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Markthal, the Queen of Markets

    Markthal

Varenna and Lake Como

Like a breeze  Or sunbeam over your domain I passed In motion without pause But ye have left your beauty with me A serene accord of forms and colors Passive yet endowed In their submissiveness with power as sweet And gracious, almost I dare to say  As virtue is, or goodness; sweet as love William Wordworth, Excerpt from The Prelude, Lake of Como     Lake Como

Merry Christmas 2016

"Have yourself a merry little Christmas  Let your heart be light  From now on, our troubles will be out of sight Have yourself a merry little Christmas now." Excerpt from Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC ***** Image by travelswithcharie

Where to go (and places to avoid) in 2017

If you haven't decided yet where to go in 2017, here are suggestions from travel magazines and bestselling travel guide books for the best destinations in 2017: Condé Nast Traveler     Jeronimos Monastery, Portugal http://www.cntraveler.com/gallery/the-best-places-to-travel-in-2017

Dubrovnik in the off-season

"Those who seek paradise on earth should come to Dubrovnik." George Bernard Shaw     Adriatic Sea The drive along the coastline from Čilipi International airport to Dubrovnik was every bit as enchanting. It was the magical hour with the sun calling it a day. I was watching the sunset from the bus window and decided to capture this welcoming introduction to the walled town, not quite sure how it would turn out. But I need not have worried, this picture speaks a thousand words. 

Recent publications

    Baybay Beach Two of my travel articles about Capiz were published recently. Check them out at the links provided below. 7 of the Best Things to do in Capiz https://waytogo.cebupacificair.com/things-to-do-capiz/ 10 Reasons why you should visit Capiz http://www.sunstar.com.ph/iloilo/lifestyle/2016/11/03/10-reasons-why-you-should-visit-capiz-506932 ***** Image by Charie

Upcoming Posts

Been traveling in Europe these last few weeks and will be posting soon about my journey to the Netherlands, Croatia and Italy. It's been cold except in Dubrovnik where the temperature hovered around 18°C. Here are some images of the places I visited.     The Markthal in Rotterdam is the queen of all markets

Halloween 2016

The one bright spot today was the Pumpkin Patch of Uesugi Farms in San Martin near Gilroy, California. The marigolds were so blinding that despite rain clouds, I needed sunglasses. This is the first year in business for this particular pumpkin patch and the little ones were having the time of their lives with the choo choo train and tractor rides through corn mazes. 

10 Reasons Why You Should Visit Capiz

Sorry to disappoint you but there are no aswang in Capiz. If there were, the airlines would lose money since we could probably get promo fares more frequently on the back of an aswang. Seriously though, release your fear. Come to Capiz. Wear a garlic bracelet, if you must. But do come and experience our world.  1. Life is simpler in flip flops Baybay Beach and Mantalinga Island

When in Ivisan

"I've traveled far and wide to explore new horizons only to find that there's so much to see right here in my own backyard." TravelswithCharie Basiao beach

The Pinto Art Museum

Walang Iwanan, Elmer Borlongan, 1999 The Pinto Art Museum has a vast collection of Philippine contemporary art and it requires more than a single visit to appreciate all that it has offer.

Markets of Seoul

Myeong-dong If LA is a great big freeway, then Seoul is a great big market. Above ground or underground, there is no dearth of choices. The only limit is how deep your pocket is. 

This small museum packs a punch

Blast Furnaces of Vizcaya, Juan Luna, 1893 I love small museums where I don't have to rush from painting to painting so I can see everything in a few hours. I like to linger, take a photo if it's allowed, leisurely read the attribution card or the brochure and check out the works of art as meticulously as possible. The Yuchengco Museum in Makati is an ideal place to visit and learn about Philippine art in an intimate setting. It wows with its collection of paintings by the masters of Philippine art including Juan Luna, Fernando Amorsolo, Carlos "Botong" Francisco and a host of other artists, some of whom I've included below. During my visit in July, I was lucky to have seen the Benedicto Cabrera Tribute Exhibition, BenCab in Two Movements . Juan Luna (1857-1899) made a name for himself in 19th century Europe where he was nurtured in the classical style of painting. This education gave birth to such works as the Spoliarium which won him the first gold med

Seoul Food

Lunch at Arirang Folk Restaurant Any visit to Seoul easily turns into a food trip.  As soon as we checked into our hotel at the Seoul Plaza, we were prowling the streets checking out the various restaurants in the neighborhood. And as it happened, we chose Arirang Restaurant for our first meal in Seoul. That was a great pick because we had a very good lunch at Arirang. I ordered the Korean style seafood pancake and it looked and tasted like it spent just the right amount of time in the pan. My brother cleaned up his bibimbap hot pot. The japchae was a rich mix of sweet potato noodles, stir fried vegetables and shredded beef. The black cod boiled down in soy sauce was the amazing reveal.  It was both flavorful and moist. It was the very first time in my life that I really appreciated cod. And the service was commendable. Address: 23, Namdaemun-ro 7-gil, Jung-gu (behind the Westin Chosun Hotel) Bibimbap My favorite dish is bibimbap but I couldn't fin

Azulejos as Decorative Art

Altarpiece of our Lady of Life. c1580 This altarpiece was partially destroyed during the 1755 earthquake. It is composed of 1,498 tiles in a multitude of hues. The top section with missing pieces is the Annunciation. The Adoration panel in the center is flanked by the images of St. Luke on the left and St. John on the right. The arrangement of this altarpiece resembles that of a retablo. It is attributed to Marçal de Matos, one of the masters of Portuguese azulejo painting. Franciscan scenes, Manueline Hall Tiles were introduced to Portugal from Southern Spain by King Manuel I after his visit to Seville in 1503. The Portuguese imported tiles until the 17th century when they started to produce their own. Churches, palaces, houses were decorated with blue tiles. A fine example of these adorn the walls of the Manueline Hall in the Madre de Deus, the church within the Museu Nacional do Azulejo. This tile composition depicting St. Francis with the crucified Christ and angels

Lavish me with sweet hydrangeas

Hydrangeas DO NOT SEND ME ROSES Do not send me roses Roses do not surprise Lavish me with sweet hydrangeas Their delicate bunches a feast for the eyes...... Rhonda Johnson-Saunders Please read the rest of this beautiful poem in The Poetry Soup. http://www.poetrysoup.com/poem/do_not_send_me_roses_371614 ***** Image by TravelswithCharie

Reminders of the Age of Discovery in Belém

Padrão dos Descobrimentos  Belém, on the banks of the Tagus River, hosts a multitude of attractions, so many in fact, that it would be hard to see them all in a day. But walking along the banks of the Tagus River will give one a preview of the Age of Discovery. The Padrão dos Descobrimentos or the Monument of the Discoveries is a commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Age of Discovery when Portuguese explorers roamed the "unknown" world and brought untold riches back to their native shores. On the ship shaped monument are Prince Henry the Navigator followed by personalities who had a hand in the discoveries. On the northern flank are King Alfonso V, Vasco da Gama, Ferdinand Magellan, Bartolomeu Dias and St. Francis, among others. Two interesting figures on the southern flank, which can be seen on the image above, are Luis Vaz de Camões, Portugal's national poet and a woman, Queen Philippa of Lancaster, the mother of Henry and the brain of the discoveries.

Évora, a Storied City

Temple of Diana After days of rain, I finally got a healthy dose of Vitamin D while exploring the old town of Évora. The blue sky above this Roman temple from the 2nd century can attest to that. Fourteen granite Corinthian columns of the original eighteen have withstood the ravages of time. Meanwhile, time has given archaeologists fodder to believe that this temple may have been dedicated to Emperor Augustus and not to Diana, the Goddess of the Hunt and of Fertility. Food for thought: Not everything we believed to be true yesterday may not hold water today? Hmmmm. Praça do Giraldo and the Igreja de Santo Antão Who would have thought that this peaceful plaza surrounded by whitewashed townhouses with wrought iron balconies and graceful arched passageways was once the site of public executions during the Inquisition? It's noon and the folks have gone home to eat lunch leaving the plaza to a few wandering souls. Nossa Senhora do O This 15th century statue is

8 Images from the Church of São Roque in Lisbon

Igreja de Sao Roque The Church of São Roque has been designated as the Jubilee Church with a Holy Door of Mercy during this Jubilee of Mercy year (December 8, 2015 - November 20, 2016). Please check my post about Lisbon for more information. http://travelswithcharie.blogspot.com/2016/05/why-lisbon.html

Why you should visit Lisbon now

This city of seven hills has long been sidestepped by travelers to Europe. And this is a good thing for those of us who are traveling to Lisbon because it means less crowds, no lines nor jostling for the best views, no distressed people in the service sector and just plain "having the place to ourselves". But interest in Lisbon and, Portugal in general, has climbed significantly since the terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels. As travelers search for alternative destinations in Europe, Portugal sparkles as one of the best value destinations this summer.   Ruins of Santa Maria do Carmo In 1755 a powerful earthquake hit Lisbon and left the Carmo Cathedral in ruins. This is what remains of what was once the largest church in Lisbon. The bones of the Carmo are hauntingly beautiful as it reaches up to the sky. It isn't hard to pray in this church without a roof.  There's an archaeological museum at the back of the church with artifacts from other ruins and