Monday, July 30, 2007

Wrap up

List of favorites and curiosities.

In Mostar we saw a car parked on the sidewalk on the way out on a walk. On the way back, we saw the same car being removed from the sidewalk. I have a recurring fantasy where speeding cars, or cars which run red lights are simply plucked from the road by a giant claw and crushed. No hassle over tickets or re offending. Car gone. The giant claw would look something like this.


Uh oh, a list of favorite things. I can hear the question already - how many of these favorite things will involve bicycles? A lot! Senior cyclists in Croatia at the market. How fabulous to be able to get around without a car when you're older. You stay fit, save money, interact with people more (even annoying tourists taking your photo), and can park easily.

I want to ride my bycycle.

Great public spaces. In Kosice in Slovakia the main pedestrian mall had everything. Shops,



Kosice Tech Museum

a smooth path for cyclists and baby carriages,


and of course the Dancing Fountains. Great public spaces like this are so rare in the US. Most US cites would have given most of the space over to the movement and parking of cars.

Musical Fountains? Coolest Thing Ever

Another great public space in Wroclaw, Poland. A small square,


and the large main square. There was a man selling carved wooden figures, and a group of crazed football supporters singing songs while wearing their team blankets.


Two words. Czech beer.

Fall colors and Czech beer. Beer stops that are marked on the hiking routes.


Mass transit that transported the masses easily and quickly. This photo of a bus lane in Vienna makes my heart happy. Look, no cars in the bus lane (except for one right turner in the distance.) What's so hard about this? Why are we in the US so resistant to moving people efficiently? Things that work all over the world are treated as pie in the sky notions here in the land of the automobile.

Vienna bus/bike lane

Also in Vienna, an add on bike lane under a bridge.

Bike lane in Vienna

Working bikes, or cargo bikes. We saw these all over India, Vietnam, China and Japan. The rider, or drivers, must have super strong legs as there were no gears evident on the bikes. But what a great low impact way to move cargo around. This one is at a train station in India.

Working bike, train station

Here is one in Hue Vietnam - delivering TVs by bike.

Hue street scene

And here in Kunming, China. Without disrupting the fan dancers with the sound of a loud engine this cardboard collector rides right through the park.

Kunming 020

In NZ and Australia almost every restaurant you go to has water in heavy cold glass bottles that they put on your table automatically. No fancy and wasteful bottled water, just cold tap water. So easy, so smart. So going to do that at home.

Friends have arrived!

Hotels all around SE Asia have a system where the electricity in the hotel only goes on when you put your door key in a slot by the door. That way, when you leave the room and take your door key with you, the lights and AC go out and no electricity is wasted. Simple and smart. No photo of that one though.

Sun umbrellas. Not such a good option here in windy SF, but a really good thing to keep in mind for use on hot sunny days. Millions of Chinese and Japanese ladies are on to a good thing with their sun umbrellas.

Give me shade

I adapted quickly to this idea, but I am more sun phobic then most.

Drum Tower, Xi'an China

My new bike umbrella attachment may send me flying down the street, or knock me over with our summer wind. But I love the idea.

Bike umbrella holder

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