Lens Artists Photo Challenge #79: A Window With A View

Balconies of the parador

Continuing my theme of staying in castles from last week, on our class tour of southern Spain we spent a night in the parador of Jaén.  “Paradores” are fancy, historical hotels across Spain, and this one was originally a 13th century castle, from the time of conflict between the Christians and the Moors in this area.  It is strategically situated on a hillside, which gives some amazing views out of the rooms’ windows.

Morning in Andalucía

We traveled on to Granada, where we visited both the Generalife gardens and the Alhambra palace, situated right next to each other.

View of the Alhambra from the Generalife

The mix of Arab and European architecture in that area is just marvelous, and so is the natural scenery.  Both the windows themselves and the view of out them are worth seeing!

You can find more windows with views at the original Lens-Artist challenge.


Lens Artists Photo Challenge #78 – Special Spot Shots

During our 8 day trip through Ireland with the Vagabond crew, my mom and I got to stay at a few truly unique places, including…a castle!  We spent a night at the beautiful Ballynahinch Castle in Connemara, and it was one of the nicest hotels I’ve ever stayed in.

There is so much character to Ballynahinch.  The rooms all have names; we were in “Caislean Lough,” which I think means Loch Castle.  Here’s the view from our window.

The original house was built in 1756 as an inn.  The current hotel manages to blend old and new perfectly, with lovely modern conveniences as well as historical charm.  We were so charmed we didn’t even mind carrying our luggage up the stairs!

The grounds are absolutely beautiful and I wish we had had more time to explore them.  If you love the outdoors, this is the place for you.

You can find more special spot shots at the original Lens-Artist challenge.


Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #77: Favorite Photos of 2019

First, I’d like to say thanks to Patti, Ann-Christine, Amy, and Tina for a great year of challenges.  I’ve really enjoyed participating every week, and I hope you all have enjoyed seeing my photos.

Let’s start with YOUR favorite photos!  These two posts were some of the most-liked this year.  First, we have my friend Bridgie taking a break in the Picos de Europa.


Then we have a lovely Tuscan landscape.


Finally, we have some photos actually taken in 2019.  This is an excellent representative sample of the photos on my phone, because the vast majority of photos I take are of my cats, my kid, and flowers!


You can find everyone else’s favorite photos of the year at the original Lens-Artist challenge.


Lens-Artists Challenge #76: On Display

The Guinness Storehouse in Dublin is a fun way to learn about the famous beer company and maybe sample a bit of their product.  But what drew my eye in the souvenir shop?

The glassware.

So shiny!

And yet as pretty as they were, I didn’t end up buying anything because I rarely drink and I don’t particularly like Guinness!  (I admit, it is true that it tastes better in Dublin.) I guess I am too practical.

Another cool display in Ireland was found at the Gougane Barra hotel: dolls from all over the world.

You can find more displays at the original Lens-Artist challenge.


Lens-Artists Challenge #75 – Nostalgic


Visiting the Kilbeggan Distillery Experience was a great way to walk back in time and see the way Irish whiskey was traditionally made.  I used this photo for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgia several years ago.

In San Gimiango, Italy, it was fun to remember a time when letters went by mail rather than Internet!  I just loved the look of this letterbox–it would be so much fun to use something like this!  I would feel like a character from a novel.


In Pompeii, it was cool to see how buildings were constructed in ancient times, and also how they changed over the years.

You can find more nostalgia at the original Lens-Artist challenge.