Page 4 of nancic123 Travel Blog Posts

Europe » Ukraine » Lviv June 8th 2016

It was a rough ride on the overnight train from Krakow. At least the two person sleeper compartment meant we had the space all to ourselves. A small sink in the corner was a nice touch. Bottled water and snacks were provided. It was warm in the top bunk so the provided blankets were more beneficial as cushioning than for warmth. We knew there would be a delay at the border to change the gauge of the train’s wheels and expected immigration would be visiting on both sides of the border. We have never had good luck with overnight trains in any country we have visited. We were sure that we would not have a completely restful night but nevertheless we were hoping for the best as we made our way to the border and our ... read more
Boim Chapel Dome
Lviv Tram
Sunday Checkers

Europe » Poland » Lesser Poland » Kraków May 10th 2016

The trumpeter sounds out from high above as we exit the Cloth Market into Rynek Glowny, the town square of Krakow, Poland. He plays his anthem as he does each hour of the day. It is loud and clear and filled with melancholy. He stops his tune abruptly part way through a note. It pays homage to the ancient trumpeter who, as the legend goes, was shot while warning the town that Tatar armies had gathered to attack the city. He waves to the crowd below and they heartily return his salute. He closes the window and repeats himself in the next quadrant of the gothic tower that has reigned large over the center of town since the 15thcentury. The crowd gathered in the square below the cathedral’s towers hardly misses a beat in their celebrations. ... read more
Rynek Glowny
Wawel Castle
St. Mary's Cathedral

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Florence April 8th 2016

Spring Fashion We were spending a sunny afternoon walking the narrow back streets of the ancient Oltrarno neighborhood on the other side of the Arno River from downtown. We had already passed the massive Pitti Palace and were heading towards the Santo Spirito church and square. The lilac bushes have just reached full bloom and overpoweringly scent the air with a fragrance so intense that the entire neighborhood smells of a fancy French boudoir. We heard the commotion of glasses clinking and theatrical voices coming from down a cobbled alley past a colorful bakery. The large group of well-dressed people standing in the alley were smoking and enjoying champagne half way down the narrow street. It was Wednesday afternoon so it couldn’t be a wedding and they were dressed too brightly for a funeral. We were ... read more
Florence at Night
Duomo Nights

Europe » Italy » Liguria » Cinque Terre February 26th 2016

There is a place where dreams are captured in real life. They drift inland on cool breezes across choppy turquoise seas tossing beneath pink clouded skies. They are captured by the rocky green hills that rise straight from the sea. The hills, worn by time and weather, stand as silent witnesses to a culture of hard work and dedication and a desire to create a visual masterpiece, a perfect mixture of nature’s harshness and man’s desire for not only sustenance, but beauty. The hills are terraced as they tumble to the sea from high above. The mortarless walls of the terraces, built over centuries by masters of stone craftsmanship, are perfectly shaped to capture the soft morning light. The fertile earth yields everything necessary to not only sustain life, but to nurture it. The terraces are ... read more

Middle East » Israel » Jerusalem District » Jerusalem February 4th 2016

Throughout my travel life I have always felt that it was important to maintain, as best as possible, an observational attitude towards the places I have visited. I don’t feel it is my place to interject my personal feelings towards the customs, culture or political and religious climate of the places I have chosen to visit. After all, I think one of the wonders of travel is seeing things that are different from your own world. It is what makes travel such a rewarding thing for me. Most travelers would agree that the world is becoming too generic. Inserting your own beliefs or customs can only alter the local culture and contribute to global sameness. I say observational and not objective because it is not always possible to be objective. I know that some things are ... read more
Old City
Jewish Cemetery
Holy Sepulchre

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Beyoglu December 22nd 2015

Maybe it will happen when you are standing on the Galata Bridge. The bridge crosses the Golden Horn from Karakoy to Eminonu where the Ottoman Sultans ruled for more than 500 years. The bridge will be busy, as always. Throngs of pedestrians mingle with fisherman and vendors for space on the wide sidewalks. Boat traffic of every size and variety vies for the narrow space below as they have since time was recorded. Occasionally a fisherman will have luck and pull a sardine sized fish from the gray waters below. Vendors sell steamed mussels and small bait fish to all who pass. Rising up from the bridge on either side, the hills climb sharply from the water. At the base of the hill on the “old” side of town several gaudily decorated and heavily rocking boats ... read more
Hagia Sophia Mosque
The Blue Mosque
Istiklal Tram

Europe » Ireland » County Dublin » Dublin November 29th 2015

When we left on this portion of our trip, I can’t say that Dublin was part of the planned itinerary. I doubt that most people would think of Ireland as a good place to visit in the middle of early winter. However, sitting in the heat of late summer in Seville, Spain where it never rains and blue skies are ever abundant, the thought of a bit of cool weather and lush vegetation seemed like a welcome change of pace. Despite some reservations we started looking at staying a month in Ireland in late November as a possibility for our future travels. When we checked the price of airlines, we found the incredible sounding fare of 26 Euros each to fly from Lisbon to Dublin, one way. Even though there would be an extra charge for ... read more
Poolbeg Lighthouse
Ha'Penny Bridge
Grand Canal Swans

Europe » Portugal » Lisbon & Tagus Valley » Lisbon October 27th 2015

The tiny room is only slightly lit by the pre-dawn sky. Outside the window, two cruise ships have moored in these last few minutes before dawn. The ships are lit like giant Christmas trees against the grey Rio Tejo. The sky to the east of the river begins to develop a faint orange band along the horizon. The bright white buildings that flow down the hillside to the river reflect the early light and begin to glow with the warmth of the early morning. The red terra cotta roofs, the tiles still wet from the mist of last night, begin to shine. With the growing light of day the maze of tiny alleys and interlinked stairways become visible. The river begins to glow red now as the scattered clouds reflect the first rays of the rising ... read more
Tram 28
Torre de Belem
Lisbon Nights

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Seville October 9th 2015

I suppose everyone has seen some inanimate object magically transform. Perhaps a piece of wood with excessive grain, perhaps a bit of intricately shaped wrought iron fence or even a coffee stain on a white table cloth. With a passing glance, in just the right light and at just the right angle, the object changes from obscure lines into a recognizable object, perhaps even a face. After the face appears, you can never go back to seeing the object normally. From that time on, you no longer just see the object, but the face staring back at you. I suppose it can either be enjoyable and funny or quite irritating depending on what the object is. If it is your new expensive cabinetry that you spent thousands of dollars installing it might not be pleasant. To ... read more
Puente Nuevo
City views at night
Metropol Parasol

Europe » Spain » Andalusia » Seville September 23rd 2015

There is an apartment in Seville. It is at the end of the callejon, past the tiny bodega where they have futbol and cups of good wine. The tiny alley is narrow and the smell of food drifts from the kitchens of the houses that line it. The days of the fish stew are the best with intense aromas that yield a mixture of sweet and sour. At the end of the alley you find a heavy framed metal gate with artistic flourishes that leads to the courtyard. The courtyard has a stone fountain and marble floor that feels cool to the touch even on the hot days, as it most always is. Three flights of stairs are climbed to reach the apartment. The stairway is accented with the famous blue azulejos tiles. The building is ... read more
La Giralda
Plaza de Espana
Seville Mornings

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