Founded in 1720, San Antonio’s Mission San Jose was the largest of the missions in the area. The current building was built in 1768 from local limestone, and while the exterior my show signs of its venerable age, Mission San Jose’s interior is clearly a beautifully maintained space used for regular worship.
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“Please. Come into my shop. Let me show you what I have. I will make you a good deal”. This was the constant litany that accosted us as we wandered the narrow lanes and tried to do some last minute shopping in Stone Town, on the Island of Zanzibar.
Continue reading “Finding Craftsmanship Among the Kitsch in Zanzibar”
Our East Africa safari tour continued through the Great Rift Valley of Kenya with stops at Lake Nakuru in search of rhinos and Lake Naivasha to discover some of Africa’s many bird species.
Continue reading “This is Africa: On Safari in Lake Nakuru and Lake Naivasha – In Search of Rhinos, Birds and Other Creatures”
You’ll see Whirling Dervish performances advertised throughout Istanbul, offering an evening of entertainment. But for an authentic experience, I chose to attend a true Mevlevi religious ritual at the Galata Dervish Monastery.
Continue reading “PhotoPOSTcard: Whirling to Reach God”
Not all of the mosques in Istanbul are open to non Muslim visitors. But fortunately, the most beautiful ones in and around the historic core of the Sultanahmet area can be visited by tourists during the non prayer times of the day.
Continue reading “Visiting the Historic Mosques in Istanbul”
There is no doubt that the city of Istanbul is steeped in thousands of years of history – history that can still be touched today. Sitting beneath modern city streets that are teeming with pedestrian, automobile and tram traffic, a walk through the underground space of the Basilica Cistern is an opportunity to physically experience a world that existed 1500 years ago.
Continue reading “PhotoPOSTcard: Experience the Atmospheric Basilica Cistern in Istanbul”
The Sultan Ahmed Mosque, or Blue Mosque as it is more commonly known, was completed in 1617. Legend tells that its architect misread the Sultan’s instructions and mistakenly interpreted “six minarets” instead of “gold minarets”. This was a problem because at that time, only the Great Mosque of Mecca had six minarets. To allay criticism, the Sultan then ordered that a seventh minaret be added to the Great Mosque in Mecca.
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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 my experiences as I spent a day in Miyajima.
Continue reading “A Day in Miyajima – Japan’s Most Sacred Island”
As a teenager, I learned about the devastating effects of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. As an adult many years later, I visited the Hiroshima Memorial Peace Park, and encountered present day Japanese teenagers learning their history in this living classroom for peace.
Continue reading “The Hiroshima Memorial Peace Park – A Continuing Classroom for Peace”
The graceful curves of a Geisha wearing a kimono. The rotund shape of a groaning sumo wrestler. The stately orange beams of a torii gate. An artistic plate of freshly caught sushi. The large eyes of a manga cartoon charter. The serenity of a perfectly raked gravel rock garden. I don’t know if there is another country that has so many single identifiable images associated with its culture. All of these images speak the word Japan as clearly as if it were yelled from the mountain tops. But if there is one iconic image that stands high above the rest when it comes to symbolizing the soul of Japan, it is Mt. Fuji.
Continue reading “In the Shadow of Mt. Fuji – A Day In Kawaguchico Japan”