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Romantic Murals meet Irish Pub


Travel with Intent

Madrid has many Irish pubs, just as you’d expect from any city these days.  This particular one claims to be the smallest Irish pub in town.  It was closed when I came across it so I can’t tell you anything about the atmosphere or the libations, but I can show you its beautiful facade.

aDSC00088 Mural depicting December

Its outer walls are covered with ceramic murals, depicting rather romantic views of the months of the year.

aDSC00089 This one was slightly damaged at the bottom but doesn’t seem to be a named month

aDSC00090 July and October

aDSC00091 May

La Fontanilla, Plaza Puerta Cerrada at junction with Calle Cuchileros.

Linked to Monday Murals and Blue Monday.

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Travel in southern Iraq


Quite Alone

pic25beadsGéraldine Chatelard, a friend from Jordan, sent me a write-up of her recent visit to southern Iraq. She has kindly allowed me to reproduce parts of it here, with her own photos. Names have been removed or altered and I have skipped over some parts that could identify people who might not wish to be identified.

Géraldine is a social anthropologist and historian of the contemporary Middle East, who has worked with academic institutions and international organisations on issues to do with Iraqi culture and refugees for many years. She was invited to Iraq, and was able to travel with the protection and support of local people and the Iraqi government. Do not take her account as implying independent travel in southern Iraq is easy or safe for everyone. It is neither.

I sought Géraldine’s permission to publish her account here for interest’s sake – professional concerns aside, this is definitely a travel story worth telling – and in…

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Walking Alone


Been There, Blogged That

Buddha's Quoteimage credit: VividLife.me

I recently saw this quote pop up on my newsfeed on Facebook and it instantly made me think of the Camino, a topic that seems to be very prominent in my thoughts lately.

Even before I officially decided to walk the Camino I have been trying to convince my friend Barbara to join me.  It has started to dawn on me that she might not be able to join because a little thing called life just happens to get in the way.  I asked a few other friends if they were interested and their response was the same – they’re too busy living life – fair enough.  Perhaps I could find someone in my list of acquaintances that would put their life on hold for a month, but as per this quote, I wouldn’t want a random acquaintance to join me if they wouldn’t make a good companion.

My…

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AWESOME SETS of STAIRS!


32RMIrC

Robson Square · Vancouver, British Columbia

With disabled people in mind this architect designed the most awesome stairs with full wheelchair access!  It is the perfect set up and most likely the future of staircases.

 

Many of you may have seen these images elsewhere, but they were recently forwarded to me, and I thought I would share them with you!

For anyone, unless you are very fit, many of these sets of stairs will take your breath away, or, at least make you puff just thinking about climbing and descending any of this lot of steps!  For myself, I might be able to go up, but there is no way I would want to walk down many of these stairs, I like the comfort of a solid handrail if not more between me and the drop below!

Peldaños del Cañón

 Peldaños del Cañón

Where you are: Pailon del Diablo , Ecuador.

Where are they going? Designed to descend to the bottom of one of the most famous waterfalls in South America, lost in the fog in many cases, it is extremely slippery and steep for several tens of meters to a lookout point where you can see a dramatic effect, accompanied by hummingbirds, gulls and other local birds.

 

Chand Baori

Chand Baori

Where you are: India

Where are they going? The decline of these steps leads to a huge pool, built in the tenth century to overcome the lack of rainfall in the region and store water for long periods. The structure has a total of 3,500 steps, that go down to a depth of 30 meters. It is then filled with water.

 

Elbe Sandstone Mountains

Stairs Elbe Sandstone Mountains

Where you are: Dresden , Germany

Where are they going? Stairs carved into the stone itself of these mountains. They date from the 13th century and have been eroded by wind and water, but they are still being used daily by tourists. 487 steps, though not enough, were restored and expanded in the eighteenth century to facilitate transit.

Guatape

The Rock of Guatapé

Where you are: Antioquia , Colombia

Where are they going?  The rock is an authentic stone monolith of 220 meters. The steps are constructed with cement, directly on the rock and making a curious place that facilitated clear age structure.  Some 702 steps are to be followed to reach its peak.

 

Haiku

The ladder Haiku

Where you are: Oahu , Hawaii   Material: metal

Where are they going? On the small island of Oahu there is this tremendous journey of 3922 steps, climbing, across and down a hill of 850 meters. They were created to facilitate the installation of a satellite in 1942. In principle wood, were modernized in the ’50s, but since 1987 are closed to the public.

 

inca

The Inca Trail

Where you are: Peru

Where are they going? An ancient trade route linking the city of Cuzco to Machu Pichu. For the rugged geography of the area, the Inca Trail and forced detours around to evolve between hills and mountains. The result: miles and miles of stairs, in some cases very precarious, as the famous floating staircases.

 

via Crucis

Ladder Via Crucis

Where you are: Bermeo, Basque Country, Spain Where are they going? This endless row of stairs attached to the rock coast where a small church dating from the tenth century and seems to be of Templar.  To reach the hermitage of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe have to climb 231 steps and there are gaps in the steps that are identified as the footsteps of St. John himself, who are given different healing powers. For example, you have to put your feet in them as a solution for corns or left hats, scarves, or to cure a headache.

 

Taihang

Spiral staircase in the Taihang Mountains

Where you are: At the boundary between the provinces of Shanxi and Henan, China

Where are they going? This spiral staircase of almost 100 meters have been installed recently in an attempt to attract thousands of tourists each year to the beautiful Taihang Mountains . Before undertaking the ascent asks visitors to sign forms to ensure they do not have heart problems or lungs, and are under age 60. And is that a slip in a narrow metal ladder as you certainly can lead to heaven, as the song of Led Zeppelin.

 

Wayna Pichu

Wayna Pichu

Where you are: Machu Picchu, Peru

Where are they going? Stairs carved into the rock that crown a climb of about 360 meters from MachuPicchu itself.  In some sections, the ascent is complicated to pass through narrow sections and small steps and eroded. The rise time is calculated from one hour and 90 minutes.  90 minutes climbing stairs!  Only allowed promotion to 400 tourists a day and access closes from 1pm.  Just in case!

If you have climbed any of these staircases, please let us know?

 

 

 

 

 


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Kaleidoscopic St Paul’s


Travel with Intent

DSC00041

There’s a kind of knotted, reflective, metallic ball placed conveniently in front of St Paul’s Cathedral.  It generates the craziest reflections and was at its best just before Christmas, with the moonlight and the nearby Christmas lights each adding its own element to the kaleidoscope.

DSC00040

Linked to Weekend ReflectionsWeekly Photo Challenge: Reflections and Weekly Top Shot.

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