These whimsical animals were part of a sculpture garden next to an elegant restaurant in Antigua, Guatemala, and I think they are perfect for Becky’s April Bright Squares.
Antigua was part of an optional tour during our 2017 cruise through the Panama Canal. We crossed from east to west, and made several stops along the western coastal ports of Central America.
After touring the historic center, our tour bus took us on a narrow winding road up a hill, past the rich part of town. At the very top of the hill was a cultural center, Santo Domingo del Cerro, and restaurant called The Golden Fork. This is where we had lunch and afterward had some free time to shop at craft vendors or wander the grounds which contained interesting artwork by local artists, including various colorful animal sculptures – a rabbit, monkeys, snails, crocodiles, horses, and merry-go-round horses.
In Normandy, France, we visited the Overlord Museum near Omaha Beach. The Overlord Museum has displays and dioramas including a variety of equipment used by both the Allies and the Nazis during D-Day and the subsequent month-long battle of Normandy, in which the Allies succeeded in pushing back the Nazis to liberate the north of France.
Operation Overlord (code name for the D-Day invasion) was a tricky operation that was difficult to coordinate due to the complexity and variety of troops and equipment, the expanse of the beach heads, the different countries and companies involved, and the need to catch the enemy by surprise. Paratroopers (the first to deploy) jumped from planes and drifted far off course. Heavy equipment like tanks and trucks had to be unloaded sometimes in 4 feet of water and then brought up cliffs. Of course, the Germans soon realized what was happening so that all this was taking place under fire. They had also put up barriers and mines along the beaches.
Each part of the operation was timed, coordinated by generals far from the beaches. After the naval ships were in position and ground troops on the beach, fighter jets flew overhead to provide cover for the men below, dropping bombs onto Nazi bunkers and strongholds.
We spent three days in San Diego after our Panama Canal cruise a few years ago. The first day we visited the USS Midway Museum. The USS Midway was another World War II relic – a huge aircraft carrier which saw action in the Pacific, and there was a lot to see.
Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week is Anything to do with boats. All the photos in this photo essay are from my travels near and far.
26th Century BCE – 1st century BCE: Ancient Egypt
Modern Egypt: Today the Nile teems with cruise ships alongside fellucas (open air sailing boats with no cabins), fishing vessels and freighters.
1st Century CE: Palestine/Israel
Modern Israel: This is one of the vessels used today to take pilgrims across the Sea of Galilee. We sang hymns, watched a demonstration of casting a fishing net, and watched the flocks of gulls who followed our boat.
Middle Ages: Norman Conquest, 1066 CE
17th-19th Centuries CE: A failed ship, flat boats, and art
In Stockholm, Sweden, 1628, a ship became famous because it sank, 23 minutes after its maiden voyage! The Vasa was not pulled out of the canal until the 1950s, when the technology to do this had been developed, then it was reconstructed and the museum housing it opened in the 1990s. Why? Because it was top heavy! The photos above were taken at the Vasa Museum in Stockholm, where the actual boat is on display (photo far right). The other photos are decorative mastheads and other items on the outside of the ship.
19th Century Flatboats:
1880s-Early 1900s: Impressionist Art
Native American Canoes: (L) in Maine (Oceanarium, Acadia); (R) in Alaska – this tribe still makes its canoes the traditional way.
1904-1914: The Panama Canal was completed in 1914, and received updates in the late 20th century to accommodate larger cruise ships and ocean freighters. These are some of the ships we saw passing through the canal.
20th Century: Steamships
2019: Amsterdam, a City of Canals, Ships and Boats
For Ludwig’s Monday Window Challenge, I am looking back at a cruise we took to the Panama Canal, stopping at several Central American Pacific ports on the way back. All these windows have grates. One of them, however, was taken in Jerusalem last year.
The purple sashes were there because it was Holy Week.
Actually, I think these windows have shutters, not grates.
Cee’s black & White Photo Challenge this week has the topic clouds. This is an interesting topic, because one of the things that makes cloud pictures spectacular is color – especially sunsets. I tried and rejected several photos because they just didn’t have appeal without the color. Others, however, look even more dramatic in black & white! So here’s what I chose.
I’ll start with clouds seen from above (through an airplane window).
I got some dramatic sunset photos in black & white when I looked for strong contrasts between the clouds and the sky.
Sometimes, what attracts me to take photos of clouds is the variety of shapes. It can be especially dramatic in the wide open spaces on the prairies of North Dakota…
…or a sunburst over the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
More subtle effects over the pond on the campus of our community.
In this photo, the clouds are reflected in the rippled surface of the water.
Sometimes, instead of a prairie, a dramatic landscape – such as majestic mountains – enhances the photo, offering a dramatic contrast between land and sky.
The official title of the following song is Both Sides Now. But this is a pretty rendition with ethereal moving clouds. Although the song was written by Joni Mitchell, who sings it here, it was first recorded by Judy Collins, which was the first version of it I heard.