blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit

blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit
By Alison Hobbs, blending a mixture of thoughts and experiences for friends, relations and kindred spirits.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Land of waterfalls

From the New York State side of the border, at Ogdensburg
It is the Long Weekend, 3rd weekend in May. Tomorrow is Victoria Day in Canada, and we are in Ithaca, in the USA not on the Greek island where Odysseus was king. I am making no apologies or excuses for the long recent silence on this blog; it would be too time-consuming.

Nest on the cliffs, Ithaca
Ithaca is famous for its waterfalls. We found a few this afternoon on our way down the hill from the Cornell University campus that we had gone to explore. They tumble through spectacular, steep gorges like the Avon gorge on the edge of Bristol, in England, with road and foot bridges that are a temptation to suicidal students, so that crisis help line numbers have to be posted at their ends, and nets hung beneath, with high wrought iron fences alongside. Fortunately we were in a mood to enjoy the views, enhanced by buttercups all over the banks, and the nest of a bird of prey (buzzard? eagle?), on the cliffs. Another thing that's perched on the cliffs by the river is the one time home of Carl Sagan, the astronomer.

Sagan's cottage

We flew down from Ottawa in hazy conditions, this morning, sent on a long detour by ATC because of other traffic, on our way to KOGS, Ogdensburg. Once on the ground there we were met by not one but three customs officers who had driven over from the International Bridge over the St. Lawrence. On the second leg we flew down the eastern side of Lake Ontario to the Syracuse area, then for only 20 more minutes across rising terrain with striped fields to the southern end of Lake Cayuga, the longest of the Finger Lakes. This is where Ithaca is situated. Chris was pleased with the chance to do 'a nice ILS approach' to runway 32 at Ithaca airport. We checked in at the Taughannock Aviation FBO which apparently is pronounced Tigannog or similar. It's a local name. Tomorrow we hope to visit the Taughannock Falls State Park.

It was supposed to rain all day and all night here in Ithaca today, but luckily for us that didn't happen. We walked for miles (8-10km, at least) around the Cornell University campus this afternoon, which is up a long, steep hill, so this evening we are utterly sleepy. Tomorrow Chris is to meet Prof. Ken Birman whose work he has been using for software applications since the 1990s. They have corresponded but never met. Their meeting place is going to be the Bill and Melinda Gates Hall, a futuristic faculty (the Faculty of Computing and Information Science) building. Some of the Cornell buildings, on the other hand, are more neo-gothic in appearance.

Supper was an excellent middle eastern meal from a restaurant called Sahara Mediterranean, and then we wandered through the pedestrian area known as the Ithaca Commons. We are staying in the parallel street, Seneca (!) Street, at the comfortable Hilton Garden Inn.

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