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October 8, 2017

Visiting Madrid

We spent the weekend visiting Madrid after taking the high-speed train up from Barcelona. It was a magical weekend. Madrid really comes alive at night. Very late at night. We were surprised to see so many nightclubs that don’t even open their doors until 3 or 4 in the morning. Alas, we were already snuggled into bed in our hotel but we could hear the partiers out in the street.


The highlight was a visit to the Museo del Prado, a fantastic art museum in the heart of the city. It features permanent exhibits with the work of Raphael and El Greco, along with dozens of others. You could easily spend the entire day inside this museum, surrounded by so much outstanding art.

I learned a lot about El Greco while browsing the galleries.

El Greco is most likely the most popular painter of his period, and still remains very popular even today, more than 500 years following his death. Due to the obscurity in his design, and the actual fact that he was regarded a painter of the spirit, he was probably the most influential painters, which established the groundwork for most to check out, and for most artwork forms that implemented. His function was admired by the associates of the Blue Rider College, and several performers who followed, considerably after his profession ended.

El Greco was born in Crete. The non-naturalistic basis of his function showcased the skill that could follow, in the countless parts created during his profession. He transferred to Venice in 1567, as Crete was regarded a Venetian territory.

El Greco

Upon moving from Venice, El Greco lived and worked in Rome from 1570 to 1576. He was included with a letter of suggestion from the Croatian miniaturist, which guaranteed him a spot to stay and function while in Rome. There he went about mastering the components of Renaissance Artwork, including perspective, figural structure, and the capability to stage elaborate narratives. By enough time El Greco found its way to Rome, Michelangelo, Raphael and Da Vinci had been lifeless, but their example stayed

Later, El Greco found its way to Rome. Michelangelo, Raphael and Da Vinci had been well-established, and their example stayed paramount and relatively overwhelming for youthful painters.

El Greco was motivated to create his own indicate in Rome defending his personal creative views, tips and design.

He stayed with Alessandro Farnese, who was simply most likely the wealthiest & most influential patron in Rome, during this time period. In 1572, El Greco became a member of the painter’s academy, where he was recognized to have a couple of assistants while functioning right here. Although he didn’t have the commission he was longing for in Rome, he did receive many requests for portraits, and small level devotional paintings and sculptures to end up being created for top quality clientele.

In 1576, El Greco made the move to Spain, where his first bid for royal patronage with Phillip II, failed. It was not until he moved out to Toledo, where he finally became recognized as a great artist, and the potential he had was finally being viewed by peers, and admirers in the art world. El Greco was immortalized in this city, and the piece View from Toledo was quite possibly one of his most famous pieces; in the city he found a group of friends and colleagues, and was beginning to make his mark as an artist; it was in the city of Toledo where he began making a profitable career for himself as an artist.

April 23, 2014

World Cup in Brazil

Rio de Janerio in Brazil

My husband and I are thinking about traveling to Brazil this Summer to see the World Cup. It’s wonderful to see this tournament heading to Brazil and we’re excited about the chance to visit South America. It will be expensive, so we’re saving our money and planning out the best way to take everything in without going broke! In the meantime, here’s a quick history of Brazil for travelers.

Brazil was inhabited only by native individuals, primarily of the Tupi and Guarani ethnic teams. Subsiding by the Portuguese started late in the sixteenth century, with the extraction of precious wood in the pau brasil tree, that its name is drawn by the state. Brazil was settled by the Portuguese rather than the Spanish, as were the remainder of South, Central and areas of The United States in the “New World”. They started several towns, including Mauritsville (truly Recife, funds of the state-of Pernambuco, at the border of North East of the nation), and many sugar-cane plantations.

The next centuries found additional exploitation of the state’s natural wealth including gold and gum elastic, along with the rise of an economic system based mostly on African slave labour, java and sugar.

Following three generations under the rule of Portugal, Brazil became an independent state on September 7th, 18 22. By this time, it became a rising international strength. But along from three 5 centuries, Brazil is the country in Americas with the most extensive captivity, the first to introduced African individuals to perform by pressure, and the last to place them free. By England regulations against the captivity (most for monetary competitions than mankind rationales) and battle of white and black folks, slaves and free, for the abolishment, captivity got ending in 1888. But equivalence was n’t meant by liberty to the now- their descents and free black folks. Now Brazil is acknowledged as among the most racist countries in Americas, with disguised Apartheid and a latent, primarily in media, particularly in universities, ads, Television dramas and Upper Class society. Walking through villages and most towns in Brazil it is common to see all type of individuals and their varied cultures, faiths, emphases, complexions, hairs, last names and audio style. As it looks Brazil is more European than any american state, in the upper class areas, it’s quite uncommon to see that sam e faces. There are regular soft gestures of racism and other discrimination attitudes, usually taken as frolic jokes or mistakes, although it is uncommon to find definitely racist violent activities. Nobody faces prison for being racialist in Brazil.

By far the greatest, most populous and wealthy state in Latin America, it’s additionally defeat more than two decennia (1964-1988) of military intervention in the governing of the state to pursue democratic principle, while confronting the task of maintaining its industrial and agricultural development and building its inside. Working vast natural resources and a huge labor pool, now Brazil is Latin America’s top economic power and a regional leader, overshadowing the kind of Argentina,Colombia and Mexico. High speeds of unequal earnings distribution and political corruption, although softening from 2004 onwards, stays a pressing issue. A result with this is a high-crime rate, particularly in big cities.

After two decades of democracy, the state has developed powerful, and despite the societal issues of the unequal earnings distribution, the individuals try and stay merry and joyful.

While we’re waiting on tickets, my husband has been busy playing mobile games. His current favorite is Boom Beach, from the people who made Clash of Clans. He’s really into the game. When I logged onto my computer this morning, the web browser was open to a Boom Beach tips site. Looks like he’s so into the game that he’s doing research!

And I need to remember the real reason my husband is interested in going to Brazil for the World Cup:

Brazil Bikini

April 23, 2014

What You Need To Know When Choosing A Good Camping Ground For Great Camping Experience

Over the weekend, my husband and I decided to go camping.
We were with some young groups and started to choose a camping ground to set up our tent.
And these young people do not know how to choose a good one!
Well, I’ll tell you some.
What You Need To Know When Choosing A Good Camping Ground For Great Camping ExperienceFrom time to time, when you-go on vacation, relaxation could be overly recognizable. You’ll be able to reserve resorts simply a great number of times before you understand that each and every one is merely a version of another – air-conditioned rooms, flat-screen TVs, double beds, linens with significant thread counts, completely stocked mini bars, pools, restaurants, room-service. While residing in these lodging can vary from basic to luxury and you’ll undoubtedly get sufficient rest and extreme benefit, you can find times when you need to get some thing more from the much-earned excursion. Possibly, next time you and also your household or several pals intend to go to a new area of the planet, you can think about becoming up close and private to Nature herself – and there is no better approach to achieve this than to program a camping vacation.

Naturally, for just about any camping trip to achieve success, you have to understand significant details regarding the place you intend to see before you pack your bags and head off with all the criminal organization. This can save in the troubles of forgetting to package significant implements or intending tasks which might not be permitted. Here are matters you must inquire around at your chosen camping site.

Assess the facilities.

First of all, you have to confirm whether you’re simply permitted to put up tents in the website or if recreational automobiles or caravans are permitted on the camping floor. In addition, it can help understand when the exclusive shore camping site you select provides a setup campsite that you could lease if you do not have tents.
Request about fires.

Clearly, tenting would not be whole without beginning a roaring fireplace, however do check together with the website for his or her special rules about fires. Most also have firewood and will supply each campsite using its hearth and fire-starters readily available on the market. Take care to not construct fires everywhere except in the areas provided, and constantly have an adult supervising your fireplace constantly.
Understand the tasks offered.

Camping sites are fantastic spots to consider nature walks, swimming, fishing, kayaking, or simply just relaxing from the shore. You can even research nearby sites that will have stores, eateries or alternative draws. But because you are outside camping, among the greatest encounters would be to strike wild life. Most camping websites have wildlife creatures like kangaroos, kookaburras, possums, parrots, dolphins, bandicoots and goannas – you definitely will not see these adorable animals in a resort!

January 11, 2014

Weekend Trip to Munich

In the 3rd week of April we went for a weekend trip to Munich to spend our first anniversary. The last time I was here it was to run a half marathon, but this trip was just for rest and relaxation. The weather was fine and remained perfect throughout the weekend, thankfully! We reached thee in the afternoon and spent the rest of the day walking through the crowds and drinking Gluhwein. The Christmas spirit was everywhere.

Munich is a beautiful city and capital of Bavaria. The city is famous for Oktoberfest but this is not the only good thing about Munich. There are lots of things to do here which we found out over the weekend. Let us take you through the 5 things we saw and did in Munich.


1) We first went to the English Garden which is a beautiful city center park away from the hustle and bustle of city life. It is a great place to take a stroll and there are vast expanses of parkland which are very popular with sunbathing nudists. There is also a Chinese pagoda and trees which looked absolutely stunning. There is a large beer garden where you can relax with a stein of beer and a bag of pretzel.

2) If you are looking for Bavarian specialties like us then you must visit the food market. Here you will get pork knuckle, smoked Black Forest ham lots of local cheeses in the open-air stalls. You can visit the nearby historic wrought-iron market which has a number of shops and restaurants.

3) The St Peter’s Church Tower has a majestic structure and one needs to climb as many as 306 steps to enjoy an amazing view of the city from the top. It has a splendid altar and a stunning gilt and jewel colored skeleton of St Mundita. It is the oldest church in Munich and dates back to 1180.

4) Before the end of day, we went to visit the Museum of Modern Art where the admission fee is only a euro on Sundays. The museum has more than 60 works by Joseph Beuys, Damien Hirst, Bruce Nauman etc. The museum opened in May 2009 and the building was designed by renowned architect Sauerbruch Hutton.

5) On Sunday we went to visit the Natural History Museum where the entrance fee is only a euro on Sundays. There are modern interactive and traditional exhibits with a special hands-on’ section. Since it was adjacent to the Botanical Gardens and located on the grounds of the Nymphenburg Palace, we visited all three on Sunday before we drove away from Munich with a bagful of memories.

April 17, 2012

Bristol Wanderings

Bristol Wanderings

Spent the better part of the weekend in Bristol, England. Bristol is an interesting city with an incredible history as a port of trade. It is notorious for being a hub of so-called “triangular trade”, where slaves were shipped from Africa to America, and then the work the slaves produced were sent from America to Bristol. The city began to decline in the 1800s as the slave trade was abolished and it has never regained its economic strength.

On a whim, we rode a few minutes out of town to see Yate, a small suburban town with little importance other than being the birthplace of famous author J.K. Rowling. Since Laura is a huge Harry Potter fan and has completely immersed herself in the movies and DVDs as of late, we thought it would be a fun side trip. We spent an hour strolling around town before heading back.

One of the highlights of the trip was seeing the Cathedral, which has stood for nearly one thousand years. It’s a breathtaking building and was worth the several hours we spent inside.

January 30, 2012

Memoirs of Coron, Palawan

A postcard just arrived at the beginning of the month, a friend just got married and we were invited to join the party in Coron, Pawalan in the island of Philippines. There are so many wonderful things I will cherrish and remember on our visit here, the lush green forests, fresh and delicious foods, tempting white sand beaches, rich and colorful underwater sceneries, paradise islands, warm and accommodating locals, and incomparable seafood.

December 29, 2011


Arrived in London to…wouldn’t you know it…fog. It’s been raining on and off for days and the cold, wet air is most unwelcome. But I still love London and am making the best of it by visiting my favorite shops and cafes throughout the city. I’ll be here for at least a few weeks visiting friends and family through the holidays. I got a cute postcard from my nephew back in the States. When he heard I would be in London, he sent me a picture of the Dr. Hare character from Poptropica. Apparently, this toy has been traveling the globe much like I have, so my nephew asked if I had seen him here. How cute!

November 12, 2011

Having Fun in Barcelona

Having Fun in Barcelona

I spent a wonderful few days in Barcelona? What’s not to love about it? Everything from the architecture to the beautiful weather and coast was all part of a great experience. We did get a little rain, which was unexpected, so I spent a few days in the hotel and caught up on some blogging and email. I even played some games on Facebook. It’s not something I normally do while traveling, but I’m getting excited about the new Facebook game that’s coming. Fortunately the rain let up and I was able to get back outside and do some wonderful walking tours of the downtown area.

September 24, 2011



I just returned from a very short trip to Berlin. It’s a lovely city and a wonderful place to visit in the late Summer/early Fall. The highlight for me was seeing all the tourist spots and taking in much of the city’s lengthy history. I stopped for a while at the Brandenberg Gate and wandered all over the Mitte district. I even had enough time to tour parts of the Reichstag. For lunch, it was all about having a tall mug of beer and some sausages.

September 22, 2011

Puttering Around in Prague

Puttering Around in Prague

Had a nearly sleepless night in Prague due to a terribly uncomfortable bed at the hotel. The bedding was lumpy and the pillows were hard and uncomfortable. I thought I’d be in a queen size bed, but the only room available had a twin mattress that had clearly seen a lot of wear and tear. But even without a decent sleep, I awoke ready to take on the city of Prague and really enjoyed my day there. Like most tourists, I was eager to see the Charles Bridge, a beautiful and historic bridge that was built in the late 1300’s. After thoroughly enjoying the bridge and the beautiful Vltava River that it crosses, I moved on to the Prague Castle, which some claim is the biggest castle in the world. It’s certainly one of the most complex buildings I have ever seen and I spent hours touring the art galleries and the cathedral. I was so exhausted from walking around on foot that when I returned to the hotel, I no longer cared about the quality of the mattress and bed in my room and promptly fell to sleep.