Around the world. (Part 4)

Traveling to Asia was  fantastic . I hope to go back again. Today I will share a few shots taken in Thailand and  Vietnam. In the next post, I will share about  Cambodia and Hong Kong.

Let’s start with Northern Thailand . We visited Chiang Mai and many little villages. We discovered  temples and lovely architecture. We saw people working at markets.   I took lots and lots of photos.

Driving in the countryside , we could see smoke as the farmers burn the land to help the  future crops. We were traveling during the dry season but we have to assume there was no danger with the fires.

This is the White temple we can see in Chiang Rai. Very spectacular.

One week in this part of Thailand was not enough  but we were very happy with our visit. We had to fly to Bangkok and then to Hanoi in Vietnam  where we would meet our cycling group.   We visited Hanoi and  Halong Bay  before starting our 11 days cycling days. We did  around 450 km . With my photos you will get a sense of my trip in Vietnam. Motorbikes, bicycles, people everywhere…

We enjoyed the scenery on our way to Halong Bay. We did not  have great weather in the Bay but it was a great experience to see the floating villages.

We had an educational tour as we cycled in different areas of Vietnam. The weather was not that great to start but it got warmer as we got in the southern part of the country. We learned so much and people were friendly .

In 2 weeks, I had been in 2 countries I did not know at all before I got there. Now I look back at the photos and I appreciate so much this experience. Asia is so different than America  and for us it is an amazing discovery for all  our senses. I even tried to learn a few words in thai and vietnamese !

Next week, you will see  more photos taken in Cambodia and Hong Kong. Thanks for visiting.

 

 

 

 

 

Around the world. (Part 2)

Here is part  2 of my series “Around the world”.

Canada is a very  large country. If you live in the East maybe you did not visit the West part of the country.  I was lucky to drive across Canada twice.  The first time, alone,  from Quebec to BC and the second time  with my family from BC to Winnipeg. I really enjoyed driving  in the Prairies and seeing the Rockies is also a wonderful memory. Unfortunately I do not have much photos of those areas . Sometimes the best I could do was to take a photo through the window. We had many km to do every day.

I visited the Maritimes ( except New Newfoundland and Labrador) when I was 19.  I went back some years  later, with my family,  in Nova Scotia and New-Brunswick.  One day I might visit the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon. And of course, I visited many parts of  Quebec .  Magdalen Islands, located in the Gulf of St-Laurent, is a splendid corner of  my country. Not so easy to access  but it is what makes it even more interesting.

In USA, I have seen lots of states .  I have done  many km on the roads in USA. One summer  we traveled through 26 states . We visited majors cities in the east : Boston, New-York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington DC, Pittsburgh.  We also spent time in Chicago and Saint-Louis. The main reason for this trip was to see many baseball games.

I still have to see states in the south-east part of the US. I have been many times to Washington state, Oregon and California. In Arizona and Utah I have seen wonderful vistas.

In Mexico, I went to Mazatlan, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Zihuatanejo. I have so many good memories of  time spent in Mexico. I love the sun, the beach and the food!

Thanks for visiting my blog today. Next week,  another post of travels. Are you following me ? I hope you enjoy the photos as well.

 

 

Girona

For quite a long time I wanted to visit Girona, the capital of the province and one of the most interesting medieval cities in Spain. Finally , I was able to spend two days in that beautiful city in Catalonia.

We had booked a B & B in the old town, not far from the Cathedral, in the heart of the old Jewish  ghetto. The Pension Bellmirall was a good choice for us as it is well located . The building dates originally from the 14th century. It has been  restored and altered over the year. It felt like a museum as many paintings of the artist Isidre Vicens were on the walls. The artist lived in this house for many years and it still belongs to his daughter.

With a map it is easy to explore Girona.   And the only way to discover the particular charm of this city is on foot. You can wander for hours through the Call- the labyrinthine old quarter with its narrow, steep alleyways and lanes and its ancient stone houses which form a rampart chain along the Onyar river.  Every morning, we walked by the beautiful Cathedral. We could even hear the bells during the night. We were a little surprised they ring the bells all night long.  Every fifteen minutes !  The 14th-century Cathedral represents many architectural styles including Gothic and Romanesque but its most notably Catalàn baroque. The facade dates from the 17th and 18th centuries. The Cathedral contains many works of art displayed for the most in its museum.

We visited the inside and the cloister. It has an unusual trapezoidal layout.

In the museum, I enjoyed the tapestery of the Creation,  an unique piece  of Romanesque  embroidery,  dating from 11th-12th centuries and depicting humans and animals in the Garden of Eden.

Sometimes it is little details that catches your eyes. Like this door handle on the huge door.

Or what you see on the pavement…

We were lucky to have wonderful weather although it was October.

The extension of the Roman walls during the medieval ages enables visitors like us to stroll along a walkway following some sections of the longest Carolingian walls in Europe. You can get really nice views on the city.

We  adopted a bar by the Placa de la Independencia to get our apero. It was also a good time to taste some tapas.

The city of Girona is divided by the Onyar river. That means that we got to cross bridges and enjoy the view of the colorful houses along that river.

I will keep very good memories of this time spent in Girona. If you have a chance to visit, I know you will like it also.

Thank you for your visit on my blog, Fun and Life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cadaqués, Figueres and Callela (Spain)

Today, I will write about  cities on the coast of Spain.  The Costa Brava, also called Wild Coast” or “Rough Coast”, is  a coastal region of Catalonia  in northeastern Spain.

Cadaqués , is the first resort on the Costa Brava  once you have left France  behind you. It used to be a simple fisherman village.  Salvador Dali came often here as did many other artists. It was pleasant to wander  around to satisfy  our curiosity.  Dozen of small coves with a narrow street running along the water’s edge, crystal-blue  water, fishing boats on the sandy beaches, old whitewashed houses, narrow twisting streets and a 16th century parish up on a hill.

Another village is called Calella de Palafrugell. In fact I am not sure you should call this place a village or a town. It is a more quiet  place than Cadaqués but it might be busier during summer time as there is a nice beach. I went there to visit a friend who goes there every year. We did not spent much time  but what I saw was lovely.

We met the artist Rodolfo Candelaria. He has a few of his art in the village. As he was eating at the same restaurant as us and my friend knew him I had the chance to say hello and take a photo of him.

We spent time in Empuriabrava where you can see nearly 24 kilometers of canals. This is the largest residential marina in the world. We walked on the beach and had lunch.

Finally,  we stopped in Figueres.  Figueres is not on the coast. It is the birthplace of the surrealist Salvador  Dali  (1904-1989). We wanted to see the original architecture of the museum and theater. We only had time to see the outside.

I like visiting Spain and exploring new places. Do you like Costa Brava?  Have you been there ?  On my next post I will share  photographs from another Spanish city. Thank you for visiting my blog. Hasta luego.

 

 

.

 

Hong Kong ( part 5)

We still had visits to do in Hong Kong. The Tian Tan Buddha  is located on Lantau Island. We got there by metro. We got up to the mountain via the Ngong Ping 360 sky rail. It was a very windy and  foggy day. The ride to get to the top takes about 30 minutes. Nice view around until we reached the fog.

The Big Buddha is the world’s largest Buddha, seated, outdoors, made of bronze.  The statue is 34 metres (112 ft) tall, weighs over 250 metric tons , and was constructed from 202 bronze pieces. In addition to the exterior components, there is a strong steel framework inside to support the heavy load.

Before going up the 260 steps to “nirvana” (close to the Big Buddha), we looked at the Po Lin monastery. Beautiful architecture and lots of incense burning.

 

I was very happy we made it to see the Big Buddha and  the village on top of that mountain. Ngong Ping, Chinese style, has many shops for the tourists!!!

I hope you enjoyed visiting Hong Kong with me as much as I liked to share it  with you. Thanks for reading and thanks for your comments. Other stories on my travels are posted every Friday.  Have a good week-end.

 

 

 

Cambodia ( part 4)

Hello readers!  It is  Friday  and time to share another story of our travel in Cambodia.

A day to visit  more  temples of  Angkor  with our guide , Mr. Chet. First, we go to see the temple Banteay Srei. Banteay Srei is built largely of red sand stones, a medium that lends itself to the elaborate decorative wall carvings which are still observable today. The buildings themselves are miniature in scale, unusually so when measured by the standards of Angkorian construction. These factors have made the temple extremely popular with tourists, and have led to its being widely praised as a “precious gem”, or the “jewel” of Khmer art.

Later that day, we go to see Kbal Spean . An Angkorian era archaeological site on the southwest slopes of the Kulen Hills. The site consists of a series of stone rock relief carvings in sandstone formations of the river bed and banks. It is commonly known as the “Valley of a 1000 Lingas ” or “The River of a Thousand Lingas”. The motifs for stone carvings are mainly myriads of lingams (phallic symbol of Hindu  god Shiva god ), depicted as neatly arranged bumps that cover the surface of a sandstone bed rock, and lingam-yoni  designs. There are also various Hindu mythological motifs, including depictions of the gods Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma, Lakshmi, Rama, and Hanuman , as well as animals (cows and frogs). See  some of the photos I took.

After lunch,we visit another temple close by: Banteay Samre. Temple dedicated to Vishnou.

In the temple, this man is blessing me with prayers and after he puts a bracelet around   my wrist. You wear it until it falls off. I think I had it for more than a year. In fact, I had 3 different bracelets after this trips. I had gotten my first one in Thailand.

Often you see kids hanging around the temples. Some kids sells little souvenirs.

But those girls were serious about selling me some scarfs or blouse. It was very inexpensive. I bought a white blouse and I like it very much. They sell stuff in American money. But the money of  the country is the  Cambodian Riel.   1US dollar is 4059 Riels.

This man is cleaning his animals in the lake by the temples.

What  a day ! Back on Pub street for a cheap beer. I must wear my new blouse!  

A good dinner and a  good night of sleep for us after a long visiting day.  More temples to see the  next day. It is coming on my next post, next week.

Thanks for reading my story . And many thanks for you who write a comment.

 

Vietnam ( part 6)

For you readers it is the end of 2017 but my story here is from February 2014.

After our time in Hoi An, we took a short  flight from Danang to Nha Trang. This is the beach by our resort.

After lunch, we left the resort for a 34 km ride. 17 km to go until we reached a fishing village and then we returned to the hotel.

The very last few km was in the city and we had to make our way through the bikes, the motorbikes, the cars, the trucks and also the pedestrians. I had to stay focus and indicate where I was going. I think people in those big cities in Vietnam get used to that type of circulation. Less honking here than in Hanoi or Hue , maybe less honking the further south we go?

The next morning, we traveled by mini-bus for about 45 minutes and then we started riding. Only 2 hours of bike- around 35 km. We got to see the rice almost ready to be harvested and  taste some milk apple or milk fruit. It was  good.

We cycled mostly on small and quiet roads along fields , crossing few villages and once a bigger city where it was  market day.  Warm but a bit humid. The temperature of the day was around 28 C with 59% humidity.

In the afternoon we visited  the Cham Towers dedicated to the Hindu godness Po-Negar.

The next day   was our 7th day of cycling  in Vietnam.  We did 35 km before lunch and 23 km after. Nice sunny day. So much to see again. We first cycled in the countryside, we saw sugar cane plantations, fields of watermelon, trees of cashews and tapioca. We  left the sea side. Vietnamese do not say “China Sea”,  they prefer to say :”Eastern Sea”. The lunch was typically Vietnamese with soup, rice, vegetables, tofu, meat and fruits. Always so much food  !

I will tell more about  Vietnam and especially about Dalat on my next post. I hope you enjoy reading my story. Thanks for your comments. New Year is just around the corner so I will say to you today: Happy New Year. I hope your life is full of wonderful adventures.