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Scotland Day 8: A Fresno Girl Perhaps?

sunny 47 °F

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We started our day by splitting the "full Scottish breakfast" at Kincraig Castle, where we were staying. It included scrambled eggs, a tomato, black pudding, haggis, a "tattie scone" (very much like a pancake), and a mushroom. It was not bad.
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Some pictures around the castle in the morning. After breakfast we drove into Inverness to attend the Ordinariate mass: groups of Anglicans who converted to Catholicism were allowed to use a modified form of the Anglican church service. Their liturgy is very interesting and it was a nice opportunity to attend one in Inverness.
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The drive to Inverness.
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The chapel where the Ordinariate mass is held. According to the priest the chapel was built as an ecumenical chapel originally at the hospital, with three separate front areas for Presbyterians, Anglicans, and Catholics. The ordinariate mass uses the Catholic section.

During the after-mass conversation, the very small group of members came over and talked to us. Catherine said that we were from California, and one of the people said "a Fresno girl perhaps?" and then refused to say how he had known that. Catherine admitted to having been born and raised in Fresno, but the person who asked would not reveal how he knew that. Catherine thinks he somehow guessed, but Daniel thinks that we must have met this man in passing somewhere in our lives and forgotten about it.

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Some views of the River Ness. Catherine very much wanted to find Nessie, and it was here on the river (and not the loch) that St. Columba is said to have first seen the "water creature" that may have given rise to the legend of the Loch Ness Monster.
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After that we drove to Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness.
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Some pictures around the castle showing the defensive structures. St. Columba came here to baptize a Pictish chieftain, and the castle was part of a variety of wars that occurred, as well as constant raids by the MacDonald clan, eventually being blown up by its own holders during the Jacobite wars.
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Looking for Nessie.
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Some more pictures around the castle.
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A strange object in the water. Probably not Nessie.
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Some more pictures of the castle.
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Daniel in a window, and a random person in the door.
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A bird's nest in a corner of the castle.
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The trebuchet.

After exploring the castle, and hearing a very fascinating talk about the defensive structures of the ditch and the windows, we headed into the village to buy some souvenirs and then to Inverness for dinner.
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We went to a Turkish restaurant which was delicious. We ordered the two-person meal, which included appetizers and a main meal for each of us. The appetizers were delicious and filling. We got the chicken kebab and the vegetarian moussaka, which were both delicious.
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There was a pub across the street from the Turkish restaurant that was having a "trad session," so we walked over and listened to some music. It was a wonderful end to our night before returning to the castle.
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Sitting by the fire at the castle after our day of exploring the loch.

Posted by danielcatherine 19:54 Archived in Scotland Tagged church river music castle fire mass inverness loch_ness urquhart fresno nessie ordinariate trad_session Comments (0)

Utah Day 5: Zion

sunny 102 °F

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Zion National Park had been closed for a while, and now requires that guests register for a spot on a tram. It is relatively crowded compared to the other places we have visited, which is a bit scary with the virus still out there. However, it seemed that almost everyone was wearing masks (including us) and that the hikes took us to less populated areas.
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The danger of flash flooding in slot canyons was low, so we felt that it was safe to hike (we actually avoided the real slot canyon of The Narrows, and only went to the river walk).
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The tram (modified to carry fewer people and require social distancing, and with all windows open) carried us into the canyon. The park is not designed for a lot of cars, and there are few places to park within the canyon, so we had to do all of our hiking from the bus stops.
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The river walk was an easier hike, but it leads to the Narrows, which are as the name describes a narrow slot canyon. We walked along the easy section of the river. The canyon feels similar to Sedona: we felt like Sedona is what would happen if someone built a city in the middle of Zion National Park.
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There is actually a lot of swampy land alongside the river. Catherine hoped it wouldn't be porous like bogs and sinkholes tend to be.
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A couple pictures of us during the hike. There were a lot of very bold and interested squirrels who kept trying to get to our bags and showed great interest in any water bottles or food that we had out. Though they reminded Catherine of Flora, we successfully avoided them and got them to go away.
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We finished our hike and then took the tram to one of the stops, with the intention of hiking from that stop to the lodge along the grotto trail. Anthony was interested in hiking more than that, but Catherine and Katie were not. Daniel and Anthony went across the street to a trail that crossed a bridge, and then just followed the trail...
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...which began to climb.
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In fact, it climbed quite a bit until we were high above the canyon. The trail was beautiful and the view of the canyon below was amazing. There were only a few other groups along this trail.
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We referred to this canyon as Owl Canyon because of this sign, but looking online we found that it is actually called Refrigerator Canyon because of the cold winds that blow through it. We met a group of hikers coming down who explained that it was the hike to Angel's Landing, one of the most famous hikes in Zion National Park. Apparently it was formerly called the Temple of Aeolus, after the god who kept the winds in Greek mythology. They said we were about twenty minutes from the top, but we had promised Catherine and Katie that we would be down by 6:30, so we didn't have the time to continue up the mountain, so we turned around.
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The way down. We met with Catherine and Katie back at the bus stop and decided to continue the hike to the lodge.
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The "grotto hike" to the lodge mostly followed the road. It was easy and beautiful.
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This statue of a ringtail cat reminded us of Flora.
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There was one loop that was open to drive, and so we drove around the park to the degree we were allowed and saw a lot of interesting sights, including the famous tunnel.
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Right outside the park is a brewery called Zion Brewpub. We had a dinner there, which was delicious. We had a very full day at the park, and it was an amazing thing to see on this trip.

Posted by danielcatherine 16:04 Archived in USA Tagged river wind mask tram zion refrigerator owl angel's_landing ringtail aeolus social_distance Comments (1)

Portugal Day 5: Cloisters and Fado

semi-overcast 85 °F

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We started our day with a breakfast that reminded us greatly of our Portuguese lessons. On each lesson some character would order bottles of water (Aguas minerais), some custard pastries (pasteis de nata) and a latte (um galão). This is what we got at a cafe called “The World Needs Nata.”
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Some views around the cafe, including the buskers who were playing across the street.
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The streets in Coimbra.
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Next we went to the Santa Cruz monastery, where much of the knowledge of the Portuguese explorers had been gathered and collected. It was founded by St. Teotonio/ Theotonius in 1131.
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Inside the church.
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The sacristy of the church. There was a great deal of artwork on the walls, and several very beautiful liturgical artifacts. The church appears to still be in use to some extent, as there are current liturgical books on some of the shelves.
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A side room with some religious art and relics. The “bust reliquary” in the middle holds the skull of St. Teotonio. The other two hold relics related to the Five Martyrs of Morocco, Franciscans who were killed for preaching the Catholic faith.
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The Chapter room where meetings took place, with its own altar.
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Some pictures of the cloister.
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The tile work around the walls.
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Tapestries.
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The relic sanctuary. This room was amazingly beautiful. It is highly symmetrical and perfectly arranged, but each element on the walls contains relics of various saints. It felt like something out of a fantasy novel.
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Some pictures at the sanctuary of the church, including the tombs of the first and second kings of Portugal, Afonso Henriques and his son Sancho.
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Some views of the street after we left. On our way up towards the old cathedral, we stopped at the Fado ao Centro and booked tickets for the show at 7:00 PM. We also stopped at the shop of an artist named Marcia Santos, who does illustrations with ballpoint pen. We purchased two of her drawings in frames to take home.
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Then we arrived at the Old Cathedral (the new one was built in the 17th century.)
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Inside the cathedral. Some tombs of various people, including a Byzantine princess who was a lady-in-waiting to Queen Saint Isabella (who lived in Coimbra at the end of her life).
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This little creature at the foot of the tomb of one of the bishops. Is it a shih tzu?
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The cloister at the cathedral.
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For some reason, the floor of the cloister is covered in “2”s.
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Outside the church.
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A little restaurant across from the cathedral where we had a quick snack: caldo verde, a popular Portuguese soup.
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The fado show was beautiful. Fado de Coimbra is distinct from other fado. The instrumentals were really impressive, as was the singing. After the show we got to drink some port wine and talk with the musicians. We bought a CD which they signed.
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After this we went towards the river for dinner and a short walk. It was beautiful at sunset.
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Gelato! Daniel got Azorean pineapple and mint, Catherine got Madeira banana.
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And then, another fado show! One of the musicians from the first one played at this one as well. However, it was different: this show was Fado de Lisboa, which has a female singer and a different kind of sound. We bought this CD as well. It was an amazing show and we really enjoyed learning about the different varieties of the music.

Posted by danielcatherine 03:48 Archived in Portugal Tagged sunset river cloisters cathedral music port dinner wine relics gelato fado pastel_de_nata galão Comments (2)

Day 16 - Quilts, Jam, and Margaritas

sunny 76 °F

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Three very generous gifts from Daniel's Aunt Barb: jam (hot pepper, sour cherry, and huckleberry), some books, and a beautiful handmade quilt! We were given our pick of a number of quilts, and chose this star patterned one.

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We then went to Manito Park and toured the beautiful rose garden. It was interesting to hear about all the different types of roses, especially the "old roses" that are more open and more fragrant than more familiar roses.

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A beautiful blue-green tree in Manito Park.

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The Japanese Garden at Manito Park is also beautiful and very serene.

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Us in the Japanese Garden.

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The sunken Duncan Garden, which is more formal and is very warm, due to the shelter from the wind.

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The perennial garden has some amazingly strange flowers and plants, all of which are very intriguing and seem like they would be interesting to plant.

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Flowering onion in the perennial garden. It was incredibly weird looking but also very pretty and interesting.

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The clock tower in Riverfront Park, which inspired the clock tower in the game Myst, which was one of Daniel's favorite computer games and which was made in Mead, just north of Spokane.

Correction: this is the county courthouse. The clock tower is also beautiful, but we didn't get any good pictures of it.

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Some views of the falls on the Spokane River. The restaurant where we ate lunch overlooked the river.

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Margaritas at Clinkerdagger Restaurant. We split one margarita, but they gave us two glasses. We had never really had margaritas before, and they were enjoyable.

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Oil, oil, oil...vinegar, vinegar, vinegar.

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The beautiful Davenport Hotel, which is really an incredible thing to see. It is amazing how similar it looks to the photographs of its early days, but it has certainly been restored and renovated over the years, keeping the original beauty.

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Inside the church at Gonzaga University. Gonzaga has a beautiful campus, and the church is incredibly beautiful. We both felt like the interiors of the buildings were very similar to those of Santa Clara, though of course the exteriors were all grey and gothic as opposed to beige and Mission-style. Daniel was wearing his Santa Clara shirt today, but no one at Gonzaga said anything about it.

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Another building at Gonzaga.

After touring Gonzaga, we finished our tour of Spokane and went back to the house. We had a nice dinner and conversation. Tomorrow we make for Hood River for Catherine's cousin Elise's wedding on Saturday!

Posted by danielcatherine 00:05 Archived in USA Tagged church river books quilts margaritas jam conversation must spokane gonzaga Comments (0)

Day 2 - Part Two

sunny 90 °F

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Stopped for lunch at the Russian River.
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As we left the Russian River park, this animal seemed to be guarding the restrooms. It only later proved to be on a leash with an owner.
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From Russia to Ukraine: the entrance to Mt. Tabor Ukrainian Catholic Monastery. 90_5FBC8B5A2219AC68178A42E88820749B.jpg 90_5FBD494C2219AC68176169040A6D86E7.jpg 90_5FBDD2B32219AC681708070CF18AD11A.jpg 90_5FBE58412219AC681755284473649559.jpg
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We were greeted by one of the monks, Fr. Damian. We got a wonderful tour, including the dining hall and the church with the painted icons. We learned some interesting facts about the Eastern Rite and about iconography. We were invited to stay for dinner but decided to push on towards Ferndale.

Posted by danielcatherine 00:20 Archived in USA Tagged river eastern ukraine russia russian rite Comments (0)

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