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Traveling Thursdays: El Real Monasterio De San Lorenzo De El Escorial, Spain

11 Nov

Today’s traveling thursday takes us to El Escorial! This royal palace was built by Philip II in the 16th century.  The architecture, the gardens, and views around El Escorial are breathtaking.  The decor inside is a bit more austere.  El Escorial is about 30 miles from Madrid and is a must if you are in Madrid for a couple of days.   We took a bus from Madrid and it wasn’t a very long ride.  My trip to El Escorial was also memorable because I had  one of the worst lunches ever at a restaurant in the town of El Escorial.  The food at that restaurant was just terrible! But the bad meal doesn’t overshadow the beauty of this place.

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Traveling Thursdays: Bath

28 Oct

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Today’s “Traveling Thursday” takes us to the lovely city of Bath, England. Bath is truly one of the most beautiful places in the world! It’s totally worth a day’s trip away from London. The architecture is just beautiful and the Roman Baths are not to be missed. Enjoy the slideshow below!

 

(I apologize because some of the pictures come out blurry in the slideshow, but I still wanted to share them.)

Traveling Thursdays: Cambridge

14 Oct

Today’s “Traveling Thursday” takes us to Cambridge. I love this place because it’s just full of beautiful buildings. In order to have a look around many of the College buildings that make up Cambridge University you have to pay. To me it was a bit ridiculous. We paid for one and went into one but even just walking around is beautiful. We did miss out on going into King’s College Chapel unfortunately because it closes at 5pm and we did not know! But it’s on my to do list for next time I’m in Cambridge!

Also, of course, punting on the river Cam is not to be missed! Hiring a professional though, is best so you get a tour and don’t have to worry about punting or your little boat tipping over. A punt, by the way, is a flat bottomed boat which is steered with a long pole. We had a funny punter give us our ride, I don’t remember how much it was. The funniest part for me was when he started talking about the Queen and said something along the lines of ” I love the queen, bless her”, feeding into every stereotype that some Americans have about British people. Haha. I bet he gets a lot of American tourists.

Traveling Thursdays: Stratford-Upon- Avon

30 Sep


Take a trip to Stratford-Upon-Avon! If not in real life, at least you can through today’s slideshow. Take in the sights of Shakespeare’s birth house, Nash’s House (the house next door to the ruins of Shakespeare’s last house), Hall’s Croft (the house of Shakespeare’s daughter and her husband Dr Hall), Holy Trinity Church (where Shakespeare was baptized and buried), Garrick Inn (Stratford’s oldest pub dating back to the 14th century), Harvard House, and Guild Chapel.

Of my trips to England, this was one trip I was thoroughly anticipating: a day in Shakespeare’s town! Ever since the sixth grade I’ve read, dissected, acted out, seen movies and theater performances of most of Shakespeare’s plays. So this was like going to holy ground for me! As it always turns out, when you travel things don’t go as planned and sadly what was supposed to be highlight of my trip to England was more of a “lowlight”. So back to Stratford on one of my future UK trips it must be! Seeing one of Shakespeare’s plays in his town is also on my must do list. Even if you don’t like Shakespeare or history, it’s a pretty little place to go to.

I have to say that the people who know me must be shocked that England hasn’t yet been featured on my “Traveling Thursdays” posts. I must confess that ever since studying abroad for 6 months in York, England, I have a soft spot for the United Kingdom. I long for those college days in England with the beautiful surroundings of the town of York, my wonderful British friends, rainy days, and tons of what I call “American moments”. One of my very first memories of England was going to a Marks & Spencer with my college friend from home who was also studying abroad to buy bathroom items/accessories. We were lucky enough to have been assigned an apartment on campus while all the other students only had rooms. Well, while at the store we saw a sign that said “Toilets” on the 3rd floor. When we went to the third floor we felt like idiots. There was no bathroom stuff to be found anywhere on the 3rd floor, only real bathrooms or as the Brits would call them Loos!

Traveling Thursdays: Toledo, Spain

23 Sep

Today’s “Traveling Thursdays” destination is Toledo, Spain. Toledo is about 70 km south of Madrid and was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO for among other reasons being a historical place of coexistence of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim cultures. It is home to mosques, churches, and synagogues dating from as early as the tenth century. Here you will find beautiful views of the river Tagus (Tajo in Spanish), the oldest still standing synagogue building in Europe from the 13th century, an impressive cloister at El Monasterio de San Juan De Los Reyes from the 15th century, and a former mosque from the 10th century among many other sites. Like other places in Spain, its architecture also has beautiful Moorish influences! It is one of my favorite places in Spain and one of the most beautiful places I’ve visited!

Traveling Thursdays: Maine

16 Sep

Today, here are some of my favorite pictures from a trip to Portland, Maine! Enjoy!

Traveling Thursdays: Amsterdam

9 Sep

One of my favorite places, which I cannot wait to go back to, is Amsterdam.  The cheese, the pancakes, the stroopwafels, the sprinkles on bread for breakfast, the canals, the bicycles, the tulips; what’s not to like about Amsterdam.  My next euro trip next year or in 2012 will have to be to Amsterdam, or include a stop in Amsterdam.  I have serious Amsterdam withdrawal symptoms thinking of endless pancakes, sprinkles, and cheese.  Did I mention tulips are my favorite flower?  Anyway, in honor of Amsterdam, here are ten of my favorite Amsterdam pictures.


Traveling Thursdays: Barcelona

2 Sep

Another huge passion of mine is traveling. If I could just spend my life traveling I would, no matter if all my money were spent traveling. And traveling is probably an excellent excuse to knit for hours while I wait at an airport or sit on an airplane. A friend of mine, knowing how much I love to travel and take pictures, suggested that I also blog about my favorite pictures from the places I’ve travelled to. So from now on, on Thursdays I will share some of my top favorite pictures from each of the places I’ve been to. So today sit back and enjoy a slideshow of ten of my favorite pictures from a trip to the beautiful city of Barcelona in Spain, which also happens to be one of the most beautiful countries I’ve been to!

A Word on Photography

31 Aug

I am a point of shoot kind of gal (until I invest in a dSLR and learn how to use it that is!) and, therefore,  I wouldn’t dream of calling myself a photographer.  A friend of mine used to say “don’t just point and shoot, actually pay attention to what you are doing” and now I do.  I am obsessed with taking pictures with my somewhat beat up Canon camera and trying to pretend I am all artsy.  Until I become a photographer (for real) and blog about that arduous process,  I will be sharing some of my favorite photos.  Here are few of my amateurish favorite photos from a recent trip to Canada!