Remembering Sensational Syria

Syria Video by Irene and Rick Butler- Syria “wowed” us with its rich culture, its fascinating history, its ancient sites,…

Egypt’s Sinai Region

Mt Sinai The Sinai Peninsula is a stunning desertscape of rugged limestone and granite mountains with substantial areas of shifting…

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Vilnius Lithuania

Virgin Mary Icon

About a dozen people are silently looking upward. One lady is kneeling. They face us as we walk through the Gate of Dawn on the southern border of Old Town in Vilnius, a part of the original town walls that are still intact. We move about three meters in and turn to see what everyone is so piously focused on. A black and gold Virgin Mary icon glimmers in a Chapel that is built into the top of the gate, its open window facing the street below. More people stand within the chapel against a window railing, the only barrier between this “miracle-working” icon and the street below. A few meters further down the street is St. Teresa’s Church, with its early baroque facade. Access to the inside is through a tunnel-like passage, which opens up to an altar with such a wealth of icons, one could view it again…

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Riga Latvia

Old Riga

The heart of the city, Old Riga, is like stepping into a fairy-tale kingdom, with its winding cobblestone streets, ornate buildings, and spired churches. It has a subdued atmosphere, even the rustle and chatter of groups seems to float placidly in the breeze. Certain buildings call for attention for assorted reasons; some involve being regaled…

Tallinn Estonia

Soviet Era Factory Complex

Tallinn Estonia “Old factories…let’s look closer!” says Rick….never mind that we are lost, and have been walking for an hour with a high-humidity temperature of 35degrees Celsius. After leaving the dock from our ferry crossing from Helsinki it seemed a simple matter to get to our hotel, except unknowingly Rick’s faithful compass changed its polarity,…

Helsinki Finland

Sigh says it all!

On our bus ride from the Helsinki Finland airport into the city, Rick is quick to say what I am thinking, “These buildings remind me of Moscow.” We later learn that Hollywood used some Helsinki streetscapes for movie scenes taking place in the Russian capital, and a bit of condensed history tells why. Finland’s story…

Stockholm Sweden

The heat wave continues in Stockholm, making our many walks around the city enjoyable indeed for us sun seekers. It’s immediately evident that the population is greater than any city so far on our Scandinavian journey, tallying nearly a million. The lengthy pedestrian street is a shopping mecca thick with people. The Old Town’s labyrinthine…

Norway Olso and Bergen

Norway Oslo is having a heat wave! We slather on sunscreen and forge forth in the wonderful +30 degrees Celsius weather daily. Olso’s lengthy pedestrian street, Karl Johan gate, is high octane with its flood of people and street performers (of which my winning choice is battery boy). Tantalizing odours wafting out of eateries, shopping…

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And We're Off on More Adventure!

“What!? At your age?” “Why not just read travel books by a resort pool?” “Makes me dizzy just thinking about it.” “You could be poster-seniors for “nut-cases.” These are some of the comments we hear when sharing our July 2014 to March 2015 travel plans. We’ll admit – the cliché, “biting off more than you…