cathedral

Six word Saturday

Determined to finish what I started!

No, seriously!  I need to finish sharing my visit to Jerez.  The Cathedral is magnificent.  Originally a Collegiate Church, it wasn’t granted cathedral status until 1980, by the grace of Pope John Paul II, though the church itself dates back to the Christian conquest of Jerez, on 9th October, 1264.  Briefly the sky was blue, but I was eager to see inside.

Just inside the mighty portal, I was surprised to find a model of an industrious looking Jerez, and close by, not so surprisingly, an altar to John Paul.

There was a wealth of beauty wherever you looked, the cathedral extending theatrically in a sequence of rooms behind the main altar.

My only disappointment was climbing the tower.  I never can resist, but the spiral staircase led only to a grilled window, with a limited view.

Slightly more than my allotted Six Words, I agree, but I do hope Debbie finds this Joyful.  Wishing you all a blessed and happy Easter.  And, heaven’s above, Becky’s March Square is finally over!  Let’s eat cake!

Six word Saturday

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Did I tell you about Girona?

Striking, isn't it?

Striking, isn’t it?

My day trip from Barcelona.  There’s a story or two to tell, but as I only have six words, it’ll have to be pictorial.  Just click on the gallery.

Girona in a nutshell.  I wanted to come here in May for the flower festival, but it was more peaceful in November, and a wonderful escape from the city.

Beautiful, isn't it?

Beautiful, isn’t it?

I’m playing Six word Saturday, thanks to Cate at Show My Face.  Click on the links or the header and you can play too.  Happy weekend!

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Simply beautiful blue and white

One of my earliest memories is of the blue and white Willow pattern plate that sat on a shelf of my grandmother’s Welsh dresser.  It was side by side with a heavy glass plate, with The Lord’s Prayer etched around the rim.  Commonplace in those days, I expect, but I loved them.

I don’t know if it’s that memory, or my lifelong embrace of the sparkling colours of the sea, but I’ve always loved the simplicity of blue and white.  Imagine then, my response, on arriving in Portugal and finding that so many of it’s buildings have been lovingly clad in blue and white tiles.

Porto?  Well, that was just the icing on the cake!  Stepping out of Bolhao Metro, I turned down Rua de Santa Caterina.  Immediately in my vision, the Capela das Almas, a solid wall of blue and white.  It was late evening and dark, so the church was floodlit.  What a welcome!  I knew right then that coming to Porto was going to be all that I had hoped for.

The road dips gently down, passing famous Cafe Majestic (pinch me, I really am here!) and into Praca de Batalha.  I just stood and stared, and stared.

Hauntingly lovely Igreja de Santo Ildefonso

After a night’s sleep, it just got better and better!  Well, you’ve all heard of Sao Bento railway station, haven’t you?  It was just around the corner.

I wasn’t so sure at first about the Se, or Cathedral.  It has the Rose Window and the sturdy pillars of my own Durham Cathedral, back home, but step into the cloisters and you’re in a magical world.  Climbing to the Royal Apartments and viewing terrace, I couldn’t imagine ever attending to the affairs of state with such a view on hand.

The view from the terrace above the cloisters

Stepping in to a fragile and wonderful world

Those courtly days

A cherub or two

A few more?

And one by the window, ready to steal a peep

A room fit for a king

Even the ceiling is gorgeous

But nothing surpasses blue and white

Of course, it doesn’t end there.  There’s the Carmo Church in the University Quarter,  a tile wall that I adore in Rua das Flores, and many others.

Just a glimpse of the Carmo Church, behind the Lion Fountain

Lovely Rua das Flores

But I don’t want to wear you out.  We still have to travel up the Douro together.  There was no shortage of azulejos there either, and the most stunning scenery I’ve seen in some time.  So do come back, won’t you?  I’m looking forward to it.

Six word Saturday

My week as a tour guide

My weeks are often hectic, but this one has excelled itself- mostly in a good way.  The Polish family from Norfolk are coming soon, so I’ll keep this brief.

If you’re ever in Durham, book the Castle tour- it really is fabulous!

Just one highlight- the carved pews in the Chapel

The University Library is having a makeover. These are the glass entry doors. Pass through to buy your tickets for the Castle tour. The Lindisfarne Gospels are coming soon- awesome!

Replica door knocker at the Cathedral- they won’t turn you away.

A rainy day on the Cathedral roof. Of course, we still went up there!

Newcastle Quayside, celebrating the Olympics

A view from my favourite “Eye” (Gateshead Millenium Bridge) across to the Sage Theatre

And of course, the Millenium Bridge from the Baltic Gallery viewing platform

Welcome to York- the Medieval gatehouse sits nonchalantly beside traffic lights.

The city walls are a great place to start

The gardens at the Treasurer’s House

We used to make brass rubbings here.

I could definitely use a seat in one of the numerous shops.

Or maybe Betty’s Tearooms would be a better choice? (just visible in the corner)

St. Mary’s unique church at Whitby

It was a pleasure talking to the church warden. So many tales to tell.

Whitby Abbey is incomparable

The setting is superb

And the craftsmanship- how did they achieve this?

I have really appreciated seeing my world through my niece’s eyes, and will miss her when she goes to Norfolk tomorrow.  She has one further week in the UK before her return to Poland.  We certainly packed a lot in.  I haven’t included the local stuff, the 1st birthday party, or the one for my 96 year old aunt, Isa!

I’m sharing my world on the invitation of Cath of Show My Face, and am grateful for the opportunity to do so.  If you have six words that would sum up your week, why not join in?  Just follow the links or the header to do so.  More 6WS’s on this pretty button.

Sunday Post : Road

Why is it that whenever I see Jakesprinter’s new challenge, a song comes into my head?  This week’s topic Road had the same effect, and I’ve found myself singing McCartney’s “The Long and Winding Road” at intervals all week.  Surely a hint, and time to put pen to paper.

The road I had in mind was my long and sometimes deviating road through life.  Slightly crazy in my youth, I guess I haven’t really changed as much as I might think.  Mellowed, shall we say?

I imagined taking you on a photographic oddessy through my life, but I’ve settled instead for an illustration of one of it’s many twists.  This week I am escorting my lovely Polish niece, Basia, around England’s north east.  Lively Newcastle-on-Tyne, and Durham’s inspiring Castle tour both scored hits.  Even the spell on the roof of Durham Cathedral, clutching umbrellas damply, didn’t spoil our enthusiasm.  But it was in historic York that I had to marvel at the ability of some of England’s roads to adapt and survive.

York Minster, the Cathedral

Stonegate is at the heart of the walled city of York, which was founded by the Romans in 71AD.  Six feet below its pavement lies the Via Praetoria, which connected the Roman fortress to the civilian settlement of Eboracum (York) across the River Ouse.  The name Stonegate is thought to derive from the quantity of stone transported along it during the building of York Minster.

In the Middle Ages the road fell under the jurisdiction of the Minster, and was home to goldsmiths, printers and glassmakers, trades related to the Cathedral.  Today Stonegate is a pedestrianised hub of tourism.

A touch of whimsy as the “statue” pedals down Stonegate

So many shops to choose from

Some a little strange

Some, not so strange

Some, more traditional

But the antiquity cannot be denied

Fashioning gold and painting glass must have been thirsty work

Such a stylish emporium!

A little fashion?

With a hint of refinement, even at Sale time

I can’t help liking them all.

This road has certainly withstood the test of time.

I am again indebted to Jakesprinter for hosting his Sunday Post.  Follow the links or the dragon logo to see other interpretations of this weeks challenge.  What does the word road conjure for you?  Why not join in, if not now, then next week?