Avignon France

Avignon France is steeped in history just like most of the places I visit, with archaeology going back to prehistoric times, then the Greeks, Romans and Christians. The Popes palace gives the perspective of the Popes who resided there (acquisition thereof) from 1309 after leaving Rome for a time. They would leave their mark on Avignon in trade and banking as well as religion especially in the written word. The Papacy is rich in history far from what the every day Catholic knows. They certainly didn’t teach it to us in Catholic school. During the day I witnessed another patron … Continue reading Avignon France

A Day at Highclere

I boarded a train from Paddington Station in London for Newbury, then shared a taxi with another Downton Abby enthusiast to Highclere Castle in the Hampshire countryside. The farm and castle are owned by the Lord and Lady Carnarvon. I was scheduled to see the castle in a spring guided tour in March of 2020, but of course this was cancelled. I was given a voucher with 20% more added to my ticket. Fast forward to October 9, 2021 and I was walking toward the castle in a fog for a history festival with re-enactors of World War II. There … Continue reading A Day at Highclere

A Day At Highclere

After a short train ride from London to Newbury England, then a taxi to the estate, I found myself walking up the path to Highclere Castle in awe. Lord and Lady Carnarvon welcomed visitors to their home for a history festival October 9th and 10th last year. As I walked toward the castle in the fog that would soon clear, I felt transported back in time, but also to “Downton Abby,” many of us loved at the first episode. I was thrilled to be there, not only for my love of the show, but for my love of history. There … Continue reading A Day At Highclere

Ancestry Land of Scotland

As the tour bus left the dark stone of Edinburgh behind, the rain of the morning started to subside. The highlands awaited us. I had booked a tour to Lochness, but after a miscommunication in my pickup in September of 2016, I was offered one to a different location. It was a treat to see Doune Castle where the filming of Monty Python, Outlander and Game of Thrones had taken place. The green stone castle https://www.inveraray-castle.com is owned by the Duke of Argyll. It was a filming location for a Christmas episode of Downton Abby, as was the bridge for … Continue reading Ancestry Land of Scotland

Florida in December

The pipers raced around as the water played with the sand, uncaring about the onlookers waiting for the sun to set. The calm waters, unlike the rhythm of the currents of my first evening in Florida, lapped in food for the small birds. The waters of the gulf shimmered in the setting sun as it does nearly every night. We walk along taking pictures and soaking up the last moments of my visit. Florida seemed almost empty with the nearly empty beaches as the snowbirds from the North were yet to be seen. A longtime friend, good conversation, quiet beaches, … Continue reading Florida in December

A Helping Hand in France

This month marks the 8th anniversary of month long visit to Europe with my mother in tow. We left Paris on a rainy day after picking up a car on Boulevard Voltaire. Leaving the rain behind we headed south for sunny Bandol France. Somewhere south of Dijon or was it Lyon, the exact location is not important, we came upon an unattended toll booth. The sign next to our rented VW had various forms of payment to be given to lift the barrier, but what I had to give had been crossed out. Having been down this stretch of France … Continue reading A Helping Hand in France

Shelling and Sunsets

As with many vacation spots in the world right now Florida is not immune to the ramifications COVID has caused on tourism. The snowbirds, as they call those from Canada, have not made their way south for the winter. The locals seem to have Florida to ourselves; at least was the case when I was on the west coast of the peninsula this past December. My great friend of many years and her companion welcomed me into their beautiful home with the warmest hospitality. She shared her love of the beautiful sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico the first night … Continue reading Shelling and Sunsets

Paris in the Rain

Paris in the rain, I have heard countless times, it doesn’t matter, you are in Paris. Just around the corner from Notre Dame and the bookstore Shakespeare and company, I ducked in out of the rain for a delicious dinner. I had seen Mona Lisa at the Louvre. I had walked into Notre Dame, contemplating confession with a French priest. Having been to Paris a couple times before, I visited new places and old. That night as I made my way back to Montmartre from St Germain, my eyes caught site of the Eiffel Tower sparkling in the night. I … Continue reading Paris in the Rain

The Barefooted Captain and Music on the Lake

Situated nearly in the middle of Switzerland is the enchanting town of Lucerne, beside the lake of the same name. The lake stretches out from the river Reuss, with the peaks of Burgenstock, Rotstock, Rigi, Fronalpstock, Stanserhorn, and Mount Pilatus reaching the clouds and beyond. Not too far away from Chapel Bridge https://www.luzern.com/en/highlights/the-city/lucernes-landmarks-the-chapel-bridge/built in 1333, we picked up a boat for a cruise on the blue waters of the lake. As we looked at all the views from the boat we noticed the captain was barefooted. What a job to have! He seemed content as he sat upon his post … Continue reading The Barefooted Captain and Music on the Lake

The Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast has been on my list of places to visit for many years. This has been especially true after seeing “Under the Tuscan Sun,” by the writer Francis Mayes. Diane lane, playing Francis, falls for the dashing Marcello in the picturesque seaside town of Positano. Who wouldn’t want to go to the seaside town on the side of a cliff? A few hours south of Rome, just outside of Naples, is the town of Vico Equense; situated above the bright blue sea. Our host met us at the train station, so we could follow her to our two … Continue reading The Amalfi Coast