Beaumaris, by the window

L'absence n'est-elle pas la plus certaine, la plus efficace, la plus vivace, la plus indestructible, la plus fidèle des présences?

Marcel Proust

 

 

Stavkirkes, the Dragon Churches

In Denmark and Sweden, as in other Northern Europe regions, old churches progressively replaced by stone buildings, however the tradition of building them out of wood endured in Norway and admirably revived in the 12th century. They are characterized by the lines of their roofs evoking, someway, oriental pagodas with the figures of dragons that stand out in the corners. Read more  See the pictures

Ebre's Delta

The accumulation of sediments carried by Ebro River over the centuries has created this great changing space of more than three hundred square kilometres, which, in its wetlands, hosts an abundant wildlife protected by the Natural Park and an agriculture characterized by the rice crops. Read more  See the pictures

In Joyce's Tower

Following with the centenary of the publication of James Joyce’s Ulysses, today we visit the Martello Tower in Sandycove, south of Dublin, scene of the first chapter of the novel and today converted into a museum dedicated to the memory of the Irish writer. “Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed. A yellow dressing gown, ungirdled, was sustained gently-behind him by the mild morning air. He held the bowl aloft and intoned: -Introibo Ad altare Dei”.  Read more  See the pictures

Joyce's Dublin on Ulysses Centenary

This year marks the first centenary of the publication of Ulysses by the Irish writer James Joyce. A controversial work when it was released, it was not easy to find a complacent publisher and a reading that, at least, requires some attention. In any case, it is a good excuse to tour the Dublin where the action takes place and from which the writer fled. Read more See the pictures

Ulster Murals

Belfast has scars from the Troubles days. Scars as the seventeen sectors separated by walls even today in some areas of the city closings doors at six o'clock in the evening. Read more  See the pictures

Happy New Year 2022

To the 308.340 readers that have browsed 1.534.295 pages along this 2021 now over.

Thanks to everybody for your time and we hope 2022 will be a greater and better year for everyone. Cheers!

Tiles of rhe Blessed

Valldemossa, located on the Mallorcan Tramuntana Mountains, is mainly known for its Real Cartuja, the old royal friary. Mallorca’s King Jaime II ordered its construction to his son Sanç in the thirteenth century. In 1399 Martí l'Humà yielded to the Carthusian friars who lived there until the Mendizabal’s secularization in 1835. Visits to the monastery are mainly concentrated in the cell that inhabited Frédéric Chopin and his lover, the French writer George Sand. Read more  See the pictures 

Il Santo

I gently slide the palm of the hand on the green porphyry surface, as I saw other pilgrims done once walked the line that led to the Ark. I felt neither cold nor heat nor any strange feeling more than the actual feel of marble. I followed the path to the Madonna Mora Chapel towards the Relics circular chapel, behind the high altar. Slowly I climbed the steps to glimpse the golden reliquary containing the remains of the Saint’s incorrupt tongue, chin and larynx cartilage. Read more See the pictures

Venezian Nizioleti

Being postman in Venice, or at least an inexperienced one, may be a kind of nightmare. Streets repeat with some regularity its names are not numbered consecutively. Corresponds, more or less, to the order in time when buildings were raised. The scheme is shared, with the same pattern in each city sestiere –district -. Not surprisingly, after have seen number 500, turn a corner and found number 2000. Or just facing a 500 is found a 700 in the opposite facade in a street that has no more than fifteen gateways. For example, the number 1918 exists in Pignater Street, in the Fondamenta de la Tana, in Bollani courtyard or in the campo San Fantin, in different sestieriRead more  See the pictures

Fascio Architecture

In the years when the Dodecanese was administered by Italy, two architects landed on the island of Leros with the task of developing a new city to house the personnel and services of the naval base. Those were the heydays of rationalist architecture and Art Deco. But also those of Mussolini fascism. Read more See the pictures

Il Cagalibri (The Bookshiter)

Niccolò Tommasèo was a linguist, journalist and essayist, forerunner of the irredentist movement that advocated the incorporation of the eastern Adriatic territories to the 19th century Italy unification process. His featured work was the making of a comprehensive Italian dictionary. His nickname came after a statue raised in Venice.  Read more  See the pictures

Frenchs in Akaroa

Few kilometres south Christchurch, almost in its outskirts, stands a large volcanic crater open to the sea in its south side. Kai Tahu for Maori, Banks, in recognition of Joseph Banks, naturalist aboard James Cook’s Endeavour, who in February 1770 was wrong to believe that it was an island rather than the peninsula actually is. In the cove, a perfect natural harbour, sits the quiet town of Akaroa which houses its six hundred inhabitants. Read more  See the pictures

The Island of God Bes

Ybshm or Iboshim was the name given by the Phoenicians to Ibiza. It means the Island of God Bes, a dwarf and paunchy god that was imported from the East, from the Egyptian pantheon. Bes was a benevolent and protective god associated with good luck, which seem to adore the new idol worshipers who, in season, cram discos and nightclubs, the current temples of Ibiza. Read more  See the pictures

Jordaan

This neighbourhood located to the west of the Dutch city has gone from being an inhospitable slum to a desired residential area exempt of the tourist massification of the urban centre along a slow process of gentrification. Read more  See the pictures

Haiku Masters

Poets, sensitive writers, haiku composers… they are countless in Japan. These are just a few, although the most relevant, among those who cultivated this brief genre, even before it existed as such.  Read more  See the gallery

The Last Dogaressa

Venier dei Leoni palace overlooks the Grand Canal waters between Da Mula Morosini mansion and the damn Ca Dario. It does not stand out precisely for its height, it is the only one on one floor among its neighbours, however, it houses an outstanding collection of contemporary art, that of Peggy Guggenheim (1898-1979), whom the Venetians fondly called l’ultima dogaressa, the last duchess.  Read more  See the pictures

A Cup of Tea close to the Heaven

It could be said Nuwara Eliya is an unusual place in the heart of Sri Lanka and in the warm southern Asia. That’s why is one of the few towns on the island where to buy a raincoat or a sweater, and, moreover, it must be used. Read more  See the pictures

Black Gold

Each time I look at her silently I have the same sentence in my thoughts: my Goodness, she’s so good! Before I have been watching quietly, catching every small detail, with the certain imminent hedonistic pleasure, with the same calm with which she becomes full, and knowing the subtle and deep colour she reflects in the gloom, a dark ruby shadow. The ceremony how I gently bow her with the left hand while the right gently caress. The patient waiting before slowly bringing her closer to my lips. The nice black velvet bitter taste that transpires. And it all started with a muffled scream among the crowd. Read more  See the pictures

Molokai

Who? Jack ... who?? 

- London, Jack London. 

And the man turned his back and not even bothering to say goodbye or look back he opened the door and left away. As briefly as he came. 

Read more. See the pictures

Visions of Paris

On this month of August 41 years have gone from the first of the visions of Paris, a simple envelope with its stamps and postmarks printed in a small post office near Étoile. Follows the urge to evacuate the bladder periodically in the French capital and the memories that pile up one on top of the other, sometimes in no apparent order. They are particular visions. They are my visions of Paris.  Read more  See the pictures

Collioure’s Belfry

At Boramar’s beach northern tip, Notre Dame des Anges church bell tower is the main landmark of Côte Vermeille most visited town. It does not only show the hours, it has also marked the rhythm of the changes town has lived along history. Read more See the pictures

The Straits Settlements

Malacca and Sunda Straits or simply the Straits, separates peninsular Malaysia from the great island of Sumatra and concentrated most of the trade between India and China, between the East and the West. Even today it is a major naval artery where piracy is still present. One hundred and ten incidents were reported in 2004. The British Empire tried to control its waters through three major ports: Penang, Malacca and Singapore. Read more  See the pictures

Satori in Brest

The word Satori, in Japanese, means understanding, comprehension. Also, in Zen Buddhism is applied at the time of deep and ultimate enlightenment. A clairvoyant instant related to creation and discovery. And that happened in a taxi! Or maybe the reason could have been the Brest foggy streets, or a waiter who firmly felt that Paris was rotten or a Mozart requiem heard in Saint Germain des Prés. Perhaps it was everything. Read more  See the pictures

Sahel's Pearl

Farhat Hached square distributes a little bit the city human traffic. Send some to the station where they took trains to the nearby Monastir or farther and away, towards Tunisia. Others expect traffic lights change to speed towards the northern beaches or Port el Kantauri and yet there are those who, without haste, head their steps to the streets of Sousse Medina, the pearl of the Sahel.  Read more  See the pictures

London's Two Most Unfortunate Years

In the seventeenth century two fateful years were inscribed in the history of the British capital hurting mercilessly its population and its goods. It was 1665, the year of the Plague followed by that of the Great Fire, 1666.  Read more  See the pictures

Beer's Madonna

The Bank House is a small bed and breakfast strategically located on the main street of Beer. The affable Bob Pearse every morning gently bend over backwards to serve the full English breakfast, i.e. two eggs any style, bacon, sausage, beans, mushrooms and tomatoes, usually parboiled or fried. Coffee or tea. The house has three rooms for guests, so in season is easy to find in the window next to the front door and under the Union Jack and Devon flag, a sign stating simply: no vacanciesRead more  See the pictures

Sa Penya and Erwin Broner

Sa Penya means nothing else than the Rock and is the name of a neighbourhood looking out over the port of Ibiza. Here disembarked, in the mid-fifties, the architect Erwin Broner.  Read more  See the pictures

The Grand Duchy

When in the tenth century Sigfried Count exchanged some lands in the Ardennes for a rocky ledge between the Alzette and Petrusse rivers to build a fortress, he couldn’t imagine how it would grow. Bastions and casemates turned the rock into a gruyere that would be nicknamed the Gibraltar of the North. It is Luxembourg.

Read more  See the pictures

Caldes Modern Style Spas

In Roman times, the hot springs invited the creation of a town, Aqvae Calidae, today Caldes de Malavella. Its waters continue to be exploited, both for treatments and for bottling water. Between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, they attracted the attention of wealthy families who built summer residences following the architectural currents of the time: Art Nouveau or Modern Style.  Read more  See the pictures

A Wall's Piece

Thirty years have gone since the fall of the one hundred fifty-five kilometres of concrete wall that split for almost three decades the current German capital. Before November 9, 1989, the day the border between the Federal and the Democratic Republic was opened, no one would believe that the Berlin wall could be put up for sale. Read more  See the pictures

Antigone

Sophocles’ classic tragedy gave name to a newly created neighbourhood east of Montpellier’s old town; a reinterpretation of the architectural classicism that emerged in the late seventies from the Catalan architect Ricard Bofill’s workshop. Read more  See the pictures

Ένα μηδέν ένα (101)

An anthology of contemporary Greek poetry, the number of a hotel room and other diverse coincidences make up a kind of casuistry, a dose of Hellenistic serendipity.  Read more  See the pictures

Lewis Chess

Lewis is the largest of the Hebrides Islands, west of Scotland and, even to the west of it, in the Bay of Uig, a curious treasure was found in 1831. Seventy-eight outstanding 12th century chess pieces carved in ivory. Read more  See the pictures

A Walk around Philopappos

Athenian Acropolis faces a large green area which, in the heart of the Greek capital, becomes a relaxed space where walk away from the urban bustle and beneath the shade of holm oaks and cypress trees. It is Philopappos Hill. From here there are privileged views over the Parthenon, Athens and even up to the waters of the Saronic Gulf, in the Aegean. Read more  See the pictures

Notte a Burano

The night radically changes the appearance of Burano. With the last vaporetto returning to Venice disappear all the visitors who had filled the streets throughout the day.  Read more  See the pictures