Nasarid Moorish Palace in Alhambra Spain. The Alhambra (Arabic, Al-Ḥamrā, lit. "the red one"), the complete form of which was Calat Alhamra, is a palace and fortress complex located in Granada, Andalusia, Spain. It was originally constructed as a small fortress in 889 and then largely ignored until its ruins were renovated and rebuilt in the mid-13th century by the Moorish emir Mohammed ben Al-Ahmar of the Emirate of Granada, who built its current palace and walls. It was converted into a royal palace in 1333.
on Volubilis. The whole time I was there, I could picture the ancients walking these streets and living in these homes. Volubilis is a partly excavated Roman city in Morocco near Meknes between Fes and Rabat. Built in a fertile agricultural area, it was developed from the 3rd century BC onwards as a Phoenician (and later Carthaginian) settlement. It grew rapidly under Roman rule from the 1st century AD onwards and expanded to cover about 40 hectares (100 acres) with a 2.6 km (1.6 mi) circuit of walls. The city gained a number of major public buildings in the 2nd century, including a basilica, temple and triumphal arch. Its prosperity, which was derived principally from olive growing, prompted the construction of many fine town-houses with large mosaic floors.
Jigokudani Snow Monkey. My wife, Barbara, suggested we go see the monkeys. After the bus dropped me off at the base of the mountain outside of Nagano, I had to hike up the steep trail with my backpack, past a waterfall, and to the ryokan where I would be staying the night. There was a geyser outside my window that gushed water about 200 feet into the sky all night long without ever stopping. The snow monkeys liked to warm themselves in the geyser water pool.
on Port d'Essaouri and Seagull. Essaouira is a city in the western Moroccan economic region of Marrakech-Tensift-Al Haouz, on the Atlantic coast. The city was known in the time of 11th-century geographer al-Bakri and, as he reported, was called Sidi Megdoul. In the 16th-century, a corruption of this name became known to the Portuguese as Mogador or Mogadore. The Berber and Arabic names mean the wall, a reference to the fortress walls that originally enclosed the city.
for the fave on Gojnoto Pagoda at Night. This Pagoda on Miyajima Island stands 27 meters tall and is located on a hill next to the main Itsukushima Shrine. Constructed in 1407, the tower is dedicated to the Buddhist god of medicine. The island is not only sacred, it is considered a god. No deaths or births are allowed on the island.
for the fave on </B>Kanazawa Castle Panorama</B> It is such a large structure within that in the late 18th century it was called "the palace of 1,000 tatami". The castle's distinctive, whitish roof tiles are made of lead. The reason for that is not only that they are fireproof, but legend says that also that in times of siege, the tiles could be melted down and cast into bullets.
Kyoto Outdoor Cafe Garden I went to a Kyoto, Japan, cafe and I had this view of their hillside garden.
For the fave on Byodoin Temple - Kyoto. This Buddhist temple in Kyoto, dates back to In 1052. Basically, it's a 1000 year old structure. I love the contrast. I rode two subway trains and took a short bus ride to get there. Buddhism and Shintoism exist not only side-by-side in Japan, people see no real conflict between the religions. It's a stark contrast whereas in the Christian/Judeo/Islamic traditions, they kill each other over minor differences in dogma.
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Itsukushima Torii. I took a video and a photographs of the Itsukushima Torii on Miajima Island at 5:30 in the morning when no one else was on the beach. Ironically, across the bay is Hiroshima where the atomic bomb destroyed the city and hundreds of thousands of school children. Miajima Island is considered to not only be holy, but it is considered a god in itself. The entire island is considered to be a Shinto shrine and no birth or death is allowed on the island.