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Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller – Ibn Battuta
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I was sitting in a cave. It was dark and quiet except for the murmur of lake water lapping against the shore. Limestone stalactites dripped from the ceiling in fantastic shapes, and a slight breeze stirred the humid air. So far this had been a travel experience I wouldn’t soon forget . . .
Published on My Itchy Travel Feet. For the rest of this Library Lady article click here.
Hey all, I’ve recently added a new category to my blog – it’s called Travel Blunders. Here I share some of the embarrassing and ridiculous things that have happened to me (and my husband) on our travels. Hopefully, reading about our faux pas, will prevent you from doing the same kinds of things. Here’s the first installment:
Faceplant in Finland
Helsinki Finland was a place I’d always wanted to visit. One of my co-workers grew up there and we loved to hear stories about her childhood in this fairy tale place. When my husband and I finally had a chance to visit, we went armed with her best travel tips. Take the ferry to Suomenlinna, visit the Rock Church, and sample the pear ice cream in Market Square. One thing she failed to say was, “Watch your feet”.
Continue Reading –
What brings people of different cultures together? How does a roomful of strangers from countries as diverse as India, England, Ghana, Spain, and the US form a bond? Would your first guess be women dancing? Not mine, but let me tell you why it’s true.
I recently had the opportunity to go on an international cruise and was fascinated by the variety of dress, language, and culture on board. I’ve always been a people person, but while I love making new friends, I’m a little hesitant to reach out when the cultural differences are so strong. Thanks to the language barrier, conversation isn’t always an option and you never know how this person with completely different life experiences might react to your overtures of friendship. So I continued to enjoy the diversity from afar.
Have you ever been to a Human Library? Here you can check out Living Books, and on Saturday I did just that. The Salt Lake County Library System gathered a variety of people, i.e., books who were willing to share their life experiences and brought them together with readers who wanted to hear their stories.
A Muslim Raised in Apartheid A Non-Tiger Mom
I chatted with a retired soldier who had been involved in every American conflict since Viet Nam. One man, a Muslim, told of being raised in apartheid South Africa, and another who was known as the Tom Brokaw of Iraq, recalled fleeing for his life after speaking up one too many times. I talked with a woman about the terror and the joy of escaping a life of polygamy, then discussed educational theory with a non-tiger Mom. There was an urban farmer, a polio survivor who climbed mountains, as well an author, a songwriter an artist, a member of the LGBTQ community and many more.
Musician LGBTQ Community
The Living Books festival originated in Denmark in 1993. The city had experienced a strong societal shift due to a large number of immigrants, and the new and old members of the population were not getting along. The first Human Library was aimed at giving people a chance to sit down together as neighbors. It was an opportunity to break down barriers and prejudice, and it serves the same purpose today.
“This event gave people a chance to talk with someone they wouldn’t ordinarily meet,” said the Imam of the Salt Lake Islamic society. “When you bring people from opposite ends of the social and political spectrum together in a non-judgmental setting, a lot good can come of it.”
“We’ll do this again next year,” said Liesl Seborg, coordinator of the event. “Hopefully everyone will come back and bring their friends.” And that’s what it’s all about – friends. The people who attended today have some new friends to show for it, and judging by all the animated conversations and smiling faces, the event was a great success.
DON’T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER
Published on My Itchy Travel Feet
Seeing the three major sites of Palma de Mallorca in one day is like trying to sample all 20 flavors at the gelato stand – a bit of a challenge, but we did it and so can you. Read about our amazing day at My Itchy Travel Feet.
This is the largest library in the country of Spain, and also one of the largest in the world. Don’t miss it when you visit Madrid.
The National Library of Spain was founded in 1712, and like the Trinity, in Dublin, it’s a patent library, which means every printer in Spain is required to donate a copy of every book they publish. Think about that for a minute . . . every single book since 1712. Needless to say, the library now has a collection of over 26 million items, which includes 15 million books, 30,000 manuscripts, as well as music scores, newspapers, and maps. It’s the brick and mortar version of the internet!
The National Library has been around through good times and bad. In the 1930s, during the dark days of the Spanish Civil war, the librarians were called upon to house and preserve over 500 thousand books that were confiscated from churches, palaces, and private residences. I can’t imagine this won them any popularity contests, but they didn’t have much choice. Continue reading
Published on GoNomad
The architecture of this ancient gothic structure is astounding on its own, but when you add dazzling stained-glass windows, a violin concert, and a shimmering sunset, you’ve got the recipe for a magical evening. Read about it at GoNomad Travel.