The view from our balcony in Dubrovnik, Croatia,
We could see the Old Town and
Its massive walls (dating back to the 16th century),
As well as the Island of Lokrum
And a peaceful pink sunset over the bay.
For more lovely views, please visit: Our World.
I spent a hot Sunday morning wandering around Malaga.
First stop – the main plaza in the old town
Where there was a wonderful photo exhibition by Salgado.
Then a quick stop at Cafe Central with its famous mosaic.
The empty glass of coffee sums up how I feel (horror vacui)!
My eye was drawn to the symmetry of the cloth
Protecting the main shopping street and old buildings from the sun.
Malaga Cathedral attracts a lot of visitors
With its fine architecture.
I was more fascinated by the neglected rear of the cathedral,
Where hundreds of cobwebs caught bird feathers
From the pigeons who live there.
For more great views, please visit: Our World.
A couple of months ago, I had a recording job in Stockholm’s medieval Old Town.
I arrived early with my camera so I could take you on a historical walk.
Let’s start off with Stockholm’s oldest – and most iconic – square.
The main streets are usually full of tourists in the summer,
So it might be a good idea to wander down some of the colourful side streets.
(Notice the decorative electrical box.)
As the sun struggled over the narrow, dark streets
The house facades lit up in lovely pastel colours.
Further on, right next to the Royal Castle,
I was mesmerized by the symmetrical beauty
Of an old building being renovated.
A few houses along the street, I glanced up
To look at the soaring tower of Stockholm’s oldest church.
Finally, it was time to go to Priest’s Street,
Where I had enough time to admire
The postbox (where residents collect their mail)
Painted to look like the very houses on the street.
I must say that history has never looked as
Poetic as it does on these old cobbled streets.
For more history, please visit: Our World.
A while back, I visited Stockholm’s Old Town with my daughter.
It was a cold, gray day that did nothing to dampen our spirits or the glowing jewels of the old buildings.
Parts of the Old Town date back to medieval times (the 13th century) and the narrow alleys and winding cobbled streets give a small glimpse of life back then.
A fairly harsh world where the gutters in the streets acted as sewers and where, in winter, the cold winds still blow through the streets and cut through clothes like a knife.
As I enjoyed the faded beauty, I felt grateful for my modern comforts.
As we entered Stockholm’s oldest square, we saw a cannonball lodged in the corner of a building that goes back to the 1500s.
According to popular legend, this cannonball commemorates the Stockholm Massacre in 1520 when the Danish King Christian executed a number of Swedish nobles.
The building has been restored a number of times and the cannonball has always been put back.
Although why it now has a green mustache is a mystery…
For more glimpses into other lives, please visit: Our World.
Last weekend, my daughter and I went into Stockholm to the vernissage of the talented Maria-Thérèse.
As we got on and off various tubes, we saw buskers playing for money. My daughter opened her purse and gave some of her money to the first man, and then declared, “Let’s do three kind things today, mama!” This was easy as we found many more street artists to give coins to.
We finally emerged blinking into the grey light at Stockholm’s Old Town. And old it is with its alleys and cobbled streets dating back to the Middle Ages.
Suddenly – we saw him. A man kneeling on a coat, head exposed to cold air, hands together in prayer or supplication. He remained there kneeling, as tourists rushed by, totally immobile. A carved statue; a true medieval picture of poverty. His sunken eyes typical of those who cannot see too well.
We put some notes into his hat. I was glad to see that it was full of coins.
But it was a damp, cold day – with a chill that sneaked into your bones and stayed there.
I saw my daughter was almost in tears. “Shall we buy him a sandwich?” I suggested. “Yes, and a big hot coffee too,” she added.
As we returned to offer him our small gifts and exchange a few words, I saw a few people watching my daughter as she handed over the food.
They stopped, paused for thought – and then opened their purses to drop in some generous donations.
It really does seem true that if you carry the flame of kindness, you can help light it in others.
Or, as Beecher once said, “Children are the hands by which we take hold of heaven.”
For more kind stories, please visit: My World!