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Thanks for coming along!

 

Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller – Ibn Battuta 


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A Mystery is Solved

Here’s my entry for Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge – White

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For those who read my “Quebec is Amazing” post, you’ll remember I was baffled by this giant clown head balloon that appeared to be stuck between two buildings.

“What the heck ?! questions-1922476__340 On our first day in Quebec, we were strolling around the city and stumbled onto this! It looks like a rogue hot air balloon . . . maybe it was running away to the circus? Or could it be a weird art installation? Are there any Quebecois (not a typo) out there who can shed some light on this?”

Well, no one had any light to shed, so I decided to look into the matter myself. You will all be relieved to know, I now have the answer to this burning question. The sad clown is indeed part of an art installation called Passages Insolites 2019. Sprinkled around the city of Quebec are 14 different creations, all of which refer to passages in some way.  I’m assuming this clown is making an unsuccessful passage through the buildings?

According to Urban Guide Quebec:

Quite possibly the creepiest art installation of Passages Insolites, Fin de partie is inspired by Nagg and Nell, a play by Samuel Beckett. The inflatable clown headsare squished between two buildings on rue Saint-Paul. Interesting during the day, the scene can be a tad more disturbing at night.

I’d have to agree with that last statement. Can you imagine – stumbling onto this on a dark and stormy night? GAHHH!! Cue the horror movie soundtrack.

clown headSpeaking of clowns and horror movies, why is it clowns are always sad or scary these days? Whatever happened to the jolly clowns who made us laugh at the circus? And what about clown college, is that even a thing anymore? With the demise of the circus, it seems like clowning would not be an upwardly mobile career .  .  .

Oh well, enough of my ramblings. If readers want to chime in on any of this I’d love to hear your opinions.

For more interesting white photos don’t forget to check out  Cee’s excellent photoblog.

Bullfights and Bad Guys – Ronda’s Provocative Past

Ronda is one of Spain’s most popular travel destinations. Home to scores of stunning views and a famous bridge, it’s also known for its flamboyant past. Early inhabitants were a colorful bunch, with a large percentage of bandits, highwaymen, and bullfighters filling out the ranks.

This Library Lady article continued at Ronda Today

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Pixabay Photos

Ocean Liner or Riverboat, What’s Your Travel Style?

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The stars are in line, the money’s in the bank and it’s finally time to go on that cruise you’ve always dreamed of. Imagine exotic lands, beautiful scenery, fantastic food and entertainment – it’s not hard to see why cruising is one of the most popular forms of travel. But before you book your trip, you’ll need to make one important decision; ocean liner or riverboat, which type of cruise is best for you?

For the pros and cons of each type of cruise, continue reading at  All Things Cruise.P1090844

Photos by Viking

Doors of Quebec

rustic doorGreetings all, it’s time for more Thursday Doors. I have to start by telling you it’s not easy being a door aficionado.  When I was taking this picture I heard  a male voice shouting with laughter, saying “- photo la porte!” Which since we were in Quebec, Canada translates into something like, “Look at that crazy woman taking a picture of a door!” I know, I know, but while some may mock, I now have a  picture of this lovely and dignified old door which, by the way, refuses to be diminished by the tacky graffiti in its personal space.

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Quebec was packed with interesting doors. This pretty green specimen is the entryway to two apartments #33 and #35.  It’s a well-tended doorway in an upscale neighborhood and, speaking of green, no doubt the rent here is astronomical. We looked into real estate prices in Quebec and they were pretty steep. From what we were told, the closer you get to the Saint Lawrence river the larger the dollar sign$. Continue reading

Quebec is Amazing!

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I recently had the good fortune to go on a cruise which started out with 3 days in Quebec, Canada. It was gorgeous, especially this time of year, quirky – see the runaway clown – and enchanting. How’s that for a bit of hyperbole? Actually, words don’t really suffice so  I’ll share a few of my favorite photos.

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What the heck ?! questions-1922476__340 On our first day in Quebec, we were strolling around the city and stumbled onto this! It looks like a rogue hot air balloon . . . maybe it was running away to the circus? Or could it be a weird art installation? Are there any Quebecois (not a typo) out there who can shed some light on this? Continue reading

Library Lady’s Favorite Travel Books

Because I’m here, I am not there –  Paddington Bear

 

The Library Lady is on the road again, so watch for some fun new posts about Quebec, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and more. I shall return, but until then, I thought I’d share some of my . . .

Favorite Travel Books

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A Fine Romance, Falling in Love with the English Countryside – By Susan Branch
This is my all time favorite travel book and it ranks high on my list of favorite books in general. A Fine Romance is a combination diary, travel journal, artist’s sketchpad and step by step itinerary  of a ramble through the English countryside. My favorite destination was her visit to Beatrix Potter’s home. (I must see it in person someday.) This book reads like a letter from your best friend and is illustrated by the author’s own whimsical watercolors. I’m hoping you’ll love it.

 

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Rudy’s Rules for Travel
By Mary K. Jensen
Rudy is a die-hard traveler, and one who refuses to spend a penny more than is absolutely necessary. His #1 rule for traveling is “adapt”.  His wife, who prefers four star accommodations, makes a valiant effort, but at times  even she rebels. In one episode she discovers Rudy has booked  them at a budget hotel which isn’t even built yet.
Despite the challenges, Mary K. Jensen adores her husband and brings out the humor in his eccentricities.  Rudy’s Rules is a fun read about a Green Acres-esque couple and their globe trotting adventures. Their stories range from laugh out loud funny to down right scary, and I couldn’t stop reading. This book will make you want to hit the road (but maybe not with Rudy).

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Grandma Gatewood’s Walk, the Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail
By Ben Montgomery

Grandma Gatewood is a tough cookie.  After enduring years of abuse at the hands of a cruel husband, she decides to take a walk – a long walk – and proceeds to hike the entire 2,050 miles of the Appalachian Trail.  This inspiring book tells of her amazing adventures, her unexpected celebrity and why at the age of 67 she decided to take a hike.

Continue reading

The Best Travel Destination Might be in Your Own Backyard

Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge
 Jo’s Monday Walk

My friends and I like to walk in the morning. We’ve been doing this for 25 years, and though our start time has gotten later and we’re pretty wimpy about walking in the cold these days, we still get out there. Lucky for us we have a beautiful area to tramp through.

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Our favorite walk is the canal road located a few blocks from our neighborhood. It’s a fun place to watch the seasons change, and get a glimpse of the local wildlife.  Over the years we’ve seen muskrats, blue herons, snakes (!) and my personal favorite, lots of ducks and ducklings.

I took these photos in early spring, and kept meaning to post them, but how the time gets away . . .  suddenly fall is here and the baby ducks are all grown up.  Time’s a-wastin’!  I’ll hurry and post this before the snow flies.

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Continue reading

Salt Lake City – A Fabulous Library with a Puzzling Past

Despite an explosion, suicides, and a dramatic hostage situation, the Salt Lake Public Library is a peaceful place which welcomes refugees and cares for the homeless. So what’s going on?

20190916_112924The recipient of multiple architecture awards, this modern marvel of steel and glass is surprisingly warm and inviting thanks to the creative use of light and space. It rises out of the surrounding city in a wedge shape with a reflective glass exterior and a curved accent wall.

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The grounds make a splash with gardens and a waterfall. This is the perfect place to enjoy your lunch hour or read a book on a sunny day.

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On entering the building, all eyes are drawn heavenward. Soaring ceilings, balconies, and walkways steal the show, as glass elevators glide between 5 floors in a smooth almost sci-fi type setting.
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Ronda – a Small Town with a BIG Bridge

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Photos by Pixabay

A Spectacular Sight

Puente Nuevo bridge is one of Spain’s most photographed sights, and after visiting there on our tour of Spain, it’s not hard to see why.  This medieval masterpiece towers 390 feet above the canyon floor. It’s an amazing feat of engineering made even more so by the primitive tools available at the time. Construction began in 1759 and took 34 years to complete.

A Bridge Too Far

The first attempt at building this bridge was in 1735. It had only one arch, was poorly constructed, and was thrown together in just 8 months. In 1741 it collapsed killing 50 people. The architects Jose Garcia and Juan Camacho, were no doubt out of business after this debacle.

The current bridge was built with longevity and safety in mind. With three upper arches and a lower-middle arch, this structure has stood the test of time.

The Puente Nuevo crosses the Guadalevin River, which flows down a deep gorge. This gorge effectively splits the city of Ronda in half, and while this was a great deterrent to enemy armies, it made it nearly impossible for citizens to get from one side to the other.  Completion of the bridge must have been a godsend to the inhabitants of the town.

A Gruesome Past

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While Puente Neuva bridge is a glorious edifice, it has a dark side. The square chamber located in the middle of the bridge was once used to house prisoners. Understandably, few if any escaped.

Another grim chapter in the bridge’s history was during the Spanish Civil War, 1936 – 1939. At this time the prison was used as a torture chamber and captured opponents were tossed off the bridge to a watery grave below – very far below.

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Today Ronda is a sublime and peaceful place. It is reached by a steep road which winds through olive and lemon orchards and past gorgeous old homes. Seeing Puente Neuvo is an unforgettable experience, so if you’re ever in  Malaga make sure and include Ronda in your travel plans.

Have you been to Spain? What was your favorite destination? I’d love to hear from you –

For other great bridges see Calmkate’s Friday Fun.

For more of Library Lady’s travels in Spain see “The Mysterious Caves of Drach“.

Valldemossa Monastery

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Valdemossa Monastery – Picture by Pixabay.

What’s more fascinating than an ancient monastery? Ghostly footsteps echo in the halls and vestiges of mystery and intrigue waft through ancient corridors.
                                                        (Name of the Rose, anyone?)

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One of my all-time favorite monasteries is Clon Mcnoise in Ireland, but today we were visiting the village of Valldemossa on the Spanish island of Mallorca.  The monastery was originally a royal palace but became home to a group of Carthusian monks in 1399. It’s known for its picturesque bell tower and gothic charm.

As we rounded the corner and the monastery came into view, I tried not to melt into a scenery induced puddle. (I’ve been told I’m an overly excitable tourist, but what’s the point of traveling if you’re not blown away by the sights you see?!)

The first glimpse of this ancient edifice was like something out of a movie set. Perched on a hill, the tower dwarfed the surrounding buildings, its white stone walls glowing in the morning sun. This was definitely my kind of place.

View of the village from Valldemossa’s heights.

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Cobblestones and rock walls. Photo by Pixabay

We followed a  winding road up into the hills and enjoyed the views of the local neighborhoods.  Upon arrival, we purchased tickets to tour the monastery for 8.50 Euros. Continue reading