I had this joke that I kept going to Warsaw [click here for the rest of the photos, all taken in July 2008] but was destined never to SEE it… I had had two 8-hour layovers there, but, both times, I was too exhausted to leave the airport. Then, at the start of my trip through the Baltics, I spent an entire day there just about, but was weighed down by all of my luggage (a nice young woman from Couchsurfers was going to watch it for me while I traveled to other countries, but she was at work all day).Upon my return, I finally had my day in Warsaw (6am to 10pm)… (more…)


Church of St. Peter & St. Paul (Vilnius)

St. Peter & Paul Church, “a treasure trove of sparkling white stucco sculptures of real and mythical people, animals and plants, with touches of gilt, paintings and statues. The decoration was done by Italian sculptors between 1675 and 1704” (Lonely Planet). Since it’s a “whopping” 2.5 km (that’s 1.55 miles) from the center of Vilnius, many tourists don’t bother to see this church, which is a huge shame and their loss. I know I’ve already posted a billion pretty European church photos, and just did that, in fact, for Vilnius (see previous post), but I swear this one is just jaw-dropping. That’s why it gets its own album. I literally get the shudders just looking at these photos and remembering. All photos taken in July of 2008.

Vilnius (Lithuania)

Lithuania was the last country (aside from going back to Poland to grab my luggage and catch my flight home, and a layover in Hungary) of my two-year European adventuring. This is the first of three albums focused on the capital, Vilnius, which is a very green and pretty city, complete with its own pilgrimage site (which I have photos of here) and its own (wannabe) independent republic (coming up in a future album). Click here or on any of the images to be taken to the entire album of Vilnius pictures.

Kaunas (Lithuania)

“Crazy Kaunas” somewhat lived up to its name, with a pleasant sampling of ugly, tacky, or wacky things. Wikipedia tells me that “Kaunas is the second-largest city in Lithuania and has historically been a leading centre of Lithuanian economic, academic, and cultural life,” but my guidebook mostly stressed that it was kind of odd. I especially enjoyed the world’s only Devil Museum, the verdant island in the middle of a scummy river, all the brides running around, and the taxidermy museum! And of course it was not without its pretty churches, too. (more…)

Krakow & Wieliczka Salt Mine

For two years in a row while I was abroad, I did a “Christmas in Krakow, New Years in Prague” trip for the holidays. This album contains photos of Krakow from the both of those trips, combined (December 2006 & 2007), and also the nearby salt mine in the nearby town of Wieliczka (which I went to as part of the 2006 trip). There are 44 photos in all. (more…)

Layover in Paris

I was in Paris for all of eight hours (a train layover, which I planned on purpose, in 2006), and two of those hours were lost to a tedious transfer (from one train station to another) and storage of my luggage. That left me *just* enough time to see Notre Dame, and the Sacré-Coeur. The Eiffel Tower I saw only from a distance. Click here or on any of the photos to see the 27-photo album. All in all, I felt I did pretty well for just six hrs of tourist time, on nearly no sleep! (more…)

Mission Inn, Riverside CA

Happy Sunday! This album contains photos of the Mission Inn [ official | TripAdvisor | wikipedia ] in Riverside, California (April 2014). It’s a historical landmark and, according to wikipedia, “generally considered the largest Mission Revival Style building in the United States”. I would have liked to have taken more, and better, photos, but an obnoxious security guard was chasing us from floor to floor, making things difficult. (We didn’t actually sleep there, but we had reservations for Easter Brunch and *thought* it would be okay to check out the grounds… Yeesh, what a snooty place!) Brunch was courtesy of The BF’s folks, and was delicious.