Some favorite images from my collection.

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Alexandria

Alexandria (1)

This is the Egyptian port of Alexandria imaged from the cruise ship Thomson Celebration last year.

Named after Alexander the Great this city (at one time capital city) was founded in around 331BC. In history it is probably best known for its lighthouse (one of the seven wonders of the ancient world), destroyed by an earthquake in 1323, and for its library which finally disappeared around 640AD. Today Alexandria continues as a major seaport and naval base that has a population of around 4.5 million.

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Gardone Riviera, Lake Garda

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Gardone Riviera can be found on the western side of Lake Garda in the North of Italy. It is probably best known for it’s two hotels. One of which, The Grand Hotel, was frequented by Winston Churchill. I found this place to be a pleasant oasis of sophistication and calm, easily reached by boat from Desenzano Del Garda, on a busy Easter Sunday.

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The Steam Yacht Gondola

SY Gondola 2008  (1)

This is the Steam Yacht Gondola. This steam yacht cruises Coniston Water in the English Lake District.

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This yacht was originally built in 1859 and restored from dereliction in 1979.

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It is owned and operated by the National Trust, who say “Enjoy the charm of luxury travel once experienced by wealthy Victorians, riding in style in Gondola‚Äôs opulent saloons or relaxing on her open-air decks as she glides across Coniston Water.” I can vouch for that!

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Gondola calls in at Brantwood. This house was the home of Victorian art critic, water colourist, prominent social thinker and philanthropist John Ruskin (1819 – 1900). The two taken together make a pleasant step back into gentile, middle class Victorian England.

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The Western Wall, Jerusalem

Western Wall (1)

The Western Wall, Jerusalem. Sometimes also referred to as the wailing wall. I visited here about this time last year. This is largely what remains of the second temple of Jerusalem that was started in the time of Herod the Great although, probably, not finished in his lifetime. The Temple was destroyed by the Romans in the course of the Jewish rebellion around 70 CE.

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The wall is neatly divided in to two sections. One section for men and one section for women. Access to the men’s side is via a ramp to the left of this image. Part way down the ramp is a stand where people can collect a white skull-cap. It is not allowed to visit the wall with a bare head. I forget why. You don’t have to use the skull caps but your head must be covered. My National Trust cap seemed to be just fine. When you get right up front of the wall you can see the cracks are stuffed with paper. These are prayers inserted by visitors on behalf of those who cannot go themselves.

Having taken the image above, just for fun, I spun around 180 degrees and took the image below.

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Finally, a section of the wall with the dome of the rock in the background. See how close it is.

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The year before I had visited Rome and carelessly managed to loose all my images of that visit. Believe me, I went through every SD card I had. For a year I was totally devastated by this loss. On returning to the cruise ship I put a fresh SD card in to the camera for the next day. Would you believe it, there were my Rome images! A minor miracle maybe?

Inside Malaga Cathederal

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Malaga, Andalusia, Spain. For most UK visitors Malaga is simply a gateway to other parts of the Costa Del Sol. I went there earlier this year and discovered that there is more to this place than just an airport. This is the inside of the Cathederal. But there is much, much more than this in Malaga. I will post more as time goes on.

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This baroque style cathederal was started in 1528 and “completed” in 1782. I say “complete” because it is known as “La Manquita” or “the one-armed lady” as the south tower remains unfinished. Apparently the funds were diverted to support the American revolutionists in their war of independence.

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San Francisco Cable Cars (What a Turnaround!)

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In 2009 my friends Paul and Terri invited me to join them and their two cats, Rosie and Sarah, in San Francisco for a week. It was quite an adventure! This was just one very small part of the visit. I will post more as time goes on.

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This is the cable car turnaround at the intersection of Market and Powell streets (please correct me if I am wrong……). The end of the line. These cable cars are driven from one end necessitating that they are turned around using this manual turntable before they can be sent back along the line. It seems to be not only a popular tourist attraction but also a popular place to join the system. It was a long que!

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Casa di Giulietta, Verona (Juliet’s House)

We’ve all heard about William Shakespeare’s story about Romeo and Juliet. I’m pretty sure that William Shakespeare never visited Verona, Italy where you can find Juliet’s family home. I did in 2012.

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This is a small selection of ‘love’ graffiti that is found on the walls of the passageway that leads to a small courtyard.

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As you can see the walls are plastered with this graffiti! This passageway leads to this courtyard,

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You can see what a popular tourist destination this is. Apparently, the cracks in the wall are normally stuffed with messages to loved ones. The staff take them down from time to time. The balcony, I’m told, has been remodelled from a coffin!

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Touching Juliet’s right bosom is supposed to bring good luck to those seeking romance. Our Italian guide told us he had touched both, just to make sure!