Biking to Karlstejn

Cernosice
Karlstejn Castle

I got up early, mainly because off jet lag, and got a cup of coffee and wandered round Prague. It was good to see what the city looked like. Yesterday I could barely see anything around me for the throngs off people. But today I going for a 40k bike ride to Karlstejn Castle. I’ve enjoyed biking all over Europe and this seemed like just to way to get a feel for the Czech country side. The bike path followed the Berounka River. The water was cool and felt great after a few kilometers of pedaling.

Passing through weddings, stone carvers and other bikers along the way was a wonderful way to explore the country and get exposed to local flavor. Lunch of roast duck and dumplings was tasty, but very filling and was my greatest obstacle to finishing the ride. Around 4 in the afternoon I made it to the base of the castle, found a good seat to eat ice cream and draw.

I took a bike tour to get out to the castle and I want to say hello to everyone else on the tour. Hi all! Safe journies home!

Prague, Finally…..

Charles Bridge
Too Crowded to see the Architecture

I finally arrived in Prague after being delayed by the Chinese. They held my flight so long I couldn’t make my connection in Vienna. So instead of making it to my hotel in Prague I spent the night in Vienna at a hotel provide by Austria Airlines.  It’s common enough for the Chinese to delay flights and it’s the second time this month it’s happened to me. Oh well. I finally made it and that’s good enough.

My first day in Prague was filled with great smells of cooking sausages and these wonderful pastries that are fire roasted and filled with ice cream and fruit. I was not prepared the crowds though. Even Hong Kong doesn’t can’t compete with the huge amounts of people out and about. It was amazing. I don’t think I saw the ground floor of any building until late at night. When I tried to draw,  I never saw anything but roof tops above people’s heads. Very impressive. But, even though my room was in the heart of  Centrum, I was down at the end of a long ally and hat a peaceful night and left my windows open for a cool breeze.

Tomorrow I’m going on a 40k bike ride into the countryside. Looking forward to it.

Good night.

The Last Night in the Animal Kingdom and a Big Buffet

Animal Kingdom Lodge, lobby

This is my last night in Disney World and the States. I’ll be getting up at 5am to take an early flight home to Hong Kong. First leg of the flight is 4 hours to Dallas, then another 16! hours to HKG. Ouch. To make up for it I’m finally treating myself to the buffet I smell every night. Getting a reservation requires getting your name in the hat early. I’ve always been out playing in the park and never had a chance.

I drew this picture of the view out the main lobby’s window. I liked the natural overlaid with man made overlaid with natural again.

Disneyland and the California Adventure

The Original Disneyland Castle, Anaheim, California

I left Hong Kong Sunday night 6 hours late due to heavy thunderstorms around the Pearl River basin. The flight to LAX was direct, so at least I didn’t have to make a connection after clearing US immigration or I never would have made it. I am off to the States to spend a week at Disneyland followed by another week in Disney World. It’s my first time to visit these Disneyland since 1971 when I was too young to remember, and 15 years ago when I took my 4 year old son. A lot has changed since then.

I met David C. backstage of the park and had the best 3 days talking about castles, cars and superheros. David is responsible for maintaining the quality of the park and gave me free access to explore and learn about how things are done on this side of the world. So, a very special thanks to him and his team who were so generous with their time. Thank you.

When I wasn’t following the Show Quality team around, I drew pictures. Here they are:

Cars Land, California Adventure
Frontier Land, Disneyland

 

Winter Solstice on Mt. Hacone

Mt. Fuji continuous line drawing

Mt. Fuji ink wash
Mt. Fuji pen and ink

Mt. Hakone is an active volcano at the South end of Mt. Fuji. Steam and Sulphur pour out of small craters at the top. I took a cable car to the top and did a few sketches of Mt. Fuji, ate some blackened eggs cooked in the volcanic steam, then took a very pleasant walk around Hakone Lake. 

Mt. Hakone steam vents

Floating on Kawaguchiko Lake

Mt. Fuji through the Trees

I arrived in Tokyo a few days back and hopped a bus to the Five Lakes region. Five lakes is at the base of Mt. Fuji on the eastern slope. The weather was spectacular and Fuji was clear as day against a brilliant blue sky. I rented a small paddle boat and drew a picture of the surrounding mountains and one Of Mt. Fuji using my water soluble pen. 

Kawaguchiko Mountains

Disney Hotel Lobby

disney-hotel-lobby

A few months back I took lunch at the Disney Hotel. After eating a wonderful meal of Peking Duck I took a seat in the main lobby and drew this picture. I thought that it would be a quiet place to rest since it was mid-afternoon, but the Guests kept coming in by the bus load one after the other. I quickly sketched out the scene and gave up my seat to whoever could get to it first.