N Wabash Ave, Chicago

On an initial walk downtown, I was on the lookout for backgrounds for my Word project among Chicago’s skyscrapers. I found quite a few candidates, if no winners. Click any picture below to see them all full sized (if viewing in email you may need to click the post title above first to go to the web site).

Edinburgh was packed with tourists Our first popular stop was the Church of St Giles (the High Kirk of St Giles). Outside it you can also find the stature of Sir Walter Scott, or to give him his full honorific as the plaque beneath the statue does, “Walter Francis Montagu Douglas Scott, 5th Duke of Buccleugh and 7th Duke of Queensberry, KG.” Click any image (and maybe the post title first) to see all the pictures full-sized.

Sint-Jacob Antwerpen

Saint James Church Antwerp

Evidently James is an English version of Jacob, via Latin and Old French. A monumental, lavishly decorated Gothic church, home to the tomb of artist Peter Paul Rubens which, alas, was closed with a lot of the church for renovation when we were there. The rear wall you see in the first picture with window light falling on it from the right is actually a painting on a barrier. Click any of the pictures to see them enlarged (unless you’re seeing this in email, in which case you may need to click the post title above first).

Cathedral of Our Lady


Some touristy postcard snaps of this magnificent cathedral, famous for its Pieter Paul Rubens paintings. You can see his Descent from the Cross in the 5th picture above and next to it an homage by Sam Dillemans. The accompanying brochure explains that the very realism of the Rubens fails to perturb the contemporary viewer as it ought, where the brutal impasto of the homage succeeds (it’s difficult to write sensibly about art). Click any of the pictures to see them all big (you may have to click the post title, above, first if you’re seeing this in an email).

Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul

Sint-Petrus-en-Paulus Kerk van Oostende

Click the images to see them full size (if you’re seeing this in email you may need to click on the post title first to open the website).

Saint Bavo’s Cathedral, Ghent


While in Ghent, we visited this historic cathedral. Click any image to see them large (click post title, above, first if that’s not working).

St Michael and St Gudula Cathedral, Brussels

Another set of postcard pictures taken at the above-captioned cathedral which was stunning. By chance we arrived just before a concert was put on by an English girls’ boarding school (Badminton School).

Square du Petit Sablon, Brussels

From the Pl Poelaert we walked on to our appointment at the Horta Museum, where phones, cameras, and bags are strictly forbidden and toured the fascinating dual building. Afterwards, we walked past the Palais d’Egmont (Egmont Palace) and into the Square du Petit Sablon. Click the images above to see them full sized and with descriptive captions (you may need to click the post title first to access on the web site if you are seeing this in email).


After the llama walk we rode into Tavistock, ate a pasty on the church lawn and walked through the pannier market. If viewing in email, click the post title to click into the images and see them larger.

The Chapter House

From the walking guide we picked up at the Cathedral:

This building, the walls of which date from the late 11th century, was named after the first item of business at the daily monastic meeting – the Prior, from his throne, would read out a chapter of the rules of St Benedict. The current governing body of the Cathedral also takes its name from this.

The superb wagon-vaulted roof of c.1400 is made from Irish oak, and its decoration is typical of late English Gothic style. The two main windows are late Victorian, and the subject matter of one is mirrored in the other…

The right-hand picture is of an angled, mirrored table presumably allowing visitors to see the ceiling better. The 2nd window mentioned above, is opposite the one shown in my picture.

Canterbury Reflections and the Abbé Suger

According to Wikipedia, the Abbé Suger, “(c. 1081 – 13 January 1151) was a French abbot, statesman, and historian. He once lived at the court of Pope Calixtus II in Maguelonne, France. He later became abbot of St-Denis, and became a close confidant to King Louis VII, even becoming his regent when the king left for the Second Crusade.”

I remember learning in Art Humanities at university, that he called stained glass an analog of the virgin Mary because of the way light passing through it created something of beauty without penetrating (that is, breaking) the glass, as Mary was presumed to have been impregnated by the holy spirit.

Postcard from Canterbury Cathedral

Canterbury Cathedral is the seat of the Church of England and dates back to the conversion of the King of Kent by St Augustine and his missionaries in 597 CE. Impossible to miss on the skyline around the town and hard not to want to photograph, even if one could more easily just buy postcards. Click any image to see them all full sized.