Riding the Electricos (trams) Through the Hills of Lisbon – Video

Nighttime scene of a tram in LisbonPhotos and Video (c) Russell Johnson

Like Rome and San Francisco, Lisbon is built on seven hills. Unlike Rome and San Francisco, however, the only easy way to get to parts of it is on a tram, or electrico. It’s that steep. The trams date back to 1873 when they were horse drawn. They went electric in 1901. By 1959 there were 24 routes. There are now only six, but citizens and tourists alike still love’em.

The most celebrated is Electrico 24, which hits many of the historical sites of Lisbon. But we’ve found the electricos handy and charming for travel to many parts of town, especially if you buy a 24 hour pass, which will allow you to hop on and hop off.

Here is a little video we did.

Angkor: Before the Crowds Arrived (Video)

Roots at Ta Prohm Temple, Cambodia ©Russell Johnson

I have seen the pictures: tourists mugging and doing fish-face selfies amongst the ancient temples of Angkor, one of the world’s heritage treasures. In 2018, Cambodia attracted an estimated 5.5 million international tourists, many of which descended like a plague upon Angkor.


Meow Wolf: A White Wookie, a Giant Spider and a Glowing Mastodon Meet at a Bowling Alley

Meow Wolf, a a strange, whimsical conceptual art installation in Santa Fe, New Mexico
Meow Wolf, a a strange, whimsical conceptual art installation in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Where can you step into an old bowling alley guarded by a giant robot and his spider sidekick, play music on the rib cage of a glowing mastodon, and dance with a white wookie?

Unless the laws of odds are totally out of whack, the ONLY place you can do that is at Meow Wolf, a weird wonderland of whimsy and conceptual art in Santa Fe New Mexico.

I took a walk through it.


Close Up: Niagara Falls

“So, you are going to Niagara Falls. Are you going to go over in a barrel?” was the question posed by almost everyone I told of my upcoming adventure.  Annie Edson Taylor, a 63-year-old Michigan school teacher, was the first to do it in 1901, but only after testing the waters (and the barrel) by sending her cat over first. Both survived and since then 14 more people have gone barreling over the rim.


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