Henry Moore visits Seville

Henry Moore visits Seville

   Henry Moore visits Seville 

Henry Moore in Seville

Henry Moore in Seville 

It’s hard to know where to start in describing Seville Spain, but my mind returns to something my father once said….“ you should be thankful that you have been born into a country like Canada” and I am, as it has allowed me the freedom and income to travel to so may beautiful places around the world…yet if there is such a thing as reincarnation, please let me come back as a Spaniard in the city of Seville. The old town is a place of immense beauty so interwoven, that like a poem about a love between a man and a women, the new and the old mingle together such that harmony is the only word to describe it. History (Seville Cathedral), and the modern (exhibition of Henry Moore Sculptures), stand side by side, each accentuation and complementing the beauty of the other, not competing for the stares of the passers by…but leaving them with something to keep and remember as they live out that day.

Can you tell, we are enjoying our time here in Seville!

Bill and Janice




Monument to the Discoveries

Monument to the Discover. Belim

Monument to the Discover. Belim 

Belim Portugal is the historical district of Lisbon, and it was from here that many of the Portuguese explorers embarked on their discoveries.  The Monument, 52 meters high celebrates the achievements of these explorers, and is shaped like a ship. It shows more that 30 statues of people who played an important role in the discoveries. Leading the way is Henry the Navigator. Behind him are explorers, knights, writers, missionaries, and other figures from the era.



Rock Balancing, English Bay Vancouver BC; Environmental Portrait

Rock Balancing, a stone stacker on English Bay Vancouver BC.

Rock Balancing, a stone stacker on English Bay Vancouver BC.

Rock Balancing, or Stone Stacking, here the portrait features the art more than the artist.

This young man was busy at work, we were out for a stroll along Vancouver’s English Bay, that is the seawall in the background, and helps to eliminate  any distraction and isolate the subject. Stone Stacking or Rock Balancing is considered a performance art, and if you visit Flicker you can see lots of pictures of rocks that had been stacked in nature. Rocks are balanced on top of one another in various positions. There are no tricks involved to aid in the balancing, such as adhesives, wires, supports, or rings.

This young man was completely absorbed in the task, and I am guessing that for some the activity would be meditative, I was reluctant to disturb him to get a name and or more information about how long he has been stacking stones.  I guess I will have to go for another walk, this time to have a conversation.

Love Locks Pont de Arts, Paris France

Love Locks, Pont de Arts, Paris France

Love Locks, Pont de Arts, Paris France

Padlocks inscribed with lover’s names are locked to the bridge of Pont de Arts in Paris France, the key is then thrown into the river to symbolize their everlasting love. The padlocks began to show up on European bridge in the early 2000′s the source or inspiration varies depending on the city.  An increasing trend not only around Europe, but it is spreading around the world.  According to Wikipedia, the first padlock is said to have been locked to a bridge in Serbia before the World War ll over a betrayed love! Just a little ironic don’t you think?

There has been much controversy over the locks, for some it is an eye sore and considered a distraction from the heritage.  To others a romantic symbol of everlasting love in one of the most romantic cities in the world. The Pont de Arts Bridge in Paris France has this wire mess much like a chain link fence. From a distance the brass locks looking like shimmering brass leaves.  Up close we could see the locks that come in many shapes and sizes, some sold by the vendors just steps away, and inscribed with a permanent marker, while others are likely brought somewhere else and inscribed with an engraver.

We first encountered the locks in Florence Italy a couple of years ago, another wonderfully romantic city. Where have you seen them?

For more stories and images of this beautiful city:  Paris

Pilgrim’s Mass and the lighting of the Botafumeiro by the Tiroboleiros, Santiago Cathedral

Pilgrim's Mass and the lighting of the Botafumeiro_IMG_4840.tif

Pilgrim’s Mass and the lighting of the Botafumeiro_

We have been home from the Camino to Santiago Spain for quite some time, and it is taking quite a while to sift through all the photos from the trip. I like a lot of people busy with regular work and lifestyle tasks and distractions. Each day when I have a few minutes I work on my photos, and it is wonderful to re-live the memories.

The first things most pilgrims do, and we were no exception, is to visit the Cathedral.  We stopped by, but we were soaked to the bone as it had rained heavily that day.  We saved our visit to the inside for the following day, when we would be dressed in dry cloths, and have time to see, sit and enjoy all the sights. We arrived early enough to get a seat, by the time mass started the Cathedral was full, barely standing room available. They announce the number of pilgrims arriving in the previous 24 hours from each country.

The ceremony culminated in the swinging of the botafumeiro (smoke belcher) a massive silver incense burner.  It takes eight men, a team of clergy called tiraboleiros to get the incense burner swinging across the cathedral.  The botafumeiro, said to be the largest in the Catholic world and dates back to 1851, it is this part of the ceremony that the pilgrims have been waiting for, and it was so thrilling in a way that can’t be described. The energy in the Cathedral amazing. It was such a moving experience we actually attended Mass the next day to see it again.

for more of our camino images click here

shooting star christmas tree




christmas tree and star_MG_7432

   shooting star/ christmas tree

Planning and decorating for the holidays have been on my mind this weekend, rather than actually doing anything to get ready for Christmas I decided to procrastinate and go through some previously taken holiday photos.  This photo of a large outdoor Christmas tree actually looked more like a shooting star, especially when photographed close up and from an angle. It is one of my favorite holiday pictures.  Are you getting ready for the holidays, or are you, like me, still in the planning stage?



Camino Art, Burguete (Auritz) Spain

Camino Art, Burguete Spain

An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.
Henry David Thoreau 

Walking the Camino, The Way of St. James, to Santiago de Compostella, we were  awake, and walking early in the morning, and each day saw camino art, wonderful expressions of creativity, some of it related to the camino experience some of it related to other subjects.

Located in Burguete Spain, a little town made famous as Hemingway’s trout-fishing base in the The Sun Also Rises. I wondered if the mural was a tribute to the writer.

Vierge d’Orisson, and a view of the French Pyrenees Mountains

Vierge d’Orisson_French Pyrenees

More photos from the camino, we arrived at the foot of this small statue, the Vierge d’Orrison, shortly after leaving Orisson, as the sun was just starting to lighten the sky.  It was an amazing sight, as the clouds and fog filled the valleys.  I could find very little information on its history, however it is said that the statue was brought from Lourdes and placed on this high rock by the sheep herders, and to this day they pray to be watched over and for good weather.  Today the pilgrims on their camino stop, many take a few moments in silent prayer, many just take a picture and move on. I climbed the high rock to stand by the statue for this image.

The day was off to a beautiful day and we wondered how any other day would be able to compare. But each day we were up early and most days on the road just before sunrise. I have since come to realize that the beginning of each day is a quiet and beautiful time, that it is possible I have been missing the best part of the day, and I need to get out of the house to witness more sunrises!

more from our journey and first day photos: Hola

Ponferrada to Cacabelos, Day 30 Camino de Santiago

Yesterday afternoon we arrived in Ponferrada Spain completely exhausted, after a hot bath, we washed some cloths and headed to the hotel lounge for a beer and some tapas. Dinner in Spain is not usually served until after 8 or 8:30pm . Often on the camino if you choose to stay in albergues are anywhere close to the albergue the restaurants will serve a pilgrim’s menu as early as 6:30 or 7 pm. This is usually a “set” menu, you will be offered a choice of starters like soup and salad or maybe pasta, for main courses, fried pork, chicken or beef, served with chips (french fries) and for the desert ice cream, flan, fruit or yogurt is usually on the menu.  In Ponferrada we were staying in a lovely hotel that had a bath, not just a shower, soft comfy beds, no bunks in a dorm, and a restaurant that did not serve the pilgrim’s menu.  So we had time for a nap. But no energy to see the city.

Today we had a short day planned so we slept in, and spent an hour touring the old city of Ponferrada.  As it is Sunday the stores and offices are all closed, and the streets were quiet.  We did see the Castillo de los Temparios, but it didn’t open until after 11 am, so we could only view the Templar Castle from the outside.  Built in the 13th century to help protect the pilgrims from bandits, it looks like a fairly tale castle, similar to one I think Puff the Magic Dragon would have lived it!

Castillo de los Templarios_Ponferrada Spain

Just outside the castle in one of the many squares that surround the castle is another pilgrim/peregrine sculpture, very modern, but interesting all the same.

Perigino:pilgrim sculpture,Ponferrada Spain

We left Ponferrada about 11 am, and travelled about 20 kilometers for Cacabelos.  It was flat, mostly paved road though a couple of small towns where we were able to stop for coffee and a small bite to eat. Temperatures reached 28 degrees C, had I know it was going to be so hot we might have left earlier, but since the route was easy there were no complaints.

In Cacabelos we decided to stay at a lovely hotel La Moncloa de San Lazaro, right on the main camino path,  We walk in through huge wooden doors into a lovely courtyard covered with vines, potted plants lining the balcony and  old baskets, tools, and lovely wooden tables and benches decorated the place.  To the left as you enter is the reception area, the hostess was charming and helpful and after showing us our room invited us for a glass of wine. This place is a hit in our books.

After a shower to wash off the day’s dust, and laundry done we headed down for a glass of wine and some tapas, which will hold us over until dinner.  The birds were singing to us we sat there overlooking the beautiful courtyard and I wondered how we could extend our time in this camino paradise.

La Moncloa de San Lazara Cacabelos Spain

Astorga Spain

We arrived in Astorga Spain after a 21k walk, it was a beautiful day, perfect for walking with temperatures between about 10 degrees C and 22 degrees C. sunshine and a slight breeze. At Astorga the camino route we have been travelling meets up with a route from Seville Spain, and the accommodations are getting harder to get.  We have been staying in private albergues or pensions and it looks like we will have to start booking 2 or 3 days in advance to ensure a place to sleep.  

Each day along the walk we have been treated to public art related to the camino, perigrines and the way of St. James, and at Astorga we visited the Cathedral, the Cathedral Museum and the Gaudi’s Palace Gardens.