Darlene Foster's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘travelling

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”  Edith Lovejoy Pierce

I love the start of a new year. It´s an opportunity to re-evaluate my life and set goals for the next 12 months. They may not all be met, that’s OK, life gets in the way. But if there are no goals, nothing gets done and you just sit there. At least that´s how it is for me and I’ve got to keep on moving! 

“Even though you are on the right track – you will get run over if you just sit there.” Will Rogers

With that in mind, here are my goals for 2020.

  1. Edit Amanda in Malta:The Sleeping Lady and send it to the publisher
  2. Write Amanda in France
  3. Decide if I should continue writing Amanda stories or venture into something else.
  4. Write more short stories
  5. Write more travel articles
  6. Help others with their writing as many have helped me
  7. Work on my TBR list, read at least 40 books 
  8. Visit Venice
  9. Attend a family reunion in Alberta
  10. Travel to the UK and visit friends
  11. Organize my office
  12. Organize my computer files
  13. Learn more about writing and publishing a picture book
  14. Publish an anthology of short stories

My three words for 2020 are:

support – Support others in whatever way I can, as so many have supported me over the years.

connect – Connect with people, stay in touch, facilitate connections.

motion – Keep moving, physically and mentally.

My first goal of 2020 was to write this list and it´s done! I would love to hear about your goals and/or words for this year, the start of a new decade.

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

I better get writing!

Hola! Dot here. Mom said I could write this post. It’s my first try so I hope it will be OK. Two years ago Mom and Dad came to Malaga to pick me up from my foster home and we drove a long way back to my forever home. I was eight months old and hadn’t ever been on such a long drive. I think it was five hours. But it was fine because they stopped a few times and let me have walks and bathroom breaks.

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I didn´t make a sound on the five-hour car ride to my new home. two years ago.

So when Mom and Dad decided to drive to Paris and take me along I was fine with that. It was fun. Even though it was a long drive, we stopped lots at cool places that had different writing on the signs. So now I know a little bit of French. We stayed at dog-friendly hotels along the way. I’m glad I was with mom and dad as I don’t like sleeping in strange places.

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Mom got excited when we passed signs showing we were going to places she has always wanted to visit. Dad and I think she gets excited about the strangest things.

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The countryside was pretty from what I could see from the back seat. Mom took loads of pictures. We passed castles and cows in the fields. She took the pictures through the car window so they aren’t that great.

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French Charolais cattle in the fields

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Driving by a castle in the distance

 

When we got to Sèvres, near Paris we stopped at my friend Havane’s place. I was so glad to see her again and we had tons of fun playing together and running in the forest.

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Dot and her friend Havane.

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Dot playing ball in the forest.

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Havane protecting her ball from Dot.

I had a comfy bed to sleep on and I brought my teddy so I was happy.

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Dot feeling at home in France.

I didn’t get to go into Paris, which is OK as I don’t like busy cities with traffic and lots of people. I stayed home with Havane. But mom said they saw dogs there. One even stood on his dad’s shoulder while he played his guitar for money. I hope they made enough money for dog food.

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Busker in Paris with his dog.

Here are a couple of videos of me and Havane at her home and in the forest. Watch how I always get the ball.

 

Au revoir mes amis!

Dot the dog.

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.

 

 

We just returned from a weekend in the lovely city of Valencia, a two-hour drive in the car from us. It is another one of those wonderful Spanish cities with fascinating architecture and its own unique personality. I will write more about it later and share pictures. Tomorrow I am off on a train to Madrid and the following day I will fly to Canada. I have a jam-packed schedule once there as I will be launching my latest book and visiting schools and libraries in Vancouver and area, Calgary and Medicine Hat. I’ll also be visiting friends and family in all three cities. So, I will not be spending much time on the computer over the next three weeks.

While wandering the streets of Valencia, I came upon this amazing Valencian traditional dance performance in a square behind the cathedral. It was the highlight of my trip. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

I look forward to connecting again when I return!

We are finally here in sunny Spain. It was a bit of a bumpy ride as we had to deal with a 24 hour delay on our flight to London, a plane load of inebriated Liverpool football club supporters on the way to Madrid, no luggage trolleys at the Madrid train station and then discovering we no longer had a car rental in Alicante due to the delays. We must have looked quite a sight dragging six large suitcases and four carry on cases while only having had a few hours sleep. Thanks to a kind woman named Mercedes, who assisted us in Madrid, we eventually managed to get to our destination.

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It has however been great to see my in-laws. My husband’s brother was visiting from the UK as well. We hadn´t seen him for quite some time so it was a wonderful reunion.

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We have been enjoying the sun, eating some fabulous Spanish food and looking for a place to live. Right now we are staying at a lovely resort near Cartagena, relaxing and learning about the culture. All things good never come easy.

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The view from our patio

More to come……..

I have been invited to visit Laura Best’s site as a guest blogger, talking about how I got the idea for my Amanda stories.  Here is the post.  Please read and comment if you wish.  Thank you Laura for the invitation.

http://lauraabest.wordpress.com/2011/07/19/quest-blogger-darlene-foster/


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