Where the Greeks were

Sicily was the largest colony established by Greece. What that actually means sinks in about the third time you visit a vast, partially excavated archaeological site and find a temple, or several, that appear to be transplanted straight from the Acropolis in Athens. The temples may the most impressive sights, but there are lots ofContinue reading “Where the Greeks were”

Piazza Armerina–Roman mosaics at their best

We didn’t know much about Piazza Armerina until we looked for archaeological sites to visit within driving distance of us in Sicily. The guidebook indicated interesting mosaics at the Villa Romana de Casale near the town of Piazza Armerina. The mosaic floors of this villa, owner unknown but possibly the Emperor Maximian (250-310 AD), areContinue reading “Piazza Armerina–Roman mosaics at their best”

Become your favorite character for a day in Edinburgh

As readers of Alexander McCall Smith and Ian Rankin, each of whom set their stories in and around Edinburgh, it was easy to find landmarks that relate to the work of both authors. In the background of the photo you see here is the street sign for Scotland Street. (There is no number 44). TheContinue reading “Become your favorite character for a day in Edinburgh”

Plants and Animals, the Royal Botanical Garden and the Edinburgh Zoo

Two days of sunny weather let us take advantage of the natural world in Edinburgh, the Royal Botanical Garden, and the Edinburgh zoo. Both have their high points. The Botanical Garden is very large and has many different gardens, though I misread Scottish Heath Garden as Scottish Heather Garden, and was mildly disappointed until IContinue reading “Plants and Animals, the Royal Botanical Garden and the Edinburgh Zoo”

The hike to Arthur’s Seat

A good park takes planning and Holyrood Park began as a hunting preserve long before 1541 when James V enclosed the area with a wall. Though adjacent to Holyrood Palace at the east end of the Royal Mile (where the Queen was recently in residence), the former hunting grounds are now a world-class park thatContinue reading “The hike to Arthur’s Seat”

Beachcombing at the Albufera del Medio Mundo

The Albufera del Medio Mundo has the best beachcombing on our coast. We had an interesting walk, first along the lagoon and then along the beach. Nest of an American Oystercatcher     There were a lot of different things to be found along the beach. We found the skull of a sea lion. OnlyContinue reading “Beachcombing at the Albufera del Medio Mundo”