Old World Palaces And Castles


Palaces and Castles

“ And if she asks you why, you can tell her that I told you, that I’m tired of castles in the air “Don McLean (I love that song)

Castles and palaces are pieces of the past. They are evocative of the people who lived in them many centuries ago. They are rich in folklore and history and often built with astonishing craftsmanship and innovative design. Here are some of the palaces that I have toured. Many of these photos were before I was blogging so less palace and more look I was there shots.

Alhambra – Granada, Spain

fullsizeoutput_5ea7Buckingham Palace – London, England

Buda Castle – Budapest, Hungary (view near castle)


Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale) – Venice, Italy

Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh, Scotland

Neuschwanstein – Hohenschwangau, Germany

Pena Palace – Sintra, Portugal

Peterhof, (known as Petrodvorets and Petergof) – Petergof ,Saint Petersburg, Russia

Pitti Palace – Florence, Italy

Prague Castle – Prague, Czech Republic

Schoenbrunn – Vienna, Austria

Trakai Castle – Trakai, Lithuania.

Palace Of Versailles, Versailles, France

Fly safe,



Countries My Friends And Family Have Emigrated From To America

Countries My Friends And Family Have Emigrated From To America.

“No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark.” Warsan Shire

Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Colombia, Egypt, El Salvador, England, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Hungary, India, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica,  Japan, Lithuania, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand,  Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Puerto Rico, Russia, Serbia, Scotland, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria, Turkey, Viet Nam, Zimbabwe.

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Growing up in New York, with immigrant grandparents, the Statue of Liberty meant something. “Tell us the story of when your parents saw the Statue of Liberty for the first time again” we asked.   My mother would say that to her parents and many like them, the statue meant freedom to live in a country where you could be whatever you wanted to be. America was the place to go to flee from oppression, racism, class-ism and poverty. We understood that it was something special to be born in a country with ideals like that.

America is not perfect. We have racism and poverty. But that doesn’t destroy the dreams it was built on. Millions of people came to America to build a better life for themselves and for their families and still do to this day.

On the Statue of Liberty, there are words I know so well: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free.” That’s the spirit that made me feel like an American.  I wouldn’t be here without that philosophy.

Fly safe.


My Selfie, My Life or People Taking Selfies Around The World

My Selfie,My Life or People Taking Selfies Around The World

“I will go so far as to say without Instagram, there may never have been the word, ‘selfie.”

Ken Poirot

What happens when almost every phone has a built in camera?  There are a lot of people taking selfies. Is it a sign of being self absorbed or self reliant? Either way for some people, no day is complete until the selfie is posted.





South Africa
















South Korea


North Korea


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Things I Learned In The U.K.

“From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere!”

Dr. Seuss, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

Things I Learned In The UK

There is nothing the Brits love better than musicals where they already know the songs, drinks that light up in the theatre,  and drag queens,  as in Mamma Mia, Thriller, Dirty Dancing,  We Will Rock you and  Priscilla Queen of the Desert.

The UK did a composite of the worst drivers in the UK. The worst woman would be a hairdresser from Gloucester, driving a BMW. Hairdressing must be lucrative in  Gloucester.

An ATM is called a hole in the wall.  As in, the hole in the wall is not working.

Buckingham Palace seems to be a lovely place to grow up.

If you are starving and you don’t know what you would like to eat, the food department at Harrods would not be the place to go. ( so big and overwhelming. )

The guards at the  Tower of London  are called Yeoman Warders or the “Beefeaters”. Their job description is to look after  the prisoners in the tower and guard the crown jewels.  Their actual job is tour guide. They are called Beefeaters because up until the eighteen hundreds, they were paid in part with chunks of beef.(life seemed a lot easier –no vegans, vegetarians, pescatarians – just beefeaters)

I love watching the news on the BBC. It is much less stressful than CNN.  If it rains a little more than usual  here,  we are on Storm Watch.   An engine shuts off on a plane in the air and they have “ a bit of a problem”.

If you have no sense of direction, then walking from the National Gallery in London to Harvey Nichols is probably not a good idea, unless you have done it before and for some reason, your feet go in the right direction and you get there

There are no sales in   Edinburgh or London when I am there.

In the UK, they say sorry instead of excuse me, which does make it better when they bump into you.

In London, you can be engaged just by closing a bathroom door.

In the Uk, everyone says  no worries. We have recently taken that one. I still worry.

If you are walking down the Royal Mile in Edinburgh and you see men on stilts, Vikings, people  in animal costumes, a lot of Elizabethans, mimes, magicians  and assorted costumes; and they happen to be begging, cajoling, pleading, persuading, enticing, sweet-talking you into seeing their plays, you have arrived in August at the Fringe Festival .It is one of the largest and most popular theatre arts festivals in the world.  My daughter has performed there and my son has worked there.  It is one of my favorite places to be in August.

The Edinburgh Tatoo, which has been sold out in advance for the last two decades, plays every night in August.  It is a ceremonial performance by military musicians. There are military corps from all over the world playing bagpipes and drums. It has turned into quite the extravaganza and like nothing else I have ever seen. I have to say I teared up at the end when 8000 people linked arms and sang Auld Lang Syne with correct pronunciation.

Not everyone in Edinburgh speaks like Sean Connery and sometimes understanding the Scottish brogue can be a bit of a problem.  I just smile and nod and I hope I didn’t agree to anything important.

In Heathrow Airport there is a sign with a picture of a woman and two men. It is not the international symbol for menage a trois,  It means elevator(?)

The Saatchi Gallery is always closed when I get to London.

The Tate Modern is always open when I am there. I love to walk from there across the Milennium Bridge to St Paul’s Cathedral.

Heathrow Airport has the best sales in July.

The British Museum houses all the antiquities that the British plundered from other countries. It probably would have been great to see the Rosetta Stone , Elgin Marbles and ancient Egyptian statues in their own countries instead of the Hall of the Stolen Goods.

If you have no sense of direction in Scotland, it doesn’t matter because when you ask one person for directions, everyone on the street will stop and give you their opinion as to the best way to get there.

Traditional British food is anything high in cholesterol and fried in grease.  They have names like Bubble and Squeak ( some left over mashed potato and cabbage pancake  -no bubbling or squeaking), Bangers and Mash (sausages and mashed potatoes), Haggis (pork guts cooked in sheep stomach, ) beans on toast (Brits are obsessed with toast) Yorkshire Pudding ( not pudding –bread),Cornish Pasties (meat in a pastry almost as good as the many different types of canned meats),  black pudding (sausage? Is everything edible called pudding?) Scotch eggs (hard boiled egg fried inside a sausage inside a pastry).  Dessert can be Sticky Toffee Pudding (yum)  or (yes) Spotted Dick. (yellow cake with raisins) followed by digestive biscuits  .(need I say more here?)

The most common phrase in the UK seems to be “Is this the queue?

For more info read London with a little help frim my friends


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