L-APC Checks and Stripes

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge this week has the topic Checks or Stripes.

Mosques have striped carpets where the worshippers line up to pray. (Cairo, Egypt)
Blinds in a friend’s apartment (Des Plaines, IL)
Stripes on steps (Des Plaines)
Fences are striped. (Chicago Krisha Society)
A fence with both stripes and checks – at The Church of All Nations in Jerusalem
Bottle Tree Ranch near Victorville, California (one of the sites on Route 66)
Seats in ancient amphitheatre in Caesrea Maritima, Israel
Woven striped design on my bottle holder that I bought in Peru
Beautiful inlaid (some of them checked) designs on small tables & other items in Aswan, Egypt
Stripes and Checks in a coloring book (photo modified)

Square Up: Abandoned

There were some buildings in downtown Des Plaines that were going to be demolished in order to build a new mixed-use complex. I snapped a few photos of these boarded up and locked up buildings.

Vacant buildings, once someone’s home or workplace…

…now abandoned.

Once a thriving community of monks and pilgrims in Egypt, now bricked up.

This is day 15 of Becky’s January Square Up challenge.

Bird Weekly: Long Legs

Lisa Coleman of Our Eyes Open‘s Bird Weekly photo challenge this week asks us to post long-legged birds.

Heron, Arlington Heights, IL, USA
White heron, Aswan, Egypt
Blacksmith plover, Arusha NP, Tanzania
Congregation of egrets, Tarangire NP, Tanzania
Marabou stork with carcass & vultures, Ndutu-Serengeti, Tanzania
A pair of ostriches, Serengeti NP, Tanzania
Flamingos at Amsterdam Zoo, the Netherlands

Kinda Square: Markets

I’m back after a bit of a hiatus from blogging and participating in this challenge, so this time I’m including multiple photos for Becky’s October KindaSquare challenge, because there are many different KINDs of markets around the world!

2020 Photo Challenge: Shot From Above

Travel Words’ 2020 Photo Challenge theme for September is “point of view” and for this final week, the subject is shoot from above.

Looking down on Maasai villages from prop plane flying from Serengeti National Park to Arusha, Tanzania
Plane ride Serengeti-Arusha, Tanzania
Hotel room balcony view, Old Cataract Hotel, Aswan, Egypt
Ruins of Roman settlement during the siege of Masada, from Masada plateau, Israel
Looking down from the courtyard behind the abbey atop Mont St-Michel, France
Looking down on the Rhine River from Marksburg Castle in Germany
Looking down on hoodoos from the Rim Trail at Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
A trail we chose to view from above rather than hike down! Bryce Canyon NP, Utah

CFFC: Colorful Buildings

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge continues with her theme “all about buildings” and this week’s topic is colorful buildings.

In Amsterdam, Holland:
the red light district

De Pijp neighborhood (across from our Airbnb)

Miltenberg, Germany:

the Town Hall (Rathaus)

Wurzburg’s colorful cathedral:

Budapest, Hungary:

Todos Santos, Baja California, Mexico:

Costa Rica:

Sports stadium in Aswan, Egypt:

Tucumcari, New Mexico, USA on Route 66:

Shamrock, Texas (Route 66):

Cuba, Missouri (Route 66):

Uranus, Missouri (Route 66):

Friendly Friday: Markets

Sandy’s Friendly Friday Photo Challenge topic this week is markets.

I love outdoor markets – we have a farmers’ market near us on Sundays which runs from June to October. Most of the farmers are from Michigan or southern Illinois. Of course, the items change with the seasons. This is a local farmers’ market in October.

It is fun and interesting to visit markets in other countries – both outdoor farmers’ markets and regular supermarkets. Following are market scenes I took on my recent travels.

Quebec City, Canada in October

Aswan spice market, Egypt, in January

Rishon le Tsiyon, Israel – these photos were taken at an (indoor) supermarket, in January

Tel Aviv, Israel – another supermarket, in January

Vienna, Austria – we took a special tour to this large outdoor market, called Naschmarkt, which sold a lot of other things besides food! In July

Not all markets sell food…

Here is the Daraw animal market in Daraw, Egypt, in January.

CFFC: Yummy!!!

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge continues exploring the senses; this week it is tasting.

We have 5 basic type of tastes registered by our taste buds: bitter, salty, sour, sweet and savory. Sometimes fat is considered a 6th taste.

The American diet contains a lot of processed foods, which add salt to them – salt is a preservative. So we eat too much salt, as well as fat and sweets. High-salt diets can cause fluid to build up in your body, especially if you have a heart condition like I do. A tell-tale sign is swollen ankles but also lots of coughing, the result of fluid build-up in the lungs. That is why I try to maintain a low-salt diet.

If we would stick to “real” food, that is, food provided to us by nature, we would be a lot healthier.

Garden tomatoes: Fresh tomatoes always taste the best! (citrusy: sour, also savory)20190817_193324
Baclava – Vienna’s Naschmarkt  (sweet – taste of honey)
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Vegetables and fruit for sale at Vienna’s Naschmarkt (mostly savory, some bitter)
sweet & savory fruits!
Breads in Israel – most breads are put in the salty category, but some, like pita bread, are classified as savory
In Egypt, I fell in love with Middle Eastern food!!

We had a home-hosted dinner at the home of an Egyptian family in Luxor.

We also had a five-day cruise on the Nile on our own private boat with excellent chefs! Rice and peppers – definitely savory!
A whole fish! – Nile perch (savory,  salty also)
A New Year’s cake (oh so sweet!)
Spices for sale at an Egyptian market – spices add flavor or heat to a dish, and some can be bitter.
I don’t normally take pictures of food (except when traveling), but sometimes I can’t resist, like this savory shrimp appetizer at a restaurant!
Holiday cookies from my church’s annual “cookie walk!” (Totally bad-for-you sweet, but the holidays are a time for celebrating!! Eat these in moderation!)
I will end where I started – with fresh grown vegetables, from a local farmers’ market.



Thursday Doors: Bygone Doors & Gates

In my former home town of Des Plaines, Illinois, they are constantly putting up more condo buildings, especially near downtown where the commuter train station is. Last year, right around the time we moved to Arlington Heights, they razed a whole section of downtown buildings to make way for – you guessed it – yet another condo building! The bank on the corner was spared because of its historic significance, and our favorite Mexican restaurant survived also, but the only camera store around (and within walking distance of my house!), a good Italian restaurant and other businesses had to move.


Before any of that took place, however, I took photos of downtown Des Plaines establishments which are no more.

The first two are of doors that were already boarded up long ago, but now the building is totally gone.
This karate studio at 1415 Ellinwood was among those businesses that were demolished.
1411 Ellinwood was a store that sold all sorts of knickknacks or tchotschkies as they say in Yiddish.

Other bygone doors and gate, now bricked up, can be found at ruins whose occupants have been gone for centuries.

St. Simeon – an early Christian monastery in Egypt, near Aswan – was first built in the 7th century CE, dedicated to a local saint. It was rebuilt in the 10th century CE and dedicated to St. Simeon. From here the monks traveled into Nubia with the hope of converting Nubians to Christianity. It was originally occupied by up to 1,000 monks. It was partially destroyed by the troops of Saladin in 1173. On the walls inside, you can find both Christian and Muslim symbols and writing.
Canaanite Gate or Gate of the Three Arches, at Tel Dan Archaeological Site in Israel – it dates from the Middle Bronze Age (1700 BCE), and was the exterior entry archway in the mudbrick gate (only the outer arch is still visible). The city of Dan was named for the Israelite tribe, the Dan, who conquered it in the 11th century BCE. It was a station on the route from Egypt to Syria, and is mentioned as early as the 19th century BCE in ancient Egyptian texts, when it was known as Laesh.
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We visited the remains of a major synagogue dating from the 4th century in Capernaum, a fishing village on the Sea of Galilee which was occupied from the 2nd century BCE to the 11th century CE. This synagogue entrance was not bricked up – instead we were standing in the main sanctuary of the synagogue.20190110_120625
Jerusalem retains much of its ancient wall which originally surrounded it. There were several entrance gates into the city. The Golden Gate, which was blocked off in 1541, is the gate through which Jesus entered the holy city to celebrate the Passover. It is claimed that it will be reopened when Jesus returns to Earth.  In front of the gate and that portion of the wall is the Muslim cemetery.  In 66 CE, the year of the Great Jewish Revolt against the Romans, when the Second Temple of Jerusalem was destroyed, the city had a larger population that it has today, and most residents lived outside its walls.
See a variety of doors, including his own doors on wheels, at Norm’s Thursday Doors 5/7/20.


Square Tops: Birds on Rocks

We took a boat ride around the islands at Aswan, Egypt, to see wildlife. There were mostly birds. These birds were mostly on top of rocks, so they fit the TOP theme of Becky’s month of squares! I see we have a similar topic today, Becky – except your bird is higher up!

I decided to include these last two bird pictures, even though they were not on rocks! (And I didn’t square them either!)SONY DSC


The ibis in ancient Egypt was associated with the god Thoth, god of letters and knowledge. Thoth is often depicted in ancient Egyptian art with an ibis’ head.