50 States/50 Countries-Famous World Landmarks

Website TripAdvisor recently published a list of the world’s 25 top landmarks based upon votes from their millions of readers. We have been to half the ones listed (which means we have a lot to go!) and wanted to share our photographs with you, in order, from the top vote-getter down. How many have you seen?

St. Peter’s Basilica – Rome, ItalyPICT0018 (3)PICT0436 (2)PICT0438 (2)PICT0430 (2)PICT0433 (2)

Duomo di Milano – Milan, ItalyPICT0034 (3)

Alcatraz Island – San Francisco, CaliforniaDSC02714 (2)Australia Dec. 2008 305 (2)

Golden Gate Bridge – San Francisco, California177770941

Notre Dame Cathedral – Paris, FranceNotre Dame2PICT0793 (2)PICT0795 (3)

Eiffel Tower – Paris, FrancePICT0816 (2)

Tower of London – London, United KingdomPICT0473 (3)Acropolis – Athens, Greecetravel photos 063 (2)

Temple of the Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho) – Bangkok, ThailandFAR EAST 2009 ALL 567 (2)

Mutianyu Great Wall – Beijing, ChinaFAR EAST 2009 ALL 1076 (2)

Sydney Opera House – Sydney, AustraliaAustralia Dec. 2008 169 (2)

One of the great world landmarks left off this list is the Great Pyramid & Sphinx near Cairo, Egypt which I think has to be included…

PICT0133 (3)

What other sites would you add? Here are some of my suggestions…

Cairo Mosque?PICT0156 (2)PICT0165 (2)

Peterhof Palace & Gardens?DSC01869 (2)

Giant Buddha – Hong Kong?DSC03328 (3)

Happy travels!  Rich

 

 

50 States/50 Countries-Russia

DSC00582 (2)(Russian battleship Potemkin)

Russia…The Soviet Union…The Cold War. Friend? Enemy? As a person who grew up in the 50’s, I never thought I would ever get to visit this country of 6.6 million square miles, the largest country in the world, twice the size of the United States. Allies in WWII, relations have been on and off again ever since. Now once again they are accused of using propaganda to try to influence our elections. Regardless of your politics, our visit to St. Peterburg revealed a friendly people (Russian Wedding)DSC00701 (2) and some amazing art and architecture.DSC00499 (2)Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood. A magnificent church on a canal.DSC00479 (2)Saint Isaac’s Cathedral…largest dome in the world. DSC00617 (4)DSC00518 (2)Bronze doors reminded me of the ones on the baptistery in Firenze.DSC00531 (2)The Winter Palace of the Czars which in addition to being a beautiful palace, contains the Hermitage Museum and several famous paintings and sculptures.DSC00681 (2)DSC00412 (2)Can you identify the following three artists?DSC00668 (2)DSC00666 (2)DSC00667 (2)

1. (La Danse) Henri Matisse 1909; 2. Vincent van Gogh 3. Paul Gauguin

DSC00387 (2)One of the most beautiful palaces is the Peterhof, a UNESCO World Heritage Site166 (2)known for its location (right on the Baltic Sea), gardens, and fountains…DSC01869 (2)My wife & I shot all the pictures you see above. Enjoy! До свидания (Da svidania) & happy travels!  Rich

The Entertainer Blogger Award

The Entertainer Blogger Award

 

entertainerbloggeraward-copy

Thanks so much to Ana Rocha from https://cookthebeans.com for nominating me for this award. Please visit her blog If you want to know more about travel, food, vegan cooking & eating, and recipes from all over the planet. Very educational and entertaining.

Why did you start blogging in the first place? 

I have always been a writer. Professionally for many years as a journalist and in public relations, but also writing fiction on the side, short stories and eventually two novels (working on the third). I also love to travel and take photos. One of my blog series is call 50 states/50 countries and it gives me a chance to share photos from around the globe.

What is your favorite book?

Love to read. Got my first library card in the 4th grade. Beyond the Hardy Boys, one “adult” book got me hooked and remains a favorite…A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain

What do you dislike the most?

People arguing politics on Facebook.

What is your favourite food at the mall?

Has to be sushi.

What is your favorite pastime?

Three main areas would be: writing/photography; playing bass guitar & singing with my 60’s cover band, Revolution Road; acting on stage, TV and film.

MY NOMINEES

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Congrats to all nominees 💚 Can’t wait to read your replies.

📍Rules

  • Thank the person who nominated you add link to their blog
  • Add the rules, so others can follow
  • Nominate people who you find fun, inspiring and entertaining!
  • Answer the same questions
  • Include the graphic in your post

50 States/50 Countries-Big Island Hawaii

PICT1545 (2)The 50th State…the big island of Hawaii…Volcano National Park. You’ve heard about it in the news, the recent eruption of Kilauea, homes destroyed, people evacuated. The destructive power of molten lava. Thought you might enjoy a tour in more peaceful time and learn more about this force of nature.PICT1500There are three main volcanoes on the big island (six all together), Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, and Kilauea, the most active, has a fire pit called Halemaumau. This is where most eruptions occur, but a vent can open up anywhere in this region.PICT1585 (2) You can see the steam, feel the heat, and smell the sulfur…truly Hell on Earth.PICT1577 (2)

Mauna Kea (tallest mountain in the world measured from the ocean floor) is dormant for now and is high enough it gets snow in winter and you can ski on it when it does. Volcano National Park is located near Kilauea.PICT1584 (2)Look close and you can see the Park’s lodge sitting right on the crater’s edge…and yes, they have had to evacuate but the Volcano House has never been destroyed. http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts/PICT1578 (2)PICT1574 (2)Walking through the crater…PICT1579 (2)PICT1569 (2)PICT1588 (2)Halemaumau…the fire pit!PICT1587 (2)Lava Flows after it cools….PICT1583 (2)When hot lava hits trees, the wood burns to ash, but the sap in the tree can cool the lava enough to leave strange formations…a forest of “lava” trees…PICT1597 (2)PICT1598 (2)As the lava heads toward the sea the outer portion of  the flow can start to congeal, creating a lava tube.PICT1573 (2)Inside Thurston Lava Tube…PICT1592 (2)Finally when the lava does reach the sea, it cools down to large chunks of volcanic rock which wears down over time from the ocean waves to create Hawaii’s famous black beaches…PICT1590 (2)The big island is still growing and every time there is an eruption, it creates more land. The rich volcanic soil (in due time) is perfect for growing things and plants, trees do come back eventually other than in the crater itself…

Aloha & happy travels!  Rich

 

 

50 States/50 Countries – Windsor Castle

PICT0731 (2)Everyone is getting excited about the upcoming Royal Wedding (week from Saturday) and the site of the wedding in Windsor Castle, so I thought I’d share a few photos of my visit there during Queen Elizabeth’s 25th Anniversary celebrations…

PICT0713 (2)Notice the date on the banner 1977!

PICT0714 (2)Queen Elizabeth the First (The Virgin Queen)

PICT0720 (2)A busy weekend at Windsor…

PICT0718 (2)Four Musketeers?

PICT0728 (2)When this flag is flying the Queen is in residence…

PICT0716 (3)MAKE WAY!

PICT0717Most folks don’t realize Windsor Castle is huge! (William the Conqueror built it starting in 1017 in the town of Windsor, high above the Thames River, and completing construction 16 years later in 1033 AD).

PICT0726 (2)Inside the walls around the castle keep…

PICT0727 (2)Arrow slots to defend the castle…not today, but a good vantage point to see and hear the band…

PICT0723 (2)Statue of a heraldic symbol…

The marriage chapel is inside and off limits to the general public, so I might as well just cruise on down the Thames to London…

PICT0712 (2)Good Day, Guv’ & Happy Travels!  Rich

 

 

50 States/50 Countries – Hawaii

The 50th State…Hawaii. Four main islands — Oahu, Kauai, Maui, and the Big Island. I was fortunate enough to visit here a couple of times and then live on Oahu from 2006-2008. Hawaii is truly paradise. I have so many favorites but here are a few photos of things you may not have seen before.PICT0099This Buddha is on the island of Maui just outside of Lāhainā. Photo was taken right after a rainstorm.PICT0021 (2)Lighthouse on the island of Oahu…fun hike to go out to see it.PICT0124Japanese cemetery and temple.PICT0196The official bird of the state of Hawaii, the nene goose is exclusively found in the wild on the islands of Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Molokai, and Hawaii.PICT0202 (2)Surface of the moon?  Nope…the interior of the Haleakala volcanic crater on Maui.PICT0055 (2)Wedding site…Kaneohe’s lush Haiku Gardens, just down from the restaurant Haleiwa Joe’s on Oahu…

I’ll post more later. Just wanted to send you a sample. Aloha & happy travels!  Rich