"Gargoyles & Graffiti"chronicles architectural elements that I find interesting or unique in my travels. Gargoyles are my passion, but today graffiti (which I hate but am learning to love as it is everywhere) is as much a part of architecture as the gargoyles and decorative railings that thrill me.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Gargoyle Christmas

Nothing like finding gargoyle Christmas ornaments to buy online. What don't they sell on the internet?

Just click the link above and you can order these awesome ornaments. Feliz Navidad y Prospero 2016!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Graffiti Christmas

Southampton, UK graffiti posted by Richard Edwards
Since I had a post about gargoyles at Christmas, I thought it only balanced that I post about Graffiti at Christmas. Typing "Graffiti Christmas" in Google, I came across a great blog called The Cabbages of Doom and a great post on Christmas graffiti. When you look closely at this, it is pretty funny. A would be robber snowman is holding up another snowman with what looks like a gun, but is actually a hair dryer. LOL I guess to a snowman, there would be nothing worse than being melted by a hair dryer.

Homer and Son by Graffiti Life

Here is more great graffiti by Graffiti Life. Homer Santa is choking Bart for painting graffiti at Christmas, I think. The wall had become famous as the Bart Simpson wall, so they updated it for Christmas. More on this graffiti artist can be found here. It says "Don't get caught painting Christmas graffiti!"

Graffiti Christmas Card

Last but not least, here is a Graffiti Christmas card from Reduce the Panic's website. It is from the post "Not your Average Christmas Card: Santa Claus Graffiti." More info on this website can be found here.

Merry Christmas, everybody!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Celtic Explorer Part 1

Plymouth Barbican courtesy of WikiVoyage
Once again, I am looking at cruises for 2016 before even going on my cruise for this year. I started by checking out the new itineraries on the Holland America Koningsdam, which will be new in 2016. It is the largest vessel HAL will build at 2,650 passengers. It has some wonderful itineraries including a Greek and Turkey itinerary. There is also a cruise that departs from and returns to Amsterdam, actually Ijmuiden - that does Iceland, Norway, Scotland and England. It is a great itinerary, but I keep getting drawn back to a cruise on the Prinsendam. The Prinsendam is Holland's smallest vessel and also its oldest. It was built in 1988, formerly known as the Seabourn Sun and the Viking Sun. More info on this Elegant Explorer can be found here on Wikipedia.

Plymouth Sound courtesy of WikiVoyage
The itinerary I am interested in is called the Celtic Explorer and goes to Antwerp, Guernsey, Isle of Scilly in the UK, and Dublin, Belfast, Donegal, Galway and Cobh (Cork) at Ireland. I have been searching for a land tour in Ireland and I just don't like bus tours. I don't mind day trips on the bus from the cruise ship, but bus tours spend too much time on highways on the bus ... and I end up packing and unpacking more times than I can count. 

To stay in nice places, the prices become cost-prohibitive. Mind you, the price for this cruise for a single in a single cabin is almost $5,000 dollars. But the beauty is the room is nice with an ocean view, the food is good and I unpack once and the ship takes me where I want to go.

Mayflower Steps at Plymouth courtesy of WikiVoyage
 This cruise is all about history, from the Mayflower steps at Plymouth to the last place the Titanic sailed before its fateful end. But the best part is it takes me to my family roots. Being a bit of a genealogy buff, I get to go to most of the places my family was from ... Dublin (my father's grandfather on his mother's side) and Donegal, Galway and Cork - from my father's father's side. 

Cobh Port entrance to County Cork
There is even a place to see a room on the Titanic at the Titanic Experience at Cobh.

Titanic Experience at Cobh Ireland

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Dali Whimsy at Figueres

On the wall of the Dali Museum at Figueres

The Dali Museum at Figueres, Spain is one of the most outlandish places I have ever visited. For me, it was just too much all thrown together. Individually some of the pieces are quite shocking but wonderful. Taken together with all the crowds, it was overwhelming. But now, as I look back, I can appreciate certain elements. I loved the Jewelry Museum right from the start but didn't realize he is buried in that area in a crypt. My loss. That would have been interesting to see. 

Supposedly bread represents freeing the mind
In Dali's crazy and whimsical world, bread supposedly represented "freeing the mind." I found this on a blog that has some great information, Traveling with Sweeney. The link is here. I think Cathy Sweeney definitely enjoyed the Museum more than I did. By the way, I really like her blog and highly recommend it. Birds of a feather, I assume, as she loves to travel just as I do. She even goes solo sometimes, as well as with her husband. I do the same.

More bread and other symbols

I especially loved the Moses statue. Don't know why he has an octopus above him, but why not? I took a photo of the original Moses by Michelangelo in Rome. (I have to admit I like the one in Rome much better.) Doesn't hurt either that Moses is my husband's name, actually Moises ... the Spanish spelling. I try to snap Moses photos wherever I go. In the photo I took, I didn't crop out the little boy. I think he is quite significant.

Moses statue with a little boy

Monday, December 7, 2015

Dali Museum Disappointment and One Highlight

Crowds at Dali Museum at Figueres
Not being a fan of crowds, I really did not like the amount of people I had to contend with at the Dali Museum at Figueres, Spain. The old theater, which is the location of the Museum, is not a nice place. It is old and run-down and based on the number of people that go through there, why can't they close for a few weeks and spiff the place up? I posted a review on TripAdvisor called "Dali Museum is Not for Everybody." You can read it here, and it pretty much sums up how I felt about the place. The day also was rainy, windy and chilly. I bought an umbrella along the way and put up with the tour, but like another TripAdvisor member advises, stay in Barcelona where there is a million wonderful things to do and see.

There was one real highlight ... the jewelry museum portion. Now money was spent here and then some. It is a real jewel! Pun intended. I especially loved the following pieces.

The Honeycomb Heart, 1949

The Living Flower, 1959

Necklace of Entwined Limbs, 1964

Thank you to the wonderful security guy who pointed me in the direction of the Jewelry Museum after I had abandoned the tour I was on.