Travel Guide For Life;

Travelers' Trifles or What I See From Mountain To Sea by M.A.C.

Journal of travels and the life long search for the HOLY GRAIL.

The removal of obstructions.

Good health and strength to work.

Eating the dinner.

Hunger removed.

Like returning home from a journey.  

The fact that ones sweet home,

Exists for ones comfort,

Does not manifest,

Because of the return.

Even though one is hundreds of miles away,

The home continues to exist for the traveller.

The obstacle of distance, of being away,

Is removed by ones return.

The realization of comfort,

Comes with the removal of the obstacle of distance.

Here is home, Albuquerque NM.


The sign in Old Town Plaza.



"Blessed are the curious for they shall have adventures."

There is a visitor center at Albuquerque old town plaza that opens at 10:00 am. It is located at 303 Romero Street and it is open 7 days a week. I came here to buy some olive oil and decided to take a few photos. Old Town Olive Oil and Vinegar shop is on the east side of Old Town Plaza .

Man on Old Town Plaza playing several flutes. He also records CDs and sells them. I bought one from him and it cost $10 and was a professional recording. He recorded music with a piano player on the CD that I bought from him.

The man who founded Albuquerque was a Spanish governor. His name was Cuervo y Valdes. In 1706 he and everyone who was involved in the ceremony gathered in this area where they officially founded Albuquerque.  There are more than 150 shops and art galleries around Old Town Plaza. There are several restaurants and boutique cafes. There are also hotels and bed and breakfasts around the plaza. The plaza itself is a park with a gazebo in its center and we have witnessed many weddings there because it can be rented. Best Western Plus Rio Grande Inn at 1015 Rio Grande Blvd. has free shuttle from and to the airport. Bottger Mansion of Old Town is located in a large 1910 former residence with a beautiful yard with trees and fountains. It is rated as a 3 star hotel. There are several patio tables and chairs for eating outside in the large yard. There are 7 rooms here and they all have private baths and complimentary snacks and drinks. There are several large hotels around the Old Town Plaza such as Hotel Albuquerque and Hotel Chaco. The good thing about Hotel Albuquerque is that the restaurant Gardunos is located there. It is an excellent restaurant for visitors who have not eaten much authentic New Mexican food. Visitors new to this cuisine can start discovering New Mexican cuisine here  because Gardunos goes light on the spicy hot chili which is characteristic of New Mexican food. (Red or Green??? Or Christmas?)

Another building in Albuquerque Old Town.

Many buildings will have chili pod ristras hanging from their eves or balconies. These ristras are typically of green chili pods or red chili pods. Many of the chilies are poblano chilies from Hatch county, New Mexico (a world famous chili). This building now houses a jewelery store. Mati By Kabana is the jewelery stores' name. It is close to Covered Wagon souvenir store that I also photographed here. The address of this building is 201 Romero Street 87104 and it is at the southwest corner of the Plaza.

Bienvenidos, come on in for antiques.

Here is the Covered Wagon Souvenir Shop that I mentioned above. Yes, there are antiques and recent artifacts made by modern artists,of both Native American and European descent sold here.  There is a very large selection of souvenirs here. Leather goods are sold here, Pendelton goods, and a lot of Native American jewelry and pottery. You will see ristras of various colors hanging in front of this old town building and they are also sold in many shops around the plaza.  Blankets made by the native Americans, both mass produced and antique blankets can be bought. The mass produced factory blankets cost about 15 dollars whereas the antique blankets will cost $500 or more. You can even buy Minnetonka moccasins here and in several other shops around Old Town Plaza Albuquerque. The address of this large store is 2034 South Plaza Street, 87104 and it is directly south of the gazebo that is in the center of the plaza.

The shops around this plaza open at individual times. Some open by 0900. Some open at 1000 and some open at 1100 and I know of a few shops that do not open until 1200 noon. My favorite shop at the Old Town Plaza (Old Town Olive Oil and Vinegar Shop) opens between 1000 and 1030, depending when the first employee arrives to open the store. Church Street Cafe, which is my favorite restaurant around the plaza, opens at 0800. Most places do close early though, because most stay open only until 1900-2100 and they usually close earlier on Sundays. 


I found this contraption inside Pioneer Museum which is located in downtown Colorado Springs.

And here is another contraption of mobility that I discovered in the Pioneer Museum in downtown Colorado Springs.

General William Jackson Palmer was a Civil War hero who became a Railroad Tycoon. He developed Colorado Springs as a health resort built around the many mineral springs in the area.This portrait painting of him is also in the Pioneer Museum.

Took a walk through the downtown area of Colorado Springs CO. Took a few photos of art works and buildings in the area. I think this piece looks like a bird waking up. I believe this sculpture is called "Two Eagles"..

Another sculpture found in the downtown area of Colorado Springs. It stands in front of a beautiful historic building. .

This sculpture is also located in the downtown area of Colorado Springs. Hank represents the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo. Behind Hank is a plaque with the names of the Rodeo Hall of Fame cowboys.

128 Tejon Street in downtown Colorado Springs used to be the Alamo Hotel. This building was added to the list of National Historic Places in 1977. The hotel was constructed in 1886. The building was renovated in 1890 and in 1899. It is now an apartment building with a law firm or two on the ground floor. The sign for Gaspar Law Firm dominates the facade.

Downtown Colorado Springs not only has its fair share of historical buildings, interesting art works, and great restaurants, it also has the United States Olympic Committee building.

Between Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs is a lovely community called Old Colorado City. Along Pikes Peak Avenue, Colorado Avenue, and Manitou Avenue are many great restaurants, shops, and activities to keep all visitors busy .



We had planned our 2020 vacation to New York City but we had to cancel it because of the Coronavirus outbreak so we took a road trip around North Central New Mexico, staying in the state of our residence. Well, Santa Fe IS  one of the oldest cities in the USA. I have read that it is the oldest city and I have read that it is the second oldest city in the country. Either way, it will be a decent substitute vacation destination until NEXT year when we can get to NYC. Here are a few photos of the Santa Fe portion of this years trip. 

If you watch the movie TWINS you will see this scene. Arnold Swartzenager and Danny Devito are in the movie. We are at the north east corner of the Old Town Plaza, at Santa Fe Road, looking towards the Cathedral of Saint Francis of Assisi and Cathedral Park. Cathedral Basilica Saint Francis of Assisi is at 131 Cathedral Place. It was built between 1869 and 1887 in a Romanesque Rivival style. The parish was founded in 1714 but the completed basilica was dedicated in 1887. The original church here was destroyed during the Pueblo Revolt in 1680. The large rose window and the nave windows that depict the 12 disciples were imported from Clermont-Ferrand France. The parish was destroyed and removed once the Cathedral building we see today was completed.

Up close to the Cathedral Basilica Saint Francis of Assisi. Cathedral Park is just at the left of this statue. Kateri Tekakwitha lived between 1656 and 1680. She was the first Native North American to be beatified and she was canonized in 2012. She was Algonquin-Mohawk. She is also known as "Lily of the Mohawks". She never got married so I think that means she was married to Christ as a resident of the Jesuit Kahnawake Mission that was located on the St. Lawrence River in New France which is now eastern Canada.

Santa Fe is the capital of New Mexico. This confuses some people because Santa Fe is a medium sized town in the mountains whereas Albuquerque is a large city at the crossroads of the state, where interstate 25 (north/south) meets interstate 40 (east/west). Drive north on interstate 25 for some 60 miles and you will arrive into Santa Fe, often called "the city different" because of how focused this town is on its history and culture which includes a very large amount of art coming from the natives, the spanish, and the anglo communities.

Between Cathedral Basilica Saint Francis of Assisi and Old Town Plaza Santa Fe is the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts. It was temporarily closed because of coroavirus outbreak but this view of the courtyard can be seen from the sidewalk on east San Francisco Street.

We ordered a take out meal from Apothecary Restaurant then walked half a block to Old Town Plaza where we found a table and had a picnic.

During world war 2, the Japanese forced a transfer of American and Philippine prisoners that killed thousands of prisoners. This brutal transfer of prisoners is called the Bataan Death March because so many were killed. This photo is of the Bataan Death March memorial building in Santa Fe NM. 🌹🌹🌹

The address here is 400 Don Gaspar Avenue.

The building itself is quite historical because

it was built in 1900 as the New Mexico Territorial Capital.

There was once a silver dome above it 

but that was replaced by the tower seen today.

After the new roundshaped capital building

was built in 1966, this building became a state office

building dedicated to the memory of those who

perished in world war II during the "Bataan death march".



Wecks has the right idea during this pandemic time with its wonderful outdoor seating area on Cerrillos Road in Santa Fe.

On the west side rim of the Rio Grande River Gorge. This cañon is about 10 miles west of Taos NM. We stopped here on our way from Santa Fe NM to Taos.

This view from the west side rim of the Rio Grande River Gorge is looking down into the cañon towards the south.


It was the year 2020 and I had to cancel a trip to NYC because New Mexico and New York both had 2 week quarentine restrictions in place. This trip is delayed until 2021 and in the meantime, I planned a trip through north central New Mexico. Here are a few photos of the Taos NM portion of this trip.

In the lobby of the Don Fernando de Taos Hotel, Farida is posing next to the entrance of the restaurant. The restaurant was temporarily closed because of the COVID 19 outbreak but the patio was open so I was able to eat breakfast there.

Hotel Don Fernando de Taos has several sculptures on its 6 acre property and this is one of the sculptures.

One more photo of a sculpture located on the grounds of the Hotel Don Fernando de Taos.

In the lobby of Hotel Don Fernando de Taos. We spent quite a bit of time relaxing here because it is a very cozy lobby and no others were in the area during our visit because so few people were traveling because of the COVID 19 outbreak.

This is the fourth photo I took at Old Town Plaza Taos but it is the best one because it includes my wife Farida.


Historic Plaza Hotel in Las Vegas NM was built in 1882 and has been restored very well.

There are plenty of antiques in the Plaza Hotel and here are some in the room we stayed in. There is also a beautiful shop at the hotel. It is called The Trading Post. The website is

Las Vegas NM is about half way between Albuquerque NM and the Colorado/New Mexico state line on interstate 25. The Plaza Hotel where we stayed can be seen behind this wood statue on the left side. The statue is dedicated to the campesinos or farmers.


Deer Lodge is in Red River NM downtown area. Actually almost all of Red River is along 3 parallel roads. Deer Lodge has cabin style rooms but the Wifi is just fine because it is in the middle of the town. There is a picnic area with a grill that can partially be seen at the left side of the photo.

The average summer temperature in Red River NM is 74.2 degrees Fahrenheit or 23.4 degrees Centigrade. The average winter temperature is 40.6 degrees Fahrenheit or 1.2 degrees Centigrade. 

We are going up the Red River Ski Lift. This photo is looking behind us back down to Red River

Continuing up the mountain on the redRed River Ski Lift.

And here we are at the top of the mountain after getting off of the Red River Ski Lift.

The fire station in Red River NM. Nice building 👍


We are Michael Anthony Cicchi and Farida Ariani Tumanggor Cicchi. We met in Taratung, North Sumatra Indonesia. When we met, we were getting ready to climb into a share taxi which was traveling across Sumatra west and south towards Java.

Farida did not speak English at that time and I had been studying Bahasa Indonesia for only a short time. I had an English-Indonesian dictionary with me so I could make small talk while we were traveling on the mountainous, narrow road between Taratung and Padang Sidempuan where Farida was working as an accountant in a school.

The page titled MEETING FARIDA tells a fair amount of the story. You may have to click or tap on each photo to read further into our meeting and marriage


They already dropped stuff onto my head and now they are dropping some stuff onto the head of my new wife. This ritual was one of many rituals at the wedding reception after we got married. The wedding festivities lasted for two days.

Pasi and Huta Galung,an area of North Sumatra. We are looking out the door of one of the family homes. Pasi is the village where Farida was born.

It is a beautiful region of forests and agriculture such as bananas, peanuts, pineapples, and rice, so we were able to visit abundant weekly markets in the villages. Different villages have their market days on different days so we could go to the market just about everyday by knowing  what day each village has their outdoor market.  Parlilitan has a small market because Parlilitan is a small village with a very small center of only 3 or 4 streets. Dolok Sanggul has a very large market with maybe 10 city blocks full of vendors selling anything from agricultural products, tools, animals clothing, and household items. 

Complicated first three years of marriage.

After we got married, I had to return to USA myself in order to complete much paperwork so I could return to Parlilitan and bring Farida to the Embassy in Jakarta to get her "Ikut swami" or "Follow husband" visa to USA. Our new child, Rayhend was automatically a USA citizen so he was no concern at all. We had to only go to the USA consulate in Medan to arrange for his American passport.

After I had brought Farida to the USA, she was able to live with me for only one year because her mom passed away and she had to return to North Sumatra.  I did not bring her to Medan but I did drive her and Rayhend to the airport in Los Angeles (LAX). Her family would pick her up at the Polonia airport which is in the Medan metropolis.  We had a small vacation in Las Vegas, Nevada before continuing on into California.  After one year, I would fly to North Sumatra in order to spend a month there and then bring my family back to the USA.

To see the longer version of how I met Farida, the next page of this website is dedicated to just that.

My two boys are almost exactly 3 years apart. I always traveled to Indonesia in December. This is at the famously so called "snake temple " south of Kuala  Lumpur, Malaysia..Rayhend was born in September of 1994 and Reno was born in September of 1997. They were both conceived when I was visiting Farida in Sumatra .


There are several visa categories to chose from to visit China. You will have to include the necessary visa category on your visa application paperwork and then send the application with required documents to the Visa Office of Chinese Embassy/Consulate General that serves the state you live in. Since we live in New Mexico, we use the Embassy in Los Angeles, California. At the visa office, you will pay the appropriate visa fee and then you will receive your visa to visit China. Some examples of visa categories are :

     D) Foreigners who intend to live in China permanently. 

     G) Foreigners who intend to just transit through China.

     L) Foreigners who intend to visit China as a tourist. This is the visa we 

         would have used if we wanted to stay in China for more than 72 

          hours. This visa would have cost us $130 each. If anyone wants to

          visit China for less than 72 hours, there is no visa or visa fee.

     R) Foreigners who are skilled professionals and whose talents are 

          needed in China.

There are several more visa categories and they all have different requirements. The things needed for the tourist visa were, passports with at least 6 months more before the expiration date along with a couple of blank pages in it, a copy of the passports' photo and data pages, Visa application form V.2013, a passport quality photo which is to be glued onto the application form, a form provided by the airlines you are traveling on that shows your itinerary and round trip information as well as hotel reservation paperwork. That is easy anyway because that is all sent to each traveler via e-mail when they make reservations; both with the airlines and with the hotels. I just print out several copies of each reservation and use them as needed.



I prefer to visit areas of interest that are less visited by most tourists but my family looks for the top tourist destinations. The Great Wall is definitly a top tourist destination but some sections of the wall are less heavily visited than others. I decided that Mutianyu Great Wall would be a good compromise for us. It proved to be a great choice. The hotel we stayed at arranged for our tour there. Mutianyu Great Wall is fully restored but not as heavily visited as is Badaling Great Wall. Mutianyu Great Wall is also very child friendly (take them up on the cable car, do not hike up) and there is a water slide down if you care to utilize it. The location is about 45 miles or 73 kilometers northeast of Beijing. It takes about 1 and a half hours to drive it. There are many watchtowers on this section of the great wall and both sides of the wall are crenellated on top. Our tour cost about $35 for each ticket and we paid about $15 for the chairlift to the top.

My main reason to bring my family to China was to walk on the Great Wall. I chose Mutianyu Great Wall because it is popular but not as crowded as Badaling Great Wall which is the most visited. We stayed in the Qianmen Courtyard Hotel just two streets to the west of this ancient (but much renovated) pedestrian street. Tian'amen Square is on the other side of that Arrow tower in the background. We are on Qianmen Diejie  in Beijing. We'd been married for about 15 years  by the time we went to China to walk the Great Wall. We brought our 2 sons with us. On this pedistrian street,  one has a lot of shopping options. My family bought a shirt, a cap, and a few souvenirs here.

Some ticket stubs from the Great Wall.

Qianmen Dajie has been renovated in the style of Qing Dynasty using historical photos to preserve some authenticity to its archetectural style. It is only about 3 city blocks long. The street itself is about 570 years old. During the Ming and the Qing Dynasties, it was called Zhengyangmen Street and the name of the arrow tower in the background of my photo is Zhengyangmen. During those dynasties, this street was where the locals would shop for meats, clothing, and jewelry. There were also workshops, theaters, guild halls, and warehouses in the neighborhood. 

Now, this is where the tourists can shop for souvenirs, Haagen-Das ice cream, H&M clothing, Zara, Starbucks, KFC, Sephora cosmetics, as well as well known Chinese shops and restaurants like Yitiaolong Mutton restaurant and Changchuntang pharmacy which is 200 years old, and one of the most famous duck restaurants in Beijing; Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant. 

The tram that runs down the middle of the street is called the Dangdang Che. Che1 means car in Chinese. We did not see it running while we were there and we visited this street for about 2 hours. I believe the tram runs only during special times like Chinese holidays but I do not know for sure. 




In Istanbul 2016

The Hagia Sophia is behind me, The blue mosque is in front, at the end of this lovely park. It is a beautiful, well maintained park that was a hippodrome in ancient times. It is between the wonderful Blue Mesjid, the Hagia Sofia, and some amazing underground cisterns to the right of the scene.

The hippodrome of Consantinople used to be located

in what is now the Sultanahmet neighborhood of Instanbul. 

Chariot races were held there (as I believe is the case 

with all hippodromes since the term refers to

the road of horses; dromos is Greek for way or road

and hippos is Greek for horse).

Although the hippodrome is known as the hippodrome

of Constantinople, it was actually built by 

Emperor Septimus Severus in CE 203 which was 

during the Byzantium empire here. It was so large that

something like 100,000 people could attend the events.

During the Ottoman Empire, it was left in ruins.

Crusaders sacked Constantinople and the hippodrome 

was pillaged of many sculptures. The Ottoman empire 

was not interested in the chariot and horse races 

so the stones of the hippodrome were used as

building materials for the construction of Istanbul

which was made the capital of the Ottoman empire.

The location was not bulit over and thus, 

there was the opportunity to create a large, 

beautiful park with a fountain in its center. Several

monuments from the hippodrome still exist here though.

These include, Serpent Column, Obelisk of Thutmose III, 

and the Walled Obelisk. The fountain was built in 

1900 by the German government to celebrate

the visit of German Emperor Wilheim II. It is built with

an octogonal shape in a neo-Byzantine style. 



Avenir Montmartre Hotel.

We stayed here during our 2nd visit to Paris. It is not an exceptional hotel but the small rooms were comfortable enough when we were able to acquire a fan from the front desk. I chose this hotel because it is at the foot of Montmartre which is my favorite neighborhood in Paris.  Our hotel room had a wonderful view of Sacré Coeur Basilica. If you look closely,  you can see Reno on the balcony of our room. It is a really cheap hotel to stay in and it is only a 2 star rated hotel. Do not expect much from the rooms or the breakfast that can be included for free but it is just a continental breakfast that is always the same. The location is excellent, though if you like the Montmartre neighborhood of Paris like I do. There is a small, old style elevator so that is a plus. The hotel claims to have sound proof rooms and that might be the case because our stay of 9 nights proved to be very quiet inside the hotel. But OUTSIDE the hotel was another story. The street (Boulevard de Rochechouart) was very noisy at times. We could hear conversations from the street and traffic could really get annoyingly noisy because of the louder vehicles passing by occassionally. The hotel also claims to have central heating which is good for winter stays but we were here in August and they do not have good A/C here. We had a fan but for it to be effective, we had to open the windows. That did make it bearable for sleep but those loud vehicles would just have to pass by thus, waking Farida up. The boys slept soundly regardless of the noise from the street. I can sleep through most anything so I woke up only once or twice during the nights so the major problem with this hotel was not much of an issue for my sons and myself. 


Photos from the bus.

When we were in Paris,we rode on the Hop on Hop off bus around town and I took some photos from the bus. Here are 2  photos of Gare du Nord. Gare means train station so I believe this station serves those who are traveling to destinations north of Paris. I think I once read that the statues above us represent different cities of France. Please don't ask me what that red thing is because I do not know 😄 I included one of these photos in my slideshow about the Hop On Hop Off bus ride.

Mon Dieu, this is a beautiful scene! A scene from the lovely wood pedestrian bridge, pont de arts, crossing the Seine River south of the Louvre museum to Paris Institute building. I took this photo on one of my morning photo walks. My photo walks are usually about 3 hours long and they are always in the morning when my family is still at the hotel, not even starting their day yet. They are usually still in bed when I leave the hotel and they are all ready for breakfast by the time I return to the hotel after about 3 hours of walking, exploring, and photo taking.

Ernest Hemingway and a peer in one of my favorite restaurants. Ernest Hemingways' friends' name was Janet Flanner and she was also a journalist and war correspondent as was Ernest Hemingway at that time. This photo was taken in 1944 just after Paris was liberated from Germany.

Excellent, very professional service was had here. One of the restaurants that Earnest Hemmingway frequented for breakfast and writing time. The photo on the wall is hanging at the booth where he often sat. I ate Omelete Natural (A cheese omelet ) and the Coffee Créme that is photographed here. The coffee came with a bite sized chocolate. Les Deux Magots is open from 7:30 in the morning till 1:00 in the morning.

I do not know how much Les Doux Magots restaurant changed in the last 80-90 years since Ernest Hemingway used to frequent here but I believe this restaurant is wonderful and will return every time I visit Paris. The 2 statues in my photo refer to Chinese figurines and they provide some hint as to the original novelty shop that existed at this location before a café that was frequented by well known artists like Verlaine, Mallarmé, and Rimbaud. In the time of Ernest Hemingway, many famous and aspiring artists like Picasso, Louis Aragon, Sartre and Beauvoir, Fernand Leger, and André Gide also would frequent this restaurant. And in our time, artists still make their pilgrimage here. A good example is ME. 😃😃. No, I do not claim to be a good artist by any means. I love to write to share my experiences in the world but I have no training at all. I just hope my work is acceptable. Anyway, In his book, "The Paris Book" (in the chapter "Appetites",) Robert Rish records that Ernest Hemingway himself wrote; "...the afternoon I sketched in the notebooks took place at Deux Magots or 'Two Macaques' which describe the large mandarin statues decorating the interior. A lot of the usual suspects ate there including Picasso, Brecht, and later Camus. Often when my stomach was full, the pad and pencil came out and I would look around for something that I liked and knew something about. Often the afternoon sun would shaft through the Cafe windows at odd angles and expose the dust mites that danced and swirled behind the waiters as they moved quickly and expertly between tables."

Farida took this photo with me browsing the outside book collection. Just southwest from the  great and beautiful Notre Dame Cathedral is a street where this famous book store is located. This is the third location of this bookstore. The previous locations were in the same area of Saint Germain des Prés neighborhood of Paris. In the second location of This bookstore, Earnest Hemmingway, Ezra Pound, James Joyce, Ford Maddox Ford, Gertrude Stein, spent time there. In fact. The proprietor, Sylvia Beach, was the one who first published James Joyce's Ulysses.

Third location of Shakesphere and Company.

Shakesphere and Company as shown in this photo, is at 27 Rue de la Bucherie.  Many famous writers also  visited this location.  They were not very famous at the time though because they were just launching their careers as writers.  George Whitman, who was also an American expatriot as was Sylvia Beach, operated this location and Sylvia Beach allowed him to change his original bookshop name (The Mistral) to Shakesphere and Company in her honor.  Like the original locations, there is a free reading library here and aspiring writers can reside there for some time in return for their contribution to the activities there (such as giving readings).  One can also eat at a cafe which is part of the business and has a great view of Notre Dame Cathedral.  Allen Ginsburg, Gregory Corso, and William Burroughs, were some of the beat generation aurthors who resided there for a time.  James Baldwin, Richard Wright, and Max Ernest also frequented here. I purchased works by Apollinare, Baudalier, and Balzac here. I did not eat in the cafe though.

2 visits to Shakespeare and Company.

I would visit Shaksphere and Company bookstore when I was on my morning photo walks.  I always went to the Louvre Museum afterwards, with my family.  After 2 or 3 hours walking around Paris, taking photos, I would then return to the hotel to meet with my family to bring them to the places they were interested in visiting, such as the Louvre Museum or Eiffel Tower.  Included here are a few photos from my first and second visit to the Louvre museum. The first visit was with only my wife in 2016 and the second visit was in 2018 with my wife and two sons.

In the Louvre Museum . (2016 and 2018)

I like taking photos of people who are taking photos of the Mona Lisa. Rayhend is here at the left, doing just that . We are in the Italian renaissance room.

This painting is The Wedding Feast at Cana. If I remember correctly, this painting is displayed in the same room as is the Mona Lisa painting. It is one of the largest paintings in the Louvre Museum. You cannot see that though, because I was concentrating on my wife when I took the photo (sorry). It was painted by Paolo Veronese in 1563. The Benedictine Monks of the Basilica di San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice, Italy commissioned the painting to decorate the large wall in the back of their monasterys' refectory. It is believed that Paolo Veronese included himself and other famous painters of the Venetian School of Arts. The painter hismelf would be the one wearing the white Greek style tunic playing the Viola da Braccio (above Faridas' right shoulder). Other famous painters depicted as musicians here are Jacopo Bassano, Tintoretto, and Titian. The poet Pietro Aetino is depicted as standing next to Titian who is playing the Violone. Many of the other persons in the painting are also famous people of the time such as Emperor Charles V, Suleiman the Magnificent, and Mary I of England. Oh, and I think there are some famous persons from Israel too.

These are the Persian archers and the frieze was taken from the ruins at Susa, from the palace of Darius the Great. Islamic and pre-Islamic art of the middle east. There is a fairly large area for ancient middle eastern art. This piece is pre-Islamic. I believe it is being displayed in room 14 of the Near Eastern antiquities section of the Louvre Museum. I do not remember exactly (could also be room 11)..

We entered the large room with many Italian paintings and walked to the end of the room to find Mona Lisa.

And here is one of those paintings in the Italian Renaissance room where the Mona Lisa will be found. This painting is on the opposite side of the large room from where the Mona Lisa is being displayed ( and guarded). In is in the Denon wing of the Louvre Museum. This painting is La Séance. It was painted by Gaspare Traverse. He was from Napoli if I remember correctly. Also known as The Sitting, it is one of my favorite paintings. Gaspare Traverse is one of my favorite artists because his paintings are so expressive, he has a very satirical and animated style. Just look at those faces! His style of painting is called Roccoco. Do you want to know his full name? OK here goes.....Gaspare Giovanni Battista Pascale Traverse.

And here is the original Venus di Milo. It took us a long time to find the room she is in but we saw so very much on the way there. This is actually a Greek sculpture created by Alexandros of Antioch around 125 BCE, so it is more appropriate to call it Aphrodite tes Milos. Some scholars believe that the statue is really a depiction of Amphitrite who was the sea goddess which was venerated on Milos island where the statue was discovered.

Photos at the Eiffel Tower, 2016 and 2018.

Farida took this photo of me looking over Paris towards the northeast.

Looking over Paris from the top of Eiffel Tower.

The first time I went up to the summit of the Eiffel Tower ( Le Tour Eiffel), was in 2016 with only my wife and the second time was in 2018 with my wife and my sons. Besides the wonderful view, you will also find a room that was used by the designer of the Eiffel Tower, Gustave Eiffel, that he used as an observatory and as an apartment. A laboratory for weather and radio experiments were conducted there. This apartment was at the summit. Gustave Eiffel used to entertain guests at his private apartment there and there are statues or wax figures (I am not sure which because we could not actually enter the room) of him entertaining Thomas Edison. There is a new apartment on the first level of the tower that was recently created for visitors who may like to stay there but I think that such stays are during only certain times or events.

I call this photo, " Sunset from Tour Eiffel". This is a Tower view from the second level lounge area. Montparnasse tower is in the background.

Rayhend taking a selfie at the summit level of the Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel).

Trocadero area.

Rayhends' selfie will have the Trocadero area in the background . This area is across the Seine River, towards the northwest of the Eiffel Tower. 

This obelisk was brought to Paris from Egypt. It is in Place de Concorde located in conjunction with the Fontaine du Mars. This is definitely the oldest monument in Paris having been created around 1250 BCE. I was brought to Paris from Thebes in 1830 when Charles X was the king of France. .

We can see Farida here as I take a photo of Mars fountain. It is located in a strategic position in alignment with the Obelisk of Luxor, Egypt.

Place de Concorde, Paris.

Farida posing. The structure used to be a gateway back in the years when there was a trench around Place Concorde. I think it was called Place Louis XVIII or something like that back then. There was a balustrade and the steps leading along the trench and through these gateways.

In the largest Square of Paris.



Sacre cœre Basilica.

We are in the Square Louise Michel with the Basilica Sacre Cœre in the background. Many Parisians gather here in the evenings because street performers entertain people here.  We watched a performance of fire jugglers one evening.  In the afternoons, the interior of the church is a wonderfully cool place to relax for an hour or two (great photo opportunities inside). This location is one of the highest points in Paris, in the midst of Montmartre neighborhood. The Basilica is dedicated to the sacred heart of Jesus.  Construction began in 1875 and the church was consecrated after WW2. It is a striking white color because of the Travertine stone that it was built with.  The 2 equestrian statues in front are of King Louis IX who was made a saint by the church and of Joan de Arc who was also made a national saint.

If you want to read more about our experiences in Paris, there is a page dedicated to Paris. The page is called PARIS.


At Lowell Observatory, we were able to look at the sun through this telescope which had a filter that made the sun dark red. We also went on a tour of the grounds. A lecture in the library, which was the working library used when Pluto was first sited, started the tour.

It took us about 6 hours to drive from Albuquerque to Flagstaff, Arizona. It was still light out when we drove into Flagstaff so it was easy to see the street names and hotel propeties as we passed them. Flagstaff, like Gallup NM has two main streets with most of the businesses for tourists on them which run for several miles. It is just a matter of choosing the right long street and finding the hotel. It was easy to reach the Best Western Soldier Pony Inn because I just followed Google maps. After we got every thing out of the car and into the hotel room, we went out to eat. We ate at a very good restaurant called Picazzos. Appetizers cost around  $8 and the dinners cost around $19.00 so we spent  $98.19 for Cheeze Bread, Spin Cannelloni Alfredo, 12" Puttanesca Pizza, Ravioli Pesto, and Eggplant Parmesano with a quinola salad.

The next morning, we ate a hotel breakfast, snuck our cat ( Little Puma ) into the car and headed towards Las Vegas. On the way out of town, I saw the dome of Lowell Observatory straight ahead so I decided we should drive towards the right when the highway forked. We drove up the hill and decided that we could spend time here before hitting the highway. We spent about 2 hours looking through their interactive museum and walking the grounds with a guided tour. This visit costs  $15 for each ticket. 

Denmark (Dänmark) 2018

Actually, Denmark is Dänmark in Denmark. 😏. On my second morning photo walk, I took photos in the area of the metro stop that brought me to Magasin du Nord. That is a French name but this beautiful shopping mall really is in Copenhagen. To arrive at Magasin du Nord shopping mall, I got off at the Kongens Nytorn metro station. Now, THAT is a danish name. What does "nytorn" mean? I have no idea. "Kongens" means "Kings'" So the name of this metro stop means Kings' nytorn but that does not help much because I do not know what a nytorn is (sorry).

The shopping mall Magasin du Nord. Many good shops and eateries will be found here; Aldo, Handbags Shop, Femilet, Origins Cosmetics Shop, The Body Store, Ole Henriksen Cosmetics Shop, Pilgrim, Kiehls, Tromborg Cosmetics, Dermalogica, and Youngbloods Cosmetics Stores are also here. Chanel, Estée Lauder, and fun places for food like Joe & The Juice. There are some 80 shops here inside this Danish Classical style building.

At the Viking museum in Roskilde. Here is one of the few ancient Viking ships that were found and salvaged then brought to this museum. You can read more about Danmark on the SCANDINAVIA PAGE. .


Dale Street Restaurant in Colorado Springs CO is a very nice place to relax and eat. It is locally owned by the second family to own this long standing favorite place where excellent food, very personable service, and lots of art works with antique furniture can be enjoyed. 

Dale Street Restaurant is at 115 Dale Street. A good wine selection and a full bar are available. Prices are quite reasonable for such a lovely and appetizing place to eat. Reservations are not normally required but you can make reservations by calling 719-578-7998.

In front of Dale Street Restaurant in Colorado Springs CO . This is one of my favorite restaurants in Colorado.

Inside Dale Street Restaurant. Farida is approaching the table while Dessa Trenhaile is perusing the menu. Dessa is a very long term friend of mine (at least 28 years). We really love this restaurant.

Some of the wine selection at Dale Street Restaurant can be seen there.😀