Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category
A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral. Antoine de Saint-Exupery
I am off to Spain in a few of days and most likely will not be posting on my blog for a couple of weeks. So I thought I would share a few pictures of one of the most amazing sights in Barcelona. It is Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia. I was in awe when I came upon this cathedral. My husband did a wonderful job of capturing the many features of this work in progress, started in 1882 and estimated to be completed in 2030. As you walk around the building you can see the style of construction appears somewhat different between the new and old parts.
I can’t imagine I will ever see a sight more incredible than this cathedral.
“The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plane.” My Fair Lady
Here are more pictures from my favourite places in Spain.
These are just a few of my favourite pictures. I may post more from time to time.
All pictures were taken by Darlene Foster and Paul Foster over the course of 8 years.
I love Spain. I have been there four times in the past 8 years and every time I enjoy it more. Here are some pictures from my vist last September to show what I love about this amazing country.
The Sun and the Beaches
The Mediterranean Sea
The Historic Buildings
The Art - Everywhere
The Outdoor Eating
My in-laws, who live there
Just a few of the things I love about Spain. I will share more in future posts. I love it so much I am returning next month!
Is there some place that you can’t get enough of?
We had a quiet restful Christmas Day at our house, which was itself a welcome gift. On Boxing Day I travelled by ferry to Vancouver Island to meet my daughter in Nanaimo. We had a wonderful time relaxing in a cozy coffee shop, visiting and exchanging gifts.
I brought Flat Ruthie along as she had never been to Nanaimo. She had heard about the famous Nanaimo bars though. Marcelle and Ruthie became fast friends, as I knew they would. Ruthie was taken with Marcelle’s Painted Pony Handbag.
She was also intrigued with the Matcha Latte Marcelle ordered. I had a vanilla almond latte which was also very good
You may have read about my daughter the potter on previous posts and how proud I am of her:
I love all the pottery she has given me over the years but the urn she gave me this Christmas is totally amazing. As you can see, Flat Ruthie likes it too.
Nanaimo has many wonderful bookstores so we dropped in at a used bookstore near the coffee shop. Marcelle bought three books on Feng Shui and I found one I couldn’t resist. Flat Ruthie and I had fun looking through it on the ferry ride home.
Nanaimo Bar Recipe
½ cup unsalted butter (European style cultured)
¼ cup sugar
5 tbsp. cocoa
1 egg beaten
1 ¼ cups graham wafer crumbs
½ c. finely chopped almonds
1 cup coconut
Melt first 3 ingredients in top of double boiler. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, coconut, and nuts. Press firmly into an ungreased 8″ x 8″ pan.
½ cup unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. and 2 Tsp. cream
2 Tbsp. vanilla custard powder
2 cups icing sugar
Cream butter, cream, custard powder, and icing sugar together well. Beat until light. Spread over bottom layer.
4 squares semi-sweet chocolate (1 oz. each)
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
Melt chocolate and butter over low heat. Cool. Once cool, but still liquid, pour over second layer and chill in refrigerator. Enjoy!
Taken from the City of Nanaimo’s website
I hope you all had a wonderful Boxing Day as well!
We are happy to have a special guest from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania spending Christmas with us. Flat Ruthie arrived a few days ago and has settled into our home on the west coast of Canada very well.
Today she attended a Christmas tea party and book exchange with me. The tea party was wonderful with many home-made goodies made by my friend Kimberley and a variety of teas to choose from. I had lemon meringue Rooibos tea and munched on chocolate ginger cookies, lemon loaf and cranberry almond scones. All sooo good. Flat Ruthie didn’t have anything to eat as she is watching her weight this Christmas. I brought 5 books for the exchange and promised myself I would only bring 1 back home with me. But everyone brought such good books, I couldn’t resist and left with 4 I hadn’t read yet.
While I’ve been at work. Ruthie has been catching up on her reading. She has read all three Amanda books and loved them. She can’t wait for the fourth one to be published. I think she is hoping to be featured in one of them some day.
We love having her here as she is no trouble at all and it would have been a lonely Christmas otherwise.
Flat Ruthie comes from cardboard me travels http://cardboardmetravels.com/
MERRY CHRISTMAS to all my wonderful followers!!
When I travel, I love looking in the shop windows. I like to see what is popular in other countries. Years ago, when I worked in retail, I often created the store window displays. I enjoyed that part of the job a lot so it is fun to observe the creation of other window display artists. Our latest trip had many great window displays that I would like to share with you. The pictures are not always the best as shooting through glass has its limits.
I was delighted to find a store that sold Steiff toys. I used to sell these toys when I worked at a gift shop years ago.
Steiff is the home of the original Teddy Bear, named after Theodore Roosevelt after he visited the factory and commented on how the bears looked a lot like him. My children have a nice collection of these adorable stuffed animals.
I also sold Hummel Figures in that same gift store owned by a wonderful German woman. I discovered this display in Vienna as well.
A display of children’s traditional drindl dresses in Vienna, Austria
I love checking out the shoe store windows in other cities. There were some wild displays in Budapest!
Do you enjoy looking at the shop windows when travelling?
In my last post I shared some interesting (or not) facts about me. I happened to mention that I was a Jane Austen groupie and dressed up as Jane Austen for Halloween sometimes. Here I am dressed as one of my favourite people.
I also recently had an article published in travelsthruhistory about a time when I visited Jane Austen’s house in Chawton. Another one of my dreams come true.
VISITING JANE AUSTEN ON A MOTORBIKE
By Darlene Foster
Our delightful visit to England included Yorkshire and North Wales. Viewing the countryside with its stone hedges and ancient castles was made even more enjoyable as we hurtled down narrow roads on a motorcycle.
We had one thing left to do before flying back to Canada; deliver the motorbike to its new owner in London. We travelled down from York, stopped for lunch at a pub in Cambridge overlooking the Thames and watched the rowers practice. As we rode towards London, I was puzzled when we didn’t turn off the M1 taking us into Guildford, but turned east. Soon I recognized signs for Alton, Strawberry Hill, Steventon and Chawton. We were on our way to visit my hero, Jane Austen! My dear husband had planned this as a surprise for me.
Here is a question often asked at job interviews: If you could have lunch with anyone, alive or not, who would that be? I would answer Jane Austen of course. What would your answer be?
My husband thinks it is amusing that I take pictures of the food we eat while travelling. But I find it is part of the good memories. And we ate some great food on the latest trip to Europe. The first fabulous meal was at Cafe Opera in Altea, Spain. I had been to Cafe Opera once 8 years ago. Both experiences have been wonderful and I was pleased to see it had not changed. The cafe overlooks the Mediterranean and the large outdoor seating area is surrounded by greenery. The tablecloths are decorated with sheet music and the menu, in four languages, looks like the program for an opera performance. The staff is very friendly and efficient. Inside the café, the walls are decorated with musical instruments and drawings of composers. But the best part is the food. I had a Beethoven salad eight years ago which was amazing. This time I opted for the Tchaikovsky salad and was not disappointed. I savoured every morsel. The bill came in a delightful small music box.
The meals on the Sound of Music were incredible as well. There was something for everyone’s tastes and so nicely presented. The highlight was always the desserts. Here are a couple of examples.
We love to search out cute little tea/coffee shops wherever we go. We found this adorable tea shop in La Manga, Spain
And we found many wonderful coffee shops in in Vienna, including one that served generous portions of ice cream.
Since we have returned home it has been difficult to not have dessert three times a day! We have been eating the fabulous gingerbread we brought back from Nuremberg, Germany sparingly, to make it last.
Writing this post has made me hungry. There must be some German chocolate around here somewhere.