The Shwedagon Pagoda was the first of the major sights on our list in Rangoon. Both its dimensions and the lavish use of gold create an amazing ambience that make this one of the most spectacular examples of Buddhist architecture.
We have arrived in Rangoon, capital of Burma/Myanmar, yesterday and already covered quite a bit of ground. Despite the torrid heat. I thought I’d put up a few iPhone shots that I took yesterday to mark the first of hopefully many posts to come while we’re in this fascinating country for the next four weeks.
I figure this blog has been turning into a bit of a travelog as of late: me and my wife are on the road, and after spending a bit more than a week with family in India, we’re now in Bangkok. It is great to be back. Fresh out of high school, my first backpacking trip across South East Asia started here in 2001.
Monk taking photo at Wat Arun, Bangkok
A photo of the Taj Mahal in Agra can’t really capture the magic of the place. Despite the myriad visitors I found the place to be serene. I was lucky in that the light on the day of our visit was not too bright, bringing to the fore the magic glow of the marble used to build the tomb.
My wife and I are on a short stopover in India, where we are meeting her family. We spent two nights in Varanasi, a holy city on the banks of the river Ganges. Two boat trips revealed the changing face of the Ghats – the stairs leading to the water – and the activity surrounding them. The views were most beautiful just after sunrise and I thought I’d share a few of them without too much of the regular commentary.
I used the recent stopover in London to ride on the new Emirates Air Lines. It connects East London’s ExCel with the O2 across the Thames. On the way there I got off the DLR at Pontoon Dock to see one of the most impressive industrial ruins still on display in London: Millenium Mills (see here for the map of the walk).
A short stopover in the UK to visit friends and family allowed for a brief walk through the ever-changing City. It’s a place familiar to me from my years of studying and working in London. A lot has changed here recently. New buildings are rising towards the sky left and right. Not in living memory has the appearance of this area changed so much in such short time.
One highlight of our recent trip to Dresden was the visit of the Militärhistorische Museum, the military history museum of the German Army, the Bundeswehr. It recently underwent a dramatic modernisation using the designs of starchitect Daniel Libeskind and re-opened its doors in 2011 amid much fanfare. The striking shard-like structure symbolises the Allied bombing squads’ formation that put to ashes large parts of Dresden in 1945.
Berlin’s Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz is one of my favourite urban spots. Here, Berlin’s history comes alive like hardly anywhere else. Buildings from several decades stand together where important historical events took place. Meanwhile, new houses are being built. Like the one in Linienstrasse 40, German architect Roger Bundschuh’s strange synthesis between art and architecture.
A friend of a friend is a researcher on Japanese public housing projects. Their history is inextricably linked to Japan’s economic miracle from the 1950s onwards. When researching the book, I thought that the chapter on urbanisation would benefit greatly from an inset about danchi.