PhotoPOSTcard: At the Abbey de Fontenay

One of the excursions on my European Waterways Burgundy Canal cruise was to the UNESCO listed Abbey de Fontenay. The abbey was founded in 1118 by a group of Cistercian monks.  On our tour, I leaned that the Cistercian order was established in response to the excesses displayed by the Benedictine monks. The Cistercian’s believed in hard work in a simple, austere environment and they built this large abbey to insure that they would be self-sufficient. Much of the original abbey architecture remains to this day, including the cloisters seen in this photo.

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PhotoPOSTcard: Still Standing Strong

After 1000 years of history, Our Lady of Notre Dame de Paris still stands strong. She is a little rougher around the edges, but her soul still shines through. The spire and the roof are gone but the site looks remarkably clean. For the time being, you can only admire her from afar. Unlike my previous visits, there was no revelry as people stood to watch and take photos. There was a quiet worshipful reverence as tourists continued to admire this historic Paris icon.

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Istanbul’s Hagia Irene – A Step Back in Time

To step through the door into Hagia Irene in Istanbul is to step through a time portal back to fourth century Constantinople. Before the more famous Hagia Sofia was built, Hagia Irene served as the main church for the capital of the Byzantine Empire. Hagia Irene also served as a model for the construction of the Hagia Sofia next door.

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PhotoPOSTcard: The Call to Prayer in Istanbul

The first time I ever heard the Islamic call to prayer was in Istanbul on my first visit in 2016. The sun was starting to set as I was taking a break on a bench in the hippodrome area in front of the Blue Mosque. The tulips were in full bloom and the scent of hyacinths was wafting on the early evening breeze.

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Visiting the Historic and Famous Mosques in Istanbul

Not all of the mosques in Istanbul are open to non Muslim visitors. But fortunately, the most beautiful and famous mosques in Istanbul around the historic core of the Sultanahmet area can be visited by tourists during the non prayer times of the day.

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PhotoPOSTcard: Another Perspective on the Sheikh Zayed Mosque

What a difference lighting can make in a photo. This is the same location as the previous post, the entrance to the Sheikh Zayed mosque; but this time, it is at the end of the day as the sun is setting behind the domes. I loved the symmetry – only one example of many at this amazing place.

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PhotoPOSTcard: Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi

I have seen many beautiful religious buildings around the world, and after my recent visit to the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi, it has become one of my favorites. I was like a kid in a candy store photographing it, but honestly, I don’t think you can take a bad picture of it from any angle. My challenge was to try and get some unique perspectives as well as the usual shots. This photo is looking through the main entrance into the mosque.

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Japan’s Most Sacred Island – What To Do In Miyajima In One Day

Miyajima, Japan is most famous for the photos of its floating torii gate. But this lovely little island offers up lots of gorgeous scenery, both man made and natural. Read on to find out about what to do in Miyajima as I spent a day exploring  its photogenic treasures.

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A Nikko Day Trip From Tokyo – Taking a Tour Versus Independent Travel

The shrines and temples of Nikko, one of Japan’s 21 UNESCO listed sites, are one of the many easy options for Tokyo day trips. You can do a Nikko day trip either as a tour from Tokyo, or you can go there independently. Either option has its pros and cons. Read my recommendations for a complete Nikko day trip experience.

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