Cliff Palace

On our first evening in Mesa Verde National Park, we took the twilight photography tour of the Cliff Palace, one of the largest cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde. “Recent studies reveal that the Cliff Palace contained 150 rooms and 23 kivas and had a population of approximately 100 people.”

Shown above, a tour group is gathering on the upper left while another group prepares to exit to the right.

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Mesa Verde National Park

On our southwest parks road trip, we drove from Moab, Utah, to Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado to see cliff dwellings and learn about the people who built them in the 1200s.

Above, the Spruce Tree House, the best preserved cliff dwelling in the park, was closed to the public in 2015 after a rock fall and subsequent investigation.

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Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

From Honolulu we flew to Hawaii’s Big Island (also called Hawaii) to visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Hawaiian Islands were formed by lava flowing from a hot spot under the Pacific Ocean, and the Park preserves and guides you to volcanic eruptions and lava flows.

Shown above, a plume of volcanic gases rises from Halemaumau Crater within the much larger Kilauea crater. Halemaumau Crater is about a half-mile (800 m) wide with a lava lake inside.

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Walks Along the Seine

We visited Paris in April, renting an apartment in the Marais, two blocks from the Seine and Île Saint-Louis. The banks of the Seine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has some great walks. We walked a lot, crossing the Seine visiting places missed on earlier trips.

Here’s a map with our Paris activities; our apartment’s near the center.

our 2016 Paris vacation
our 2016 Paris vacation

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Ha Long Bay

After two days in Hanoi, we traveled to Ha Long Bay and spent a night on a cruise boat. With its many limestone peaks sticking out from the bay, and Ha Long Bay is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Li River near Guilin, China, has similar limestone peaks. We enjoyed Ha Long Bay much more because boats could spread out in the Bay, while the Li River was a continuous stream of boats down the river.

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