NOTA BENE

Notes, comment and buzz from Eugene Kaspersky – Official Blog

March 27, 2015

A quick guide to Utah arches.

Why this national park is called the Arches is a rhetorical question. But if you haven’t been following this mini-on-the-road series from Utah, then read this.

Yes, you want huge natural rock arches – you need to come here. There’s just so much awesome archness here. Wikipedia says there are as many as 2000 here, ranging from the meager to the massive, and from the weird to the wonderful. In our day here we managed to see just nine! They were: Surprise, Skull, Delicate, Tower, Skyline, (the two) Windows, Turret and Double Arch.

Let me jump in here at the deep end: the most beautiful and most famous (and that takes into account desktop wallpaper:) arch of them all is… this one here – Delicate Arch:

Arches National Park Utah

Read on: 70 spellbinding sights…

March 25, 2015

U tire of Utah’s canyons? Not possible!

The red rocks of Utah – a simply captivating sight; from the outside, that is, which is what we checked out yesterday. Today it was time we had a look at all this from the inside. So off we headed to the Arches National Park‘s Fiery Furnace rocky massif. This is what we saw…

arches-utah-intro-1

Read on: Woh! Surprise surprise!…

March 24, 2015

The Utah Saints: Crimson columns and massive mushrooms.

Since the previous day my brain had been variously boggling and boiling. This was eased a little by steam being emitted from said boggling and boiling brain out via my camera, but that alleviation process then went too far, leading poor brain into a state of half dehydration.

The diagnosis sounds like this:

I’ve (finally) been to the canyons of Utah!

Eyeballs fairy exploded, jaws drooped down to waist level, tongues hung out of mouths, minds… simply blown. Cameras – white hot with non-stop use! The latter in fact were the only things that didn’t completely lose the plot. The human beings and their mentioned body parts however just conked – unable to the take in unencompassable – in the red and white canyons of Utah.

mushrooms_1

Read on: Not bad, eh? This pic was just for starters…

March 19, 2015

Bonny Bonneville. Salty Utah.

Still in the US toing and froing between cities, we decided to make a quick stop in a town I’d never heard of: Wendover, Utah State. The town houses the nearest airport to the famous Bonneville Salt Flats. A saliently saline splendid spot!

Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah

Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah

Read on: The mirages on the horizon…

March 18, 2015

Massachusetts snow woe, and a US-AV decade of champions.

I’ve been in the USA countless times.

Usually it’s just for short stays with a few different places to visit, but there’s normally plenty of interesting tales to tell afterwards. Not this time! This time it was business, business, and again business. In this post, alas, there’ll be nothing too riveting for you, dear reader – just a few curious items…

…The first being… SNOW!

Now, you might think there’s no way a Russian could ever be interested in snow in other countries. Coals to Newcastle, right? But you’d be wrong. For this is the first time in my life I’ve ever seen SO MUCH SNOW – right here, in the U. S. of A.! A knee-jerk, subconscious urge was willing me to be offended: ‘How’s it possible? Give us our patented, trademarked snow back!!’ One word: odd. No, one more word: unexpected.

Snow woe

Boston snowA far cry from the Everglades a day earlier :)

Read on: Celebrating 10 years of KL business in US…

March 14, 2015

Crocs in the shade – in the Everglades.

To be in Miami as a tourist and not get a visit to the Everglades in is a bit like… going to Manhattan as a tourist and not seeing Broadway and Times Square: it just doesn’t make any sense. Mind you, visiting the Everglades in anything but an airboat makes little sense too: going ‘on foot’ – or swimming (!) – is out of the question: the Everglades are crocodile infested swamps; and going on any other means of transport is also a no-no: only airboats manage to navigate these unique swamp-scapes cut with dense grassy shrubbery.

Florida, Everglades National Park

Read on: Crocs & yikes!…

March 12, 2015

Miami Nice.

There exist in the world a great many beautiful mountains, volcanoes, cliffs, caves, valleys, lakes, geysers, glaciers, and a whole load of other natural phenomena. But there exist a great many beautiful man-made phenomena too. And that includes some really rad roads.

The most beautiful road (of course, I mean the views therefrom and therealong, not the prettiness of the asphalt:), IMHO, is in New Zealand. It’s the road to Milford Sound. There are plenty of others dotted around the globe that come near to it in terms of awesomeness: There’s the Great Ocean Road in nearby Australia. There’s the coast road of California; Route 360 on Maui, Hawaii; the road from Platja d’Aro to Lloret de Mar in Spain; the Amalfi Coast road near Naples; the roads of Crete, and many more which I’ve yet to motor along.

Just recently I checked off another entry on the list of must-drive roads of the world. Yep, I finally got round to cruising along the resplendent road to Key West, at the very bottom tip of Florida. Key West is the last in a long line of islands that stretch from the US mainland on the outskirts of Miami out towards Cuba – all connected by a road. Nice. Miami Nice. Kuril Islands governor – take note!

From Miami to Key West

From Miami to Key West

Read on: tropical paradise here and there…

March 10, 2015

Guatem-ooh-la-la volcanism.

Turns out the Ring of Fire affects Guatemala too. But then that country classic affects many, and always will :). But no, it’s the seismic-lithospheric-tectonic Ring of Fire that ensures Guatemala is fully sorted in the volcano department.

In all there are around 30 volcanoes in Guatemala – impressive for a country of its modest size. Taking a peek at trusty old Wikipedia, we see Guatemala covers approx. 100,000 square kilometers, so if we divide that by the number of volcanoes… ooh la la!: the volcanism force is strong with this one! It’s nothing on the Kurils of course (68 volcanoes in 10,500 square kilometers!), but the Kurils aren’t a whole country…

Antigua is surrounded by three volcanoes – Agua, Fuego and Acatenango – all of which were visible from our hotel:

Guatemala volcanos

Read on: Ahhh, so great being up a mountain!…

March 9, 2015

Guatemala – what a gala (of colored… rugs). Part 3.

Howdy folks. Herewith, the next installment on my recent Guatemalan adventure. Today, a report on what we discovered while strolling around Antigua Guatemala.

Brief background: Antigua was one of the capitals of the country during the Spanish Empire era. Down the years it’s been destroyed three times by volcanic or seismic ultraviolence, poor thing: First, in 1541 – under a lahar (mudflow) from Agua Volcano; and then in 1717 and 1773 – by earthquakes. How unlucky? After the third time, the authorities wisely decided to move the capital to a safer location – where it still stands today. The ruins of Antigua were abandoned and stood mostly uninhabited for centuries. Shadows of former colonial grandeur can still be seen today in the dozen (!) or so imperial cathedral and church ruins. If the place looks impressive in ruins, I thought, imagine what it must have been like intact and with roofs on!

Antigua Guatemala

Read on: street ‘carpets’ made of colored sawdust, flowers and grasses…

March 6, 2015

Night at the (Hotel) Museum.

Alrighty. Here we are in Guatemala. I’m enthusiastically ensconced in this here hotel-with-a-difference in the heart of the country – and it’s a fascinating place. I’ve been in some interesting lodgings in my time which stretch the definition of ‘hotel‘, but never stayed in one that doubles up fully as something else at the same time. In this case – several museums!! It’s called Casa Santo Domingo, situated in the former colonial capital of the country, Antigua Guatemala.

Antigua Guatemala

Read on: Not your usual hotel…