Tag Archives: Cathedrals Temples & Mosques


Fukuoka. a port city on the west coast of the south island, Kuyshu recently suffered quite severe flood damage. These photo’s are in memory of better times

This is their story if you are interested.

Take it this is their founder

The cat

The garden

and the gate



On my first visit to Japan I did three weeks in Korea in the middle of my visit. On returning to Japan I was tired of planning and booking accommodation so I decided to stay in Narita for a bit, since the airport was there.

What a surprise! A beautiful historic city with a thousand year old temple complex.

Here is the entrance

This first photo is of the water fountain for cleansing as you enter. I couldn’t wait to revisit the temple, so I went there on the first night, – hence the evening light.

On your right as you enter is the pagoda

The temples are more assembled than built. Nothing is fixed and so the building is wonderfully earthquake resistant.

In Japan every temple has its garden, as much a part of the temple as the building. In Narita, it extends as a wood on the hill behind the temple.

After a while, as you wander around the forest, you hear the sound of water rushing.

Near the top, you find the fountain, and behind it the calligraphy museum.

In Japan simplicity is very important. This is the work of one of their most famous calligraphers.

The view from the museum

As you go out there is another scene

Lanterns are very popular, and very beautiful, especially when they are lit at night.

This one seemed to need a bit of help on the lighting front..

That’s all for now, I will add another mini-tour of a Japanese garden for you soon.

They are and remain some of my favourite places on earth.

Celanova – Monastery of San Salvador de Celanova

In the province of Ourense, just north of the Portuguese border, in the area of Galicia, is the historical town of Celanova.

The monastery of San Salvador de Celanova is the most important building in their historical center.

Look what they do with their plane trees here.

I have heard if you want to know how people treat their children you should look at what they do to trees. There will be a strong resemblance.

The monastery was founded in 936 by San Rosendo.

One of the oldest  Mozarabic chapels in Spain is in their garden.

A humble little chapel next to the colossal later buildings. Once again the older the building the larger the building blocks.

Recuerdos de la Alhambra, pardon the pun.

Set in the rose garden.

Inside the cathedral, –

lovely carvings on the choir stools

And finally, the pipe organ

and the altar

If you were wondering, I am not there now. In fact I would have been in Belgium, if the world wasn’t on its head.

Fortunately there is still a stack of places waiting to be posted. So it is virtual travel for the foreseeable future for all of us.


It seems as if I am in the south of Germany here sometimes, although in reality it is Namibia, on the south western point of Africa.

There are so many Germans here in Swakopmund you get confused.

I’ll do a small post about last summer in Germany.

We start in Cologne, a highly industrialized city that survives since before Roman times, was mostly flattened in WWII, put still has their cathedral.

They have quite a vibrant shopping scene today.

From my window, on the 22 floor, you could follow the chimneys on the horizon.

The poor cathedral is really suffering with all the air pollution.

The spiel is that building works extended over 700 years, but if you listen carefully, it sounds like it was suspended for over three hundred years, somewhere in the middle. Because of wars I take it.

So not quite 700 years of work.

I wasn’t overwhelmed by their cleaning effort, to be honest. At this rate they will never get it done, and the overall effect is really just to make the dirty bits look dirtier.

Also they seem to have enough going on inside. Nifty spider thingy they have there.

I suppose if they don’t clean the outside, the dirt will eventually work its way inside and you will be left with a mosaic floor with a ribbon around it, like you have on the old Roman archeological sites.

Impressive mosaic though, assume made with marble etc and not tiles.

Windows equally impressive

Here is a little combination from the summer gardens on my side of the city.

They seem to be doing well despite the air pollution.

I was in the red and blue block you can see  above the honey sign. It won the award for the ugliest building of the year 😦

Can’t fault the view though.

Trees on my way to the shop

Had to go past the tennis courts, along the mosque and across the street.

Suppose you need workers in all those industries.

I found the people of Cologne gentle and kind, which makes sense for a city with one of Europe’s oldest universities.

Also quite gels with their signature scent, the 4 7 11, soft and unpretentious, if a little aged 🙂

The old city over the Rhine

and a little closer up

This guy seems to have his own built in pigeon, very efficient.

Quite a good museum about their Roman history, which I didn’t visit.

A lot of transport still goes on the water here. Think this is an oil tanker.

They are the biggest Rhine city today.

And this poor bugger is the face of STD’s in Germany.

I certainly hope he lives far away, it would be a bit upsetting to see him on the S bahn.

Looks a bit upset himself, but who can blame him?