An Unusual Cemetery in Comillas in Northern Spain

Cemetery of Comillas, Cantabria, Spain

Comillas is one of many small townships we visited as we travelled across northern Spain from La Coruña to Lourdes, France. Located in the autonomous community of Cantabria, Comillas is a charming and beautiful town most noted for its cemetery, old university, palace, monuments, and Gaudi’s summer home. We visited here about 3 years ago, yet the photos […]

Classic Stonehenge Photos: Europe’s Most Famous Megalithic Circle

Classic Stonehenge Image

A wonder of the world, the classic Stonehenge image is one I needed to see for myself. Archaeologists believe it was constructed around 3100 BC. It’s an impressive inspiration, an icon of Britain, and is probably Europe’s most famous prehistoric site, although not its oldest (we visited an older megalithic complex in Portugal, an older tomb […]

Megalithic Sites in Evora Portugal are Older than Stonehenge

Almendres Cromlech is one of the megalithic sites in Evora Portugal

Stonehenge is probably the most famous of the world’s megalithic sites, yet Portugal is home to several megalithic sites that are older, free to visit, less crowded, and still allow visitors to walk through the grounds. We visited two of these sites, both in close proximity to each other, located just outside of Evora, Portugal. [Megalithic […]

Moscow’s Novodevichy Convent: Dramatic Architecture and History

Novodevichy Convent in Moscow Russia

Novodevichy Convent and Cemetery is one of the more interesting places we visited in Moscow. Built in the 16th and 17th centuries, it had close ties to the Kremlin and is interwoven in Russia’s political, cultural, and religious history. Novodevichy is Russia’s only convent that served as both an ancient nunnery and a fortress. Today it […]

People Watching on Arbat Street in Moscow Russia

Street musicians on Arbat Street in Moscow Russia

Arbat Street in Moscow is not quite like anywhere we had been before, yet it seems every town has somewhere similar. In Moscow, “The Arbat,” as it’s more commonly called, refers to the old Arbat Street where visitors find a kilometre long pedestrian-only road lined with souvenir shops, cafes and restaurants, artists, street performers, and a few random museums. […]

Photo Tour: Cruising into Venice Italy

Cruising into Venice Italy on the NCL Spirit 2

Cruising into Venice Italy is one of those magical travel moments. For us, it was several years ago, and we were on the NCL Spirit. We stood at the bow of the cruise ship, and despite the crowds, looking out it was captivating. I shared my photos of Venice from the ship, but for some reason these remained in my […]

Travel Bloggers Share an Eclectic Mix of European Street Art

"Suspended" by Alice Pasquini in Germany

When I think about European street art Berlin, London, and Barcelona are the cities that first come to my mind. So I asked top travel bloggers where their favourite street art was located and I was surprised by some of the results. So many sent images that this is a multipart article, starting with European […]

Photo Tricks: Shattering the Illusion of Broomstick Flying

broomstick flying photo tricks

Several years ago the girls and I took broomstick flying lessons in the same English courtyard that Harry Potter learned to fly. They were timed to fall just after the “On Location” tour of Alnwick Castle, which doubled as portions of Hogwarts. To this day, people still ask me about the day my girls did […]

Haarlem Netherlands – Our First Cruise Port En Route to Norway

Haarlem, Netherlands

After a not too rocky crossing of the English Channel our first stop was the port of Ijmuiden in The Netherlands. Excursion options to Amsterdam were all canceled as we were quite late arriving here due to weather delaying our departure from Southampton. Our only on-shore option was the lovely town of Haarlem, which we […]

Cork Trees in Portugal and a Cork Museum in Spain

Harvested cork waits to be collected outside Evora Portugal

Cork grows on trees. As we drove though the Alentejo region of eastern Portugal, I was surprised to make this discovery. Cork trees lined the road. In the nearby town of Evora, a huge variety of cork products are available for purchase ranging from bags and hats to postcards. This added to the mystery of the […]

Touring Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London

Seeing Shakespeare performed live at London’s Globe Theatre will remain on my bucket list a bit longer. We were last in London in May of 2012, just a few months before the London Olympics were to begin. The Globe was in the middle of a series of 37 performances all from visiting troupes in their […]

Windmills of Mykonos, Greece ~ #AtoZ AmaZing Photos

Windmills of Mykonos, Greece

When I think of windmills, I used to think about the Netherlands. However, it is windmills of Mykonos that captured my heart. I have only been to a few of the Greek Islands, but Mykonos is my favorite: The stark white against the blue sky wasn’t only found on the windmills.  We saw it all […]

Ruins of The Old Abbeys of England ~ #AtoZ AmaZing Photos

Rievaulx Abbey in North Yorkshire, England

I don’t know why, but I am fascinated by the ruins of the old abbeys of England dotted along the countryside.  I couldn’t get enough, although I think the girls and hubby reached their limit.  Here are a few of my favorite shots: Have you seen the ruins of the old abbeys of England? Which […]

I Drank from the Fountain of Youth ~ #AtoZ AmaZing Photos

fountain of youth

The fountain of youth – myth or reality? According to folklore and our extremely youthful looking Norwegian guide, Tvindefossen Falls is it. Located somewhere between Flaam and Voss in Norway, we stopped, climbed and drank, using our hands to cup the water. Did it work? Maybe yes, maybe it’s just silly, but either way, it […]

España – Our Long Term Home Exchange in Palamós Spain ~ #AtoZ AmaZing Photos

A street in Palamos Spain

It took us only a week from first contact to agree upon a long term home exchange in España (Spain),  swapping our New Zealand home for a 17th century stone house in an old neighborhood in Palamós, in the Catalan region of Spain.  Trading the Hauraki Gulf for the Mediterranean Sea, how could we pass it up? […]

Chapel of Bones in Evora: A Freakish Ossuary in Portugal ~ #AtoZ

A close up of the skulls embedded in the wall of the Chapel of Bones in Evora Portugal. Photo ©Sarah Albom

We have been to some eerie places, no question about it.  The Chapel of Bones in Evora, Portugal tops our freakish list. Entering the macabre world of this ossuary is like crossing into the Twilight Zone. The invitation over the door: “Nós ossos que aqui estamos, pelos vossos esperamos,” loosely translated: “We bones that are […]

Berlin Wall – A Piece of History Remains as a Memorial ~ #AtoZ AmaZing Photos

Berlin Wall

The Berlin Wall enclosed West Berlin from August 13, 1961 to November 9, 1989, cutting a line through the entire city center and separating the East Berliners and citizens of East Germany, from the freedom of the West.  The wall came down in 1989, but a piece remains, protected, as a memorial and stark reminder. […]

Aqueduct of Segovia Spain – A 2000 Year Old Roman Masterpiece ~ #AtoZ AmaZing Photos

Aqueduct of Segovia Spain is 16,220 meters in length and 28 meters tall

The aqueduct of Segovia is an engineering feat of the Roman Empire, built about 50 A.D. Twenty-eight meters tall and stretching 16,220 meters in length it is awe-inducing – but not simply due to size. It is held together solely by natural forces, with the unmortared granite bricks staying in place based on an innovative balancing technique. A symbol of Segovia, […]

La Mezquita – Cathedral of Córdoba – A Must See in Spain

La Mezquita Cordoba

La Mezquita, also known as the Mosque – Cathedral of Córdoba is one of the most stunning buildings I have ever had the privilege to photograph. Located in southern Spain, in the town of Córdoba, it’s a must-see destination for travelers through the central or southern portion of the country. Its old, built even before the earliest […]

Time Travel: Going Back To Carcassonne To See Flying Pigs

Time Travel

Entering the Butterman Time Travel Agency my options were suddenly greater than normal. Now I wasn’t just going somewhere but rather “some-when.” I remember visiting the medieval fortress and castle in Carcassonne, France. I questioned the validity of the legend that Dame Carcas was the city namesake due to her ingenuity which defended the walled […]

Exploring the Sherwood Forest In Search of Robin Hood

sherwood forest

Did you know the Sherwood Forest really exists in the Nottinghamshire?  We had to stop there last year whist we were driving through England. There several fun statues greeting us as we headed from the parking lot to the Visitor’s Center (although, I think the building in the background of this photos is actually the […]

Russian Security Is Serious – Learn From Our Mistakes

russian security

Russian Security Is Serious.  Here is your chance to learn from our mistakes.  Today’s travel tip: When in Russia, don’t go through security gates unless you know how it works, and what is on the other side. Fortunately, our airport encounters with Russian security were without incident. I really wish I had  filmed our encounter […]

Greek Gods Get Respect – Know the Cultural Rules Before You Go

Greek Gods get respect

Greek Gods get respect – at least that’s what we found out rather quickly at the Agora in Athens. Visualize this:  A lovely day exploring ancient Greece in Athens. We arrive at the Agora and walk through the main building, snapping photos like so many travelers do. We are traveling with teens, but for today, […]

Bribes Often Work: Ask To Use An ATM If You Need More Cash

blatant request for bribes

Bribes were a way of life growing up in Chicago a long time ago so I am not sure why I was so shocked by blatant requests for bribes in other countries. Visualize this: We have rented an apartment on Wenceslas Square, in a fun part of Prague (Czech Republic).  We have just driven in from […]

Non-Stop Kitchen in Belgium – A Funny Sign

non-stop kitchen

We were hungry and happy to see the non-stop kitchen sign in the window . . .  . . . and surprised to see the closed sign in the window. Non-Stop Kitchen Here are close ups to make it easier to see the non-stop kitchen and closed signs (yellow):    ©Rhonda Albom 2012 in Brugges, […]