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June 20, 2021

Belgium: Tournai

Tournai’s Grand Place with its UNESCO World Heritage designated cathedral peaking over the buildings at the left and its UNESCO bell tower and the end of the plaza.

As a rule we try to avoid short stops as we travel.  They can be unavoidably unsatisfying.  But sometimes a short stop is inevitable, as it was when we stopped overnight in Tournai Belgium on our way south to France.  Inevitably we didn’t acquire even a skin-deep understanding of the place or even a full appreciation of its aesthetics.  But we did appreciate a good meal and an attractive commune, enough so that we could pencil Tournai in for a return visit.


December 27, 2015

Spain: Seville, Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See and the Giralda

Looking up inside Seville's Cathedral.

Looking up inside Seville’s Cathedral.

Seville’s cathedral, the Catedral de Santa María de la Sede, is the largest cathedral in the world. It gets this distinction through a technicality: There are two larger churches in the world, the Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida in Brazil and the Vatican’s St Peter’s Basilica, but these structures are not seats of bishops and thus do not qualify as cathedrals. (more…)

December 4, 2015

France: Albi

Looking out over River Tarn

Looking out over River Tarn with Pont Vieux in the foreground

With its red brick buildings rising up from the bank of the river Tarn, Albi is striking. Over the years the bricks made from the clay extracted nearby have been a convenient building material in the region for centuries. In Albi, the abundance of brick buildings gives a pale red hue to the town. (more…)

March 15, 2014

England: Salisbury Cathedral and Stonehenge

Salisbury Cathedral has the tallest church spire in Britain.

Salisbury Cathedral has the tallest church spire in Britain.

Located in the south of England, the town of Salisbury is famous for its cathedral. Consecrated for more than 750 years, Salisbury’s Cathedral has Britain’s tallest church (more…)

December 2, 2013

Ireland: Cobh

Our version of the picture of St Colman's Cathedral that lead us to visit Cobh Ireland.

Our version of the picture of St Colman’s Cathedral that lead us to visit Cobh Ireland.

Has a single picture ever impacted your travel plans?  For us it has.  Most recently, after we saw a snap shot of Cobh Ireland’s cathedral on the Internet, we had to visit.  In truth, (more…)

February 11, 2013

England: Canterbury

Inside the choir of Canterbury's cathedral

Inside the choir of Canterbury’s cathedral

At the extreme southeast corner of Britain is England’s premier cathedral city, Canterbury.  As a rule a UNESCO-listed cathedral is more than enough reason for us to (more…)

January 9, 2013

France: Caen

Église Saint-Pierre (HDR)

Église Saint-Pierre (HDR)

Our travel plans mandated a stop in or near Caen France.  On the English Channel (or la Manche as it is called in French), Caen is the largest town near Ouistreham, our point of (more…)

January 1, 2013

Spain: Segovia

El Acueducto in Segovia

El Acueducto in Segovia

In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve always liked the sound of the name “Segovia”.  “Se-go-vi-a” rolls off the tongue with a pleasing velvety smoothness.  The agreeable (more…)

December 2, 2012

Spain: Oviedo

Cathedral of San Salvadora in Oviedo

Cathedral of San Salvadora in Oviedo (HDR)

Oviedo is a delicious, exotic, beautiful, clean, pleasant, tranquil and pedestrianised city.  It is as if it did not belong to this world, as if it did not exist … Oviedo is like a fairy-tale.”

—Woody Allen


November 23, 2012

Spain: León

Heading towards León’s Cathedral (HDR)

Speeding towards León a road sign proclaimed that we were on the “Autovia ‘Camino de Santiago’”.  It was true, our Renault Grand Kangoo stuffed with French wine and with our (more…)

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