Ani, perched dangerously on the edge of Turkey and overlooking its old host, Armenia, is a fantastic site that not too many people get to go to.
Once a bustling metropolis to rival the other big cities of its time, Ani, has wasted away thanks to invasions, earthquakes, and even modern-day arguments. The land it sits on is still debated upon by the Armenians and the Turks. The Armenians want it back.
As we walked around the ruins, we could feel both Armenian guards, from across the river, and Turkish guards high in the citadel watching us.
A day [...]
Continue reading Ani Straddling the Turkish and Armenian Frontiers
View from the boat in Puerto Princesa Bay.
The Philippines should be high on your list if you like a destination with water. Whether it be beaches, boats, or any type of water sport, the Philippines has it.
I am not a beach person. I do like boats, but I like sturdy boats. I was a little unsure riding one of these boats. It seems they would be super-stable and not really rock that much, but the one we were on was just a little too rocky for me. I have a couple of really unflattering pictures of me [...]
Continue reading Reflection #572 – Puerto Princesa Bay
Surviving a tumultuous history, the German Reichstag building is a must see in Berlin.
A stone’s throw from the famous Brandenburg Gate–the iconic symbol of the border where East Germany meets West–the Reichstag (parliament or diet) building looms large and imposing. The neo-renaissance facade, complete with massive columns, fit in well in the late 1890s when it was initially conceived to represent the power and might of the newly united German Empire. The original building took ten years to complete and has stood in one form or another as a symbol of the country.
In 1933 the Reichstag was badly damaged in [...]
Continue reading Berlin’s Reichstag
I want to go here…now! I just want to head to Jerusalem and sit on this patio with a cappucino. Wanna come?
It’s been a stressful couple of weeks. It gets that way towards the end of a school year when you are a teacher. The fewer the days before the final report card is handed out, the more the stress, or so it seems. I guess the great thing is that in just three weeks I’ll be on vacation…for two months!
And then, you ask? Yes, I’ll be traveling. Younger daughter is coming for a couple of weeks, [...]
Continue reading Reflection #570 – Inviting Patio in Jerusalem
Barcelona is a gorgeous city; this is its harbor on a bright day. Don’t you just want to go sailing?
A beautiful spring day in Barcelona, one that ensures you that summer is soon on the way. These boats all look ready to take you out to that deserted beach or island. I want to go!
At the end of the famous shopping street of La Rambla, wandering down to the Barcelona Harbor and Port is a great way to relax. To let the breeze take your stresses and troubles and push them out to sea. Just standing on [...]
Continue reading Reflection #568 – Barcelona Harbor
The French region of Alsace is one of my favorite places in the world. Here are a few reasons why:
Alsace is located on the eastern side of France, along the German border. It is a region rich with vineyards. In spring, you can see scenes such as this, as the bright, lime-green leaves of the first grapes begin to appear. Later, in the fall, the leaves are dark, and the grapes are full and heavy. They begin picking and wine fests pop up all over the region. At any time of year you can visit the [...]
Continue reading Addicted to Alsace
When you hear the word “China” all types of exotic images run through my mind. For me, words like “busy,” “crowded,” and “ancient” pop in mind as well.
I took this photo of one of the canals in the Forbidden City as soon as the ticket booth opened. There were people around, and they were beginning to enter by droves, but I was able to capture an almost empty and serene scene.
Beijing is a fascinating place, full of food, people, and customs so unlike those in the western world. I’ve been there a number of times, and each [...]
Continue reading Reflection #567 – Forbidden City
A fairy tale castle not far from Lisbon, the Pena Palace.
The Pena National Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located in Sintra, Portugal. Only a half hour drive from Lisbon, Sintra is one of my favorite cities on the Iberian Peninsula. There is way too much to see in one day, though, so you might want to stay overnight. Sintra is full of parks and palaces, it’s very near the ocean with cliff views and beaches, and there are plenty of restaurants to choose from as well.
We visited the Pena Palace in the later afternoon, after we [...]
Continue reading World Heritage Site – Pena Palace Portugal
Lake Van, in eastern Turkey, hosts stunning scenery, a great boat ride, four islands, and an Armenian cathedral turned museum. It’s well worth the visit.
Summer is the best time to vist the Lake Van area of Turkey. It’s elevation is about 5,400 feet, so it’s dry and can be quite cold most parts of the year. In June, the flowers are popping everywhere and the trees and ground are much greener than later in the summer.
One of the most fun things to do is to take a quick 20 minute boat ride to Akdamar Island to visit [...]
Continue reading Lake Van, An Island and A Cathedral
Not quite as large or impressive or well-known as Christ the Redeemer in Rio, this statue of the Virgin Mary overlooks the gorgeous city of Santiago, Chile.
We took the funicular up the hill and it provided a panoramic view of the entire city. I love a funicular, and this was one of the best I’ve been on.
At the top of San Cristobal Hill, where the statue is located is a nice park to walk around, and many vendors and cafes. It’s a great little jaunt if you are in the city.
Down below, where you pick up [...]
Continue reading Reflection #552 – Santiago Statue of the Virgin Mary