“Pic of the Week”, September 29, 2017: Hot Chocolate and Churros at Chocolateria San Gines

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A very popular snack in Madrid, especially for those nursing a hangover or having developed hunger pangs while waiting for a typical late 11 pm dinner, is the classic combination of hot chocolate with churros (a churro is a Spanish fried dough treat much like a donut).  Arguably the best hot chocolate and churros in Madrid is found at Chocolateria San Gines, just off the Calle Arenal pedestrian zone of Puerta del Sol in Central Madrid. 

Chocolatería San Ginés has been around since 1894, and it looks about the same as it must have on its opening day more than a century ago.   The walls are lined with photos of local celebrities and even a few you might recognize.

You’ll be served cups …

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“Pic of the Week”, September 15, 2017: Merrion Square, Dublin

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Merrion Square is a beautiful garden square in south central Dublin.  It was laid out after 1762 and was largely completed by the 19th century. It’s a wonderful place to visit when in Dublin, for a casual stroll or picnic or to relax in a bench and do some people-watching.

People like to linger here, but the most popular resident of the park is a colorful statue of Oscar Wilde.  Commissioned by the Guinness Ireland Group, it was sculpted by Danny Osborne and was unveiled about 20 years ago.

Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde (1854 – 1900) was an Irish writer and poet who resided across the street from the park.  Today he is best remembered for his novel The Picture of

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“Pic of the Week”, September 8. 2017 : Old man with bike, Chartres

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A scene of every day life in an historic city.
 
After having spent the morning exploring the great medieval cathedral in Chartres, we finished a fine lunch before heading into the medieval city down by the River.  While on our journey we came across this seasoned citizen, walking his bike up an incline.  Seems he is outfitted to go to the market.  Just an everyday scene in an ancient city.

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge)

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“Pic of the Week”: August 18, 2017. Temple Bar District, Dublin

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Ireland is well known for its music, food, Guinness, whiskey, and friendly engaging people, all of which (and more) can be found and enjoyed in Temple Bar District.

Temple Bar is an area on the south bank of the River Liffey in central Dublin. Unlike the areas surrounding it, Temple Bar has preserved its medieval street pattern, with many narrow cobbled streets.  Many of the pubs in the area are hundreds of years old.

Temple Bar is promoted as Dublin’s cultural quarter, being the location of many Irish cultural institutions, including the Irish Photography Centre, the Ark Children’s Cultural Centre, the Irish Film Institute, the Temple Bar Music Centre, the Gaiety School of Acting, as well as the Irish Stock Exchange …

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.All Trips / Europe / Food / Spain

La Boqueria: Barcelona’s fabulous Food Market

01 La Boqueria Market, Barcelona

One of the finest food markets I’ve ever visited, and supposedly one of the best in the world, is the Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria, usually just called “La Boqueria It’s one of Barcelona’s most popular tourist spots — so much so that group tours are no longer allowed inside.  You, the independent traveler, are welcome!  The market is just off the popular pedestrian mall, La Rambla, not far from Barcelona’s opera house. A iron gate frames your entrance to the very diverse and fresh selection of food items within.

The first mention of the Boqueria market dates to 1217, when tables were installed near the old city gate to sell meat. From December 1470, a pig market was …

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“Pic of the Week”, July 21, 2017: Ha’Penny Bridge, Dublin

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A landmark worth looking for while exploring Dublin is the charming Ha’Penny Bridge.  The bridge was built in 1816 and was the first to span the River Liffey.  Before this bridge was built, the only public option Dubliners had for crossing the

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.All Trips / Europe / Italy

Palermo’s Palazzo dei Normanni

02 Exterior of Palermo Palazzo del Normanni (2)

Palazzo dei Normanni (Palace of the Normans) is the old Royal Palace in Palermo, Sicily.  It was built in the 9th century by the Arab/Islamic rulers for the harems of their emirs.  It was expanded and renovated by the Normans who subsequently conquered Sicily in 1072.  The Norman kings transformed the building into a multi-functional complex that served as an administrative center and a royal residence.  During the period of Norman rule, Sicily thrived and prospered.

The Palazzo sits on the highest spot in Palermo and is the oldest royal residence in Europe.  After the Normans left, Palazzo dei Normanni was not used for several centuries.  But the palace returned to an administrative role in the second half of the sixteenth century, when the Spanish governors chose …

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“Pic of the Week”, July 7, 2017. A Wedding in Palermo

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One of the pleasures of traveling is stumbling on memorable scenes of everyday life.  So it was as we waited to gain admittance to the Capella Palatina

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