Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Things Soon to Come

In less than a week I'm off to southern Spain for 17 days. Excitement about places new to me is racing through my mind. Seville, Granada, Malaga are the three main stops, although there will be side trips as well. The only part of Spain that I've explored has been in in valleys of the Pyrenees along the Spanish-French border. Southern Spain with its Moorish influence will be new. I did spend a year teaching in Morocco, so I do have some feeling for North Africa. Anyhow, it will soon be time to wander down city streets savoring sights, sounds, and tastes. Camera will be in hand. Actually, cameras will be in hand as I plan on experimenting with my Sanyo Zio cell phone camera to unobtrusively capture people shots (something I've been reticent to do with a more visible camera). If the latter turn out well, I will post a few as well as those that I take with my Canon.

I may find time for a brief post or two during the trip. Otherwise, I certainly will have posts to share soon after the trip.

Thank you for visiting. You are always welcome. May your travels be interesting and enjoyable.


Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmasy Downtown Chicago

This week we traveled to Chicago to pick up our daughter who had spent the last two months exploring parts of Central America. While we were there, we took the opportunity to wander around downtown Chicago for a day to see the sights and do a bit of shopping. Even though it was cool, the Windy City was kind to us and there was no snowfall and we found even a bit of sunshine at time.

The glimpses you see in this post avoid the crowds of shoppers that were found even on a weekday. The city truly never sleeps . The decorated lion "guarding" the Art Museum;skaters at Millennium Park; a snow-covered distant park scene; a view from the 7th floor balcony at Macy's Department Store...all parts of the scene, and so much more that could be shown. It was a good visit in al respects.

Thank you once more for visiting. Please feel free to visit again. May your travels be interesting and enjoyable.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Blizzard Wisconsin

I don't usually create posts so closely together, nor do I usually focus on nature shots in this blog. On the other hand, I suddenly remembered that what is mundane to people locally may be exotic to those who may never have a similar experience. Given that thought, here are images of my neighborhood as a winter blizzard comes to an end. Blizzards are winter storms that have both heavy snowfall and frigid winds. The snowfall is over, but the present wind chill at 4 PM is 0 degrees F and the temperature is still dropping. As Wisconsin is prepared for these conditions, schools, businesses, and life in general will go on as usual tomorrow morning.

Thank you for visiting. I hope that this was of interest for those who do not experience snow. t's been an interesting 24 hours and I, for one, look forward to the near future when the wind stops howling. I can't imagine living in a place where the wind sounds go on for days at a time.

May your travels be enjoyable and the winds be kind to you.


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Wisconsin's Door County

Our trip to southern Spain is still three weeks away. A winter blizzard is going to hit us with up to 15" of snow and high winds starting at midnight tonight and the large snowflakes have just started to fall. It's time to temporarily think of warmer times.

Wisconsin's Door County is a place of natural beauty,artists, apple and cherry orchards, vineyards and wineries. It is also a place that has areas of tourist-attracting glitz. In spite of the latter characteristic, I enjoy spending time there.I've included a little of each aspect in this post=a goat on a grass=covered rooftop, bits of artwork displayed out of doors, a conglomeration of tourist ""collectables" and a water view that includes the boat "Quo Vadis".
Quo Vadis, Latin for 'where are you going?" is a question that all those who travel face.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope that you enjoyed your visit. May your travels be both interesting and enjoyable.


Monday, November 29, 2010

Building as a Canvas

Art comes in many forms and is found in diverse locations. The artistic efforts displayed in this post were not found in famed museums of the world, nor were the works of Grand Masters. All of which is shown is contemporary and uses building sides as their canvas. A hundred years from now they may not exist, either weathered by the elements or torn down for city renovation.

The artwork was captured in a variety of locations. Florence, Italy gave us a view back in time on the wall of a bar. Souther France presents a multi-story building with a false side-view. St. Brieuc, France sends us a lover of music. Tucumcari, New Mexico celebrates the free-wheeling Route 66. A beastly creature lurks on the wall leading to a Welsh castle. I enjoyed unexpectedly finding each and every one of them. The unexpected adds spice to the act of traveling.

Thank you for visiting,feel welcome to return another time. Until then, may your travels be interesting and enjoyable.


p.s. Just a mere 5 weeks until my trip to southern Spain. I'm excited!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Windows 2010-Version 1

Those of you who have visited before know that windows and doors are interesting to me. In different ages and different cultures, one can find variations in both window styles and what you find on the other side of them. The images in this post were all taken during my 2010 trip to England, Scotland, and Wales. Some were found in ancient and unused castles and cathedrals. Others were part of modern urban settings. The stained glass woman warrior was found in a Cardiff castle that had been restored of a 19th Century Industrial Giant. Regardless of their present settings, they represent a sign of their respective times. They are cultural clues for the historical detective. (I'll give you another clue, sorry if it's so obvious...version 1 in the title can be taken to imply that there will be more to follow at a later date. ;-}

I hope that you have enjoyed your visit and will come again. In the meantime, may your travels be interesting and enjoyable.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Plaza-A Gathering Place

I've always been interested in how people use their space. Cultures and the land combine in so many interesting ways. Sometimes you can look at an unlabeled photo of a place and mentally say to yourself, "This HAS to be.....!"

-Are there any places in this collection that you have that feeling when you look at it? (Two of the photos were taken somewhere in North America and three somewhere in Europe.)

-Do you identify anything that these settings have in common?

Thank you for visiting, please come again. In the meantime, may your travels be interesting and enjoyable.


Friday, November 5, 2010

Taverns-Signs of Welcome?

I am currently reading a translation of Arturo Perez-Reverte's, "Captain Alatriste". The novel is set in Madrid during the 17th century and much of the action takes place in "The Tavern of the Turk". The primary characters spend much of their waking hours (and some sleeping) socializing in the tavern, interacting with each other and the occasional passersby who wander in and are often received with mixed welcome. This has led me to think about how "public taverns" present themselves from the outside.

Tavern/public house signs can either act as magnets to attract passersby to venture inside and explore, or they can be understated and off-setting. As I looked through the photos I took in Edinburgh last March, I was able to identify tavern signs that presented a variety of messages.

The Rabbie Burns sign not only advertises the poet Robert Burns, but also grabs the attention of the many tourists that wander Edinburgh's streets. The Jinglin'Geordie is located on a narrow side street and refers to a 17th century character who lived in Edinburgh. The Holyrood 9A sign playfully warns us that , "A little beer is a dangerous thing." and has a drawing of a woman who reminds us of the 1920's era. The Oxford Bar sign is stark and tells the facts as they are without any come-ons. The Malt Shovel is ageless and appealing.

Here is the question: If you were in the mood for a drink, which sign would lead you to open the door and venture inside?

Thank you for visiting, please feel free to stop by again. In the meantime, may your travels be interesting and enjoyable.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Church in the English Countryside

To me, the small buildings in rural areas are just as inspiring as the gigantic cathedrals of urban areas. Rural English churches impart the same sense of community history, merely on a smaller scale. The photos in this post try to create a composite image of one of these country churches.

As I wandered around the church grounds, I was struck by a sense of quiet permanency and a feeling of tranquility. It is interesting to try to imagine the people who have walked along the same stone-paved paths that are worn with age and the footsteps of many. As you go through the old heavy wooden doors on a sunny day, yous eyes are immediately drawn to the beauty of stained glass windows whose colors remain vivid after centuries. In hidden niches, you will discover images such as that of an armored knight and his lady with their hands clasped in prayer. The total effect was one that combined simplicity and beauty, one that generations of congregation members had experienced and even perhaps taken for granted. This last statement reminds me that often what is a marvel to the eyes of the visitor has become commonplace to those within the established community. Perhaps that condition is a reason that we should all travel so that we can return to our places and view our surroundings with fresh eyes.

Thank you for visiting, please feel free to stop by again. May your travels be interesting and enjoyable.


Friday, October 15, 2010

The Beauty of Wisconsin's Fall

The Fall colors have been exceptionally intense this year, so I thought that I would share them with you. Their possibility is the main reason that I usually chose not to travel outside the State during September and October. I hope that you enjoy these Fall images

Thank you for visiting. May your travels be interesting and enjoyable.


Monday, October 4, 2010

Edinburgh:Reflections of a Traveler/Amateur Photographer

I truly enjoyed my two days in Edinburgh and intend to return and explore it in greater detail. As a result , I chose to use photos from there to illustrate my reflections on why I take the kinds of photos that I do when I travel.

First of all, I admit that my photos are eclectic. I don't focus on Nature, architecture, portraits, or transportation. Rather, I try for images that will capture the essence of an aspect of a place. Let's look at the photos that I've posted this time.

The image of the Scottish Parliament building stood out to me as incongruously modernistic in a city rich in history. The story behind it is that it is modernistic to represent the fact that Scotland recently gained some local autonomy.

The busking bagpiper is uniquely appropriate in a Scottish setting.

The road to Arthur's Seat in the heart of Edinburgh captured both the natural beauty and the land that helped shaped the character of the Scottish people.

The Oxford Bar sign reminded me of my personal pilgrimage to the "Ox" to pay homage to Ian Rankin's fictional character Inspector Rebus. (The barkeep and noontime patrons were dour and unwelcoming to a couple of American tourists.)

Edinburgh Castle in the fog should have been a disappointment but turned out to be very revealing. A tour guide who we happened upon in a side chapel spent time discussing the local weather and how it had such a strong impact upon the darker writings of Edinburgh's authors. (The next day, as we sat on the airport bus headed towards our flight to London, we saw Edinburgh Castle surrounded by brilliant sunlight. What a contrast!)

This post has been helpful to me in better understanding why I take and select the photos that I do. I hope that you have enjoyed the images and the contexts that I have given them. Your comments and thoughts are always appreciated.

Thank you for visiting, please come again. In the meantime, may your travels be interesting and enjoyable.