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 […]

J-Ward: Inside a Lunatic Asylum for the Criminally Insane

Main gate of J-Ward a lunatic asylum for the criminally insane i

I could feel a chill run down my spine as I walked through the corridors of J-Ward, a former gaol (jail), later transformed to a lunatic asylum for the criminally insane. Nestled in the small town of Ararat in Victoria Australia, J-Ward closed in 1991, and many former employees and patients still live nearby. Our guide was […]

A Convent Turned Luxury Hotel: Explore Australia’s Great Ocean Road (Part 3)

St Patrick's Luxury Botique Hotel in Korit, Australia

Looking up at the words  “Convent of St. Patrick” in the stained glass over the entry door, I had to wonder what I was doing here. In truth, my confusion began as we turned onto the drive and I looked up at the classic architecture while hubby announced, “this is where we are staying tonight.” […]

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 […]

KeriKeri Mission Station: Home of New Zealand’s Oldest Buildings

Stone Store in Kerikeri. New Zealand's oldest surviving stone building

Established in 1819, the Kerikeri Mission Station is home to two of New Zealand’s oldest buildings and offers an interesting bit of the country’s history. It was built 22 years before the Treaty of Waitangi established the relationship between Britain and the indigenous Māori people. Europeans were arriving in increasing numbers, and there was tribal fighting […]

Why Kiwis and Tourists Should Visit Waitangi Treaty Grounds

A hongi shared at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds in New Zealand.

Waitangi Treaty Grounds is probably the most historic and significant site in New Zealand. Only three hours north of Auckland, it should be a required visit for anyone who wants to understand this great nation. Once you arrive, take the tour and experience the cultural show. This was my third visit to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds since we […]

A Photo Exploration of the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco

The Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco California

I remember the first time I saw the Palace of Fine Arts. I was young, maybe 9 or 10, yet it stuck with me. I think it ignited my love for travel, for recapturing that magical moment of discovery. For me, San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts is a place of peace, of wonder. It’s also a coming home to […]

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 […]

Cape Reinga: Stunning and Spiritual Top of New Zealand

Walking path to the lighthouse at Cape Reinga, the top of the North Island in New Zealand

Cape Reinga is a crown jewel, the spiritual and stunning northern tip of New Zealand. For Maori, Cape Reinga is where a person’s spirit comes after death and departs for their eternal home. For visitors, it also offers spectacular ocean views including the impressive coming together of two major bodies of water. Practical Information:  While thought of as the most […]

Gumdiggers Park: A New Zealand Wonder Worth Visiting

Ancient kauri log estimated to be 100k-150K old at Gumdiggers Park in Northland New Zealand

Gumdiggers Park is an authentic piece of New Zealand history. It takes about an hour to explore and is a worthwhile stop if heading to the top of the North Island. It is home to the oldest non-fossilized wood found on earth. I’ll be honest, when we first saw Gumdiggers Park on the map, we worried it would […]

Australia’s First Convict Settlement: the Rocks in Sydney

The Australian Hotel is owned by Richard Branson, and serves emu and kangaroo pizza

Finally given the all clear to fly again, we opted for a 3 hour “test” flight, enjoying a rainy weekend in Sydney Australia. Last night we ignored the weather, and joined in to a free walking tour at the Rocks, Australia’s first European settlement. More accurately it was a tour of the country’s convict history […]

One Tree Hill, an Auckland Icon, but Where is the Tree? #AtoZ

Look out from One Tree Hill, Auckland New Zealand

We hadn’t been to One Tree Hill for years when we headed up a few weeks ago thinking about P for Park, V for Volcano, M for Maungakiekie (its Māori name) or L for Lookout. It didn’t take long to remember One Tree Hill has its own story. Are you wondering, where is the tree? Practical Information […]

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 […]

Opera Houses Built to Stand Out ~ #AtoZ AmaZing Photos

Sydney Opera House

We went to Australia to celebrate my 50th birthday, as a visit to the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge were on my bucket list.  Then, a year later I saw the magnificent Opera House in Muscat, Oman.  Sydney’s Opera House is built in expressionist style, while Muscat chose a combination of Islamic and Italianate architecture. […]

Larger Than Life Statues Around the World ~ #AtoZ AmaZing Photos

Larger than life statues in Singapore

Once again I am spoiled for choice.  Larger than life sculptures are everywhere.  Here are a few of my favorites, including a funny one at the end (click on any image for more details): Have you seen any of these larger than life statues? Which is your favorite? Are you participating in the AtoZ Challenge 2014? […]

Hoover Dam, An Engineering Wonder ~ #AtoZ AmaZing Photos

Water Intake for Power Generation at Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam is a huge concrete arch-gravity dam on the Colorado River at the border between Arizona and Nevada in the USA. It gave 1000’s of people work during the great depression. Construction starting in 1931.  The Dam was dedicated on September 30, 1935, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. We missed the tour as we […]

Great Wall of China – A Walking Adventure ~ #AtoZ AmaZing Photos

Great Wall of China

We walked on the Great Wall of China! We chose the Mutianyu section as it’s a bit steeper and much less crowded than the more popular Badaling section. Have you walked on the Great Wall of China? Have you been to China? Are you participating in the AtoZ Challenge 2014? This post also submitted for […]

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. […]

The Great AtoZ Theme Reveal – See What I Am Doing

Spain - Santiago De Compostela - 27 (1)

Drum Roll please . . . It’s time for the great AtoZ theme reveal: My 2014 A to Z Blogging theme: My Photos of AmaZing Places We love to travel and tip the scale now at 42 countries, so picking 26 AmaZing spots was a bit more challenging than you might imagine. You will have […]

Photos: The Army of the Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an China

Terracotta Warriors

Seeing the Army of the Terracotta Warriors was one of the highlights of our visit to China. This army of almost 6000 warrior statues was created during the Qin Dynasty (2000 years ago) and was accidentally discovered in Xi’an by a farmer in 1974 and opened to the public a few years later. The photos don’t […]

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 […]

Photo: Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas Sign

fabulous las vegas

I am sure you have seen the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign before today, but just in case, here it is: Like many visitors to this bizarre town, we stopped to take a photo of this classic Las Vegas sign which has been standing since 1959, although I am fairly sure they moved it […]