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September 25, 2017

Sicily: Cefalu


Duomo di Cefalù from the piazza.

Acknowledging the distinctive combination of Arabic and Norman architecture, UNESCO has designated the 12th Century Arab-Norman buildings in Palermo and Cefalu as a World Heritage site. The Normans were known as brutal conquerors. Less well known was their tendency to assimilate culture elements from the people they conquered. After the Normans ended Saracen rule in northwestern Sicily, they embraced Arabic architecture and constructed numerous distinctive buildings that combine the Norman and Arabic styles. UNESCO honors this cultural fusion with its World Heritage designation. (more…)

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July 16, 2017

Malta: Ferries


The catamaran ferry at the dock in Pozzallo.

Can you pick out the island nation of Malta on a map? (more…)

April 29, 2017

Sardinia: Grotta di Nettuno


Gigi leads the way to the grotto.

Twenty-five kilometers from Alghero Sardinia is Grotta di Nettuno, one of the region’s popular attractions. Neptune’s Grotto is a 500-meter long stalactite cave. Fisherman discovered the cavern in the 18th century. In 1959 the cave opened as a tourist attraction. (more…)

January 30, 2016

Spain: Caceres


 

Plaza Mayor de Cáceres

Plaza Mayor de Cáceres

The Romans founded Cáceres Spain in 25 BC. Following the Romans, the Barbarians, the Visigoths, the Moors, and the Christians occupied Cáceres. Through it all Cáceres’ medieval quarter has remained remarkably intact. Today UNESCO recognizes historic Cáceres for its blend of Roman, Moorish, Northern Gothic and Italian Renaissance architecture. (more…)

December 24, 2015

Spain: Seville, The Hop-on Hop-off Bus

Filed under: Architecture, Dog, Europe, Photography, Spain, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , , , — anotherheader @ 1:45 am

Near a bus stop is Hospital de las Cinco Llagas, the current seat of the Parliament of Andalusia.

Near a bus stop is Hospital de las Cinco Llagas, the current seat of the Parliament of Andalusia.

Many large cities throughout the world have hop-on hop-off tourists buses. We generally avoid them thinking that we are more likely to find the unexpected if we walk. One day in Seville a tout on the street told us that we could take our pooch Gigi along with us on one of these buses. There’s a pleasure in seeing the world through your dog’s nose-eyed view but taking a 25 kg canine along comes with access compromises. As a result we are always looking for things to do where we can take Gigi with us. Touring Seville via the double-decked tourist bus suddenly became an option worth considering. A few days later we boarded the bus with our occasionally well-behaved canine. (more…)

December 11, 2015

Spain: Ronda


Inside Ronda's famous bullring

Inside Ronda’s famous bullring

Ronda in the Andalusian highlands of southern Spain is a popular tourist destination. Surrounded by steep hillsides and split by a deep gorge, the whitewashed town is protected by its geology from the encroachment of modernity. (more…)

January 1, 2015

England: London, Dogs on the Tube

Filed under: Dog, Europe, London, Photography, Travel, Travel, United Kingdom, Writing — Tags: , , , , , , — anotherheader @ 4:25 pm

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Can I get back on?

Our pooch Gigi usually travels with us. In fact our canine has visited more countries than most of our human friends, something she tries not to gloat about publicly. International air travel is easier the smaller the dog. But we didn’t choose Gigi for ease of travel. Indeed, we didn’t choose her at all. Like all good dogs, Gigi adopted her humans. And thus we find ourselves traveling with a full-grown Border Chinhuahua Terrier who weighs in around 25 kg. Gigi’s size creates certain limitations that we’ve learned to live with. (more…)

December 16, 2014

England: London, the Statue of Emperor Trajan


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Curiously there’s a statue of the Roman emperor Trajan near the Tower Hill Tube Station in London. The statue stands in front of one of the remaining sections of Londonium’s wall. It is believed that the Romans constructed the wall in the early part of the 3rd Century many years after Trajan’s death. Other than their current juxtaposition, there’s no particular link between the Roman wall and the statue of Trajan. (more…)

December 8, 2014

England: Runnymede Meadow


The ABA's Magna Carta Memorial

Gigi plays ball at the ABA’s Magna Carta Memorial.  She doesn’t seem to appreciate the importance of the site.

Runnymede Meadow is a most unassuming historical site. This modest grassy water meadow alongside the River Thames, several miles downstream of Windsor Castle, is the location of the signing of the Magna Carta. When King John penned his name to the Magna Carta in 1215 it signified the beginning of the limitation of powers of the English monarchy and set the stage for our modern laws and government.

(more…)

December 18, 2013

England: The Peak District and Chatsworth House


Chatsworth House

Chatsworth House

A three-hour drive to the north of London is the United Kingdom’s first national park, the Peak District.  The park was established in 1951.  Today the park is popular.  (more…)

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