Category Archives: abandoned places

Virginia Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive

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We are in Virginia this week traveling along the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive.

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From the South just West of Lynchburg, mile marker 65 is the Natural Bridge.

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At mile marker 30 is Crabtree Falls, 2 mile hike round trip.

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Down the road from Crabtree Falls the Appalachian Trail crosses the Tye River with a suspension bridge.

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At the end of the Blue Ridge Parkway the road continues into the Shenandoah National Park and becomes the Skyline Drive. Just before you enter Skyline Drive, standing alone off the side road, an abandon Howard Johnson’s, sad kind-of…va-skd

Around Mile Marker 50 on the Skyline Drive is the Dark Hollow Falls, 4 mile hike round trip…

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Fall is coming and the leaves are just starting to turn, one more week and it will be at it’s peak, i’ll try and capture some of that beauty if i can…

Before they become rubble, abandoned places in NC

We took the day driving around a few rural roads of North Carolina to photograph the old homes and abandoned buildings we have seen out the corner of the eye. Now that the leaves have fallen some new old homesteads are visible through the tree line. My friend and I had to photograph some of these old places before it all becomes rubble.

Farmhouse 35°40’58.0″N 78°59’56.0″WUS-1

I have included the Lat’s and Lon’s in the event someone wants to visit them and of course be prepared for “No Trespassing” signs.

Using a Canon 5D MKII 24-105mm. Due to the recent rains some of the roads flooded and created some detours.

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This is a beautiful abandoned modest Victorian with a barn in the back.

751&64 home 35°44’26.5″N 78°56’58.8″W

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Now just a backcountry road, the Old US Highway 1 used to be the main thoroughfare between Washington DC and Atlanta. Just South of Raleigh NC the old road has some beautiful old abandon places.

Gas station – We took a peek inside – 35°39’38.8″N 78°58’21.6″WUS1-57

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Feed trading house and another peek inside – 35°40’52.0″N 78°56’07.0″W

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Fayetteville Rd. One room house – 35°52’28.6″N 78°56’56.7″W751House-18751House-23

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Doctors smoke more Camels than any other cigarette.

I would not do this after dark but walking the back streets of Kuala Lumpur during the day is quite enjoyable, a little urban exploring, get some pictures, see how the locals live and always see sights not on any tour map, for example, this morning we are on our way to an old bookstore.

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Here we are. The book store is literally packed to the front door, floor to ceiling.

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Ah… The Classics. KL Book-51

I was impressed with the extent of the books in this little store. My big find was this 1947 Popular Science magazine.

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The back cover advertisement tells it all. The US had just come out of a World War, the Baby Boom was just beginning, the prosperity of the 1950’s was just around the corner, and people now had expendable income. R.J. Reynolds capitalized on many aspects of what was happening in the US at the time, women smoking, doctors where the experts, and celebrities pushed every product imaginable.

I wanted to find out what happen to Jerry Ambler so I Googled him. He died of an auto accident in 1957, not cancer like many of these celebrities did.

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Cambodia and Tomb Raider sites …

Remember Lara Croft played by Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider looking for that Triangle of Light thing?

Anyway that’s were we are today.

Ta Prohm

Just outside of the town of Siem Reap Cambodia lay 200 plus ancient cities built during a

Wiki Commons. Arial view of Angkor Wat

time when Europe was going through the Dark Ages.  The Khmer people, as they are known, were ingenious, prosperous, and built many cities beyond the concept of modern man at the time to honor kings, deities, and the people of the area of that time. The first city we visit and the largest is Angkor Wat surrounded by an immense moat created for protection.

Angkor Wat

Ta Keo

Angkor Thom

Angkor Thom is a large complex protected by miles of 10 foot tall walls. This is one of four gate entrances.

Ideal Female Form

Apsaras represent the ideal female form and of course like the ideal female (or male) Apsaras are mythical who have learned the art of this particular dance that the stone carver has captured for eternity.

This is interesting within the Angkor Thom complex there are 12 towers called the Sour Prat Towers. Two men in quarrel is each placed in one of the towers, after so many days they emerge. The one who comes out sick is guilty, Guilt by divine decree.

Ta Prohm

Ta Prohm is the place where the movie Tomb Raider was filmed with Angelina Jolie. The place is surreal.

You can try and see the ruins on your own but I would hire a guide. We hired http://www.angkorjourneys.com for the day. Kanha and her team were excellent.

Cambodia is a beautiful country striving to creep into the 21st century after decades of genocide and corruption. The constant chatter of the Tuk-Tuk drivers barking at pedestrians, gaining your attention, hopefully to solicit your companionship for a few dollars, reminds you of where you are in the world, children begging for handouts next to semi-upscale shops in Siem Reap makes you consider if Cambodia will crawl or leap into the modern world. Avoid the peddlers and seek out legitimate organizations if you are inclined to give.

If you visit Cambodia get away from Phnom Penh or Siem Reap and be prepared to experience some 3rd world adventures. A ride through the rice fields will show you the real Cambodia and its people living off the land, children and adults bathing in the rice fields, homes without electricity or running water, but still the people seem to be healthy and vibrant in such a place as The Kingdom of Cambodia.

Langkawi beaches and 18 year old scotch …

We just drove until the road could take us no further.

Going off the tourist routes and roads can put you in peril if you are reckless but Langkawi Island in Malaysia is safe and everyone we met or insisted in helping a lost foreigner, they just pointed us back to the tourist destinations, they were so nice ;)

Seven Wells waterfall – I wanted to shed some clothing and romp under the falls but there was a leach alert declared and being in a Muslim country, modesty is the “required” attire.

Case in point regarding “required attire”. This is our beautiful waitress during lunch at a local Thai restaurant. It had to be 95 degrees that day.

“Just loosen that scarf, maybe let some air flow through your hair.” I could be arrested for these thoughts.

Langkawi Island is not that big and you could drive around it in an afternoon.

We got off-road a bit and saw some amazing old Malaysian style houses. These homes are the traditional form before modern influences and technology changed housing in Malaysia and they will be a thing of the past only seen in replication.

Uh oh, Monkey gang trying to commandeer our car. Damn monkeys.

Kok Beach

Tanjung Beach

Unknown beach, North end.

Shareton Beach

4 Season hotel room and facing beach

Berjaya resort

The Jungle is beautiful …

About that 18 year old… Langkawi is a duty free island, a beer will cost you 0.60 cent, so when I see a bottle of Glenlivet 18 year old single malt scotch for $56 when it will normally cost you $110 in the US, you can’t pass it up.

The box describes the taste in the following way:

  • Colour: (color spelt that way on the box) Golden, autumnal hues.
  • Nose: Fragrant sweet oakiness, rich fruit and toffee notes.
  • Palate: Smooth and wonderfully balanced. Burst of spices and oranges, drying out on oaky notes.
  • Finish: Long and lingering with hints of oak and spice.

I got some of that ! I think, yeah, hmm, I can taste some oak, better try another glass. This is a very good scotch, worth trying. Some friends of mine did another tasting on whiskeys and scotch that can be found here.

Young girl peeking at us at the airport as we depart for home.

Abandoned Projects and Chinese Dumplings

An affluent, upscale, abandoned project has set idle for a number of years. I don’t know the story behind the scenes and this was as close to the grand structure as I could get.

It will soon be a hidden epitaph of someone’s dream as rust and jungle have started to take its toll.

CHINESE STEAMED DUMPLINGS

Today I was fortunate enough to be invited to a friend’s home to learn how to make Chinese dumplings. With the speed of experience, Ms. Zhao had steamed pork dumplings made from scratch in about 30 minutes. She tells me all her spices and condiments come from China but did not tell me the whole recipes she was about to prepare.

The basic recipe for these delectable morsels is below. It’s not exactly what Ms. Zhao did but it’s close.

Filling: 1/2 pound ground pork (1 cup), 1 cup chopped scallion and/or Napa cabbage, Chopped garlic to taste, Looked like she used 4 cloves, 2 teaspoons minced ginger, 1 egg, lightly beaten, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1/4 teaspoon hot chili oil, 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil.

Can’t make dumplings without some help.

Sauce: The basic sauce for dipping is soy sauce, vinegar, hot sesame oil, but Ms. Zhao added her own secret ingredients. She started with ground garlic, dried salted tiny fish, some of this and some of that, I couldn’t follow it all but it was good and spicy.

Dough wrappers: 2 cups of flour, ¼ teaspoon of salt, ½ cup of hot water, Mix, set for 1 hour, knead dough until smooth.

Now the hard part, figuring out how to roll, fill, and fold.

The Perfect Dumpling

The final product was a perfect steamed dumpling, so good. I was very grateful, so good.

Abandoned buildings and a pack of wild dogs

I love old abandoned buildings, today I took this shot as I was making my get-a-way from a guard who was yelling at me and closely approaching on foot. Apparently his job was to chase people away and tell them they cannot take pictures of the old abandoned train station.

A beautiful building, I was able to snap a few pictures before the guard tried to shoo me away. What I found out is that this building is located on private property owned by the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Center, who knew. (There was no time to adjust my camera for some photogenic moments so all shots are at 1/100, F7.1, ISO100)

A couple of months ago my friend Ms. E and I stumble across this abandoned home in downtown Kuala Lumpur just a few blocks behind the Marriot Hotel. Ms. E would not go in so I had to go it alone.

A little reluctant and senses a little excited I got to the main foyer. It was deadly quiet when I heard a “click-clack, click-clack” in the next room, like claw feet walking across the concrete floor.  Oh crap, all I could think of was the story of the dead homeless man the police found in a deserted alley on the outskirts of town. A wild pack of dogs visited the corps every night to feed, the smell finally alerted passersby.

“Click-Clack, clickity-clack ” Oh damn it, I’m going to be eaten by wild dogs. I froze in my steps and listened, I could hear it breathing in the next room, beads of sweat were building up on my forehead, an eerie feeling, it was time to go, I rushed out the open door into the light and saw a mangy dog scurry away in the opposite direction.

“Get any good shots?” Ms. E said as I got back to the car. “Hey, you are sweating, don’t get any on the upholstery.”