubenstein

From Poland with love,

Pinoytransplant

(* photos taken with an iPhone)