Sunday, January 18, 2015

January

Yosemite in Winter

January by John Updike

The days are short
The sun a spark
Hung thin between
The dark and dark

Fat snowy footsteps
Track the floor
Milk bottles burst
Outside the door

The river is
A frozen place
Held still beneath
The trees of lace

The sky is low
The wind is gray
The radiator
Purrs all day.

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Image by TravelswithCharie


Saturday, January 10, 2015

We Mourn the Loss of Lives


We mourn the loss of lives in the recent terror attack at Charlie Hebdo and the taking of hostages at a kosher supermarket, both incidents in Paris.  We pray for the victims and their families and for peace and tolerance in our increasingly fragile world.  

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Image by TravelswithCharie

Top Travel Destinations in 2015

Milan Cathedral, Milan 

New York Times 52 Places to Go in 2015
Milan, Cuba, Philadelphia, Yellowstone National Park, Elqui Valley in Chile, Singapore, Bolivia, Faroe Islands, Macedonia
For more of the 52 Places to Go in 2015 check this link: 

Lonely Planet Top 10 Countries

El Nido, Philippines

Singapore, Namibia, Lithuania, Nicaragua, Republic of Congo, Serbia, Ireland, Philippines, St. Lucia, Morocco

For more on these countries and other top travel lists from Lonely Planet click here:

National Geographic Best Trips 2015

Mont St. Michel, France

Corsica
Medellin, Colombia
Koyasan, Japan
Maramures, Romania
Haida Gwaii off the coast of British Columbia 
Oklahoma City
Tunis, Tunisia
Choquequirao, Peru
Sark, Channel Islands
Hyderabad, India
Port San Antonio
Taiwan
Zermatt, Switzerland
Presidio, San Francisco
Merqui Archipelago, Myanmar
Sea Islands, South Carolina
Mont Saint Michel, France
National Mall, Washington DC
Mornington Peninsula, Australia
Esters del Iberá, Argentina

For detailed information about these destinations go to this link: http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/best-trips-2015/

There are many top travel destinations lists for 2015 available on the net but one worth reviewing is the Afar Magazine list. Read it here: http://www.afar.com/wheretogo2015

Where will you go in 2015?  Happy travels.

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Images by TravelswithCharie


Thursday, January 01, 2015

Happy 2015!


Wishing all of you a happy and safe crossover to 2015!

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Image by TravelswithCharie


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Saint Malo


Ramparts of Saint Malo

The stone ramparts of Saint Malo stretches 1,754 meters and wrap around the old town known as the intra-muros. A stroll along these ramparts is a walk through the history of this city which traces its origin to the arrival of Maclow, a monk from Wales, in the 6th century. Saint Malo is named after him. 

Le Grand Bé

There are exits to the beach below from the ramparts. It's possible to walk to the islands of Fort National, Le Petit Bé and Le Grand Bé when it's low tide. But high tide has a way of rushing in and leaving unsuspecting visitors stranded on the islands. It's best to check with the tourist office for the times when it's safe to walk to the islands. The waters of La Manche may rise as high as thirteen meters and pound the walls of Saint Malo. The oak tree trunks lining the seashore and which form the breakwater can attest to the might of the waves. 

Grande Plage

On a cold and intermittently wet November day, the Grande Plage was bereft of people. I hesitated a bit before stepping foot on the sand which was packed rather than sugary loose. The waters had receded far out to sea. Only a man walking his dog was about. The three of us owned the vast shoreline for a spell.  When I returned a day later, the shore was nowhere to be seen. And Fort National was once again an island bobbing in the distance.

Rose Window at St. Vincent

Construction of the Cathedral of Saint Vincent began in the 12th century. It was partially damaged during World War II (as was most of the old town) and carefully restored after the war with beautiful stained glass windows and a spire reaching 72 meters to the sky. The spire is so high that it can be seen above the fortications. Inside the cathedral, the light emanating from the rose window behind the altar is a sight to see.

La Houssaye

It is said that Anne de Bretagne, the Duchess of Brittany, may have slept in this turreted stone house when she visited Saint Malo. Anne became the Queen of France twice - first after her marriage to Charles VIII and later to Louis XII after the death of Charles.


Saint Malo is a maritime city so it's only fitting that shop windows hail the mariner look and style. Even the bébé has his/her own marine inspired clothing. 

Where to stay:
Hotel Best Western Balmoral
24 Rue Théodore Monod
35400 Saint Malo
Contact@balmoral.fr
www.balmoralsaintmalo.fr

I stayed at the Balmoral because it is across from the train station and I was going to Mont St. Michel early in the morning. I was happily surprised to have had a spacious and modern room which included a full breakfast. And the location is safe and quiet. It is a 20 minute walk to the old town or you may take the bus. There's a supermarket, several restaurants and a bakery close by. My favorite find was the Nutella panini at the bakery in front of the train station. It was the best. 

How to get to St. Malo:
Take the TGV from Paris Montparnasse. It is a 3 hour ride and there's no need to change trains depending on the time of departure from Paris.

Bretagne cuisine:
Brittany is of course famous for its crêpes. There are many different fillings to choose from--sugar, orange, Nutella, ham and cheese, and a host of others. Saint Malo is on the coast so seafood choices abound. 

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Images by TravelswithCharie


Clouds over the Valley

Had to stop and take pictures of the amazing cloud formation today. It was a sight to behold.



Image by TravelswithCharie


Friday, December 26, 2014

Sunrise - December 26, 2014


This is the second year I've taken a sunrise shot after Christmas day outside my door in Central California. Today, I saw these birds flying in the sky and made a lovely guest appearance on this photo.

"It's the hour when night breaks away from the day, my dove, let me go." Jean Genet, The Balcony

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Image by TravelswithCharie