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.