Part 2…A Sunday morning drive in Cornwall didn’t disappoint…Three days and counting…

The side of the Parish Church of St. Tudy. We walked on a narrow stone rain gully on the side of the church to reach the cemetery.

Fascinating Fact of the Day About St. Tudy, Cornwall:
St. Tudy is a picturesque village and parish located close to the western edge of Bodmin Moor, five miles northeast of Wadebridge. The village grew around an original Celtic graveyard still referred to as ‘God’s Acre.”

Sunday morning’s visit to two churches was not only exciting but highly entertaining when we entered the Parish Church of St. Tudy to find several parishioners and Reverend David Seymour sipping on coffee and tea with what appeared to be homemade biscuits.

We wandered into the church a short time after the service ended when several parishioners had coffee, tea, and biscuits.

The moment we tucked our heads to enter the short door to the historic 17th-century church, we were welcomed with open arms, offered to partake of the drinks and biscuits, and immediately engaged in lively chatter.

The cemetery was filled with history.

Whenever Brits hear our American accents, they can’t help but share stories of beautiful experiences they had visiting the US, most often to New York, Las Vegas, and various parts of California.

Birds are nesting in this louvered window.

One of the parishioners was excited to share his story of having his wedding vows renewed several years ago performed by an Elvis Presley impersonator at a chapel in Las Vegas.  

Others inquired about our travels, but we didn’t share as much as usual, preferring to hear their stories about their lives in St. Tudy and their love of Cornwall.

The church’s bell tower is similar to those in the “Game of Thrones” series and other historical movies and TV shows.

The pride the English express about living in Cornwall, is evidenced in each person we’ve met. One of the gentlemen, a gentleman indeed, walked me over to the plaque on the wall commemorating Captain William Bligh, proud of the bit of history bestowed upon this community and church.

A stone plaque on an interior wall in the church to commemorate Admiral William Bligh, 1754 -1817 depicted in the movie “Mutiny on the Bounty.”  The original movie was filmed in 1935 (see here). Vice-Admiral William Bligh FRS was an officer of the Royal Navy and a colonial administrator. The Mutiny on the Bounty occurred during his command of HMS Bounty in 1789; after being set adrift in Bounty’s launch by the mutineers, Bligh and his loyal men reached Timor, a journey of 3,618 nautical miles.”

He explained that the famous Captain was buried in the church’s cemetery, but he wasn’t exactly sure where the headstone was placed in his honor. We’d have loved to read his tombstone, but there were hundreds of headstones, and it would have taken hours for us to find it.

Simple yet beautiful pipe organ.

The grass in the cemetery was thick, and the underlying soil was uneven, making such a trek a tripping hazard. However, Bligh died in London, where his official burial monument is located. Below is a photo of his tomb.

Captain William Bligh’s tomb is located in London. (not our photo)

From this site:
“Bligh died in London in December 1817 and was buried at what was then St. Mary’s Church, his family’s local parish church. It is now the Garden Museum, and Bligh’s tomb is surrounded by lovely plantings.”  

He wrote the following to his wife, exactly as it was written (including typos):  “Know then my own Dear Betsy, that I have lost the Bounty…on the 28 April at daylight in the morning Christian having the morning watch. He and several others came into my Cabin while I was a Sleep, seizing me, holding naked Bayonets at my Breast, tied my hands behind my back, and threatened instant destruction if I uttered a word… -William Bligh to his wife, c. June 1791″

It has stained glass windows at the altar.

Again, for more on this story about William Bligh, please click here.

Once the conversations ended and the parishioners began to leave to continue their day, the Reverend welcomed us to stay and take as many photos as we’d like. All of a sudden, this church had a special meaning to both of us.

Cushions for the parishioners.

We were anxious to learn more details about the church and were able to find some morsels, as we’ve included today.

From this site:
“The parish church is dedicated to St Tudius, a sixth-century monk and missionary who has a strong association with Brittany and may even have been the important Breton Saint Tugdual. The church, whose graveyard contains an interesting ‘clink’ building and a pre-Norman carved stone, dates back to the fifteenth century.

The side altar with a square baptismal font.

The family of Captain William Bligh, of “Mutiny on the Bounty” fame, lived in St. Tudy for many generations at Tinten Manor. Captain Bligh was born here in 1754, the fateful voyage of the HMS Bounty took place in 1787. The church town is the only village in St Tudy parish, characterized by rolling farmland and woods.

The village of St Tudy is just two miles from the start of the Camel Trail and within easy walking distance of Bodmin Moor.”
Tom next to the main door of the church, the only entrance we could find.  “In some churches in the UK, the “Devil’s Door” is a small side door, a structural feature found in the north wall of certain medieval and older churches in the United Kingdom. They are widespread in the historic county of Sussex, where more than 40 extant churches have one.  They have their origins in the early Christian era when pre-Christian worship was still popular and were often merely symbolic structures—although they were sometimes used as genuine entrances. Before and during the Middle Ages, the north face of a church was considered to belong to the Devil and to people considered heathen. Churches were invariably built to the north of roads and tracks, to ensure their main entrance was on the south side.”
Speaking of the Bodmin Moor, tomorrow, on a predicted sunny day, we’ll be heading there to explore the many sites in the area, which will be our final outing in this area of Cornwall. Tomorrow’s post will be several hours late.
More stained glass windows.
On Thursday, we’ll pack and get ready for our following location in Witheridge, Devon, Cornwall, and on Friday, we’ll make the two-hour drive to our next new home. We love these short stays in England!

May your day bring you joy and fulfillment!

Photo from one year ago today, September 17, 2018:

This toad spent months with us.  Some nights, she faced this way, and other nights, she faced the wall. A male joined her months later, and days later, they were both gone to make a family.  For more photos, please click here.

Part 1…A Sunday morning drive in Cornwall didn’t disappoint…

As we approached St, Michaels and All Angels, Church of England, we were awe of its beauty.

Fascinating Fact of the Day About Michaelstow, Cornwall:

“Michaelstow is an attractive village and parish located about three miles south of Camelford in North Cornwall. The name means ‘St Michael’s Holy Place,’ and the parish church is dedicated to ‘St Michael and All Angels.’ The River Camel runs along the eastern edge of the parish. Helsbury Castle, an ancient, circular Iron Age hill fort, lies half a mile to the north on Michaelstow Beacon.”

Yesterday morning, we were entirely out of photos. We haven’t been out as much as we would have liked with all the rainy days lately. Although it was dark and dreary with rain on the horizon, we decided to get out anyway.

A sign identifying this particular Church of England.

The goal was to explore a few nearby villages taking as many photos as possible before the rain started again. Today, we’re experiencing the same kind of weather with rain expected at any moment.

As I write here now, Tom is watching yesterday’s Minnesota Viking game online. For some reason, this morning, the WiFi signal was too weak to allow him to stream the game. Finally, he’s been able to get it to work. 

The baptismal font.

The only reason we could think of this difficulty was the Monday morning surge in the use of the internet and the clouds affecting the satellite signal. In our travels, he experiences the same issues resulting in watching the game being frustrating and time-consuming.

I postponed starting today’s post to avoid using the WiFi, perhaps providing him with a better signal. But, this rarely provides much improvement when writing on this template doesn’t use much bandwidth (until I load photos).

Ornate wood carvings at the ends of the pews. 

Tom had seen an exciting photo online of a historic church in the nearby village of Michaelstow and searched for directions online. But it didn’t take more than a few seconds upon entering the tiny village of Michaelstow to see the impressive church’s historical tower, a true reflection of English history.

St. Michael and All Angels, Church of England, were truly breathtaking. Unfortunately, we can’t find the exact date the church was built at any of the few online mentions of this particular church. We suspect it may have been in the 13th century, but we did find the following information from this site.

Pipe organ.

“Michaelstow (Cornish: Logmighal (village) and Cornish: Pluwvighal in Trygordh (parish)is a civil parish and village in north Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. The village is about three miles (5 km) south of Camelford. The hamlets of Fentonadle, Trevenning, and Treveighan are in the parish.

The civil parish of Michaelstow is in the deanery of Trigg Minor and Hundred of Lesnewth. It is named after ‘St Michael’s holy place,’ and the parish church is dedicated to St Michael and All Angels. There is a fine tall Cornish cross in the churchyard. Its original location is unknown; until it was removed in 1883, it formed part of a series of steps up to the churchyard. Three more crosses are at Trevenning. The River Camel runs along its eastern edge, and the surrounding parishes are Lanteglos-by-Camelford to the north, St Breward to the east, St Tudy to the south, and St Teath to the west.

A side alter.

Helsbury Castle (Cornish: Kastel Bre Henlys, a castle on the hill of the old court’), an Iron Age hill fort, stands on Michaelstow Beacon half a mile north of the village.”

Upon arrival at the church, we checked the vestibule to find the front door locked. As we wandered about the property, we found a side door opened (referred to as the transept) and entered.  

The pipe organ is located at the end of this aisle.

Although it was Sunday morning, we didn’t see any visitors or parishioners. Nonetheless, we entered, finding the interior not only historical but exciting in several ways.

No, it wasn’t an elaborate decor as we often see in historic churches, but it had several features that caught our eye, which inspired us to take photos to share here today. We weren’t disappointed and soon forgot about the cloudy day.
Stained glass windows at the alter.
We wandered through the cemetery, reading headstones and searching for any relevant historical facts and dates.  In many countries, especially in small towns and villages, we’ve found ourselves wandering through cemeteries, searching for the unique and the unusual.

As for the church’s build date, Tom found this information this morning to explain it further. Click here for more details:

MICHAELSTOW MICHAELSTOW SX 07 NE 6/113 Church of St Michael – 17.12.62 GV I“Parish church. Possibly C13 origins enlarged in C15. They were restored in 1826, in 1870-1889 by Messrs Hine and Odgers, and 1982. Stone rubble with granite quoins and molded granite plinth and strings to west tower. Slate roofs, nave, and chancel in one. Plan: Nave and chancel possibly with C13 origins with four-bay north aisle and 5-bay south aisle added in C15. Circa C15 south porch and west tower. Exterior: Unbuttressed west tower of 3 stages with rectangular stair turret on the north. Battlemented parapets with crocketed pinnacles surmounted by crosses. Molded stilted arch to the west door. C19 3 light west window and 2-light belfry openings with slate louvers. C19 tracery in the south aisle, simple 3-light Perpendicular tracery in chancel window, and circa C15 3-light Perpendicular window with cusped heads at the east end of the north aisle. Piscina on the exterior of the north wall of the chancel. 3 C15 Perpendicular windows in the north aisle and blocked 4-centred molded arch to the north door. South porch has a 2-centered hollow-chamfered arch with a sundial of 1684, C15 wagon roof, and molded basket arch of Catacleuse stone with hollow chamfer and carved with floral motifs. Interior: Plaster walls. Unceiled C15 wagon roofs in nave and north and south aisles with carved ribs and wall plate partly restored. Particularly high-quality carving in the north aisle with evidence of pendants at the east end. C19 roof to chancel. 5-bay arcade to south aisle and 4-bay arcade to north aisle with granite type A (Pevsner) piers, molded bases, molded 4-centered arches, and carved capitals of Caen stone and Polyphant stone. Piscina and credence in the chancel, circa C15 font and Royal Arms dated 1727, painted on timber board. Circa C15 bench ends rescued from Church of St Tudius, St Tudy. Other benches 1882. 2 commandment boards dated 1803 and signed Henry Hocken and Wm Symons, Churchwardens. Bell dated 1550. C16 and C17 memorials. Maclean, Sir John Parochial and Family History of the Deanery of Trigg Minor in the County of Cornwall 1879 Pevsner, N, and Radcliffe, E The Buildings of England, Cornwall 2nd edition, 1970 Church guide.”

The side view of the historic church in Michaelstow, Cornwall.
We’re looking forward to tomorrow’s post when we happened upon a fantastic social experience during Sunday’s explorations.  More will follow!

Happy day!

Photo from one year ago today, September 16, 2018:

Kudus are usually early morning visitors, although we’ll occasionally see them during the day and evening. For more photos, please click here.

Socializing tonight…Three days and counting….

Entrance to the Church of St. Mylor in the sleepy town of Mylor, Cornwall.

Fascinating Fact of the Day About Falmouth:

“Operation Chariot, a famous Commando raid on the heavily defended docks of St. Nazaire in France during World War II, which helped to shape the war at sea, was launched from Falmouth.”

While in South Kensington, London, in 2014, one of our enthusiastic readers took a train from Bristol to meet us in person.  We were flattered by Liz’s interest in meeting us after she’d been reading our posts for the previous two years. Here’s the link to that beautiful day with Liz.
The view of St. Mylor from atop the several flights of stairs. I walked up and down all of these steps with relative ease, well worth the effort.
As mentioned in prior posts, we had a fantastic day with Liz in August five years ago and have stayed in close touch since that time, often exchanging long email messages back and forth.

When Liz read we were coming back to the UK, we were hoping to see her again, especially when we navigate closer to Bristol as we move north/northeast from one of our four locations to another. It appears we’ll be able to meet up in October.

At the bottom of the steps, I was treated to this view.
In the interim, Liz contacted friends who have a rental in Falmouth and were going to be here for a few days until Thursday when they return to Bristol. Liz and Glenn are close friends with the couple.
Much to our delight, yesterday Barbara (and husband Chris) contacted us by email to set up a time to get together for dinner, leaving open lots of possibilities as to where we’d meet. In her thoughtful message, she offered to come this way.  
An easy walking path to the graveyard and opposite side of the church.
With the dreadful parking situation coupled with Tom’s frustration over driving around for 45 minutes to find a spot, we decided to go back to the Boathouse for dinner tonight. (I can easily walk this hilly short distance). Barbara and Chris, familiar with the pub, enthusiastically agreed.

This evening at 5:45 pm, we’ll meet them in the pub, staying for dinner after happy hour. We’re so looking forward to socializing once again. The views are spectacular from the pub, and there’s no doubt we’ll have a great evening.
Thanks, Liz, for referring your friends to us!
The cemetery overlooks a yacht club and the sea.
We’re heading to our following location in a mere three days, a converted barn in St. Teath, Bodwin, Cornwall approximately a two-hour drive from Falmouth. We’re so looking forward to our two weeks in this inland area, on a farm with goats, pigs (yes!), sheep, and chickens. Gosh, I need an “animal fix!”

Undoubtedly, the second of our four-holiday homes will serve us well. Of course, as any of our avid readers are aware, the fact this property and the next are located on farms was highly instrumental in our booking these particular properties.

On Thursday, we’ll pack with no worry as to the distribution of the weight of the luggage, except, of course, for the fact Tom has to haul the bags down a flight of stairs in the house and then up 25 uneven stone steps to the street.  

The steep steps from our holiday rental to the street.  Tom will have to haul the heavy bags up these uneven 26 steps.
I’ll go up with him to watch the bags as he gets the car from a distant parking spot and then stay with the car when he goes up and down for more. This has been the one drawback of staying at this lovely property in Falmouth. It would have been much more manageable if we were typical “weekend travelers” with a tiny suitcase or duffle bag. 

For now, over the next few days, until we depart, we’re pretty content, looking forward to making new friends this evening, enjoying the gorgeous ocean views, and simply “being” while reveling in my newfound well-being.

Tomorrow, we’ll share details and photos of our evening out tonight, more food photos, and whatever treasures we may find in between.
Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, September 3, 2018:

Last night, Tom took this photo when he checked the thermometer to find a toad doing the same.  It was 25C, 77F at 2200 hours, 10:00pm. Over the next several months, this toad often rests atop this decorative fixture, later joined by a mate. For more photos, please click here.

Part 1…St. Petersburg, Russia…A city to remember…The Peter and Paul Fortress and Cathedral…

“The Peter and Paul Cathedral (Russian: Петропавловский собор) is a Russian Orthodox cathedral located inside the Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg, Russia. It is the first and oldest landmark in St. Petersburg, built between 1712 and 1733 on Hare Island along the Neva River. Both the cathedral and the fortress were originally built under Peter the Great and designed by Domenico Trezzini. The cathedral’s bell tower is the world’s tallest Orthodox bell tower. Since the belfry is not standalone but an integral part of the main building, the cathedral is sometimes considered the highest Orthodox Church in the world. There is another Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul Church in St. Petersburg, located in Petergof.”
This Baltic cruise provided us with an opportunity to visit and subsequently add six new countries to our world travel itinerary. We hadn’t added many new lands in the past few years, and this is particularly exciting.
Sailors were walking down the street with a mission in mind.

It’s not as if we’re on a mission to experience most of the world’s safe-to-visit countries. That was never the purpose or goal of our world travels. Instead, it’s simply fun to add more countries to our travel map on the right side of our home page.

On the streets of St. Petersburg, this Russian woman had an impressive arrangement of fresh fruit cups available for sale.

These Baltic countries have been exciting and unique compared to many other countries we’ve toured in almost seven years. Never in our travels had we been to Russia or other of the Baltic countries.

The luxury in the cathedral is indescribable.

Today, as we travel through Scandinavian countries, we find a very different feel from European countries, except for the varying designs of many churches and historical buildings.

There were so many tourists inside the Peter and Paul Cathedral. It was challenging to take photos without including them.

Let’s face it…buildings 200 or more years old seem to take on decor, design, and ambiance of specific typical characteristics, architecturally interesting, significant, at times flashy, and often made of gold and valuable stones, marble, wood, and jewels.

“The current building, the first stone church in St. Petersburg, was designed by Trezzini and built between 1712 and 1733. Its gold-painted spire reaches a height of 123 meters (404 ft) and features an angel holding a cross at its top. This angel is one of the most important symbols of St. Petersburg. The cathedral’s architecture also features a unique iconostasis (the screen which separates the church’s nave from the sanctuary). In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the iconostasis is normally a flat wall or screen with three doors through it. The central Holy Doors are used only for very solemn entrances and the two side doors by which the clergy and others enter and leave the sanctuary. However, at St. Peter and Paul, the iconostasis rises to form a tower over the sanctuary. The cathedral has a typical Flemish carillon, a gift of the Flemish city of Mechelen, Flanders.”

After seeing 100’s of historic buildings, we’re always searching for an unusual or unique series of features that can take our breath away. This happened in St. Petersburg a few days ago.

Pure gold was used in creating the exquisite ambiance of this famous cathedral.

As mentioned in our last post, found here, I wasn’t able to participate in Day 2 of our St. Petersburg tour due to my difficulty walking. After the previous day’s 12,000 steps ending at 13,500 when wandering about the ship that evening, my legs hurt enough to prevent us from another long day on foot.

“The cathedral is dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul, the patron saints of the fortress (Saint Peter being the patron saint of the city). The current cathedral is the second one on the site. The first, built soon after Peter found the city, was consecrated by Archbishop Iov of Novgorod the Great in April 1704.  The cathedral was the cathedral church (i.e., the seat of the bishop; the term cathedralsobor (собор) in Russian—can mean the seat of a bishop, but it can also mean simply a large or important church) of the city until 1859 (when St Isaacs became the city’s cathedral.) The current cathedral church of St. Petersburg is the Kazan Cathedral on Nevsky Prospect. The cathedral was closed in 1919 and turned into a museum in 1924. It is still officially a museum; religious services, however, resumed in 2000.”

Yesterday morning we were docked in Helsinki, Finland, and after attempting to post with no luck, we took off for town, utilizing a  private taxi which is the most accessible means for me.  

As we moved through the immense structure, we discovered one fantastic scene after another.

Photos aren’t as good as they’d be when on foot on the Hop-On, Hop-Off buses since they have to be taken through the glass windows, although it’s better than not going at all.

The remains of many leaders and their family members were interred within the church walls.

Years ago, we wouldn’t get off at some ports-of-call on some cruises, especially in the Caribbean, when we’d already been to many cruise lines owned islands intended for passengers to spend, spend, spend…on drinks, beach chairs, umbrellas, and trinkets.  

“The cathedral houses the remains of almost all the Russian emperors and empresses from Peter the Great to Nicholas II and his family, who were finally laid to rest in July 1998. Among the emperors and empresses buried here was Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia for 34 years.  Of the post-Petrine rulers, only Peter II and Ivan VI are not buried here. Peter II is buried in the Cathedral of Michael the Archangel in the Moscow Kremlin; Ivan VI was executed and buried in the fortress of Shlisselburg or Kholmogory (alleged discovery at Kholmogory in 2010 currently under forensic investigation). On September 28, 2006, 78 years after her death, Maria Feodorovna, Empress of Russia, was reinterred in the Cathedral of St Peter and Paul. Wife of Tsar Alexander III and mother of Nicholas II (the last Russian tsar), Maria Feodorovna died on 13 October 1928 in exile in her native Denmark and was buried in Roskilde Cathedral in Denmark. In 2005, the governments of Denmark and Russia agreed that the empress’s remains should be returned to Saint Petersburg in accordance with her wish to be interred next to her husband.”

Such ports hold little appeal for us when we are always seeking authenticity, history, and charm. An artificial island or strip of beach certainly doesn’t fit that criterion. However, many passengers find such places as the highlight of their cruises, especially those who don’t live near an ocean and sandy beaches. We get that.

The exterior is slightly less impressive than the interior of the cathedral.

Of course, a natural strip of sandy, volcanic or rocky beach always inspires us, prompting us to take many photos of varying angles of nature’s bounty. We never tire of the view.

As expected, the evenings have been entertaining and filled with lively chatter among other passengers we’ve met and between ourselves. There’s never a dull moment, nor do we spend much time in the cabin.

The chapel’s roof, ornate and gold-covered.

We managed to squeeze in a few movies in the ship’s small theatre, the Cinema, the past two days. The first was the most recent documentary about Apollo 11’s trip to the moon with live footage that left us on the edge of our chairs. It’s well worth watching and provides a perspective we could hardly imagine from memory 50 years ago.

After returning from touring Helsinki in the taxi yesterday, we relaxed and watched another movie, “Instant Family, “very sweet and entertaining. Tom dozed during the first 20 minutes but was awake for the balance.

As soon as we upload this post, we’ll be taking the shuttle bus from the ship to Stockholm, Sweden. From there, if possible we’ll take a taxi to tour the city.

Tomorrow, a sea day, we’ll have time for Part 2…St. Petersburg. Look for us then! We still have many more Baltic cities to share!

Enjoy the new week!
Photo from one year ago today, August 19, 2018:
This artistic piece, made by Agness at the Wayi Wayi Art Centre in Zambia, was made with hundreds of scratch-off tickets.  Please click here for more photos.

Part 2…Churches as a integral part of sightseeing throughout the world…

Here’s a video we posted from our veranda in Boveglio Tuscany, Italy, of the church bells
ringing across the way at the SS. Jacopo e Ginese Catholic church.   See our link here.

“Sightings from the Veranda in Costa Rica”

This morning’s view from the veranda at 5:30 am.

It’s interesting to watch our readership ebb and flow depending on the topics we cover in a particular day’s story and photos. Yesterday’s church story and photos showed a sharp decline in hits which surprised us.

But, true to our word, we’re completing Part 2 today with photos of other breathtaking and historical churches we’ve seen throughout the world. With too many such church photos to post in only two days, we’ll end this segment and move along tomorrow to another story with new images.

A scene on the interior of the S. Maria Assunta Catholic Church in Benabbio, Italy, in June 2103. See our link here.

However, we share another batch of church photos from our world travels over these past years for our historical and quaint building enthusiasts. Based on the number of passengers we’ve observed attending historical buildings tours on cruises, there are more historical building enthusiasts than we can imagine.

Undoubtedly, there comes the point for those who frequently travel, that the lure of historical buildings eventually wafts away, and they become more attracted to other tourist attractions. 

Gerry, Nicole, and Tom outside a quaint little church n Mykonos, Greece, in June 2013.  See our link here.

A few years ago, we thought we’d reached such a plateau. Still, now after considerable time away from countries known for their hundreds of years of history with architectural acumen, our interest is renewed. Once again, we’re finding churches and old buildings of great interest. 

Many of these photos were taken a few years ago since we’ve spent less time in countries specifically known for their historical buildings during the past two years. Of course, we’ve lived on many islands with outstanding temples and palaces, but most of these were found in Europe.

Busy preparations surrounded the Igreja De Campanario church in Campanario Madeira on July 2014 as workers rushed to get the decorations in place for Saturday’s religious festivities. See our link here.

Sometime in the next several years, we plan to return to Europe. Although we visited and lived in a few of Europe’s countries, one could spend a lifetime exploring all the treasures found in European countries. We’ve traveled very little in eastern and central Europe and not at all in Scandinavia.  We look forward to seeing more in the future.

The world is a vast place. At times, we meet people who start rattling off places they’ve traveled, including many we’ve yet to see. But, living this life isn’t a marathon. 

Here we are wearing saris standing at the foot of the steps at the Pulaki Temple (Monkey Temple) in Singaraja Bali in May 2016. See our link here. 

We don’t have any particular time frames in mind to accomplish a specific goal of what we’ll see in the future. For us, such an objective would diminish the sense of freedom we feel in our singular aim to “do it our way,” not by some preconceived notion of “how” one “should” travel the world.

Of course, we always have some locations booked well into the future. However, with added experience, we’ve found we don’t need to book two years in advance at this place and time. We did so in the beginning, more out of a desire to feel “secure” in knowing where we’d be in the future. 

St. Mary Cathedral in New Plymouth, New Zealand, on its last day before being closed permanently due to its lack of safety during earthquakes. See our link here.

Now, all these years later, we’re confident enough to “wing it” from time to time. At this point, we have no idea where we’ll be living in Marloth Park in 4½ months and feel confident we won’t be living in a tent in the bush. 

Wisdom and peace of mind come from experience. We still have so much to learn and will never reach a point in our world travels where we feel or assume we know how to do it all. It’s a fluid experience that continues to grow and change along with the changes that occur wherever we may travel. 

The Wai’oli hui’ai Church in Hanalei Kauai, Hawaii, which the congregation built in 1841. See our link here.

There’s nothing static about world travel. The risks fluctuate. Our response to experiences changes. Conditions in countries can change in a moment. Our interests can change “on a dime.” 

However, we know that our desire and passion for continuing on this journey hasn’t changed, our desire and passion for living this life together haven’t changed and, our desire and passion for sharing it all with you haven’t changed.

St. Mere Eglise Church with the Paratrooper Memorial in Normandy, France, appears on the left of the church in this photo.  See our link here.

Be well.  Be safe.

Photo from one year ago today, September 29, 2016:

Tom and I both ordered the surf and turf platter at Puri Bagus in Lovina Bali.  He gave me his prawns, squid, and veggies while I passed him my fries, flatbread, and onion rings, requested on a separate plate. The steak was a tenderloin, cooked to perfection and the most tender we’d had in a long while.  For more food photos, please click here.

Part 1…Churches are a integral part of sightseeing throughout the world…

San Rafael Archangel Parish is located in Atenas, the center of town, across from the park.

“Sightings from the Veranda in Costa Rica”

A few workers stopped by to help Ulysses with a landscaping project.

As we’ve traveled the world over these past years, we inevitably continue to visit one church after another. It isn’t very likely to tour cities, towns, and villages without stopping to revel in the architecture and ambiance of churches of many denominations.

The Parochial school at the church.

Often churches are the only remaining historic buildings in many locations ravaged by wars and uprisings throughout the millennium, leaving this element of history one can hardly ignore.

Several parishioners were praying when we entered the church in Atenas.

Even those of a variety of faiths or no faith whatsoever can find themselves entranced by the beauty and significance of these historical buildings, especially when involved in a specific tour when traveling in a group, on one’s own, or as part of a tour during a port of call while cruising. 

Long view of the altar at San Rafael in Atenas Costa Rica.

We can’t say that any particular church we’ve visited had more of an impact on us than others throughout the world. We loved Sagrada Familia in Barcelona in May 2013 and its incredible history under construction for the past 100 years. See the photo below, along with our link here.

Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain, has been under construction for the past 100+ years.
Then again, we were equally excited to see the church in Bampton, England, in August 2014, where the church scenes in Downton Abbey were filmed. 
Having loved the British TV series, it was quite a thrill to see the church where Mary and Matthew were married and eventually where he was buried in the church cemetery. See the photo below, along with our link here.
This is St. Mary’s church in Bampton, known as Church of St. Michael of All Angels, as shown in the TV series Downton Abbey, where Mary married Matthew, Edith was jilted at the altar, Matthew was buried.

Another unique religious structure, The White Mosque in Dubai in May 2013, left us breathless over its beauty and luxury. Here’s our link, including photos of us wearing the required clothing to enter, the thobe for Tom, and the abaya for me.

As we approached Sheikh Zayed Mosque. It was challenging to get a full shot of the mosque’s enormity based on its size and location. The link above will depict its entire range.

The opportunity to visit these churches and more, which we’ll continue in tomorrow’s post with links and photos, definitely has left us reeling over the powerful significance and purpose for the people of most countries. 

In other countries other than Costa Rica, we’ve never seen these glass coffins with Jesus. So we assume the representation in this manner is cultural.

At times, while chatting with cruise passengers, we may jokingly say, “If we never tour another church, we’ll have seen enough to last a lifetime.” But, we say this knowing full-well that day will never come. 

Beautiful wood ceilings in San Rafael in Atenas.

As we continue on our travels, we find ourselves drawn to these structures, not only as a tourist “attraction” and their often architectural beauty but for the powerful purpose they possess in the lives of the local people, which in many ways has shaped their lives and over time, ours as well.

Close view of the altar.

Please check back tomorrow for more churches we’ve explored in our travels, each with a remarkable story of its own and as an integral part of our ongoing world travels.

A crucifix on the grounds of San Rafael in Atenas.

Have a beautiful day, dear readers/friends!

Photo from one year ago today, September 28, 2016:

Traditional Hindu/Balinese decorations were used in creating the ambiance for dining on the cabana at the resort in Bali. For more details, please click here.