Friday, July 10, 2015

Dublin: Day 2

After eating a most amazing crepe breakfast, we headed to Trinity College for the grand tour of both the college and the Book of Kells, which is a document illustrating the four gospels of the new testament. It is located at Trinity College and is believed to have been scripted in 800 AD. After touring the college, including the Long Room, which is one of the oldest libraries, we got in the long line to see the Book of Kells. The exhibit was good, the manuscript very deteriorated. See me staring at George Salmon who was the provost of the college when women were admitted. He was not too happy about and actually died before the first woman showed up. I'm giving him the stink eye.

Next, we grabbed a hop on-off bus for a city tour. We stopped at St Patrick's Cathedral, which is not a bishops seat and isn't even Catholic anymore. Seems at some historical time, the Church of England claimed all the churches for themselves and they have never been returned to their rightful denominations. The Vatican has refused to appoint a church in Ireland as the bishop's seat, believing it should be this.

Last we hopped off at the Guinness Storehouse, the No. 1 Tourist site in all of Ireland. Go figure!
Touring the Guinness Storehouse proved to be a very fun afternoon.  Self guided for the most part, we learned about the importance of their source of water and other goodies that go into the making of a Guinness. We worked our way through the tour space, which is a vertical stack in the shape of a pint of Guinness, to the bar at top. A pint was served. This circular bar is the top of the pint, the place where beer is not poured. Views of the city were all around. Very crowded it was.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Digging Dublin

 We have arrived. Flew via JFK direct to Dublin through the night. Caught a cab to our hotel which was ready for our arrival. It was nap time. Our cabbie had given us the name of a local pub called O'Neill's. So we were off to find it. Every walk from our hotel took us through St Stephens Green. a delightful little park and on to Grafton Street, home to high end shopping among other things.

O'Neills was a meandering pub with loads of tables and people but all very friendly. The food was buffet style and typical pub food. But as the sign says: My goodness, My Guinness, the local favorite.

Then to find Temple Bar in the Temple bar area. Our luck got us two stools at the bar just inside the door. Perched high on the stools, we had a good view of the pub activity and was there a lot. Busy, busy, busy on this Friday eve. I love the wine called OOPS and the bouncer at the door.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Mezquita

The Mosque-cathedral of Córdoba (Spanish: Mezquita–catedral de Córdoba),  whose ecclesiastical name is the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption is the Catholic Christian cathedral of the Diocese of Córdoba dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. The structure is regarded as one of the most accomplished monuments of Moorish architecture. It originally was a Catholic Christian church built by the Visigoths, on the ruins of a Roman temple dedicated to Janus. When Muslims conquered Spain in 711, the church was first divided into Muslim and Christian halves. This sharing arrangement of the site lasted until 784, when the Christian half was purchased by the Caliph 'Abd al-Rahman I, who then proceeded to demolish the entire structure and build the grand mosque of Cordoba on its ground. After the Reconquista, it was converted to a Roman Catholic church. The best part of this story is that the Mosque was not destroyed but rather the Cathedral was built within.

I have seen similar pictures and was in awe but guess I never paid all that much attention to their location. I was dumbfounded when we walked into this church and could not stop capturing their beauty from ever angle possible. WOW!

Monday, March 30, 2015


Cordoba is located on the banks of the Guadalquivir river and flows under the ancient Roman Bridge. Surrounding the large old town are the Roman walls. The most important building and symbol of the city is the Great Mosque of Córdoba, also called The Mezquita, and is the current cathedral. 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

La Mancha

Don Quixote has always been one of Rick's favorite books. We traveled through the countryside upon which Cervantes based this story. Photo ops abound.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Holy Toledo

Rumor has it that the phrase "Holy Toledo" comes from the fact that this small city held in close proximity Christian, Jewish and Muslim churches. The city is hilly and the streets are narrow and cobbled. It's age is delightful.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Spain Revisited: Madrid

For our travel book from our trip to Spain, I used Anna Aspnes templates but modified them slightly. A book such as this can be compiled quickly if the following steps are taken:

  1. Choose a dozen papers and templates that work together and can be repeatedly used for the book.
  2. Blurb requires 12.25 inch pages if you want full bleed. That's color all the way to the edge. So resize the digital background papers and the templates.
  3. I like a slight vignette so I add this to the papers and save them that way.
  4. I eliminate anything I do not want on the templates and resave them.
  5. I add drop shadows to the templates and save them once again.
  6. I select the fonts I want to use for the titles and text boxes and the colors I want them to be and then type some placeholder words.
Now I am ready to grab a template that has the requisite number of photos spots for the story being told, rename it so I don't lose my modified template file and begin dragging and dropping photos in.
A paper is selected to blend with the photos on the page. Journaling is added and on to the next page.

I like including maps of the journey.

I like these templates because there are so many spots for photos.

Notice the fonts are the same but the size varies to fit in the space allowed.

The Prado is amazing. So much wonderful art. I could have stayed there for a long time. Our trip included visiting the work of Spanish painters: Velazques, Goya and el Greco.