Travel

History of Oktoberfest: Why is it in September?

HISTORY OF OKTOBERFEST Why is the famous German beer festival held in September if it’s called Oktoberfest? Officially, the beer festival starts the third Saturday in September through early October for 16 to 18 days. History The first Oktoberfest was held in 1810 to celebrate the royal wedding in Munich — the capital of the…

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How I Spent My Summer Vacation

13-PEI

HOW I SPENT MY SUMMER VACATION I spent an extended two-week period this summer in New England and Canada, particularly Maine and Prince Edward Island. Here is my travel log.         Day 1: Maine My first time in Maine. Motto of the Interstate “Camp in the woods, not the left lane.” It only…

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History of Reek Sunday, part 3: Location

HISTORY OF REEK SUNDAY, Part 3: LOCATION In our previous article on Reek Sunday, we discussed the Pilgrimage to County Mayo, Ireland for Cruach Phadraig — as it is known in Irish — that is also called “The Reek.” It stands at 764 meters or 2510 feet elevation. It is located about 5 miles from…

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History of Reek Sunday, part 2: Pilgrimage

HISTORY OF REEK SUNDAY, part 2: PILGRIMAGE Pilgrims, nature lovers, archeologists, historians, and hill climbers come from all over the world to climb the mountain on Reek Sunday. In our previous article, we discussed the Tradition. Here we discuss the pilgrimage that has been going on for centuries, and an older one for millennia. More…

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History of Reek Sunday

HISTORY OF REEK SUNDAY Several years ago at this time of the Summer, I was on the west coast of Ireland, where they say, “West o’ here, ta next parish over, tat’s Boston.” This Sunday, the last one in July every year, marks Reek Sunday, or Garland Sunday in Ireland. At this time between 25,000…

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History of Christmas Music: more than just carols?

HISTORY OF CHRISTMAS MUSIC Music early became a marked feature of the Christmas season. But the first chants, litanies, and hymns were in Latin and too theological for popular use. Under the influence of Francis of Assisi in the 13th century, we began to see the rise of the carol written in the vernacular. The word carol…

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Florence Galleria – Michelangelo’s David

Michalangelos David

FLORENCE GALLERIA – MICHELANGELO’S DAVID To see the statue of David, for the first time takes your breath away. In the tribune at the end of a long gallery lit naturally from above by a glass cupola, this statue is the most beautiful man-made thing I’ve ever seen. You know the familiar story from the…

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Driving In Italy

SmartCars

DRIVING IN ITALY It has been said that you have to be CRAZY to drive in Italy, but I tell you that you MUST be crazy to drive in Italy — preferably homicidal. Drivers here are assertive and aggressive, believing that it is more blessed to take the right of way than to give it.…

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