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 picturesque village and parish located close to the western edge of Bodmin Moor, five miles north-east of Wadebridge. The village grew around an original Celtic graveyard still referred to as ‘God’s Acre.”

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Sunday morning’s visit to two churches was not only interesting 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 were having 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 wonderful 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 seen on series, “Game of Thrones” 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 for 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 headstone but there were literally 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 actually died in London where his official burial monument is located.  Below is the photo of his tomb.

Captain William Bligh 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 day light in the morning Christian having the morning watch. He with several others came into my Cabin while I was a Sleep, and 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″

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 at least 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, which is 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 particularly common 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 next location in Witheridge, Devon, Cornwall and on Friday, we’ll make the two-hour drive to our next new home.  We’re loving these short stays in England!

May your day bring you joy and fulfillment!
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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 in 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.”
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Yesterday morning, we were entirely out of photos.  With all the rainy days lately, we haven’t been out as much as we would have liked.  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 we could 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 for this difficulty was the Monday morning surge in use of the internet and the clouds affecting the satellite signal.  At times, in our travels, he experiences the same issues resulting in watching the game 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 interesting 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 was truly breathtaking. Unfortunately, we can’t seem to 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 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.  None the less, we entered, finding the interior not only historical but interesting in several ways.

No, it wasn’t an elaborate decor as we often see in historical 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 that may 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. Restored in 1826, in 1870-1889 by Messrs Hine and Odgers and in 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 4 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 finials 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 north aisle and blocked 4-centred molded arch to north door. South porch has 2-centred 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 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 during Sunday’s explorations, we happened upon a fantastic social experience.  More will follow!

Happy day!
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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.”

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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 wonderful day with Liz.
The view of St. Mylor from atop the several flights of stairs. I walked up and down all of these step 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 up 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 having to drive 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.
In a mere three days, we’re heading to our next location, 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!”

Surely, 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.  If we were typical “weekend travelers” with one small suitcase or duffle bag it would have been much easier. 

For now, over the next few days until we depart we’re quite 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.
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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 pm. Over the next seveal months this  toad often resting atop this decoartive fixture, later being 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 countries in the past few years and this is particularly exciting.
Sailors 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 interesting and definitely unique compared to many other countries we’ve toured in the past almost seven years.  Never in our travels, had we been to Russia or other of the Baltic countries.

The opulence in the cathedral is indescribable.

Today as we travel through Scandinavian countries we find there to be 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 certain typical characteristics, architecturally interesting, big, at times gaudy 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 at its top an angel holding a cross. 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 nave of the church 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 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 sort of tower over the sanctuary. The cathedral has a typical Flemish carillon, a gift of the Flemish city of Mechelen, Flanders.”


After seeing literally 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 prior day’s 12,000 steps ending at 13,500 when walking 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’s founding of 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 easiest means for me.  

As we moved through the immense structure we discovered one amazing 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 its better than not going at all.

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

Years ago, on some cruises, we wouldn’t get off at some ports-of-call, 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. A man-made 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 beach, sandy, volcanic or rocky 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.

The past two days, we managed to squeeze in a few movies in the ship’s small theatre, the Cinema.  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.


Yesterday, after our return from touring Helsinki in the taxi, 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!

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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 churches 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 photos.

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

However, for our historical and quaint building enthusiasts, we share another batch of church photos from our world travels over these past years.  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.

No doubt, there comes a point for those who travel frequently, 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 but now after considerable time away from countries known for their hundreds of years of history with architectural acumen, our interest is renewed and once again, we’re finding churches and old buildings of great interest. 

Many of these photos were taken a few years ago since during the past two years we’ve spent less time in countries specifically known for their historical buildings.  We’ve lived on many islands with outstanding temples and palaces but, the majority 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 huge place.  At times, we meet people who start rattling off places they’ve traveled, including many we’ve yet to see.  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 in order 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 objective 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 at this place and time, with added experience, we’ve found we don’t need to book two years in advance.  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 it’s last day before being closed permanently due to it’s 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 change.  Conditions in countries can change in a moment. Our personal interests can change “on a dime.” 

However, one thing we know for sure, is our desire and passion to continue on this journey hasn’t changed, our desire and passion in living this life together hasn’t changed and, our desire and passion for sharing it all with YOU hasn’t changed.

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

Be well.  Be safe.

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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 as a integral part of sightseeing throughout the world…

San Rafael Archangel Parish located in Atenas 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, it’s inevitable that we continue to visit one church after another.  Actually, its highly unlikely 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 that were 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 amazing history of being under construction for the past 100 years.  See 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 characters Mary and Matthew were married and eventually where he was buried in the church cemetery.  See 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 and eventually Matthew was buried.

Another outstanding religious structure, The White Mosque in Dubai in May 2013, left us breathless over its beauty and opulence.  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 difficult, based on its size and location to get a full shot of the mosque’s enormity. The link above will clearly depict its full 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.  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 special story of its own and as an integral part of our ongoing world travels.

Crucifix on the grounds of San Rafael in Atenas.

Have a beautiful day, dear readers/friends!

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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.