Darlene Foster's Blog

Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

jane-again

Me being Jane Austen.

Sally has asked me to dig out an article from my archives about visiting Jane Austen’s cottage. Many of you are aware I am a Jane Austen fan, so this was an exciting occasion for me. If you would like to participate on Sally’s blog by sharing some of your travel themed posts, written before October 2017.. contact sally.cronin@moyhill.com

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Time for a new series of Posts from Your Archives and the theme this time is all about travel.

The aim of this series is to showcase your blog and any creative work that you do from books, art, photography and crafts. You pick between one and four links to posts that you have written for your own blog since you began blogging up to October 2017 and you simply send the link to those blogs to sally.cronin@moyhill.com

You have to do nothing more as I will capture the post and images from your blog and I will then post with full copyright to you.. with your creative work and your links to buy and to connect. I might sometimes need a little more information but I am quite resourceful in finding out everything I need.

So far in the Posts from Your Archives from September 2017, there have been…

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There are just so many things to see and do in Barcelona that it’s impossible to see everything in one visit. Every time I go, I discover something new and exciting. I took my out-of-town guests to this fascinating city last summer where we visited Mount Tibidabo, the highest point in Barcelona, and loved it!

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The charming blue tram

Getting there was part of the fun. We first took a bus, then a pleasant ride on a quaint blue tram with a friendly driver that took us through Barcelona’s most affluent residential area. The well-loved blue tram has been in operation since 1901 and still has that old world charm with dark wood seats and ceiling.

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Beautiful homes from the window of the tram. Note the gorgeous wrought iron fence and gate.

The tram only took us halfway up the mountain. To reach the top we had to board a vintage funicular. We entered the colourful contraption with trepidation but decided that if it had been pulling folks up to the top of the mountain for 116 years, it must be OK.

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Dubious funicular to the top of the mountain

Once safely delivered to the top of Mount Tibidabo, we were greeted by a classic amusement park built in 1889. Overlooking the vintage rides and fast food kiosks, the impressive Temple of Tibidabo built in 1902, stands proud. Also known as the Temple of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, it is adorned with a golden bronze statue of Jesus with outstretched arms as if giving a benediction to all of Barcelona.

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We had a quick look at the old Ferris wheel, merry-go-round and other childhood rides but decided not to go on them. Our prime interest was the church.

The interior of the church was impressive with many works of art, murals, statues, mosaics and stained glass windows.

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Many awesome icons inside the church including a Black Madonna and Child.

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I loved the details like this iron door infront of  a private chapel

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Mosaic floor depicting the story of the loaves and fishes

An elevator took us up to the terrace offering amazing panoramic views of the city, port and coastline. As we walked around the entire circumference we enjoyed close-up views of large stone statues depicting the twelve Apostles posted at intervals, ornate bell towers and intricate carvings.

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An ornate bell tower on the terrace

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One of the twelve Apostles overlooking the city

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Another apostle, with a fabulous view.

Stone stairs took us to more levels until we reached the top under the golden statue of Jesus. It was amazing. The wind blew, the sun shone and we were delighted to have had this experience.

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We worked our way to the top via the spiral stone staircases.

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More intriguing details. In the foreground is the top of a gate made to look like a flowering plant.

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After enjoying a nice lunch, I had yummy deep-fried artichokes with aioli dip and an iced coffee, we bought a few souvenirs and took the funicular, tram, and bus trip back to our hotel in time for another exciting outing.

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Visiting Mount Tibidabo with good friends made it all the more enjoyable!

I am a guest on Sue Vincent´s blog where I share information and pictures of a unique sanctuary I´ve visited here in Spain. Sue´s blog is very interesting with many great posts. Check it out.

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

Spain is well known for its fascinating cathedrals such as La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, The Mesquite in Cordoba and the Cathedral of Seville to name a few. Besides the well-known religious structures, there are many smaller places of worship tucked away in villages, mountains and locations not often frequented by tourists. I love discovering these as they have their own distinctive personalities and are certainly worth a visit.

Sue has graciously agreed for me to be a guest on her blog so I can tell you about a few of these lesser known churches in Spain we have discovered, not far from where we live. One of the most unique being the Sanctuary of Santa Maria Magdalena near Novelda, in Alicante province, only an hour drive from our place.

Although I love scouring old sites, this delightful example of Spanish Art Nouveau, was built between 1918 and 1946, so…

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Thanks to Sally, my visit to the fascinating city of Messina in Sicily has been brought out of the archives. If you haven’t read it before, you may find it interesting and if you have, it could be a nice reminder. I enjoy revisiting these places via Sally’s blog.

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Darlene Foster gives us a guided tour of the port of Messina with its stunning architecture and history.

Madonna of the Letter and 236 Steps in Messina by Darlene Foster

Have you ever been to Sicily? That island off Italy at the end of the boot. As a kid in school I was always fascinated by that part of the map. I was fortunate that our recent cruise made a stop at the port of Messina. We were greeted by a golden Madonna perched on top of a very tall column, as we entered the harbour. The words – “Vos et ipsam cictatem benedicimus” at the bottom made me curious. Although it rained heavily, I was not deterred and left the ship to explore. I was excited to be in Sicily.

Madonna of the Letter

My first stop was the Duomo de Capanile, the main cathedral in the city. It seemed like a good…

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Sally Cronin is featuring a post from my archives about my visit to the Keukenhof Gardens two years ago. I´m currently busy writing Amanda in Holland: Missing in Action, where Amanda and Leah visit this amazing place. Hop on over to see the pictures. I hope it makes you feel springy.

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Today a chance to tiptoe through the tulips courtesy of Darlene Foster.. Since it brings us all some much needed signs of spring I am going to feature all of the photographs. I am sure you will enjoy as much as I have.

Tiptoeing Through the Tulips at Keukenhof by Darlene Foster

I love tulips. They are by far my favourite flower. So you can imagine my delight when we arrived at Keukenhof, the famous tulip gardens in Holland. Greeted by a sea of tulips in the brightest colours imaginable, I was like a child at a candy store. Covering 32 hectares, over 7 million tulips, daffodils and other spring flowers are on display amongst well kept shrubs, trees and blossoms.

Interesting sculptures and works of art are displayed throughout the gardens. I climbed to the top of a traditional windmill, or molen, to get an amazing view of…

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I love my blogging community. Everyone is so supportive and I am delighted when I´m featured on their blogs.

Robbie Cheadle and her son Michael have been reading the Amanda Travels books and recently wrote a wonderful review on Robbie’s blog. This is what she had to say about Amanda in Arabia – the Perfume Flask

The story was sufficiently fast-paced to keep him interested and he wanted to read every night [instead of his usual practice of procrastinating for as long as possible before getting down to his reading]. I enjoyed the book too and thought the language was pitched at the right level for a middle school reader. 

You can read the rest of the review here

https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2017/09/23/book-reviews-the-amanda-travels-series/

Please check out her blog. Robbie and her son not only write exciting children’s books featuring Sir Chocolate, they create the most amazing things out of fondant. The series of books about Sir Chocolate and his friends are also cookbooks. Each book includes a children’s story written in poetry form about the world of Sir Chocolate and five recipes that children can make with adult supervision. How cool is that?

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Fishing boy cake created by Robbie Cheadle. Love those fondant cows!

My good blogging friend, Sally Cronin is running a feature on her blog called The Ultimate Bucket List and invited us to share two things on our personal bucket list. If you want to know what mine are read on.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/11/05/smorgasbord-sunday-interview-the-ultimate-bucket-list-meeting-other-writers-by-darlene-foster/

Sally has also asked us to share posts from our archives. I decided to share one of mine from three years ago that features inspiration for my most recent book, Amanda in New Mexico-Ghosts in the Wind.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/11/08/smorgasbord-reblog-posts-from-your-archives-ghost-hotel-by-darlene-foster/

Sally, a talented writer herself, works tirelessly at promoting other writers. She is like the Fairy Godmother of Writers and we all appreciate everything she does. Check out her blog Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life if you haven’t already. There is something for everyone.

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The Fairy Godmother of writers and bloggers

 

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Check out this and Sally´s other amazing books https://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

Thank you to everyone who reads, likes, shares and comments on my posts. It makes my day!!

I found music and love everywhere I turned on my recent visit to Liverpool. I fell in love with the sing-song accent of the friendly Liverpudlians and found this city a delight to explore.  After all, this is the home of my teenage heroes, John, Paul, George and Ringo and they have left their mark big time. Landing at John Lennon airport, with a yellow submarine in front, is just the start.  They are everywhere from The Fab 4 Restaurant, MacArtny´s Bar, The Beatle´s Story Museum, A Hard Day’s Night Hotel, The Magical Mystery bus tour and bronze figures of the famous foursome who defined a generation strolling down the waterfront. I couldn’t help but hum Beatles tunes the entire time I was there. Then there is the ferry that takes you across the Mersey River made famous by Gerry and the Pacemakers in 1964. A statue of the charming Cilla Black stands in front of the original Cavern Club. The city loves its music!

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The Fab Four – forever in our hearts and on our lips!

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Where it began all those years ago

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Cilla Black in front of the Cavern, where she worked as a coat check girl before being discovered

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ferry ‘cross the Mersey cause this land’s the place I love and here I’ll stay, Gerry Marsden, now 76,  still lives in Liverpool

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Fabulous views of Liverpool from the ferry

Liverpool is a port city and home to the Cunard and White Star Lines. The ill-fated Titanic and Lusitania were Liverpool ships. Excellent displays of both can be seen at the Maritime Museum. Liverpool is the port where over nine million people have left from to immigrate to Canada and the United States over the years. In fact, my great-grandparents, who boarded a ship in Hamburg, Germany, made a stop at Liverpool, no doubt to pick up more passengers, before crossing the Atlantic.

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A sculpture commemorating the many families who left through the port of Liverpool to immigrate to the Americas and start a new life

The once busy docks have been cleaned up and now house trendy restaurants, interesting shops, the Tate Art Gallery and a number of excellent museums.

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The Albert Docks

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The famous Liver Building with the Liver birds on top, the official mascots of Liverpool

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One of many superlambananas placed around Liverpool during the city’s European Capital of Culture celebrations in 2008.

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We had our lunch of fish finger butties in this old bus. What fun!!

Many excellent museums, art galleries, amazing architecture and great shopping make this city an ideal destination for someone like me. Apparently, it rains a lot there but we had some wonderful sunny days to explore.

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St. Luke’s Church, bombed in 1941 was never restored. It is now a place for relaxation and remembrance. The scent of burnt wood still permeates.

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The Liverpool Cathedral, Britain’s largest cathedral and the largest Anglican Cathedral in Europe, can be seen from almost everywhere in Liverpool.

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Inside the stunning Lady Chapel

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One of many stained glass windows

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I discovered one of the best graveyards ever behind the church with the original mortuary above

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A welcoming library with the names of well-known books listed on the walkway!

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Inside the library, a Harry Potter-like reading room. I was in heaven.

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A typical Liverpool scene. The Cunard building is in the background.

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A juxtaposition of the old and new. The excellent Museum of Liverpool on the left.

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The mythical liver bird keeping watch over the port

I am so glad I got to visit this amazing city! Have you been to Liverpool or know anyone who may have immigrated from the Port of Liverpool?


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