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What’s new Buenos Aires?

Our Antarctica cruise ended in the port of Buenos Aires and we looked forward to a few days on land, exploring the city before returning to Florida. We had booked a tour guide to take us to drop our bags at the hotel, and from there he was going to take us on a city tour for the rest of the day.

We started off by visiting the Plaza Naciones Unidas, in the centre of which is ‘Floralis Génerica’, a gargantuan 23m high metal flower revolving sculpture created in 2002 by Argentinian sculptor Eduardo Catalano. This flower blooms daily as its petals slowly open throughout the day and then close up again at sunset.

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From there, we did a general tour through the city, ending up at the Recoleta Cemetery which is perhaps Buenos Aires top attraction, if you can think of a cemetery as an attraction. It is actually an astounding place filled with row upon row of impressive statues and marble mausoleums,

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each one vying to be the biggest and the most ornate.

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Strolling down the ‘streets’, one can occasionally take a peek through a begrimed glass door or window into the crypts and check out the dust-covered, cobweb-festooned coffins.

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Here is the last resting place of past Argentinian Presidents, military heroes, Nobel Prize winners, influential politicians and other rich and famous people, the most notable and frequently visited of which is the tomb of  Eva Perón, Argentine’s First Lady from 1946-1952.

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My favourite and the most touching was a memorial to a young woman who died when an avalanche struck her hotel in Austria. The tomb was designed by her mother, and the life-size bronze statue of Liliana Crociati in her wedding gown stands outside, above a plaque containing a poem written by her father. When her dog Sabú died, a statue of him standing next to her was added.

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So far so good, and we were thoroughly enjoying our tour. We wandered with our guide through the antique district and stopped for lunch at a very old and authentic eating house with an interesting bar.

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Then it was back into the car to visit La Boca, a touristy and very colourful neighbourhood.

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Our guide stopped the car at the busy taxi drop-off to let hubby and I get out so that he could drive down the road to the car park. As we alighted and hubby was closing the car door, a motorbike screeched to a halt and a young man jumped off the back and attacked hubby from behind, grabbing him by the neck. Hubby managed to pull free and turned around to grab him back; I started screaming ‘blue murder’; our driver jumped out of the car and he and a couple of taxi drivers went for the guy, who lashed out at me, bruising my arm, before escaping empty-handed on the motorbike. It was a very traumatic experience indeed and for the rest of the day, as you can imagine, I was continually looking over my shoulder, not trusting any strangers to be near me. We’re not sure why he grabbed hubby round the neck, but maybe he was feeling for a gold chain. Some people carry their money purse on a cord hidden under their shirt so it could have been that. Anyway, after the mugging incident in Chile at Puerto Monte, and now this one in Buenos Aires, we have decided that South America is a ‘no go’ for us in future. We lived in South Africa for over forty years and have traveled the world, but have never had anything like this happen to us before. It’s very sad that there are such criminals who can ruin their country’s reputation as a great tourist destination. There wasn’t a policeman in sight, and when our guide drove down the road to the carpark, he spotted a police car parked in the shade, away from all the action. He walked over to report to them what had just happened to two of his clients and found them playing on their iPhones. He reprimanded them and told them that their main concern should be to watch out for the safety of visitors to their city.

We still had two more days in Buenos Aires, and thankfully there were no more unpleasant incidents, but as you can imagine, I felt uneasy walking the streets and we were extra vigilant. I do have some more photos which I’ll share with you very soon.

Hope your week is going well. We had a really stunning sunset here last night.

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Travel Theme: Stillness at sunset

Ailsa’s theme this week, is ‘Stillness’. Returning home at sunset on Friday, we walked outside to enjoy the stillness of our backyard. There wasn’t a breath of wind, and the water was as smooth as a millpond.

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The brilliant red flowers of the Flame tree across the water were perfectly reflected in the water.

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The cloud reflections gave me such a topsy-turvy feeling, as I stood gazing down at them.

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There wasn’t even the slightest rustle in the trees, and not a single bird or creature was visible. All was peaceful and eerily silent.

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As the sun sank peacefully down to sleep, there was no great fanfare of colour this time, just a mellow, hazy glow.

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To see more ‘Stillness’ images, visit Ailsa’s beautiful post. https://wheresmybackpack.com/2016/06/18/travel-theme-still-2/

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Wishing you all a very happy week ahead.

 

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Let Nature Bedazzle Us

Ailsa’s Travel Theme ‘Dazzling’ had me a bit stumped until I began to think of all the dazzling natural wonders in our amazing world.

What can be more bewitching than a dazzling Florida sky at sunset?

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or a dazzling red Hibiscus flower?

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A glimpse of shocking pink amongst the reeds is undoubtedly a dazzling sight,

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as is an exquisitely beautiful waterlily.

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Ms. Anhinga with the sun glinting on her golden wings is a dazzling spectacle indeed.

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I think you will agree that nature is very hard to beat when it comes to the ability to dazzle the eye?

To see more dazzling posts, just visit Ailsa’sTravel Blog.

This is also my fifth day of the ‘7 Days of Nature’ challenge which my blog friend Anna of ‘Una Vista Di San Fermo’ has nominated me to do. If you would like to join in, just post a nature photo on seven consecutive days and link to my blog.

Happy Wednesday to you all.

 

 

WPC Landscape: Some travel memories and present day landscapes

For this weeks Photo Challenge, Cheri asks us to share a photo of a landscape. Like many of you who have travelled extensively, I found it difficult to choose just one landscape out of the many hundreds which I’ve seen and photographed.

I could show you the view over The Valley of a Thousand Hills taken from my late mom and dad’s favourite open air restaurant in Kloof South Africa. We’ve enjoyed so many joyous family occasions whilst looking out over this undulating landscape.

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Our daughter lived for a few years in Vancouver and on one visit, we took a drive to the Whistler Ski Resort, going up to the top on one of the ski lifts. I’ve never been so cold in my whole life, with the icy wind whistling past my frozen ears, as we surveyed this unforgettable landscape.

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Cruising down the Li River from Guilin to Yangshuo, yielded some really picturesque and breathtaking, karst landscapes.

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Many years ago, an early morning stop on one of our many US road trips, enabled us to gaze out over the spectacular and awe-inspiring Grand Canyon. I’m sure we’ll do this trip again one day and get some better photos.

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We never dreamed in those far off days, that one day we’d actually be living here in the USA and looking out regularly on this beautiful landscape from our favourite ‘watering hole’.

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Neither did we imagine that we would have this lovely peaceful view from our house. Life can be so surprising.

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Of course, my home’s inside landscape is somewhat different, but hubby’s doing a great job with those ceiling beams. Don’t know how he manages to get them up there all by himself, but I’m not complaining.

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He tells me that he’s planning a domed ceiling with a chandelier over my piano. That I can’t wait to see. I do miss having a piano, but for now I just have to be patient.

Hope you’re all having a great Tuesday. This evening we’re going to a stage production put on by some of our club members. Should be a lot of fun, but I’d rather watch than be part of the cast.

To see more interpretations of the WPC or to take part, visit here.

 

 

 

 

WPC Vibrant in Florida

Whatever the time of year, Florida is always vibrant with colour. Here is my most vibrant pic of Mr. GBH in his breeding plumage. Isn’t he splendid!

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Even Mr. A can look vibrant when he’s not sleeping his day away in the sunshine.

DSCN3767.jpgMs. Anhinga also has her vibrant moments, and when she decides to burst into song, she looks full of the joys of life. I’m sure she was singing, “Oh what a beautiful morning.”

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Yesterday I spotted this vibrantly green Anole Lizard lurking on our patio.

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Hubby sent me this photo when he got back to the other house after lunch. The orchid which I’d had in the house here a few months ago, we had tied to one of our palm trees after it had finished flowering. All of a sudden, it has sprung back to life and produced these vibrantly gorgeous flowers.

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Then of course, Florida can always be counted on to produce the most vibrant sunsets. The back of our present house faces west, but our new house is north facing, so unfortunately I’ll no longer see the gorgeous sunsets from my kitchen window.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed my ‘Vibrant’ Florida images. To see more, just go to this Week’s Photo Challenge.

 

‘Unusual Clouds’ in my backyard

Nancy’s Photo a Week Challenge  ‘Unusual Clouds’,  is right up my street.

I absolutely love the sunsets here in Florida, and the reflection of the fiery clouds in the water where Mr. A hangs out, are always so fascinating to see. Last night’s dinner just had to wait whilst I snapped this photo.

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I’ve been a bit down the last couple of days, but am feeling much brighter today. Hope your week is going well.

Magical clouds at sunset

Yesterday evening whilst having dinner, I looked up at the setting sun and saw this fantastical figure riding through the sky. Can you also see the cherub face and the fluffy wings?

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Did you know that there is name for the phenomenon of seeing faces and other images in the clouds? It’s called ‘Pareidolia’. If you also ‘suffer’ from this happy condition, you’re not alone.  There is a cloud appreciation society which has over 8,000 members.

Ephemeral pleasures to savour

“…beauty consists of its own passing, just as we reach for it. It’s the ephemeral configuration of things in the moment, when you can see both their beauty and their death.”  ~ Muriel Barbery

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“Life is made up of moments, small pieces of glittering mica in a long stretch of grey cement.” ~ Anna Quindlen – A short guide to a happy life

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Life wasn’t meant to be lived in a rush, so we must savour even the smallest of pleasures.

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Our allotted time here on earth is just as ephemoral as a glorious sunset. We can’t know what tomorrow will bring, but we can live life to the fullest, simply by appreciating every fleeting pleasure.

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To join in the Weekly Photo Challenge, click on the badge.

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Clouds from both sides for Ed’s challenge

“Bows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
I’ve looked at clouds that way.”  ~ Joni Mitchell

Oh how I love looking at clouds! Like snowflakes, each one is different and totally unique. They’re ever-changing, and we never get the same one back again. Maybe that’s why they are photographed so much. Here are just a few that have caught my attention over the years.

Sunrise over the Indian Ocean in my home town of Umhlanga Rocks, South Africa

Sunrise over the Indian Ocean in my home town of Umhlanga Rocks, South Africa

Clouds over La Paz as we drove down from El Alto airport.

Clouds over La Paz in Bolivia, as we drove down from El Alto airport.

Clouds at Sunset Beach, Hawaii.

Clouds at Sunset Beach, Hawaii.

Clouds over the OK Corral, Tombstone Arizona

Clouds over the OK Corral, Tombstone Arizona

Clouds over Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Clouds over Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Clouds over a volcano in Ecuador.

Clouds over a volcano in Ecuador.

Clouds in the water at Green Cay Wetlands, Florida.

Cloud reflections at Green Cay Wetlands, Florida.

Clouds over Venice Lagoon at sunset.

Clouds over Venice Lagoon at sunset.

Above the clouds en route to England.

Above the clouds en route to England.

A classic Florida sunset with clouds of course.

A classic Florida sunset…. with clouds of course.

I’d better stop now, before I get too carried away. You’ve probably got the message though, that I really do love clouds.

Wishing you all a fantastic weekend, and if you’re up in the frozen north, do keep warm. My son sent me a photo of his house yesterday. No clouds, but tons of snow to shovel before he could even drive up to it. I feel quite guilty down here in Florida, with temperatures in the high 80’s.

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To join in Ed’s cloud challenge, just click here.