Saturday, July 18, 2015

The Azores

The Azores are a group of nine volcanic islands in the Atlantic Ocean 850 miles west of Portugal.They were first settled in about 1440 AD and belong to Portugal. Although Portugal was officially neutral in WW II they leased airfields to the Allies . When my father flew home from Europe at the end of WW II his plane landed at one of those airfields for refueling. Our cruise from Tampa to England stopped at the port of Horta, on Faisal Island. We were there only a few hours but did get off the ship and wander around Horta.

Above is our ship at the pier in Horta. The photo below is of a brightly painted house.

This old rock house is probably one of the older houses in Horta.

A small park, church steeple in the background.

This building is built around the corner, as it were, as is one in the second photo.

I love all this color.

Another interesting corner building.

I love these gardens.

We found this little bit of America. We have known more than one European who couldn't leave until they had seen Route 66.

The photo below is a view of  Horta and the harbor from our ship. The tugboat is taking one of our tenders away. The winch broke on this tender and it couldn't be retrieved. The captain said it would be picked up by a container ship and taken to Lisbon where our ship would pick it up in a week or two. He assured us that there was plenty of room in other lifeboats for the passengers that were assigned to that tender.

This last photo is of Mt. Pico, on Pico Island, taken from Horta. Mt. Pico is 7713 feet elevation, and is the tallest mountain in Portugal.


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Chartres Part III

We were at Chartres Cathedral in Chartres, France on May 5. It was a beautiful day but unfortunately we were only able to spend about two hours there, late in the afternoon. I was able to get some photos of some of the stained glass and a few of the exterior.

The first two photos are of the exterior. The first one is the first real good look at the cathedral when you are walking from the train station. The second shows the west facade.

There is a window called the Good Samaritan Window, shown in the photo below. The bottom half of the window shows the Good Samaritan; the top half shows the creation and the fall of Adam. There are two other medieval Good Samaritan windows, one at Sens and one at Bourges. This window was interpreted in medieval times as showing the creation, the fall of Adam, and Adam(mankind) being saved by Jesus. Jesus takes Adam to the church and instructs the church to take care of him until he, Jesus, returns.

The next photo shows the north rose window with the lancets. This window was given to the church by Blanche of Castile and her husband the King of France.

The photo below shows just the rose above the lancet windows. In the center of this window is Mary with Jesus on her lap. The small vertical windows at the bottom of the rose are the fleur de lis of France and castles representing Castile.

Below is the south rose window with its lancets.

The next photo show only the rose. In this one Christ is in majesty.

This photo is taken from the east end of the cathedral and shows the St. Piat chapel on the left which was added to the cathedral in about 1320 and the outside of the apse. Notice the wisteria blooming on the wall in the lower right corner.

The last photo shows that same wisteria from as different angle plus the cathedral.

I have not included a lot of detail in this post because the first two posts about Chartres already have a lot of detail. Chartres remains one of my most favorite places in the world. I have a goal to visit it when the cleaning is all finished, perhaps in 2017.