Z is for Z-end

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It’s Z and I’ve reached the end of the A to Z Challenge — my third one!  I thought the best way to end is to sail off into the sunset. So here are some of my favourite sunsets (with a few sunrises and full moon shots thrown in for good measure). My hope I have inspired at least someone to go out and travel. Get out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself to experience new places. As I end this blog challenge, I am sitting next to my packed suitcases and preparing to leave for my next adventure.

Happy travels!

 

 

Y is for Y más: a review of my top five places

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Y más or “and more …” is my review of my top favorite places to visit — as least at of today! Here is my countdown…

Number Five:  Cadiz, Spain! I was so surprised at the  beauty and walk-ability of Cadiz. At to that a Fortress named after my patron saint that is constructed in a star shape, beautiful beaches and great seafood — what more could I want!

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Number Four: Lisbon has beautiful architecture, twisting streets, great museums, amazing music and, of course, good food and wine!

Number Three: Buenos Aires with it different neighborhoods, tango all night, and friendly people — I think I lost part of my heart there!

Number Two: Cuba!  I am still dreaming about Cuba and all it has to offer. I love Cuba and her people. Viva Cuba!

And number one should not be a shock to anyone who has read my blog … BARCELONA! If I could, this is where I would like to live. Architecture, people, beaches, food, night life, museums, concerts — it has everything I love (and did I mention football and Camp Nou?).

 

W is for Wildlife

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Learning how to photograph different things while I travel is part of the challenge and is becoming a passion. When I took a cruise around the tip of South America, not only sis I see cities and expansive landscapes, but I become challenged by taking photographs of wildlife. Here are some of my favorite photos of wildlife.

First group: sea lions in Argentina.

This group a seals found a floating dock to use as a place to catch some rays — and to play in the surf.

Birds have been more difficult for me.  Here are some of my first attempts at taking photos of birds. These were taking new Cape Horn.

Off the coast of Ushuaia, Argentina, there are groups of islands that are homes to various seals, sea lions, and water birds.

And of course, there are penguins!

So, I started looking for other opportunities. In the Canadian Maritimes, I was able to get a fox on a beach at sunset, I got “photo-bombed” by a seal near Cheticamp, and watched an eagle fish on Bras d’Or.

 

And finally, from near where I live, is Niagara Falls. If you look closely, you can see at least twobirds in this picture.IMG_6413_edited-1

V is for the Vasa Museum

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The Vasa Museum is one of Stockholm’s best museums. It is a specially designed building that houses one thing — a 17th century ship known as the Vasa. It was a meant to be one of the finest sailing ships of its time. Yet, twenty minutes into its maiden voyage, it sank. In 1956, it was found and, because of the cold water, it was mostly intact. The ship was salvaged and eventually found a new home in a specially constructed building designed to protect the sensitive nature of the wooden ship.

And of course, I loved it! Let’s face it, I love ships of all kinds and this one is truly remarkable in the details and its beauty. Here are some of my photos of this amazing ship.

The Vasa Museum is truly one of the highlights on a trip to Stockholm.

U is for Uruguay

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Uruguay is a nice place to visit, especially after the spending time in Buenos Aries. It has beautiful beaches, friendly people and a great, laid back energy. One of the best beaches is at Punta del Estes, with soft, white sand and clear water.

 

The capital of Uruguay, Montevideo, has beaches, stunning artwork and palatial buildings.

 

 

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I barely got tp experience this wonderful country and I want to go back very soon!

T is for Toledo, Spain

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Toledo, Spain is a beautiful walled city that has been memorized in artwork by El Greco.

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The cathedral towers over the entire city while massive walls surround a jumble of twisting streets where churches, synagogues an mosques stand side by side.

It is an easy trip by train from Madrid and even the train station is an interesting site.

But it is the cathedral that is the heart of the landscape.

I loved wandering the streets of Toledo, seeing more of El Greco’s artwork and, of course, eating marzipan — a Toledo specialty!

S is for Stables

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Stables? That sounds like a strange topic for a travel blog, but I love horses. So this post is really about horses. First stop, Stockholm, Sweden where I just happened to be at the Royal Palace during the Changing of the Guard — complete with a band!

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Changing of the Guard, Stockholm, Sweden

Next, we go to Copenhagen . This time, I was on a mission to visit the Royal Stables. I got there early and watched a bit of a training session. Then, because they were officially “closed” that day, a caretaker let me in to see the stables and collection of of carriages — on my own!

There, there are the Royal Mews in London, England.

One last one, because I do love Cuba!

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R is for Rouen

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I was looking forward to seeing Rouen, France.I was not sure why or what to expect, but this is truly a charming place to visit with some wonderful architecture. This is also famous for its connection to Joan de Arc. I was so engrossed in the architecture, that I walked into a cement pylon and fell — but my camera (and I) were fine and I got the picture!

Q is for Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula

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Québec’s  Gaspé Peninsula is a beautiful drive with covered bridges, lighthouses and magnificent scenery.

 

I fell in love  with Percé. I took a cruise that brought me close to the rock as well as Bonaventure Island, known for its large population of water foul. If you want to find a beautiful place to get away — this is it!