.All Trips / Florida / North America / Southeastern USA

Visiting an Ancient Spanish Monastery — in Florida??

00 Ancient Spanish Monastery (36)

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‚Äôs Cloisters were seized and converted into a granary and stable.

 Ancient Spanish Monastery, North Miami Beach

Ancient Spanish Monastery, North Miami Beach

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 …

Read More

Tagged , , , , , ,

“Pic of the Week”, October 18, 2019: A Swirl of Color

P1150811

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)

 

Karl on | Leave a comment
.All Trips

The Ljubljana Botanical Garden

Unknown Photo – Copy

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.

Ljubljana Botanical Garden

Ljubljana Botanical Garden

The Botanical Garden plays an …

Read More

Tagged , , ,

“Pic of the Week”, October 11, 2019: Robert W Service, the Bard of the North

01 Whitehorse Street Art (32)

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 …

Read More

Karl on | Leave a comment
.All Trips / Eastern Canada / North America / Ontario

A Day at Niagara-on-the-Lake

00 Niagara on the Lake (112)

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.

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

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 …

Read More

Tagged , , , ,

“Pic of the Week”, October 4, 2019: White Ibis, Florida

01 White Ibis

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)

Karl on | Leave a comment
.All Trips / Asia / India

Enjoying a Bicycle Rickshaw Ride in Chandi Chowk, Delhi

00 Chandi Chowk Market (51)

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 …

Read More

Tagged ,
.All Trips / England / Europe

Rambling to the British Museum

00 The Theater District (2)

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 famous Odeon Theater, London

The famous Odeon Theater, London

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 …

Read More

Tagged , , , ,