let your thoughts wander

Category: Cambodia

Eiffel Tower, Trevi Fountain, Rialto Bridge, and Angkor Wat all shrouded in scaffolding.

Scaffolding, everywhere!

After several trips in which we have encountered the now ever familiar sight of scaffolding on some of the most popular sights around the world, we have come to the point where it no longer surprises us. My best word of advice to avoid these encounters is to do your research before booking tickets to a destination.

Landscape photograph of large metal tower in the distance with roads, fountains, and a park in the foreground.

Eiffel Tower

Having decided against traveling to Europe for our honeymoon in 2008 (due to lack of sufficient funds), we finally decided to revisit the idea and went for our fifth anniversary in 2013. Upon arriving at the Trocadero Gardens, we were welcomed by the discouraging sight of scaffolding on the Eiffel Tower. We later found out that 2014 was the 125th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower and it was undergoing major renovations for the celebration the following year.

Large fountain sculpture with Roman style architecture and figurines covered in scaffolding.

Trevi Fountain

Luckily, we were somewhat prepared in knowing the Trevi Fountain had been under construction soon before our trip to Rome. We did not, however, expect that it would still be in such disarray over a year later. The fountain was bone dry with the walls still being reconstructed. As a consolation to visitors, they had small video screens playing video of the fountain in working order. Certainly not the experience I had hoped for and quite disappointing.

Nighttime photo of arch bridge over canal covered in scaffolding on the left side.

Rialto Bridge

One of the most iconic structures in all of Italy, upon approaching the Rialto Bridge we were welcomed by half of the bridge being visible, while the other half was covered in scaffolding and tarps with false facades to give the impression of the typical sight.

Vertical photo on the left of temple structure against blue sky and horizontal photo on the right of temple walls in the foreground with green trees and blue sky in the background.

Ankor Wat

While touring the main temple complex in Siem Reap, we again encountered our old friend. Thankfully, this time there was no major obstruction of what one would expect to see, and with the age of the temple, I understand the importance of its presence at that time.


View through window of pool area outside.

Home is where your herons are

I don’t typically bring home souvenirs from our trips (not those I pay for anyway – I have saved containers, plasticware, stickers, papers, napkins, etc. and brought them home). However, near the pool, and visible from our table at breakfast one morning in Cambodia, hung a wooden sculpture of three herons. It was created in such a fashion that the heads of the herons were attached to what looked like a fishing pole with a fish shaped weight at the other end, and their necks were designed to be flexible in which they swayed as the wind caught the fishing pole and moved it up and down or side to side.

From the first time I saw that sculpture I became enamored and was on a mission to find one similar to bring home. This also gave an excuse for us to visit the local market, as I like to do whenever we are somewhere new. What better way to experience the local way of living?

The longer we strolled through the maze of colorful stalls full of patterned fabrics, the aroma of an array of spices, and a variety if knick knacks, my hopes began to fade. Then, we came around a corner and there they were! Hanging side by side in many different sizes, with other designs mixed in. For ease of transporting back home, I chose a smaller size and asked the price, which was $7 US. I offered $5, as that was the “ideal” price I had in my head, and we made a deal. As the shop clerk wrapped it in newspaper, I let her know I did not need a bag and started opening up the strawberry bag – she commented how cute it was and that she had wondered what it was as it hung from my shorts. We completed the transaction and Bill and I headed back to the hotel – herons in hand.

They now hang from the curtain rod in our living room. Thousands of miles away from their original home in Cambodia. I hope they feel at home – because home is where your herons are…

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