Darlene Foster's Blog

I was invited to be a guest on Jan Moore’s site Work on Your Own Terms

Jan’s site is dedicated to helping women enjoy meaningful work that fits their lifestyle and providing mentorship on midlife reinvention. Check it out, you will find it interesting.

Photo by Donna Cluff

Daydream Believer: You Can Be One Too

by  | Jul 17, 2017

I met Darlene shortly before she and her husband moved to Spain from Canada. I asked her to share a follow-up on her life Abroad and how it came about.

Guest Post by Darlene Foster

I can´t remember when I didn´t have the urge to travel and experience new worlds. My dear grandmother bought me a colouring book featuring children from around the world in traditional dress. I loved that book and wished, with each page I coloured, I could visit these places one day. Studies have proven daydreaming is good for young people because it plants seeds that often become reality. Of course, those dreams don´t come true without hard work and determination.

Read more here

http://workonyourownterms.com/daydream-believer-you-can-be-one-too/

Do you believe in daydreams?

 

Today my next book in the Amanda travels series is featured on Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore along with a couple of other new releases from excellent authors. You can download Amanda in New Mexico – Ghosts in the Wind free for review from NetGalley and enter a giveaway on Goodreads. More info in the article.

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Welcome to the Friday edition of the Cafe and Bookstore and another packed post today with new books and a FREE offer of a book for review.  First author to feature is Mira Prabhu with Copper Moon Over Pataliputra, the third book in her Moksha Trilogy.

About Copper Moon Over Pataliputra

Against the dazzling epochal backdrop of the Mauryan Empire in ancient India, celebrated for its liberal, humanist and free-thinking traditions, a gripping saga of love, betrayal, hatred and magical transformation sinuously weaves itself. Copper Moon relates the fascinating tale of Odati, daughter of Emperor Ashoka by stunning Urvashi, a Kalingan devadasi.

When a great horror strikes, and Odati’s tender young life hangs in the balance, it is the Egyptian Kahotep, Grand Eunuch of Maurya, who risks his own life to spirit her to safety. Within his protective embrace, Odati disguises herself as Amunet and gradually grows into…

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During the visit of my aunt and her friend, we took a bus trip to the Andalusian city of Cordoba, about five hours from where I live in Spain. Originally built by the Romans, it became an important location during the Moorish occupation. The ancient city of Cordoba held some of the world´s first known universities and medical schools. The fascinating architecture throughout the city reflects the Moorish, Jewish and Christian cultures.

It is easy to get around this charming city as it isn´t very big and you can easily walk everywhere.  The narrow cobblestone streets are lined with whitewashed buildings and patios decorated with colourful flower pots. Every time we turned a corner, we were confronted with another remarkable church, museum or interesting edifice. We took many pictures. It will take more than one post to share all we saw in these three amazing days.

Many buildings are decorated with flower pots

It took us a while to find it but we eventually walked down the street of flowers, or Calle de Fleurs which is the most photographed street in Cordoba and found on many postcards.

The Calle de Fleurs with the Mezquita in the background

The Mezquita is the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba, a UNESCO World Heritage site. There has been a place of worship on the site since the mid-sixth century when the Visigoths built the Basilica of San Vincent, the city´s main Christian Temple at the time. When the Muslims arrived in the eighth century the building was divided and used by both communities. It was later expanded to accommodate the growing Muslim population. In the twelfth century when the Moors were defeated by the Christians, the conquerors were so impressed by the opulent Mosque, it was uncustomarily kept intact and a Catholic cathedral built around it. Walking under the Moorish arches and viewing crucifixes, statues of saints and paintings depicting biblical stories, I was moved to tears as I felt the historic affiliation of art and faith surround me.

Inside the Mosque-Cathedral

The Moorish arches

An example of the ornate ceilings

A gorgeous stained glass window

A display of ancient Bibles

My guests enjoying the Mezquita

The original Mosque doors restored

The cathedral was consecrated in 1146 and has been used as a Catholic church ever since. They were preparing for a Corpus Christi parade and celebration that evening which we were lucky enough to witness, making our visit even more special.

Preparing for a religious celebration

Visiting the Mezquita is magical and these few pictures don´t do it justice. Here is a video from the official website. Don’t worry if you don’t understand Spanish, the views are gorgeous. https://mezquita-catedraldecordoba.es/

You really have to see this place to believe it!!

The city of Cordoba is a reminder of how Spain has willingly adopted the history and cultures of its many invaders over the years to become the unique country it is today.

More pictures of Cordoba to come.

 

 

I haven’t been spending much time on my blog lately but there is a very good reason. I’ve been entertaining overseas guests and showing them around my part of Spain. The three of us come from the same place originally and have been buddies since we were children. One is related, one isn’t, one now lives in Arizona and one in Alberta. I can´t tell you how wonderful it has been having them here in Spain with me.

So far we have explored medieval castles, cathedrals, museums, a Roman fortress, an amphitheatre, and a sanctuary built into the side of a mountain, shopped the markets, shared tapas and watched a flamenco dancer to name a few of the many fun things we’ve been doing. I’ll write more about these events and sites later but in the meantime here are a few pictures to show what we’ve been up to.

At the Sanctuary of the Virgin of Esperanza

Happy to have my friends here in Spain with me.

With a friendly sailor in Cartagena

Enjoying the amphitheatre in Cartagena

On stage at the amphitheatre ready to give a performance

A Roman Senator lost his head over us!

At the top of the castle in Guadalest

Beautiful Guadalest

We did not fight over the knight in shining armour

Someone bought a new hat at the market and is very happy!

Resting in a cute courtyard in Cordoba.

At the Alcazar in Cordoba with King Alfonso

Look who we found at the top of Santa Barbara Castle in Alicante

 

The three amigas together again, ready for adventure.

There are many more pictures and stories to share but you will have to wait.

Note – pictures from a collection taken by all three of us.

Us farm kids are tough!!Thought you might enjoy this.

bluebird of bitterness

Dear Ma and Pa,

I am well. I hope you are too.

Tell Walt and Elmer that the U.S. Army beats working for old man Doggett by a mile. They oughta join up quick before all of the places are taken.

I was restless at first because you got to stay in bed till nearly 6 a.m., but I am getting so I like to sleep late. All you got to do before breakfast is straighten up your bunk and shine some things. No hogs to slop, feed to pitch, mash to mix, wood to split, fire to lay … practically nothing.

We go on “route marches,” which the sergeant says are long walks to harden us. If he thinks so, it’s not my place to tell him different. A route march is about as far as to our mailbox at home. Then the city boys get sore feet and we all ride back in trucks.

I keep getting medals…

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I am a guest on Canadian Writer´s Abroad. Check out what I have to say about my move to Spain.

 

Source: Foster’s Dream Life

We had a fabulous day on a boat trip to the Maltese islands of Gozo and Comino during our recent visit.


Fort Chambray and the neo-gothic chapel of our Lady of Lourdes greeted us as we approached Gozo’s Mgarr harbour. We disembarked and piled into a packed minibus that took us on a rapid trip to Dwejra on the other side of the island. This is the site of the famous Azure Window often seen on postcards and calendars of Malta and featured in a number of movies and TV shows such as The Game of Thrones. Just two weeks earlier this important landmark fell into the sea. An example of how nothing lasts forever.

The Azure Window as it was. Photo from Wikipedia

The site of the Azure Window now.

We enjoyed the stunning view from the rocky shore nevertheless.

The impatient bus driver herded us back on the bus, reminiscent of the movie Vacation. “Now you’ve seen this let’s keep moving!”

Ta’ Pinu Sanctuary

We stopped at the Ta´Pinu Sanctuary where every year pilgrimages are made to Our Lady of Ta´Pinu who is believed to have healing powers.

Inside the sanctuary

A wall in the church displays crutches, plaster casts and pictures as offerings by those who have been healed.

Not wanting to annoy our surly bus driver, I quickly took some pictures but was still the second last one back on the bus. I received a grim look as I boarded.

A knight guarding the pharmacy

A lovely rose balcony in Victoria.

A sandwich on delicious Maltese bread near the Citadel in the ancient capital city of Victoria ended our visit to Gozo as our efficient bus driver was waiting to take us back to the boat. We would have liked more time to explore.

On the return trip, we docked at the uninhabited island of Comino which is a nature reserve. Hubby stayed on the boat but I walked up steep stairs, past a shrine set in the rocks, and found a great view of the crystal blue waters of the Blue Lagoon. I don´t think I have ever seen such clear water.

The clear waters of The Blue Lagoon

Some visitors went for a swim and others sunned on the rocks. Trucks serving snacks were available for those who got hungry or thirsty. I had to laugh as people juggled huge pineapples hollowed out and filled with drinks while they manoeuvred the steep steps back to the boat. I know I wouldn’t have been able to manage that!

A couple enjoying their drink in a pineapple on the way back.

We enjoyed the spectacular views as we headed back to the island of Malta, happy that we had seen all three of the islands that make up the country of Malta.

This is the last of my posts on Malta. I hope you have enjoyed them and perhaps one day you may visit this amazing place. 

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