Visit to Orlando, Florida

As luck had it, last week there was a LUG2011 in Orlando, FL and I was on the list of people to visit it. The other cool thing about Orlando is it is home to the world's biggest Disney themed park set named Disney World and I guess this one is much more interesting for everybody ;)

Anyway we decided to arrive a few days early so that we actually have time to check the Disney parks.

Landing in Orlando
About to land in Florida.


Summer Palace in Beijing

Last weekend I had a really brief visit to China (only for 3 days), luckily of those 3 days one was Sunday so I did not need to do any work and had time to wander around instead.

When coming to China this time everybody warned me that Beijing is not pretty at this time of a year, humid with a lot of smoke in the sky, but surprisingly when I arrived the sky was blue on Sunday and also to some degree on Monday before becoming totally covered in smoke on Tuesday.

We have already been to the Summer Palace on our first trip to Beijing (here are some pictures, though quality is not great), but the visit ended abruptly as the rain started. Also the palace itself is huge so you really need entire day to see all of it.

This time I decided to visit south-eastern part of the palace that we have not been to and the plan was to wait for a sunset there.

п▒п╦п╩п╣я┌ п╫п╟ п╫п╬п╡я▀я┘ п╢п╡п╬я─я├п╬п╡я▀я┘ п╡п╬я─п╬я┌ я┐ п╪п╬я│я┌п╟ 17я┌п╦ п╟я─п╬п╨


Hawaii vacation. Day 7, Diamond Head, more sunsets.

On our day 7 we decided that we'd climb the Diamond Head crater. The climb itself is not very hard, but included steep stairs and all advices we've seen recommend going there in the early morning before the sun is full up so that you are not fried on the way (they also recommend a hat, comfortable shoes and plenty of water).

The Diamond Head itself is a crater of a long extinct volcano that believed to have exploded over 100,000 years ago (others put it at 300,000 years). The crater area covers 350 acres and it's width is greater than height. The crater has spherical form and the south-west rim is the highest. It is currently the signature landmark of Oahu due to its shape visible from far away (As you probably have seen on my earlier pictures). Hawaiian people named the crater ʻahi after the tuna fish forehead that it resembles.

In 1904 the crater was purchased by US government as ideal place for coastal defenses of Oahu (due to it's great panoramic view of the surrounding ocean). Fortifications began in 1908 and total of 5 batteries were built along with fire control station (to direct artillery fire) at the summit. In the end no artillery was ever fired during the war, though.

So we woke up at 5:30am and headed to the parking lot. Diamond head tunnel opens for tourist traffic at 6am. Here is a view from our hotel room from around 5:30am

п▓п╦п╢ п╦п╥ п╬п╨п╫п╟. 5:30 я┐я┌я─п╟


Hawaii vacation. Day 3, Valley of the Temples, Aloha Tower, Sunset.

So we decided to dedicate next day to visiting interesting places. First one on our list was Valley of the Temples with their Byodo-In Japanese temple (Chinese style Phoenix temple).

We woke up early again and proceeded to drive to the west, via Likelike Highway, the more we moved to the west the more clouds we saw, all mountain tops were hidden by the clouds as well which got us nervous there might be a rain.

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