Wednesday, August 12, 2015

North Carolina Arboretum, Asheville, North Carolina

Parking charge is $12

Map of gardens is available at Visitor's center

The North Carolina Arboretum is a 434-acre public garden, surrounded by the diverse Southern Appalachian Mountains, located on land within the Pisgah National Forest. It is adjacent to the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway.

There are several walking trails which range from easy to difficult passing through pine, mixed hardwood and forests. There are plagues along the trail with explanations of the trees. 

    A view of the mountains along the trail

The Entrance Plaza has colorful gardens and containers of seasonal plants surrounded by pools and waterfalls.

      Blue Ridge Court is a central point of the garden promenade 

    Bonsai Exhibition Garden is a place designed to enhance your enjoyment of bonsai art.

       Plants of promise garden and Quilt garden

Saturday, July 4, 2015


Toledo is located 70 km. south of Madrid. It can be reached by a day trip from Atocha train station in Madrid. It is a 30 minute train ride. Cost of train is 20E. Tickets can be bought on day of travel.
If you choose to stay a couple of nights, La Posada de Manolo which is a family, friendly pension with a splendid view of the cathedral.

Toledo is on a mountain top with a 150 degree splendid view. From the train station, the city is approached ascending narrow, steep medieval streets taking you to a medieval world.

It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986 for its extensive cultural and historical existence of Christian, Muslim and Jewish culture. Known as the "Imperial City" for having been the main venue of the Court of Charles I and as the City of three cultures.
The city was named by its first Jewish inhabitants who settled there in the 5th century.

The city is said to have been populated since the Bronze Age and named by its first Jewish inhabitants who settled there in the 5th century BCE. In 193, BCE, it became an important Roman colony. After the fall of the Roman Empire, Toledo served as the capital city of Early Christian Spain, till the Moors conquered the Iberian peninsula in the early years of the 8th century.
Experienced a period of co-existance of Jews, Christians and Muslims. 

            The breakfast room and deck is on the second floor of the Pension. Imagine having breakfast  
            with a splendid view of the Cathedral of Toledo.

    Facade of the Cathedral

Interior of the Cathedral

       Narrow streets of Toledo

      Alcazar was used by the Romans as a palace in the 3rd century

Monasterio de San Juan de los Reyes

  Interior of Synagogue of Saint Mary the White


Saturday, June 20, 2015

Seville, Spain

Seville is a captivating city of tapa bars, large and small squares, churches,narrow streets to get lost in, lovely parks, flamenco. The streets and tapa bars are filled with people at all hours.

Seville is the capital of Andulucia and the 4th largest city on Spain. 

The Real Alcazar is a beautiful palace built on the moorish style. 

                                      View of the city from La Giralda

          Plaza Espanya 

Parque Maria Luisa is adjacent to Plaza Espanya. A beautiful park with lovely landscaped gardens, monuments.