As a youth my grandfather spent every New Years Eve on his knees in St. Finian’s church, welcoming the new year with prayer as the bell in the tower tolled 12 times. When he left Ireland he preferred a different … Continue reading My Grandfather’s Church
The “Blessing of the Fleet” is one of those small town Sitka rituals that mark our seasons. It is on Palm Sunday, a time to stop and remember all of those who our community has lost during the past year, … Continue reading Blessing of the Fleet, 2022
Ramadan is a movable fast/feast. Back in 2008 it was in August and September. Here is a letter that I wrote to my extended family back then, before I started blogging. I did not think it was appropriate to blog … Continue reading Ramadan Mubarak.
Trondheim is a place of pilgrimage, for two types of pilgrim, religious and rock ‘n rollers. First St. Olaf (in the Norwegian brochures it is St Olav, in English, St. Olaf. St. Olaf is pretty engrained in my brain so … Continue reading Trondheim — St. Olaf and Rock and Roll.
The lecturer on the ship told us that in Oslo we would be tie up at Askershaus, a fortress fairly close to much of what I wanted to see in Oslo. He told us there would be a money exchange, … Continue reading Feeling So 20th Century in Oslo
St. Charles Borromeo Church is easy to miss if you are not on a tour. While it is “hidden” in a little square it is not small. It does not appear in my Lonely Planet book or on either of … Continue reading Confessions and Anguished Angels.
“He is Not Here!” This post is originally from May 2010 You need a lot of faith to visit holy sites in the Holy Land. The “upper room” where the Jerusalem tourist office tells you the Last Supper took place … Continue reading Crucifixion and Resurrection in Jerusalem.
In Stellenbosch I expected the austere Dutch Reformed Church I was used to seeing as a kid, emphasis on the pulpit and perhaps the organ, clear glass and little other ornamentation. From the outside the Stellenbosch Moedergemeente Reformed Church fit … Continue reading Reformed and re-Reformed.
Gustave Eiffel had a major hand in the iconic landmarks in two world cities. He designed the support structure for the Statue of Liberty. He also designed a number of pre-fab iron buildings in Arica Chile including a church, customs … Continue reading Gustave Eiffel in Manila?
I wished I could have seen more of Ulu Watu, the Cliff Temple on our second day in Bali. But I couldn’t because monkeys have opposable thumbs. Before getting out of the cab the driver told me to take off … Continue reading Bad Monkey – Ulu Watu
On our way back from Pura Luhur Batukau and the rice terraces we stopped at Pura Taman Ayun. This was an unexpected stop recommended by our guide, Putra. Suzi and I both said we would rather skip lunch and see … Continue reading Pura Tamam Ayun:
After visiting Pura Luhur Batukau we drove along a winding road through the Jatiouwith Ricce Fields and got a chance to get out and walk a little. As I mentioned in the last post, they, and the whole rice growing … Continue reading Jatiouwith Rice Fields
“It fell like a house of cards.” That’s what an eyewitness said when the brick Waiapu Anglican Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist collapsed in an earthquake in February, 1931. There was a service going on inside at the time, … Continue reading It Fell Like A House of Cards — St. John’s Cathedral, Napier NZ.
The Notre Dame Cathedral is a remarkably cool building in which to shelter in the heat of the day, and if you go there you are rewarded with magnificent wooden sculptures including the stations of the cross, pulpits, alters, and … Continue reading Ukulele Playing Saint — In Nuka Hiva
“The TRAVELER sees what he sees. The TOURIST sees what he has come to see.” — GK Chesterton Every night on the ship, on the bed, we get a card with a quote about travel along with two pieces of … Continue reading Brutalist or Welcoming? The Cathedral of the Sacred Heart.
I am home in Sitka and will have the pleasure of looking out my window across Jamestown Bay and to the Gulf of Alaska or a little to the westward toward our volcano, Mt. Edgecumbe. We have had two consecutive … Continue reading King Abdullah Mosque, Amman
Christmas Day — a good day to post pictures of Bethlehem. The focal point of any visit to Bethlehem is Manger Square. It is a pedestrian zone bordered by the Church of the Nativity, the Mosque of Omar, the Palestinian Peace Center and a wonderful falafel shop which also serves freshly squeezed orange juice. Star Street, Nativity Street and Manger Street converge on the square. Some claim that the Church of the Nativity is the oldest Christian worship site in the world. It was built during the rule of Constantine on a site selected by his mother, St. Helena. She … Continue reading Merry Christmas !! Pictures from Bethlehem.
It’s Christmas Eve. In the news we have constant reminders that “Peace on Earth” is still a hope not a fact. This is evident at Shepherds’ Field outside Bethlehem where you can easily see the security apparatus that meanders around the hilltop where shepherds first heard “Gloria in Excelsis Deo,” (assuming the angels sang in Latin). The Franciscans control this hilltop and when we were there in 2010 we listened to them field questions from tourists looking out over the fields asking what exactly they were seeing. In one of the pictures in this post you can see an Israeli … Continue reading Christmas Eve, Shepherds’ Fields outside Bethlehem.
I became interested in Art Nouveau living in Bratislava and within an hour of Vienna where Nouveau and Secession buildings captured my fancy. Having seen them I needed to see some of the buildings of Antoni Gaudí . The first 8 pics here are Gaudi buildings, including the Holy Family Cathedral, Sagrada Família, a must see in Barcelona and Casa Batilo and Casa Mila. I took these pictures in 1999 on a very early digital camera that had limited storage capacity. I find it hard to imagine that I can shoot thousands of pictures now on one card. Early digital cameras … Continue reading Barcelona Nouveau and Gaudi
Modernist Marc Chagall, cubist Jacques Villon, and tachist Roger Bissière are all there, mixed with art from the Gothic, Renaissance and Romantic periods. It’s the play of light on the works that I find so fascinating. They are the stained glass windows in St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Metz. Gothic does away with the need for structural walls, allowing artists to work in walls of glass. The cathedral soars with light coming through colored glass, creating shadows and shafts. Outside the light plays against the exposed structural members, the flying buttresses. At night the outside is floodlit to stunning effect. Pictures from … Continue reading St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Metz
The only way to get into the King Hassan II Mosque, if you are not a Moslem, is on a guided tour. It’s worth it. The mosque is more than two football fields long and one wide. I think St. Peters in Rome could easily fit inside if the roof were retracted for the dome. It has a carved wooden roof of cyprus that is retractable so in good weather you can pray outside. There is a glass floor under part of the mosque, which is built on and, in parts, over the Atlantic. The floor gives us a glimpse … Continue reading King Hassan II Mosque, Casablanca, Morocco
When Moses got to Mt. Nebo he could see the Promised Land, but he could not enter. The mountain has a commanding view down into the Jordan Valley and across. It is more than 2.600 feet above sea level and the Dead Sea at the foot of the Jordan Valley is more than 1,400 feet below sea level. That’s quite a drop and quite a view. You can just see the gold glint of dome from the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. You can also see Jericho, the Dead Sea and practically all of modern Palestine and Israel. I … Continue reading Mt. Nebo, Jordan
I’m not sure of the theological meaning, but Pope John Paul II has been turned into a pillar of salt. In Genesis it was Lot’s wife who became a saline pillar. Her sin was looking back at Sodom, the home from which she was being evacuated by angels before its destruction. The Wieliczka mines in Krakow Poland are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We took a bus to the salt mines and went on the tour. We went down about 438 feet, although the mines go down much further than that, and walked for about three kilometers underground. The wondrous … Continue reading Salt Pope, Krakow, Poland
The text to accompany these pictures is in the previous post. “Sinai Desert.” I like the last picture, the imprint of the Burning Bush on the rock. Continue reading St. Catherine’s Monastery, Mt. Sinai and the Original Burning Bush.