Sunday, December 28, 2008

Jewish Quarter, Krakow, Poland

The Jewish Quarter in Krakow is one of the most moving places I've been (second to Anne Frank's house).

This map is focused on the Old Synagogue. Zoom out and scroll slightly to the North-North West and you'll see the Remuh Jewish Cemetery.

While their web site says there "has also been a reawakening in the importance of Jewish history and culture," it didn't feel like that to me. It felt like a place that had had it's soul killed, eerilly still and hollow.

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence

When we were in Florence in 2001, we stayed just down the street from the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, the Duomo. That's the baptistry next to it.

Here's the wikipedia article on it.

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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Ponte Vecchio, Florence

The Ponte Vecchio bridge in Florence is so unusual. It was built in 1345. On the edges of it are very classy shops, gold and jewelery. There are lookouts on it so you can see the Arno River below. Be sure and click on Google's Street View and look around.

Here's the wikipedia article on it.

I took one of my best photos from this bridge. I'll let you guess which one. These were taken with an Epson PhotoPC 650.

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Sunday, December 07, 2008

Trout River Pottery, PEI, Canada

I don't know how my wife learned about this place! I don't know how we found this place! Any place whose directions include "turn off the paved road" is really out in the sticks. You should persist, though, because it's worth it (and remember, the car is rented).

The potter is a native of Prince Edward Island. He talked to us about how life was "before the bridge."

His pottery is some of the most beautiful and unique I've seen, and I've seen a lot over my wife's shoulder.

Plan to spend some time with Darren, and he'll show you how he works his magic.

His web site is here.

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Monday, December 01, 2008

Brighton Beach Lighthouse, PEI

The Brighton Beach lighthouse sits in a residential neighborhood at the entrance to Charlottetown Harbor.

It was built in 1890.

You can read more here and here.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Cape Bear Lighthouse, PEI, Canada

The Cape Bear lighthouse sits on a high bank on the southeastern point of Prince Edward Island.

It was built in 1881.

You can read more here and here.

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Point Prim Lighthouse, PEI, Canada

The Point Prim lighthouse is the only round lighthouse on PEI.

The oldest lighthouse on PEI, it was built in 1846.

You can read more here and here.

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Seacow Head Lighthouse, PEI, Canada

The Seacow Head lighthouse is one of the oldest wood frame towers standing in the Maritimes. On a clear day, you can see the Confederation Bridge from here.

It was built in 1864.

You can read more here and here.

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Macclesfield, UK

When I was visiting Hanforth Dean for work, I took a day off and trained into London to see my friends who lived there. I drove down to Macclesfield and caught the express train.

There are 108 steps between the town hall and the railway station. You can see where they are on this map. Here's Microsoft Live's Bird's eye view.

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

"The Edge," Alderley Edge, UK

I drove from Handforth Dean to Macclesfield to catch the train to London. To get to Macclesfield, you drive South to Alderley Edge and turn East.

As I drove along the Macclesfield Road, I saw a sign saying "TO THE EDGE." I had no idea what "the Edge" was so I pulled over and walked down the path.

The Edge is a sandstone rock over 300 feet high. The view was awesome. Some say you can see all the way to Manchester. You can certainly see most of Cheshire County.

I took some pictures and went on. I still didn't know what I had stumbled upon.

When I returned and began documenting my pictures, I researched "the Edge." The legend is that there is a cave in which King Arthur and his knights lie sleeping.

The legend goes on that on the face of the Edge is written:
Drink of this and take thy fill, for the water falls by the wizard's will.
The wikipedia article is here.

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Belfrey Hotel, Wilmslow, UK

While working in Handforth Dean, I stayed at the Belfrey Hotel in nearby Wilmslow.

They had a little reflecting pool in the garden. Let's just say it's prettier in the photo than in person. Let's just say that the pool was the nicest thing about the Belfrey.

Here's their web site.

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Claudio's Restaurant, Greenport, New York

For our last evening in Greenport, we walked down to the center of town. Even though it was a Friday night since it was still not "season" some of the restaurants were closed. We happened onto Claudio's. It seemed to be a local favorite as there was a wedding rehearsal dinner in progress. Our service was still good as was the food.

When we left, we walked along the marina back to the Harborfront Inn.

Their web site is here.

The next morning, we returned to Mississippi.

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Greenport Carousel, Greenport, New York

Built in 1920, the carousel in Mitchell Park is one of the few carousels with working brass ring dispensers.

We could see the carousel from our balcony at the Harborfront Inn.

There's a little more information on this web page.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Stony Brook Post Office, New York

In the village center of Stony Brook stands the Post Office. At the top of each hour, the eagle over the front FLAPS HIS WINGS! Don't miss it.

The video below isn't mine. Don't ask why I didn't get a video.

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Friday, October 10, 2008

The Paint Box, Stony Brook, New York

A friend of ours lived in Smithtown, NY and ran a private school called The Paint Box nearby in Stony Brook. It's directly across the street from Stony Brook School.

It's now a private residence and is being renovated.

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Sunday, October 05, 2008

Cliff's Elbow East, Southold, New York

When we left Pindar Vineyards we needed something to eat! A friend had recommended Cliff's Elbow Room in Jamesport. I plugged that into my GPS and Cliff's Elbow East popped up nearby!

It took a GPS to get there. Let's just say it's "out of the way."

It was a little after noon when we arrived and we were the only customers there. While we were eating another group of 5 or 6 came in. The waitress said that was the lunch "crowd."

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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Pindar Vineyards, New York

The North Fork of Long Island is dotted with vineyards. The one we chose to visit was Pindar. Pindar is Long Island's largest vineyard.

We got there in the morning and had a liquid breakfast. They gave us a coupon for a discount for a tasting at another nearby vineyard but we had to have something to eat.

The wine was excellent and we bought a case to bring home with us.

You can visit their website here.

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Montauk Point Lighthouse, New York

At the far East end of Long Island is the magnificent Montauk Point Lighthouse. It's the fourth oldest active lighthouse in the United States and the oldest lighthouse in New York.

History is all around the lighthouse. Captain Kidd supposedly buried treasure nearby. The slave crew of Amistad saw the lighthouse and came ashore. Just a stone's throw away is Camp Hero, supposed home of the Montauk Project.

Their web site is here and the wikipedia article is here.

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Tanger Outlet Mall, Riverhead, New York

As we rode around the South Fork of Long Island, we came across this huge mall, Tanger Outlet Mall, with 165 shops. We spent a couple of hours there.

Their web site is here.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Old Hook Mill, East Hampton, New York

As we drove through the South Fork, we came across the Old Hook Mill in East Hampton. I pulled over and took a couple of photos through the car window.

The wikipedia article is here and the East Hampton describes it here.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sag Harbor, New York

The last leg of the route from the North Fork to the South Fork was the second ferry. The South Ferry lands at Sag Harbor.

The boats are bigger on the South Fork!

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Saturday, September 06, 2008

Greenport-Shelter Island Ferry, New York

One day on Long Island was our day to go from the North Fork to the South Fork. This didn't look very far and here's the Google directions for the trip. But look closer. Google shows that it's 9.2 miles but the travel time is over an hour!

The reason is that there are 2 ferry rides on the route. The first one is via North Ferry.

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Harborfront Inn, Greenport, New York

In Greenport, we stayed at the Harborfront Inn. While there are B&Bs in town, this was the only hotel we found. There are certainly others in the area, just not in town.

It's a really nice hotel and quiet (everything in Greenport is pretty quiet!).

They had a good continental breakfast and free wired Internet service.

It's just down the street from the many fine restaurants in Greenport. We ate at the Frisky Oyster, the Chowder Pot Pub, and Claudio's.

Here's their web site.

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Orient Point Lighthouse, New York

The New London-Orient Point Ferry went right past the Orient Point Lighthouse.

This was built in 1899 and is 64 ft. high. You can tell from my pictures why it's called "The Coffee Pot."

If you look closely at my pictures, you'll see that it looks a little crooked. That's not my fault. It's 5° off of vertical!

The wikipedia article is here and there's a good article on it here.

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

New London-Orient Point Ferry, Connecticut

After the afternoon in Mystic, we backtracked to New London and caught the ferry from there to Orient Point, New York.

It's about an hour and a half ride. The ferry is huge and even has a satellite TV room. As usual on ferry rides, I got out and walked around. Even in mid-June, it was cool and my jacket felt good.

In some of the pictures you can see a catamaran ferry passing us first in one direction and then the other. They are ferrying gamblers from New York to the Foxwoods Casino.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Mystic, Connecticut

We picked up a rental car and drove out of Manhattan. We followed the Connecticut coast up to Mystic.

We walked around in the gift shop of Mystic Seaport for a while then drove on down to the old town. There's a neat metal drawbridge right in the middle of town. We parked nearby and shopped a while.

If you're hungry, Mystic Pizza is right there!

The wikipedia article on Mystic Seaport is here and their website is here.

The wikipedia article on the town of Mystic is here.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

New York Helicopter, New York

After we shopped in SoHo for a while, we took a taxi down to the South Street Seaport and had an ice cream. We decided to walk down to Battery Park and go out to Liberty Island. As we walked along, we came up on New York Helicopter. We decided we could see the Statue of Liberty from the air!

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

St. Stephen's Green, Dublin, Ireland

Nearby Trinity College is a beautiful park, St. Stephen's Green.

The afternoon we were there, there was a band playing folk music in one of the gazebos. Very relaxing!

The wikipedia article is here.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland

Founded in 1592, Trinity College is right in the middle of Dublin but once you enter the grounds, the sense of the city disappears.

I had wanted to go see the Book of Kells but there was some event going on in the college and the place was packed!

The wikipedia article is here and their web site is here.

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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Dublin Castle, Dublin, Ireland

There's not much castle left to Dublin Castle. The day we were there it was closed to the public for some kind of festival the next day. We could peep through the gates at the cobblestone courtyard.

The wikipedia article is here and their website is here.

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Temple Bar, Dublin, Ireland

Temple Bar isn't a bar in Dublin. Well, it kinda is. It really is an area on the south bank of the River Liffey. The streets are narrow and twisting and lined with bars and restaurants. There is a bar in that area that is named the Temple Bar Pub.

The wikipedia article is here.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Ha'penny Bridge, Dublin, Ireland

The Ha'penny Bridge is a foot bridge across the River Liffey. It got its name for the original toll, a half penny.

The wikipedia article is here.

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Custom House, Dublin, Ireland

The Custom House in Dublin is located on the north bank of the River Liffey, between Butt Bridge and Talbot Memorial Bridge.

The wikipedia article is here and their web site is here.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

General Post Office, Dublin, Ireland

During the Easter Rising of 1916 Dublin's General Post Office served as the headquarters of the uprising's leaders.

Just to the Northeast in front of the Post Office is the Spire of Dublin. This looks like a flag pole but it is a "sculpture."

The wikipedia article is here.

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, Ireland

St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin was founded in 1191. Dublin is unique in having two cathedrals, St. Patrick's and Christchurch.

The wikipedia article is here. Their web site is here.

My pictures begin here.

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Friday, July 04, 2008

Christchurch Cathedral, Dublin, Ireland

In Dublin, our hotel was directly across the street from Christchurch Cathedral. The cathedral was begun in 1038.

We had the most amazing view. We also had a front row seat for the bell ringing!


The wikipedia article is here and their web site is here. Watch for the picture of the cat and the rat. The story goes that they were found mummified inside the organ when it was renovated.

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Friday, June 27, 2008

Sally Gap, Wicklow, Ireland

On our way from Waterford to Dublin, we stopped at the Wicklow Mountains National Park visitor's center and asked them for the "senic route" to Dublin. We got what we asked for. They send us through Sally Gap. Perhaps we should have included "wide roads" in our request.

When we were stopped at the waterfall in the photos below, a British couple stopped as well. They asked us if we were heading North or South. When we replied that we were going North to Dublin they exclaimed how thick the fog was. The fog in front of us was so thick that the Brits were amazed!

At one point we met a logging truck on a road not more than 10 feet wide. We sat there and waved our arms at each other for at least 5 minutes. Finally, I gave in and started backing up. Whew!

Slide show

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Waterford Marina, Waterford, Ireland

In Waterford, we stayed at the Waterford Marina. Its name fits it well as it was directly on the water.

There were swans in the quay just outside the hotel.

There was free parking and we just walked to dinner at The Wine Vault on High Street. There are reports that it is no longer a restaurant. That's a shame because we really enjoyed it.

Their web site is here.

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Waterford Crystal Factory, Waterford, Ireland

When we arrived in Waterford, we went directly to the Waterford Crystal Factory. They have a nice visitor center with a shop at the end of the tour. While there isn't a real discount, there are pieces there that you can't get in the store and you save the VAT if you ship it back to the US. We did some real damage there and had it shipped home.

Their web site is here.

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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Tomasin's Bar, Stradbally, Kerry, Ireland

Annette at Shores Country House wasn't serving dinner the night we were there so we asked her for a recommendation. She sent us down the road to Tomasin's Bar in nearby Stradbally.

Tomasin's is just a little neighborhood (not much of a neighborhood by the way) pub. There weren't many people in there that evening. Except for us they were locals.

The food was great and the service was like your mother was serving you in her kitchen.

Here's their website.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

McDonalds, Cork, Ireland

After a soggy morning at Blarney Castle, we were ready for some American hamburgers. On the way out to the castle, we had passed a McDonalds.

We spotted it on the way back and opted for burgers and fries.

If you look closely at the satellite image, you may be able to see the blue BMW going the wrong way through the drive-through. That's us.

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Friday, June 06, 2008

Blarney Castle, Blarney, Cork, Ireland

Blarney Castle is just outside Cork. Everybody has heard the story of kissing the Blarney Stone. While most of our crowd kissed it, I passed on the opportunity choosing to take the pictures instead.

There is a fascinating legend regarding the actual Blarney Stone. A wikipedia article suggests that Robert the Bruce of Scotland gave a portion of the Stone of Scone to the king of Ireland who then put it into Blarney Castle.
Another tradition holds that, in gratitude for Irish support at the battle of Bannockburn (1314), Robert the Bruce gave a portion of the stone to Cormac McCarthy, king of Munster. Installed at McCarthy's stronghold, Blarney Castle, it became the Blarney Stone.
The wikipedia article is here and their web site is here.

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Monday, May 26, 2008

Drombeg Stone Circle, Cork, Ireland

My daughter had been reading a series of books about time travel where the time travel was initiated by walking into a stone circle. When I saw all the stone circles near Clonakilty, I had to take her to the Drombeg Stone Circle.

As with most places in Ireland, the signage was somewhat lacking! We finally had to stop a man in a horse and buggy to ask where the stone circle was.

If you don't see the horse and buggy, the most dependable way to locate the stone circle is via its entry on the site. This site also has directions.
2.4 km (1 ½ ml) E of Glandore, 250 m down a path to the E of a byroad. Signposted (SN 381). One of the few stone circles in County Cork with proper signposts all the way, off the Glandor and Clonakilty Rd, it is a short walk from the sign posts with a proper car park.
Your mileage may vary.

Like Avebury, this is such a contrast to Stonehenge. As you'll see from my pictures, you can walk (and climb) all through the stones.

The wikipedia article is pretty sparse. Another reference site is here. The area's web site is here and has the following description:
On the horizon in the west there is a v-shaped hollow between two hills. At the Winter Solstice, i.e. 21st December, the sun sets into that hollow in alignment with the recumbent and portal stones of the circle.

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Friday, May 23, 2008

O'Donovan's Bar, Fishers Cross, Cork, Ireland

After a hard afternoon at Galley Head Lighthouse, we headed over to O'Donovan's Bar to get refreshed. After all, we hadn't had any alcohol since the Jamison's for lunch. O'Donovan's Bar at Fishers Cross is a family run establishment located about a mile from Kilkern Lake. Denis O'Donovan is the second generation proprietor. Denis sponsors the local road bowling team. Here's a picture from the '70s of Denis road bowling.

Their web site is here.

My son-in-law learned a valuable lesson at O'Donovan's Bar. Never leave a €50 note on an Irish bar.

Here's a really good map of the Clonakilty area. To find Fishers Cross, find Galley Head at the bottom and look due North.

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Galley Head Lighthouse, Cork, Ireland

Our son-in-law's cousin took us out to the Galley Head lighthouse outside Clonakilty. I have never seen a more awe inspiring sight.

Built in 1875, the lighthouse sits 130 feet above sea level overlooking St George's Channel.

Most people seem to ignore the sign warning "UNAUTHORISED ENTRY IS PROHIBITED." This picture comes from this web site.

You can even rent the keeper's house but there's a warning for potential guests:

Special Note: Guests should be aware that the station is situated on a clifftop.

The wikipedia article is here and their web site is here.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Charles Fort, Kinsale, Cork, Ireland

Charles Fort is just across the harbor from Kinsale. We just drove over there on a whim and it was one of the highlights of our trip.

It even has it's own ghost.

The wikipedia article is here and here're my pictures.

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Friday, May 09, 2008

Desmond Castle, Kinsale, Cork, Ireland

Desmond Castle, also known as the "French Prison," was built in the early 1500s. During the American Revolutionary War, it was used as a prison for captured American sailors. Now, it houses the International Museum of Wine.

The wikipedia article is here.

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Saturday, May 03, 2008

St. Multose Church, Kinsale, Cork, Ireland

St. Multose Church sits at the top of a hill in Kinsale. Sorry about the clouds but it is Ireland!

It was built in 1190. In 1915 the Lusitania sank just offshore from Kinsale. Many of the victims were buried at St. Multose.

There's not much information on it on the web but Kinsale's web site is here.

My pictures are here.

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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Trident Hotel, Kinsale, Cork, Ireland

In Kinsale, we stayed at the Trident Hotel. The Trident is at the south end of Pier Road right on R600. It has convenient free parking.

When I made my reservations, they said that some of the Superior rooms had Sea View and some didn't. I requested Sea View but they said that the only way to guarantee that was to upgrade to the Executive room. I took my chances and stayed with Superior.

The whole story is that ALL the rooms have WATER views. Some have Sea Views but the rest have Harbour Views!

Their web site says they have "complimentary Wired Broadband Connectivity." They didn't when we were there (June 2007). However, apparently unknown to the front desk staff, the lobby's Wi-Fi was available from our room (218).

The breakfast was good and free and offered 7:30-10:30.

You can't beat the location. No other hotel in Kinsale is ON the water like the Trident.

Here's their web site and here're my pictures.

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Louis Mulcahy Pottery, Clogher, Kerry, Ireland

When our daughter visited Dublin in 2003, she brought us a piece of pottery from Louis Mulcahy. As we planned our trip for 2007, I Googled Louis Mulcahy and realized that his shop was actually on the Dingle Peninsula.

That settled where we were going first in Ireland. After our night at Shores Country House, we headed out to Clogher over Conor Pass.

After an amazing drive, we arrived at the end of the world! And they had pottery!

Their web site is here.

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