space and time


space and time

Europe » Germany » Hesse » Frankfurt November 22nd 2009

Frankfurt was a pleasant surprise. I arrived at the airport and took the S-bahn into the city, to the main train station (Hauptbahnhof). I had a few hours before the train, so I left the luggage in a locker (costs 2 Euroes, near McDonald's) and went for a walk. The neighborhood right in front of the station was a bit seedy, with a lot of strip clubs and XXX movie theaters, but I didn't feel unsafe in any way. On the other hand, it was on Sunday during the day. The old town was surprisingly close. There were shops set up for the Christmas market, but nothing was open; what a pity. I visited Schirn, where there was an exhibit of (replicas of) Mao-era sculptures: Rent Collection Courtyard. It was interesting, but the admission was expensive. ... read more
European Central Bank
Schirn Art Hall
Sculptures from Mao-era

We left Yellowstone in the morning and drove south into the Grand Teton national park. The traffic was extremely slow due to road constructions. We went to Jenny Lake, took a ferry across it, and went on a hike on the other side. First we hiked up to the Hidden Fall, then to the inspiration point where we took in the view of the lake and the valley beyond. Past this point, the crowd got thinner though the trail got flatter. We hiked for a couple of hours along the Cascade Canyon trail. I very much enjoyed the part along the stream. It would be a wonderful place to do a all-day hike or even a back country camping trip, but we didn't have much time and had to be satisfied with a short hike. We ... read more
Hidden Fall
View from Inspiration Point
Cascade Canyon trail

Today, we drove west to the Geyser Basin, where the famous Old Faithful is. We saw more geysers than I could possibly remember. My favorite was the Mud Paint Pot, a boiling pot of thick mud, with a little Christmas tree right next to it. We were lucky to see the Grand Geyser erupt, the biggest in the park, but I preferred the smaller ones that were continuously erupting. We saw so many geysers that we didn't care to wait 10 minutes for the Old Faithful to erupt. We found a spot away from the tour groups and had a nice picnic. At night at the campground we attended a ranger talk about bisons. It was fascinating.... read more
Grand Geyser erupting
Mud Paint Pot
Bison at the camp ground

We spent most of the day driving through Wyoming, from the Keyhole state park in the east to Yellowstone in the west. There wasn't much stuff to see, but I enjoyed the drive. I never realized nothingness can be so beautiful. It was quiet and peaceful. One can see miles and miles of wild land, framed by mountains at the horizon. As we got closer to the Yellowstone though, the landscape changed and we found ourself driving up and down curvy mountain roads admiring beautiful rock formations. It was my first time in the Rockies! The rocks surely were impressive. We arrived at Yellowstone around 4:30 pm and got a camp site at the Bridge Bay campground. It was crowded and the camp sites were set up very close to each other, but I was relieved ... read more
Yellowstone Valley
Yellowstone Valley
Yellowstone Valley

North America » United States » South Dakota August 16th 2009

We rose to sunny clear skies and calm winds, quite a contrast to last night's thunderstorm. We went back to the campground and were happy to find our tent intact, albeit having collected many cupfuls of rain water that we needed to pour out. Then we set out Badlands Loops, the 30 mile scenic drive through Badlands national park. The views were stunning and surprising. The ground was sticky from last night's rain. We exited the park and drove toward the town of Wall, SD, where the "famous" Wall Drug store was. It was a tourist trap with an assortment of souvenir shops, and some people love it nonetheless. We bought some stakes for the tent. We continued driving toward Rapid City, passing it rapidly, and then got on Scenic Route 87. The road went winding ... read more

North America » United States » South Dakota » Badlands August 15th 2009

We left Minneapolis/St. Paul around 10 am and got to Badlands around 5:45 pm. South Dakota was very green, mostly flat with small rolling hills. But the scenery was mostly monotonous until we got to Badlands. It was incredible to drive up to this "Wall" of rock formation that seemed to rise up from nowhere. Right before we arrived, we heard severe thunderstorm warning on the radio and we saw dark clouds rolling in. The lightnings started as we pulled up to our camp site at the Cedar Pass campground. The rain was full-on by the time we finished setting up the tent and the wind was quite strong. We went to have dinner at the Cedar Pass Lodge, hoping to wait out the worst of the storm, but three hours later, the storm was still ... read more
South Dakota
Billboard for Wall Drug

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