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Articles Categorized Travel

Whitby: The West Cliff & Beyond

There’s one last sight to see before crossing the Swing Bridge to the West Side of Whitby. If you take a left before crossing the bridge, you’ll be on Grape Lane, a narrow thoroughfare of some interest. Some say Grape Lane was known of Grope Lane, a place where prostitutes plied their trade among the

The Albert Memorial

At the edge of Kensington Gardens on the boundary to Hyde Park stands the Albert Memorial, an incongruous and massive example of the Gothic Revival Style popular during the Victorian Age. The structure, built primarily by public subscription, honored Victoria’s consort, a man without a clear portfolio now credited with bringing the monarchy into the

Kensington Palace: The First Occupants

For more years than I’m going to mention, I’ve stayed in the Kensington area of London when I travel for my urban fix and British Library research. If you’re familiar with London’s layout, you’ll quickly point out that the library is on the other side of the city. Thankfully, it’s a quick trip on The

Cultural Japan: Matsue Castle & the Village of Shirakawa-go

Matsue Castle is one of 12 original castles in Japan. I, of course, had to visit it. The castle is, more accurately, the castle keep, a structure built for fighting rather than luxurious living. That took place in a palace, now long gone. Like castles everywhere, Matsue Castle is built at a high elevation. The

Japanese Culture: Land of Geishas

One of the many delightful features of the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kyoto is a nightly dance performance by a maiko, or apprentice geisha. Chikasaya in her light green kimono and impeccable make-up performed nightly. Maiko like Chikasaya begin their training at about age fifteen, after completing their manadatory education. Students have many choices to

Japanese Culture: Buddhist Temples & Shinto Shrines

Although it’s possible to visit Japan without visiting a temple, I think its improbable since shrines can be found everywhere you look. The Torii Gate, one of the most famous symbols of Japan, is part of the Itsukushima-jinja Shinto shrine on the Island of Miyajima. Approaching by sea at high tide, the gate is an

Japanese Culture: Taiko, Kabuki, & Bunraku

I’ve been traveling again, and today’s blog is the first of a series about my visit to Japan. Japan brings many images to mind, from theserenity of a Zen garden to the frenetic pace of traffic in Tokyo. I traveled mostly by ship, beginning my journey in Kyoto and continuing up the western coast of

ST. PETERSBURG: VISITING ST. ISAAC’S CATHEDRAL & SQUARE

I doubt any visitor to St. Petersburg misses St. Isaac’s Square, so it seems fitting that St. Isaac’s Square and its namesake cathedral are the focus of this final visit to the sights of St. Petersburg. Catherine the Great’s grandson Nicolas I who ruled from 1825 to 1855 laid out the square with St. Isaac’s

ST. PETERSBURG: THE CATHEDRAL of SAINTS PETER & PAUL and THE CHURCH OF THE SAVIOR ON THE SPILLED BLOOD

The CATHEDRAL OF SAINTS PETER AND PAUL was the second church in St. Petersburg. The first church was a wooden building consecrated in 1704. But it was never meant to last. Peter the Great wanted a cathedral to rival any building in Western Europe and brought in architect Domenico Trezzini to build a Baroque structure

ST. PETERSBURG: THE FABERGE MUSEUM

The Season of Gift-Giving is upon us, and though most of us won’t be giving away Imperial Easter Eggs by Faberge, it’s fun to see gifts fit for a tsarina. I include the Imperial Eggs this month rather than the Easter season when they were given, because they’re very much a part the series on