Category Archives: travel

The pervasiveness of technology

Last week in Monterrey, Mexico, we were at a cookout. Everyone at the table had a nice cellphone. There were two digital cameras on the table, uploading pics to a Dell Latitude laptop. Upstairs one of the teenagers was on the ‘net, chatting with friends via Instant Messenger. The house contained 5 or 6 computers of various ages, all connect via a home wireless network to the ‘net.

This was in Mexico.

Forget any notions you might have that Mexico isn’t sophisticated. Sure, there are lots of poor in the rural areas, but Monterrey is on the rise. The ‘net is connecting people everywhere. Global youth culture is web-enabled.

Prepare for the future. Learn a second language. Enjoy.

Monterrey, Mexico

Just got back from vacation in Monterrey, Mexico. Monterrey is a great city. Lots of interesting things to do, history, food, art, and people.

The city is preparing for the Universal Forum of Cultures – Monterrey 2007. This is going to be a huge event, with thousands in attendance. Here is the official website for the event.

In the coming days I’ll probably write a few more of my thoughts about Monterrey, but for now there are some pictures in the gallery.

Next stop – New Orleans and Baton Rouge!

Monterrey, Mexico

Cars in Germany

Thinking back to our trip to Germany last year, one thing we all agreed on is this: here in the US we are getting screwed on our cars.

We rented a diesel Audi station wagon for 2 weeks. The car, at normal speeds (like 40-60mph) got over 50mpg. Even at 100mph+ on the autobahn, it got 30-40mpg. Amazing. We drove the hell out of that car, all over Bavaria and Austria, for 2 weeks, and I think we filled up maybe 4 times – 5 tops.

But here at home I don’t need a station wagon. I like small cars a lot, and there were so many killer vehicles available in Germany – stuff we can’t get here. Fiat, Citrogen, Smart, etc, etc. I was really pretty fascinated by the Smart cars — perfect for city dwellers to zip around town. Here are a couple of pics: Citrogen Berlingo and Smart Car. Smarts were all over the place in the cities.

I understand that Smart will be available in the US soon, but the 2-door will be a bit longer to pass our auto safety standards (I guess cars have to be big enough, in theory, to compete with all the insanely huge SUVs on the road).

Ice Cave in Austria

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Ice Cave in AustriaI was just looking at digital images from our trip to Germany last summer with our friends Bev and Dave, remembering what a fun trip it was. Our first time in Europe. What a great experience. We went to Austria for a couple of days, and visited the ice cave — Eisriesenwelt Werfen. This is an image looking out from the cave entrance (click the image to see it full-sized). No photography is allowed in the cave.

The cave is way up a mountain. You climb, then take a cable car, and then climb more. Here’s some footage from the cable car on our way down — check out the town down below to get an idea about how high up this is. And the cave is actually even higher up the mountain. I believe they said this is the steepest cable car ride in Europe. I believe it.