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How could an old Spanish Monastery be located in North Miami Beach? Herein lies the interesting background of this story.
This Monastery was built between 1133 – 1141 A.D. near Segovia, in Northern Spain. It became known as the Monastery of St. Bernard de Clairvaux. — St. Bernard was a Cistercian monk and influential church leader, and the founder and abbot of the Abbey of Clairvaux. Cistercian monks lived in this Monastery for nearly 700 years. After a social upheaval in the 1830’s, the Monastery’s Cloisters were seized and converted into a granary and stable.
Enter legendary American publisher, William Randolph Hearst (of California’s Hearst Castle fame). In 1925, Hearst purchased the Cloisters and the Monastery’s outbuildings (the church was not part …
I walked past this scarlet macaw preening itself, and had to stop and enjoy a display of nature’s palette. Scarlet macaws are amazingly beautiful birds! In the act of cleaning itself, the bird’s multicolored feathers were moving and beautifully displayed. I tried to capture some of this brilliance in these images — hopefully with at least an element of success.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge photos, right arrows to advance)
One of Ljubljana’s less visited sites is its Botanical Garden. Situated about a half hour’s walk from the historic heart of the city, the garden is an interesting green diversion. The walk to the gardens takes you past some lovely scenes, like the ones below.
The Ljubljana Botanical Garden was established in 1810, making it the oldest botanical garden in southeastern Europe. It’s affiliated with the city’s University and as such is a formal part of this scientific and educational institution. While it is quite small (just 2 hectacres — about 5 acres), it has a surprisingly large diversity of plant life and plant environments, with more than 4,500 different species, a third being native to Slovenia.
The Botanical Garden plays an …
While I love reading whenever I find the time, I’ve never been much of a fan of poetry, with two exceptions — the writing of Rudyard Kipling and (the man featured in today’s Pic of the Day) Robert W. Service.
Robert Service was born in England and began writing poems as a child, dreaming of a life of exploration and adventure, and of one day being a cowboy in Western Canada. He emigrated to Canada in 1895, although he never became a cowboy.
Service is well know to Canadians because of his writing about life in Canada’s Yukon territory during the Klondike Goldrush. He moved to the Yukon during this colorful period in history and loved the characters he met and heard …
I like to stop at the pretty and historic town of Niagara-on-the-Lake when I’m in the Niagara Peninsula region because it’s such a charming community. It’s located where the Niagara River flows into Lake Ontario.
Canada is a new country with only a relatively short period of recorded history. Still, Niagara-on-the-Lake is considered to be of historic significance. It was founded in 1781 and was originally known as Butlersburg, later renamed as West Niagara. The town subsequently adapted it’s current name to avoid confusion with Niagara Falls.
British Loyalists fled here from the south in the aftermath of the American Revolution. It was the first capital of the Province of Upper Canada (the predecessor of Ontario) from 1792 to 1797. During the …
I’d never seen White Ibis before visiting Florida years ago. It’s a rather common bird in the Gulf Coast region, extending from the Mid-Atlantic coast to Mexico. The white ibis prefers living around marshy and swampy ground. It’s obviously a white bird, with pale facial skin and pink beak and legs. Apparently the legs turn scarlet during mating season. Males are larger and have longer bills than females.
Their diet consists primarily of small aquatic insects and fish, including crayfish, although these freeloaders were enjoying a meal provided by Flamingo Gardens.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)
It seems as though any type of transportation is acceptable on the streets of Old Delhi. Very common are bicycle rickshaws — a three-wheeled bike with a bench that holds two passengers. I’d never been on one of these contraptions until visiting Old Delhi where they are very popular because they are reasonably mobile on the crowded streets. And they’re quite cheap to hire (more so for locals than to tourists).
We spent the better part of an hour in the rickshaw, although given how bad traffic was, really didn’t get as far as you might think. Cattle roam the streets freely, although some are used to pull carts. The streets and sidewalks are absolutely filthy and smelled as bad …
After finishing our visit to the National Gallery in London, my brother and I still had about half the afternoon left so we decided to walk to the British Museum, less than a mile away.
It was a pleasant fall afternoon and we enjoyed the walk — so much so that we started exploring side roads so as to see more sights and extend our stroll. This was the kind of day where you avoid the Underground world of the Tube.
The first part of our walk was through the theatre district, always a fun and colorful place to catch a play and always full of people. Many of these marquees are likely familiar to you. Street entertainers here are common …