"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.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Friendliest Crew on the Seas: Holland America Line

Dining staff including a manager on HAL Nieuw Amsterdam
Hats off to the crew of Holland America! I find their staff to be so friendly. They are super well-trained and very polite as well. We had such a wonderful Transatlantic crossing, and a lot of that was due to the great crew.

Our wonderful maitre'd

Our fab cabin steward

We also were so well taken care of by our team of cabin stewards. I need to dig out their names. Here is one of them here. He could make over 40 towel animals. Every night we got to enjoy a new one!

Lavinia our spa receiptionist and friend on the left
We also made friends with the spa receptionist, Lavinia. She even went with us on a private tour of Gibraltar. She greeted us each day and spent time with us. Her smile and welcoming ways always made our day. We will see her again in October here at our home town of Cozumel!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Memories of our Transatlantic Cruise

Nieuw Amsterdam Lobby
Here are some random photos from our Transatlantic Cruise on the Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam. They made me happy to look at again.

my husband Moises our photographer
at Barcelona
Fun place to sit on the ship

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Funny Faces Part 2

Venice funny faces
This is the typical funny faces of tourists who are completely lost and trying to act like they know where they are going, but their faces give them away.

More funny faces at Venice
Not quite sure what the guy in the bright green sweater is trying to convey. Every face in this photo looks tense and not sure of themselves. But since I don't know them, maybe I am reading their faces completely wrong.

Funny face of our tour guide from Naples
My all time favorite funny face is the one of our tour guide from Naples. He did not have just a funny face, but he looked like he was dressed as a pirate. i think the guide we were supposed to get must have called in sick or something, as he said he was only used as a fill in. He was totally crazy and would just dump us out in the street to fend for ourselves at each stop. He never took us on our promised walking tours, but he was really fun and comical. He also shamelessly flirted with every woman on the bus. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Funny Faces & Other Funny Photos Part 1

Funny face of Amalfi
Traveling alone, I often take photos of complete strangers. It is that or take photos or nobody. After I tire of all the wonderful architectural elements, I am photographing, one of my favorite past times is to take photos of people making funny faces or doing funny things.

Here are a few of my favorites from a cruise I took in April/May of 2013. Enjoy!

Pissed-off face
Before I left for my cruise from Civitavecchia, I was in Barcelona. Above I took a photo of a guy who was none too pleased I was taking his picture, or so it seems. It was at the Book Fair by my hotel.

at Dubrovnik

At Dubrovnik, this photo is more of funny people than funny faces. The whole crowd just looks off kilter, don't they?

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Horta Portugal tour

Stop on our Horta tour
We only did one organized tour while on our Transatlantic from Fort Lauderdale to Barcelona. It was a stop at Horta, Portugal. We were disappointed enough that we canceled the rest of our tours. I love ship shore excursions. I love the experience of getting on the bus, sitting near the front whenever possible, half tuning out the droning voice of the guide and just taking in the sights, sounds and smells. My husband hates bus tours. So we did the rest of the stops on our own. 

Horta stop

I have to admit Horta was not what I expected It is green. It is full of cows, and lots of whales come in during parts of the year. It is also windy, rainy and downright cold. We froze from the cold wind and rains when we were there end of April.

One stop was kind of cool. It was a park-like place. Not quite sure what it was. I spent most of the time on the bus, as it was just too cold to get out. But the buildings looked super old. Does anybody know where this is?

Our niece with a lady she met on our tour of Horta
Note the coat our niece was wearing. I had only a jacket and was freezing!