Wednesday, September 24, 2014


Edinburgh- If Hogwarts were a city, it would be Edinburgh!  From the moment you come our of Waverly Train Station, you see incredible brown brick buildings with spires, arches, passage-ways, bridges, hills, all looking straight out of Harry Potter- just incredible.  

The city has some really great pubs, with excellent pub-grub!  My favorite is all the pies they serve- some with puff pastry topping, others with mashed potatoes!  For Rich- fish and chips.  Plus, they have interesting names, good beer, and that famous Scottish whiskey!

The city has a cool castle that over-looks the city, with a beautiful park around it.  The Cathedral is also quite nice!  As Vince Coyle says, Edinburgh is the most visually stunning city on the planet.  Some truth to this, I tell you.  come visit- you won't be disappointed!

Cool pubs!

Beautiful Cathedral

The dark side of the force is strong with this highland storm trooper!

Sunset and city vies- spectacular!

Ghost tour!! Scary!!!

Sunset Whiskey with the group:

The Guillotine- keep sharp objects away from the ones who love us...

Bag-pipers everywhere!  I will miss them- their music is so beautiful!!!!

And the castle- day and night

Castle dungeon

Monday, September 22, 2014

Beautiful YORK, England- another incredibly cute town!

York is just awesomely cute!  It seems the world is intent on providing us with ever more cute towns that we can visit and enjoy.  I know I have over-done "cute", but seriously, these towns can't have any other description!  I have used "cute'" for Lecce, Italy; Bruge, Belgium; Heidelburg, Germany; all of Netherlands; and now YORK England.  Each of these towns are just incredibly nice: clean, beautiful architecture, small and easily toured, nice restaurants and hotels and of course cute shops with cute things to look at and maybe buy.  Cathedrals/cute churches are part of it, sometimes little rivers or canals and cute little bridges, and always little (or big, as in Bruge) squares you can sit at a restaurant and drink and people-watch.  But all are so very different!  Each has a different feel, of course different culture, different food and wine/beer; bu all have one thing in common: coffee and pastries!

York, though, is the English version of a cute town, with brick buildings, the largest g
Gothic cathedral north of the Alps, a river with bridges, good beer...You be the judge.  Me, I recommend going to all of them and just enjoying them.  The great thing about Yorks cathedral is that the interior was build with limestone, so it is very light and airy, unlike darkness that is Notre Dame.

Plus on this journey, we met up with Vince and Terry and Ben Coyle- Rich's in-laws!

Haunted Phone Booth!!!  Scary!!!!!!
York is steeped in history!  A Roman outpost, much of the city is built on top of ruins- the cathedral is built over a Roman fort, and the medieval city walls follow the old city roads;  then English, then the Vikings invaded and stayed for 300 years, then English again.  It is considered one of the most haunted cities in the world, so a ghost tour is a must.  The River Ouse runs thru it, and the boat ride is quire relaxing.  We stayed at the Old Grey Mare hotel- 250 years old, it has 104 sightings of ghosts- sadly, e didn't see any, but there was lots of creaking, but that was probably from the 250 year old wood!

Sadly, there was no sun- itwas a grey, cloudy time.  The filtered light sort of made everything a bit grey- so sorry- you can't see the great colors from my photos.

City view!  From almost anywhere in the city, you can see the towers of the Cathedral

 Inside!  As you can see, the interior is very bright- as if the light of God is everywhere

 Archangel Michael smoting a dragon!
Beautiful stained glass in the Cathedral
 St. Richard appeared before us!  We were in AWE!

 Another Cathedral view- the night lighting was really great!

 Cathedral view- it truly is beautiful!
 city view

Vince, Terry, and Ben Coyle were in Europe, so we met up in York- and later in Edinburgh!

City view
City view
All of us on the city wall- it is about 3 miles around!
 Cool gate to the city- anytime there is a wall, there is a gate!
City view

What is probably the most sad about this blog entry- we are now at the tail end of our trip.  We fly home on September 30, 2014.  Hard to believe that more than 6 months have passed.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Paris: the City of Lights! In all her glory, Paris is truly a beautiful city!

Paris- trust us, she is more beautiful than words can express.  Paris is filled with art, stained glass, beautiful, massive buildings, large boulevards, great food, iconic images, and beautiful people. She is a very large and crowded city, but these things do not change the one over-whelming fact of her beauty and how you feel when you are under her spell. So many people have visited her, often many times.  But each time, she brings you even more and different joy!

 Rich and I at the Eiffle Tower
Selfie under the Eiffle Tower
 The Hotel d'Ville (city hall)
 Hotel d'Ville at night!
 A bit of detail to the Hotel d'Ville.  No amount of detail is too much for Paris!
 Selfie at the stained glass window of St. Chappele- the greatest number of stained glass windows you can possibly imagine!
 Sacre Coer- in the Montmarte district
 Sacre Coer at night
 Bridges are a work of art by themselves!
 Churches have everything!
 Luxembourg Gardens!
 Musee d'Orsay- a train station turned into the most amazing art museum 
Van Gogh!

 The inside view of the old train stations massive clocks!
 Sunset on the Seine!
 St. Johns Belfrie
 Rich at the glass pyriamid at the Louvre
 2 statues in the Tulliere Gardens
 Garden view of the Louvre
 The Eiffel night!
 The Eiffel Tower cafe: who is that person I caught in freeze-motion?
And even more beautiful stained glass!