Dreamy – Ingonish Beach

ingonish beach stairs sunset

Cape Breton IslandA dreamy golden sunset on Ingonish Beach, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia.

WP Weekly Photo Challenge


Italian Windows


This gallery contains 7 photos.

“A morning-glory at my window satisfies me more than the metaphysics of books” Walt Whitman When I was in Italy, I found myself often looking up, trying to catch glimpses of the interiors of the gorgeous old buildings, wondering about … Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Escape

Costa Rica Escape A perfect spot for an escape.  We were on a small boat lazily moving along the estuary outside of Tamarindo, Costa Rica, when I spotted this man sitting quietly among the mangroves.  I was captivated and wonder about his story each time I look at this photo.

For more on this week’s photo challenge, visit the Daily Post.

Travel Theme: Bridges

Even monkeys need a little help to get across the road.  A group of school children raised money to make rope bridges for the monkeys so that they could get safely across the roads in the Manuel Antonio beach area and the town of Quespos in Costa Rica.    monkey on rope bridge saving the rainforestThe rope bridges sharply contrast to the bridges that span the Tiber River in Rome.

Pont Sant"Angelo across the Tiber RiverIncredibly, this bridge, built in 134 AD and has stood the ravages of war, floods, and time.  It’s a beautiful bridge with a gruesome history.  For centuries, the bridge was used to expose the bodies of those people who were executed.  Currently, the bridge is only used for pedestrian traffic. It sits directly across from the Castel Sant’Angelo, a fortress historically used by the Popes and their families.

Ponte vittorio Emanuele II, RomeThe Ponte Vittorio Emanuele II, built in the early 1900’s sits just down the river from the Ponte Sant’Angelo.

Thanks to Ailsa at Where’s my backpack? for this theme.


Home – A little yellow camper van

Playa FlamingoEach morning the man drives the yellow camper van down the Playa Flamingo beach road and parks in the spot along the wall marking the stairs to the beach.  Opposite the beach sits the hotel pool and gardens.  The man pops up the top of the van and lifts the back door to reveal the inside of the van.  He pulls out a wooden table and rests it on the back-end of the van and then covers the table with a purple cloth..  The woman remains in the van as their young son rubs sleep from his eyes.  The sun is rising in the sky and the beach goers are starting to arrive with their towels and sunscreen, to spend a day at the beach.

The man is an artist.  He creates beautiful filigree jewelry.  For each piece, he curls and twists thin brass, copper and silver wires into delicate swirling patterns that gently hold amethyst, agate, jasper and other semi-precious stones.  In his nimble fingers, he forms earrings, bracelets, rings and necklaces to sell to the tourists.  The man gently lays his pieces on the purple covered table.  The man and the woman laugh and talk with the other vendors on the beach.  They greet the tourists that stop to admire the jewelry with a warm “ola.” The tourists happily stand in the hot sun trying rings and bracelets to make their choice.

At the end of the day, the man and the woman watch the incredibly beautiful sunsets while their golden-haired son plays in the sand with his plastic pails and shovel.  Once the sun has set, the man and the woman pack up the jewelry and their belongs and the man drives up the road to a spot among the trees and the sand overlooking the ocean.  Here he parks his yellow home and the family settles in for the night surrounded by sea and sand and the lingering heat of the sun.

For more examples of home, visit WordPress weekly photo challenge.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Illumination


Bernini's Chair of Peter This illuminated window sits above the altar in the apse at the end of the central nave in St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City. It is part of a larger sculpture, called the Cathedra Petri, by the artist Bernini designed to commemorate the chair that reportedly belonged to St. Peter.  The stained glass is divided into twelve sections as a tribute to the twelve apostles.

It is hard to image the size of this sculpture or the overwhelming size of the Basilica itself.  The Basilica is 186. 3 m (628 feet or about two football field lengths) from the front doors of the cathedral to the opposite end where this sculpture sits.  Bernini also sculpted the bronze canopy that stands at the entrance of the apse. The photograph below gives you some sense of the dimensions (although have I have to apologize for the poor quality of the photo).

St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City

The sheer size of the cathedral and the centuries of art work housed in this church was overwhelming but the illuminated Cathedra Petri dominated our attention.

Thanks to Cheri at WordPress for this week’s challenge.

Travel Theme – Multiples

Outdoor food markets with fresh produce piled high atop shelves and crates comes to mind when I think of this week’s travel theme. The Campo de Fiori (Courtyard of Flowers) is one of the oldest markets in Rome.  The stalls are set up in the midst of a cobblestone courtyard surrounded by medieval buildings. The market sells fresh produce as well as packaged foods (pasta), flowers, kitchen utensils.  Or you can people watch from one of the cafes.

artichokes    I loved the rows of artichokes.

chestnutsAnd who knew that multiple chestnuts grew in a larger hairy shell.

Thanks to Ailsa at Where’s my backpack for this week’s travel theme.


As I was reflecting on my trip to Italy a year ago, I thought of this photo for this week’s WP weekly photo challenge.  I took thi photo in the Cortile della Pigna, the courtyard of the Vatican Museums.  Vatican Museum garden sculptureThe Vatican Museums are vast and overwhelming, especially for artistically ignorant folks like us so we hired a guide.  Our guide, Andrea from New Rome Free Tour was knowledgeable, enthusiastic and entertaining (using children’s picture books to explain the history and architecture).  We originally booked a three hour tour but Andrea generously spent five hours with us – well worth the 130 euros.

A shady bench in the courtyard provided MOO a perfect spot for a quick nap before entering the Sistine Chapel.   You can see MOO and I and Andrea reflected in the bronze sculpture by Arnaldo Pomodoro.

It you are planning to visit the museums book your tickets on-line directly with the Vatican Museums to avoid the long queues and check out the free daily tour by New Rome Free Tours meets everyday at 5:30 at the Spanish Steps. It’s a wonderful way to get your bearings in this historic centre of this incredible city.


You know you’re in foreign country when…

When I travel, I want to feel like I’m in a new place and sometimes the best indicators of a new place are the signs.  Sara Rosso of WP highlighted this in her weekly photo challenge post.  I love taking photos of the signs I come across. They remind me of the places I’ve visited or the things that I’ve seen.  I’m not even sure what some of these signs mean but I do know they mean I’m no longer in Canada (or at least my neck of the woods).