Wednesday, April 30, 2008


What can one say about a place where even peeling paint looks enchanting? I haven't the words - perhaps these pictures say it all.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Mdina and Valletta, Malta

In Mdina, the colour of the buildings, wrought iron details, Christian iconography and the lovely architecture made it an especially pretty place to visit.

In Valletta I visited the most elaborately ornate cathedral I've ever seen - St. John's Co-Cathedral, where over 400 Knights of Malta are buried beneath the floor's colourful marble inlays. The carved stone statuary are amongst the most intricate I've seen, and the whole place sparkles with an abundance of gold leaf over carved wood detail. Treasures of the Co-Cathedral include two large paintings by Caravaggio, including The Beheading of St. John the Baptist. The Co-Cathedral is a definite 'must-see' if you ever have the good fortune to visit Malta.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Henry the Navigator

This is one of my favourite images from Lisbon - this monument at the water's edge dedicated to Henry the Navigator. Born at the end of the 14th century, Prince Henrique was the third son of the King of Portugal; he established a school for navigation that led to the creation of the caravel, a lighter vessel that could travel faster and further. He is most famous for organizing and financing voyages of discovery that included the rounding of Africa and establishment of sea routes to the Indies.

I can only imagine how exciting it must have been to be a participant in the discovery of new lands and cultures and all the possibilities engendered.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Bermuda Pic


The last beach of my trip before I disembark in New York and fly home. It was a lovely day in a lovely place.

This time next week, I hope to have begun some new works to share with you. I'm thrilled to have had the opportunity to see many sights, to have had many enjoyable adventures and to have met the lovely folks I have over this past month. The positive energy I've basked in will surely inspire a new period of creativity for me.


Sunday, April 20, 2008


A beautiful place to visit all year around, but lucky me - when I was there a few days ago, the Jacaranda trees were blooming.

Had a delightful day soaking up the ambiance of the island; strolling through flower strewn Funchal, enjoying a meal at a lovely outdoor cafe, and partaking of the famous basket ride that sends one (or two in our case) down a steep two kilometre road in a wicker settee with crude skis attached; two straw hat-clad Madierians run behind, pushing this unlikely vehicle until it achieves quite a clip before jumping on the back of the skis to steer, and brake (by dragging their feet and leaning waaaaaay back) - an unusual thrill ride made even more so by the odour of burning wood (the friction against the skis!) and the cars and buses sharing the same road and zipping along cross streets!

An enchanting end to the day was seeing a replica of Christopher Columbus' Santa Maria sail across the harbour.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Lisbon Pic


I've had trouble posting from the ship, so I'm several countries behind. Here's a wee castle in Lisbon, where I was yesterday. Lisbon, Sintra, and Cascais, Portugal - all beautiful in yesterday's glorious sunny weather and warm temperature. The views, the architecture, the food, cleanliness, and the charm of it all beckons me back - I'll definitely be back.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Sochi, Russia

The site of the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics - they have a ways to go to prepare for the world visiting their City. 1200 tourists from our ship flooded the city in search of adventure, postcards, and 2014 T-shirts; sadly, none of the above were to be found. The museums and other sights were locked up tighter than a monkey's you-know-what, despite it being a Monday; long waits to get in while guides used their cellphones to contact officials and interpreters with keys. Quite a bit of grumbling amongst passengers who were looking forward to the port.

Here's the hot sulfur spring at Sochi's most famous resort - the Matsesta, where Stalin used to come for therapeutic treatments. The locals believe these sulfur waters are capable of near miraculous cures for many ailments.