TOURING TOURS

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.

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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.  

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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.  

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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.

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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.

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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!

CEE’S FUN PHOTO CHALLENGE: The Color Green

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Green is one of my most favorite colors.  I love looking at greens because they are so refreshing, and they have a way of clearing my mind from stresses and toxicities.  Green is the combination blue and yellow hues, the color of peace and joy respectively.  What a good combination to form this color that is so easy on the eye.  I love especially the shades of apple green, moss green and avocado green.

The picture here is a green vase / vessel / jar, displayed on a dividing wall in a fish restaurant in Athens, Greece – Psarades, meaning “fishermen”.

In the Bible, the Gospel of Mark describes that Jesus made the people sit on the green grass as he preached to them and later on, as he fed the same multitude with the loaves that miraculously multiplied.  That little detail of the mention of the color green adds so much to what was going on in this Gospel story, but I will let you just reflect on that…

This is my entry to Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge: The Color Green.

DAILYPOST PHOTO CHALLENGE: REFRACTION: Fall at the Arboretum

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God blessed this part of the world with the beat of the Fall Season.  It is my annual ritual to go fall watching, and this year is not an exception.  This photo however is from a couple of years ago, at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL.  These days, I am like a child looking around to a new universe of wonder and beauty.  I am mesmerized at every color I see on the leaves, and I get frantic with my trigger-happiness.  Thank you to the one who holds this universe together and puts the splendor and majesty on the earth.  This is my entry to the Dailypost Photo Challenge: Refraction.  Refraction, in physics, the change in direction of a wave passing from one medium to another caused by its change in speed.  In this case, the water as a medium refracts the images of the trees and changes their form reflected on it.  Something like that.  🙂  Thanks.

DAILYPOST PHOTO CHALLENGE: DREAMY: Sunset at Tamurong Beach

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I used to walk this beach every day from school when I was a teenager.  This is where God heard me whispering my dreams and hopes, my joys and wonderings.  There days, the beach of tambouring has a permanent place in my dreams, reveries and somber nostalgias.  I am grateful for this place, and I dream of days to be able to visit it more often than I do now.

This my entry to the Dailypost Photo Challenge: Dreamy.  Thanks!

CEE’S PHOTO CHALLENGE: Vibrant Colors: Turkish Carpets

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Visiting Turkey, one of the most spectacular things to see is the carpet industry.  These people know what they are doing not only when it comes to production of high quality and beautiful carpets, they also know how to sell them.  They spread carpet after carpet with beautiful themes and designs, of various colors and textures, some even change colors depending on where you look at the carpets.  It amazed me how God has truly endowed the human being with amazing gifts of creativity.

This is my entry to Cee’s Photo Challenge: Vibrant Colors.

DAILY POST PHOTO CHALLENGE: Dialogue #1: Budapest Towers

dialogue   I wasn’t sure exactly what the Daily Post is trying to make of this challenge, but this is my take on it.  It is one picture file, with two pictures side by side – the Parliament Building and the St. Stephen Basilica – in Budapest, Hungary. These are the two tallest buildings in Budapest, reaching the maximum height allowed in the city. It reflects the ongoing dialogue between the voice of religion and the voice of government. Both voices are important and they need to engage in an interplay of check and countercheck in order to hold each other accountable in looking after the welfare of the people.  Both need each other, and both depend on each other for healthy existence.  Once these two principles of society become antagonistic to each other, the culture is the one that suffers.  

This is my entry to Daily Post Photo Challenge: Dialogue.

TRAVEL THEME CHALLENGE: Edge: Niagara Falls

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Being on the edge is a very difficult spot.  It is the place where the battle between CONTROL and LETTING GO takes place.  But when I meditate on the beauty of a waterfall, i realize how easy it is for the water to just let go, it happens so naturally and wonderfully.  If we only learn to be like the waterfall, and take the edge as an opportunity to dive into the plan of nature, then we can become a source of true power, and bring light to so many.  

I took this picture when my family and I went to Niagara Falls this summer.  It’s my third trip there, and I always find something more to make my experience fresh.  This is my entry to Where’s my Backpack? Travel Theme Challenge: Edge.  

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