Highlights of a Day in Geraldton, Australia

HMAS Sydney II Mermoial in Geraldton, Australia

I wasn’t sure why the ship chose Geraldton as a port of call outside of wildflower season, but it turned out to be an enjoyable day in a charming Western Australia town. With only a few major sites to visit, it was easy to hit the highlights in a day on our own, even if we […]

Wellington’s St Paul Cathedral: Gothic Revival vs Modern

Old St Paul Cathedral in Wellington New Zealand

Old St Paul Cathedral in Wellington caught me by surprise. The streets of New Zealand’s capital reflect an active, upbeat, modern city. The general architecture styles are eclectic, contemporary and interesting. Then there is old St Paul Cathedral. Built entirely of native timber, this 19th-century gothic-revival masterpiece is well worth a visit. The high, vaulted […]

Holy Trinity Cathedral – Unassuming Exterior Hides a Gem

Stained glass window on back wall of Holy Trinity Cathedral in Parnell, Auckland New Zealand

In the heart of Parnell, Auckland’s oldest neighborhood sits an unassuming cathedral. I have passed by Holy Trinity Cathedral many times, without giving it much thought. That was before I learned that its overall design has been described as the world’s only example of the “Pacific Gothic” architectural style. We are quite spoilt, having traveled […]

Night Shots of Cities on Five Continents ~ #AtoZ AmaZing Photos

Night Shots of Moscow

Night lights bring out beautiful colors in a city.  As we traveled around the world I was often glad I carried a small tripod. In the past two years I have been lucky enough to visit five continents.  Here are some of my favorite night shots from each. Click on the image for more details. Asia […]

Heidelberg Castle and Luxembourg City in a Day

Luxembourg-L. City view from  Bock Promotory - 04

I am pretty well convinced that some of our best days are those that are unplanned, like today’s visit to Luxembourg. We started the day with a hike to Heidelberg Castle and then intended to head north to take a few hour cruise on the Rhine river. The views of the ruins of the Heidelberg castle nestled […]

Canals, St. Marks, Bridges, and a Gondola in Venice Italy

Gondolas in Venice Italy

Venice is the final port on our 12 night Mediterranean cruise. We arrived the day before we disembarked, giving us an opportunity to come ashore in the evening, and return to sleep on the ship. Such an interesting city, I wish we had spent significantly more time here. However, we didn’t, so we only had time […]

Photo Tour: Vatican City – The World’s Smallest Country

St Peters Basilica in Vatican City

When we crossed from Italy into Vatican City, we entered our 20th country since we left New Zealand in March. Today was probably our busiest travel day, as our cruise itinerary allocated only one day to see Rome, which we had to split with Vatican City. We hired Max Leotta who turned out to be a fantastic […]

Pisa Italy: Climbing the Leaning Tower and Visiting the Cathedral

Miracle Square

With one day in port to split between Pisa and Florence, we needed to be focused. Top on the girls list was climbing the Leaning Tower of Pisa. I did it 20 years ago when I first visited Pisa. Then it was easy. We just bought our tickets, got in the queue, and then climbed the […]

Gaudí in Barcelona, Another Free Tour, and Photos of a Great Day!

Guadi in Barcelona

In the world of art and architecture, Antoni Gaudí and Barcelona go hand in hand. I took photos of some of my favorite buildings in Barcelona by Gaudí during an amazing  Gaudí free city tour. Starting with the famous Sagrada Familia, here are some of my favorites: Gaudí in Barcelona After the tour we went into […]

A Free City Tour of Old Town Barcelona!

Barcelona

Old Town Barcelona  is fascinating and fun!  It is hard to believe we have been living in Spain for nearly 10 weeks, in Palamós, only 80km north of Barcelona and we haven’t visited this amazing city before now. The Mediterranean cruise we are scheduled on leaves out of Barcelona in just a few days, so this […]

Carcassonne, Is This Medievel French City Named for A Pig?

Carcassone France

Like many medieval walled cities, Carcassonne France has a beautiful castle with a moat. As the story goes, back in medieval times, the town was under siege.  The attackers thought by surrounding the castle and the walled city of Carcassone they would starve the inhabitants, therefore simplifying victory.  So, the people of Carcassone stuffed a […]

A Free City Tour in San Sebastian, Culture Capital of Europe 2016

San Sebastian Spain

The rain stopped just as we were approaching San Sebastian, the cultural capital of Europe (at least that is what they are claiming it will be in 2016). We had decided in the morning to skip this beach town as the weather was so poor, but it was clearing and we were passing through.  Imagine […]

Santiago de Compostela on St. James Day

Santiago de Compostela

It’s St. James Day, El Dia de Santiago, the most important of holidays here in Spain (so we were told). We headed to Santiago de Compostela, considered to be the world’s third most important Christian pilgrimage destination and less than an hour from where we are via car. (The first two are Vatican City and […]

Alcobaca Monastery and Church: first Gothic Buildings in Portugal

Alcabaca Monastery external

Some places leave me in wonder. How did they build such tall, massive structures almost 1000 years ago. Today we visited Alcobaca Monastery, a Mediaeval Roman Catholic monastery located in the town of Alcobaça Portugal.  It, along with the church were the first Gothic buildings built in Portugal. The church and monastery have had close ties to […]

Alhambra: a Must See Moorish Fortress in Granada Spain

Moorish

If someone were to tell me they had time to visit only one site in Spain, I would send them to the Alhambra in Granada. Somehow we almost skipped it for fear it was a tourist trap. Boy am I glad we listened to all of the recommendations that we received. I expected greatness although wondered […]

La Mezquita the Magnificient Moorish Mosque of Cordoba Spain

Cordoba Mezquita

From the first moment I saw a photo of the the Mosque of Cordoba (La Mezquita) I planned for us to stop here while we toured Spain.  It is one of the most amazing places we have been. According to Wikipedia, the structure is regarded as one of the most accomplished monuments of Moorish architecture. Our […]

Toledo Spain, City of Coexistence of Christians, Jews and Muslims

Sant Maria La Blanca Sinagoga

After our visit in Segovia, we drove the 1.5 hours to Toledo, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Toledo is a not to be missed city close enough to be a day trip from Madrid, but better spent as an overnight. (Thanks Michelle for the recommendation). According to Wikipedia, “Toledo was declared a World Heritage Site […]

Highlights of a Free Walking Tour of Madrid Spain

Photos of Madrid

Today, I fell in love with the sights and sounds of Madrid, Spain. We had a free walking tour of the city from Sandemans. We have toured withSandemans in several cities around the world (Dublin, London, and Barcelona). Unfortunately, our Madrid guide was not quite up to their high standards.  At least not the one we […]

Mapping our Driving Tour Through Spain – First Stop Saragossa

Saragossa clock tower

A bit over two weeks of rest in Palamós, and we are ready to get back on the road again.  We have a second home exchange coming up in the furthest northwest corner of Spain, so rather than driving a direct route, we thought we spend a bit of time exploring Spain. I think we […]

Salvador Dali Museum: a Highlight in Figueres, Spain

Figueres3

Figueres. This town is as eclectic as Salvador Dali. No wonder he wanted to build his theatre and museum here. It was a bit hot, and we had been warned in advance it would be worse as we went a bit inland. But we needed another outing.   We didn’t mind and we had a great day, […]

Photo Tour of York, England’s Most Complete Medieval City

Clifford's Tower

York is a fascinating city, and one that we may have missed had we not met another traveling homeschool family in London. Thanks to their invitation we shared a homemade lunch with their family, and were even invited to stay for two nights. (Big thank you to Jane!) York is England’s most complete medieval city.  We spent two […]

Our Classic London Photos: Cathedrals, Parliament, Palace, and O2

london photos

So much history, and so many classic London icons. We tried to see as many as we could, intermixed with markets, modern buildings, movie premiers, candy shops, and of course Harry Potter. Regardless of where we went, I was glad to always have a camera in my hand. Despite the weather, I think classic London shines through. Or […]

Highlights of Moscow: Red Square, St. Basils, Seven Sisters, More

Red Square in Moscow, Russia

Moscow is one of those cities that I have always wanted to visit. I had great fantasies about intrigue and drama, Russian dancing and puppets, food and friendship. Honestly, I am not sure what I was really expecting, but Moscow did not disappoint. After two rest days Dubai, we are ready for Russia.  We know Moscow is […]