View from the Zahrada Na Valech (Garden on the Ramparts) in Prague, Czech Republic.  At a distance, one can see the entrance to the Saint Charles Bridge from the Hill of Saint Vitus.


This view of the City of Prague is taken from the steeple of Church of Saint Nicholas, and the street shown below is significant to me – it’s Kamelitska, where one can find the Church of Our Lady Victorious, home to the famous Infant Jesus of Prague.  I took these pictures on my personal exploration of Prague, which I consider to be the most picturesque city int he whole world.

These are my double double entry for the DAILYPOST CHALLENGE: ANGULAR and WHERE’S MY BACKPACK? TRAVEL CHALLENGE: ABOVE.  Both pictures show angular views of the roofs of the buildings and houses of Prague, which is more effectively captured on camera when one takes it from a more elevated spot, so yes, somewhere above.  I think it works.



The Turks know how to do pottery.  This is one of the things I realized when I walked through a row of colorful glazed pottery stores inside the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul last month.  I was there for a pilgrimage in the first week of October, and went to the Grand Bazaar for some cultural immersion.  The art of pottery requires not only skill but a lot of patience, because it is a very delicate craft.  Everything must be done perfectly in order to achieve the results that are in display.  I sometimes have the feeling that these kinds of things are sacred; i mean, I can see something quite transcendent in these things, that they are the result of human skill and discipline.  I can imagine how I feel whenever I look at a beautiful sky or a beautiful scenery, a field of sunflowers, or a perfect landscape of mountains, trees and rivers.  In them, I see something sacred because it is the result of the creative mind of God.

This is my second entry to Ailsa’s Where’s My Backpack Travel Challenge: Colorful.  Thanks!

WHERE’S MY BACKPACK? TRAVEL THEME CHALLENGE: Colorful: Stained Glass Window in Notre Dame de Chartres


This vividly colorful stained glass window is taken inside the Basilica of Notre dame de Chartres in Chartres, France.  It depicts the events of the birth of Jesus, from the annunciation to the visit of the magi.  I cannot believe that Christmas is just in the corner, less than a month from now… These stained glass windows accomplish what the church has always done with these images and icons through the centuries – they have served as story books in images, especially back in the days when people did not go to school, but learned about the Bible stories through these images.  Today, people accuse the church of idolatry when they see icons and images, but here’s the difference: idolatry is going away from God and adoring something else, while these icons and statues are means to become closer to God.  You be the judge.  Obviously, the church does not teach that these statues and icons should be adored, so I don’t know where that critique is coming from, except for those people who are ignorant about it.  I personally love the icons and statues because they serve as reminders to me of the truths that are not visible; the Church as it is, is a visible sign of the invisible, and so are the sacraments and rituals and actions in the church.  These are meant to serve as an access to the invisible, transcendent realities; heck isn’t the entire world a visible sign of the presence of the creator, anyway?

This is my entry to Ailsa’s Where’s My Backpack? Photo Challenge: Colorful.  Aren’t those windows so beautiful, colorful and meaningful?  Thanks.



Here is a picture i took of a painting inside the Chateau Chenonceau in the Loire Valley of France, back in 2013.  This painting depicts the babies John the Baptist and Jesus.  I love the innocence being portrayed by this painting, and the power behind it.  There is so much to learn of John the Baptist’s disposition to point to Jesus as the Lamb to whom all is due.  This is the acknowledgment that the spirit of thanksgiving calls from us – to acknowledge the giver of the gifts, and honor HIm by sharing what was given.  From me to all of you, a Blessed Thanksgiving with your loved ones.


The pilgrimage to France in 2013 was very memorable because it was my first time to really explore France to that extent.  One of the really cool stops of the journey was Tours, France, know for the annual biking competition that made a certain Mr. Armstrong very famous, and then notorious.  But Tours is so much more than the biking event.


Tours has a beautiful cathedral that looked like a sentinel in the midst of the city.  And I was impressed how the building would turn bluish in the dusk.  The interior is unmistakably gothic, and the corners are very dark.  I spent some time praying in one of the side chapels, and lit a few colored candles.  It was so peaceful.  


Another beautiful church destination in Tours is the basilica of Saint Martin of… yes, you got it… Tours.  It is a beautiful building and the interior is like a palace hall.  These two churches are special landmarks of the city, and they are truly must-see items in a tourist checklist.  


Tours also has a very beautiful City Hall with a well landscaped plaza in front.  in front of the building, it says “Hotel de Ville” but it’s not a hotel like most of the world think of a hotel.  In the evening, this building is so well lit, and so elegant, it makes you want to go in there and sleep.  Haha.


Tours is surrounded by all kinds of posh towns.  Not very far from Tours is the Loire Valley with all the beautiful chateaus by the river Cher.  But within the city itself, there is so much to see, and one can easily appreciate the lifestyle of the french people outside of Paris.  Food is always phenomenal and the desserts always seem to have just come out of the oven.


And so i post these pictures today with gratitude for what I have experienced, and for the hope of going back again someday.  I thank God for the opportunity to see beautiful places like Tours… Happy Thanksgiving!

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The Real Dee

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