Page 32 of golfkat Travel Blog Posts


Europe » Russia » Siberia » Lake Baikal May 9th 2015

Since my first book was such a great success, and failed to get on Oprah's list, or any other list for that matter, I am trying something different. Though I actually had friends and others who wanted to PAY to buy the book "African Adventures, Addis to Capetown" through Amazon, I preferred to give them away. In fact, I still owe a book to my dear friend in Kuala Lumpur! So, to make it easier for you, and my wonderful reading audience out there. I am using Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing for my next book, "Trans Siberian Railway Solo". So, I hope you are Kindle readers. Or you can just go back to the well over sixty emails that I sent from Russia, and piece together your own book. From Kindle: Congratulations, your book "Tran Siberian ... read more

Europe » France » Île-de-France April 16th 2015

I can just about guarantee that this was my last trip to France. All went well, and I was treated just fine by almost all French people and other locals. In fact, over the several decades that I have visited, I notice that treatment of Americans and the prevalence of English language has made the trips marginally better over the years. Maybe all the die hard deGaulleists have died? As always, it is best to stick to the younger generations, less anti-American baggage in their trunk, so to speak. I still am not crazy about eating in nice French restaurants. My suggestions or complaints go unheard, so I will just have to make a point in Trip Advisor or Yelp. Don't you think if a patron politely says the duck is too tough, they would try ... read more

Europe » France » Champagne-Ardenne » Epernay April 9th 2015

Epernay is the self-proclaimed capital of the Champagne region. It is home to most of the world's most famous Champagne houses. And it is the very best place to tour cellars, and sample the famous bubbly. That is why I am here. Since I have become a Champagne and sparkling wine drinker, it has been my dream to visit this famous region. It is said to be the best place to tour cellars and taste bubbly. It is rather difficult to fathom over two hundred million bottles of Champagne are being aged in underground cellars beneath the streets of Epernay. I pray there is no earthquake! In fact, there are 110 km of subterranean cellars, holding more than 200 million bottles of Champagne, just waiting for me. Epernay is 25 km south of Reims, and as ... read more

North America » United States » Hawaii » Maui » Lahaina February 26th 2015

Hawaiians eat the most Spam per capita of any state in the U.S. Why is it that they also get rated as the state with the healthiest people? Even the McDonalds chain carries Spam on the menu here on the islands. I happen to enjoy Spam musubi on the golf course, once a year or so. So, what does SPAM actually stand for? I always thought it stood for "spice ham". Other theories abound, like "specially processed American meat" and "shoulders of pork and ham." In reality a Hormel VP's brother suggested the name back in 1937 when the product was formulated. Now wouldn't that be an original title, "The Father of Spam"? His name was Ken Daigneau, and he won $100 for the winning name in a contest. Would you believe that I actually had ... read more


I have been fortunate to attend many great and famous sporting events over the years. I decided to make a list, just in case I forget, in my later years. I wish my Dad was still alive so we could go together. Here they are, in no particular order. I did complete for my personal sports-fecta a few years ago. It consisted of Wimbledon (All England Lawn Tennis Championship), the Indianapolis 500 Auto Race, and the Kentucky Derby, often billed as the most exciting two minutes in sports. 1984 Summer Olympics, Los Angeles I saw the tennis and boxing, where Evander Holyfield was disqualified. My friend Brad and I polished off several Heinekens and Carlsbergs on this hot summer day. The UCLA Tennis Center was the site of the tennis matches. We saw the boxing at ... read more
Kaepernick Leads 49ers to Super Bowl!
SF Giants=World Champs 2010 and 2012

Europe » Russia » Siberia » Novosibirsk May 13th 2014

The sable is a marten, prevalent throughout the region east of the Ural Mountains, into Siberia, Northern Mongolia, China, Korea, and even northern Japan (Hokkaido). It is valued for its fur throughout the years, but seen and worn less frequently than mink and chinchilla. The wild animals still exist in Siberia, but are now mostly commercially farmed for production. Will I see one in the wild? The live in dense forests in mostly mountainous terrain. But they can travel up to 7.5 miles in search of food. They live in burrow, not boroughs, near river banks, or in the thickest parts of the woods. They are known to be good climbers of cliffs and trees. Interestingly, they are omnivores, eating hares and other small mammals. In the winter, they can switch to berries, rodents, and even ... read more

Europe » Russia » Siberia » Taltsy May 13th 2014

Those who stepped before me are numerous and rather surprising. Captain John Smith of Pocahontas fame, served as a mercenary in the army of the Holy Roman Emperor before becoming famous in America. John Quincy Adams visited in 1781 as a persona secretary and interpreter for America's minister to Russia. James Buchanan was minister to Russia in 1832 and 1833. Of course, this Presbyterian from Pennsylvania was socked by the lack of religion by the Russians. Samuel Colt, the gun maker, attended the coronation of Tsar Alexander II. He made several visits to Russia to sell guns. Mark Twain met Alexander II on the Black Sea in 1867. Even Whistler's Mother visited with Whistler's father, an engineer, who helped build docks and railroads. The list goes on, with the likes of Marquis de Custine, Admiral John ... read more

Europe » Russia » Siberia » Ulan-Ude May 13th 2014

I hate to say it, but this city sounds like a posterior body part or a bad dream. Ulan Ude is the capital of the Buryat Republic. It is a small city with a multiethnic background. So, let's see what we can find out about this place, and its people. It lies only 62 miles southeast of famous Lake Baikal. The city sits on the confluence of the Uda and Selenga Rivers. It is the third largest city in eastern Siberia with a little over 400,000 people. The city has undergone many name changes through the years. The current name was given in 1934, and means "red Uda" in Buryat. We are 3500 miles (5649 kilometers) east of Moscow. The first occupants were the Evenks, and later the Buryat Mongols. In 1666, the Russian Cossacks came ... read more

Europe » Russia » Far East » Vladivostok May 12th 2014

Russia, or rather, the old Soviet Union was our mortal enemy through most of our youth, up until the fall of the Union in 1991. But what do we really know about this often misunderstood and huge country? First, Russia is the largest country in the world, with 17 million square kilometers. With 142 million people, it is the ninth largest country by population. Most of us know that Moscow is the current capital, though it was moved to St. Petersburg during the reign of the Peter the Great. Making communication more difficult, as if the Russian language is not difficult enough, are over fifty indigenous peoples and languages, both written and spoken). Talk about a failure to communicate, Luke! Also surprising are the two main religions, Christianity and Islam. Yet, rather surprisingly, the life expectancy ... read more

Europe » Russia » Siberia » Lake Baikal May 12th 2014

Lake Baikal is the oldest and deepest (5387 feet) freshwater lake in the world. Located in south-eastern Siberia and north of the Mongolian border, Lake Baikal lies in a cleft where the world is literally splitting apart. Expert geologists say that today's Baikal shows what the seaboards of North America, Europe, and Africa looked like when they separated millions of years ago. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. Baikal is more than 5000 feet deep, with a four mile thick layer of sediment below. Yet the cold and oxygen rich waters supports some rather bizarre life forms. One of them is the fresh water seals favorite food, golomyanka, a pink, transparent fish that gives birth to live young. More than half of the species found here can only be found here. The ... read more
More Baikal "Navy"
I took the Shark to the other side of the Lake
Baikal Snowed in May!!!!




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