Galitz JE's

The Galitz Journal for friends and family

Category Archives: Quick Note

Denver for business…

Well, I had to go to Denver for a convention but did manage to get a couple of hikes in…

Glimpse of the Rockies from Cherry Creek State Park

Glimpse of the Rockies from Cherry Creek State Park


By Cherry Creek which is famous for flooding a third of Denver in 1950. They dammed the creek and made it a state park with a lake reservoir.


A hike out to an overlook at Boulder, Colorado. Six miles total; a long trail but not too steep.



Sofia/Serdica, Bulgaria


St. George Rotunda Church is the most ancient Christian Temple in Sofia located in the City Centre and constructed during the 4th Century by Romans.


Ancient Serdica uncovered during building of Metro underground in Sofia


Serdica ruins


Serdica ruins.


Serdica ruins


Roman latrine


Roman plumbing


Synagogue, a block away from Mosque and Church.


Mosque near marketplace, bath house and synagogue and church.


Bath house in Sofia now a Museum covering the history of Sofia.


Tsar Ferdinand’s carriage


Upstairs in the “bath house”


Mineral springs. The reason Sofia was settled by the Thracians and Romans.

Bansko, Bulgaria


At the oldest pine tree in Bulgaria — Baikushev white fir. Approximate age of about 1,300 years, Baikushev’s pine is one of the oldest trees in the world and is a contemporary of Bulgaria’s founder, Khan Asparukh. It has a height of 26 m, is 2.2 m in diameter and 7.8m in circumference.





Oven put on the outside of the home.



At the second tallest mountain in the region. 1972 meter point.


Sign of Spring – Storks are back.



View outside my apartment in Bansko

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Outside St. Teodor of Dobarsko. No photos allowed inside. Famous for an icon which folks that have imagination say “Christ is riding a rocket ship”.


Saturday at Midnight for Orthodox Easter. Lighting candles. Folks greet each other with “Christ has risen” and walk around the church 3 times.




Eleshnitza, Bulgaria

My friends took me to see the colorful traditions in Eleshnitza, Bulgaria for 1st of May. Most of these photos were taken by my friend who is over 6 ft tall and therefore can take photos over the heads of the crowds. This place was located about two hours south of Sofia near Bansko Ski Resort and the Pirin Mountains. Notice the hairy Kukeri with the 4 foot tall hats.  Kukeri are costumes to scare away the evil spirits.  Other costumes usually involve priests, demons, and an old man for comic relief. For the festivities there is also folk dancing and songs. kukeri14 kukeri13 kukeri12 kukeri11 kukeri10 kukeri09 kukeri08 kukeri07 kukeri06 Kukeri05 Kukeri04 Kukeri03 kukeri01

SummerKeys – Lubec, Maine

Went to my first week long music camp in Lubec, Maine – the easternmost city in the USA, right next to Canada.  Didn’t have much time to take photographs but here are a few.

Quoddy Head Lighthouse

Photo courtesy of Marilyn’s cell phone – Quoddy Head Lighthouse



























Smokehouse Museum


Dog Daze


Town Square Sculpture


Lighthouse & Lupines


Main Street


Artsy Shingles


Corn Flower & Bee

At Cello Camp

Photo courtesy of Jennifer – Posing for the photographers during group cello lesson



Stamp show for Earl.

Stop at Milwaukee Art Museum.

LibertyRoosterPicasso Freedom Roosters was amusing.  Nearly didn’t get there because of a Komen walk blocking everything.


Stop at Milwaukee Public Museum. 3D Film about Pandas being reintroduced to the wild. Saw what the earthquake did to the center we had visited back in 2000.  Found Earl’s muskrat diorama which captured his imagination 25 years ago being the first one in the US.

MuskratDioramaHad a chance to visit relatives in Ohio on the way to Milwaukee. Friends on the way back to Maryland.


St. Augustine


Just a neat plant we saw in St. Augustine Beach.  The American Marsh Pennywort. Umbelliferae family





Trip Down Memory Lane aka Loop Road

Had an extra day off so we took a ride down Tamiami Trail to Loop Road. We haven’t been down Loop Road for at least ten years. Loop Road had been closed for renovations for several years.  It is now mostly paved except for the last 10 miles.  The gravel road is much better, no big pot holes anymore.

Here’s some pics from the day.  The deer was pretty far away so the image was taken from a digital zoom.

Packing for a two month trip to Asia

For anyone who’s interested, this is what I plan on taking for my trip to Korea, China and Mongolia.

One medium backpack (a GoLite jam – lightweight bought for Grand Canyon hike back in 2006).
3/4 inch thermarest. small sleeping bag and silk sleeping sack.
Nalgene container and water purification tablets.
eyeshade, earplugs, inflatable pillow

Nylon waterproof zip trousers. leggings, cargos that convert to shorts.
tank top, ss shirt, ls shirt, poly blend ss dress. 4 pairs of socks and undies.
hiking boots, flip flops. bandana, hat, sweater, windbreaker, scarf
swimsuit, smock, vest of many pockets.
sunglasses, spare pair of eyeglasses

3 phrasebooks (korean, chinese, mongolian). Lonely planet guide for Mongolia.

Netbook, cell phone, ebook reader.
binoculars, little camera, big camera

Misc. drugs for travel ailments, antibiotics, vitamins, etc.
Comb, hairnet, towels, wash cloth, baby shampoo, dental floss, toothpaste/brush.
sewing kit, tweezers, scissors, scotch tape, stretchy clothesline and clothespins
compass, whistle. notebook, pencils, pen, postcards, name cards, and map of the world.

cloth bag, plastic trash bag, handbag, poncho.
flashlight, alarm clock, batteries
moneybelt, passport and printout of lodgings, airlines, etc.

and one bivy tent, a gift – thanks to my sister-in-law.

A Trip Along Tamiami Trail

We had a guest from out of town  so decided to take a day ride across Tamiami Trail and play tourist.  We figured we’d make little stops along the way and finish at Fakahatchee Strand, about the 80 miles point.

Completed in 1928, Tamiami Trail stretches across the State of Florida from Miami to Naples. Many funky attractions rose and fell over the years. Some of our favorites are long gone such as Frog City. Nowadays, shiny billboards rather than homemade signs grace the highway along with fancy tourist attractions and Indian villages.

Starting out at 9:30am our first stop as we left the sprawling metropolis that is Miami was “Palacios de los Jugos” for some mamey, sour sop, and passion fruit juice. We checked out “Dade Corners” which used to be the last stop for gasoline between Miami and Naples.  However, too many of the souvenirs there now are made in China.  To our left, we passed by the “Pit BBQ” which burned down years ago and was rebuilt to less funky standards.  When we were last there, the menu had changed to a more hispanic flavor.  We also passed by the old defunct shooting range whose entrance was graced by huge concrete arches.
Reaffirmed that the Miccosukee Indian Visitor Center was not a useful stop.  Expensive and not very educational. It was hosting an Art Show but the $15 price tag just struck us as too steep. They were also offering Aztec dances. What were Aztecs doing in South Florida?
We had a pleasant visit at  Clyde Butcher’s Photo Gallery at mile marker 54.5. Surrounded by Big Cypress National Reserve, it is perched in a scenic region. The large format photographs are easy on the eye as well.
It’s time for lunch so we stop in Everglades City at Camilla’s Grill.
Palm Frond Masks decor Camilla’s
Honeybee outside Camilla’s
Earl decided to do some exploring so we went to Choloskee Island. At the southern point there is an old store museum which is a slice of the early 1900’s.


They stopped making Postum in 2007.

Canoe under Smallwood Store Museum
Choloskee Island
 Young Ibis at Fakahatchee Strand.  They turn white once they mature.  We made it to Fakahatchee Strand Boardwalk by 4pm. Very crowded with tourists but happily, not with mosquitoes. However, the chances of seeing the red tail hawk with all the tourists was greatly diminished. All one could see were the nests. The shop at the center was reasonably priced and our guest had a chance to buy some souvenirs.
Blue Heron

River of Grass. Driving back, the sun was setting, the white birds were illuminated as they were doing their final flights to their roosting grounds. Backlit with a rainbow this was a stunning sight. It all happened too fast to get a photograph. We just had to be satisfied with having the experience.


River of Grass

We stopped to look at some of the roosting birds -- ibises, wood cranes, egrets, and blue herons. They arranged themselves like little white ornaments on the trees. There was a hopeful alligator hanging out nearby. A moor hen paddled by nonchalantly.

Roosting Birds

Final stop, Shark Valley, its dark now so we get out the flashlights and head out on the trail. Spotted the leopard frogs, a green tree frog, a gecko and quite a few toads. Our visitor got a little frightened by the proximity of the red glowing alligator eyes. We've seen alligators lying on the road or sidewalk at this park before. We spooked a few birds in the trees and called it a night.

Dinner was dim sum (still on the trail but back in the city). Made it home by 9:30pm. So, in total, our tourist adventure consisted of ten stops and twelve hours.