Saturday, July 19, 2008

Pittsburgh on a sunny Saturday

The skyline of Downtown Pittsburgh.

Smithfield bridge in the evening sun.

Station Square, with fountains and the Clinton furnace on display.

Duquesne Incline

Today I have been on the duquesne incline . This is a vintage funicular going up Mount Washington in Pittsburgh. One ride is 2$, and a return trip is 4$ (I have read something else on some websites, therefore I want to get this straight).

This is the lower station, next to the river and close to downtown Pittsburgh.

Running the incline plane.

Touristy folks inside the car.

Here we go up (well, I am cheating, I have already arrived at the top when I took this picture!).

This is the view from from atop Mount Washington. The incline is run with electricity since 1932, but before that (since 1877) it used steam power. The motor driving both cars at the same time (always one up, and the other one down) has 75 hp. There is a 10 hp backup engine in case the main engine fails. Cars are pulled using steal cords (one acts as a backup).

Vintage Cars on Squirrel Hill

The Pittsburgh vintage grand prix association has brought a vintage car race to Squirrel Hill this weekend. Of course I had to explore all the fine cars spread out all over Squirrel Hill.

Lake Tahoe

On Saturday July 12th, we went hiking at Lake Tahoe.

We went up the Mt. Tarrac trail. My host Chris, on the right, and I, the Fallen Leaf Lake in the background.

The floating island lake, 1.6 miles from the trailhead.

Cathedral lake, 2.3 miles from the trailhead.

Beautiful wildlife at cathedral lake. However, we didn't see the father. When we went back to the trailhead, we spotted a pheasant, but my camera was too slow to capture. Just a mile before we reached the trailhead, it started to rain (and we ran the last bit).


From July 10th to 15th I was invited to Sacramento. Here see the beautiful capitol.

In Sacramento, Arnold seems not to be the only one to be in power.

Saturday, July 5, 2008


The Pennsylvania firefly is Pennsylvania's state insect.

Fireflies are difficult to photograph; they only flash from time to time, and if one uses the camera's flashlight at them, it is so strong that all the colors are gone.

This is certainly not a firelfy, what is it?

Independence Day Edition

On July 4th, the USA celebrate the "Decalaration of Independence", a document written on July 4th 1776 that explains the "Resolution of Independence" approved by the Second Continental Congress on July 2nd 1776 which legally separated the USA from Great Britain. Even though in legal terms, the separation occured on July 2nd, US americans celebrate Independence Day two days later.

I watched a race of the ChampBoat series in Pittsburgh, listened to a concert by Soul Asylum and watched the fireworks "Flashes of Freedom". However, the battery of my camera went flat after the race. Some nice pictures were taken by other people, have a look here .

The f1 powerboat race was won by Shaun Torrente (in the red boat). Congratulations!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Pittsburgh National Aviary

On Sunday, I visited the Pittsburgh aviary, which has around 600 birds on display.

The white-headed wattled lapwing.

Two inca terns .

Three strange birds. :-)

The female taveta golden weaver selects the male depending on the male's ability to build a nice nest.

A sloth, demonstrating the climber's wisdom that hanging straight downwards costs the least energy.

The bird is called "shrek", however I don't know its species.

A roseate spoonbill .

A red-crowned crane .

A blue-crowned pigeon, the largest kind of pigeons.

A hyacinth macaw flying.

Esther, the cormorant.

A visitor feeding a bird during a bird-feeding display.

An african penguin.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Meet me at the Pridefest

On Saturday, I went downtown to see the last day of the Three Rivers Arts Festival in Pittsburgh. However, when I got out of the bus close to Wood station (a train station for the light rail "T"), I saw this:

Well, it took me a while to realize that this is NOT the arts festival, considering that the first guy I met was a musician fluent at german! It's the pridefest .

After a good hour of pride I finally spent a few minutes at the arts festival (after I went in circles within downtown, it was harder to find than the pridefest).

The oldest remaining structure of Fort Pitt in Pittsburgh is the so-called blockhouse. Inside is a souvenir shop.