Rumiñawi’s Perch: The Coolest Building in Guayaquil

Inca warrior Rumiñahui - The Museo del Banco Central, Guayaquil, Ecuador

Inca warrior Rumiñahui – The Museo del Banco Central, Guayaquil, Ecuador

This is Rumiñawi, a 16th century Inca warrior who has pride of place on the facade of the Museo Antropológico del Banco Central in Guayaquil. I didn’t see a portrait more confident, fierce and proud in all of Ecuador, warranting this series of five images for today’s Pic du Jour.

Like Atahualpa, the final Incan Emperor, Rumiñawi was also tortured and killed by the Spanish after he led an unsuccessful resistance force against the conquistadors in the northern part of the Inca Empire in 1533.

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In Slovenia, Protest Over Proposed Higher Education Reform Law – A Dozen Photos


An estimated 2,000 people gathered in Kongresni Trg square in the Slovenian capital Ljubljana on Wednesday to protest a proposed sweeping higher education reform law. The law, known as ZViS, would introduce tuition fees for the first time, essentially ending free universal higher education. Here are a dozen photos.


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Still Life With Tito and JFK, and a Balkan Conspiracy Theory – Pic du Jour

Still life with Tito and JKF

I just finishing chimping this shot when the owner of the small stall, made up mostly of used books and cheap trinkets, approached. He asked what I was taking the picture for.

“Just for me. I liked the composition, Kennedy there and Tito there.”

“Of course you know he was a phony.” He was referring to the former Yugoslav leader, not the assassinated U.S. president.

I smiled. “I’ve heard some of the rumors.”

He then began a capsule summary of the widely-held theory among Balkan conspiracists that Josip Broz Tito, the peasant born to a Croatian father and Slovenia mother, was not the same man who would later rule Yugoslavia as a sharp dressed man with an iron fist. He was in fact a Russian spy —more specifically part Russian, part Ukrainian, he said.

Someone Vladimir Putin would like.

He sensed my disinterest, polite as it was, and wrapped it up after suggesting the switch to the phony Tito came in 1940 or 1941.

“We won’t know the truth for a long time,” he said. “That won’t become public for another two hundred years.”

Among the offerings on the table next to the Tito as Hero book were two pairs of colorful high-heeled shoes. To lighten the conversation, I wanted to ask if any evidence existed to suggest that Tito was a cross dresser.

But when I turned around he was gone, leaving his books, shoes and stall unattended and yet another question unanswered.

Heels for salespacer-35high

Ljubljana, 12-Apr-2014


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Morning Mist, Gulf of Corcovado – Pic du Jour

Morning Mist Gulf of Corcovado, Chile

This is facing west towards the Gulf of Corcovado in Chaiten, the southern Chilean town that was destroyed by a volcanic eruption in 2008. This is how I described that morning scene in this notebook entry posted from the ruined town last year:

A heavy fog blanketed Chaiten the morning after I arrived, so I had little idea what the town and its surroundings looked like. To the west, directly in front of my hotel’s doors, the wall of fog made it impossible to gauge how far from the road, presumably a seaside road, the Gulf of Corcovado actually was. When the mist started to lift over the Gulf, first to appear was a set of ten relatively new exercise machines, forlornly staring at the invisible seas. Next, a gloomy lunar landscape began to emerge; large gray sandbars at first, then the debris they were littered with: dead trees, branches and brush of various shapes and sizes and portions of homes washed away by the raging river. When the fog dissipated, the edge of the Gulf finally appeared, about a half mile into the distance. Between the road and the coastline sat thousands of tons of ash and mud that the flooded river dumped into the gulf.

Previous posts from and about Chaiten are here, here, here, here and here.

Snapped on 03-Mar-2013


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13 images from Slovenia’s Iška River Gorge

The Iška River Gorge

The Iška River Gorge

Here are 13 images from Iški vintgar, or the Iška River Gorge, which is located about 21 kilometers south of Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capital.

Set near the southeastern corner of the Ljubljana Moors, Europe’s southernmost wetlands, the gorge is a popular summertime weekend retreat for Ljubljana-ites yet it generally remains quiet and uncrowded during the spring and autumn months. Even on some summer weekdays I’ve found it practically empty. It’s a 15-20min trip from the city by car; I generally bike it in about an hour.

These were all taken on Saturday afternoon (12-April); I’ve visited several times during each season over the past six years and don’t recall it ever being so saturated in shades of green in the first half of April.

It reaches between 300 and 400 meters at its deepest where it marks the strongest natural border between Slovenia’s Dolenjska (Lower Carniola) and Notranjska (Inner Carniola) regions. It’s a popular hiking spot, with numerous trails heading in several directions, both through the gorge and up hillsides. I hope to cover all of those in the next few months.

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Living up to a Name: Chilean Patagonia’s Enchanted Forest Trail

Chilco, or fuchsia magellanica, at home in the wild

Chilco, or fuchsia magellanica, at home in the wild in Queulat National Park

One way, the Enchanted Forest Trail covers less than two kilometers of southern Chile’s pristine Queulat National Park. But between its trailhead set in a lush dense evergreen forest and its terminus on a cliff above a clear and clean turquoise-tinted glacier-fed lagoon, it packs a lot into those 1.1 miles. Its name fits.

Located 35 kilometers south of Puyuhuapi on the Carretera Austral, Chile’s remote southern Patagonian highway, it’s an easy day trip and worth the effort it’ll take in securing transportation. Even the ride there, across an entertaining and photogenic stretch of gravel road that includes more than thirty hairpin turns that climb and descend through the park’s various altitudinal zones, is memorable for both the bumpy ride and its dynamic scenery.

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Non Violence – Pic du Jour

Non Violence (1997) by Carl Fredrik Reutersward, Lausanne

This is Non Violence (1997) by Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd at the Olympic Park in Lausanne, Switzerland. It’s the first sculpture that popped into mind for monument, the theme for this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge.

This one was taken during a visit to Lausanne in July 2010; I also have a color version from a 2008 trip and a shot of another cast of the same sculpture in Gothenburg, Sweden taken in 2006. Those are two of several casts; one is in front of the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.


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