About My Travels Lisbon Portugal


Bridges of the World
As I travel I have noticed how many bridges remind me of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco especially this one:

Where was this picture taken?
Where was this picture taken?

The 25 de Abril Bridge (Ponte 25 de Abril “25th of April Bridge”), is a suspension bridge connecting the city of Lisbon, capital of Portugal, to the municipality of Almada on the left (south) bank of the Tejo river. It was inaugurated on August 6, 1966 and a train platform was added in 1999. Because it is a suspension bridge and has similar coloring, it is often compared to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, USA. In fact, it was built by the same company (American Bridge Company) that constructed the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and not the Golden Gate, also explaining its similarity in design. With a total length of 2,277 m, it is the 23rd largest suspension bridge in the world. The upper deck carries six car lanes, while the lower deck carries two train tracks.
Bridge that is similar to Golden Gate Bridge

similar to Golden Gate Bridge

About My Travels History

“REAL” Story of the Mayflower

“Real story of the MAyflower:


Two chartered English companies controlled Virginia; the First Virginia Company of London (Southampton and other local Lords and Burgesses had shares in this), and the Virginia Company of Plymouth. The First Virginia Company of London went bankrupt and was therefore unable to service the colony. Neither was it prepared to allow freedom of worship to the negotiators. However, in 1619 the Leyden delegation secured a tract of land in Virginia made out in the name of a sympathizer, Rev. John Wincob, a name that is often forgotten.

The option of land was never taken up, but one of the leaders of the Second Virginia Company, Thomas Weston, persuaded the Leyden puritans to join them. A complicated – and harsh – Agreement of Ten Articles was drawn up which the would-be settlers had to agree to. The terms of the agreement left the Leyden contingent very short of money, so they were unable to provision themselves properly for the first few months of survival in the New World. 

Some prospective Leyden settlers withdrew at this stage, and they were replaced (by the London shareholders of the Company) with others from England. Among these was Miles Standish, a soldier, and Christopher Martin, the latter causing trouble later when he, as the Treasurer of the venture, as well as being Company agent, refused to account for £700 which he had spent in Southampton.

In 1620 the London adventurers chartered the Mayflower under her master Captain Christopher Jones of Harwich. She was a good, stout, and ocean going ship of 180 tons. The Leyden contingent, however, could not afford such a big or good vessel. They needed a ship which could be used when they actually arrived in America, rather than a chartered one, so they bought the Speedwell. The 60-ton ship was refitted in Holland, and they hired a less experienced Master, Captain Reynolds. It is thought, but cannot be proved without a doubt, that the Speedwell was built originally in Southampton in 1606. A ship of that name and tonnage was certainly built there.

Whatever; Southampton was chosen as the rendezvous point for the voyage to America. The Mayflower sailed from London with about 70 immigrants on board and arrived in Southampton about the 29th July where others joined her. One cannot be precise about the date because in 1752 when the New Gregorian Calendar was introduced officially, the difference between the old Julien calendar and the new was adjusted to 11 days. In 1620, however, the difference was considered to be 10 days. 
 The Speedwell left Holland on 1st August (Gregorian time from now on) from Delft Haven near Rotterdam with less than 50 emigrants aboard. On arrival at Southampton the ship had to have another refit at West Quay with money the Leyden “Saints” could ill afford. She was overmasted for a start and would have wallowed in heavy seas. Quarrels and disagreements broke out and Thomas Weston for the Company refused to let the Leyden people have any more money because they would not sign an amended contract. As a result the group had to sell some of their belongings, food and stores, to pay Southampton its harbour and other dues.

The party from both ships spent nearly 2 weeks in Southampton, which at that time was recovering from a downturn in trade and was a fairly prosperous town. At least one new member, John Alden, a cooper, joined the emigrants. It is thought that he was the son of George Alden who lived in what is now called the Old Town. (Rate Roll for All Saints Parish 1602) There were, however, two Alden families in Southampton at that time. Longfellow’s romantic poem “The Courtship of Miles Standish” keeps his memory alive, however, whichever family he originally belonged with.

It is possible that other Southampton families joined the Pilgrims, or at the very least had sympathy with them. Certainly, Steven Hopkins and his second wife, Elizabeth, had connections with Hampshire. His, but possibly not her, children were born in Hursley, and his first wife was buried there.

In Southampton in 1620, the congregation of the French Church, St Juliens, in Winkle Street, which was licensed by Queen Elizabeth I in 1567 for use by the Huguenot refugees, had almost as many English worshippers as Huguenot families.
Now as this was obviously from preference, it must be presumed that the choice was made because of the more rigid, Puritan-like customs of the “foreign” church. In 1635 after an official Visitation, however, the English were ordered to return to their own churches.

On the other side of the coin, some of St Julien’s congregation, notably the Dellamotte’s who had been among St Julien’s Elders, had joined the less rigid Anglican congregation. Judith, Philip Delamotte’s, widow, was buried in St John’s in 1640 and her granddaughter, Martha was christened an Anglican.

The Speedwell and the Mayflower eventually sailed from Southampton for the New World on the 15th August, but twice they had to turn back. The second time they limped into Plymouth where it was decided that the Speedwell was unseaworthy. She was leaking like a sieve, so was abandoned. Some of the Pilgrims left the ship and the venture there, but others transferred to the Mayflower in what must then have become extremely crowded conditions for such a long journey. The Mayflower was hardly the Queen Mary in the first place! The Mayflower sailed from Plymouth for America on September 16th and arrived at Cape Cod on 21st November.

Cape Cod was not the intended place of disembarkation and on arrival such was the distrust among the colonists-and between them and the Company-that the famous Mayflower Compact was drawn up and signed on board before anyone was allowed to disembark. 

This agreement was thought necessary because there was unrest and it was felt that some of the non-Separatists, called “Strangers,”(the others, particularly those from Leyden, were called “Saints”) among the passengers would defy the Pilgrim’s leaders if they were landed in a place other than that specified in the land grant they had received from the London Company. Although not meant as a democratic document – more a way of quelling mutiny -the Compact became the basis of government in the Plymouth Colony and eventually, America. After it was signed, the Pilgrims elected John Carver as their first governor, the first free election of the New World.


”In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord, King James, by the Grace of God, of England, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &. Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia; do by these present, solemnly and mutually in the Presence of God and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid; And by Virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the General good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.In Witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape Cod the eleventh of November, in the Reign of our Sovereign Lord, King James of England, France and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno Domini, 1620.”

There were 41 signatories of the 102 passengers, 37 of whom were members of the “Separatists”. This compact established the first basis in the New World for written laws. Half the colony failed to survive the first winter, but the remainder lived on and prospered. 
alden John (prob. Soton) 
Allerton Isaac 
Mary Allerton (wife) 
Allerton Bartholomew (son) 
Allerton Mary (daur) 
Allerton Remember (daur) 
Allerton Jon ( sailor. no relation) 
Billington Don 
Billington Eleanor (wife) 
Billington Frances (relationship unknown) 
Billington John (son) 
Bradford William 
Bradford Dorothy May (wife) 
Brewster William 
Brewster Mary (wife) 
Brewster Wrestling (son) 
Brewster Love (son) 
Britteridge Richard 
Brown Peter 
Butten William 
Cartier Robert 
Carver John 
Carver Katherine (wife) 
Chilton James 
Chilton Susanna (wife) 
Chilton Mary (unknown r’ship) 
Clarke Richard 
Cooke Francis 
Cooke John (son) 
Cooper Humility 
Crackson John 
Crackston John (son) 
Doty Edward 
Eaton Francis 
Eaton Sarah (wife) 
Eaton Samuel (son) 
Ely ???? (sailor) 
English Thomas 
Fletcher Moses 
Fuller Edward 
Fuller Ann (wife) 
Fuller Samuel (son) 
Fuller Samuel (not related. Doctor) 
Gardiner Richard 
Goodman John 
Holbeck William 
Hooke John 
Hopkins Steven (Hursley, Hants connections) 
Hopkins (Fisher)Elizabeth (2nd wife) 
Hopkins Giles (son) 
Hopkins Constance (daur) 
Hopkins Damaris (daur) 
Hopkins Oceanis (son born at sea)
Howland John 
Langmore John 
Latham William 
Margeson Edmund
Martin Christopher
Martin nee Prower, Marie
Minter Desire
More Elinor 
More Jasper (brother) 
More Richard (brother)
More Mary (sister)
Mullins William
Mullins Alice (wife)
Mullins Joseph (son)
Mullins Priscilla(m. John Alden)
Priest Degory
Prower Solomon
Rigdale John
Rigdale Alice (wife) 
Rogers Thomas
Rogers Joseph (son)
Sampson Henry
Soule George
Standish Miles
Standish Rose (wife) 
Story Elias 
Thompson Edward 
Tilley Edward
Tilley Ann or Agnes (wife)
Tilley John (brother to Edward
Tilley Joan (Johns wife)
Tilley Ellizabeth) (daur)
Tinker Thomas
Tinker ?????? (wife)
Tinker ?????? (son)
Trevore William (sailor)
Turner John
Turner – two sons 
Warren Richard
White William 
White Susannah (wife)
White Peregrine (son b. at sea)
White Resolved (son)
Wilder Roger
Williams Thomas
Winslow Edward
Winslow Elizabeth (wife)
Winslow Gilbert (brother)
 A great deal has been written about and around the Pilgrim Fathers and there are several commemorative sites one can visit, both literally and on the Internet. In Southampton, as well as the obvious Mayflower Park right on the Waterfront, there is the Mayflower Memorial on the other side of the road which was erected in 1913, and the Mayflower Theatre in Commercial Road. Southampton also has a plaque which was presented to the Mayor in 1970 by the Society of Mayflower Descendants to commemorate 350 years from the date of the sailing of the Speedwell and Mayflower.

The Mayflower Memorial

There are some very good websites specifically about the Pilgrim Fathers, the Mayflower, and the families that the ship carried. Just a quick look using any of the popular search engines will come up with quite a list. Those that can be 
recommended are:  (needs to be typed in the address bar)  (an site)  A very large site packed with well researched genealogical information by Caleb Johnson.

List of published sources used for this piece:

Handbook accompanying the Mayflower Exhibition, Southampton 1970
A Social History of England by Asa Briggs
History and Topography of Buckinghamshire by J J Sheehan
 Pilgrim Fathers Southampton Record Series
Southampton Guide Book Milestone Publications 

Viktoria Turner 
History Research

Salute to the Mayflower in Mayflower Park Southampton
Salute to the Mayflower in Mayflower Park Southampton
About Me

Face in Fire

Face in the Fire

Taking pictures while staring into a fire–

When I opened it in Lightroom,
Guess what I saw!

About My Travels

Visit of the Wise Men

Wise Men story as reported in the Bible


In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet: ‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.'” Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.” When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another path.

Just think–If there had been observatories then, like this one in Chile, they would have recorded the “star at its rising”.

Cerro Tololo-Observatory located high in the mountains of Chile
Cerro Tololo-Observatory located high in the mountains of Chile
About My Travels Bethlehem Christmas

Christmas eve and scenes from Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem

Before one visits Bethlehem these days one must pass through a huge barbed wire topped wall, guard houses and all! Rather disconcerting.

“The Church of the Nativity is a basilica located in Bethlehem, Palestinian territories, and is considered to be the oldest continuously operating Christian church in the world. The church was originally commissioned in 327 AD by Constantine and his mother Helena over the site that is still traditionally considered to be located over the cave that marks the birthplace of Jesus of Nazareth. The Church of the Nativity site’s original basilica was completed in 339 AD and destroyed by fire during the Samaritan Revolts in the sixth century AD. A new basilica was built 565 AD by the Byzantine Empire, restoring the architectural tone of the original. The site of the Church of the Nativity has had numerous additions since this second construction, including its prominent bell towers. Due to its cultural and geographical history, the site holds a prominent religious significance to those of both the Christian and Muslim faiths.

The site of the Church of the Nativity is a World Heritage Site, and was the first to be listed under Palestine by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The site is also on UNESCO’s List of World Heritage Sites in Danger.

First century holy site (circa 4-6 AD – 327 AD)

The holy site, known as the Grotto, that the Church of the Nativity sits atop, is today associated with the cave in which the birthplace of Jesus of Nazareth occurred. In 135 AD, Hadrian is said to have had the Christian site above the Grotto converted into a worship place for Adonis, the Greek god of beauty and desire. A father with the Church of the Nativity, Jerome, noted before his death in 420 AD that the holy cave was at one point consecrated by the heathen to the worship of Adonis, and that a pleasant sacred grove was planted there in order to wipe out the memory of Jesus. However, some modern scholars dispute this argument and insist that the cult of Adonis-Tammuz originated the shrine and that it was the Christians who took it over, substituting the worship of God. Regardless, a trip to the Holy Land usually includes a visit to this Grotto

The antiquity of the association of the site with the birth of Jesus is attested by the Christian apologist Justin Martyr (c. 100 – 165 AD, who noted in his Dialogue with Trypho that the Holy Family had taken refuge in a cave outside of town:

Joseph took up his quarters in a certain cave near the village; and while they were there Mary brought forth the Christ and placed Him in a manger, and here the Magi who came from Arabia found Him.(chapter LXXVIII).

Origin of Alexandria (185 AD – circa. 254 AD) wrote:

In Bethlehem the cave is pointed out where He was born, and the manger in the cave where He was wrapped in swaddling clothes. And the rumor is in those places, and among foreigners of the Faith, that indeed Jesus was born in this cave who is worshiped and reverenced by the Christians. (Contra Celsum, book I, chapter LI).

The main Basilica of the Nativity is maintained by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem. It is designed like a typical Roman basilica, with five aisles (formed by Corinthian columns) and an apse in the eastern end, where the sanctuary is. The church features golden mosaics covering the side walls, which are now largely decayed.”
Information taken from Wikipedia

The basilica is entered through a very low door, called the “Door of Humility.” The original Roman style floor has since been covered over, but there are windowed areas in the modern floor which allows viewing portions of the original mosaic floor. The church also features large gilded iconoclasts, and a complex array of lamps throughout the entire building. The wooden rafters were donated by King Edward IV of England. The same king also donated lead to cover the roof; however, this lead was later taken by the Ottoman Turks, who melted it down for ammunition to use in war against Venice. Stairways on either side of the Sanctuary lead down by winding stairs to the Grotto.

Information taken from Wikipedia

About My Travels Holy Land Merry Christmas

Waiting for Christmas

As we wait for Christmas in this Advent Season I revisited some scenes from a recent visit to the Holy Land

Near the Temple
Near the Temple

Ireland Stone Age Structures

A visit to Ireland

A visit to Ireland

Reliving our recent trip to Ireland. So many beautiful areas, prehistoric to present.
More Photos to be added soon
Check out the Irish Flower Garden on August 6 2013

Newgrange (Irish: Sí an Bhrú) is a prehistoric monument located in County Meath, on the eastern side of Ireland, about one kilometre north of the River Boyne. It was built around 3200 BC, during the Neolithic period. There is no agreement about what the site was used for, but it has been speculated that it had some form of religious significance because it is aligned with the rising sun, which floods the stone room with light on the winter solstice. We were able to enter the stone room, and the winter solstice was simulated using a flashlight. we were amazed to hear that Newgrange is older than Stonehenge and the great pyramids of Giza. It is in fact just one monument within the Neolithic Brú na Bóinne complex, alongside the similar passage tomb mounds of Knowth and Dowth, and as such is a part of the Brú na Bóinne UNESCO World Heritage Site. We also went into a passage tomb in nearby Knowth.

Mellifont was the first Cistercian abbey built in Ireland in 1142, and once held one hundred monks and three hundred lay brothers. It was the main abbey in Ireland until it was closed in 1539.

By 1170, Mellifont had one hundred monks and three hundred lay brothers. The Abbey became the model for other Cistercian abbeys built in Ireland, with its formal style of architecture imported from the abbeys of the same order in France; it was the main abbey in Ireland until it was closed in 1539, when it became a fortified house.

The historic ruins of Monasterboice (Irish: Mainistir Bhuithe) are of an early Christian settlement in County Louth in Ireland, north of Drogheda. It was founded in the late 5th century by Saint Buithe who died around 521, and was an important centre of religion and learning until the founding of nearby Mellifont Abbey in 1142.  The site houses two churches built in the 14th century or later and an earlier round tower, but it is most famous for its 10th century high crosses.

The round tower is about 35-metres tall, and is in very good condition, although it is not possible to go inside. The passage of time has laid down layers of earth so now the doorway is almost at ground level. The monastery was burned in 1097.

12 Arch Railway Bridge–On 6 September 1886 Ballydehob railway station opened on the narrow gauge. The magnificent 12 arch bridge, which dominates the estuary of Ballydehob, was the major engineering achievement of the line. Mounting losses, coal shortages and the arrival of buses and motor cars eventually brought the closure of the line. The final train ran on 27 January 1947 and the station finally closed altogether on 1 June 1953.

The 5.5-metre Muiredach’s High Cross is regarded as the finest high cross in the whole of Ireland. It is named after an abbot, Muiredach mac Domhnaill, who died in 923 and features biblical carvings of both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. The North and West crosses are also fine examples of this kind of structure, but these have suffered much more from the effects of the weather.

Trim Castle, Trim, County Meath, Ireland, on the bank of the Boyne has an area of 30,000 m². It is the remains of Ireland’s largest Anglo-Norman castle. It was built primarily by Hugh de Lacy and his son Walter. The Castle was used as a centre of Norman administration for the Liberty of Meath, one of the new administrative areas of Ireland created by Henry II of England and granted to Hugh de Lacy. de Lacy took possession of it in 1172. De Lacy built a huge ring-work castle defended by a stout double palisade and external ditch on top of the hill. There may also have been further defenses around the cliffs fringing the high ground. Part of a stone footed timber gatehouse lies beneath the present stone gate at the west side of the castle. The ring-work was attacked and burnt by the Irish but De Lacy immediately rebuilt it in 1173. His son Walter continued rebuilding and the castle was completed c 1224.         The Castle is noted for the part it played in the filming of the Mel Gibson directed film Braveheart.


Fun with Photoshop

Playing with various photoshop effects

Hope all had a wonderful and Happy Thanksgiving.


Happy Halloween

What a fun time for kids–Went to two parades today to see cute kids in their costumes. What did you do for your Halloweeen costume when you we were a kid?

About My Travels Ireland

The Skellig Islands– a UNESCO Site

On a recent trip to Ireland we spent a very wonderful week exploring the County Cork area.
One day we started out to visit Skellig Michael, arrived at the Visitor Center but the seas were to rough and the boat to the island was not able to make the trip. We did get to view the islands from the shore. Look up the websites listed below to learn about the long history of the island and why Great Skellig was designated a UNESCO Site.

The two Skellig Islands
The Skellig Islands as seen from a beautiful Ireland view point

“The Skellig Islands (Irish: Na Scealaga), once known as the Skellocks, are two small, steep, and rocky islands lying about 13 km west of Bolus Head on the Iveragh Peninsula in County Kerry, Ireland. They are famous for their thriving gannet and puffin populations, and for an early Christian monastery that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Little Skellig

The smaller island is Little Skellig (Sceilig Bheag in Irish). It is closed to the public, and holds Ireland’s largest and the world’s second-largest Northern Gannet colony, with almost 30,000 pairs. It is about 1.5 km east-northeast of Great Skellig.
Great Skellig

Also known as Skellig Michael (Sceilig Mhichíl in Irish), this is the larger of the two islands, with two peaks rising to over 230 m above sea level. With a sixth-century Christian monastery perched at 160 m above sea level on a ledge close to the top of the lower peak, Great Skellig is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.”

FALKIRK WHEEL Narrow Boat Scotland Travel Photography

The Falkirk Wheel

The next time you visit Scotland take a trip on the Falkirk Wheel, and view Archimedes principle of displacement in action! On our Narrow boat Canal trip we went through the Wheel several times, here are some photos of our experience.

The Millennium Link was an ambitious £84.5m project with the objective of restoring navigability across Scotland on the historic Forth & Clyde and Union Canals, providing a corridor of regenerative activity through central Scotland.
A major challenge faced, was to link the Forth and Clyde Canal, which lay 35m (115ft) below the level of the Union Canal. Historically, the two canals had been joined at Falkirk by a flight of 11 locks that stepped down across a distance of 1.5km, but these were dismantled in 1933, breaking the link.
What was required was a method of connecting these two canals by way of a boat lift. British Waterways (now Scottish Canals) were keen to present a visionary solution taking full advantage of the opportunity to create a truly spectacular and fitting structure that would suitably commemorate the Millennium and act as an iconic symbol for years to come.
The resultant, a perfectly balanced structure that is The Falkirk Wheel – the world’s first and only rotating boat lift – was the eventual outcome of our collaboration with a design team that combined international experience of joint venture contractor Morrison-Bachy-Soletanche with leading specialists from Ove Arup Consultants, Butterley Engineering and Scotland-based RMJM architects.
Completion of The Millennium Link project was officially marked by Her Majesty The Queen on 24 May 2002 at The Falkirk Wheel.
How does it work?
The Falkirk Wheel lies at the end of a reinforced concrete aqueduct that connects, via the Roughcastle tunnel and a double staircase lock, to the Union Canal. Boats entering the Wheel’s upper gondola are lowered, along with the water that they float in, to the basin below. At the same time, an equal weight rises up, lifted in the other gondola.
This works on the Archimedes principle of displacement. That is, the mass of the boat sailing into the gondola will displace an exactly proportional volume of water so that the final combination of ‘boat plus water’ balances the original total mass.
Each gondola runs on small wheels that fit into a single curved rail fixed on the inner edge of the opening on each arm. In theory, this should be sufficient to ensure that they always remain horizontal, but any friction or sudden movement could cause the gondola to stick or tilt. To ensure that this could never happen and that the water and boats always remain perfectly level throughout the whole cycle, a series of linked cogs acts as a back up.
Hidden at each end, behind the arm nearest the aqueduct, are two 8m diameter cogs to which one end of each gondola is attached. A third, exactly equivalent sized cog is in the centre, attached to the main fixed upright. Two smaller cogs are fitted in the spaces between, with each cog having teeth that fit into the adjacent cog and push against each other, turning around the one fixed central one. The two gondolas, being attached to the outer cogs, will therefore turn at precisely the same speed, but in the opposite direction to the Wheel.
Given the precise balancing of the gondolas and this simple but clever system of cogs, a very small amount of energy is actually then required to turn the Wheel. In fact, it is a group of ten hydraulic motors located within the central spine that provide the small amount, just 1.5kw, of electricity to turn it.

About My Travels Holland America Cruise Line

Cruising in Greece

Ship docked at Agios Nikolaos (Crete) Greece

There are so many amazing sites to see in Greece, here are a few sites visited on a recent trip.
Sunset at Katakolon, Ancient Olympia, and Ancient Corinth;

Katakolon is a seaside town in western Ilia in the municipality of Pyrgos. The town center is within a gulf overlooking the Ionian Sea. Katakolon is the gateway to Olympia (Greek: Ολυμπία Olympía), a sanctuary of ancient Greece in Elis, known for having been the site of the Olympic Games in classical times, the most famous games in history. The Olympic Games were held every four years, dating back to 776 BC. In 394 AD, emperor Theodosius I abolished them as they were then considered reminiscent of paganism. The first Olympic Games were in honor of Zeus. If one visits the large area that was Ancient Olympia, in the Spring, the trees are in bloom, if one visits in the Fall small pink flowers are sprinkled around the grounds.

Corinth, or Korinth (Greek: Κόρινθος, Kórinthos) was a city-state (polis) on the Isthmus of Corinth, the narrow stretch of land that joins the Peloponnesus to the mainland of Greece, roughly halfway between Athens and Sparta. Neolithic pottery suggests that the site of Corinth was occupied from at least as early as 6500BC, and continually occupied into the Early Bronze Age, and it has been suggested, the settlement acted as a center of trade. Skip ahead to the Romans in Corinth; Under the Romans, Corinth was rebuilt as a major city in Southern Greece or Achaia. It had a large mixed population of Romans, Greeks, and Jews.
Corinth is mentioned many times in the New Testament, largely in connection with Paul the apostle’s mission there. When the apostle Paul first visited the city (AD 51 or 52), Gallio, the brother of Seneca, was proconsul. Paul resided here for eighteen months

About Me New Mexico

Bees at Hummingbird feeder

THe Hummingbirds can’t get to the feeders because the bees are taking over! Only two pictured here, sometimes they are stacked several bees thick!! I have numerous hummingbird feeders hanging in my backyard, and the bees seem to gather on them at this time of year.

The bees are also on the sunflowers.

Pictures taken with my Nikon 1 V1, never seem to get it to focus on what I want it to!!

About My Travels Historic Round Barns Kansas

End of Historic Round Barn in Doniphan County, Kansas

Round Barn in Kansas

In 1999 James R. Shortridge wrote in his “Round Barns of Kansas” that there were 24 Round Barns in Kansas, presumably there are now only 23.
The CURRENT OWNER is Mark Burke who bought it about 10 years ago from Orlin Strum. There was on article in the local (Atchison, Kansas) paper ( about Mark moving hay and equipment that was in the barn.

SITE: NW quarter, Sec. 27, T4S, R19E; three and a half miles south of Denton, then a half mile west on Highway 20.
TYPE AND SIZE: octagonal without silo; 58-foot diameter.
DATES AND STATUS: built about 1914–1915; in good condition in 1999 although the main entry has been enlarged and the interior gutted for hay storage.

Fuhrken built his barn primarily to stable mules. It originally contained five double stalls, a single stall, two
granaries, a harness room, and a full loft. Two large hay doors project through the roof on opposite sides.
The roof is segmented and single-pitched and is supported by interior posts and braces. The walls—vertical
boards with battens—contain many small windows. Two gabled machine-shed additions extend to the northeast and northwest.

[The Fuhrken barn was featured in a 1992 television commercial for Budweiser beer. See Kansas Chief (Troy), September 3, 1992.]

Whether during the heyday of their construction in the 1910s or
now, round barns have always attracted public attention. Editors
and readers of farm magazines once engaged in spirited
debate over the advantages that this new shape might offer for housing
animals and for storing feed and equipment. More recently the appeal has
been based largely on scarcity and aesthetics. Fewer than fourteen hundred
round barns have ever existed in the United States, most of them in
Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and Wisconsin. Kansas is on the fringe of this concentration.
A local survey begun in the 1980s has located forty-one such
barns built over the years for and by Kansas farmers and stockmen. Of
these, a mere twenty-four still remain on the landscape.”

The above information was taken from a publication entitled The Round Barns of Kansas by: James R. Shortridge

James R. Shortridge is a professor of geography at the University of Kansas, where he received his M.A. and
Ph.D. degrees. His recent publications include Peopling the Plains: Who Settled Where in Frontier Kansas (1995) and The Taste of American Place: A Reader on Regional and Ethnic Foods (1998). His active research in material culture led to his interest in and study of Kansas barns.

The Round Barn with a Photoshop “antique” look.
All photos of the barn before destruction taken in a 2011 Photoshoot by Doris Ford.

A Photoshop rendering of the storm that would destroy this Historic Round Barn little more than a year after after the picture was taken.

Interior of the Round Barn

Books to read George R. R. Martin La Brea Tar Pits

George R. R. Martin– A Song of Ice and Fire– the La Brea Tar Pits and Dire Wolves

I recently visited the LA Brea Tar Pits and saw skeletons and reconstructed models of the Dire Wolf that features so prominently in the series “A Song of Ice and Fire” by George R. R. Martin. Dire Wolves really did exist!

There are five books in the series so far, and one more to come, buy them or reserve them at your local library! They are best read in order, and are entitled: Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows, and A Dance with Dragons. The new one will be called Wind in Winter.

Here are pictures of the artists conception of that wolf. Since the Dire wolves travel in packs, apparently many would attach the much larger animal that was trapped in the “tar” really Asphaltum as we now know it. La Brea Tar Pits are known for its extensive holdings of carnivorans, of which dire wolves (Canis dirus) are the most common large mammals from Rancho La Brea, with about 4,000 fossils found. Some of the older fossils that have been found include a dire wolf and a saber-toothed cat from Pit 91 each dated at 44,000 years old.
ea"Dire Wolves as painted on a Mural in the Page Museum at the La Brae Tar Pits"

The La Brea Tar Pits (or Rancho La Brea Tar Pits) are a cluster of tar pits around which Hancock Park was formed, in the urban heart of Los Angeles and a very interesting area to visit, be sure to allow time to visit the Page Museum, and review the long history of the area. There are still places in the Park that new tar bubbles up, and sometimes squirrels and birds get caught in the “tar”.

Gas bubble in a Tar Pit

La Brea Tar Pits Page Museum has an entire wall of Dire Wolf skulls on display that have been recovered during excavations of the various pits.

Aaroon Baggenstos

Great Photo Gallery

From time to time I am introduced to new Photographers and their word as posted on the web.Here is a site new to me, with great photos of birds and animals:
Check out this wonderful website:
He has published some of the finest bird photos that I have seen. It is indeed a great photo gallery

New Mexico Total Solar Eclipse

Solar Eclipse

Did you miss viewing the Solar Eclipse?
May 20, 2012 there was a Solar Eclipse that was visible from NM. What an exciting event! The Albuquerque area was rated as one of the best Urban area in which to observe it. I was positioned on a hill in Rio Rancho and had perfect visibility.
Here are samples of that exciting event.

I hope you enjoy my slide show of the pictures that I took of the entire Solar Eclipse of May 20, 2012-

About My Travels Cruise Photography Holland America Cruise Line

Panama Canal

Our next stop in our trip around South America was through the Panama Canal. One of the Locks is Gatun Locks built in 1915.

Panama Canal Gatun Lock

Frigate birds- Did you know they can stay aloft for more than a week?

Many Buzzards flew around the Locks, mostly black headed.

Adobe CS6 NAPP

Adobe CS6 coming soon

Adobe has been teasing us with the Adobe CS6 beta, and now I heard that the “real” thing will be out April 23 2012. NAPP has a training center for the beta, another great reason to join NAPP!

This latest from Adobe:

About My Travels Bocas del Toro Panama

Bocas del Toro Panama

Click on the picture to see “picture postcards” of the area. Then click each picture to see a few scenes of life on this island.

The next stop on the way to the Panama Canal and the west coast area of South America is Bocas del Toro

Bocas del Toro is situated on Isla Colon, part of the archipelago that dominates Bocas del Toro Province. The province is located in the northwestern region of Panama, with Costa Rica just west of the border. It’s population of 90 thousand is a diverse ethnic mix consisting of descendents of banana and canal workers from Africa, Columbia, the French Antilles and Jamaica. There are also four indigenous Indian tribes along with a growing expat population from North America and Europe. In the 17th Century, Bocas del Toro was frequented by Spanish fleets and French Huguenot settlers. The 19th Century saw the arrival of black slaves and banana workers. Today, Bocas del Toro remains mostly unspoiled with natural beauty amidst a growing tourist economy. Isla Colon had few roads until recently, but now is filled with rustic wooden B and B’s, smaller hotels, waterfront bards and dive shops. Bocas Town is both rustic and quaint and visitors do not need to travel far to find peace ad solitude in at the nearby rainforests and marshlands. Diving, snorkeling, and fishing around Bocas del Toro are some of the finest in Panama.
As one can see from the pictures many buildings are brightly painted, and the sea and boats are all around.