Today's post is brought to you by my Uncle Bryan! He and my aunt travel to Japan pretty regularly to visit my cousin, who lives there. Here he tells of a lovely day trip you can take in Fukuoka.
It may be only a twenty minute train ride from the hustle and bustle of Fukuoka, Japan, but the Nanzoin Temple seems like a world away. Nestled on the side of a steep mountain hillside in the tiny village of Sasaguri, moss covered trails meander over babbling brooks and waterfalls and each turn in the path surprises with a new altar or Buddhist statue. The mountain itself is serene and majestic with tall redwoods, giant bamboo, ferns, and blossoming fruit trees.
Try to find two faces that are alike. Go ahead, I dare you.
Continue reading “The Many Faces of Fukuoka’s Nanzoin Temple” →
"We don't see things as they are,
we see them as we are."
~ Anais Nin
"Spirit says you will take peyote tonight." This was the message from the medicine cards to a Tarahumara friend of mine many years ago. She was an adult and I was a kid in high school. Our unplanned afternoon conversation carried us through the evening and into the early hours of the morning, baring our souls and covering topics even the most inspired artist could not have predicted. The meaning of the card was clear. Although we had indulged in no mind-altering substances, we might as well have. We had gone on a journey together.
People have always been central to my travel experiences. I had dreamt of traveling to Egypt for ages. When I finally experienced the pyramids, the Temple of Hatshepsut, King Tut's tomb, and Abu Simbel, it was satisfying on a soul level to have accomplished a goal. What made it touching and memorable, though, were the individuals with whom I connected, however briefly, while there. The same thing happened recently in Nottingham. It's so fresh that it's still resonating when I wake up in the morning, sip tea, or sit in front of my computer.
(Click on any photo for a larger and clearer version.)
Working together with strangers comes naturally on the canals.
Continue reading “My Dinner with Robin (Hood)” →
Scattered around Cork are various elements marking historical events throughout the ages. The juxtaposition of ancient and contemporary is one of the things I love most about living in Europe. Now centuries old pubs not only have historical stone and brickwork, but running water (hallelujah!) and wifi, as well. On Barrack Street in Cork you can find automobiles, neon pub signs, a garda station, and a centuries old star fort. …You know, just something you pass on your way to the grocery store.
Star fort or fire-breathing Lego turtle?
Not everyone who lives in the city remembers where Elizabeth Fort is. Even for folks in the neighborhood, it's hard to get a sense of the scale and shape of the thing when simply meandering past. This helpful panel inside the fort lays it out quite clearly: it's Gamera.
Continue reading “Fun photo essay: a visit to Elizabeth Fort” →
For those of you who follow the TourAbsurd Facebook page, the last couple of days have been filled with hint dropping about an exciting travel destination that just made its way onto my itinerary. Three of you guessed correctly! And the big news is? …INDIA!
Taj Mahal photo courtesy of Shannon O'Donnell.
Continue reading “Update: …and the big news is?” →
Today's post was written by my friend and fellow expat, Emily Davis-Fletcher. She writes a lot of great poetry and fiction. She also has a sly sense of humor, hidden beneath a friendly and innocent-seeming smile. (Shhh!)
I love Charles Fort. If Charles Fort were a man and not a 17th century coastal ruin, I’d marry him. Stunning in any weather—dark and mysterious under threatening skies that shower you with misty kisses or charming and gracious in full sun with a generous world view, heaping a sea of diamonds upon you. Charles Fort has something special to offer every romantic soul.
Dynamic and complex as any Irish man (without the mammy) – rough and rugged as one of the largest star-shaped military forts in the country with a roguish flare for drama, showing off in front of brazen cliffs and plunging sea line. But Charles Fort is no bully or macho man. In fact, its tender side is its most striking. Low to the ground, it seems to crouch, enveloped by soft, thick grass sprinkled with white and lavender flowers like a plush blanket laid out for you to walk or lie on.
Continue reading “Romancing the Stones of Charles Fort” →
How did it get so late so soon?
Its night before its afternoon.
December is here before its June.
My goodness how the time has flewn.
How did it get so late so soon?
~ Dr. Seuss
I loooove the Louvre!
Paris in June is warm, humid, and full of enough wonders to keep a visitor occupied for a lifetime. Add nighttime to the mix and you get sultry (thank you Throw Momma from the Train) with a hint of mischief. And perhaps some Dr. Seuss.
Continue reading “The Louvre at Night” →
Our greatest glory is not in never falling,
but in rising every time we fall.
If you squint, you can see a wee person near the entrance.
The sentiment expressed in the Confucius quote comes in many forms. Bits about getting back on the horse or failing only when you do not get back up again have been spouted for centuries. So what's this have to do with Abu Simbel or me? Why thank you for asking!
You may have noticed that recently I've not been traveling as much as I'd like. I've also mentioned feeling hurt and rage over betrayal. And my posts are not about Italy or my Italian family. Well, they aren't my family anymore.
Continue reading “Abu Simbel as metaphor for life” →