Palace Central, called Sintra

So far, we’ve only spent one day in Sintra, making inroads on a single palace, the National Palace of Sintra. The Palace dates from the 14th century and has been updated and remodeled over the centuries. The ceilings appear the oldest style, painted boards, yet what boards! There are magpies,  swans, mermaids and a fleetContinue reading “Palace Central, called Sintra”

Lisbon Sights

We had a whirlwind week, splashing through the rain and ducking into cafes to avoid the worst of the downpours as we visited a variety of places with our visitor, Peggy. In Lisbon, we began at the “Taste of Perdition” and Thieves Markets, both of which might have been better without rain. Despite the unprepossesingContinue reading “Lisbon Sights”

Museums and Sites in Rabat–mixed opportunities

Rabat is Morocco’s capital. It has strong competition from Casablanca for economic prominence and with Marrakesh for cultural prominence. I’d like to see the capital with museums that reflect the best of all periods of Moroccan history, but Rabat seems to have thrown in the towel on the museum front.  I already mentioned my fruitlessContinue reading “Museums and Sites in Rabat–mixed opportunities”

New York from two different angles

We spent a clear, bright Sunday visiting the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. An earlier torch was shaped like an aladdin’s lamp.         Lyra is standing beside a full-sized replica of the statue’s toes.       My paternal great, great grandfather was Michael Dwyer, and he may have arrived atContinue reading “New York from two different angles”

First Bites of the Big Apple

Arrived NYC from Barcelona on Wednesday, bought household supplies and crashed. The weather is wonderful for November, short sleeves, high 60s to low 70s, with some rain. Thursday was subway tickets (unlimited 1 week) and the Met. We selected 4-5 different galleries we’d like to see, mostly temporary exhibits (Faberge eggs, American quilts, House modelsContinue reading “First Bites of the Big Apple”

A lighthearted look at the Romanesque

The 11th and 12th centuries were a busy time in the Pyrenees, people were building churches in every little valley and painting them from roof to doors with frescoes. That was a lot of work and a long time ago. Time passed. At the beginning of the 20th century when museums were building their collectionsContinue reading “A lighthearted look at the Romanesque”

October’s bright blue weather and a semi-abandoned science zone

That was the name of a poem I had to memorize in about 3rd grade–I don’t remember anything but the title. The description is very apt, as the days have been exquisitely blue and bright, even as the sun rises a bit later and sets a little earlier every day. We’ve visited two large cityContinue reading “October’s bright blue weather and a semi-abandoned science zone”

Gaudi Week, Day 4–Museums of Catalan Crafts

After seeing places built by Gaudi himself, it’s not quite as interesting to go to a museum. On the other hand, museums often have the furnishings that have been removed over the years from the houses and buildings that Gaudi designed. The Museum of Catalan Modernism is a relatively small collection, but with some fantasticContinue reading “Gaudi Week, Day 4–Museums of Catalan Crafts”

Gaudi Week, Day 3–Casa Batlló

First, it’s Casa Bai-OH (skip the t, skip the ll sort of). This apartment building is arguably the most distinctive structure Gaudi worked on. He transformed an existing building by adding curved balconies to the exterior and adding two stories and an exotically curved peaked roof. There are a series of references to a skeleton,Continue reading “Gaudi Week, Day 3–Casa Batlló”