jenett: Big and Little Dipper constellations on a blue watercolor background (Default)
jenett ([personal profile] jenett) wrote2013-08-07 08:58 am

Tenth salon: Interesting places

Welcome to our tenth discussion thread. Wander in, invite a friend to come along, and chat! (Not sure what's going on? Here, have a brief FAQ.) You can find previous ones in my salon tag. Please take a quick look at the reminders at the bottom of this post, too.

Since I am about to go on vacation, you are about to get two weeks of vacation related questions out of me. The first, today, is "Talk about somewhere awesome you've been" (which could be the place you live, or somewhere you've visited, or hey, because we're flexible about reality around here, a fictional world that you willingly get lost in over and over again.) Why is it awesome, what makes it fascinating to you, and what would you tell other people to pay attention to?

(A brief note that I am busily making computers behave like good little computers today, and then have that 'I should do laundry so I can pack' thing tonight, so I may be slower to pick up on threads than usual, but I'll be in and out.)

Quick reminders

- [personal profile] jjhunter did a great guide to following conversations here on Dreamwidth. Also a roundup of regular Dreamwidth events.
- If you want to post anonymously, please pick a name (any name you like) that we can call you - it makes it more conversational and helps if we have more than one anon post.
- Base rule remains "Leave the conversation better than you found it, or at least not worse". If you're nervous about that, I'd rather you say something and we maybe sort out confusion later than have you not say something. (I've heard from a few people who worry they're going to say something that's going to be taken weirdly. If it helps, I am usually around and if there's a thing you'd like to get out in the conversation, but you're not sure how, feel free to PM or email or IM me, and I'll nudge the conversation that direction.)
- The FAQ still has useful stuff, and I added some thoughts about getting conversations going a few weeks ago.
- Comments tend to trickle in over the course of a day or two, with a few nearly a week later: you might enjoy checking back later if you're not tracking the conversation.
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)

Somewhere awesome...

[personal profile] twistedchick 2013-08-07 01:17 pm (UTC)(link)
that no longer exists: the arts center and botanical garden in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The arts center was a huge Victorian stone building that I think had originally been a school. It was turned into artists' studios, an astronomical observatory, restaurants, a theatre for live performances and (I think) a separate movie theatre. You could wander through, talk to the people making wonderful carvings and woven things and paintings and buy some, and then you could walk across the street to the botanical garden, which was huge and beautiful, with flowers and trees from Britain as well as from New Zealand, really nicely laid out with walkable paths and good markers that talked about the species of plant and the age of this one. There was an oak tree that had been planted when Queen Victoria came to the throne; the trunk was well over 10' wide. Plants grow really well there because of all the rain they get. The people were friendly and helpful and interesting to talk to.

The Arts Center was destroyed by the earthquake that wrecked the city a few years ago; I don't even want to think what happened to that oak. I still dream about it sometimes.
Edited 2013-08-07 13:18 (UTC)
witchchild: (Default)

Re: Awesome explanations

[personal profile] witchchild 2013-08-07 02:24 pm (UTC)(link)
No chance of getting open access software running on it?
witchchild: (Default)

Re: Awesome explanations

[personal profile] witchchild 2013-08-07 02:33 pm (UTC)(link)
*sighs* isn't our profession grand?
silveradept: A kodama with a trombone. The trombone is playing music, even though it is held in a rest position (Default)

Re: Awesome explanations

[personal profile] silveradept 2013-08-08 03:00 am (UTC)(link)
Which is too bad. Although, a lot of the major distributions have become almost plug and play in managing things, and they're very good at not going kerflooey. Still,I can understand having a university that does not want to drink the cost into learning how to troubleshoot Linux systems if they don't have to.
Edited 2013-08-08 03:00 (UTC)
oursin: One of the standing buddhas at Bamiyan Afghanistan (Bamiyan buddha)

[personal profile] oursin 2013-08-07 02:15 pm (UTC)(link)
Another awesome place that is not how it was when I saw it.
I saw the Standing Buddhas of Bamiyan, a couple of decades or so before they were destroyed by the Taliban, and climbed up via the caves and galleries inside the cliff to the head of one of them.
Afghanistan was generally awesome and I'm very, very glad I visited it, at what was probably about the last moment when this was still feasible (I was there doing work-related thing, but it was still the days of the hippy overland trail*) before the USSR invaded.

I saw that some Extreme Tourist Operator was recently offering trips to the spectacular Band-i-Amir lakes (which I also visited) but I think that probably falls into the category from which travel insurance operators back away carefully.

*This was just about coming to an end as a result of events in Iran which made that kind of overland travel significantly dangerous.
Edited 2013-08-07 14:16 (UTC)
witchchild: (Default)

[personal profile] witchchild 2013-08-07 02:29 pm (UTC)(link)
The last time I crossed the water in any major way, two of the places I found myself were Iceland and Sweden (family's home country). In Iceland I visited Thingvellir, which is where the people held their annual parliament-style council. It's a stark and beautiful landscapes and the waterfalls never leave your memory. In Sweden I also saw some Viking era sites as well as a reconstruction of a pre-Viking village. I had just started learning about Heathenry and experiencing these places gave me an even better sense of what life was like then.

I need to go back to Europe.
mrissa: (Default)

[personal profile] mrissa 2013-08-07 03:27 pm (UTC)(link)
If you like Iceland and Sweden, you might also like Norway! The fjords, oh, the fjords. And there are enough trees. (Me and trees. It's a thing.) When we were there we went to a stave church, an intricately carved wooden building hundreds of years old. (See above re: me and trees.) It was one of the few churches that just felt right to me instead of merely interesting or beautiful (or sadly, in many cases, neither).
witchchild: (Default)

[personal profile] witchchild 2013-08-07 03:29 pm (UTC)(link)
one of these years I will get to Norway. One time on the way home from Sweden my mom and I had a layover in the Oslo airport but that was rather dull.
mrissa: (Default)

[personal profile] mrissa 2013-08-07 03:31 pm (UTC)(link)
Yah, airports are hardly ever the best of a place. Glad it has not turned you off Norway.

I had the very devil of a time convincing some of my San Francisco friends that having driven through the Midwest on I80 without stopping except to eat and sleep was not the same as having visited the Midwest. They might still not like it if they visited! But people don't get to compare a museum, a lovely restaurant, and a Shakespeare festival in one region to the truck stop Burger King in another, and when they let transit stuff like that turn them off an entire region, I get very frustrated.
witchchild: (Default)

[personal profile] witchchild 2013-08-07 03:44 pm (UTC)(link)
Agreed. Same goes for New England, it's not quite so uniform.
mrissa: (Default)

[personal profile] mrissa 2013-08-07 03:28 pm (UTC)(link)
I understand why they've trucked in sand in Duluth. People like sandy beaches. They get tourists running around giving the Duluthies more money. Okay. But I like to go to Lake Superior away from the sandy beaches, because the black rock beaches, a little poky under your feet and with the water so very clear and cold, that is what I want of a beach. That is what my heart needs in a beach.
hobbitbabe: (Default)

[personal profile] hobbitbabe 2013-08-07 07:06 pm (UTC)(link)
I don't like beaches. My favourite swimming is off rock waterfront into fresh water, and my second favourite is off a dock.
zhelana: (Rent - Light)

[personal profile] zhelana 2013-08-07 05:40 pm (UTC)(link)
I went to a temple in Malaysia called Temple of the Snakes. There were snakes all over the place. :) So that was pretty cool. :)
hobbitbabe: (Default)

[personal profile] hobbitbabe 2013-08-07 07:04 pm (UTC)(link)
This is my first time replying to a salon post, so hi everyone. I'm hobbitbabe, and I like to talk and listen and think. I aspire to do them in the reverse order but don't always succeed.

The awesome places that come to my mind are mostly in Canada, because I've travelled more in Canada than in the US and abroad.

Moosonee and Moose Factory are awesome partly because they're not accessible by road, so they feel remote even though they aren't objectively very far north. I stayed there for three days, doing excursions with a local tour company which unfortunately isn't currently operating. My favourite thing was the afternoon that I took a canoe-taxi to the sandbar in the river where I'd seen local kids swimming, and I swam in the brackish (partly-salt) tannin-coloured warm tidal water of the Moose River. After I dried off and relaxed on the sandbar for a while, I realised I had no plan for how to hail a canoe-taxi to get back to my lodge in town. But eventually a canoe-taxi that wasn't full came by, and I waved not-too-desperately, and I went home very pleased with my initiative.

I also think that Bruges (Belgium) is awesome, and Yellowknife, and Edmonton.
nicki: (Default)

[personal profile] nicki 2013-08-07 11:39 pm (UTC)(link)
I second the Bruges is awesome thing. It's massively picturesque.
adeliej: a flower formed from fire (Default)

[personal profile] adeliej 2013-08-07 11:13 pm (UTC)(link)
One amazing place (well, set of places) I went recently was the Routeburn-Greenstone Walk in the south island of New Zealand.
I've got a lot of family in NZ, so go there every few years, and one of my favourite things to do is work my way through the Great Walks with the immediate family. The Routeburn was spectacularly beautiful, up in the high country, and the Greenstone was down along the valley floor and also beautiful.

Plus, hiking! In a place where it is cold enough that I don't have to carry three litres of water! (Both because you don't sweat as much as home [Australia] and because there are streams and things just... just there, on the ground.)

Most of New Zealand is awesome, but that walk was particularly so.
nicki: (Default)

[personal profile] nicki 2013-08-08 12:00 am (UTC)(link)
(is also my first comment in a salon post)

As a kind of close to my home entry, California's Siskyou County in general is gorgeous. Mt. Shasta is there of course (the big landmark), but there are a ton of smaller peaks, including the hike back to a lake on Mt. Eddy which is covered in wildflowers and snow-melt rivelettes in the spring. The Castle Crags are a stark rock formation in a park that contains more lovely hiking and a lake, and for volcanic evidence you can't beat Medicine lake which contains both floating pumice and non-floating black-glass obsidian. There are also a number of old-timey small towns in the general area that still contain things like soda-shops and nearby is the source of the Sacramento river. And there are endless beautiful waterfalls. It is much more outdoorsy than indoorsy, but there are activities for every fitness/ability level.
nicki: (Default)

[personal profile] nicki 2013-08-08 02:02 am (UTC)(link)
The Cascades are a very nice set of mountains.

Maine has many lovely places too, although I was small when last I was there so almost all my memories involve either snow or being covered in Old Woodsman creosote based bug repellent.

kakiphony: Chihuly exhibit at the KIA (Default)

[personal profile] kakiphony 2013-08-08 03:12 pm (UTC)(link)
First: These are amazing and I love them.

One of my very favorite places in the world is Orvis hot springs just outside Ridgway Colorado. I was super dubious when my husband wanted to take me there for the first time. I'm not a nudist and it just seemed weird. But then we got there and I fell in love. The lithium hot springs are addictive. There are four outdoor soaking areas, three of which are amazingly lovely (the fourth is the "lobster pot" and is way too hot for me.) The water is natural and untreated, but the springs have been developed a bit (read: dug out and landscaped, but in a very natural setting/oasis sort of way -- little to no concrete and not a hard corner in sight!) There is a smoker's pond, but this is Colorado and Orvis is sort of hippy-dippy, so I never saw a single smoker in it!

You can camp on-site or there are a few hotel rooms. (We always tent camp.) You're within a stone's throw of great hiking and the really cool towns of Ouray and Ridgway, and the Million Dollar Highway. I'm angling to fly into Denver this fall, spend a night or two in one of my other favorite towns (Salida) and a few days at Orvis. Hot springs are something I really and truly miss about Colorado, and Orvis is my very favorite.
pretty_panther: (lotr: kili)

[personal profile] pretty_panther 2013-08-08 11:15 pm (UTC)(link)
Barcelona as a city is simply stunning. I loved my time there though it was over a decade ago now. The architecture of the city is just beautiful and gives the streets so much personality. I miss it very much. I would love to go back :)