Friday, August 24, 2007

Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

Well, after a wonderfully long and enjoyable summer of traveling I'm finally home. I have to admit that as much as I love to travel and see the world I also love being home. There is something nice about returning home after a long time away. You notice things about the place you call home that you wouldn't notice if you had never left. Your home town or home state may not be a major travel destination and yet it is special and unique. I remembers me of what John Payne once said:

"Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home."
John Howard Payne (1791-1852)

And as cheesy and cliche as that may sound there is a lot of truth behind it. At times, there is no better place on earth then your own place. Upon my returning to Utah, I can pin point the exact moment I felt like I was back home. It was nice. It brought a little tear of joy to my eye and made me smile and heave a sigh of contented relief. :)

"Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights;
it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent,
in the ideas of living." Miriam Beard

The mountains behind my house... beautiful backdrop for a beautiful city.

The Great Salt Lake

Thursday, August 9, 2007

England: Bournemouth to London

England was the final leg of a long travel summer (100 days!). I really like England. That is where the majority of my ancestors came from and it feels a little bit like home; just with a funny accent and older buildings. There were two major stops in England. The first was Bournemouth on the southern coast. It is a charming place. One of the reasons for going to Bournemouth was Mary Shelley who wrote Frankenstein. That was the first book I had to read and analyze as a masters student and the University of Utah. It is a great romantic novel and I truly enjoyed reading it. Mary Shelley’s grave is in the church in Bournemouth. Not only is she buried there, but also her father and mother, who were both authors in their own right (especially her mother). But even more interesting is that her husband’s (Percy Shelley) heart may well be there as well. He died in Italy and was cremated, but the poet’s heart wouldn’t burn and a friend (Edward Trelawny) took the heart and eventually gave it to Mary who in turn took it with her to her grave. Talk about stealing your lover’s heart!

One of my other favorite places in Bournemouth is the Russell-Cotes Museum. It was built as a home for the Sir Merton and Lady Annie Russell-Cotes. They traveled a lot and collected as the traveled. They gave their house and all the art and treasures to the city and it is now a museum. The house and collection fulfilled my wildest dreams of being a turn of the century gentleman with the means to travel and collect. The house was simply amazing with always something more to see and another room to explore. I highly recommend it if you are in or around Bournemouth.

As for London... all I can say is that it is wonderfuling expensive, but worth every penny and pound! In fact, I would love to live in London! Here are some pictures.

Victoria and Albert Museum - glass work by Dale Chihuly

Platform 9 3/4 King's Cross - for all you fellow Harry Potter fans.

Buckingham Palace


Just south of Barcelona lays my favorite Catalan City, Tarragona. In its hay-day, Tarragona was the roman regional capital and they say that Pontius Pilot (the infamous hand washer) was born here. The original roman walls are still in place (I had to write a report on them when I was studying Ancient Spanish History in La Rioja). The gothic cathedral is dedicated to Saint Tecla (Her symbol is a gothic T on a shield and so it is a bit of an ego boost for me (Tim) to go visit the T-encrusted cathedral). The city also has a very pleasant beach with great sand castle building potential. I would have to say that Tarragona is a wonderful place to escape the hustle and bustle of the world and enjoy a good sized city that is full of history and beauty. Visit Tarragona if you get the chance!

Monday, August 6, 2007


Ah Barcelona! There are few cities that have the same feeling and flow as this Catalan gem. The sea of humanity flows through the streets. Sometimes it's rough and wild and brimming with excitement. Then, you get washed around a corner and find yourself in the quiet lagoon of a little gothic neighborhood where the sea of humanity stops to catch its breath before the next plunge.

To showcase its awesome display of humanity, Barcelona has one of the most dramatic architectural backdrop which is created by the beautiful combination of buildings and structures in various architectonic styles. It truly is a city worth visiting once, twice, three times even four times!

The pictures I have in this posting are mainly of buildings designed by Gaudi. The first set is of the Sagrada Familia which is followed by La Perdera and Barrio Gotico. La Perdera

Gothic Barcelona

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Northern Italy

Northern Italy - Gelato!

After visiting Rome we headed North to explore Florence, Pisa, Milan and Venice. It would be hard to describe all the wonders of Northern Italy especially all the art and architecture yet there was one thing that stands out in my mind. The food in Italy was delicious! I don't think I ate a single thing that I didn't like and there was nothing like topping off a great Italian meal with a a nice cool gelato. In fact we often had double gelato days (sometimes triple) which was easy to do with so my favors, like: strawberry, watermelon, white chocolate, pistachio, hazel nut, chocolate jalapeno, yogurt, grapefruit, apple, cheese, banana, cream, cinnamon, mango, tiramisu, vanilla bean, peanut butter, pineapple and my personal favorite cool and refreshing cantaloupe! I hope you enjoy the following pictures while thinking about the many awesome flavors and combinations that gelato has to offer.