Morning photo: Fountain festival in Munich

Serendipity in the Viktualienmarkt

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Playing with the big boys!

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — Finding a bustling market packed with fresh fruit and veggies is always a treat, and when it’s located in the heart of a major urban area, it’s a real score. Such is the case with the Viktualienmarkt in Munich, Germany, where city residents mingle with tourists for shopping and even sit-down meals amidst the many vendor stalls.

Offerings at the market include mushrooms from near and far, wild forest strawberries from the Balkans, Greek cheeses and locally made sausages. Some locals bring their own white and blue-checked table cloths to decorate the tables under the shade of old chestnut trees. Sausages and pretzels are close at hand and big-handled liter steins of beer are ubiquitous.

Our visit this summer coincided with a festival held to celebrate the heritage of the many fountains in the market, erected to honor some of Munich’s cultural heros — poets, musicians and storytellers. At the peak of the summer harvest season, each fountain is lovingly decorated with bright flowers, and local singers and bands perform traditional songs nearby. It’s not really marketed as s big-time tourist event. We found out about the festival by reading the local newspaper, and for many market visitors, the event simply added a nice backdrop to their daily shopping or lunch routine. Continue reading

Morning photo: Streetscapes

Urban scenes around the world

Shoppers stop to chat in downtown Corfu on a rainy evening in the Ionian Sea.

Shoppers stop to chat in downtown Corfu on a rainy evening in the Ionian Sea.

FRISCO — Being a mountain-dweller, I often “forget” to take pictures when I’m in a city. Sometimes it’s because I’m just too busy gawking at the — for me — unusual sights. That mode changes when I’m traveling for pleasure, however. Instead of thinking about the next interview with a source, or trying to cook up an interesting story leead, I shift gears and look for those moments or street corners that say something about a city. So choosing pics for this week’s popular #FriFotos Twitter chat was a bit more of a challenge than sometimes. When I first saw the theme, I scratched my head for a minute, unsure of exactly where to look in the archives. But since I often think of cities as transit points or portals to other destinations beyond, I was able to retrace my steps and find a few urban shots. Join the fun — grab your urban shots, upload and tag them with #FriFotos to share with the world. Continue reading

Morning photo: Views

From St. Louis to Antarctica …

Gateway Arch

View from the top of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.

FRISCO —This week’s edition of the popular Twitter chat #FriFotos is all about views, so I combed the archives for some my favorites, both near and far. As a photographer, I’m always looking for views, or for an opportunity to make a view. Sometimes, all it takes is a few steps in one direction or another; other times, it requires a total reset, unless you don’t mind a bunch of powerlines interfering with the vista. As always, I’m looking forward to seeing views from around the world. Join in the fun by picking your own favorite views, tagging them with the #FriFotos hashtag and uploading to Twitter via your favorite channel.

Grand Mesa Colorado.

A grand view of the Grand Mesa from the Grand Valley, near Grand Junction, Colorado.

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Tourism: 1 billion travelers take to the road in 2012

Travel continues to boost economies around the world

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Europe still accounts for more than half of the global tourism market, but Asia is catching up.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — As expected, global tourism hit a significant milestone late this year, with more than 1 billion travelers taking to the skies, seas and highways to visit destinations near and far, according to the World Tourism Organization, which closely monitors world travel statistics.

Tourism growth continued in 2012 despite continued economic challenges. The WTO said the relative strength of sector underscores the economic importance of tourism, accounting for 9 percent of global GDP (direct, indirect and induced impact), one in every 12 jobs and up to 8 percent of the total exports of the world’s least developed countries.

“Today, we welcome the symbolic arrival of the one-billionth tourist” UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai said Dec. 13 at a ceremony in Madrid.

Rifai emphasized travel and tourism as a potentially powerful force for good:

“Your actions count. That is our message to the one billion tourists. Through the right actions and choices, each tourist represents an opportunity for a fairer, more inclusive and more sustainable future,” he said.

As it is impossible to know exactly where the one-billionth tourist arrived, so many countries  celebrated the the occasion by welcoming tourists arriving on 13 December.

To coincide with the milestone, the WTO launched a new One Billion Tourists: One Billion Opportunities campaign, showing tourists that respecting local culture, preserving heritage or buying local goods when travelling can make a big difference. The public was asked to vote for the Travel Tip that would have the greatest benefit for the people and places they visit and to pledge to follow that tip when traveling.

The winning tip, revealed on the arrival date of the one-billionth tourist, was “buy local,” encouraging tourists to buy food and souvenirs locally, or hire local guides, to ensure their spending translates into jobs and income for host communities. A close second, “respect local culture,” calls on tourists to learn more about their destination’s traditions, or some words in the local language, before leaving home.

 

Morning photo: Curves

It takes all kinds …

Kids leaning into the curve on the gokart track, Heritage Square, Colorado.

FRISCO — Today’s photo essay is all about curves, compiled for the weekly #FriFotos Twitter chat, one of my favorite social media events where I always see stunning photos from around the world and have a chance to reconnect with some of my Twitter pals. Since curves are one of the strongest elements of photo composition, it wasn’t hard to find a set of images that fit the bill. Choose your own curvy pictures, upload them to Twitter via your own favorite social media channel, add the #FriFotos hashtag and then sit back and enjoy the show. Continue reading

Morning photo: Old stuff

Relics …

The stones of this abbey courtyard in Austria tell their own story.

FRISCO — In a change of pace from the recent series of Summit County scenics. we’re digging back in the archives and looking for some old stuff — not just old photos, but photos of old things, like the centuries old courtyard of an Austrian abbey founded several centuries before Columbus set sail to the New World. Traveling in Europe and visiting some of the ancient monuments always gives me a fresh perspective on history, helping me understand the transient nature of what appear to be even the most urgent current events. As much as we may haggle and shout over the topic du jour, it’s always worth considering the bigger picture. Continue reading

New find confirms location of Julius Caesar’s assassination

Spanish archaeologists pinpoint a memorial erected by Augustus Caesar

Spanish researchers find memorial at the Curia of Pompey erected by Augustus Caesar.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Rome has always been a nexus of history, art, culture and politics, and now, Spanish researchers they’ve confirmed the exact location where Julius Caesar was stabbed to death on the Ides of March in 44 BC.

A concrete structure of three meters wide and more than two meters high, placed by order of Augustus (adoptive son and successor of Julius Caesar) to condemn the assassination of his father, was  the key for the scientists.

“We always knew that Julius Caesar was killed in the Curia of Pompey on March 15th 44 BC because the classical texts pass on so, but so far no material evidence of this fact, so often depicted in historicist painting and cinema, had been recovered,” said Antonio Monterroso, CSIC researcher from the Institute of History of the Center for Humanities and Social Sciences. Continue reading

Morning photo: Along the Danube

“Listen to the river sing sweet songs, to rock my soul … “

Sunrise over the Danube.

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — The Danube River weaves together a rich and diverse tapestry of culture and scenery, and it’s also an important thread in my life. Both my parents grew up along its banks; my mom in Linz, Austria and my dad in Bratislava, capital of the Slovak Republic. As a young boy, I spent many weeks near the river at my grandmother’s home and since then, I’ve returned to visit as often as possible.

As they easily transcend national boundaries,  great rivers hold a fascination for travelers. This summer, I gathered once again with family and loved ones to complete a very special trip started by my dad long ago in another era.

Kayaking the Danube.

Rivers can connect cultures, but they often also form the borders between countries, or, in the case of the Cold War, between two completely irreconcilable ideologies. As a young man, my dad was on the wrong side of that boundary, trapped behind the Iron Curtain while his spirit longed to fly free. Eventually, he was faced with a tough choice; stay and give in to the ideology of fear, hate and cynicism, or flee, leaving behind his family and loved ones, knowing that it would quite a while, if ever, before they knew his fate. Continue reading

Traveling in a warming world

Global warming accepted as fact in Austria; mountain communities planning for year-round tourism

Storm clouds build over Salzburg, Austria.

Many of Austria’s alpine glaciers are melting quickly, leading to concerns about long-term water supplies. Photo courtesy The Canary Project. Please click on the photo for more information.

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Leaving Colorado in the midst of one of the most brutal heatwaves and droughts on record, it was hard to not think about global warming and climate change, especially after driving past thousands of acres of withered and stunted corn around DIA, with smoke from wildfires near and far hanging over the Front Range.

We were hoping our family visit to Austria would offer some relief, and sure enough, temperatures stayed in the 70s and low 80s during much of the time, a far cry from our last couple of trips to area, including 2003, when much of Europe was gripped by extreme warmth that killed up to 15,000 people in France. Continue reading

Morning photo: Faces

It takes all kinds …

Face-painting at the Oktoberfest in Frisco, Colorado.

SUMMIT COUNTY — I’m mostly a landscape and nature photographer, but like almost everyone, I’m intrigued by faces, especially interesting ones that tell a story, pretty faces and, of course, there’s nothing like a child’s smile to melt even the iciest of hearts.

So when @EpsteinTravels announced this week’s #FriFotos Twitter chat theme, “faces,” I searched the archives for some of my favorite pictures of faces near and far. Each of the images evokes memories; some from trips to faraway lands and other from fun times right here at home in Frisco, Colorado. Join in the fun by posting your favorite face pics, tagging them with #FriFotos, then sit back and enjoy the show!

What can you read in this peanut vendor’s face, spotted at the All-Jamaica Jerk Festival at Three Dives in Negril’s West End?

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