"Gargoyles & Graffiti"chronicles architectural elements that I find interesting or unique in my travels. Gargoyles are my passion, but today graffiti (which I hate but am learning to love as it is everywhere) is as much a part of architecture as the gargoyles and decorative railings that thrill me.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Herculaneum: A Gargoyle-Inspired Place

Herculaneum, not far from the Bay of Naples, is a smaller place than Pompeii but better preserved. Having been to Pompeii a few times, I look forward to an excursion to this fascinating place. It also was destroyed by the volcanic flow of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. The people were killed by intense heat, but there is great preservation of their bones. 

Rings on the fingers at Herculaneum

More than 300 skeletons have been found. This is definitely a gargoyle-inspired place. More info on Herculaneum and its skeletons can be found here on wikipedia.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Dreaming of Kotor at Montenegro

Kotor of Montenegro

I love to travel, and I have been especially blessed by having seen so many parts of the world. I have not been to Asia, unless you count Turkey. And I have not seen much of Africa, unless you count Tunisia. But I have seen and been to many place in Europe. Give me Italy, France, Spain, Belgium, and Switzerland. I have been to Croatia and Slovenia. Beautiful places.

Kotor waterways

One place I have not yet been is Kotor, Montenegro. It holds such a fascination. I love rolling the name around on my tongue. Sounds so exotic and almost Dracula like. A gargoyle would definitely be at home there.

around Kotor

So here goes on my bucket list ... maybe 2016! If you want to know more about Kotor, click here.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Transatlantic Journaling Part 2

Hubby Moises and our niece Jimena

April 10th
Started on my third book today. Still not bored. I am thinking about Sunday, when we reach Horta, Portugal, not because I need to get off the ship. More just something to look forward to. Each day I think of little things to do, whether it is a dinner or just a trip to the Crow's Nest, the place where I am now writing this. After walking two miles on the deck (I am now up to 7 miles all together) ... I sit with my shoes off and look out to sea. There are windows that wrap around the front of the ship with cream leather chairs and big corduroy chocolate sofas. Jazz playa in the background.
Some of my best times are when I am alone, reading or writing.

Crow's Nest Lounge where I read my books

April 15th
Boat is making a very strange noise under the Explorer's Bar deck 3. Tried to go to the Dutch Tea, but it was so crowded with many people waiting. I am ready to get off the boat. It is our last sea day. Don't want to leave but am looking forward to excursions and getting off the boat for the days ahead. Gibraltar, Motril, Alicante, Palma de Mallorca and finally Barcelona.

I am up to 12 miles walking. 

Through a hole in the Castle in SalobreƱa

Monday, June 9, 2014

Transatlantic Journaling Part 1

Sunset from the evening of April 6th, 2014

April 7th

Yesterday we embarked on our journey. Line was about an hour to get on the ship. We left too early, so we had to wait. Moises said it was no problem at all. Immigrations when we arrived Friday night was a nightmare. Two hours to get through Immigrations. It bothered me more than Moises, so I decided to call this trip The Land of Waiting. But now that we are here, it all seems so worth it. There is a different rhythm to a transatlantic cruise. No one is in a hurry. I sit now on the balcony with the sound of waves in my ears. The air is fresh and cool, not cold. It is delightful. I am so happy to be here.
The ocean is the color of blue ink. There are almost no waves. The sky is a lighter shade than the sea, with a murky quality to it. I see no birds. No land. But instead of feeling panic, I feel complete peace. The only other sound is that of the ship's engine, a quiet hum that says all is well. I could sit here forever.

me and Jimena

It is now after noon, and the air smells so different. I am not sure if someone is wearing bug spray or perfume, or this is the way the ocean smells far away from shore. The rhythmic lapping of the water is hypnotic and the colors fade in to each other. The light hazy blue of the sky interacts with the inky blue of the sea in a jagged line that pleases me. I wonder if it might rain. I am still dressed in my jogging outfit, and there is no hurry to dress. Should I shower before dinner or earlier? I am thinking of attending a lecture on Ferdinand and Isabella. So far, I like the transatlantic cruise more than I could ever imagine. I am reading a book on my deck. So grateful I got a balcony cabin. I can pretend I got the balcony cabin for Jimena, but I am the one using it most.