5.4.14

Lima Flower Market

Pictures of the Piedra Liza flower market in Lima.


Piedra Liza flower market

15.3.14

Hungarian Rhapsody

When you fly into Budapest, you land at Liszt Ferenc International Airport; you can walk along Liszt Ferenc tér and have a drink or something to eat at one of the many cafes and restaurants in this square just off Andrássy út; visit the Liszt Museum and with a bit of luck, listen to one of the Hungarian Rhapsodies played by one of the students of the Academy founded by the man himself.
Budapest is a beautiful city, or maybe I should say cities, since until 1873 there were two cities - Buda and Pest - separated by the Danube river. If you are staying in Pest, you may have already visited the Parliament building. Walk across the Chain Bridge to Buda, take the Buda Castle Funicular, enjoy Buda Castle and stroll around the district. If you decide to stop at one of the cafés, try the Café Miró. The Castle is lit at night and best viewed from Pest. There are a couple of hotels that have rooms looking onto the Danube and Buda, like the Intercontinental.  A not so expensive option, with no views, but next to the Opera and the beautiful avenue Andrássy út is the K+K Hotel Opera. There is plenty to see and do in Budapest and whilst I would advise walking, the underground is an attraction in itself as it is the second oldest underground in the world, which has been operating since 1896. Whether you decide to walk the length of Andrássy út or take the underground to Hősök tere, you arrive at Heroes' Square and close-by the Museum of Fine Arts. At the other end of town, near Corvinus University, the Museum of Applied Arts is also worth a visit, and the famous Gellért Spa and hotel is across the river in Buda.

View of Chain Bridge and Buda


1.2.14

An English vampire in Peru

No, it´s not a new version of Sting´s song, "An Englishman in New york". The title of this entry refers to the legend of Sarah Ellen Roberts, an Englishwoman buried at Pisco Cemetery in southern Peru, and who was considered by some to be a vampire. There are two sides to the story of Sarah Ellen, as she is referred to in Pisco. What appears to be certain is that she was born in Blackburn in North West England around 1862 and that she married John Roberts, a weaver. After this, there are two very different versions. One, describes how John and Sarah Ellen travelled to Peru, where John´s brother had settled, hoping to make a new life for themselves and that Sarah Ellen possibly died accidentally during the trip and and buried in the cemetery of the nearest port. The other story is that Sarah Ellen was found guilty of whitchcraft in 1913 and sentenced to death by being buried alive. The story goes on to describe how before the coffin was closed, Sarah Ellen shouted that she would rise to seek vengeance in 80 years time. Since the Church of England had not allowed the coffin to be buried in consecrated ground, her husband had travelled the world looking for a place to bury her and eventually ended up in Pisco. The legend though does not end here. In July 1993, 80 years after her death, many of the inhabitants of Pisco prepared themselves for the inevitable but nothing happened. Then, in August 2007, Pisco was devastated by a massive earthquake that killed hundreds of people. The cemetery was also affected, a large number of tombs were destroyed and coffins lay opened - except for the tomb of Sarah Ellen. Some of the inhabitants, then, began to consider Sarah Ellen not as a vampire, but a saint. The pictures below were taken by me in January 2014 and you will notice the fresh flowers that people leave, together with small metal plaques giving thanks for the granting of favours they had sought from Sarah Ellen. It appears, that the legend of Sarah Ellen is just that, a legend but... I just thought I would tell you the story in case you happen to visit Pisco.








21.1.14

The Eternal City

Recently whilst re-watching Fellini´s La Dolce Vita, I recalled my last trip to Rome and thinking how familiar the city was. That familiarity was possibly due to the fact that I had seen so many films that were filmed in the city, that I felt as a frequent visitor. I quite expected to see Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck walking down the Spanish Steps or running around the city in a Vespa; getting splashed by Anita Ekberg in the Trevi Fountain and not far from there, witnessing the theft of Antonio Ricci´s bicycle.


Fontana di Trevi


26.11.13

FITUR Travel blogger 2014

Thank you for your votes in the competition organised by FITUR.


17.11.13

A story of nymphs and satyrs...and it´s not about politicians

In Greek mythology, Orchis, the son of a nymph and a satyr was torn apart by the Bacchanalians for attempting to rape a priestess of Dionysus. His father asked the gods to restore him but, instead, they decided to make him into a flower and, thus, the orchid came into being.
A few photographs taken at an exhibition recently organised in Lima by the Peruvian Orchid Club. 


21.10.13

The Maltese Falcon, found in Lima

The other day, I felt like Sam Spade, the private detective created by Dashiell Hammett. In his novel, The Maltese Falcon, made into a film by John Huston. Sam Spade - played in the film by Humphrey Bogart, encounters the "Fat Man" and his dubious associates who are searching for a statuette of a falcon encrusted with jewels. Well, I found it in the Central Bank of Peru in Lima!!!!
I should explain, though, that the bird in question is in the museum run by the Central Bank in Jirón Junín 781, which has exhibits from the different cultures that have existed in Peru, as well as a coin and gold collection and a collection of paintings. The museum is close to the Plaza de Armas in the centre of Lima.

Could be The Maltese Falcon

27.6.13

Bansky, George Orwell, Peter Pan, the Michelin Man...

...and a large tea pot, ducks and swan lake. All to be seen on a Sunday morning in London.



Bayswater Road

Bibendum

Portobello Road




 
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